The Flint Hill Upper School, and the corner of Jermantown and Oakton roads, will be adding some new facilities after receiving approval from the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 5.
The school, located on about 34 acres, last year received approval to amend the county’s Comprehensive Plan in order to add a restroom facility near its athletic fields, to serve spectators at its games. The school has now filed for permission to build that facility.
In addition, the school has purchased three residential lots along Oakton Road. The school will formally include the lots as part of school grounds and adding a playing field and 56-space parking lot.
“We are not adding a single student,” said Frank McDermott, attorney for the school.
Neighbors across Oakton Road from the school expressed concerns at the Nov. 30 Planning Commission meeting. They were concerned about potential noise generated by the fields, and by the traffic impact generated from the parking lot.
“I think that we’re only inviting … accidents to happen,” said Yolanda Sanchez, who lives across from the school.
The parking will be restricted to faculty and staff parking during school hours, and will only be used otherwise in the case of special events, McDermott said. Most of the traffic will not come during the standard rush hours, and much of it will be going in the opposite direction from the rush hour traffic flow.
“The impacts are, literally, virtually zero,” McDermott said. Having athletic facilities at schools is a natural fit. “That’s like apple pie and motherhood in my book,” he said.
Commissioner Ken Lawrence (Providence) agreed. Fields are necessary to give children a place to exercise, he said. “We can hear noises from playing fields where I live, and that’s part of life I think,” he said.
A few days later, by the time the issue had reached the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) said she’d had meetings with the neighbors.
“I think that … we worked out the concerns,” Smyth said. “I think this collaboration will keep on going.”