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  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 10:59 AM | Deleted user

    Nearly 40 years ago, the Dranesville District Supervisor addressed the February 1973 Pimmit Hills Citizens Association meeting. His talk could be given today:

    “Supervisor Phillips pointed out that the greatest problem in Fairfax County today is uncontrolled growth and development. He felt that since we do not have the legal means to stop all growth, a no-growth policy which is advocated by some groups in the county is unrealistic, and perhaps even unwise.

    He stated, however, that the control of growth and development is essential to the welfare of Fairfax County and that the County Board should strive to determine both the rate and the areas where growth should be permitted. Mr. Phillips feels that transportation problems are also of prime importance.”

    Also in the March 1973 Pimmit Hills Dispatch, the PHCA representative to the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations reported on the February 1973 seminar the Federation had on County growth. An excerpt:

    “Post World War II growth of the Washington suburbs led to the building of the beltway, and the beltway, in turn, led to much more intense growth and development in the suburbs. This new growth has made the extension of the Metro to the suburbs necessary, and after the Metro is completed it will lead to still more growth and development.

    Mr. Hanson warned that election of officials who want to stop growth is not enough since our social, legal, and financial institutions have a momentum of their own which elected officials are powerless to stop.

    The only really important constraint to growth is determined citizen opposition, but this usually comes too late, after the land is zoned, after building permits are issued, sometimes after construction has begun. What the County needs is to have condemnation and other legislative powers before things happen. Once development takes place it becomes semi-permanent.

    The problem of growth boils down to our ability to man, age growth. In the absence of a national or a state policy, the county must develop a growth policy which must be reviewed annually; and to be effective the policy must involve participation by and dialogue between government officials, concerned citizens and land developers.”

  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 10:06 AM | Deleted user
    Post-script to this previous post -- 1966: VDOT Says No to Traffic Lights at Route 7 and Pimmit Drive Intersection

    In the May 1973 Pimmit Hills Dispatch, it was announced that VDOT had finally approved installing a traffic light at the intersection of Route 7 and Pimmit Drive after over ten years of PHCA requesting them:

    On March 27 [1973], the Virginia Department of Highways in Richmond APPROVED the installation of a traffic signal at Pimmit Drive and Route 7. After several years of begging and pleading for this traffic signal, it almost seems appropriate to plan for ribbon cutting celebration. Please note that it will take several more months yet before the light is actually installed.”


  • Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:44 AM | Deleted user

    For those of you who have ever served on the board of the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association or any other similar organization, you'll find the following still true whether it is today, 10 years ago or 47 years ago. The perennial frustration of why Pimmit Hills residents don't attend PHCA meetings or participate with events, activities and projects in the community.

    From the PHCA "President's Corner" of the November 1965 issue of the Pimmit Hills Dispatch. The President was Carl Carver. 

    "Something is wrong. What is it? Why, from 1,600 homes in the community and a paid membership last year [1964] of 1,150 persons [2012 Note: WOW! 1,150 paid PHCA Memberships?], can we not get more than 25 person to a meeting of the citizens' association? And why do all the jobs have to be done by the same handful of people time after time after time?

    Worse, why do so many people not care about their homes or their neighbors of their community? The police officers who addressed the October [1965] meeting of the Association donated their time to speak to 25 people. This is anything but a source of pride to the Association or to the residents.

    We attempt to initiate a program to upgrade the Pimmit Hills public image, but fewer than 20% of the residents take the trouble to respond to to a questionnaire designed to provide a basis for a workable public relations scheme.

    These are the warning signs of a creeping complacency. It has happened in other communities. With this situation, the citizens' association will disintegrate. There will be no effective voice against undesirable zoning decisions, no positive force in seeking improvements for the community.

    Some associations within shouting distance have not held elections or even a meeting for more than two years.

    Where will these people be when the bowling alley is built in their backyards? You know as well as I where there will be--up the creek without a paddle.

    I'm told this kind of writing is going to make some people angry. I hope it does! I hope it makes them angry enough to do something about it.

    As a start, I suggest they can come out to the meeting and tell me how angry they are. Then they can continue coming on the first Tuesday of each month, taking a part in the meetings and working for Pimmit Hills.

    The Association's job is far from completed. The big push is just beginning in commercial construction around this sub-division and there is plenty to be done in other matters. We can do without the Association approximately as well as the County can do without the Board of Supervisors."

    Another item in that same issue from the meeting minutes:

    ". . . Mr. Carver then made the announcement that if a sufficient number of persons indicate their interest, the Association will put its weight into the effort and work for the installation of curbs and gutters."

    Hard to imagine now, but at that time, most of the roads in Pimmit Hills were dirt roads and there were hardly any sidewalks. The happy ending is that most people did want curbs and gutters in the road, the Association worked hard for many years on this project and now our cars don't sink in the mud and water when we drive after a rain storm.


  • Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:27 AM | Deleted user

    In the February 1966 issue of the Pimmit Hills Dispatch newsletter, it says that,

    "The Resident Engineer for the Department of Highways has replied to our [PHCA] request for installation of a traffic light at Pimmit Drive and Route 7, and our requrest for a left turn provision for the traffic light at Lisle Avenue and Route 7. It will be necessary that traffic studies be made to determine whether the traffic pattern warrants the facilities which we have requested. The Department of Highways has assured us that they will institute such surveys in the near future."

    Then in the September 1966, the PHCA received its answer: NO

    "The Virginia Department of Highways has completed another survey of the intersection at Route 7 and Pimmit Drive. There is still inadequate traffic to warrant installation of a light."

    Don't we wish there was "still inadequate traffic" on those roads!


  • Friday, February 17, 2012 3:40 PM | Deleted user

    A current issue in Pimmit Hills is the proposed redevelopment of the old milk barn property on Cherri Drive. I came across a photo of the barn from the 1950s when brand new little 'GI-Bill' houses were being built all around it in what was once farm land. See more photos of the Monahan's house in Pimmit Hills in the 1950s.

    Do you have photos of Pimmit Hills in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s? Let us know

  • Friday, February 17, 2012 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Regarding the previous post, the information about the Tysons Corner Plan in the November 1961 issue of the Pimmit Hills newsletter consisted of a map of the proposed plan and an item in the agenda for the November 7, 1961 Pimmit Hills Citizens Association meeting:

    A member of the Fairfax County Planning Staff will be present to discuss both the "Tyson Corner Area" Plan and the proposed development of the Magarity Road property. He will also have with him certain maps of the area for display.

    (Click on graphic to enlarge)

  • Friday, February 17, 2012 11:00 AM | Deleted user

    Sometimes issues that seem so important at the time take on a different meaning with the perspective of time. This blog, "Perspective" will excerpt articles and items from past Pimmit Hills Dispatch newsletters that show 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. People were dealing with similiar issues back then that we deal with today. And sometimes a bigger, longer perspective on things helps.

    This first entry comes from the January 1962 Pimmit Hills newsletter. The author, a Pimmit Hills resident, is very upset about a proposal to build apartments along Magarity Road, which he thinks will lead to "overcrowded schools, jammed roads, crowds at the proposed park and even more limited recreational facilities for all." He is very concerned about what will happen if the "population density is doubled." The same as our concerns today about the redevelopment of the McLean Commons apartments.

    Back in 1962, I believe the Tysons area was mostly farm land, woods and a store at the corner of Routes 7 and 123 but was just starting to be developed with apartments and office buildings. An interesting thing is that he talks about a new (and he puts it in quotes) "Tyson's Corner Plan" the that Fairfax County Planning Commission is working on. Where have we heard that before?

    Here is his article, from January 1962:


    by John Shacochis


    If you are looking for an answer to that question, then you must do something about it. It's going to take effort on the part of everyone in the area, if the pressure from the speculators is going to be reversed - not a lot of effort - just a 3 cent post card worth.


    If each household in the area sends a post card to the Fairfax County Planning Commission between now and January 18, we feel sure that we can make our desires receive some consideration.


    Of course, if you don't care, the alternatives are something you are not going to enjoy living with -- overcrowded schools, jammed roads, crowds at the proposed park, and even more limited recreational facilities for all.


    A committee of Pimmit Hills Civic Association members have been attending Planning Commission meetings for the past two months.


    We have watched development of the “Tyson's Corners Plan” which was printed in the No­vember issue of this Newsletter. This is the plan that will be aired publicly before the Commission on January 18th and 25th.


    We have been assured that the committee will be heard. However, our voices will be stronger if each of you invests five minutes of your time and a 3 cent postcard and requests that the plan which is adopted prohibit any apartments on Magarity Road.


    It is obvious that there is considerable pressure from developers to have the Commission approve apartment development in the area. We can't let that happen.


    We don't have to remind you how difficult it is now to get out of Pimmit Hills via Lisle Avenue or Magarity Road every time we have a snow storm. Can you imagine what it will be like if the population density is doubled?

    There are numerous zoning applications pending at the present time. They have been deferred until the Commission has had its public hearings on the "Tyson’s Corners Plan".


    There are others pending that would upset a proposed plan for development along Route 7. Both of these plans have a vital bearing on whether or not Pimmit Hills continues to be the pleasant place to live in that it is now, or becomes a boxed-in slum area.


    You can help prevent its deterioration. Get that post card into the mail today. Address it to: Chairman, Fairfax County Planning Commission, Fairfax County Court House, Fairfax, Va.



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