The underutilized Harbor Drive Commuter Parking Lot at the intersection of Minnieville Road and Harbor Drive is slated to become a public park, according to Prince William County officials.
Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, whose district includes the 2.5-acre commuter lot, said work on the park should begin this fall, and will include exercise equipment, a large pollinator garden and open space for parks programing.
"There's going to be a trail with a big greenspace in the middle. On that trail around the greenspace, there will be workout type of equipment that you would find at other fitness trails,” Anderson said. “There's also going to be playground equipment for all ages. It going to be universal equipment, so even children with disabilities and seniors, who might have trouble walking, will be able to use some of this equipment.”
The county has $700,000 to get started on building the $1.2 million park but is looking for grants to help make up the difference, Anderson said. Kaiser Permanente awarded the county a $50,000 to complete the design for the park and cover the cost of consultants and community meetings.
Now that the property will no longer be used as a commuter lot and will be designated as park space, the Board of County Supervisors must notify the Virginia Department of Transportation of its action and hold public hearings about the proposed land use. Robert Boyd, the project manager for the park development, said the Virginia Department of Transportation favors the transaction.
"County Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism staff have been in contact with VDOT throughout this process and VDOT is amenable to the abandonment and the project. The commuter lot at 13030 Harbor Drive has become a maintenance issue for VDOT as well as being redundant since the opening of the commuter lot at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Minnieville Road,” Boyd said.
Anderson said there have been several public hearings with neighbors and local HOAs, and everyone seems to be on board with the park that will replace the commuter lot.
"If you've got a lot of pavement sitting there for no good reason, it's good for the environment to turn it into park space," Anderson said.