Carol Hawn called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Because there was no guest speaker for the evening, the Council discussed items of interest to members, as well as items needing follow-up.
There was a question why some areas of Sully District have both the Council and the Western Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) as representative bodies. Carol Hawn explained that the WFCCA was formed in the mid-1980s, before Sully became a separate District, to represent associations in the Centreville/Chantilly area, and remains a viable association for communities within its geographic boundaries. Sully District Council represents all associations in the District and supports the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations. It is important that homeowner and civic associations are active in umbrella bodies, and becomes even more so as the District develops. One example of association input will occur when the site for a potential community center is selected, as it will probably be built either near Chantilly High School or in the Centreville area. For communities in the northern part of the District, there is also the Navy-Vale Community League to serve as an umbrella body for that area.
Thompson Road Out-of-Turn Plan Amendment - The Planning Commission held the public hearing on the Thompson Road out-of-turn plan amendment but deferred the vote until tomorrow evening where they will vote whether or not to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the amendment. Carol Hawn spoke on behalf of the Council to reaffirm its position, taken in 1995, that there was no reason to change the plan outside the normal review cycle. The public hearing portion is closed, however, letters and telephone calls will be received through tomorrow. The Board of Supervisors will be able to make changes to the amendment if they choose. If the amendment is approved, it could lead to similar changes in the plan for land north of Thompson Road. The proposed plan language is vague, ambiguous, and non-specific, with references to improvements to West Ox Road, sufficient buffer areas, and the road connecting Thompson and West Ox Roads. The latter is currently shown only on the preliminary site plan, not on the transportation plan map. There is also a question about whether the residential use permits refer to construction or move-in. If approved, specific language could be put in during the rezoning phase of the project.
Ralph Rodina mentioned that Alden Glen HOA was able to have specifics put into the plan with regard to buffering when the vote on the Government Center was deferred. For example, "appropriate" was changed to a more exact footage. Jeff Parnes noted that it took three years to get the proffer condition amendments approved when the EDS facility was built. Eighty percent of the proffers were eventually approved by the Board of Supervisors. Glenn Stroup stated that proffers, however, can be changed, giving the example that the monopole near Franklin Farm was approved with buffering; now there is an effort to eliminate the buffers.
Franklin Farm opposes the plan amendment, and Century Oaks has reversed its decision and now opposes the amendment. County staff still opposes the amendment. The Land Use and Transportation Committee will discuss this amendment at its May 5, 1997 meeting.
Sully Trail Resolution - In 1996, the Council passed a resolution on the need to have a County staff trail planning coordinator for each district and sent it to the Federation. The Federation did not act on the resolution because it did not know whether to approach it from a transportation or land use perspective. We will reformulate it and send it back to the Federation. Similarly, the ISTEA (Inter-Modal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act) improvements proposed by the Council were not accepted as the Office of Transportation would only accept those projects that already contained a cost estimate. Jeff Parnes will determine a rough cost estimate for the trail separated by the Fairfax County Parkway at Horsepen Creek Park.
Public Water to Sully Plantation - Bill Ritchie has volunteered to research the cost of obtaining public water for Sully Plantation. At the Council's March meeting, it was determined that this is an issue of concern, particularly with the upcoming construction of the Air and Space Museum Annex (Dulles Center). Dulles Center will impact the number of visitors to the Plantation. There is a major water pipeline along Centreville Road, as well as along Route 50. If this is not planned for the immediate future, the Council will request that the County asks the State to extend, and pay for, public water to Sully Plantation as part of the infrastructure improvements made to build the Dulles Center. If public water can be extended to the Center, it can be extended to the Plantation.
Cable Franchise Renewal - Media General currently has three levels of service in Fairfax County. Because residents have this choice, as well as can choose to not have cable, students should have the right to not do homework if it involves cable programs. Jeff Parnes mentioned that the Council should take a position on the issue, however, the premise of tying it into homework is wrong. The position should be based upon the fact that the franchise renewal is up after 15 years and in order to obtain the renewal, a provision for universal service to the County, even in low density areas, should be included. This should be stated in the request for proposal. Another issue is that lower level programs are being moved into the more costly levels. At Monday's WFCCA meeting, Chairman Kate Hanley was under the impression that the lack of universal access was an easement issue. However, VDOT easements could be used, and cable wires can also go overhead, if poles are already in place. Jeff Parnes made a motion that Media General's franchise renewal should be reconsidered until such time as the County is fully wired, and should live up to its original franchise authorization to provide universal County access. Jim Hart seconded. Motion carried unanimously. In addition, assigning homework based upon watching cable programming is wrong as there are students that do not receive cable or the level of service that may be necessary. Alternatives should be made available for students. Mt. Vernon, Dranesville, and Springfield Districts will also be contacted on this issue.
Fairfax Federation - Glenn Stroup mentioned that Federation elections will take place May 15, 1997, at its monthly meeting. Senator Joe Gartlan and Delegate Vince Callahan will be the guest speakers and discuss the past General Assembly session. School Board Vice-Chair Mark Emery will be the guest speaker at the June Federation meeting, and will discuss the just-completed MGT study. The County needs to disseminate information on the importance of public school funding as more than three-quarters of County households do not have children in the public school system.
Miscellaneous - The Sully District Council elections will be conducted in June. Due to an amendment to the by-laws, an officer cannot serve more than four consecutive terms in one position. Carol Hawn will contact the current Executive Board to see who is interested in running for their current position. There are five members of the Executive Board: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Ralph Rodina asked whether the postal system or an association is responsible for maintaining community mail boxes. He has had difficulty finding out this information, and there is not currently a postmaster at the Fairfax post office.
David Pohlman inquired about the criteria for resurfacing roads. It appears that roads not needing paving are being done, while roads desperately in need of paving are not being done. It can cost upwards of $600.00 per foot to pave a road. While roads may be identified via the County, the information is sent to Richmond to be refined; those in Richmond are less familiar with our streets. Larry Tessier noted that there may be some lax standards regarding this issue as the Fairfax County Parkway is already being resurfaced. It was suggested that letters be sent to Richmond about the issue. Jim Hart noted that writing letters about an issue is an effective way to make concerns known; however, it may take time to get action. He cited the example that he has been writing letters about a missing, proffered trail in Centre Ridge Homeowners Association for over a year. Meetings have been held regarding the issue, but nothing has yet been decided.
With no other business, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
Carol A. Hawn, President
Sully District Council of Citizens Associations