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Pond slowly drying, drying

A decision has yet to be made regarding the dried-up amenity pond behind Carter Lake Apartments.

After two months, Carter Lake Apartments has yet to make a decision about the amenity pond behind the property that dried up in April when the dam washed out.

Matt Kelly of Reston, who often walks his dog in the woods where the pond used to be, first noticed the shrinking pond. He was concerned about the visual impact it was going to have on the community.

"It seems fixing the dam would be the easiest thing to do," said Kelly, who still sees turtles and other wildlife struggling to get out of the mud puddle left behind. "If they’re not going to commit to restoring the lake, then one way or another they should re-grade it so there’s not turtles flopping around the lake."

KELLY SAID the people he knows that visit that part of the woods, walking their dogs or otherwise, would rather have the lake back. Kelly’s not opposed to doing something else, but said that the property owners should do something.

The company that owns the apartments, JMG Realty Inc., hired an engineer to investigate options for the land. That engineer, Kayvan Jaboori of KJ Associates, indicated that something has to be done because the area is in a flood plain. "The new flood plain regulations do indeed apply to this land," Jaboori said. "Because of the amount of land disturbance and amount of work it takes to reconstruct the original condition, it appears we degrade the downstream land."

Jaboori said the professionals he’s talked to and worked with "are of the opinion that we are better off without holding water at all times."

"The county representatives have been receptive to the idea of the possibility of reclaiming this land as an environmentally sensitive area with wetland plant species planted," said Jaboori, who also said that reclaiming the land as a wetland, rather than a standing pond would be "a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing look."

JMG Realty has yet to make any final decisions and continues to work out options with the county.

"Having said all that, the property owners have not ruled out keeping the water amenity and have asked me to look at that process as well," said Jaboori. "I am collecting proposals from various consultants to oversee the reconstruction of the water amenity as well as fees and proposals for reclaiming the area as a wetland."

In the next couple of weeks, Jaboori said that he anticipates JMG Realty to make a final decision.