Supervisor McKay Hosts Lee District Open House
Supervisor Sharon Bulova and State Senator George Barker were in attendance
Three years ago, the Lee District community was outraged over the growing number of boarding houses, a crime-ridden Springfield Mall and the transportation implications of thousands of federal workers moving to the area. The issues remain, but on Saturday, the annual Lee District Open House gave elected officials and the community a chance to pat the back of District Supervisor Jeff McKay (D). After McKay’s short speech, some waited for more than 20 minutes in line to speak with him.
“Most folks have come here to simply say thank you for something small we’ve done in the community," McKay said. "People are happy and hearing that gives me the energy to keep going. Our code enforcement folks have real teeth to be fair but aggressive… My daughter is three and Springfield Mall development is going to happen as soon as she gets into kindergarten.
"I want to see it return to its former glory, to be a safe, clean and inviting place where you can go and be entertained. And I’m glad that we’re going to beat Landmark Mall at redevelopment.”
Linda Bond is the President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 7327 Ladies Auxiliary. “It’s a shame that you can’t go to the mall," she said. "I’m very uncomfortable with going there – and it used to be the mall to go to.
"And with the boarding houses, it’s better but it’s still there. I know, across the street from where I live, you see the paint trucks and all the cars and there’s no way one family lives there.”
It was McKay’s fourteenth Open House since he began working as Chief of Staff to former Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman. Elected in 2007, he runs for reelection this year. McKay is the Board’s representative on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the chair of the Board’s Legislative and Transportation Committees and liaison with the General Assembly.
“These responsibilities are what he does in addition to helping people live, work, play and enjoy their lives in Lee District,” said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “This is an election year, and a redistricting year and it’s going to be a challenging year. And guess what? Jeff is going to be the chair of the Redistricting Committee.
“There’s some tremendous development opportunity in Lee District that I think will start to be realized this year up and around the old Springfield Mall and I also look forward to working with Jeff in addressing the Kingstown Dam issue, which needs to be resolved,” Bulova said.
Rodney Lusk, former Lee District Planning Commissioner, was at the Open House. “In terms of development, we [Lee District] are one of the hottest development areas in Fairfax County,” he said. “I think the District is doing fine. It’s had great leadership with Jeff.”
In the last year, many of the District’s rundown buildings were demolished. “On Old Keene Mill Road, the blighted Chi Chi’s, Shoney’s, Circuit City and Kinko’s, every single one of these buildings was demolished,” McKay said. “The old Long John Silver's is going to be torn down next month. We’re going to put in a hotel, a retail center with restaurants, a Panda Express and a much needed commuter lot.”
As far as boarding houses: “It will always be a problem, but the job of local government is to track down illegal behavior and protect our neighborhoods,” McKay said.