RA Board to Vote on Lake Anne Land Swap

Controversial proposal would be part of Lake Anne Revitalization efforts.

Vote expected Thursday on land swap.
Vote expected Thursday on land swap.

By Alex McVeigh

Editor's Note: The meeting time has been changed to 6 p.m., and the story has been edited to reflect the change

The Reston Association Board of Directors will decide yay or nay on a proposed land swap involving two parcels near Lake Anne at their Thursday meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Reston Association Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, starting at 6 p.m. It will also stream live on the RA’s YouTube channel.

The controversial swap would see the RA exchange a 1.01-acre parcel valued at $2,126,987 for a 1.1-acre plot valued at $2,373,604.

But while the RA’s parcel is located directly to the northeast of the plaza, the land it would receive in return is located just south of Baron Cameron Drive, and is considered by critics of the plan to have little value.

The land the RA would give up would be used by Lake Anne Redevelopment Partners, a company chosen by Fairfax County to redevelop Lake Anne Plaza and the surrounding areas.

Specifically, the parcel would be used for part of a parking facility, which would be a part of the overall consolidation of parcels around Lake Anne.

Residents were divided at the Oct. 24 board meeting, with some believing that it is time for Lake Anne revitalization to move forward, while others saw it as an unfair swap for RA members.

Patch spoke with Eve Thompson, the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks director on the RA board prior to the Oct. 24 meeting, about the swap.

What's the land swap about?

For this initial plan in the Lake Anne revitalization district, there are several landowners. Fairfax County owns the largest parcel at the Crescent Apartments. Lake Anne Condominium has their parking lot in the mix, and Reston Association  has a small, 1.014 acre, crescent-shaped parcel that runs between the sidewalk along North Shore Drive from Chimney House Road to the commercial Lake Anne parking lot entrance.

The land swap would allow RA to trade this open space in exchange for a similar piece of property owned by the developer so that the land in near Lake Anne Condominium can be included in the redevelopment.

How will RA's land be used?

The land will become a two-level parking structure for use by Lake Anne Plaza visitors.

Is the land swap a good thing to do?

Reston Association has been a longtime supporter of the revitalization efforts associated with Lake Anne. This effort has been on-going for more than 20 years. The well being of all of our neighborhoods is of paramount importance to RA. Lake Anne is the  symbolic heart of Reston, we want to do what we can to make it a thriving and vibrant community.

What will Reston get out of the land swap?

First and foremost, we'll get a thriving Village Center. Second, the revitalization will result in an additional 1,125 dues-paying households. which at current dues translates to in excess of $650,000 in RA revenue. Third, we believe we can negotiate so significant proffers as a part of this land swap. We won't be losing any open space and we'll be contributing to a landmark project that will impact the larger RA community positively for years to come.

Laura Calacci November 21, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Diane, I really don't care one way or the other, but RA loves to spend money & man power that we pay for on removing invasive plants from wooded areas. Its one of their favorite things to do and they use volunteers for the same purpose. That damned English Ivy is certainly a problem. So that weedy ravine will get lots of time, money & attention and trash will still line the streets.
Kate Peterson November 21, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Connie- you say you are in favor of revitalization but yet you are in favor of creating a failure for the new and future businesses. How do you defend that?
Connie Hartke November 21, 2013 at 04:03 PM
There are parking alternatives. RA needs to respect its own policies and guidance and respect all Restonians. From the spring 2013 RA community survey: ". . . priority initiatives (considered “essential” or “very important” by about 9 in 10 residents) were:  protecting air and water quality;  preserving natural areas, habitats, and open land;  keeping the scenic beauty of Reston;  enhancing public spaces, parks and trails;  reducing traffic congestion; and  making the communities more walkable.
Connie Hartke November 21, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Now I must finish my day job and get ready to attend the hearing. Signing off.
Laura Calacci November 21, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Connie & Kate, Ever seen an episode of Parks & Rec? Although RA thinks and acts like a big government entity, it is not the EPA (thank God), and therefore nothing it does can protect air and water quality. As far as the scenic beauty and enhancement of parks, trails, and public spaces, they could concentrate on picking up the garbage. I think I may come to the meeting in disguise. I'll be the one smoking my electronic cigarette on the path closest to RA big beautiful Class A office space.


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