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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lincolnia Task Force considers how area can be improved

Linconia residents and business owners look at a map of Lincolnia.
Members of the Lincolnia Planning District Study Task Force spent most of their third meeting on March 22 talking about what they like about Lincolnia and how it can be improved.

The task force was convened to provide input to Fairfax County planners as they update the Lincolnia section of the Comprehensive Plan. A key decision for the group is to determine whether the area around the Little River Turnpike/Beauregard Street intersection should be designated a community business center (CBC).

A CBC designation would encourage mixed-use redevelopment and the creation of a pedestrian-friendly town center.

The staff circulated a map showing the potential boundaries of a CBC consisting of about 200 acres within the larger 2,000-acre Lincolnia area. During the second meeting of the task force on March 7, the group discussed making a few changes around the edges but nothing was decided.

Between mid-April and the end of May, developers will be invited to submit ideas for redeveloping properties within the CBC, said Lincolnia project manager Faheem Darab, of the Department of Planning and Zoning. That will provide a rough idea of whether there is interest in redevelopment and what types of projects might be proposed. More detailed discussions of those proposals would occur next year.


Similar discussions about redevelopment proposals for areas in Lincolnia outside the CBC will happen later.

When the task force broke into small groups to consider the following questions, here are some of their responses:

Why did you choose to live in Lincolnia?
It’s easily accessible to highways for commuting. Homes have large lots. It’s affordable, safe, and quiet. You can walk to the grocery store. The diversity is a plus.

What are the strengths of Lincolnia, considering both the potential CBC and the larger area?
There’s a variety of great, ethnic food. It’s convenient for shopping. The diversity is a strength. There is a variety of housing types, including single family, townhouses, apartments, and affordable housing. There are green areas, like Turkeycock Run, Indian Run, and the field behind the Lincolnia Senior Center that can become parks. The CBC area has relatively few property owners and is not visually appealing which presents an opportunity for redevelopment. 

What specific transportation improvements would you like to see in the CBC and the larger area?
Fix the traffic congestion in the Little River Turnpike/Beauregard/N. Chambliss intersections and Interstate 395. Build a flyover on Little River Turnpike to relieve congestion at the Beauregard intersection. Create pullovers at bus stops to relieve traffic backups caused by buses. Build a pedestrian bridge over Little River Turnpike at Landmark Plaza. More stoplights and crosswalks. Establish a shuttle system to help people access Metro and Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria campus.

What would you like to see improved in the CBC and larger area?
More walkabality and more green space in the CBC. A common space for performances and social gatherings. More entertainment options, such as a movie theater, skating rink, art center, or community center in the CBC.
In the greater Lincolnia area, fix the infrastructure, including better drainage and road improvements in suburban areas; repurpose and redevelop the areas with aging housing stock. More options for entertainment, nightlife, sports fields, emergency services, and upscale restaurants. Prevent overflow parking from apartments on suburban streets. Improve code enforcement. Add a dog park.

The next meeting of the task force will be April 4, 7 p.m., at Holmes Middle School

13 comments:

  1. Sorry folks to tell you this but you are unfortunately wasting your time. This is like sending kids to after school programs so the parents can unload their responsibilities.

    These workshops have been done over and over at Baileys and Seven Corners and the unfortunate results have been a net zero. Nothing has been built or executed because developers do not want to develop in Mason. And that is because the politics are skewed, the County leadership does not partner or provide incentives. There is limited to no appealing mass transit and the economics and demographics of these areas are in a rapid decline. Penny is just buying time till she retires........nothing will happen to placate the disenchanted.

    Really sad to have watched this area spiral to the degree it has and that all the leadership can do is provide carrots and notate that the County does not have any funds to improve or mitigate a situation that has gained its owned declining momentum.

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    1. https://ggwash.org/view/62775/vornados-skyline-portfolio-tells-the-story-of-office-vacancies-region-wide

      Interesting related articles I'd say.

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    2. Spot on; "ACCESSIBLE GOOD MASS TRANSIT" are they keys to success. County doesn't want to hear it, they are too busy digging their heads deeper into the sand.

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    3. Whatever happened to all the hyperbole about a quality regional BRT network? Where are those leaders now?

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  2. "Between mid-April and the end of May, developers will be invited to submit ideas for redeveloping properties within the CBC, said Lincolnia project manager Faheem Darab, of the Department of Planning and Zoning."

