The Alexandria City Council this week unanimously endorsed the concept of a 79-acre park in the Cameron Valley section of the city to be developed and run by the Southern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Under the concept, which is expected to be officially approved in several months, a velodrome (bicycle racing arena), two soccer fields, a nature area and bicycle paths will be developed. In addition, a covered swimming pool will be built within five years, and a small lake, stocked with fish, will also be developed.
The regional park will become the largest park in the city. The area currently is undeveloped and lies in a flood plain.
The council also approved a two-lane road through the area, with the potential for its expansion to four lanes if necessary.
Under the arrangement, the city will eventually turn over land to the regional park authority, but will retain the right to manage the two soccer fields on behalf of the 2,000 Alexandria school children who play on 125 teams in the city.
The park authority has already appropriated $1 million for the development of the regional park, a spokesman said. The city currently pays $450,000 to the regional authority for the maintentance of its other area parks.
The Cameron Valley area, in the southern section of the city near the Beltway, is one of the last large stretches of open land in the city. Planners expect extensive development of both a commercial and residential nature. The area is adjacent to the upcoming Eisenhower Avenue metro station.