Great Falls Citizens Association ©

To serve as a non-partisan community political advocate to promote all aspects of community interest accruing to a common good and to preserve the historic, low density, semi-rural character of Great Falls and its natural resources.

GFCA-LUZ Committee Hearing re RZ
2014-0428 (Basheer/Edgemoore-Brooks
- NEW DATE - Wednesday, December 3
Time: 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Forestville Elementary School
(cafeteria), 1085 Utterback Store Rd., Great
Falls, VA 22066

To accommodate the larger audience anticipated for this event, please be advised that a Great Falls Citizens Assoc. (GFCA) Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee hearing on the above-referenced land use matter has been rescheduled.

The purpose of the committee hearing is to (i) provide the applicant with the opportunity to present its plans to the Great Falls community and (ii) to allow members of the Great Falls community to comment on the application.

Format: Committee hearing open to the public and conducted under newly revised Robert’s Rules of Order, 11th ed.

Background: The applicant has submitted Rezoning Application RZ 2014-0428 to rezone the property to R-E (Residential-Estate District) and develop it as a residential cluster subdivision. The property is identified on Tax Maps 0072-01-0017 & 0072-01-0023, contains approx. 50.0 acres, and is currently zoned R-A (Rural-Agricultural District). The property is the former Haydown Farm and is under contract to the Basheer & Edgemoore, a local builder/developer headquartered in Vienna, VA

July TownHall - Turner Farm
At GFCA’s monthly TownHall meeting (July 8), the past and future of Turner Farm was discussed.  Representatives of civic groups active at Turner Farm presented history and described their groups’ activities and plans.  The meeting ended with a high-level discussion of the potential direction of future development at Turner Farm.

The meeting was triggered by Fairfax County Park Authority’s (FCPA) plans to revisit the Master Development Plan for the Farm in order to incorporate the recently acquired Farmhouse and related lots into the Plan.  Created in 2000, some updating of non-Farmhouse elements of the Plan may also be undertaken.  GFCA has been asked by the FCPA to facilitate some community discussion and provide some input to FCPA prior to the start of formal Plan revision activities in May 2015.  These activities will include more community comment and involvement, starting as early as next summer.

The meeting was a productive exchange of ideas and philosophies for use of the Farm.  Beverly Bradford, representing Save the Farm (one of the principal groups responsible for creating the funding and support to establish Turner Farm as a park) presented the history and important developments in the life of Turner Farm.  A round table discussion followed the presentation, anchored by John Adams (Georgetown Pike Association), Ginger Nelson Yale (Turner Farm Team), Charles Olin (Analemma Society), Richard Bliss (former Dranesville District FCPA Board Member and founder of Northern VA Conservation Trust), Chris Lehman (Great Falls Lacrosse Association) and Nicole Gnozzio (Riverbend Pony Club).  Many members of these and other groups were in attendance and participated in the meeting.

Overall, people agreed that the program was informative and helped foster a better understanding of Turner Farm and its position as a unique resource for our community and for Fairfax County.  For example, the Analemma Society’s astronomical education programs touch many adults and children from near and far.  The equestrian activities similarly benefit many.   A consistent theme from all the presentations and discussion is that Turner Farm has an environment of “low intensity, dark at night” activities and that this is central to the Farm’s current uses as well as to its unique aesthetic.  Eric Knudsen, GFCA President, held an informal, non-binding straw poll at the conclusion asking:  “do you support maintaining Turner Farm’s historic focus on ‘low intensity, dark at night’ uses”?  Support for that was unanimous by a show of hands among the 40-50 people in attendance.

Fairfax Connector Bus Service & Bus Stop
While shuttle bus service between the commercial areas in Great Falls (the village/Colvin Run/Seneca) and Metrorail is not foreseen in the immediate future, there are bus stops near both the eastern and western intersections of Colvin Run Road and Route 7 that connect to the new Spring Hill Metro station at Tysons. These bus stops are along Fairfax Connector Route 574. Information on Route 574 can be found on-line, click here. For addtional information and details, please click here

GFCA Membership Renewal
Annual memberships expired on June 30. If your membership was expiring, you received e-mail or a postal notice last month with renewal instructions. If you received a renewal notice, and have renewed your membership, thank you! If you have not yet renewed your membership, please take a moment and renew today. If you have any questions about membership and renewals, please contact the Membership Team.

