Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority and AMT Engineering have submitted a Site Plan Application to expand the majority of the Falls Church stretch of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) to a Dual Trails model. The project, which spans on W&OD Trail between Little Falls Street and N West Street and includes a wide, dedicated pedestrian path and bicycle path, with a 2-foot separation between the two (See below for a typical section layout). Other features include:
Improved storm water management system
Replanting of disturbed areas with native/adaptive species
Groundwork for future lighting system improvements
Development proposals of this scale must go through numerous phases of staff review and receive several reviews and recommendations by boards and commissions before they are considered for approval by the Planning Commission or Planning Director.
Prior to a formal Site Plan Application, the Applicant (NOVA Parks and AMT Engineering) met with the Planning Commission on July 1st, 2019 to discuss the project while at was at an early stage of 30% Design.
NOVA Parks and AMT Engineering first applied for the formal site plan application on November 1st, 2019 at 60% Design. It was distributed to City staff for review, and comments were relayed back to the development team later in the month. This same 60% Design plan was brought to the Planning Commission for a work session discussion on December 16th, 2019.
In responding to the comments from the Planning Commission and staff, the development team submitted 90% Design Plans on January 9, 2020 and 100% Design Plans on March 9th, 2020; each with their own staff review. The applicants presented the project to the Architectural Advisory Board on March 11, 2020, where it received a positive recommendation to the Planning Commission ahead of approval.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has had an unforeseen impact on the schedule and approval process for this project. The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of both the April 6th and April 20th, 2020 Planning Commission Meetings. In consultation with the Planning Commission Chair, staff has scheduled this item for administrative action, as allowed under the City’s site plan ordinance.