    Guys this is a very bad idea. Do not let developers tell you what they want to do. They will draw up very attractive ideas but the only thing they/developers really want is to build more apartments. They are not interested in making your area better because they don't live there. Make the county first develop the traffic solutions. The traffic problem is the worse and everything depends on solving that. After knowing that solution residents will know where to put a town center, pedestrian pathways, inside streets, etc. The county is handing over its responsibility to developers. Residents this is your chance to do your design and make the county help you.

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    1. Aren't they incentivized to support retail and other things because it means they can charge more for their apartments? I don't buy it that apartments are all developers care about.

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    2. At some point, adding some shiny new apartments is better than a neighborhood full of old, dumpy apartments and condos, and other aging developments. Rail transit will never happen. We have solid bus service that is quite useful.

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    3. Anon 1122 is spot on, so is Anon 321.
      Unfortunately, it seems the powers to be don't want to replace old, overcrowded apartment complexes on Little River Tpk, Culmore, Patrick Henry, Annandale and Columbia Pike. Replacing them new development destroys a majority of affordable housing units.
      They want to remove single family neighborhoods because they don't generate enough tax dollars.

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    4. Solid bus service, as solid as s---t. The buses sit traffic and are horrible. Don't you think that more people would use the bus system if it was faster and better. I still get to work faster by car and that is with sitting in traffic. Developers will consider this district third rate as long as the county weasels out of providing the necessary infrastructure to spawn development, maintain a good tax base and commercial growth.

      Mason District has gone from a D to and F while we all accept that good mass transit it out of our reach. The only thing the district leadership knows how to do is to pander to illegals.

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    5. Nonsense. We will never have a rail stop at every corner of the region, that is just an absurd thought. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the DC region that will likely never be directly served by fixed rail transport, but can be well served by a good number of bus lines or other non-rail transport.

      By the way, I switched from driving to my DC office to taking the bus/metro, and I am 100% more satisfied with my commute. I can read, relax, and not have to white-knuckle my entire commute trying to avoid idiots who are intent on hitting my car. Driving in traffic sucks, and I refuse to do it ever again on a regular basis if I can avoid it. Glad to live in a neighorhood of Mason District served by 5 bus lines.

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  3. Thanks, again, Ellie for highlighting the importance of the planning process.
    As Chair of the Lincolnia Task Force, I strongly urge the anonymous posters to please come to the planning workshops. You will learn that there are excellent ideas from the community and that there INDEED developers that are interested in Mason District.
    The readers of this blog are aware that Novus Residences has purchased 5600 Columbia Pike and will be developing it as an office/residential condo building - a new concept that has great potential to revitalize Bailey's Cross Roads.
    At present, an executive of Novus Residences will be presenting to the Lincolnia Task Force on Tuesday, April 4. Please come to hear this presentation and you will learn that there is a lot to be excited about in Mason District. That same excitement to develop Bailey's applies to Landmark Plaza and you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is great interest in developing there as well.
    The Task Force is an opportunity for the community, developers, and County Staff to brainstorm for what might be the best for the entire community. Developers often bring their own very creative ideas: think Mosaic, Shirlington, 14th Street in Washington DC. These mixed used developments are now thriving neighborhoods with rising property values.
    Regarding transit: Picture this. One bus replaces 40 drivers and 40 cars. Or two buses replaces 80 drivers and 80 cars. Three busses, 120 cars. And so on.
    One of the upcoming scheduled Task Force meetings will have the Alexandria BRT team presenting their plan to connect King Street Metro to the Landmark Mall new development. Fairfax fully plans on coordinating potential future plans on Little River Turnpike with Alexandria's effort.
    Again, I encourage all of those who do not feel that Mason can attract good development to come to the Task Force meeting and share your ideas.

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    1. Thank you for your comments; I truly appreciate thoughtful and informative insight.

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    2. Thank you for your hard work and inspired motivation......I hope for you and Mason that this can be realized. When I see a construction crane in Mason I'll believe it. Right now all of those cranes are in Merrifield, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church City. Crappy Pickett Street is ablaze with new development. None in Mason. Why is that; is that because of Culmore, poor transit, crime rate, poor performing schools, vacant storefronts, boarding houses, NIMBYs, a disengaged Supervisor, please tell me?

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