August 6, 2002
Whether the topic is school overcrowding, cut-through traffic, new development or local politics, Sully and Springfield district residents are intensely interested in what's happening in their communities. The local population is smart, savvy, well-educated and not shy about speaking up about changes that will affect their way of life.
Since the area construction boom began in 1988, the once sleepy and rural western Fairfax County has grown and matured into an area of leaders, innovators and award-winners. And new residents from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds continually add to the mix, enriching and enhancing the local area with their heritage and traditions.
<bt>Between 1990 and 2000, Centreville grew by 83 percent — from 26,585 residents to 48,661 residents. Chantilly increased by 40 percent to 41,041, compared to 29,337 in 1990. Even the Town of Clifton gained nine new townspeople for a 5-percent jump, from 176 to 185 residents.
However, when the 2000 census revealed that Sully had more than 146,000 inhabitants — more people than any of the other nine magisterial districts in Fairfax County — it had to redistrict.
As a result, last year five voting precincts — Greenbriar East and West, Newgate, Leehigh and Willow Springs — were shifted to the Springfield District, reducing the Sully District population to 108,712. And many of the communities in the 40th and 67th House of Delegates districts and 37th Senate district were also changed.
Along with the area's fast-paced residential and commercial growth have come more roads, more schools — and more things to do. The groundwork is already being laid to continue to make this area an exciting and dynamic place to be. An air and space museum, a western Fairfax recreation center, park improvements and an indoor sports facility are just a few of the many new things on tap.
<mh>Movers and Shakers
<bt>The Sully District also boasts some outstanding people. For example, Ho Chang of Union Mill is the county's director of transportation, Ronaldo “Nick” Nicholson of Chantilly is the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) project manager for the Wilson Bridge, Robert F. Horan Jr. of Clifton is the county's commonwealth's attorney, Michael Anzilotti of Chantilly is chairman of the board of directors of the Arts Council of Fairfax County; and Mark McConn of Bull Run is head of the Sully District Council of Citizens Associations.
Other standouts include General District Court Judge Mark Simmons of Centreville; Richard Smith of Pleasant Hill, chairman of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA); Dorothy Fonow of Oak Hill, executive director of the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries; Centreville's Ron Koch, Sully District Planning Commissioner; Greenbriar's Hal Strickland, Sully District representative on the county Park Authority; Gate Post Estates' Dick Frank, Sully District Transportation Commissioner; and Heritage Forest's Jim Hart, member of the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
Still more top-notch citizens include: Centre Ridge Regent’s Jim Katcham, chairman of the WFCCA Land-Use Committee; Greenbriar's John Hanyok, chairman of the Chantilly Community Coalition; Little Rocky Run's Bob Dively, assistant attorney general for Northern Virginia; Centre Ridge's Kathleen Hill, Sully's representative on the county's Airports Advisory Committee; and former Tennessee Congressman Robin Beard of Clifton, president and CEO of Raytheon in Arlington.
Thanks to excellent teaching and administrative staffs, plus dedicated community support and concern, our local schools regularly produce students who win county, regional, state and national honors, both academically and athletically. For example:
* Centreville High School — under the leadership of Principal Pamela Latt — won the Wachovia Cup for Athletic Excellence for the entire state of Virginia;
* Chantilly High School — under the leadership of Tammy Turner — won the Wachovia Cup for Academic Excellence;
* Westfield High — in only its second year of existence with Principal Dale Rumberger steering the ship — garnered four Cappie awards for its production of the musical, "Godspell."
The brand-spanking-new Liberty Middle School — earmarked to relieve both Rocky Run and Stone middle schools — will open in September, and a new elementary school will greet its first students in fall 2003. With all this activity, it's no wonder there's always something doing in the local area. Here's a sampling of what's coming:
<bt>* Chantilly Crossing: This is a new, mixed-use development at Route 50 and Lee Road in Chantilly. It will have two anchor stores — Target and Costco — three hotels, restaurants, a recreational facility and other retail businesses.
Just two hotels were originally proposed, but the developer now hopes to also build a 75,000-square-foot Marriott SpringHill Suites. It's planned for four stories and 132 rooms with a focus on business people and visitors to the area.
The applicant, Starwood Ceruzzi — a national shopping-center developer — has filed for rezonings and a special-exception permit and needs the county’s blessings to proceed. Costco and Target will be between Lee Road and Route 28, and the restaurants will be near the existing Extended StayAmerica hotel already there.
