Members of the Board of Supervisors appointed four new planning commissioners this month to begin serving on the 12-member commission.
The Planning Commission advises the Board of Supervisors on all matters related to land use in Fairfax County, a particularly busy time right now reviewing redevelopment along the Silver Line. The commission holds public hearings, often multiple times a week, and often brings together residents, developers and county planners to work through concerns and conflicts.
This includes the location and character of public facilities; amendments to the Comprehensive Plan; amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, the Public Facilities Ordinance, and the Subdivision Ordinance; rezonings and special exceptions; approvals of final development plans; and also sometimes advises the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Each of the nine supervisory districts has a representative, and three members are appointed at-large. Planning commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors for four-year terms on a staggered basis.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Catherine Hudgins appointed John Carter to replace Frank de la Fe as the Hunter Mill District Planning Commission. De la Fe, the vice chairman of the commission, served as the Hunter Mill planning commissioner since 2001. The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations named him 2001 and 2012 Citizen of the Year.
“Commissioner de la Fe has been involved with every major task force and committee dealing with planning and land use,” said Hudgins. “His strength has been an ability to hear all sides of an issue and come to a decision that best serves the community and Fairfax County.
“Most significantly, he worked with the Planning Commission on the approvals to bring rail to the Dulles Corridor that has changed the culture from a rural/suburban area to a vibrant urban district,” she said.
Carter was a former chief of community-based planning in Montgomery County, Md., overseeing the county’s master plan and development review processes, and has more than 35 years experience as a planner, urban designer and architect, according to Hudgins. Carter has a Master of Planning degree from the University of Virginia; a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction from Arizona State University.
“Mr. Carter has lived in the Hunter Mill District for over 44 years and has extensive community involvement. I believe Mr. Carter is an excellent choice for this position,” said Hudgins.
SHARON BULOVA appointed Mary Cortina in November to replace Janyce Hedetniemi as an at-large member.
Cortina currently serves as vice chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board. She grew up in West Springfield in the 1970s, said Bulova.
Cortina is a graduate of George Mason University with a B.S. in Business, majoring in Decision Sciences/Management Information Systems and Marketing. She also attended the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C.
MOUNT VERNON Supervisor Dan Storck appointed Walter C. Clarke to replace Earl Flanagan on April 18, 2018.
Clarke is a current co-chairman of the EMBARK Richmond Highway Advisory Group and played a substantive role in the revisions to the Mount Vernon Comprehensive Plan, according to Storck.
“The selection of Mr. Clarke as the next commissioner is a natural next step in his service to the Mount Vernon District,” said Storck.
Clarke is also vice president at Burke & Herbert Bank and has lived in the Mount Vernon Community for more than 15 years.
Current Planning Commissioner Earl Flanagan “has agreed to work closely with Mr. Clarke over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of upcoming matters and continued support, as needed,” said Storck. “[Flanagan] provided invaluable direction in land use cases for the District. As a steadfast leader in our community, he is highly respected for his in-depth knowledge of zoning, as well as his ability to work with community leaders, individual residents, working groups and builders.”
SULLY DISTRICT planning commissioner remains vacant after Karen Keys-Gamarra announced her resignation effective Oct. 25, 2017. Keys-Gamarra won a special election in August to fill the at-large School Board seat vacated by Jeanette Hough.
THE OTHER planning commissioners are:
Peter Murphy, chairman, Springfield District, appointed December 1982 (appointed by Marie Travesky), current term expires December 2018
Jim Hart, at-large, appointed Jan. 2004 (Gerry Connolly), term expires December 2019
Tim Sargeant, at-large, appointed January 2007 (Connolly), term expires December 2018
John Ulfelder Dranesville, appointed December 2013 (John W. Foust), December 2020
Ellen Hurley, Braddock, appointed December 2011 (John Cook), December 2019
Julie Strandlie, Mason, appointed December 2014 (Penny Gross), December 2018
James Migliaccio, Lee, sworn in July 2010 (Jeff McKay), December 2019
Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, Providence, 2017 (Linda Smyth).