Long Range Planning Committee News

Committee Chair

  • Phil Pifer

Committee Role

The LRP committee is responsible for a living Comprehensive Master plan to preserve and enhance the character of Great Falls, to monitor the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, recommend appropriate action on long-range planning issues, and articulate GFCA's objectives.
  • 23 Apr 2019 12:40 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    To learn more about the Great Falls 2020 Vision Survey conducted in 2007, click here: 2020 Survey.pdf.

  • 28 Dec 2016 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    In November, we posted about our efforts to get county/state funding to upgrade the intersection at Walker Rd and Georgetown Pike in the Village center.  These upgrades will provide safe pedestrian crosswalks for walkers and bikers at all 4 corners, as well as allow right turns on red coming south on Walker Rd.  These improvements will improve safety and traffic flow through the center of town for vehicles and pedestrians.

    In late December, we learned from Supervisor Foust that this project is deemed worthy of future funding, but unfortunately it will not be funded at this time.  Projectsthat were included in the County's "Transportation Project Priorities" but not fully funded in 2004 will get first priority.  

    We encourage citizens who deem this a worthwhile project to continue to communicate their interest in getting this project completed to the Supervisor and to Fairfax County VDOT.

    The Supervisor's letter of December 21 can be viewed here.

  • 20 Nov 2016 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    About 40 years ago, the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Walker Road was rebuilt but, due to local pressure, the design was compromised in order to save two mature oak trees on the north-east corner at the Professional Building. The trees lasted for a few decades but are gone now. As a result of the compromised original design, VDOT could not allow a right-turn-on-red lane southbound on Walker nor cross walks from the NE corner.  This was because the mature trees were to the north of the current Shell station and to the east of the 7/11 strip mall. Without proper protected crosswalks, pedestrians have had to dodge traffic in a very unsafe situation.

    GFCA has recently lobbied Supervisor Foust’s office and VDOT to initiate design, funding and construction of a proper intersection so we can have right-turn-on-red going south on Walker Road going west on Georgetown Pike and safe crosswalks to connect all four corners of this major intersection in our town. The GFCA created a sketch and concept plan for this work that has the support of the affected property owners. This proposal was received by Supervisor Foust and GFCA has been informed that this project is at the top of the Supervisor’s list.  GFCA is advocating that it should be funded and built in the 2017 budget cycle.

    With the construction of the TD Bank on the southeast corner (where the old Exxon was) and the recent acquisition of the 7/11 center by a new owner, we hope that a new intersection will contribute to better aesthetics, smoother traffic flow, and safer pedestrian movement through the area.


    See the draft concept plan below ...



  • 27 Dec 2015 4:22 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The following is a summary of LRP activities in 2015 and its work plan for 2016.

    1. Grange and Old Schoolhouse Complex

    • LRP monitored completion of County authorized interior/exterior improvements, and completed a plan for additional improvements still urgently needed, e.g. a good audio-visual system; Wi-Fi; and better live performance/theater capabilities including lighting, changing areas, storage, etc. A priority objective is to permit extensive use of the Grange’s lower floor by youth and senior groups, as is common at other community centers in other areas of the County. Follow-up will continue in 2016.
    • LRP has commenced studying ways to alleviate parking shortages at the Grange/Old Schoolhouse property during often heavily attended public meetings even when the neighboring Library parking is used. Ideas include a better path between the Grange and Great Falls Library and a safer and improved Georgetown Pike crossing between the shopping center and the Library/Bucks Lane/Grange entrances.  
    • LRP is actively studying long-range alternatives for the existing Grange-Library complex and/or a possible new community center in central Great Falls on land owned by the County; recommendations might be presented in mid-2016.
    • LRP secured the Executive Board’s approval of a resolution that advocated making the Grange available on weekday evenings, without a fee, for meetings by non-profit organizations. The committee will be following-up on this issue with the Fairfax County Park Authority and Supervisor Foust in early 2016.  

    2. Septic and Groundwater Usage in Great Falls    

    • County and local technical specialists anticipate some central Great Falls business communities near Walker Road and Georgetown Pike, plus a few adjacent residences, will reach capacity and/or commence experiencing septic problems requiring major improvements between 2020 and 2030. LRP is holding meetings and may make recommendations to the Executive Board/County during Spring 2016.
    • Most Great Falls residences and businesses maintain individual or limited/small community groundwater and wastewater systems requiring maintenance to prevent failures, contaminations, etc. During the past ten years, some technical updates for such systems have been developed and implemented. LRP will continue to monitor these activities.

