Old Colchester Park and Preserve and Mason Neck West Park
Park Authority Seeks Input
on the Draft Master Plans for
Old Colchester Park and Preserve
and Mason Neck West Park
Through this past spring and summer, the Fairfax County Park Authority has been working to develop a vision for the future of Mason Neck West Park and Old Colchester Park and Preserve in the Mason Neck region of Fairfax County. A lot of research has been done, and suggestions gathered from the community. This input has been utilized in the development of a draft plan for each of these parks. With the completion of these drafts, comes the opportunity to share the plans and find out what the community thinks about them.
Please join us on October 29, 2014 at Gunston Elementary School at 7 p.m. Park Authority staff will briefly present the concept for each park and then open the floor to hear the community’s feedback. You may sign up to speak in advance by contacting the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov or you can sign up at the meeting. Speakers representing organizations will have five minutes to testify; individuals may speak for three minutes. Input and interest in this planning process has been brisk and positive to date and we look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
Not able to make the meeting on October 29 or simply too curious to wait? You can preview the plans ahead of time for both Old Colchester Park and Preserve and Mason Neck West Park. Once you’re acquainted with the plans, please share your thoughts with us – either at the meeting on October 29 or by e-mail at Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov. The public comment period will remain open through November 30, 2014. We hope to hear from you!
The Park Sites
Old Colchester Park and Preserve, located at 10646 Old Colchester Road, is largely undeveloped and possesses many unique resources. This 141-acre park was acquired largely through the Federal Lands to Parks Program in 2007 with several smaller adjacent parcels acquired over the ensuing years. This property contains a variety of forest/plant communities and animal species, some which are considered to be rare. The site’s location and resources contain a variety of archaeological resources that help tell the story of our county’s past. Planning for Old Colchester Park and Preserve will emphasize appropriate protection of these resources, both natural and cultural, as well as how best to share the knowledge these features provide.
Mason Neck West Park is located at 10418 Old Colchester Road. The original park consisted of 14 acres that were acquired in 1983. Mason Neck West Park developed with an athletic focus in keeping with a park master plan approved in 1984. A 65’ diamond field, a multi-use court, and two tennis courts help to meet the athletic needs of the local community. In 2007, an additional 31.5 acres was acquired, which has not been master planned. The master plan process will examine this added land and new opportunities to serve the community as well as options to enhance existing facilities.
This Public Information Meeting will feature a presentation about the site’s existing conditions and the park master planning process. Following the presentation, the meeting will continue with an informal moderated public discussion session to identify community concerns, answer questions, and receive suggestions for future park features. This meeting allows the public to identify issues and uses to be considered by the Park Authority in developing the draft master plan. The Park Authority will post public meeting presentations, summaries and other relevant materials to this website to help you follow the plan’s progress.
Using this input, the site conditions, along with the existing master plan, a draft master plan will be prepared by the staff team for each park. The planning process will take into account public access, site assets and constraints while evaluating alternatives to determine the best possible options. Once the draft master plan is completed, it will be published on this project website, available in print format on request, and presented to the community at a public meeting, which is anticipated to be held in late 2014. Public comments can be presented at this meeting or in various other ways during the 30 day public comment period following the meeting date. As the plan process progresses, updates will be provided to the community on the status of the proposed park master plan.
More information on the Master Plan process can be found by visiting the Park Planning and Development homepage.
To provide comments throughout the planning process or for further information on the master plan process for Old Colchester Park and Preserve and/or Mason Neck West Park, contact Gayle Hooper, Project Manager, Park Planning Branch, Planning and Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 703-324-8725 or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Future Park
Both master plans are expected to be completed in early 2015. No funding is currently identified for any new development on these properties. Site design, engineering, construction timing, and funding are determined by the Park Authority Board through adoption of a Park Capital Improvement Program and voter approval of Park Bond Referendums. In some cases, alternative funding sources may become available to provide park improvements. Approval of these master plans, however, is a critical step to allow the Park Authority to identify funding sources appropriate to the planned park development.