The future hotels would be constructed in the northwest portion of the site. Also proposed are a drive-through bank, plus a service station with a quick-food store and a car wash. And in the southeast portion of the site will be Willow Springs Towing.
<bt>* Fairfax Corner: Area residents will eventually be able to enjoy shops, restaurants and a multiplex cinema in a place called Fairfax Corner. It's a $150 million, mixed-use entertainment complex being built in Fair Oaks.
It's on 48 acres south of I-66 and north of the Fairfax County Government Center's administration building. It will also contain offices, apartments and a hotel, plus a spot for a future Metro station.
It's being developed by The Peterson Cos. of Fair Lakes in a traditional, main-street style. Individual builders will construct their own parts of the project, but Peterson will have overall architectural control.
Fairfax Corner will front on Monument Drive to the south and Random Hills Road to the north, with access mainly from Monument Drive and Random Hills Road. It will be a pedestrian-oriented urban center featuring a mix of multi-story office buildings with retail stores on the first floors.
There'll be a town commons — with a grassy area surrounded by buildings — as well as a hard-surfaced plaza with a fountain and attractive landscaping in front of the movie theater. And with the shops, restaurants and theaters right along the sidewalks of the internal streets, it will have an ambiance similar to that of the Reston Town Center. Fairfax Corner will be 1.16 million square feet total. The nearly 4,000-seat theater will occupying some 100,000 square feet.
<bt>* A Holiday Inn Select opened its doors, Monday, July 29, at Route 28 and Willard Road in Chantilly. An upgraded Holiday Inn, it's geared toward business travelers.
The parent company is Six Continents Hotels, headquartered in Atlanta. Construction began last fall, and the result is a six-floor, 233-room building, including 13 suites and a Houlihan's restaurant and bar. The hotel meets all ADA requirements, and every type of room it has is also offered in handicap-accessible.
Standard rooms have two beds or a king, and single rooms also have king-sized beds. The fifth floor has executive-edition rooms with upgraded amenities such as bathrobes and access to the concierge lounge where a complimentary continental breakfast and evening cocktails are served.
All rooms have in-room safes which can accommodate a laptop computer. The hotel also contains a 24-hour business center (with fax, copier, printer and phones), 24-hour convenience store and 24-hour fitness center and an ATM. The outdoor, cloverleaf-shaped pool has a hot tub, Jacuzzi and small fountains. And the hotel offers complimentary airport shuttles to Dulles Airport, six miles away.
<bt>* Stanley Martin will construct The Village at Mount Gilead. This new community will consist of four dozen luxury homes located partly in Centreville's Historic District. It will be near Wharton Lane and Mount Gilead Road. Planned are single-family, detached homes built in a neotraditional and Colonial-style.
The houses will be 2,200-4,000 square feet and are proposed to sell for $400,000 and up. They will have two-car garage entrances in back and will face private streets. Fronts and porches will mainly face Mount Gilead Road and Wharton Lane, and homeowners could turn their basements and attics into extra rooms.
Civil War earthworks near the center of the site will be preserved as a special feature of the new community. The proposal also calls for historic markers, plus a split-rail fence around the earthworks to protect and define them.
There'll be a gazebo there, too, plus a pathway for the public. And the county Park Authority's Cultural Resources Protection Branch will maintain and preserve that area — especially the earthworks.
* A new residential community called Sully Manor is coming to Centreville. Developed by Ratcliffe Associates, it will arise on some 26 acres between Route 29 and Centreville Farms. It will have 178 single-family homes — 84 detached houses and 94 attached — to be built along Shreve Street.
The houses will be on 4,500-square-foot lots and will be upscale-looking with brick fronts. Engle Homes of Sterling is the builder. The neighborhood will also feature street lights, benches and sidewalks on both sides of the street. Also featured will be a tot lot, plus a two-acre open area in the center to serve as a park. There'll also be a bike trail and landscaping around the perimeter of the property.
Access to Sully Manor will be from Pickwick Road to Johnson Avenue and also from Shreve. There will be no access from Route 29. The developer promises to do several transportation improvements. Ratcliffe will add a paved lane to probably serve as a right-turn, deceleration lane from Route 29 to Pickwick.
It also plans to build a left turn from Pickwick to Route 29 east and a right turn from Pickwick to Route 29 west. A through lane from Pickwick across Route 29 is also slated. The changes will add three new lanes total to Pickwick, increasing it from its existing two lanes to five, and benefiting both the new and existing residents of that area. In addition, Shreve Street will be improved and will receive curbs and gutters.
