Consideration of the proposal was deferred to the committee which was tasked to make a recommendation back to the Council at its next meeting.
The Timberlake contains a portion of Difficult Run located in the northeast portion of Sully District. The Fairfax Land Preservation Trust desires to protect this parcel which in the past had been a private park with swimming and picnicking. The children of the owner have agreed to sell it to the county at a cost of $5.7 million, but the county doesn?t have the money available at this time. The trust is willing to advance the money if the county agrees to include funding for its acquisition in a future park bond referendum, establishes a date for the referendum, and agrees to pay the interest until the bond is enacted.
The largest concern of the committee was whether the expected $5.7 million cost of acquiring the Timberlake parcel was the best value for the overall needs of the Sully District. In any future bond issue of approximately $50 million, the funds would be allocated over all the county and Sully couldn't expect much more than its prorated share -- about the cost of the Timberlake acquisition.
Timberlake would be a passive recreation facility, while Sully might need a recreation center facility such as Oakmarr, Wakefield, Providence, Lee District, or Springhill; or a parcel that could support more active recreational uses.
The committee also felt that no matter who purchased the property, that fact that it included the Difficult Run stream valley, meant that the stream valley would be protected by current development restrictions.
In the end the committee voted to recommend that: "The County should purchase property sufficient to connect existing stream valley parks, or if not able to purchase the limited property as described above, to buy the whole parcel, but either keep the parcel in low or passive recreation uses or dispose of the non-environmentally sensitive land.?
This recommendation will be brought forward to the general Sully District Council membership at its next meeting on 18 December.
Jeffrey M. Parnes
Chair, Sully District Council
Land Use and Transportation Committee