RA Board Greenlights Paddleboard Classes on Two Reston Lakes

SUP RestonReston Association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the proposal to allow Surf Reston Stand Up Paddleboarding to offer lessons on Lake Anne and Lake Audubon this spring and summer.

The schedule will have two days/evenings of paddleboard instruction on Lake Anne per week, and no more than three intermediate level classes per month at Lake Audubon. There will be no “rental fleet” of paddleboards at any Reston lake, says Larry Butler, RA’s Director of Parks and Recreation.

The plan for summer 2014 looks much different than it did in late summer of 2013, when the RA Board passed a a motion to allow to allow the company to do business at Lake Audubon.

That plan was met with complaints from many Lake Audubon residents, who said offering a commercial enterprise at the all-residential lake would lead to an influx of noise, garbage and non-resident use of the lakes.

Still, one Lake Audubon resident spoke up at Wednesday’s meeting against business at Lake Audubon.

“With commercialization, the lake becomes more crowded and noisy,” she told the board. “Blatant and crass commercialism defies everything that brought us to Reston. This plan is scaled down, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

While it is hard to police whether users of Reston’s lakes are Reston residents, some board members said it is important to remember that Reston lakes are for all residents, not just lakefront property owners.

“I am certainly sensitive to neighbors who are concerned about too much use,” said Lake Anne/Tall Oaks director Eve Thompson. “But I am also sensitive to lake residents vs. non residents. We cannot create an allusion that the lakes are not for all of Reston. The lake is large enough, people. We will figure it out.”

As part of the agreement between RA and Surf Reston, the paddleboard company will pay to RA 10 percent of its gross revenues per class season. RA says that will be between $500 and $1,000.

Meanwhile, a local yoga studio is working on purchasing space at Lake Anne Plaza. In addition to offering studio yoga, there would be about four classes per week of SUP-Asana — yoga on paddleboards — at Lake Anne. The board also voted in  favor of that on Thursday, pending SUP-Asana’s purchase of studio space.

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