<bt>* Formerly Known as Rockland Village: This sleepy, Chantilly community of small 1946-era, single-family homes on the east side of Walney Road, south of Route 50, is no more. KSI Services Inc. of Vienna is turning it into a bustling, modern development of 508 homes called Chantilly Crossing. Under construction is a whole new community of 45 single-family homes, 99 townhouses and 360 three-story apartment units, including 14 affordable dwelling units.
Trees, sidewalks, open space and a unified design are all geared toward making it an attractive community, and vehicle flow will be changed to alleviate traffic problems.
* Centreville Farms: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a redevelopment plan and rezoning for the Centreville Farms community, and construction is already well underway. Two developers, Pulte Home Corp. and Winchester Homes, are doing a massive renovation there. This 50-year-old residential area lies between I-66 and Route 29 and is bordered by Walney Glen, the realigned Stringfellow Road and The Woodlands.
When completed, some 1,338 new housing units will dot the landscape there. Pulte is building approximately 408 townhouses and 146 single-family detached homes; Winchester is building some 379 townhouses and 146 single-family detached homes. Apartments and condominiums are also planned.
The multi-family homes will be constructed by a 4 1/2-acre Metro kiss-and-ride lot at the corner of Stringfellow and I-66, and sound walls will be erected along I-66 to shield them from the noise. The property's main entrance will be via a new, four-lane, divided road extending northward at the intersection of Union Mill Road and Route 29 and connecting to Stringfellow Road.
In addition, because of land donations by the two developers, the project also includes the Metro lot, plus an elementary school and the expansion of Arrowhead Park. The 17-acre school site is at Leland Road and Arrowhead Park Drive, and the park expansion will be on 23 acres north and south of the existing park.
Arrowhead is currently 13 acres with two rectangular fields and an open play area; now four new, lighted rectangular fields will be added. The school will have two diamond-shaped fields and a rectangular field, none with lights. Two, lighted tennis courts will be built at the northern end of the site. Trails will connect the school and park, and there will also be trails between the parking area and tennis courts.
<bt>* The Sully District Police Station is Fairfax County's first new district police station in 15 years and is in acknowledgment of this area's tremendous residential and commercial growth. Besides reducing police response-time, it'll enable local residents to more closely identify with their local police department.
The 32,400-square-foot, one-story structure is under construction just west of Stonecroft Boulevard's intersection with Westfields Boulevard. Estimated cost is $7.5 million (from 1998 bond money), and it's expected to be finished by this Christmas.
The new station will contain police administrative offices, space for investigative officers and shift supervisors, plus roll-call and exercise rooms. Also planned is space for the school resource officers, crime analyst, crime-prevention officer, traffic-safety officer, selective-enforcements supervisors and the bike patrol and neighborhood patrol.
* CVS Pharmacy: A new CVS Pharmacy will be built in Centreville. It'll be an 11,200-square-foot drive-through at the northwest corner of Route 29 and Pickwick Road. The drive-through will be open 24 hours for prescription pick-up. Customers may access it either from Pickwick Road or the service road from the nearby bowling alley.
* Chick-Fil-A proposes to build a fast-food restaurant with drive-through window at 5800 Old Centreville Road, formerly the location of the old Hunter Hardware store, near Route 29. The building would be nearly 4,500 square feet with a maximum of 140 seats. It would be open every day except Sunday, from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. This project has not yet been approved and still needs to go through the county processes.
* BB&T drive-in bank: BB&T will build a drive-in bank along Route 28 in Centreville, just north of the CentreMed medical facility and diagonally across the street from the Centreville Multiplex Cinemas. It will be next to a future two-story, commercial complex and child-care center.
The bank will be in a new, 3,550-square-foot, one-story building, plus a two-lane, drive-in facility fronting on Route 28. An estimated 600 customers a day are expected. BB&T has also agreed to dedicate the land necessary to connect Machen Road to Old Centreville Road and to contribute $16,000 toward Centreville's Road Fund.
* Chevy Chase Bank is also constructing a new facility in Centreville. It will be on the northwest corner of the Burger King lot at Route 28 and Old Centreville Road. It will have a drive-through window and two, drive-through ATM bays. No tube system is planned for the drive-throughs, just ATM machines.
The ATM bays will be on the building's southern end, between the bank and the Burger King. Bank hours will be Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The bank's entrance will face Westview Drive, with customers accessing it off Old Centreville Road. The bank will also make road improvements to Westview.
