The Fairfax County Park Authority is once again taking up the master planning process for the future of Westgrove Park, located off Fort Hunt Road.
The park authority will hold a public information meeting at 7 p.m. July 30 in the cafeteria at Belle View Elementary School. The school is located at 6701 Fort Hunt Road, just north of Westgrove Park.
Formerly a sewage treatment plant, Westgrove is a 21.3-acre undeveloped park. Recently, local residents have pushed to convert 1.75 acres of the park into an interim off-leash dog park. The Fairfax County Planning Commission has voted twice to postpone the decision about whether to allow the dog park, noting that language in the park authority’s request requires a master plan process be under way before a dog park would be allowed.
Judy Pedersen, a spokeswoman for the park authority, said park officials did not want to hold up the possible interim use of Westgrove as an off-leash dog park. Earlier efforts at creating a master plan for the park fell apart due to disagreement in the community over uses for the park, she said.
“What happened with this particular site is that several years ago the process began, and then at the request of the park board member and the supervisor, and because there was a lot of differences of opinion in the community, rather than consensus, the process stopped,” Pedersen said. “The plan at this point, as I understand it, is to move for with an interim use request.”
The master plan process will determine future uses and facilities within the park property, which was transferred to the park authority in 2001. A local group advocating for the dog park, the Pumphouse Association for Canine Kindness, or PACK, has requested the dog park be a permanent feature on the master plan.
Natural resource protection, interpretation and education areas have also been proposed for the site.
At the July 30 meeting, park authority staff will provide background information about the park, current site conditions and the specifics of how the park authority creates master plans. There will also be time for public comments on suggestions for future park features and activities.
More information about the park master planning process can be found online.
Once a draft plan is completed, the park authority will publish it for public review and comment. A second public comment meeting will be held later this year, followed by a 30-day comment period. Comments are welcome at the July 30 meeting or can be mailed to Project Manager Jay Rauschenbach, Planning & Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax, VA 22035.
Email comments can also be sent to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.