With a new month on the horizon, algae blooms at three lakes in Reston appear to be turning a leaf.
Warnings to avoid making contact with Lake Anne and Lake Audubon have been lifted after an algae bloom took over some parts of the lakes since mid-November.
A spokesperson for Reston Association, which manages the lakes, told FFXnow the decision was made after evidence of algae was no longer present.
Out of an abundance of caution, however, a warning for Lake Thoreau remains in place, according to Reston Association.
Blooms of algae emerged in Thoreau and Audubon early this fall and lingered as a result of the season’s warm weather, according to RA. Another bloom was spotted in Lake Anne on Nov. 16.
At that time, RA urged residents to avoid contact with the water, though the risk of incidental exposure risk is low during this time of the year.
Staff decided against treating the bloom, which would have disrupted oxygen levels in the lake, potentially harming fish and other wildlife.
Photo via RA/Twitter
A new CBD boutique is set to celebrate its grand opening on Dec. 6 at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston.
Launched by Radhika Murari, a Reston resident and entrepreneur, OmBaked sells cannabidiol products that are aimed at holistic wellness.
“Soon after I began my journey into the CBD space, I realized that the CBD industry is the wild west, with very little regulation. So, I imposed my own quality guidelines,” Murai said in a statement. “Every product at OmBaked has been selected by me after thorough research, including having folks in Reston try the products. All the products we carry have certificates of authenticity (lab tests). Moreover, we do not carry any smoking/vaping products or anything that has synthetics.”
The company is Murari’s second. She also owns OmMade Peanut Butter, which makes gluten-free and vegan peanut butter that was since picked up for sale by Whole Foods.
“My dream of opening OmBaked has become a reality thanks to the support of my family and fellow Restonians,” Murari said. “I am excited to continue contributing to the flourishing small-business tapestry of Virginia.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Attendees will get to sample the company’s CBD products.
The business is currently open daily from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. at 11414 Washington Plaza West.
Planning efforts to determine an economic vision for the Lake Anne area in Reston continue to receive financial support from Fairfax County.
At a meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 26), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $200,000 in carryover funding for the Lake Anne economic visioning study. The board considered a number of items to fund by carrying over leftover money from the fiscal year 2023 budget.
The funds will further the formation of an economic vision for the Lake Anne Commercial Revitilization Area, which kicked off last year. The first phase of the study concluded this summer after a series of public engagement efforts with the community.
So far, the vision suggests a concentration of new apartment units at 1527 Cameron Crescent Drive, added cultural attractions, a parking structure, a centralized green space, connections from the Crescent site to Lake Anne Plaza via a new park, and the restoration of a tunnel to the east side of the area.
In a statement to FFXnow, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcron said he was pleased with the board’s decision to continue funding the project.
“With the overall vision identified through the consensus process during Phase 1, it is time for the community to take the next steps and for respective property owners to explore critical revitalization projects to ensure Lake Anne continues as the cultural heart of Reston for another 60 years, and beyond,” Alcorn wrote.
Phase two of the economic visioning study kicked off in August and is expected to take three months. This phase is assessing the interests of individual property owners and their willingness to partner on implementing the vision. With the new funding from the county, the third phase of the study would kick off in the first quarter of 2024.
Currently, the county’s Department of Planning and Development and Streetsense is meeting with residents and stakeholders.
Earlier this month, roughly 25 members of the Lake Anne Residential Condominium Association (LARCA) met with the study team to share their ideas and address their concerns.
Seven homes will be showcased in Reston Museum’s annual Reston Home Tour.
The 21st iteration of the event is set for Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will have the chance to take part in self-guided tours with volunteer docents at each of the seven homes, which are related to the theme, “A Style All Their Own.”
“Starting with the original architectural elements of their homes, each homeowner thoughtfully created new designs and spaces – and added unique features – to make the home their own,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell said. “We hope everyone enjoys all the delightfully personal pieces and meaningful artwork showcased throughout the tour. Each homeowner beautifully integrated their style – and we are so thankful they agreed to share their home with us.”
Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar will host a bites and bubbles event from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. that day, and there will be a wine tasting and appetizer samples at The Wine Cabinet in North Point Village Center from 1 to 5 p.m.
Early bird tickets are now on sale for $30 through Oct. 3. Tickets can be purchased at Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) or online.
The second annual Reggae on the Lake festival returns to Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday (Sept. 9).
