A proposal to add two soccer fields near an environmentally-sensitive piece of land near Spring Hill Recreation Center in McLean will move ahead Thursday, when the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) meets with a citizens advisory committee.
It is the second of two scheduled meetings before the committee, formed of citizens from several neighborhoods close to the rec center.
Jane Edmondson, who sits on the committee as president of the Lewinsville Coalition, says the FCPA process is too focused on the soccer fields without taking into account an existing master plan which calls for the addition of a gymnasium and tennis courts at the rec center.
Although FCPA policy requires that master plans for the parks be reviewed every 10 years, Edmondson said, “The only reason the site plan [at Spring Hill Rec] is being reviewed is because of [McLean Youth Soccer’s] proposal for two new fields. Parking and traffic are also concerns.
According to a sketch submitted by MYS, parking would be added to support the soccer fields by extending Art Naumann drive, presently a cul de sac, to a new parking lot.
Residents of nearby McLean Hamlet, Summerwood, the Lewinsville Coalition, and Cedars of McLean say the added fields for soccer would be too intensive for the surrounding neighborhoods by concentrating too many fields there, particularly on Saturdays when MYS house leagues play.
MYS already uses two existing fields, and two more across Lewinsville Road, including the Holladay Field that MYS developed to tournament quality. It is used for travel teams on Sundays.
“This is a district park,” said Edmondson. “This is not Oak Marr. This is not Wakefield Chapel. This is in the midst of residential homes.”
“The community is several times larger than the MYS special interest group.”
MCLEAN YOUTH SOCCER, says the fields are needed to accommodate the needs of more than 3,000 children between five and 19 who sign up for house leagues and travel teams.
MYS leases two fields at Lewinsville and Spring Hill Roads and the “police field” next to the McLean Government Center, and has plans to improve fields at Lewinsville Park and expand playing time by adding artificial turf to one of them. But there still are not enough fields, according to MYS.
A year ago, MYS Director Ted Kinghorn identified the construction of two new, full-sized fields at Spring Hill as its “top priority.”
An in-ground irrigation system is also needed on all of the fields at Spring Hill, said Kinghorn.
“MYS anticipates being able to offer financial assistance to these improvements based on its initial fund-raising efforts,” Kinghorn said.
Finding land and electing officials that support acquiring those fields were also identified as MYS goals.
Former MYS Fields Coordinator Fred Mittelman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Dranesville District supervisor, has identified playing fields as an issue “that cuts across party lines.”
An assembled caucus is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, at Langley High School to select the nominee from among three candidates.