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RCRC Looks for Consultant Funding

RCRC board discusses ways to secure funding to hire a consultant to prepare Lake Anne revitalization design.

At a Reston Community Reinvestment Corporation meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8, the RCRC board discussed where it might find money to hire a consultant to prepare design guidelines for Lake Anne revitalization.

The design guidelines, described as “some three-dimensional idea to bring before the public” by RCRC President Kurt Pronske, could be the next step toward the revitalization of Lake Anne Village Center.

“We need funding to retain a consultant to develop some design guidelines for feeding into the Comprehensive Plan amendment process,” said Pronske. Developing the guidelines, Pronske said, would then lead to “a continued public interchange.”

RCRC could be the recipient of the money and then select the consultant. “That’s one methodology,” said Pronske, but he added that, depending on the source of the funding, the selection of the consultant could be more formal and beyond the control of the RCRC.

THE BOARD agreed that developing design guidelines before working with a developer would quicken and enhance a community-based process toward Lake Anne’s revitalization. “The thought was that this might expedite the process somewhat,” said Howard Green, RCRC board member.

Rather than begin working with a developer immediately, the creation of design guidelines would make the transition to a developer more efficient.

“You don’t want to get too far out ahead of what the community wants,” said Green. He said that could cause problems down the road.

“We’re probably going to need the stature of a visionary leader, someone well-credentialed and well-respected, to come up with [design guidelines], but that’s not going to happen until somebody comes up with funding.”

LAST MONTH, the board passed a motion that officially requested Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) “to explore the acquisition” of $250,000 to $300,000 for the retention of professionals to help with design planning and guidelines.

Since the November meeting, members of the RCRC board have met with Hudgins to discuss possible funding sources.

“I’m very supportive of the [effort],” said Hudgins. “I think it’s a good opportunity to follow through with community input and maintain some consistency with the design and architectural structure of Lake Anne.” Hudgins pointed out that the county is very interested in revitalization efforts that help maintain the quality of life.

An idea similar to developing design guidelines has also been suggested by subgroup of RCRC. The subgroup is made up of several private property owners in the Lake Anne revitalization district that have shown interest in forming a limited liability corporation. The group hopes to create a unified voice when it is time to talk to developers. Members of the group have suggested the idea of an international design competition for the Lake Anne revitalization area.

During RCRC’s October meeting, the LLC group discussed holding a competition to attract architects to submit revitalization concept plans for the area — plans that are similar in nature to the design guidelines now being sought.

The LLC group met with Bill Conklin, the original architect of Lake Anne. After the meeting, RCRC board member Anne Strange reported that Conklin recommended that the LLC conduct a developers design competition. To learn more about setting up a competition, the LLC group also met with Paul Sprieregen, who helped set up the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.