Design work on Lake Fairfax Park renovations must wait until 2025 due to “cashflow constraints”

Lake Fairfax Park in Reston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The design process for renovations at Lake Fairfax Park isn’t set to start until at least 2025, meaning changes could be years away.

Almost a year ago, Fairfax County began to consider renovations and additions to the county park, including a multi-purpose center, an off-leash dog area, an “inclusive” playground, and an adventure park.

All of these changes were approved by the Park Authority Board and are now in the park’s master plan. They were set to be financed by the $112 million bond referendum approved by county residents in November.

However, the project is hung up due to cashflow, Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Officer Judith Pedersen told Reston Now in an email.

“We do have cashflow constraints associated with the Park Bond,” Pedersen wrote. “So, this project is scheduled to start the design process in mid-[Fiscal Year] 25 — that’s around January 2025. The scope of the improvements will be developed during the design process.”

According to Pedersen, Fairfax County generally limits the amount of cash it transfers each year so that it can maintain its AAA bond rating.

“Even though the bond has been approved, we face constraints both in terms of project timing and in terms of allowable cash flow,” she said. “…The annual [cash flow] projections currently allow for approximately $25 million in Park Authority bonds each year to fund our projects.”

If the design process doesn’t happen until early 2025, it could be a number of years before the renovations are actually completed.

To further the timeline even more, each change and new feature or facility needs to undergo county site plan review and permitting processes prior to construction.

Lake Fairfax Park is a 476-acre park encompassing a lake located just east of Reston. First designated as a county park in 1966, it currently has campgrounds, athletic fields, a skate park, a pump track, biking and hiking trails. It’s also home to the popular county water park Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a substantial number of renovations, additions, and improvements last July, including a multi-purpose event pavilion along Hunter Mill Road that could accommodate large classes and events.

Other approved changes include a gazebo in the park’s center that would be available for events and an additional playground that would allow for “inclusive play” for all ages and physical and mental abilities.

The planned renovations will also add an off-leash dog park, an interpretive overlook, a ropes adventure course, and rental cabins in the camping area.

The project also entails improvements to the pump track and cricket field that would add lighting and have it meet regulation size.

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