Opponents of Potomac Overlook Plan to Hold Meeting

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm 28 Comments

Site plan for Potomac Regional Overlook ParkEven though it was recently scaled back, a plan to add amenities to Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N Marcey Road) is still drawing strong criticism from a group of residents.

The plan calls for a new stage/shelter, a new scout camping area, a renovated bird of prey structure and, possibly, a tree house overlook and a small urban farm. The initial plan, which included a zip line, a rock climbing wall and a paved parking lot, was modified after an outcry from residents.

Opponents of the plan have formed the Potomac Overlook Preservation Association, and launched a website that implores visitors to “Save Potomac Overlook Park.”

The association will be holding a public meeting tonight (Tuesday), with scheduled speakers from the organization as well as from the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, which owns the park and proposed the changes at a public meeting last month.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Covenant (2666 Military Road).

Children in Potomac Overlook Regional Park (photo via Potomac Overlook Preservation Association)Stephen Blakely, president of the Potomac Overlook Preservation Association, says the he expects “a strong turnout and a lively meeting.” He accused the NVRPA of attempting “to turn a nature preserve into a theme park.”

The Donaldson Run Civic Association, which also opposes the plan, sent a letter last week asking the NVRPA to “press the ‘reset button'” on the park plan.

Both associations accused the NVRPA of giving residents an inadequate amount of time to respond to the proposed changes.

“It is unfortunate that the many users of Potomac Overlook were brought in at such a late point in the process,” said the Donaldson Run letter. “Arlington has a long tradition of engaging its residents when major decisions such as this one, come before a community.”

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a 67-acre park. Current amenities include “peaceful woodland, trails, educational gardens, a small picnic area,” a birds of prey facility and a nature center. The park also hosts summer concerts and summer camps.

Photo (bottom) via Potomac Overlook Preservation Association

  • Penny Lane

    What are the plans to keep owners from letting their dogs off leash?

  • Dog Walker

    what are the plans to keep dogs on leash?

    • A Dog

      Yeah all those vicious labs!!!

  • Concerned

    The revised plan, so-called Version 2.0, was not a scaled-back proposals. It just took out a couple of the building projects for the “near-term.”

  • Arlingtron

    There really should be an overlook of the Potomac or the park should change its name.

  • Cakes

    Christ, this county is full of busy bodies. Jeez.

    • Christ

      Cakes, I agree.

    • Park Lover

      Busybodies for not wanting huge tour buses full of kids to sit there spewing diesel fumes near their houses? Or are they busybodies for not wanting a well-loved nature preserved turned into some noisy, crowded theme park?

    • ARL

      Christ, this board is full of jerks who think good things just happen on their own.

      Next time you’re in a nice park, Cakes, remember that “busybodies” helped found it and protect it. And thank them.

  • Mary-Austin

    NVRPA might not want to use the term “shelter” if they want this to happen

  • South Awwlington

    The wealthiest of Arlington are grappling with zip lines and “peaceful woodland, trails, educational gardens, a small picnic area,” a birds of prey facility and a nature center.while those living in the heart of the County face homeless shelters, affordable housing, evaporating parking due to increased density.

    Venturing a guess that these folks are the ones chastising the Woodbury Heights CA for being uncaring and only concerned about their property values.


    • Still Concerned

      No, it is because the “increased density” of the County (one of the most populated in the country) that have made its citizens so upset with the plans of taking away the last public park of dense woods and trails and it being a nature sanctuary. The opponents involved are from across Arlington as well as Maryland and the District. It truly is a Regional Park as its use reflects.

    • Parks Lover

      I don’t live near either one, and I think both are terrible ideas.
      Why must everything be commercialized? Why must a nature preserve be noisy and have prescribed (and equipment-intensive) activities?
      We’ve lost so much of the woodlands in the County–to McMansions, townhouses, English Ivy–let’s hold onto this spot that so many enjoy.

      • speonjosh

        Why must a nature preserve be noisy? Possibly because it’s built within a few feet of a major highway and underneath the flight path of a busy airport?

        Translation: the proposed changes ain’t gonna ruin some pristine wilderness area. Don’t let the antis convince you otherwise.

        • Parks Lover

          You obviously haven’t spent much time there. It’s very tranquil. Yes, you might hear a distant airplane or the distant rush of the GW Parkway, but that’s far different from diesel buses idling 10 feet away.

          • acdc hack

            “You obviously haven’t spent much time there.”

            But that won’t stop him from commenting !!

          • speonjosh

            I’ve been there lots. I guess it depends on your frame of reference. Compared to the corner of Glebe and Fairfax, sure, it’s tranquil. Compared to an actual forest, it’s not.
            It’s an urban park. In the middle of a very densely populated urban area. Having some scouts come and camp every now and then is not a big deal.

            And would you please stop with the idling diesel buses?

          • DCBuff

            Josh, find us an “actual forest” in ArlCo, please, otherwise stop with the “urban park” please.

          • Josh S

            You expect an actual forest in Arlington? Or anywhere nearby? Huh?

          • DCBuff

            What I would expect is an accurate portrayal of what PORP is, as well as what it is not. Since you claim it is not an “actual forest,” show us where this actual forest exists in ArlCo. PORP is as close to an “actual forest” as anything in in ArlCo, contiguous with the GW Parkway and the Potomac, with a broad diversity of wildlife (or are those just “urban critters” to you?) that rely on PORP as part of an ecosystem that supports them. At least know what you are talking about if you are going to opine repeatedly on this topic.

        • ARL

          So you would be fine if we plowed it over and turned it into a parking lot, josh?

          • speonjosh

            What an absurd question. I think there are quite a few differences between a giant parking lot and the proposed changes.

        • bobbytiger

          And, don’t forget the large, albeit quiet, ferris wheel.

  • BlueSkies

    Can we add canoe trips on Donaldson Run?

  • Courthouse Resident

    They forgot to include a homeless shelter

  • Zimmerman

    What this place needs is a trolley! Everything is better with a trolley!!!


Subscribe to our mailing list