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Crescent Developer Ups Parks Contribution to $500K

by Karen Goff January 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm 10 Comments

Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday recommended the plan for major redevelopment at Crescent Apartments and the area surrounding Lake Anne Plaza move forward to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The Supervisors will give a final vote on the project on Tuesday.

“The actions we take tonight are a step forward in a long (process) of redevelopment of Reston’s first village at Lake Anne Center,” said Frank de la Fe, the Hunter Mill representative.

The planning commission held a public hearing on the project on Dec. 8. The main issue that caused the two-week deferral in the planning commission decision was a discrepancy in how much money Lake Lake Anne Development Partners should proffer to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

LADP wanted to give $100,000 to the parks department. The standard county rubric for fair share contributions to the Park Authority is $893 per resident. That means LADP should make a contribution of about $1.4 million, the county’s staff report said.

LADP reps agreed on Thursday to give $500,000 to the park authority.

The planning commission also agreed to waive some conditions set forth by the planning staff concerning residential street length, transitional barriers and underground storage facilities.

Some larger issues raised in the staff report, including the realignment of Village Road, will be worked out before construction begins, said de la Fe.

LADP was chosen by the county in 2013 to redevelop the aging Crescent Apartments, which was purchased by the county in 2006 for affordable housing.

LADP’s plans for the area include 1,037 residential units, including replacement of the 181 affordable units at Crescent; 60,000 square feet of retail; a 15,800-square-foot grocery store; and 78,000 square feet of office space. The project will also have a 1.1-acre central park, an outdoor amphitheater, a bike share station and 12 public art works, according to the staff report.

See the entire staff report on the project on Fairfax County’s website.

Photo: Rendering of plans for Crescent Apartments site/Credit: LADP

  • Fairfax Watcher

    Thanks go to the LADP group for pushing back at the FCPA and their bottomless proffer pit. $500K is much better than $1.4M…but it still too high. Maybe there should be NO proffer to the FCPA until they disclose where and how their proffer dollars are spent!

    Dear FCPA: why not start right now on this $500K proffer – make PUBLIC how & where the LADP proffer dollars will be spent!

    This writer hopes other developers will follow LADP’s lead and fight back against the unreasonable proffer demands from Fairfax County, FCPS, & the FCPA. Proffers are necessary as the County tax payers should not pay for the new infrastructure directly required for the development. Likewise, developers shouldn’t have to pay proffer dollars into the FCPA slush fund!!

    • Greg

      Seems like $500k is not going to pay for much of the required infrastructure. 10 times as many residential units? Where will all those kids go to school? Play soccer? Hang out?

      • Fairfax Watcher

        Greg thanks for your interest in the County’s proffer cash grab system. My discussion is limited to the FCPA which is NOT responsible for schools, libraries, or etc. The FCPA has a culture of taking maximum proffer dollars and we all wonder “where” they are spending that proffer money. Proffers for schools and libraries are the norm for residential development.

        • Greg

          That’s what I thought; thank you. Maybe Lake Anne ES will get expanded and the library will be relocated? I recall reading some years ago that the Reston library is too small and in the wrong location.

          There used to be small branch libraries at Lake Anne and at the old Hunters Woods center, but they closed when the bills for the county’s Taj Mahal came in.

          I don’t understand why there are so many branches of local government. Isn’t it very redundant and costly? The county itself, the park authority, the water authority, the sewer crew, the nova park authority, the schools, the library, those rec centers with their own extra taxes…I am sure there are more.

          • Bah

            Reston library is obviously not too small or they wouldn’t have thrown out a bunch of books and created that idiotic “teen hangout” area.

          • Tammi Petrine

            Greg, there are NO rec centers with ‘their own extra taxes”! All 9 rec centers in FFX Co are fully funded by FCPA! Problem is Hunter Mill is ONLY district without one!!! (Mt. Vernon has TWO!!!)

            Please do not confuse “Rec Center” with “Community Center.” Our self-funded (by extra STD #5 taxes) Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods does get confused because it has a pool but it is really a community center as it features lots of classes, activities, theater, dances, meetings, etc and relatively few physical activities. Conversely, Rec Centers typically emphasize physical activities, sports and fitness and may have pools, gyms, skating rinks, multi-purpose courts and/or other indoor fitness facilities. (Rec centers do not have ALL these features but do have combinations of them.) ALL tax payers in the county contribute to their costs. So Reston tax payers help pay for every of the 9 Rec Centers in the county but no one pays for Reston because we have NONE.

