Located adjacent to Four Mile Run, between Route 1 and Potomac Avenue.
Start Date: 1st Quarter 2017
End Date: 4th Quarter 2017
About the Project
Arlington County is undertaking a Park Master Plan for an open space referred to as South Park. The Park Master Plan is funded through the Arlington County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) with additional funding coming from a Federal Grant to improve trail connectivity. The Park Master Plan will create a design that can be phased and implemented over time. The phased approach is necessary because funding to construct the various park elements will not be available at once. The first phase of construction will be a tail connection that links Route 1 to the Four Mile Run trail; construction is anticipated to begin in early 2018. The second construction phase will build the remaining park elements; construction is anticipated in 2022.
A portion of South Park is owned by the City of Alexandria. This area will be designed with Alexandria’s oversight and approval, and will include minimal, interim improvements. Minimal, interim improvements are necessary as to not constrain Alexandria’s ability to plan and construct their property in the future. The area owned by Alexandria will be improved as part of the development in North Potomac Yard, CDD #19. Condition #20 of CDD #19 identifies the improvement triggers and condition #71 identifies the required improvements. There is no timeline available for the future design process and construction as it is dependent on this development. For more information on North Potomac Yard, please visit: https://www.alexandriava.gov/potomacyard/default.aspx?id=56892
South Park is unique in that the Arlington and Alexandria boundary crosses the park. The boundary line curvature represents the natural Four Mile Run channel before it was straightened and channelized by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1972 Hurricane Agnes, which produced heavy rain and extensive flooding. As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened and channelized Four Mile Run and covered the stream’s natural banks with riprap. Unfortunately, this created a less than desirable condition for the stream’s ecology. The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan (adopted by the County Board in 2006) and Design Guidelines (adopted by the County Board in 2009) provides a vision and plan for improving the in-stream, bank and near-stream conditions. South Park is located within the scope of the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines. The park’s design will be guided by these planning documents.
The civic engagement process for South Park will include a series of public meetings, which are intended to solicit ideas and feedback from the public to help inform the park’s design. The public meetings will also convey the park’s role in implementing the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines (both referenced above). The process will culminate with a Park Master Plan, which will conceptually identify park amenities and their placement within the park, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, and strategies for addressing stormwater. The Park Master Plan will then be used to develop detailed construction drawings, once funding for construction is available.
South Park was created as a public park through the Potomac Yard Phased Development Plan (PDSP #346), approved by the County Board on 10-21-2000. The PDSP required the developer to set aside this open space and dedicate a public access easement to Arlington County. Design Guidelines were created to help guide the open spaces associated with the development. The park currently has a publicly accessible playground and a playground exclusively used by a daycare facility, planted shrub/perennial beds, walkways, a large grassy field and a steeply sloped grassy area.
About the Process
Public Meeting #1 – Feb. 22, 2017 (view flyer)
The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the project and discuss how the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines will help guide the park’s design. The attendees will be asked to write down park amenities they would like in the park.
Public Meeting #2 – March 29 (view flyer)
The purpose of this meeting is to conduct a visioning exercise to further determine the preferred mix of park elements and their potential placement. County staff will also introduce the park naming process and solicit potential names for South Park.
Public Meeting #3 – May 3, 2017 (view flyer)
The purpose of this meeting is to present 3 preliminary park concepts based on input from the previous public meetings. The 3 concepts will show a mix of park amenities that the public can review, comment upon, and vote as to which concept (or combination of park elements) they prefer. Also, the public will have the opportunity to submit ideas for a park name.
Online Survey – Date TBD
The survey will present the 3 preliminary park concepts. The survey will help gather additional feedback and allow the public to vote on which park concept, or combination of park elements, they prefer. Also, the public will have the opportunity to submit ideas for a park name.
Public Meeting #4 – Date TBD
The purpose of this meeting is to present 1 draft park concept plan for the public to review. Based on feedback gathered at this meeting, the staff and consultant team will make revisions and post the final draft park concept online. This concept will then be presented to various Commissions and to the Arlington County Board for consideration and potential adoption.
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Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)