The rumor mill in McLean is spinning full-speed lately, and once again at the center is the Fairfax County Park Authority.
This time, the question is whether McLean High School Park, on Davidson Road next to the school, is under consideration to be sold.
“That rumor has been going around for several months,” said Kevin Fay, the Dranesville District representative to the Park Authority. “We are trying to assess it for the best value for the citizens, the Park Authority and the school.”
There are no definite plans for the park, he said, and no active proposals have been made over what will become of the small park, currently covered in grass, vines, overgrowth and trees, with the Saucy Branch stream running along the north side of the park.
“Economically, it has a significant market value,” Fay said of the park. “A lot of groups want to leave it as undeveloped space, but it is developable. The area in the resource protection area would stay that way, and most likely half the land is like that.”
The park is zoned R-3, and may be suitable to be developed for workforce housing, Fay said. “There are all sorts of possibilities, but no decision is likely to be made in the near future.
Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois agrees with Fay.
“I am very intimately involved with what we’re trying to accomplish at McLean High School Park, and those rumors are totally off base,” DuBois said.
Several phone calls have resulted in messages left in her office telling her certain builders have been contacted about developing the park. “How can you have a builder if the land isn’t up for sale?” she said. “There’s a lot of discussion about what’s going on with the property, and I think everyone will be happy with what we decide to do.”
SHE SAID THERE has been discussion about expanding McLean Central Park but there are currently a few houses located on the land adjacent to the park.
“I don’t see us selling McLean High School Park to do that,” she said about expanding the other park, but she said the future of McLean High School Park was still in discussion and could not be discussed further.
“This all started with a meeting the West Lewinsville Heights people had with Kevin Fay in the McLean High School cafeteria last fall,” said Paul Wieland, a member of the McLean Citizens Association’s environmental committee. Fay was asked a series of questions regarding McLean High School Park along with other properties in McLean. “His response was that ideas were on the table, but no decisions had been made, but we’ve heard that developers had been contacted,” Wieland said.
When told that Fay said no decisions had been made yet on the park, Wieland said “I hope he’s right.”
Frank Crandall, chairman of the McLean Citizens Association’s Environment, Parks and Recreation committee, said the rumors are “persistent,” and that when Fay is asked about the future of McLean High School Park, “he never gives a straight answer. He always deflects the question, which is causing a great deal of concern in the immediately adjacent neighborhoods.”