Trail Waiver# 2731-WTL-001-1:
Bush Hill Presbyterian Church

4916 Franconia Road

  Article Prepared By Robert Michie
Sidewalk and Trails Committee, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 26 April 2007
Revision 1.0


Bush Hill Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation. The Church has two worship services every Sunday, and considerable community service activities during the week. The Church also provides a Day School for children ages two to four. The church is expanding from 23,791 square feet  to 31,036 square feet by removing an existing 20' tall building in the back and replacing it with a 33' tall building. The applicant is required to provide an 8-foot wide Type 1 trail along its property frontage. Applicant’s request: To be allowed to use the existing 5' concrete sidewalk to satisfy the major paved trail requirement.

  1. The applicant considers the sidewalk adequate for bicycle use

  2. Expanding the Trail to eight feet wide forces reconfiguration of the front parking lot at a significant cost and hardship to the church.

[ Bush Hill Presbyterian Church ]

Map 1: Map of Subject Area


Franconia Road has sidewalks on its North and South sides for most of its four mile length. These sidewalks were constructed with widths varying from three feet ten inches to eight feet wide. The width in the vicinity of Bush Hill Presbyterian Church is three feet ten inches. The Church sits on the corner of Franconia Road and Jane Way. The sidewalk wraps around the corner and continues North on Jane Way, as well as continuing West on Franconia Road, with the same three foot ten inch width.

A sidewalk at this width is not adequate for bicycle use. It does not allow two bicycles to pass abreast, and it is hardly wide enough to allow two pedestrians to pass abreast, either.

On the other hand, the hardships claimed by the Church are self-evident. Photo 1 shows a mature shade tree that will certainly have to be removed to make way for a Type 1 Trail. A second tree, in the rear of Photo 1, may be impacted, too. Photo 2 shows one of three storm drains (installed by the County) that will have to be reconfigured to accommodate the Trail. Photo 2 also shows that the allotted space for sidewalks is not wide enough for a Type 1 Trail. The front parking lot would have to be completely redesigned to support the Type 1 Trail.

Field Check  18 March 2007

[ BHPC SIdewalk View ] Photo 1: Franconia Road, North Side, facing East. The Sidewalk segment is approximately 100 yards long.
Photo 2: Inside the Church parking lot, showing the location of a County storm drain. Widening the walk will overlap the drain.



Approve the Waiver on the following condition:

  1. Widen the sidewalk to five feet.
  2. Allow Bush Hill Presbyterian Church to maintain the current width in the vicinity of mature trees.



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