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Lake Anne's Future?

RCRC debates what its purpose will be in 2007.

As the year 2007 approaches, the Reston Community Reinvestment Corporation’s Board of Directors debated what its role in the next year should be. With fewer than half of the board’s members present at its November meeting, there was not much disagreement between members over RCRC’s mission in 2007.

Within the next 120 days, the RCRC is expecting to hear a proposal on how to revitalize Lake Anne from a team of consultants, led by Basile Baumann Prost and Associates. That group published the Lake Anne economic study in 2005.

President of the RCRC board, Kurt Pronske, brought up the question: “What should we be in the next six months?” Pronske added it was his understanding that nothing would be decided about the future of Lake Anne without the input of Lake Anne property owners.

“Now is the time to start getting property owners involved,” said Anne Strange, representative of Washington Plaza Baptist Church at Lake Anne.

The involvement of owners and the public in the process has been minimal lately, largely because of the slow tempo of proceedings with the revitalization of Lake Anne. However, the board expects there to be a high volume of activity regarding the issue within the next 120 days. Around that time, middle of March, the RCRC believes that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will be hearing a draft proposal on Reston’s density issue, which is related to the Lake Anne revitalization. The two issues are intertwined because, if Reston is allowed higher density, then Lake Anne may be considered for higher density as a part of Reston.

“We’re moving,” said Pronske. “After four years, we’re moving.”

MEMBERS OF the RCRC board hope consultants’ recommendations will help speed up what has become a lengthy process, and that they will attract community involvement. With Reston’s density issue possibly in front of the Board of Supervisors at around the same time, the RCRC board hopes a developer may come forward to discuss physical changes at Lake Anne.

Aside from community involvement, also lacking is board members’ involvement. Only five of 12 RCRC board members were present at last Thursday’s meeting. Strange said the only member of the board driving the process along is Robert Simon, the 92-year-old founder of Reston. She said he has made it clear he wanted the Lake Anne revitalization resolved before he dies.

Howard Green, a member of the RCRC board, said the process had been moving at a slow pace, largely because the county’s money drives it. “We have nothing but our wit to bring to the table. A developer at this table would be moving things a lot faster,” said Green. “We’re paced in large part in how fast the county develops the concepts and plans” for what is to become of Lake Anne, he added.

Another member of the RCRC board, Rick Thompson, said the RCRC serves as an interface between the county and the property owners, and will continue to do so. It is a body that provides information to the residents in regards to Lake Anne revitalization. However, Thompson questioned the lack of a timetable past the 120-day period. “What is the vision?,” asked Thompson.

Within those 120 days, the consultants will meet six times with a technical advisory panel, made up of seven Reston residents. Two of the seven members, Phil Tobey and Robin Smyers, are members of the RCRC board. Tobey recommended inviting an official from the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Department to participate, to help the RCRC gain a better perspective on the issues regarding the county’s comprehensive plan, and how they affect Lake Anne revitalization.