            Google Fairfax Co. Rec Centers; when you see the photos of what all other districts have that we do not, I think you will be shocked and angry. The Park Authority has indeed shorted Reston for decades! They make tons of $ at Lake Fairfax Park at Water Mine and RV camp ground and claim these are our Hunter Mill amenities when in fact they are primarily money makers for the whole county.

            Sadly, a majority on our Reston community center board (RCC/Small Tax District #5 = EXTRA taxes) wants us to pay for our own Rec Center (Many millions of $$$) and will be presenting that argument in 2015/2016. Boo! Hiss!!! Instead, Fairfax County Park District needs to step up and FINALLY deliver for Hunter Mill!

          • Greg

            I knew I left out a few. Sorry, and thank you for the clarification.

            There are plenty of nearby gyms and the YMCA in Reston, private businesses that PAY taxes, all of which fulfill rec. needs, no? No reason for government to replicate what’s already available at a much higher cost no less.

            Or, perhaps this is another compelling reason for Reston to become its own town?

            The Lake Anne community center seems underused nad is empty most of the time. I’ve never used it for more than restroom facilities and an occasional meeting or two, one of which was the community center board itself begging for more money. It is also connected to that dreadful RELAC system, so it’s never comfortable in the summer. Muggy with fans in every room. Plenty of staff members sitting at the desk looking board and empty craft rooms in the back. Wasteful at best. As to the “art” housed there – meh. We have world-class museums a metro ride away.

            The Hunters Woods community center is bigger, but it wastes a ton of money mailing high-gloss, expensive brochures and magazines to us that go right to the recycling bin. Most of our neighbors do the same, so it seems to be a place paid for by all for and used by a very few. I’ve called and asked to be removed from the mailing list, but was told that it was impossible to do.

          • Tammi Petrine

            Hi Greg,
            Thanks for your comments…
            One correction: LA RCC is NOT on RELAC! They knew, as do most of commercial spaces at LA, that RELAC is not reliable so have had independent HVAC for years. My understanding is that all condos (Heron House included) can leave RELAC at anytime also per rules enforced by RA. (This needs to be confirmed by someone from RA however.) But that is one reason I hope RELAC voters will vote for choice. To have guaranteed livable spaces, shouldn’t everyone have options?

            Now back to you other points… Apathy by the public who do not realize that they pay EXTRA taxes for RCC is the reason we are in our current dilemma. Very few voters have allowed a board to vote for anything they deem appropriate. We have at least one financial expert on RCC board who gets how seriously flawed the idea of us self-funding a very expensive amenity is. Building it is just the beginning and represents only 20% of true costs. The other 80% is the operation and maintenance in perpetuity!!! Who needs that burden on the backs of the VERY FEW tax payers in STD #5 vs the entire county funding it?

            Also, your point that many other commercial facilities already exist whose membership costs may be equal to the user fees paid by STD #5 (or county residents if county actually ever builds us our deserved rec center) is right on. When Reston pop expands, we will have even more tax payers who deserve parity with other districts. We will need more gym space, etc. for recreation. Existing open space will be even more precious.

            RE: forming our own ‘town’ – the inequities being experienced by Restonians are forcing more and more people into talking about pursuing this concept. Herndon, for example, is not overrun by county desires because they control their growth.

          • Reston Watcher

            Greg –

            RCC uses a post office bulk mail list to send out its program guides. That’s why they’re addressed to “Resident.” They get a better postage rate using the bulk rate and their non-profit permit, but they have to send to everyone on the list.

            My recollection, from when I was dealing with bulk mailings some years ago, is that you can ask the post office to take you off their list, and stop getting the RCC guide and a bunch of other mailings (which you may not want, either).

          • Fairfax Watcher

            Greg, your question on WHY so many branches of local government — is right on the mark as to why the County is in the mess we see today! Let’s talk about my favorite the FCPA which is an “Authority” as per state law to take care of all County business relative to Parks. Board members are appointed by the BOS and they report only to the BOS. This and the other “authorities” are put in place to deflect work load and responsibility from the BOS. BOS will always be able to say “…we didn’t do it,…etc.” it was the FCPA that did it. Don’t ever expect the FCPA director or board to answer your questions especially those that challenge their decisions, as they are by law “the untouchables” Park land is owned by the FCPA NOT the BOS and it is not uncommon to see these two sell and trade lands between them. Oh by the way, the FCPA again by state law, has the power of eminent domain!! The County residents should demand to see the FCPA books – might be a great subject for “60 Minutes”.


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