Six development plans for a proposed 77-acre regional park in Alexandria's Cameron Valley will be presented at a public hearing Monday night at Fairfax County's Edision High School.
At present, the six proposals all have an educational focus. The major themes include aquatics, art, energy, outdoors, transportation and wilderness.
Consultants studying the site along the Beltway will choose among the plans and recommend a single theme for the park, with a final public hearing scheduled for Jan. 7. The proposed park is a project of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Last year, the Park Authority approved the concept of creating an urban park in Alexandria but delayed a final decision until a consultant could be hired to help clarify two major issues: the kind of park that should be developed and the impact that Alexandria's controversial plan to put a four-lane industrial road through the area would have on the park.
Alexandria bought the land for a city park in Cameron Valley, but offered it to the Park Authority if the authority would develop it. The Park Authority has earmarked up to $1 million in its five-year budget for creation of a major urban park and has long considered Cameron Valley the most likely location.
The park site is part of the huge $35 million to $50 million Cameron Valley flood control project, the most expensive public construction project in the city's history.
A regional outdoor tennis complex in Cameron Valley was the first idea considered by park planners, but no courts are included in plans now being considered by consultants. The consultants -- the VVKR Partership, of Alexandria, and M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, of the District, now are preparing a $35,000 study of the options.
Five of the six plans call for no major outdoor or indoor sports facilities. The only exception is the suggested aquatic center, which would consist of indoor pools and possibly practice canoeing or fish casting areas on a small lake created by the flood-control project.
However, a similar facility is being constructed by the Fairfax County Park Authority just two miles away, alongside the Mount Vernon Ice Rink on Fort Hunt Road.
Besides the aquatic center, other possible park uses being considered are:
An urban wilderness, where most of the area dug up by bulldozers to rechannel Cameron Run would be allowed to return to a natural state.
An energy park-museum with displays or demonstrations of windmills and a solar, nuclear and other energy systems.
An art park, with artists' studios and indoor and outdoor show areas.
A transportation park-museum, specializing in automobiles and trains.
A "teaching-learning center" with a nature center and areas where outdoor skills such as rock-climbing and horseback riding could be taught.
The hearing Monday will begin at 8 p.m. at Edison High School, 5801 Franconia Road.