Column: Lake Anne—Farewell and Change

Column: Lake Anne—Farewell and Change

Last Friday, Lake Anne residents and hundreds of other Restonians came to Washington Plaza to bid a fond farewell to Larry Cohn, our community pharmacist and proprietor of the Lakeside Pharmacy for the last 46 years. Larry recently sold his Pharmacy to an “investor” who may, or may not, continue the pharmacy, snack bar and post office arrangement that many residents hoped would never change. Alfredo Melendez, owner/operator of La Villa, Lake Anne Coffee House, and the Lakeside Café, prepared a scrumptious finger food buffet for all, and Larry’s pharmacist sidekick Beverly Gilbert presented heartfelt memory gifts to the teary-eyed Mr. Cohn before a cheering crowd of well-wishers. Everyone it seems has special memories of this self-effacing man who touched so many lives. A painful change. Hoped for change? Meanwhile, a group of Lake Anners indentured to the relic monopoly air-conditioning utility, RELAC, is organizing a petition to ask the Reston Association to allow a referendum for residents on the question of eliminating RA’s Covenant 15 which forbids residents served by RELAC from using alternative forms of A/C. RELAC’s rising costs, deteriorating service compared to modern conventional cooling systems, and other factors make for a favorable outlook for a referendum.

Speaking of RELAC and indentured servitude…we hear that Lake Anne reps on the RA Board have renewed their campaign to change longstanding RA procedures permitting medical exemptions to the RELAC monopoly. RA staff favored leaving in place the practice of permitting exemptions based on certification by a physician of medical necessity (e.g., allergies, breathing impairment). But a pro-RELAC voice is pursuing changes to make it virtually impossible to obtain even very limited exemptions. On Thursday, June 12 at 6 p.m., there will be a “special meeting” of the RA Board at RA to consider this issue. Progress Change. The Lake Anne Development Partners plans for growing Lake Anne are moving forward. A recent topographic study of the area indicated the need for modifications to adjust early plans to take into account changes in elevation in the site. For example, there is an eight-foot rise from the existing Washington Plaza to the new streetscape as one moves towards North Shore Drive. Modest steps and/or ramp will be built into the plan to accommodate the step up. On the other side of North Shore Drive, from Village Road up towards the higher areas of the Crescent Apartments, there are larger elevation changes that will likely require retaining walls between the planned artisan food store or shops on the Crescent side of Village Road and the residential development going up the hill from Village Road and North Shore Drive.

LADP will likely hold another community presentation on the plans and meet again with the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee before formally presenting the plans to the Fairfax County Planning Commission towards the end of this year. With a little luck, they hope to turn over the first spade full of dirt in mid-late 2015 on the Crescent site.

One thing is certain—air conditioning in all 900-plus new residences and in new commercial/retail space will be modern conventional, not chilled water!