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Tree Preservation at Lake Ridge Park and Golf Course: Talking Points


· Increased commercialization of this site would alter its current community character. Lake Ridge Park's golf course is not made for professionals; rather, it is a community-based course for amateurs.

· The driving range is poorly designed for the very program it aims to support. The planned configuration and available driving distance would not accommodate the average 15-year old participant. This would result in excessive netting and intrusion on the adjoining uses, including private property owners bordering the park.

· The Park Authority's 2002 survey shows that residents feel Prince William's primary recreational need is additional nature trails and green open spaces. The Park Authority's proposal for Lake Ridge Park directly contradicts citizen responses.

· The driving range would eliminate a well-used community nature and hiking area that meets citizens identified needs, resulting in decreased quality of life conditions for area residents.

· Prince William needs additional opportunities for ALL youth, not just those from more affluent communities. Program goals targeting 'at risk' youth would fall short because the Lake Ridge Park location is inconvenient to communities where large percentages of this population live.

· Lights could be added to the facility in the future, causing additional intrusion into a local community park. Park Authority information shows that lights are not planned at the current time.


· No cost benefit analysis has been provided whatsoever. There is no evidence that the driving range will be self-sustaining in terms of the revenue it generates.

· Opportunities to partner with existing facilities, such as the 275-yard driving range currently being constructed within a five-minute drive of Lake Ridge Park, have not been explored.

· No information on long-term maintenance costs or proposed funding sources to ensure adequate maintenance has been provided. The current facilities at Lake Ridge Park are already in serious need of maintenance.

· The proposed driving range would eliminate a minimum of 3.5 acres of trees, replace forested ground cover with compacted soils and grass. This would alter the natural flow of water through the site, eliminate a natural stormwater buffer and also create additional stormwater runoff. Mitigation would require the addition of constructed stormwater facilities. No information on these costs has been provided.


· The Park Authority has not studied or reviewed environmental impacts as part of their planning process. Nor has information on compliance with existing environmental regulations or mitigation requirements been provided.

· The removal of a minimum of 3.5 acres of trees along the Occoquan Reservoir and land disturbances during construction would have a direct adverse impact on this public drinking water supply.

· The removal of the minimum of 3.5-acre woods would result in habitat loss, displacing wildlife and eliminating important migrating bird habitat.

· The shortage of comparable habitat conditions and the rapidly vanishing canopy coverage in the surrounding area adds to the conservation value of this wooded tract. There is no comparable location in this area to relocate the birding, hiking and other nature explorations available at this site.

· Government efforts that protect Prince William's visual beauty, natural resources and drinking water supply are needed. Elimination of this 3.5-acre wooded area along the Occoquan Reservoir would set a poor example for residential and commercial landowners in the area.

· Over 80% of Prince William public water users receive their water from the Occoquan Reservoir. Construction of a driving range at this site along the Reservoir would set a poor precedent for stewardship of public lands by local government entities.