Plans are marching along for the first-ever, Chantilly Day. The celebration is set for Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in the parking lot of the Sully Place Shopping Center in Chantilly.
Putting it on is the Centreville Chantilly Chamber Committee (CCCC), an offshoot of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. And it will begin with a parade led by Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) and including both the Chantilly and Westfield high school marching bands.
The organizers hope those two bands will each submit an original composition that will be the parade’s theme every year. They’re also seeking essays from elementary, middle and high-school students to compete in a contest. The topic is the Chantilly Day theme, “Remember Yesterday, Celebrate Today, Embrace Tomorrow.”
The goal is to give Chantilly more of a cohesive identity, while promoting its businesses, art, education and science.
At the Feb. 16 meeting of the CCCC, Sully District Planning Commissioner John Litzenberger discussed Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan and how changes are made to it.
“On the master plan, Chantilly is a suburban center — which has higher transportation requirements because of its density,” he said. “It also has additional requirements for traffic management — to reduce pollution and make it easier to get around — and LEED buildings, pertaining to their carbon footprints.”
For example, Litzenberger said the Planning Commission recently approved the construction of Pohanka Honda in Chantilly in a zoning area where an office building could have gone. “An office building would generate over 2,400 vehicle trips per day,” he said. “A car dealership generates less than 1,000 per day.”
CCCC Coordinator Saharnaz Farivar said her group is willing to move forward and designate three areas for eventual Chantilly plazas to give the community more of a sense of place. But, she said, “We don’t have the budget for lawyers to assist us. So who do I have to go to at the county to get their help and feedback about our plans — the pros and cons?”
She said the CCCC wants someone on county staff to help it fine-tune its ideas and put together an executive summary of them. Then, said Farivar, that person could “take it to policy-makers for rezoning, and developers to come on board and start creating the first plaza.”
Litzenberger advised her to meet with Frey and tell him her ideas.
“To meet with county staff, you need to get the land and business owners together and on board to create a committee,” he said. “I’ll call Mike about it. However, staff may say, ‘We’re so swamped with Tysons Corner right now that we can’t deal with Chantilly [at this time].’”
But he called the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce “the perfect vehicle for this [plan]. You want a core study done, and it’s now time to revisit this. The number-one concern [the county] will address is transportation because traffic jams stifle growth.”
Farivar said the CCCC wants more mixed-use areas in Chantilly. “We want people to be able to live, work and play here so they don’t have to travel elsewhere,” she said. But, she added, “Some of the intersections, curbs and turns should have identifiers to guide you so you know where you are and it’s easy to get around.”
Returning to the topic of Chantilly Day, she said the event “would bring value to the community. People I’ve told about it believe it’ll increase property values.”
Dulles Chamber President Eileen Curtis asked Litzenberger how to obtain a list of Chantilly’s property owners, and he told her to see the county’s tax maps.
Thanking the Dulles Chamber, Farivar said it “gave us the platform to express our wishes. Chantilly Day is a great vehicle to let people know what we’re doing and get government and citizen support [for it].”
And, added Litzenberger, “to have fun at the same time.”
To learn about ways to get involved in Chantilly Day, go to www.chantillyday.com or e-mail the organizing team at email@example.com. More participants are needed for the Business Fair, Taste of Chantilly, parade, sponsorships and other elements of this event.