DRCA Transportation and Public Safety committee update

By Judy Lo, ASLA, PLA
City of Alexandria, Virginia
Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities

Several months have passed and I would like to provide an update on the relocation of the off leash Dog Exercise Area and the Stewart Avenue pedestrian/maintenance entrance. Comments from last fall’s November 9 meeting are re-attached for reference. A few months following that meeting, the owners of the adjacent Oakville Triangle site alerted the City that they would like to redevelop their 13 acre property. The Oakville Triangle/Route 1 planning process began this spring. The Department of Planning and Zoning and the Oakville Triangle Advisory Group are coordinating this process. The redevelopment has strong potential to provide improvements to the Mt. Jefferson Greenway. For this reason, the previously scheduled summer 2014 Mt. Jefferson Neighborhood Park planning initiative will be completed through the Oakville Triangle planning process (planning for the other Neighborhood Parks will begin as scheduled). For further information on Oakville Triangle planning, please visit the project page: http://www.alexandriava.gov/planning/info/default.aspx?id=76672

While a plan for the portion of Mt. Jefferson Park/W&OD Greenway, south of Raymond Avenue, will occur through the process described above, I would like to share the next steps for the two specific topics covered at the fall meeting.

DOG EXERCISE AREA AND DRAINAGE CONCERNS
There were questions at last fall’s meeting about whether moving the existing dog exercise area (DEA) would be subject to the Dog Park Master Plan guidelines for ‘new’ Dog Parks, adopted in September 2000.

The City Attorney ‘s office reviewed the Dog Park Master Plan and City Code sections 6-1-2.2(4)(v)(b) and (f), and concluded that relocating an existing dog exercise area within the same City park is not establishing a new dog exercise area. The City Manager has authority to designate and post dog exercise areas within the City. Moving the DEA because of drainage issues is within this purview.

Any future relocation of the DEA and long term correction of the drainage issues will be considered with the on-going planning process for Oakville Triangle. There are no plans to re-locate the DEA at this time. Park Operations will be looking at other cost effective, interim solutions to improve the drainage at the existing DEA.

STEWART AVENUE ENTRANCE
Based on discussions at the fall meeting and pursuant staff review of the site, design and construction of a new entrance to the park at Stewart Avenue is currently underway, with an anticipated fall 2014 opening. Construction documents are in progress and include minor drainage structures and grading, to ensure the new entrance will support maintenance vehicles.
The entrance will be semi-open with a wood split rail fence and a removal bollard.

The surfacing at the entrance will be a pervious material. A conceptual rendering of the entrance will be available when the construction documents are complete.

Should you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact me.

Judy Lo, ASLA, PLA
City of Alexandria, Virginia
Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities
Email: judy.lo@alexandriava.gov

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