New Year, New Leaders

New Year, New Leaders

South County Federation wraps up 2007 with elections, land-use decisions.

After two years of leadership, South County Federation president Susan Fremit used her President’s Report at the start of Tuesday night’s meeting to wish her successor well and encourage the membership to keep working to provide a voice for the greater Lorton community.

"This is my last night as president, and I’m actually going to take my two minutes and get on my soap box," Fremit said.

She thanked the other members of the executive committee, including outgoing vice president Tim Rizer and recording secretary Dan Breightenbach, as well as the greater membership for their hard work in standing together on land use and other issues that have bombarded the area in recent years.

"We have worked to keep our membership apprised of what each committee has been working on by sharing ideas and information prior to our monthly meetings," Fremit said. "We are perceived as a rational and well-supported spokesman of the area."

Hinting at the disconnection between the longstanding Mount Vernon Citizens Committee and the younger Federation, Fremit urged the new leaders to keep Supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) and incoming supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) informed about what they believe is best for their region of the county.

And if the 2010 census indicates Fairfax County needs another magisterial district because of rapid growth in the past 10 years, Fremit said the new district may be drawn in Lorton.

"If that happens, the South County Federation will be in the best position to address the new leadership" and take further control of the area’s future, she said.

The new leadership, who will officially take their positions in January, include Mike Grogan of Southpointe as president, Spring Hill resident Dale Johnson as vice president, Christine Morin of Laurel Hill as corresponding secretary, Williamsburg Square resident Alan Salisbury as recording secretary, and Gloria Bannister returning as treasurer.

BEFORE THE Federation ended its last meeting of the year after just an hour to enjoy some holiday refreshments, it had one more matter of business to discuss.

Catherine Blue, an attorney representing T-Mobil, informed the Federation of a proposal to install a 100-foot tall flagpole at the intersection of Sydenstricker and Hooes roads just north of the Fairfax County Parkway.

While technically in the Springfield District, the pole, which would house antennas for cellular service for T-Mobil and at least one other wireless carrier, would provide better reception for residents of the Mount Vernon District, which begins on the south side of the parkway.

The flagpole, which would be illuminated at night, would be protected on all sides by a wooden fence and on three sides with a brick wall. Blue passed around photos of a similar structure, built behind St. John’s School in Washington.

A motion in support of the flagpole was approved unanimously, by a vote of 38 to 0.

Additionally, the Federation voted to oppose a special exception permit submitted by Exxon Mobil, looking to build a gas station, convenience store and car wash at the intersection of Lorton Road and Lorton Marketplace Street.

Calvin Smith, chair of the Federation’s Land Use Committee, said the Federation had discussed the proposal before but had not voted to oppose it.

Earl Flannigan, the Mount Vernon District Planning Commissioner, showed photos of the site, located underneath the newly landscaped Lorton Station clock tower.

"Some people have said it’s like putting a gas station in front of the Washington Monument," he said.

The Federation voted not to support the proposal, which will be discussed at the Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 10.