What should the Wiita Tract be used for?????
On December 9, 2009, the Prince William County Park Authority Board is scheduled to vote on the Master Plan for a proposed 69 acre soccer complex in the Rural Crescent. Known as the Wiita Tract, this former farmland is located on Glenkirk Road, directly across from Lake Manassas and adjacent to Rollins Ford Road (where improvements are postponed indefinitly).
The Wiita Tract – A little history
The Wiita Tract was proffered to Prince William County citizens in January 2006 for Parks & Recreation as part of the Wellington Glen rezoning . According to the proffers, the property is to be used for “parks and recreation purposes” (no mention of soccer fields).
However, at their September 2009 public meetings for the Wiita Tract Master Plan, the Park Authority presented the community with only one recreation choice for this Rural Crescent site – seven lighted soccer fields, public water and public sewer.
The community was told, and it was stated on the Park Authority website, that “This parcel has been proffered to the county for the primary purpose of development of a soccer complex in the Brentsville District.”
How did the Park Authority decide that the Wiita Tract must be a soccer complex if there’s no restrictions in the proffers? There’s little information on that, although we do know that it happened before the public was invited to participate.
Ball fields – and many other recreation uses – are in short supply Countywide. Everyone’s needs are important and the Park Authority’s Master Plan process for all their sites, including the Wiita Tract, should proceed in a fair and open manner that provides equal access to everyone.
So what should the Wiita Tract be used for?
In 2008 the Prince William Parks Authority conducted a survey of residents, asking what projects they wished the Authority to pursue. Citizens in every district overwhelming voiced their desire for creating more open/green spaces.
Now is our opportunity to fulfill this wish. The Wiita Tract is ideal for many alternate park uses: Community gardens, picnicing, multi-use trails, nature accivities, demonstration barn, jumping and dressage arenas as well as a cross country jumping course for the horse community.
This park is also at the trail-head of the Broad Run Trail Corridor which the Park Authority is trying to create. This trail corridor would allow people to go from Lake Manassas to Route 28 on mainly natural surface multi-use trails.
How can you help?
Plan to attend the December 9th Park Authority Board meeting and request that the Park Authority Board defer any vote on a Master Plan for the Wiita Tract and instead initiate a fair, public Master Planning process that considers all potential recreation uses, makes efforts to minimize impacts to the surrounding community, and includes adequate notification for nearby landowners and the general public.
If you cannot attend the meeting then email the Park Authority Board members with your request.