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A Crystal Ball for 2005

What's ahead for Vienna this year?

Although some of the biggest stories in Vienna in 2005 will no doubt come as a surprise, many ongoing issues and scheduled events are likely to have an impact on the town.

County Land-Use Decisions

The Area Plans Review has been completed by a group of homeowners and civic associations, and now their recommendations will move forward to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Each of these bodies will conduct public hearings on the 14 recommendations made by the task force, with the Planning Commission hearing scheduled for April 21.

The citizens on the Providence District APR Task Force almost uniformly recommended lower-density projects including a recommendation to down-plan the Wedderburn Property and not to allow extra density in the Poplar Terrace area.

Plan reviews also took place in the Dranesville, Sully and Hunter Mill districts. Public hearings for these three districts are scheduled for April 20.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on what to do with those parcels. Also likely to occur this year is the creation of a task force to study the various nominations in the Tysons Corner area.

Nottoway Park Master Plan

After two years of discussion, the Fairfax County Park Authority wrapped up its Master Plan for Nottoway Park. But the plan will likely see some additional review in 2005.

The plan for the 90-acre park, located at 9601 Courthouse Road, generated some controversy when a proposal was floated to house a maintenance yard at the park. That proposal failed. Also rejected was a plan to house the historic Moorefield House somewhere on the property.

Then the Park Authority voted to remove more than two acres of trees to make way for a new soccer field. The plan to do so was never the subject of a formal public hearing or comment period, angering neighboring residents.

The plan will next go to the Fairfax County Planning Commission, and Commissioner Ken Lawrence (Providence) has indicated that he will call for a public hearing on the proposals.

Election Year

Virginia will have elections in the so-called "off-off years," when no national elections (president, senator or congressmen) take place at the top of the ticket.

This year, however, the state will see a governor's race when the term-limited Mark Warner (D) leaves office. The presumptive candidates are Lt. Gov. Timothy Kaine (D) and Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R).

Also up for re-election will be the entire Virginia House of Delegates, including Del. Steve Shannon (D-34th), who represents the majority of the Vienna and Oakton area.

The seats of Vienna Town Councilmembers Sydney Verinder, George Lovelace and Maud Robinson will also be on the ballot on the first Tuesday in May.

Town's Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Vienna is up for review in 2005. It will determine future land uses for each property within the town limits.

Included in the Comprehensive Plan is the construction of a Town Green. The Wright Building, located at 144 Maple Ave. E., owned by the town, is slated to become a park. Construction of the green is currently slated for 2006.

Oakton Community (Corbalis) Park/

Oakton School House

The citizens task force studying the 10-acre park on Hunter Mill Road finished its review in November and submitted its plan to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

The plan calls for placing a soccer field at the park on a part of the park that is already flat and clear of trees. Areas that have trees will largely be left intact.

Additionally, the Oakton Schoolhouse, a historic building currently inside the Appalachian Outfitters building at the corner of Chain Bridge and Hunter Mill Roads, may be moved to the site.

A public hearing on the plan is expected sometime in the winter of 2005, and approval of a final plan may happen as soon as the spring.

NoVi Trail Study

A feasibility study is being conducted to analyze the possibility of developing a network of trails that would connect parts of Northern Vienna (NoVi) to county trails, a variety of parks and other landmarks. The first phase of the trail would extend along Beulah Road from Wolftrap Elementary to Meadowlark Gardens.

The study will assess the level of community support for the project, decide where it will go and how much private land would need to be acquired to make the rail a reality.

The study will take approximately one year to complete, so it may be done in late 2005.