Annandale Community Corner


The Future May be Unpredictable, but it Can be Planned

This article is a special to the Braddock Beacon, from Dan McKinnon, Chair, Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee

Last month the Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved a Comprehensive Plan amendment for downtown Annandale, or what is called the Annandale “Community Business Center” or CBC.

As a result of concerns about the lack of downtown renewal, voiced by the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee, the BOS directed county planning and transportation staffs to perform a study of the area. First, seeking plan language that might encourage redevelopment, and secondly language that would address the traffic issues of Little River Turnpike. Study results were briefed to community focus groups and endorsed by the Planning Commission. The product is unique and a first for Fairfax County.

Nine transportation options for getting traffic through Annandale were subject to computer simulation. Two were identified as best options. One would have been to make part of Little River Turnpike one-way going west, and parts of McWhorter and John Marr as one-way going east.

The option approved was to make Little River Turnpike six lanes and eliminate the service drives, turning the whole thoroughfare into a tree lined “boulevard” using the old rights of way for amenities such as sidewalks, landscaping, bike lanes and other features. Adoption eliminated the old plan, which would have created a six lane highway plus service drives and an overpass at Annandale Road; an option many in the community felt would have created an eight lane asphalt scar dividing Annandale’s downtown. The new plan also facilitates future light rail.

In land-use planning, Annandale is the first commercial center of Fairfax County to apply the concept of a “Form-based Plan.” A form-based approach allows property owners and developers flexibility in proposing projects with specific land uses and intensities. The new plan language sets out a range of building types, heights and uses, encourages mixed-use development and a wide range of retail options, encourages parcel consolidation and utilities underground and includes urban design guidelines with amenities such as urban parks, pedestrian walkways, landscaping, etc. The entire new plan can be read on the county revitalization web site:http://fcrevite.com/annandale/comprehensive.htm

The Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan is only a plan. It takes people and the right economic environment to make it work and see change take effect. The Annandale downtown plan is sound. The future may be unpredictable, but it can be planned. Perhaps some day families in the wonderful surrounding neighborhoods of the greater Annandale area will be able to walk, bike, or take a short drive into what could become an “urban village”, to shop or just hang out. A place to go to, not through. The vision is in place.

 

Annandale Fall Festival & Parade, Bigger and Better than Ever

On Saturday, October 23, 2010, the Annandale Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a spectacular Fall Festival in the Safeway parking lot on Little River Turnpike. From 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM scores of merchants with hand made and fashion jewelry, ceramics, imported silks, pet accessories, art work, quality giftware from major manufacturers, exquisite crafts and so much more will fill the community market.

Multiple rock bands and jazz groups will set your toes tapping while “The Taste of Annandale” with food from many culinary cuisines will satisfy every taste craving. The Kid’s Zone will challenge with a Climbing Wall, 24’ Dual Slides, Bungee Run, a Sticky Wall, an Obstacle Course, Moon Bounce, a Reading Tent with costumed characters, a Musical Petting Zoo, a Treasure Hunt, and interactive games for toddlers to teens. The Annual Parade, held since 1950, will finish at the Festival Grounds.

For further information go to www.annandalechamber.com or write festival@annandalechamber.com. Plan to participate, volunteer, and have fun! Great advertising opportunities are also available for sponsors of this event.

 

Annandale Neighborhood Food Site Looking for Food, Volunteers

Located at Immanuel United Methodist Church, the Annandale Neighborhood Food site is a Food for Others community food distribution site and is well within walking distance of the Heritage Mall.

All walk-in clients are welcome and no referrals are taken. Most of the clients are families and many have young children. The site is strictly run for everyone’s safety and numbers are drawn for participation at 6:00 P.M. sharp so that everyone has an equal chance to go first.

Always in need of supplemental non-perishable food to go with the perishables they receive from Food for Others, the site is also looking for volunteers on Thursday nights, from 5:00 P.M. to about 7:00 P.M.

If you would like more information, or are interested in volunteering, please contact Ann Woodle at annwoodle@gmail.com.


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