UPDATE: Georgetown Pike Repaving Work Great Falls Citizens Association has been advised by The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) that the repaving work on Georgetown Pike will be done during the day starting Saturday, November 8. Unfortunately, bad weather and equipment breakdowns have delayed the work, and it is now too cold at night for asphalt paving operations.
At this point, VDOT has completed over 90% of the paving. The remaining surface paving is mainly on the west end of the project and all the road tie-ins (short sections of adjoining roads).
Saturday and Sunday: 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Monday to Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..
Exception: There will NOT be any work on Sunday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 11.
COMPLETION DATE: Work is expected to be complete by November 20, weather permitting.

Residents are encouraged to use alternate routes if possible to avoid traffic delays during VDOT’s work hours. The community's patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

New Traffic Pattern at Route 7 Widening
Westbound traffic shift scheduled
Dranesville –
Drivers are asked to be aware of a new traffic pattern on westbound Route 7 beginning Wednesday night, July 30, as Virginia Department of Transportation crews shift traffic between Reston Avenue and the Fairfax County Parkway.

Improvements to this intersection are part of the project to widen Route 7 to three lanes in each direction between Rolling Holly Drive and Reston Avenue. The $37 million project will be complete in Dec. 2015. Visit the VDOT project page for details.

Transportation Committee Releases
Results from “Direct How We Connect”

To view the survey results, click here

GFCA - LUZ Committee Hearing re
SE 2014-0373 (Trinity Land LLC, 11801

Leesburg Pike, Herndon, VA)

Great Falls Citizens Assoc. (GFCA) Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee hearing was held on September 10 for the above-referenced land use matter. The purpose of the committee hearing was to (i) provide the applicant with the opportunity to present its plans to the Great Falls community and (ii) to allow members of the Great Falls community to comment on the application.

Status: Trinity Land LLC (current owner) has applied for a Special Exception (SE) to develop the former Woody’s Miniature Golf and Driving Range (Tax Maps 0063-01-0033 & 0033A, 11801 Leesburg
Pike, Herndon, VA 20170, 30.0256 acres) as a residential cluster subdivision under its existing R-1 zoning. NV Homes (contract purchaser) has the property under contract. The sale is contingent on the approval of the SE. Fairfax Co. accepted the SE app on 08-12-14.
Action-Past: LUZ hearing was held on 09-10-14. Applicant presented SE plan and indicated SE app unlikely to go before PC and BOS until 1st Quarter 2015. Attendees voiced concerns on ingress/egress, landscaping, lot yield, RPA, school pyramid and trails
Action-Future: LUZ will continue with public outreach and schedule a follow-up hearing if necessary. To view the Summerhouse SE Plat 9-11-2014, click here

GFCA & GFHS Call for Changes to
Resident Curatorship Program Proposal
GFCA and other community organizations have been long-time supporters of the concept of Resident Curatorship (RC) as a commonsense solution to the need to preserve historic county-owned buildings, such as the farmhouse on Turner Farm in Great Falls. In concept, an RC program could help the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by leasing buildings to private parties who agree to restore and maintain them properly. This summer, Fairfax County released a proposed RC program for comment. After review, the GFCA and the Great Falls Historical Society (GFHS) have joined forces in calling for changes to the proposal.

GFCA and GFHS formed a Working Group in July to review the nearly 250-page report that Fairfax County developed proposing a county RC program. In a letter to the County sent on Aug 6, GFCA and GFHS called for a stronger set of criteria in selecting historic properties, urged that the Turner Farmhouse be selected as the County’s pilot project to demonstrate how the RC works, and called for a public hearing so other community groups and residents could comment on the RC plan. The recommendations developed by the Great Falls working group also suggested changes to program administration, standards for curator selection, and leasing terms. For a copy of the Working Group recommendations, click here

Last year, GFCA passed a resolution supporting the Mark Turner Farmhouse on Georgetown Pike as a primary candidate for the new RC program. Unfortunately, this historic home has become a community eyesore with no upkeep since acquired by FCPA four years ago. It is hoped that quick action to implement an RC program could lead to restoration of the Turner Farmhouse and other historic structures owned by the County.

Plans Revealed for Grange Renovation
For details,
click here

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