Kings Landing Development Plans
Kings Landing was to be created by L.K.H. INC. as a planned community of suburban housing for up to 20,000 people, which would have drastically changed the landscape of Mason Neck[i]. Kings Landing would have taken a lot of waterfront property. Bald eagles create their nests by the water and the construction would have limited the breeding population's land resource. The proposition for Kings Landing caused major push back from the community, especially community leader Elizabeth Hartwell and was a catalyst for the establishment for the Wildlife Refuge.
The 1962 master building plan for Kings Landing would have cut through the middle of Mason Neck and Kane’s Creek. It shows that either side of the unmarked areas of Mason Neck would have been disconnected from each other. Also, 450 acres of the Great Marsh would have been lost to the build; the Great Marsh is a wetland that supports an assortment of species including amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, and plants[i].
The 1965 Kings Landing master building plan shows how the build would have been divided up between different housing styles and other recreational activities. The master building plan shows how the natural landscape would be completely altered with the construction because of townhouses, estates, apartments, business center, marina and a giant golf course in the center.
In 1964 the developers filed a request for a sewage treatment plant with the state water control board[ii]. The plant would have allowed the steps to be able to start construction. The request inspired many nature enthusiasts, including Elizabeth Hartwell, to start writing letters to officials, rallying, and objecting to the construction because they feared for the wellbeing of Mason Neck. In 1967 the Nature Conservancy became involved due to the public outcry and purchased the Kings Landing development along with other potential developments for $3.94 million[iii]. Without enough land, Kings Landing couldn't be built and the Department of the Interior was able to later purchase the land from the Nature Conservancy in 1969 to establish the refuge[iv].
[i]Townsend, Safe Landing. 8
[ii] Townsend, Safe Landing. 8
[iii]Townsend, Safe Landing. 51
[iv]Townsend, Safe Landing. 5