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Park & Rec Commission NVRPA Lease Agreement Public Hearing Update

Public Hearing on Planning Process Framework

The Park and Recreation Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the planning process to determine the framework for future site improvements at Cameron Run Regional Park. This framework will include current and potential future amenities. The public hearing will occur on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 7:00 PM at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, located at 901 Wythe Street in Alexandria, Virginia.

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We’ve obtained a letter from a source that is from the Alexandria, Virginia Parks and Recreation Commission which scolds the members of the Alexandria City Council for considering fast-tracking approval of a lease extension for Cameron Run Regional Park, located in the Eisenhower Valley of Alexandria.

The popular Cameron Run Regional Park has been leased to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) (Alexandria is a member) since 1981 and is zoned Public Open Space.

The problem, as the letter states, is the City has been considering renewing the lease for the park a full six (6) years before the lease is up. According to sources, and according to what we have read about the issue, NVRPA has apparently been strong-arming the City to renew the lease for another forty (40) years prior to making changes/improvements at the water park. The lease amount for the entire park is $0.25 per year for a total of $10.00 over the next forty (40) years.

The letter is 100% right – while the park is heavily used, does it meet the needs of the City? The demographics have certainly changed over time.

In our opinion, the City should SLOW down this process and be as deliberate and transparent as possible. Here’s why.

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Public Input Sought on Coordinated Park Plan

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is hosting a public open house on Thursday, November 6 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at 2900 Business Center Drive to receive public input on a coordinated park plan for Cameron Run Regional Park, Lake Cook, Hensley Park, and the Clermont Natural Area. The plan also addresses the connection of the open space and trail systems with Holmes Run Park and Trail, Tarleton Park, Ben Brenman Park and Armistead Boothe Park. In addition, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks) is seeking a long-term lease extension from the City for the Cameron Run Regional Park site.

The purpose of the meeting is to share the results of a citywide survey that identified community needs for NOVA Parks’ features in Alexandria and provide staff with recommendations for short and long-term improvements to the park and trail system. Staff will develop draft coordinated park plan ensuring that the park and trail system serves Alexandria needs now and into the future.

Individuals who are unable to attend meeting may send written comments to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Attention: Laura Durham, City Open Space Coordinator, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314; e-mail laura.durham@alexandriava.gov; or fax to 703.684.6826 by 5 p.m. Thursday, November 13.

Following the open house, the Park and Recreation Commission will hold a public hearing on the staff developed draft-coordinated plan on Thursday, November 20 at 7 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.

Attendees should park at the Witter Recreational Fields parking lot, 2700 Witter Dr., adjacent to the meeting location. Directions:

  • West from Landmark Shopping Center: Travel west on Duke St. to right onto Witter Drive. Parking is available in lot on right.
  • East from Old Town Alexandria: Travel east on Duke St. to left turn onto Witter Drive. Parking is available in lot on right.

For additional information, contact Laura Durham, City Open Space Coordinator, at 703.746.5493.

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