The Madeira School's Prudence

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Friday, September 12, 2008

As a parent of a student at the Madeira School, I was offended by the Sept. 9 Metro headline "Elite Setting's Property Debate." If student safety is an "elite" concern, I'm glad to belong to an "elite" group, a matter that was never a consideration while I was choosing Madeira for my daughter.

Fairfax County wants to build a trail using part of the school's Potomac riverfront property, which is pristine and secluded. Using part of the property for a public trail would compromise the safety of students as well as the environment. Across the country, there is concern about school safety, but this does not seem to be a concern for county officials, although a Madeira girl was killed in the wooded area of the school by an intruder in 1973. The school has allowed space for a trail along its border with Georgetown Pike, but that trail has not been built.

Finally, the Madeira land is private property, and there is no dearth of trails and parks in Fairfax County.

ALAKANANDA BAGCHI

Great Falls

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It seems to me that Fairfax County should have exercised better foresight in its attempts to complete a 100-mile trail accessible to the public by not assuming that landowners would be delighted to hand over their property to the county just because doing so would make them "good" neighbors.

Thank goodness this is not a communist country where everything is owned by the state. The Madeira School should stand firm on its rights as a property owner.

The county needs to back off and respect landowner rights.

CHRISSY KEYS HEARD

Brookeville


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