Not a fan
Stonefield is a mistake ["On set at Stonefield: They built it, but will people come?" August 15]. Bigger is not better, as wise people have always known, and another shopping center in this community is overkill. It adds nothing to the quality of life. Those of us who protested the Stonefield development were concerned about this issue and others, such as traffic patterns and congestion, soil erosion, water runoff, and losing local merchants and businesses to yet more national chains.
Our first glimpse of the disaster-in-the-making was the clear-cutting of all vegetation and eliminating all trees, especially the large ones. One of the hallmarks of good new development in other parts of the country has been the realization by developers that trees can be saved and will add much to the ambience of new construction. It costs a little more, but it’s worth it. Saving big trees makes a statement. It says the developers care. Trees soften the harsh lines of new buildings and create a pleasant atmosphere where strolling and shopping is encouraged. They add to the cleanliness of the air and help eliminate toxic fumes. This doesn’t happen with concrete pots of little flowers.
Stonefield is ugly, and with the exception of Trader Joe's, is redundant. Most of the stores are vacant. The streets are narrow and hard to navigate. There is inadequate parking. Signage is non-existent and, as predicted, entrance and exit is difficult, especially on Hydraulic Road. With so much concrete and so little beauty, it looks greedy, as if someone said, “Let’s squeeze every inch out of this space. Who cares about all that other stuff? Let’s make our money fast and move on.”
Stonefield is one more copycat example of northern Virginia. It should never have been allowed. Is it really adding anything to this community? I will wait and see. But I won’t hold my breath.