Gum Springs residents are expected to petition the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this afternoon over traffic concerns and other issues regarding the expansion of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.
“We have a problem with the conditions (regarding construction) and they have limited community involvement with traffic proposals,” said Queenie Cox, President of the New Gum Springs Civic Association.
Cox, who was gathering signature petitions this weekend to present at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, is concerned that Gum Springs roadways surrounding the hospital will be clogged if the current plan is approved.
Last Wednesday, the Fairfax County Planning Commission okayed expansion plans that the Supervisors will review Tuesday.
Inova representatives have stated previously that the hospital additions won’t cause a major increase in traffic because the institution’s bed number won’t significantly increase. Inova's legal representative cound not be reached for comment.
But Gum Springs residents reported their concerns about traffic problems in areas such as Sherwood Lane and Collingwood Road at a meeting of the MVCCA Planning & Zoning committee and Transportation committee earlier this month.
Inova Hospital Systems’ legal representative Sarah Hall responded then that Inova will make a contribution to the county for transportation improvements at that site.
When Cox testified before the Planning Commission this year, she requested a detailed phasing plan for the total hospital expansion, and a “quality of life” contribution of $7.92 for each square foot constructed, or $250,000 to offset any negative impact to Gum Springs.
The Mount Vernon hospital proposal calls for the construction of 322,000 square feet of gross floor area, a six-story parking garage, the addition of 52 beds for a total of 289 hospital beds, emergency care expansion, twin towers, and a wider main access drive from Parkers Lane, according to the county staff report.
Inova representatives have stated the expansion will take place in phases.
The hospital campus is located east of Richmond Highway and bounded by Holland Road on the west, Parkers Lane on the east, and Hinson Farm Road on the south.
Gum Springs is the oldest African American community in Fairfax County and was founded by West Ford--a slave freed by George Washington--near the Mount Vernon estate.
According to the Gum Springs Historical Society and Museum website, as many as five hundred of the current neighborhood’s residents are descended from the original settlers.
The Board of Supervisors public hearing on Inova's application is scheduled to start at about 4 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.