* Capital Worship Center will eventually move from its current meeting place at Centre Ridge Elementary to a new building of its own. It just received permission from Fairfax County to build a sanctuary, related facilities and a preschool on 11.7 acres at Ordway and Compton roads and Route 28 in Centreville.
The church will construct one building in two phases. Phase one is a multipurpose building to seat 500; it will contain a childcare center operating from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. to avoid peak-traffic hours. Phase two is a 10,000-square-foot addition with 400 more seats for 900 seats total.
The entrance and exit will be on Ordway Road.
* Washington Eden Korean Presbyterian Church has also found a home in the local area. It will build a place of worship with a nursery school and child care on 11.3 acres in Centreville. The site is just east of the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Route 29.
This project will also be done in two phases. First will come a 450-seat sanctuary with 130 parking spaces and a nursery school for 60 children. The second phase will increase the church seating to 700 total and the parking to about 250 spaces.
The sanctuary will be built at the front of the site, near Cedar Spring Road, and the church will provide a turn lane at the existing median crossover at Cedar Spring. Also planned are right turns in and out of the site's easternmost entrance, and all these transportation improvements are expected to make the intersection of Cedar Spring and Route 29 safer.
<bt>* Quinn Farm Park: To meet the tremendous demand for soccer fields in the Sully District, the Fairfax County Park Authority hopes to build nine, lighted, rectangular fields in Quinn Farm Park. Also proposed for that site is a training facility for the D.C. United soccer team, plus a fishing pond, playground and picnic area.
The amenities would go on the eastern half of a 169-acre parcel at Old Lee and Braddock Roads in Centreville. If approved by the county, the hours could be daily from 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; an estimated 3,500 people are expected to use the park on a peak weekend day.
Some 350 parking spaces are planned for seven fields. Another 120 more spaces — for 470 total, the other two fields and the training/office facility would be part of a public/private venture with D.C. United.
And in keeping with the county's Comprehensive Plan, Old Lee Road would be realigned with Braddock, through the site. A new entrance road will come off of Braddock. Also planned are paved trails along Braddock, Pleasant Valley and Old Lee roads, plus a hiking trail encompassing the site.
* Lanes Mill Park: Designated by the Fairfax County Park Authority as a "cultural-resource archaeological park," Lanes Mill Park is off Route 29 in the Lee Overlook area of Centreville. It's on eight acres bounded to the south by I-66, to the north by Route 29, on the west by Gate Post Estates, and on the east by Paddington Lane.
It's also at the confluence of Cub Run and Big Rocky Run, making it an ideal site, in the 1760s, for both a grist mill and a saw mill. The Lane family owned a mill complex there from 1752 to the 1830s. What's left there now are the ruins of the saw mill on Big Rocky Run, the grist mill on Cub Run, the wheel pit, tail race and mill races.
The Park Authority plans a raised, walking-trail system to link all the site's features. It would also join an existing concrete trail running along Big Rocky Run. Also proposed are information kiosks and signs. The Park Authority wants to preserve and protect the historic, natural and cultural resources at Lanes Mill and provide a setting to educate the public about 18th- 20th-century life and industry in the county.
<bt> * Much-needed traffic improvements will be made in the vicinity of Route 29 and Bull Run Post Office Road in Centreville. The project will consist of right- and left-turn lanes from Route 29 to Bull Run Post Office, a traffic signal at that intersection and the widening of Bull Run Post Office to two lanes where it meets Route 29.
Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) estimated the cost of all these road improvements at $650,000 to $700,000. "VDOT [Virginia Department of Transportation] wanted a left-turn stacking lane going from northbound [Route] 29 to Bull Run Post Office Road," he explained. "That's the most expensive part."
* Route 28 Corridor: Because of monetary, air-quality and insurance concerns, what was initially intended as a 10-interchange, eight-lane project has now been scaled back to six interchanges and six lanes — at least for the foreseeable future.
Shirley Contracting Corp. and The Clark Construction Group entered into a public/private partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to do the road project. The work area is along the 14 miles between I-66 in Centreville and Route 7 in Loudoun County.
But until the region meets federal air-quality standards, Route 28 will remain six lanes, and just six interchanges — at Barnsfield Road, Westfields Boulevard, McLearen Road, Routes 625 and 606 and the CIT exit — will be constructed. Barnsfield will connect Route 28 to and from the new National Air and Space Museum Annex.