Supervisor Hyland Cries Foul Over Bureau of Land Management's Progress on Meadowood Barn
"I've never seen anything quite like this before," he told Patch.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland is frustrated over the length of time it has taken for the Bureau of Land Management to make a decision regarding the redevelopment of the horse stables at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton.
"I've never seen anything quite like this before," said Hyland to Patch. "This process is not the way it should work, but I'm a patient person. As long as we get the right result, then that's ok."
BLM, which owns the barn, closed the comment period on the Environmental Assessment of the 40-year-old structure last July, and their decision has been expected for months. The bureau recently released a note on its website saying that the announcement of a decision was being pushed back 30 days, but gave no indication of when that deadline was up.
Critics of the 42-page report say that the three development options outlined by BLM could shut down three horse-related businesses at the barn. There is a chance that the remaining horses boarded at the barn would not remain on site during construction, and as a result, could jeopardize cash flow for the businesses.
BLM did not respond to Patch's inquiries.
"Its frustrating," said Hyland. "It's taken an inordinate length of time to get from point A to point B, and how can they explain a process where they were going to make substantial changes to the barn without a process, and then when we objected, all of a sudden we have a substantial process that gets put in place and takes us all of this time to get to a final decision, which still hasn't been made formally, but I trust I know what it is."
Virginia Congressmen Jim Moran (D-8th) and Gerry Connolly (D-11th) sent a joint letter to BLM last summer requesting that horses remain at the aging barn during its renovation, thereby allowing three horse-related businesses to remain in business. The letter was sent to the State Director of the Eastern States Office and asked BLM to scale back the scope of repairs in order to lessen the impact on the animals.
Hyland said that BLM has given his office indications that repairs will be conducted with the animals remaining in the barn. "That final decision, although they have not announced it, they certainly have been forthcoming that that's the direction they want to go in, that they want to do what the community wants them to do," he said.
Hyland has no meeting set up with BLM to discuss the barn. "We don't have a formal meeting set up, and there's no reason until they have something to tell me," he said. "When they are ready to lay a final decision on the table, then obviously we'll have a meeting to discuss the implementation."
Click here to read more from Patch's coverage of The Stables at Meadowood situation.