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Plan for cell towers at Lake Anne’s Heron House fails to pick up steam

Heron House (staff file photo)

(Updated at 3:51 p.m.) A plan to install six antennas for cell phone service at a historic building in Reston’s Lake Anne has failed to pick up steam.

Site Link Wireless proposed installing six concealed antennae on the roof of the Heron House, a 15-story condominium building that is the centerpiece of Lake Anne Village and was built in 1966.

The application was withdrawn after issues were flagged by the Fairfax County’s Architectural Review Board late last year.

Elise Murray, an ARB member, said the proposal was simply too “jarring” to the eye and compromised the architectural integrity of the building.

The Lake Anne Fellowship House — which will be demolished after a new facility is completed by the summer — housed cellular equipment to maintain service by Verizon Wireless and other providers. The facility’s demolition will significantly diminish the cell phone company’s service in the area.

At a Dec. 9 meeting, ARB members raised concerns about the facility, including the lack of cohesiveness of augmented cell phone boxes with the historic building.

Site Link Wireless plans to return to the ARB with an improved plan and with more input from the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association’s board.

Rick Novak, who represents Site Link Wireless, said the structures would extend the roof by 14 feet.

LARCA’s board president George Hadjikyriakou said the board is not currently considering the proposal.

“LARCA is not in a position at this time to consider the application, and I believe the county is helping locate another location for this antenna assembly,” he said.

In a Feb. 3 letter, LARCA’s board said it did not support the proposal.

“At this time, the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association is not willing to proceed with the possibility of installing an antenna on the Heron House. Sprint currently has an enclosed facility on the building,” LARCA wrote.

The county is working with Site Link Wireless to determine future plans for the facility.

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