0
Votes

Public Comment Sought On Westgrove Park

Commission plans July 30 meeting.

— A public information meeting will be held on the Westgrove Park Master Plan on July 30 to collect citizen comments to help shape the draft master plan.

The Park Authority notice calls attention to the fact that the sponsor applicant for the off leash dog park, PACK, requested that the potential interim use be shown as a permanent feature on the master plan. Natural resource protection, interpretation and education areas have also been proposed for the site.

Westgrove, an undeveloped 21.3 acre park that was formerly the site of a sewage treatment plant, was transferred to the Park Authority in 2001. For the past two years it has been the subject of discussion and scrutiny because a group of citizens, Pumphouse Association for Canine Kindness (PACK) has proposed the establishment of an interim off leash dog park (OLDA). Its proposal was to use the existing concrete pavement in the center of the park on an interim basis until such time as a long-term master planning process was completed and the Park Authority Board decided on the future of the park. More than 500 citizens signed a petition in support of such a proposal.

Environmental advocates argued that it was preferable to leave Westgrove in its undeveloped status that served as a haven for birds and other wildlife. The environmental advocates took a position that an off leash dog park was inimical to the interests of the park and in any event there was no master plan to allow an off leash dog park.

The Planning Commission recently reviewed the proposed interim off leash dog park proposal and concluded that it would conform to the Comprehensive Plan. Opponents contend that it would be a violation of Park Authority policy to grant a permit for PACK to serve as an OLDA sponsor in the absence of a master plan.

The Park Authority welcomes comments mailed to the Project Manager Jay Rauschenbach, or email to parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov or delivered in person at the July 30 public information meeting.