Plans for a skating rink at the Mosaic District put on hold indefinitely

The Mosaic District’s roller rink in summer 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Mosaic District is hanging up its roller and ice skating plans — at least for now.

The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) agreed Wednesday (June 14) to indefinitely defer Rink Management Services Corporation’s request for a special permit that would allow it to operate a skating rink in the Merrifield neighborhood on a seasonal basis.

This is the sixth deferral of a decision on the application since the board held a public hearing on July 13.

“This case has been a bit of a moving target,” said Brent Krasner with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development. “…At this point, after conversations with the applicant, I think they are reevaluating their plans for these types of activities, both the winter ice skating and summer roller skating activities. Essentially, their plans are not settled yet, and so they agreed that an indefinite deferral was the best route.”

First submitted back in April 2022, the proposal from Rink Management and EDENS — the developer that owns the Mosaic District — sought to turn the Mosaic Skateland roller rink that popped up during the past two summers into an annual occurrence.

Going forward, roller skating would be provided for 90 days each year from April to the end of June. During the winter months, an ice skating rink would be provided instead.

The operator estimated that the rink would draw approximately 15,000 skaters each season, according to the application.

However, at the public hearing, community members raised concerns about noise, traffic and access to their homes, and the BZA suggested the applicants’ public outreach efforts were insufficient.

Earlier this year, county staff confirmed to the BZA that Mosaic Skateland wasn’t going to return this summer, but Rink Management and EDENS left open the possibility of ice skating. Now, that has also been taken off the table.

“If they decide they’re going to go ahead this winter, they would let us know and reactivate [the application] — or next spring for example — but at this point, they don’t have any immediate plans,” Krasner said.