In the mid-2000s, Daniel Nichols said, he was living in his dream neighborhood, complete with rolling hills and lots of mature trees.
The neighborhood, Chesterbrook Woods, a community in McLean that hugs the border with Arlington, was full of young children and adults who seemed to be in a constant state of biking, walking or jogging, Nichols said.
The activity, a sure sign of a neighborhood’s vibrancy by most definitions, represented trouble for some residents, including Nichols.
That’s because Chesterbrook Woods, at the time, lacked sidewalks along heavily trafficked roadways — an absence that served as a metaphor for the community’s bucolic bona fides, Nichols said.
“Chesterbrook has a real neighborly feel, with narrow roads cutting through these rolling hills,” said Nichols, who has lived since 2000 in a 9,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom Arts-and-Crafts-style house. “The main roads weren’t safe for kids to walk and bike around, but folks wanted to keep the neighborhood country-like.”
Nichols said that he and a group of residents learned from a similar push by neighbors about a decade earlier that had failed.
“It really came down to education and the fact that some residents didn’t understand what we were asking and why. This was really about safety, and we were able to find agreement with property owners that this would be a good thing for the neighborhood,” he said.
Just recently, he said, workers finished pouring the cement for the first phase of the sidewalk installation that runs along the road in front of the local elementary school.
“We have lots of younger families moving in the neighborhood, and I can imagine their kids using the sidewalks.”
Azaleas, large trees, creek: Steve Wydler, a principal broker with Wydler Brothers Real Estate, said that Chesterbrook Woods is one of the most sought-after communities inside the Beltway. With easy access to public transportation and main roads, the community offers potential buyers plenty to cross off on their housing checklists, he said.
“When people come to me and they name a neighborhood they’re interested in, Chesterbrook Woods is always at the top of the list,” Wydler said. “It’s in a great location because it’s right on the border with Arlington and it’s super convenient to D.C., and Tysons Corner is so close.”
Cabell Fooshé said he still recalls fondly the day, some 14 years ago, when he first visited the neighborhood.
“I’ll never forget. It was in April and the azaleas were blooming. It was a quiet neighborhood, very beautiful, and I immediately noticed the large trees and the awesome creek that feeds into the Potomac River,” said Fooshé, who lives in a 2,400-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom rambler in Chesterbrook Woods.
Betty Ende, who has lived for 26 years in a four-bedroom, three-bathroom rambler in the neighborhood, said there are lots of fun events, such as book clubs and holiday parties, that are popular with residents.
But about four years ago, a group of neighborhood children topped them all by mixing their entrepreneurial spirit with the community’s reputation for camaraderie.
The result, said Ende, was “Stands in the ‘Hood,” a popular, community-wide lemonade stand enterprise.
“The kids get an opportunity to sell some lemonade and make a buck and it’s so much fun to have our streets filled with young people,” Ende said.
Living there: Chesterbrook Woods, in McLean, spans both sides of Chesterbrook Road and is roughly bordered by Pimmit Run to the north, Brookside Road to the east and Kirby Road to the west. Its southern border spans across Chesterbrook Road and extends south where Oak Lane intersects with Forest Lane.
In the past 12 months, 29 properties have sold in Chesterbrook Woods, ranging from a 4,076-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom rambler for $735,000 to a 7,730-square-foot, six-bedroom, seven-bathroom Craftsman-style house for $2,515,000, said Wydler, the principal broker with Wydler Brothers Real Estate.
There are eight homes for sale in Chesterbrook Woods, ranging from a 2,732-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom split-level house for $950,000 to a 7,525-square-foot, six-bedroom, seven-bathroom Craftsman-style home for $2,599,000.
Schools: Chesterbrook Elementary, Longfellow Middle and McLean High.
Transit: The community is less than five miles from a handful of stations along Metro’s Orange and Silver lines.
Crime: In the past six months, there have been three assaults and one theft reported in the service area that includes Chesterbrook Woods, according to Fairfax County police.