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Public Hearing on Sully Woodlands

Residents are urged to attend, May 3, at Chantilly High.

Public parks are great things that can support a wide variety of uses ranging from picnics to trails to athletic fields to just, plain, green space. But a local citizens group hopes residents will give the proposed master plan for Sully Woodlands some close scrutiny to make sure that what's approved is actually what they want.

The Fairfax County Park Authority is holding a public hearing Wednesday, May 3, at 7 p.m., in Chantilly High's auditorium on the proposed Sully Woodlands Regional Master Plan. It encompasses some 4,400 acres of parkland in the Bull Run and Cub Run watersheds.

INCLUDED ARE approximately 2,150 acres of recently acquired park property in western Fairfax County, as well as 2,250 acres of existing parkland including E.C. Lawrence, the Cub Run Stream Valley and Richard W. Jones Park.

"There's nothing that'll impact us more than this project," said Ted Troscianecki, president of the WFCCA (West Fairfax County Citizens Association). "And it's important that our local homeowners associations weigh in on it."

At the WFCCA's quarterly meeting last week, Chris Terpak-Malm, chairman of the group's Parks and Recreation Committee, praised the Park Authority staff's hard work in creating such a comprehensive and detailed document.

However, she also urged all residents to look at it carefully to see what uses are being proposed in which areas. Charts are presented, offering specifics, and Terpak-Malm encouraged people to look at Table II in conjunction with Table IV to get a more complete picture.

For example, she said, large picnic shelters seating 200-300 people are listed as a possible use for the Stephens property — which has no water and sewer and, therefore, would have no restroom facilities. Another plot of land, the Horne property, would have model airplanes flying above an equestrian area.

Terpak-Malm also noted that the soccer fields proposed for Quinn Farm Park would uproot the just-opened and already hugely popular Centreville Dog Park there. Although it was always intended as an interim use at that site, she hoped it wouldn't disappear, altogether. And, she added, "I definitely wouldn't support those soccer fields unless the roads leading to them were improved first."

THE BLUEPRINT for Sully Woodlands will coordinate with plans for the Cub Run and Bull Run watersheds. Park Authority staff is proposing a range of uses in the various areas of Sully Woodlands. Most of the land will be in a resource-stewardship zone, but some of it can sustain passive or active recreation. And here is where local residents can offer their opinions about what they'd like to see where.

To speak at the hearing, call 703-324-8662 or e-mail parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov. The draft master plan may be reviewed at the Park Authority offices in the Herrity Building, 12055 Government center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax, or at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.

Comments will be received by the Park Authority for 30 days after the hearing. Send them to Angie Allen, project manager, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax, VA 22035. Or e-mail them to: parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov. After all comments have been reviewed, the plan will be presented to the Park Authority Board for final consideration.