Guest post by Allison K. and Chris P.
While there have been no new developments built in the Westgate/Sudley area for 25 years, the PWC School Board is proposing that a new elementary school be built at Stonewall Middle School where the track and the bus lot stand today. For a link to the Planning Staff Report, click here.
There are three elementary schools in Westgate and Sudley that are all less than a mile apart – Westgate, Sinclair, and Sudley. Westgate is two short blocks away from the proposed new elementary school, Sinclair is approximately four blocks away, and Sudley is approximately 6 blocks away.
Lomond Drive will be home to a new turning lane and likely a new stoplight, and student drop off/access points will be located on King George Drive in Westgate and Brandon Way in Sudley. The Planning Staff will let VDOT determine if stoplights need to be installed on Sudley Manor Drive and Lomond Drive. This proposed school would impact the Level of Service on Lomond Drive. Additionally, there is a gross tonnage weight restriction for trucks on Lomond Drive.
So why haven’t you heard about the plan to put an elementary school at Stonewall Middle School? Because the law dictates that only property owners within 200 feet of the school property line be advised of the County’s plans. A plan of this scale impacts the entire community!
The Planning Commission has the power to say NO to this project. All those interested in stopping this elementary school need to contact the PWC Board of Supervisors (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), the PWC School Board (e-mail MJOHNS@pwcs.edu; GLATTIN@pwcs.edu; BCOVINGTON@pwcs.edu; LBELL@pwcs.edu; MOTAIGBE@pwcs.edu; DRAMIREZ@pwcs.edu; DRICHARDSON@pwcs.edu; GTRENUM@pwcs.edu), and the PWC Planning Commission (http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=040073003100005693).
There is a final hearing of the Planning Commission on April 7, 2010, at 7 p.m., at The James J. McCoart Building in the PWBOCS Board Chambers; 1 County Complex Ct ; Prince William, VA 22192
We are preparing a list of drawbacks and comments for the Planning Commission, a few of which are identified below:
SJVFD is currently at 156% capacity. The Planning Staff Report says a new school with 850 students (don’t forget the teachers and administrative staff as well) would have no significant impact on SJVFD.
This proposed school would benefit few, if any, students from the Westgate and Sudley communities. The one development plan (Portsmouth Station) that may have created additional housing units on the eastern side of 234 has been withdrawn. New development and overcrowded schools are on the western side of 234, where any proposed school should be located.
The School Board should consider a possible land swap or purchase with the PWCBOS or PWCPA. The site at SMS is 1.8 acres short of the required 60 acres, with another 1.25 acres on a large hill which is unusable. The total acreage does not meet the county standard for minimum land acreage for this proposed school site. In addition, there is an eighty foot wide NOVEC easement that runs between the two parcels for this plan (this is contrary to the Comprehensive Plan).
The best solution would be to find a new site that would better serve the area of growth. Elementary schools should be in the neighborhoods they serve.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.