The McLean Citizens Association is concerned about the way Fairfax County is approaching the changes to McLean Central Park.
The MCA board of directors on Wednesday, July 7 approved a resolution questioning the Fairfax County Park Authority’s proposed concept development plan for the park, which would add facilities such as an amphitheater and a dog park. He called for more community contributions, such as a community-wide survey, notices posted in the park and another extension of the comment period.
“Document the need. Document why, ”said Barbara Ryan, Chair of the Environment, Parks and Recreation Committee, describing part of the resolution. “Don’t just destroy green spaces to build things you don’t need. “
Adjacent to the McLean Community Center and the Dolley Madison Library, the 28-acre McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.) currently features tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds and trails.
With $ 2.2 million in construction funds available for the project, thanks to park bonds already approved by voters, park authority officials say the proposed ideas were in line with the 2013 master plan and hold a meeting on May 24, launching a 30-day comment period.
The deadline for community members to submit comments was then extended from June 25 to July 30, in part due to a ask for more time by MCA.
The association has raised concerns about the amphitheater located in a quiet area next to the residences, saying it could create unwanted light, noise and traffic.
In a letter from june to the park authority, MCA President Rob Jackson also raised possible pedestrian safety issues, suggesting the county should study traffic impact and mitigation alternatives and ask a professional to conduct a study on parking.
“While this may have been a community desire 8 years ago, there is simply no demonstrated need for the amphitheater,” Jackson said in the letter, which was also sent to county officials. . “This is especially the case in light of the … Alden Theater at the McLean Community Center as well as news of several scenes nearing completion at the Capitol One Center.”
The MCA also noted that an existing gazebo already provides space for outdoor events. The group has 500 paying members and also helps others who contact the group when faced with a problem.
FCPA spokeswoman Judy Pedersen told Tysons Reporter last month that the McLean Community Center “is very interested” in seeing the amphitheater move forward.
The MCC Board of Directors held a special meeting called Tuesday, July 6, which focused on articulating its position on the park’s redevelopment plan and on developing an “awareness strategy to generate support” for an amphitheater, according to the agenda .
The county also suggested that the proposed dog park would require the removal of a tennis court, which raised concerns among players who enjoyed the wind-protected and lighted courts and felt the money could be better. used for maintenance.
While the design is not expected to be finalized until early next year, park authority staff told Tysons Reporter in June that the park’s three tennis courts would likely remain in their current position out of respect for the wishes expressed by the community.
The MCA’s resolution says the county’s new proposal calls for new park elements “for which demand has not been recently articulated, documented or even investigated in the community, such as the proposed amphitheater, pétanque grounds and gaming tables, while neglecting the necessary maintenance of existing facilities. facilities, such as tennis courts, and features that have been removed without notice, outreach or comment from the community, such as disc golf.
A nine-hole disc golf course had been in place in the park for decades, but was phased out around 2017 or 2018, board member Kevin Kierce said.
The park authority suggested re-establishing the course if possible.
Director of the FCPA Project Management Branch Paul Shirey said previously the disc golf has been removed due to a stream restoration project. He said the county was aware of the value of bringing him back and had also consulted with a disc golf course designer, but needed to make sure it didn’t disrupt improvements to the restoration.
“The green space has been well used for over 30 years,” Kierce said.