Lake Anne Land Swap Ready to be a Done Deal

Area for proposed land swap near Lake AnneSix months after Reston Association and Lake Anne Development Partners agreed to a land swap involving RA land at Lake Anne Plaza, the two are ready to formalize the agreement.

The swap is necessary for LADP, which is redeveloping Crescent Apartments and areas close to the plaza, to build a 120-space parking garage at Lake Anne.

The swap exchanges a one-acre parcel of wooded land adjacent to the current Lake Anne Plaza parking lot for similar-sized plot off of Baron Cameron Avenue.

The proposal was met with some opposition when it was first presented in late 2013, even though LADP made proffers of money and tree care. Citizens opposing the plan said there would be potential destruction of trees, as well as inequities of the land, in the swap. Critics say the parcel on Baron Cameron is largely unusable.

At a December RA meeting, citizens concerned with the environment pleaded with the board to think about the ecosystem and an alternative parking area that does not remove mature trees. Others asked the board to go ahead with the plan to ensure the economic viability of Lake Anne Plaza’s future. RA’s Sustainability Committee Chair resigned in protest.

Some of the land swap conditions, according to a revised agreement:

The number of healthy trees measuring 24 inches in diameter at breast height within the LADP Exchange Property shall be equal to or greater than the number of healthy trees measuring 24″ in diameter at breast height that will be removed from the RA Exchange Property when it is developed.

A minimum of 0.3 acres (30 percent) of the RA Exchange Property shall remain in an undisturbed natural state.

LADP will pay $100,000 to RA for either tree canopy enhancement and reforestation or other environmental enhancements of RA Common Area in Reston, or to fund the acquisition by RA conservation easements over privately owned property for the purpose of expanding the amount of RA Common Area and/or protected mature tree canopy within Reston.

An arborist will assess the trees and make recommendations on how trees can best survive the construction process. This includes pruning, fertilization and water monitoring. Additionally, during pruning, removal, and mulching operations, exotic and invasive species will be removed from the area. 

LADP will install standard RA-approved light fixtures (or a DRB-approved alternate consistent with its overall planning) on all new pathways/trails within the Crescent Property, as well as 10 additional standard RA approved light fixtures along pathways/trails that adjoin the Crescent Property, particularly in the Brown’s Chapel and Lake Anne Elementary School areas.

LADP will install standard RA approved light fixtures (or a DRB-approved alternate consistent with its overall planning) on all new pathways/trails within the Crescent Property, as well as 10 additional standard RA approved light fixtures along pathways/trails that adjoin the Crescent Property, particularly in the Brown’s Chapel and Lake Anne Elementary School areas.

LADP will pay to RA an amount equal to 25 percent of the cost of the Lake Anne dredge.  

LADP said in December that construction on the parking garage would not begin for three to five years.

Graphic: Area that Reston Association will swap with LADP.

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