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.