Expansion Plan Criticized

Expansion Plan Criticized

MCA approves resolution asking county to curb excessive tree loss and employ better management of storm water runoff.

When it comes to the renovation plans for McLean’s Dolley Madison Library, the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) is unwilling to accept the bare minimum.

At its June 6 monthly Board of Directors meeting, the McLean Citizens Association voted to approve a resolution requesting that Fairfax County improve upon its current proposed library renovation plan by incorporating more environmentally friendly design elements. The current proposed library renovation plans were reviewed by members of the McLean Citizens Association Environment Parks and Recreation committee, and were deemed unsatisfactory in terms of tree loss and storm water runoff management.

“One of the primary concerns of our committee is the storm water stream damage that will happen in Dead Run creek,” said committee member Charlie Willmott. “Dead Run is already in extreme distress from excessive storm water runoff.”

While the current renovation proposal calls for a so-called “green” building that will employ rain gardens to handle excess storm water runoff, the members of the MCA Environment Parks and Recreation committee say that the plan falls short in that the rain gardens are nothing more than holding tanks, and criticize the design plan for only meeting the bare minimum of county requirements.

“Unfortunately, the current requirements don’t take us forward,” said Willmott. “And while [County staff] has said that the current plans won’t make things any worse, I can assure you that they won’t make it any better either.”

MEMBERS of the committee emphasized that no one disputes the fact that Dolley Madison Library is in dire need of update and renovation, but rather, the general opinion of the committee is that the county can simply do better.

“We’d like to end up with something that we’re all proud of and that will move our community forward, and not keep it the same,” said Willmott. “This is an opportunity to do something better for Dead Run and [McLean Central] park.”

Frank Crandall, co-chair of the MCA Environment Parks and Recreation committee, was more blunt in his assessment of the situation.

“The purpose of this resolution is essentially to hit the mule across the forehead with a 4x4,” said Crandall.

Renovation of the library will include the construction of additional meeting space in the library, as well as more space for storage of library materials. In addition, the offices of the Dranesville District supervisor will be moved into the new library building from their current location in the McLean Government Center building on Balls Hill Road. Although the addition of the supervisor’s office will not have any impact on the footprint of the Dolley Madison Library building, it will require an additional 28 parking spaces at the site.

The proposed renovation plans for the library were presented to the community at a public meeting in January. Many neighbors of the library attended the presentation and expressed their concerns about the impact they will see from construction and increased usage of the new facility.

The county hopes to begin construction on the new library in early 2008.