Opinion: Commentary: Looking Ahead In Mount Vernon

Happy New Year! The Mount Vernon District is an exciting place to be as revitalization and renewal comes to the Richmond Highway Corridor. 2019 will be a pivotal year as we finalize the planning for the future of our community. Highlights include:

  • Completion of the Huntington Levee;

  • Renovations at Hollin Meadows ES, Waynewood ES, Belle View ES, Washington Mill ES and West Potomac HS;

  • Opening of new Lieber Gate at Fort Belvoir;

  • Completing the Master Planning for OMVHS as a community and education hub;

  • Completing financing and contracting for North Hill workforce housing;

  • Completing design and beginning right-of-way acquisition for the Richmond Highway widening ;

  • Continued planning and funding for Corridor revitalization and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT);

  • Completing design for the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway trail connection;

  • Kicking off Grist Mill master planning process;

  • Continuing to fully support our schools.

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Original Mount Vernon High School rendering.

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Penn Daw rendering.

ONE OF THE MOST important activities for our community in 2019 will be creating the Urban Design Guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor. The urban design guidelines will elaborate on design guidance described in the Embark Comprehensive Plan to include the overall design, appearance, character and function of streets and streetscapes, parks and plazas; the form of buildings and their relationship to streets and public spaces; and, specific information related to street furnishings and other streetscape details.

This process began in 2018 with a very well attended and engaging community workshop and will continue through 2019 with many additional opportunities for you to participate. The findings from the workshop can be found at: http://www.fcrevit.org/richmondhwy/designguides.htm. Future opportunities for providing input on the guidelines will be forthcoming in 2019.

AN ADDITIONAL FOCUS of our office in 2019 will include the proposal of a strong environmental package aimed at protecting and enhancing our valuable ecological resources and heritage sites. With numerous rivers and streams in the district, as well as abundant parks and wildlife, the care and preservation of our environment is particularly important to our communities. I will be advocating for the county to take a more aggressive position on these issues, including litter control efforts such as a plastic bag fee, calling for a Community Climate Action Plan and beginning resiliency planning, particularly for our shorelines. Look for more on this in the coming weeks.

As always, my office continues to look for new ways to engage with you. Our goal remains to ensure each and every Mount Vernon neighbor and business owner has the opportunity to reach their full potential. TEAM MVD is committed to working with you to address your individual concerns, while working proactively to deliver a better quality of life for all district residents. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you out and about in 2019.

Finally, join us at the 32nd Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 7:45 a.m. – noon at Mount Vernon HS to learn more about the year ahead and how you can get involved.

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