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Comp Plan Amendment on Tap For Planning Commission

Parks and recreational areas comprise a major county land use as well as public facilities.  As such, parks are addressed throughout the County Comprehensive Plan – the County’s guide to decision-making about the natural and built environment. The Parks and Recreation Policy section of the Comprehensive Plan was last reviewed and updated in 2005.

The Board of Supervisors authorized Comprehensive Plan Amendment S11-CW-3CP in December 2011 to update the Parks and Recreation text, tables, and maps in the Policy Plan and Area Plan volumes. The Park Authority, in consultation with the Department of Planning and Zoning, is pursuing the plan amendment in phases.  The first phase will update the Parks and Recreation section of the Policy Plan.  Updates to the Area Plans that were adopted in 1991 will be the subject of later phases of the plan amendment.

The purpose of this first phase is to amend Parks and Recreation Policy Plan language to align with current practice and incorporate the Urban Parks Framework, adopted by the Park Authority Board in 2008.   This framework was created to guide a shift to an urban park system in redeveloping areas of the County such as Tysons, Baileys, Richmond Highway and central Springfield.

Proposed revisions include: (1) incorporation of urban parks guidance into policies, appendices, and glossary definitions; (2) addition of the Urban Parks Framework as a new appendix; (3) revisions to the Park Classification System appendix to better incorporate urban parks, reflect the diversification of park and recreation facilities, and more accurately describe resource-based parks as parks within which recreational elements may be located, as is compatible with resource management goals; and (4) updates to both the Fairfax County Park Authority's and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority's acquisition criteria to reflect current policies.

Public hearings for these Phase 1 Policy Plan revisions are scheduled at the Planning Commission on April 18, 2013 at 8:15 p.m. and at the Board of Supervisors on May 14, 2013 at 4 p.m.  The staff report describing the proposed changes is posted on the Department of Planning and Zoning’s Proposed Plan Amendment web site. For more information call the Park Authority at 703-324-8662.

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