Seven Corners Visioning Task Force


MINUTES

September 11, 2012 Meeting


Mr. Matthew Flis, Revitalization Program Manager of the Office of Community Revitalization, called to order the first meeting of the Seven Corners Visioning Land Use And Transportation Task Force at 7 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center on September 11, 2012.

Mr. Flis explained that the primary goal of the Task Force will be to review the history of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan for the area and confirm the Plan or develop recommendations that will guide future development, with an emphasis on land use and transportation. The Task Force is expected to meet monthly and undertake its work over a period of 18-24 months.

He explained that two separate work groups had been appointed, also to meet monthly, to study other pertinent topics that may contribute ultimately to the development of a new plan. They are a Quality of Life Work Group, tasked with identifying the quality of life issues such as health, safety, and cleanliness, and exploring possible solutions for addressing more immediate quality of life issues. A Connectivity Work Group will review the overall pedestrian, bicycle, and transit linkage of the area and develop recommendations for short-term action or suggestions for longer-term efforts that may be reviewed and incorporated into the Task Force efforts. Each of the Work Groups is expected to complete its assignment in six months.

Following introduction of the newly appointed Task Force members, whose names are attached, Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross introduced Co-Chairs Patrick Hoar and Evelyn Haught, whom she said were appointed because each represents different types of familiarity with the Seven Corners area: Mr. Hoar is a recent resident of the Ravenwood Park neighborhood, located at one end of Seven Corners, and offers a newcomer’s perspective; Ms. Haught, formerly of Arlington County, has used the amenities of the area for 45 years and lives in the Bailey’s Crossroads neighborhood. Supervisor Gross stated that all Task Force meetings will be open to the public and that its members should develop an approach for public comment.

Mr. Flis said the Task Force should choose a Secretary at its next meeting on October 9 at 7 p.m. That meeting will feature a speaker expert in land use issues, Mr. Bernard Suchicital from the Department of Planning & Zoning (DPZ). He also stated that both he and Mr. Aaron Frank of Supervisor Gross’s District Office will serve as the key staff liaisons to the Task Force.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Evelyn L. Haught
Task Force Secretary
Approved 10/9/12

September 11, 2012 Meeting Overview
Staff Present

- Aaron Frank, Office of Supervisor Penny Gross
- Matthew Flis – Office of Community Revitalization (OCR)
- Bernard Suchicital, Department of Planning & Zoning (DPZ)
- Kimberly Rybold (DPZ)
- Kris Morley-Nikfar – Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT)

Materials Provided

- Agenda
- Ground Rules
- Task Force & Working Group Objectives
- Copy of Visioning Workshop Summaries

Task Force Background

- Martin Faga – Lives on Juniper Ln. and shops in Seven Corners; wants to know what
economic opportunities are out there; has worked on several large developments in the past, including office parks
- Karl Moritz – Lives in Lee Blvd Heights, shops in Seven Corners, works as a professional planner; would like to apply ideas from other redevelopment areas here
- Randall Pence – Concerned about long-term interests of Seven Corners
- Blake Smith – Lives on Juniper Ln., works for National Assn. of Homebuilders; interested in the opportunities and challenges in Seven Corners
- Paul Byrtus – Lives in Sleepy Hollow; attorney who worked for the Dept. of the Interior; has worked on planning and zoning issues for the Sleepy Hollow civic assn.
- Evelyn Haught (Co-Chair) – Wants area to be viable; Lives in Skyline House; interested in consumers; has worked on trade shows in the past so hoping to bring that perspective; interested in diversity
- Jim Edmondson – Works for E&G group; owns and manages apartments in Seven Corners (affordable housing); grew up in the area; interested in affordable housing
- Patrick Hoar (Co-Chair) – Relatively new resident to area; got involved in land use during Peace Valley Lane Plan amendment; aerospace engineer (likes to take emotion out of making decisions); data driven
- John Thillmann – Formerly worked for county, then as a planning commissioner; does a lot of work in the Bailey’s/Seven Corners area; interested in revitalization; sits on SFDC and arts task force
- Iqbal Khaiy – Lives near the mosque; works for Smart Growth America; runs, bikes, and shops in the area; interested in diversity issues
- Nathan Bath – Works for Regency; worked on the redevelopment of the Willston Shopping Center
- Mary Ellen Ward – Lives in Mason District; works in Seven Corners; concerned for the wellbeing of the community and the future of the Willston Center; thinks things have improved over the past several years; interested in schools, ESL and after hours programs.

Expectations

- Plan with economic reality in mind to improve the area
- Keep in mind well-being and safety
- Want retail that works
- Create incentives for redevelopment
- Create an outline for an amendment to the Comp Plan – but don’t want to gentrify
- Involve the public, include different voices
- Embrace diversity and use it as a way to market Seven Corners as a destination
- Enhance the “Interconnectivity” to reflect the community
- Address the problems of “leakage”

Other Suggestions

- Take a bus tour of Seven Corners, include surrounding areas
- Co-chairs can suggest the structure for public comment
- Visit local examples of other similar redevelopment

Supervisor Gross

- Thanked members for their participation and commitment
- Announced the Co-Chairs
- Discussed that the Task Force is subject to Virginia Open Meeting laws (staff will clarify with members proper procedures)

Future Meetings

- Will reserve second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. for TF meetings
- October 9, 2012 – 7 p.m. – Planning 101 presentation by DPZ; Discuss preliminary Transportation Study scope
- November 13, 2012 – 7 p.m. – Existing Conditions Report; update on Transportation Study process; preliminary traffic counts (if available)


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