Opinion: Letter to the Editor: MVCC Concerns

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: MVCC Concerns

The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations (MVCCA) may become known also as the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce Association (MVCCA). So how will Mount Vernon residents distinguish its citizen’s role from that of a business role? It may not matter what the MVCCA acronym stands for because the roles may now be viewed as interchangeable.

The MVCCA co-chairs recently established a Special Committee for nonprofits, certain businesses and individuals who are precluded from being members because they do not represent a civic, condominium or homeowners association.

The creation of this Special Committee appears to be a direct request from Belle Haven Country Club (Club) seeking assistance from the MVCCA to voice its concerns about “blocking the box” at the intersection of Richmond Highway and Fort Hunt Road on its behalf. The co-chair went on to state that the justification for the special committee is because Belle Haven Country Club complained about its members not being able to access the Club for meals and if members do not support the Club, it may close. The co-chair further stated that should Belle Haven Country Club close, a developer could come in and the community may not want or like the proposed development.

To further bolster justification for the special committee, the co-chair stated that he/she sought assistance from a Mount Vernon Police Officer who stated that he could stand at the intersection with a sign but would not do so for fear of being hit by a vehicle. This statement led to the impression that the Mount Vernon Police is not concerned about that intersection and that the intersection is dangerous, which is doubtful and untrue since the Mount Vernon Police have issued tickets in the past at that intersection.

Why would the co-chairs view the Mount Vernon Police as part of the problem and unresponsive to a legitimate citizen concern? Is such a co-chair view provided to the MVCCA membership a way to justify the establishment of this special committee since the membership has no vote on the co-chairs action to establish a special committee? The co-chair stated more than once that it was in the purview of the co-chairs in accordance with the bylaws. Really…this is nothing more than a backdoor way to create an ad hoc business membership while denigrating the Mount Vernon Police.

Did the co-chairs reach out to the Mount Vernon Station Commander? How can the co-chairs work with Belle Haven Country Club and at the same time belittle the Mount Vernon Police? Is not Fairfax County Police, to include the Mount Vernon Police, concerned about the safety of its citizens? The co-chairs owe the Mount Vernon Police a public apology because the degrading comments were made publicly.

Belle Haven Country Club is a member of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Belle Haven Country Club should reach out to the Chamber to initiate an action item and/or establish a special committee under its umbrella. It should also be duly noted that Belle Haven Country Club already has a liaison to the MVCCA.

In the meantime, at least one of its member associations is not obtaining such support. Hopefully, that may change with the “calling out” of blocking the box at Sherwood Hall Lane and Parker’s Lane and Sherwood Hall Land and Fordson Road. Vehicles are also compromising the safety of pedestrians and vehicles who have the right of way along Sherwood Hall Lane exiting Holland Road and vehicles traveling SW on Fordson Road turning left onto Sherwood Hall Lane.

Then there’s the ad hoc “extra” lane created at Sherwood Hall Lane and Fordson Road and Fordson Road and Richmond Highway.

And finally, the head-on left turn lanes at Sherwood Hall Lane and Fordson Road, along with a pedestrian island placed on the wrong corner, continues to fall on deaf ears and inaction by local elected officials. However, our local elected officials got into the fray of the four-way stop signs at Parker’s Lane and Hinson Farm Road but refuse to act on providing a simple left turn arrow on the existing traffic light at Sherwood Hall Lane and Fordson Road.

It has not gone unnoticed by Gum Springs that a proffered condition for the INOVA Mount Vernon Hospital Expansion Plan states in part that INOVA “shall coordinate a meeting to review the traffic impact study dated April 8, 2011 with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, the Mount Vernon Supervisor, New Gum Springs Civic Association and other nearby surrounding residential communities.”

In terms of the funds proffered for transportation impacts, a proffered condition states in part that “the Mount Vernon District Supervisor, in consultation with New Gum Springs Civic Association, FCDOT, VDOT, and other nearby surrounding residential communities shall determine what appropriate, or alternate, transportation mitigation measures the Applicant's monetary contribution should be directed to within the geographic area which was the focus of the Applicant's April 8, 2011 traffic impact study.”

No such meetings have occurred and there has/is increased traffic. How are the transportation proffered monies being used? So, where is the MVCCA while its member associations encounter these traffic issues?

Queenie Cox

President, New Gum Springs Civic Association