October 03, 2013
Dear Save Woodlawn Stables Supporters:
Save Woodlawn Stables (SWS) remains committed to the thousands of citizens advocating for the preservation of the Woodlawn estate and its equestrian history in our area. The community has made it exceedingly clear that it wants Woodlawn’s open meadows, pastures and barns to be preserved in order to continue sustaining its unique farm heritage that it has held for over 100 years. We wanted to provide you with an update on our latest efforts, report some positive news, and ask supporters to make a very important push with their local representatives.
SWS continues to be an official consulting party in Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) process on the Rt. 1 widening project. As so, we have been particularly active in the planning and design of the new barn facility on the property that the FHWA is proposing as part of the mitigation for the historic preservation and NEPA impacts. The FHWA proposed construction of new barns and a riding arena partially in response to the overwhelming public comments advocating the importance of preserving equestrian activities on the property. Upon completion of the mandated design meetings, all consulting parties, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), is in agreement to include the construction of the new barn and equestrian facility as an option as agreed to in the final Programmatic Agreement (PA) that was signed last September and approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
There is still three years left on the current lease for Woodlawn Stables. Road construction on the area affecting the stables is scheduled to begin most likely Fall 2014. When the State “takes” the land, the current lease is legally able to be broken if desired. Until then, legal issues make it difficult to say in advance what the parties will decide to do, but Scanlin Farms (Cindy Mitchell) has indicated that they will most likely move to another location rather than stay and move into the new barn until the end of their current lease, which is set to expire in 2016. Of course, we are very sad that Scanlin Farms and the NTHP will be ending their business partnership. Woodlawn Stables, as we know it, has been an iconic and beloved business in the community. It will forever be in the hearts of the many equestrians and local people that they have affected for over three generations. We will of course continue to support Ms. Mitchell and her business no matter what choices she makes in the future. When information becomes available regarding the new site for her business we will gladly update you all on that as well, her business is still active and we encourage everyone to use it to their full advantage while it is still at this location.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (Woodlawn’s owner) has been meeting and working very closely with SWS and other equine consultants about the needs and design for a future equine facility at Woodlawn through the consulting parties process. The NTHP is facing several important business decisions regarding the future and self-sustainability of the Woodlawn site. Thankfully, incorporating an equestrian site remains a very viable and fruitful option on the table. We believe a modern multi-use site plan maintaining Woodlawn history-based experiences, while incorporating and enhancing the Trust’s other partnerships is a win-win for the community, equestrians, NTHP, Arcadia and Neighborhood Restaurant Group. We are very encouraged by the feedback we are receiving from the National Trust as they continue to look at new business models for Woodlawn.
We are very pleased with the new design and plans that have been submitted to the FHWA for the new barn. (See attached PDF below to see the plans). The NTHP will be submitting a more detailed list of needs to run an equestrian facility on the remaining portion of the property to the FHWA soon.
We know this has been a long process requiring a lot of help from our supporters, but we’re very close to achieving our goal, even if it is a compromise from our initial vision of keeping the property entirely intact. We are in the final stages and we need your assistance more than ever. We can’t thank you enough for your activism and inspiration, we are so proud of how successful and credible you have made our organization. Below are the next vital steps to ensure that these new barn facilities are included as part of the mitigation for the historic preservation and NEPA impacts the road will make on the historic district and property.
Please email Congressman Moran or Connolly if they are your representative, Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland, your VA district Delegate and your two State Senators asking them to support the mitigation and rebuilding of the new barns on the property of Woodlawn Plantation. A list of your representatives and their email addresses are provided below and also here.
Your email can be short and simple, but the main points to make are the following:
· Tell your representative how important Woodlawn Stables has been to you and let them know you support building a new barn, as well as preserving and restoring Woodlawn’s open meadows and pastures to their intended purpose as an equestrian facility.
· Remind them that you are one of thousands of supporters that become actively involved in the public process on this issue by signing petitions, attending public meetings, writing your political representatives and submitting your comments to the FHWA and Fairfax County. As a citizen participating in this process, we wish our voices and opinions to be heard and considered.
· Let them know that you hope that the NTHP will work with the community to find economically feasible, multiuse solutions for Woodlawn Plantation that includes preserving Woodlawn’s equitation heritage.
· As you ask for their continued support, don’t forget to thank them for their past support for widening-in-place option, and their support for saving the stables. (See your local officials letters of support here.)As always, feel free to contact us through our Facebook page or email@example.com if you have any questions.
Mt Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland - firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman Jim Moran - Please send comments through Rep. Moran’s website at www.moran.house.gov
Congressman Gerry Connolly (Dist. 11) – Please send email through website www.connolly.house.gov
Del. Scott Surovell (44th Dist)- DelSSurovell@house.virginia.gov
Del. Dave Albo (42nd Dist) - Dave@DaveAlbo.com
Del. Mark Sickles (43rd Dist) - DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
State Senator Toddy Puller - email@example.com
State Senator Adam Ebbin - firstname.lastname@example.org
Those folks that live in Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay’s district, please also send an email through his website as well; McKay is on the BOS’s Transportation Committee. www.fairfaxcounty.gov/contact/mailform.aspx?ref=1012