Dan DuVal will be president of the McLean Planning Committee beginning this month, if all goes well, MCA president John Foust announced on May 31.
He appointed DuVal as the McLean Citizens Association’s newest representative to the MPC, joining three other directors: Greg Lakin, Chris Monek, and Maya Huber.
MCA First Vice President Jan Perriello, appointed to replace Herb Becker after Foust removed Becker as the MCA representative to the MPC earlier this year, will withdraw and serve as an alternate.
“She filled in for us, and asked to be an alternate for the coming year while she recovers from the unbelievable, Herculean effort of revising the bylaws,” Foust said. “She will work on the policies and procedures, as well. She will be an active vice president,” she said.
Four member groups comprise the MPC, each one putting forward four representatives to the 16-member group.
The MPC presidency rotates among the groups. Shirley Elliott, who represents downtown McLean landowners, will step down this year, and it is the MCA’s turn to fill the presidency.
Because of a disagreement over whether or not MCA members are empowered to speak as individuals at the same time they serve on the MPC, Foust earlier this year removed Becker, who had served as the MCA’s representative since Dranesville Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn reactivated the MPC in 1995.
However, Becker returned to the MPC last week, appointed to represent the McLean Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the MCA, McLean Landowners, and the Chamber, surrounding citizens associations are also represented on the MPC.
DUVAL, A McLEAN LAWYER and the son of late state Sen. Clive DuVal, lives at Salona, the family’s historic homestead on Route 123.
“We kind of universally, within the group, felt he had all the leadership qualities necessary for that important job [as MPC president],” said Foust. “He has significant experience on the McLean Revitalization Corporation, basically implementing the plans for the MPC.
“He has the personality as well as the professional expertise and experience to do the job,” said Foust. “He is ready to roll.”
DuVal has attended both of the MPC’s two May meetings.
He was also elected to the MCA’s board of directors last week.
Foust and Elliott said they met together for lunch recently to smooth out problems between the MPC and MCA that came to a head with Becker’s removal.
“There have been issues that arose among the various constituent groups of MPC,“ said Foust. “We both felt the problems were [caused] more by lack of communication than substantive [differences].
“We sat down and shared our ideas and thoughts, as recommended by others,” he said. “It was very positive. There are four constituent organizations [in the MPC], and the more they communicate the better the MPC can function. We all know that. Now we are committed to finding the time to do it,” he said.
At an MPC meeting last week, Elliott recommended that her successor make in a point to meet regularly with presidents of the other constituent groups, including the MCA and the Chamber of Commerce.
“I wish we had gotten together sooner,” she said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, MPC members discussed problems with Center Street, a part of the area in the central business center (CBC) that is designated for redevelopment. The owners of several small businesses there have not responded to requests that they join in planning efforts to revitalize their Center Street stores, parallel to Chain Bridge Road west of Starbuck’s, said Rosemary Ryan, who represents Dranesville Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn on the MPC.
“We have no worse examples in the CBC of landowners who have thumbed their noses at us,” said Ryan. “They are getting exorbitant rents from people who just want to be in McLean."
“And the whole church said ‘amen,’” said George Lilly, executive director of the McLean Revitalization Corporation.