It’s taken nearly 40 years to get there, but it appears as if the Arlington County government and Virginia Department of Transportation are set to sign an agreement setting out parameters for Gateway Park in Rosslyn.
Since the 1980s, the county government has maintained the park – located on a plate above Interstate 66 between North Nash and North Lynn streets. But despite a 99-year agreement between the two sides that was proposed in the 1980s, no formal document was ever inked. The Arlington government nonetheless has maintained the park without opposition from VDOT.
The proposal set to go to County Board members on Dec. 11 would be 50-year agreement in which the state government retains ownership of the park but Arlington garners formal authority to provide “significant future investments” in its upkeep and upgrade.
(Perhaps signaling that the county government wants to sell naming rights to the parcel, the agreement allows for the park to be renamed by Arlington officials, with VDOT consent.)
In order to comply with a 2015 advisory opinion by the state attorney general’s office, VDOT cannot merely lease the park space to the county, but must instead issue a land-use permit, which is part of the agreement between the two parties. Arlington will not be charged by the state government for the privilege of park usage.