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FCPA Board to Act Soon on Plans for Parks

The Planning and Development Committee of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) was to consider the proposed “scope” for Clemyjontri Park during a meeting scheduled today, Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m.

Also on the agenda was a review of a revised plan for Lewinsville Park, where McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) has asked for a “memo of agreement” that could allow MYS and Marymount University license to share the expense and use of artificial turf on a soccer field.

If the FCPA committee approves the plans, they would go forward to the full board for approval on Nov. 13, said Judy Pedersen, FCPA public information officer. After that, the only other FCPA board meeting this year will be held on Dec. 11.

The plans for both parks have been put on a fast track: Clemyjontri because it must meet requirements of a conveyance deed, and Lewinsville because MYS wants to start playing on artificial turf to expand the use of the field.

“We have only so much time to break ground [at Clemyjontri] and some constraints on when we start,” Pedersen said.

The “project scope” for Clemyjontri, an 18-acre park just west of the intersection of Dolley Madison Boulevard and Georgetown Pike, includes a handicapped-accessible playground, a carousel with pavilion, picnic shelter, entrance and parking lot, and a facility with restrooms, an office, and a storage area.

“The focus is based on the donor’s desire to provide a playground where all children can play together unrestricted by physical barriers,” according to the proposal.

A THIRD PARK property in McLean, Spring Hill Recreation Center, will be the topic of a 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday night, Nov. 6, at the McLean Community Center, when a citizens advisory group will convene to consider an MYS proposal to add two soccer fields there.

The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) and several other citizen groups have raised concerns about protecting natural resources including a streambed near the rec center.

THE LEWINSVILLE PARK agreement recommends improvements at Field 2, the lighted field that lies closest to the park entrance.

A proposal to add lights to Field 3 was the topic of a large public hearing last summer.

“After considering the record from the public hearing, the FCPA board approved the scope of the project to install lights at field 3, subject to identification of funding,” Pedersen said.

But instead, the lights will stay on Field 2, which is already lighted, and the artificial turf would be added at that field instead.

MYS wants to share the field with Marymount University, which would share the cost of installation, but FCPA won’t make the decision about turf or field use, Pedersen said. “We don’t have any comment on that,” she said.

“That is between MYS and Marymount. What we are meeting on [Nov. 6] is a proposal for improvements to the field,” she said. “We are not negotiating with Marymount. We are not signing an agreement with Marymount. We are negotiating an agreement with McLean Youth Soccer.”

“It will be interesting to see how people feel about this when it goes forward for a decision by the [FCPA] board,” she said.

“We think of this as indicative of us trying to be sensitive to the community, and to the players and their needs. “We are trying to find common ground so that everybody can live with this,” she said.

THE SPRING HILL REC Center Advisory group will be meeting for the first time.

“These are informal meetings where people are given a description of what is already there, what the problems are, and what facilities on the master plan would never be used,” said Pedersen.

“It is done so we can hear directly from citizens, especially when there is concern about issues at a park.”

MYS has pushed for two additional fields at the rec center. The master plan shows tennis courts there, but they have never been built.

“Just because it is on a master plan, doesn‘t mean it is going to become real,” Pedersen said.

Information about the park proposals is are posted on FCPA’s web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks, Pedersen said.

“We don’t make any secret of them. They are posted on the web,” she said.