    3. Great Falls Area Matters Pertaining to County Master Plan and Budget  

    • LRP prepared a list of items and estimated costs for local projects that it then requested that the County Board of Supervisors/county staff include in their future budgets and the County Master Plan.
    • LRP continues to assist LUZ with financial aspects and potential bond usage for new projects in the Great Falls area such as road, trail, and park improvements that have strong community support.
    • LRP supported the GFCA Special Trails Committee resolution that reversed a long-standing GFCA policy of supporting only stone dust trails throughout Great Falls and, instead, embraced a “whatever surface is best” philosophy.
    • In 2016, LRP will continue to encourage suggestions from the community and Executive Board on new long-range ideas for Great Falls; some of these ideas may require LRP follow-up.   

    4. Resident Curatorship

    • LRP, together with EPT, remain active in encouraging prompt completion of instructions for the relatively new, but still non-utilized, State/County Resident Curatorship program. Participation at occasional County meetings will be required.
    • Turner Farm continues to be promoted as the initial project; in addition, Dranesville Tavern is being suggested as another potential early candidate. Such promotions will continue.
  • 31 Oct 2015 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    The October Long Range Planning Committee meeting (LRP) began discussions on future alternatives for a community center either via expansion and possible purchase of the   Grange/Old Schoolhouse or possibly building a new one on land in the center of Great Falls already owned by the County. Probably, a new community organization which need to be formed which can rent to non-profit organizations as well as to others for weddings, private meetings, conferences, etc. This discussion will continue at the next LRP meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 30. The next meeting also will briefly cover potential future bond local usages.  
        During the recent debate between Dranesville Supervisor candidates, both supported the GFCA resolution for prompt immediate free use of the Old Schoolhouse on weekday evenings by non-profit organizations. LRP will follow-up with the FCPA and all Supervisors. LRP also will again send the Supervisor candidates a list of items and estimated cost not covered in the recently completed Grange interior and exterior improvements. 

  • 09 Apr 2015 7:43 AM | Philip Pifer

    In a letter sent April 8, GFCA President Eric Knudsen provided reactions to the proposed budget being considered by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  Ralph Apton, chair of GFCA's Long Range Planning committee, presented oral comments at the BOS Budget public hearing on April 8. 

    In the letter, GFCA requested:

    • Great Falls Grange should receive more funding from the County, because it is needed to maintain and improve the structure, enhance its utility, and most community centers in the county receive far more funding.
    • Funding be added for Youth and Senior Community programs in Great Falls, as currently provided in most localities in the county.
    • Fees be eliminated for non-profit organization use of the Old Forestville School during weekday nights most of the year, to encourage use.
    • Riverbend Park funding not be reduced, and existing Park Authority Recreation Centers be renovated before additional land purchases are pursued to ensure maintenance of existing parks.
    • Route 7 Widening Project funds be assured through allocation of funding already identified under the Tyson's Transportation Funding Plan, and that road maintenance throughout Great Falls be funded at the same level as it is county-wide.
    • Great Falls Library funding be unchanged year over year.
    • Funding for trail maintenance and a new trail system be started.
    • Resident Curatorship program, recently approved by the BOS, be funded to allow the preservation of historic structures like Turner Farmhouse to be pursued.
    The full letter is available here.

  • 14 Aug 2014 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    GFCA and other community organizations have been long-time supporters of the concept of Resident Curatorship (RC) as a commonsense solution to the need to preserve historic county-owned buildings, such as the farmhouse on Turner Farm in Great Falls. In concept, an RC program could help the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by leasing buildings to private parties who agree to restore and maintain them properly.  This summer, Fairfax County released a proposed RC program for comment.  After review, the GFCA and the Great Falls Historical Society (GFHS) have joined forces in calling for changes to the proposal. 

    GFCA and GFHS formed a Working Group in July to review the nearly 250-page report that Fairfax County developed proposing a county RC program.  In a letter to the County sent on Aug 6, GFCA and GFHS called for a stronger set of criteria in selecting historic properties, urged that the Turner Farmhouse be selected as the County’s pilot project to demonstrate how the RC works, and called for a public hearing so other community groups and residents could comment on the RC plan.  The recommendations developed by the Great Falls working group also suggested changes to program administration, standards for curator selection, and leasing terms.  Click here for a copy of the Working Group recommendations.

