Monticello Park Master Plan Process
The Fairfax County Park Authority has initiated a public master planning process for Monticello Park, located at 5315 Guinea Road, in Fairfax. Monticello is primarily a large lawn area that sits on approximately 6.2-acres in the Braddock District. The Monticello Park master planning process will use a public participation process to determine the appropriate uses and facilities within the park. An off leash dog park has been submitted as a potential use at this site by a sponsor group.
The initial public planning meeting to start the public master planning process was held on April 4, 2011, and featured a presentation about the site's existing conditions, potential future uses, and the park master planning process. Following the presentation, the meeting continued with a moderated public discussion session to identify community concerns, answer questions, and receive suggestions for future park features. The meeting summary is available here. Many who attended the Public Information Meeting asked how Monticello Park was chosen as a potential site for an Off Leash Dog Area (OLDA). Parks within three miles of the sponsor group were evaluated for site suitability. A list of sites reviewed and the site evaluation comments can be found here. To be eligible as a potential OLDA site, there needs to be at least 1.5 acres of un-forested, un-developed land that is not occupied by, or planned for other park facilities, in a Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Area (RPA), flood plain, problem soils (hydric or asbestos), steep slopes, historic site, stormwater management facility, easement, a utility line, or in close proximity to neighbors.
Following the April Public Information meeting, representatives from communities near the park were asked to participate in a working group that would further discuss options for the park. The first meeting was held June 23 in Braddock Hall. Rough draft concepts with potential uses were developed to be shared with each representative’s community members and discussed again at the second meeting on July 6. At that meeting, FCPA representatives reviewed three conceptual drawings and attendees provided their input. Attendees discussed development options ranging from leaving the park undeveloped to planning for off leash dog areas, a playground/tot-lot, community garden plots, unsheltered picnic areas, micro-fields, open play areas, a skate spot and parking area. Discussions also included such issues as storm water run-off, funding for specific projects, and care and maintenance of the park. Also at the last meeting, some attendees suggested clearing a significant swath of forest across Guinea Road at Herzell Woods Park or Greenfield Park to make way for the Off Leash Dog Area (OLDA) and parking lot area so that Monticello Park could remain undeveloped. To clear the area needed at Herzell Woods would cost approximately $85,000, at Greenfield the cost would be much higher, more than $600,000 as a road entrance would also need to be built. A third meeting was held on August 10, where additional input and comments were received, with strong objections to the OLDA voiced. The current set of drawings is available for public comment via the FCPA website at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/monticello.htm.
The public input process for the Monticello Park master plan is still ongoing and your ideas and suggestions are very welcome. When you have had a chance to review the drawings listed above, please forward any comments to Andy Galusha of the FCPA at Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov. Or, contact your Braddock District Representative to the FCPA, Anthony Vellucci at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although park planning should be completed in 2011, no determination has been made as to when improvements will be implemented. Current park bond and Work Programs do not include funding for design or construction within Monticello Park. Site design, construction timing, and funding are determined by the Park Authority Board through adoption of the Capital Improvement Program. In some cases, sponsorships and funds proffered from private developments may be available to provide park improvements.