May 12, 2004 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

Non-motorized Transportation Committee Meeting

May 12, 2004 - meeting minutes by Dan Iglhaut

Members Present- Michael Brennan, Braddock; Wade Smith, Dranesville; Bruce Wright, Hunter Mill; Kevin Brugman, Mount Vernon; Michael Shannon, Springfield; Mary Flowers, Clifton Horse Society; Walter Brodtman, Washington Area Bicycle Association; Dan Iglhaut, NVRPA; Paul Johnson, NVBIA; Jenny Pate, Fairfax County Park Authority

Staff Present - Chris Wells; Fairfax County Dept. of Transportation; Sheng-Jieh Leu, Fairfax County Dept. of Planning and Zoning; Ahmed Ryyan, Dept. of Public Works and Environmental Services

Vistiros Kris Abrahamson, Dept. of Planning and Zoning

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the 14 April 2004 meeting were approved with spelling corrections.

Rezoning Process

Invited Speaker, Kris Abrahamson, Chief of the Zoning Evaluation Division, Department of Planning and Zoning.

Ms Abrahamson described the rezoning process. She described how it begins with the Comprehensive Plan. Rezoning application packages are reviewed by up to 23 agencies. The process can take five months. Sidewalks and trails are considered in the rezoning process. The Staff position is often whatever the NMTC recommends. Rezonings go before the District land use committees for those districts that have them. The Board of Supervisors makes the final decision on granting waiver requests.

An applicant for a rezoning can request a waiver at the site plan stage also. Staff, however, are very good at checking with the Dept. of Planning and Zoning to determine what the decision was if a rezoning had taken place.

Staff know the trails requirements from the Trails Plan. However, they may not be aware of offsite requirements. NMTC members should work with their planning commissioner since the commissioner gets all packages. Input of NMTC member can be valuable. Abrahamson recommended that any suggestions from the NMTC committee be made early and to work with the planning commissioner.

Staff specialize in areas of the County in order to be as effective as possible. NMTC members can call the planner who has responsibility for their area of the County.

Staff Reports

Department of Planning and Zoning Project reports will be provided to NMTC members quarterly in hard copy. The reports will be provided electronically in the months in between.

Department of Transportation: Staff attended a successful Walkable Communities Workshop. Staff operated a pit stop at the Government Center on Bike-to-Work Day.

Department of Public Works and Environmental Services: Staff has requested crash reports from the County Police in order to identify hazardous intersections.

Carryover from the FY03 budget is $3,000,000 for walkways, streetlights, and drainage projects. Money will be used to fund existing requests. Staff will ask Supervisor if there are no existing requests. Staff is also preparing maps of walkways around Metro and VRE stations in order to determine the network needs. A list of priority projects will be developed.

There was a discussion of the proposed Transportation Bond for 2004 and what pedestrian projects are in it. Staff will check on the bond language and determine what backup material will be available explaining the projects included in the bond.

Chair Report

Fairfax County DOT has received grant money for bike lanes. NMTC members Brodtman, Brugman, and Wright met to consider and select possible projects to be recommended for using this money.

Wright reported on the Walkable Communities Workshop, stating that it was a good activity. He stated that he would prepare and send out a summary to the NMTC members.

New Business

There was no new business.

Old Business

DPWES stated that they need input to planning for the Pedestrian Task Force. An email about this will be sent to NMTC members.

The Trails Coordinator commented that he has noticed that, because Fairfax County is near buildout, subdividing of lots has become more prevalent. Subdivisions come under the Subdivision Ordinance, but coming back later for only one lot does not bring the Subdivision Ordinance into play. This can create a problem for sidewalks and trails.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.


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