    Last year, GFCA passed a resolution supporting the Mark Turner Farmhouse on Georgetown Pike as a primary candidate for the new RC program. Unfortunately, this historic home has become a community eyesore with no upkeep since acquired by FCPA four years ago.  It is hoped that quick action to implement an RC program could lead to restoration of the Turner Farmhouse and other historic structures owned by the County.

  • 18 Jul 2014 7:01 PM | Anonymous

    GFCA has been a long-time supporter of the concept of Resident Curatorship (RC) as a common-sense solution to the need to preserve historic buildings, such as the historic farmhouse on Turner Farm in Great Falls. Many other community organizations have expressed similar support for, and interest in, the idea.

    Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has responsibility for the County’s Resident Curatorship programs, authorized by the state in 2011. This week, FCPA issued a draft “Resident Curatorship Program Study” and is seeking public comments by August 6. GFCA is requesting that FCPA schedule a public hearing prior to that date to discuss the study. GFCA also will sponsor a working group of interested parties to evaluate the report and provide comments to FCPA prior to August 6.

    Last year, GFCA passed a Resolution supporting the Mark Turner residence as a primary candidate for the new RC program. Six of the 24 initial RC sites listed in the FCPA Report are located in the Dranesville district, including the Turner residence and Dranesville Tavern. Community residents, GF Historical Society, Analemma Society, equestrian groups, and GFCA all are concerned that the Mark Turner building has become a Georgetown Pike eyesore with no upkeep since acquired by FCPA four years ago. Quick action to implement an RC program there could be a solution.

    In mid-2013, three different groups expressed preliminary interest in renovating the Mark Turner building at an estimated $750,000 to $1 million investment, in exchange for a long-term virtually-free lease. The interested parties were a private family, a quasi-commercial bed and breakfast operation. GFCA recommends that potential candidates review the FCPA Study and prepare applications with a rehabilitation work plan consistent with U.S. Interior Department “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitation, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings.” To assure continued night-time darkness for on-going Observatory activities at Turner Farm, maintaining night-time darkness should be an essential consideration. Similar consideration should be given to coexistence and fit with other core activities at the Farm such as equestrian activities. 

    For additional details and a copy of the full FCPA report, click here

  • 21 Feb 2014 6:49 PM | Anonymous

    At February’s GFCA Town Hall Meeting, David Bowden, Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Planning and Development Division, presented plans to make the Grange building and surrounding grounds more accessible to Great Falls residents and community groups. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires changes to both interior and exterior facilities, FCPA will strive to preserve the Grange’s historic appearance.

    Interior renovations to the Grange include a new ADA-compliant vertical platform lift from the basement level to the first floor. The lift shaft and pit will be constructed in the area currently occupied by the janitor’s closet (basement level) and women’s restroom (first floor). The open space/office area now occupied by FCPA staff on the basement level will be used for a new ADA unisex restroom. The proposed changes will require upgrading the existing electrical service both inside and outside the building. Other electrical systems within the construction area will be modified as needed. No changes are planned for the Old Forestville Schoolhouse.

    Outside, the existing asphalt ADA parking spaces and building access routes will be reconstructed to meet ADA requirements. The brick paver trail to the Grange and Old Schoolhouse buildings will be modified and the stairs to the basement level of the Grange will be removed and the area graded for ramps on both sides as well as down to the driveway. New concrete pads for the portable toilets and dumpster are planned for the parking area on the west side of the Grange. An accessible route from this parking lot to the playground, picnic pavilion, ball fields, and bleachers, along with concrete or asphalt pads will ensure that all have access to the more remote parts of the property. During the coming weeks, GFCA and FCPA will be reviewing the plans and discussing any adjustments that might be made in order to limit the environmental impact.

    To look at key components of the plans, click on the links listed below:
    • Proposed Site Improvements
    • ADA Accessible Route
    • Infiltration Test Locations
    • Demolition Architectural Site Plan
    • New Work Architectural Site Plan
    • Interior Demolition: Basement and First Floor
    • New Work: Basement and First Floor

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

Contact Us   |   Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software