TYSONS CORNER, Va. (WUSA) - The last substantial green space in Tysons Corner is under threat of development. Thirty-three acres of woods and a stream compose both Courthouse Spring Branch Park and Ragland Park.
"It's a chipping away of the woods, and before you know it, they'll be gone. And once they're gone, they're gone," said Tom Salvetti, who regularly walks his dog Kelsey through the woods. The large, narrow slice of nature serves as nice buffer between the commercial development along Route 7 in Vienna and the residential neighborhoods.
The massive Tysons redevelopment plan will make the area more dense with high rises around the Metro-rail, bringing 100-thousand new residents. Transportation planners trying to prevent gridlock want to build another exit from the Dulles Toll to Boone Boulevard, which will be extended.
And one of three preferred options for the ramp is Option 3... which cuts right through the park.
Pam Konde, president of the Greater Tysons Green Civic Association, says Option 3 should have never been considered because it goes against the county's comprehensive plan. She says it would be detrimental to the environment, hurt the watershed here and take away a wonderful resource for neighbors and nearby office workers.
Plus, Konde says, it violates the promises made to dozens of families who deeded their property to the county years ago.
Cap Oliver's wife's family deeded 18 acres for the park back in 1978. He lives next to the park and says he's upset the county would think about paving over any part of the park.
The Fairfax County Park Authority is also opposed to Option 3, and so is Chairman Sharon Bulova.
"I agree with the residents. However, when we are seeking federal funding for transportation, we are required to consider as many options as are feasible," said Bulova.