Schools-Related Parcels (Planning Opportunity Area 8)
The Schools-Related Parcels Planning Opportunity Area (POA) is named after a portion of the 2013 Boundary Adjustment that covers the approximately 34 acres at the corner of Leesburg Pike and Haycock Road. This area currently is occupied by George Mason High School and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. The name "Schools-Related Parcels" has been taken from the legal documents created during the 2013 Boundary Adjustment, and distinguishes the area from other land gained by the City as a result of the agreement.
Purpose & Previous Planning
The purpose of the Schools-Related Parcels POA Small Area Plan (SAP) will be to provide a framework for the approximately ten acres available for immediate economic development in accordance with the 2013 Boundary Adjustment. Some work toward this goal has already been done through a ULI Technical Assistance Panel and Falls Church City Public Schools. In addition, a Campus Joint Process Planning Committee was established by City Council in 2014 to map out the planning and process for coordination, collaboration, and expert guidance. Once that Committee's work was complete, the Campus Joint Steering Committee formed to work with City and School staff to help guide the overall planning effort and provide recommendations to and facilitate coordinated decisions by the two governing bodies of the School Board and City Council.
The site in consideration is referred to as the "Schools-Related Parcels" in the 2013 Boundary Adjustment agreement between the City of Falls Church and Fairfax County titled, "Voluntary Boundary Adjustment Agreement By and Between the City of Falls Church, Virginia, and Fairfax County, Virginia" adopted by Falls Church City Council resolution TR13-13 on April 22, 2013 and approved by voter referendum on November 5, 2013. On December 13, 2013 a Special Court appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court approved the voluntary boundary adjustment agreement that brought 38.4 acres from the jurisdiction of Fairfax County into the jurisdiction of the City of Falls Church. The property is owned by both the City and the City School Board, with 24.8 acres of the parcel owned by the School Board, and the remaining 10 acres owned by the City of Falls Church. The Schools-Related Parcels area is the larger of two areas transferred to the City in the adjustment, it is 34.8 acres. The stipulations of the agreement for the Schools-Related Parcels are as follows:
"At least 70% of the acreage . . . shall be used for school purposes for a period of at least 50 years . . . Up to 30% of the total acreage . . . may be used for any lawful purpose . . ."
The agreement allows up to 10.4 acres of the site to be used for economic development. The site is bounded approximately by Leesburg Pike (Rt. 7), Haycock Road, and Falls Church Drive (an unsigned Metro access road). It is located adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro Station to the east of the site and exit 66 from Interstate 66 to the west of the site. The site currently contains Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and George Mason High School, as well as recreational fields and parking lots related to the schools. The Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Center is adjacent to the properties at the corner of Falls Church Drive and Haycock Road. A large parking lot is also adjacent to the site.