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National Trust Will Consider 'All Options' for Woodlawn Stables Land

The future of the Woodlawn Stables property will be determined by the Trust.

After the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced it will not renew Woodlawn Stables’ lease after it expires in 2016, the Trust has decided to consider all options for the land.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will honor Woodlawn Stables’ lease through its expiration in 2016. This announcement was made weeks before the alternative bypass option for the widening of Richmond Highway was passed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Once the effects on the Richmond Highway widening project on Woodlawn are better understood, the NTHP will consider potential uses for the property. This would include proposals from public and private parties, National Trust spokesperson Jessica Pumphrey told Patch.

“The National Trust decided not to renew the current lease of Scanlin Farms, a for-profit business, that expires in 2016 because the lease is not sustainable and extending it would not be a sound business decision,” Pumphrey said. "We are focused on Woodlawn’s future as a vibrant historic site, which includes consideration of all options for this land.”

According to the Trust, the Woodlawn Stables land would be obtained by the government under eminent domain and a strip of land would be taken for the highway, along with land for the storm water management ponds.

“To ensure permanent public use of one of the area’s few remaining open spaces and potential public parklands, the National Trust would be willing to consider options from the county or state to purchase the southern parcel of our property,” Pumphrey said.

Arcadia Farm has had a working relationship with the National Trust for the last several years. The Trust requested Arcadia present a plan detailing how they will utilize Woodlawn in the next few years. According to the trust, the plan presented by Arcadia is flexible enough to incorporate the southern parcel of land for new agricultural-related uses, but the Trust has not made any recommendations or selections regarding whether they will open the process up to businesses.

The Woodlawn Plantation and Pope-Leighey House are financially sound, according to the Trust. The National Trust has invested in site improvements including a comprehensive restoration project for the mansion’s wood windows. This project will be completed later this year. In addition, the Trust is also performing masonry repairs on the walls of Woodlawn and the 19th century dairy structure on the property, and electrical repairs at Woodlawn were completed this year.

Robbie McNeil September 25, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I heard in May from a legislative aide on Jim Moran's staff that the plan was to have a restaurant on the side of the highway where the Stables are. It seems that the Trust has known what it intended to do for quite a while. It also seems clear that the Trust has not been honest in its public statements, has not been a "fair broker" in its negotiations, and has no interest in preserving the equestrian heritage of the open space it's owned for 60 years. The Trust has proved that it's untrustworthy. Someone should investigate this.
Cynthia Sloan September 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Traffic circles are proven ways to reduce traffic congestion along with reduced construction and maintenance costs. And more importantly, less demand on the environment and land use. Has anyone heard this option in the discussion?
Paul MacDonald September 25, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Cynthia and Autumn have it right. In my opinion this all comes down to money. What I don't like about it, the "Money" is hiding behind a "non-profit", self billed altruistic organization that has self fulfilling motives. To high light what a non-profit business organization is just look at Mitre Corporation in McLean. There 2011 total revenues - $1.389 Billion Dollars. What is a non-profit? An organization that is prohibited by the Federal Government from paying their Board of Directors and they get special tax treatment. Non-profit businesses make plenty of money and make sure their leadership teams are highly compensated. Cindy and her team at the "for profit" Woodlawn Stable are just trying to make a living and to share their joy of riding and horses. As I have said on my Facebook posts, our next fight will be when Arcadia and the Trust petition to have the land rezoned for development purposes.
PennyP September 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Who can you Trust? Not the National Trust, that's for sure. More lies. If the property is so "financially sound" why are they begging for funds on their own website for "urgently needed restoration projects"? Why do they note funding and the need to repurpose the entire site in order to make it viable? And more to the point, why do they think the rest of us are so stupid that we don't go their own website and see that the organization talks out of both sides of its mouth? http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/woodlawnpope-leighey
Autumn Clayton September 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM
The people that work and run the National Trust are trying to make a living - they get paid right? So again why are they demonizing the Mitchell's for earning a living as well? Scanlin Farms might be "for profit" (which you can call EVERY OTHER BUSINESS) but trust me, CIndy is not rolling up and down route 1 in a gold plated Mercedes or using an Hermes saddle. She like every other person is making a living - the difference is that she herself creates jobs and has been a true custodian of that land - unlike anyone up there at the plantation. And right in the middle of all of this she loses her mother and business partner - so lay off, your point is moot. We get it, you don't care about people. Well dead people maybe.

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