To the Editor:
Remembering can sometimes be a radical act. Choosing between opinion and fact can be of vital importance. The past is often an uncomfortable mixed bag of ugly parts. Keeping as much of the truth of the past in sight, with as much context as we can provide, is how readers should give consideration to Spring Bank and its long sought improvements to the community through development on its periphery.
In the Wednesday June 26, 2006 edition of the Mount Vernon Gazette, http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2006/jun/28/kings-crossing-agreement-remains-elusive/ it is recorded that “a meeting between a multi-interest consensus on the final design and mix of the proposed Kings Crossing development appeared last Friday to be as elusive as ever. And that was after the Spring Bank Community Association overwhelmingly voted to endorse the latest concept plan.” In summary, the article reveals these facts:
- Spring Bank overwhelmingly supported the plan,
- Supervisor Dana Kaufmann was not impressed with the plan,
- County staff is not on-board with the plan,
- SFDC remained unsure about the plan.
What happened after the article came out is that county staff requested the inclusion of the properties on Shields Avenue including the Penn Daw Mobile Home Park, with a seemingly insurmountable price tag to JPI to relocate displaced families. Earlier in the process, JPI was denied Tax Increment Funding as an incentive to help finance their project (an incentive that was being used with developers in Tysons Corner and other areas in Fairfax County). A short time later the condo market and real estate market began its downward spiral as the economy faltered.
These facts are what led to JPI leaving, with Archon the shopping center owners eventually selling to JBG Rosenfeld who in turn built and remodeled the present day shopping center as a by-right development.
Sometimes people write words to ignite our imagination with good people on one side and bad people on the other. We have to remember as comprehensibly as we can and avoid that we slip into believing some people as irretrievably bad and others as irretrievably good otherwise we start to lose sight of them as people. The idea for a better Spring Bank community through an improved Route 1 endures among the residents of this neighborhood in spite of letter-writers intent to tarnish citizens with opinion rather than facts. Spring Bank continues to seek support and expects engagement from our local government, its agencies and leaders along with the business and development community on making Spring Bank a better community through improved Route 1 development.