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County To Hear Alternative Plan

Lake Anne resident and professional landscape architect and urban planner Guy Rando has prepared an alternative recommendation for the Lake Anne comprehensive plan. The main difference between this alternative and consultant-issued recommendations, according to Rando, is the approach taken.

Rando said the consultants, led by Basile Baumann Prost & Associates, wrote their recommendations for the developers. The alternative plan is written for the residents, he said. "All new parking [in this plan] is underground, unless developers and the county can demonstrate how above ground parking can improve quality of life here," he said. Rando will present the alternative plan to the Fairfax County Architectural Review Board on Thursday night, June 14.

Much has been said about underground parking in meetings about Lake Anne revitalization efforts. Part of the reason why the consultants did not use language to have all parking underground is the cost of such parking. However, Rando argues, if a developer is not willing to pay the extra cost, then it is not the right developer for the community. "We own this property, so why shouldn’t we get the best," he said, pointing at the county-owned property at Cameron Crescent Apartments. "This will always be prime land."

A part of the physical feature of the plan is an arched gateway into the village center from Baron Cameron Avenue. With a realignment of Village Road, visitors to Lake Anne would enter from Baron Cameron Avenue and look through a pedestrian extension of Washington Plaza, which will be covered as a pavilion, and beyond to the existing plaza and the fountain in the lake. The plan is based on complete separation of pedestrians from vehicles. Only such a plan could keep Lake Anne the special community that it is. "When you pass that arch, you’ll know you’re some place special," said Rando.