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Reston Association Asks For Tree Care As Part of Land Swap

by Karen Goff — November 20, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Area for proposed land swap near Lake AnneReston Association has asked Republic Land Development for several conditions in order to make a proposed land swap deal happen.

Republic, which has been selected by the county to redevelop Crescent Apartments and areas around Lake Anne, needs 1.1 acre of RA land located near the existing parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center in order to build a parking garage for the revitalized retail area it is planning. Republic will give Reston Association a similar-sized but less useful plot of land near Baron Cameron, as well as about $500,000 to fund improvements to RA facilities.

Meanwhile, there has been pushback from the community over the existing trees located on the RA-owned land. Many citizens, as well as groups such as Sustainable Reston and the Reston Citizens Association, are against the swap because it would remove many large trees.

That’s why RA’s additional requests involve care of the trees as part of the agreement. Republic president and CEO David Peter has preliminarily agreed to the conditions in a revised letter of intent.

Among the additional conditions, according to RA documents:

  • At the time of the land swap, Republic will escrow the sum of $100,000 with RA, to be used either for tree canopy enhancement and reforestation in Reston or to fund the acquisition by Republic of title to or easements over privately owned property of interest that will be conveyed to RA as additional exchange consideration.
  • Republic will coordinate with RA arborists to undertake a comprehensive, multiyear pruning exercise to ensure the health of the trees that remain on the property.
  • Republic will install light fixtures on the new pathways within the Crescent property, and 10 that otherwise adjoin the development parcels (particularly in the Brown’s Chapel and Lake Anne Elementary locations) as determined mutually by Republic and RA.
  • Republic will agree to subsidize 25 percent of the cost of the Lake Anne dredge sometime before the occupancy permit for the new high rise tower is issued but not later than Dec. 31, 2025.

The RA board will vote on the land swap at its meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. at RA Headquarters. Public comment is welcome.

(Map of proposed land swap area courtesy of Reston Association)

  • John Lovaas

    This slanted piece says community opposition has arisen to losing mature (high quality uplland) trees, but gives no further explanation. A more balanced piece would have noted that there are several optional ways to provide the needed right next to the Plaza without taking down the trees. Failing to note this leaves the impression that the opposition stands in the way of adding the needed parking.
    In fact, the community opposition has been very clear in its support of the lot and the larger project.
    The rest of this story is dedicated to swap proponents arguments.

    • Karen Goff

      John – How is this slanted? The news is taken directly from the RA letter of intent. The news of the day is that RA would like some additional conditions. Plenty has been written on both sides of the issue and if you click the hyperlink where it says “large trees” it takes you directly to a story about the community opposition and higher up on the page is the letter from Guy Rando outlining the alternative parking plan.

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