The festival brings together reggae bands from around the country. It is headlined by Third World, a Grammy-nominated, Jamaica-based band that is currently completing its 50th anniversary world tour.
It’s the brainchild of Ramon Pardo, a Reston-based realtor who brought the idea to Reston after he contracted a well-known reggae band for his wedding last year in Jamaica.
“The event operates under a philanthropic model, channeling all profits to a charity each year, with this year’s proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. This alignment of entertainment and altruism elevates the festival from a mere celebration to an impactful community initiative,” Pardo said.
Entry is free — part of an effort to maintain the financial accessible of the festival, he said.
“With free general admission, the event is open to everyone, ensuring a diverse and inclusive crowd. VIP options offer an enhanced experience for those who choose it, but the essential joys of the festival are available to all,” he said.
At the event, raffle tickets for an all-expenses paid trip for a resort in Negril, Jamaica will be on sale for $50. All proceeds will go to the foundation.
The festival includes games, face painting, balloon art, crafts vendors, arts, food and live music. VIP tickets — which are sponsored by Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar — will be available to go backstage and meet the bands in person.
Lake Anne and Lake Audubon in Reston are now clear of harmful algae that bloomed on the surface of the lakes last week.
Reston Association staff had reported “potentially harmful” algae in both lakes. Staff worked with an environmental contractor to determine if Lake Audubon was clear of the algae Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9). Lake Anne was previously reported as safe.
“The bloom began after hot weather allowed cyanobacteria to thrive which was then enhanced further by an influx of nutrients that came from a water main break that flowed into Snakeden Branch last week,” RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk said.
Specifically, Dolichospermum was found — a potentially harmful cyanobacteria. The bacteria found in Lake Anne, however, is not considered harmful.
RA had previously encouraged residents to avoid contact with the lake water. The bloom at Lake Anne was mostly limited to the east of the lake near Wiehle Avenue.
The water main break referenced by Lusk occurred the morning of Aug. 4 behind Hunters Woods Plaza, contributing to the deaths of a number of fish found in Snakeden Branch stream, according to RA.
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Reston Association is monitoring the presence of potentially harmful algae at Lake Anne.
According to a statement released yesterday (Wednesday), the blue-green algae was spotted in some parts of the lake.
There are currently no restrictions on boating and fishing, but it’s best to avoid contact with the lake water, RA wrote in a statement.
RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk told FFXnow that the bloom is limited to the east end of the lake next to Wiehle Avenue.
“With cooler weather predicted the forecast, we are hoping to see this small growth resolve itself soon. Should the extent of the bloom change, or if the bloom last longer than one week, testing will be performed to ensure the lake is safe for all users,” Lusk wrote in a statement.
Blue-green algae has been observed at Lake Anne. This potentially harmful algae is being monitored by RA staff. Swimming is not permitted in the lake, and it is recommended to keep dogs from the lake water at this time. pic.twitter.com/3n2LXEmRUX
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) August 2, 2023
A consultant is beginning a three-month-long process to determine the feasibility and buy-in required to implement a comprehensive revitalization of the Lake Anne area of Reston.
Consultant Street Sense has begun phase two of its economic visioning study of the Lake Anne Commercial Revitalization Area, which kicked off last year. The consultant will conduct a series of one-on-one meetings with individual property owners soon, according to Fairfax County.
“The findings of Phase Two will shape the scope of work for a potential third phase of the Economic Visioning Study, which would investigate the feasibility of implementing the various components contained in the vision plan,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said in his weekly newsletter yesterday (Wednesday).
The first phase of the study concluded this summer after a series of public engagement efforts with the community.
So far, the vision suggests a concentration of new apartment units on the Crescent property at 1527 Cameron Crescent Drive, added cultural attractions, a parking structure, a centralized green space, connections from the Crescent site to Lake Anne Plaza via a new park, and the restoration of a tunnel to the east side of the area.
The third phase of the study is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year. It could be funded via a carryover adjustment from the fiscal year 2023 budget. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on that carryover package on Sept. 26.
The work comes as the county begins working with stakeholders over the next year to redevelop the Crescent Apartments property at the plaza.
Over the next year, a major redevelopment project involving the Crescent Apartments at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston may be on the horizon.
The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development will work with county partners for the next year to develop a process for the redevelopment of the Crescent property, according to Tom Fleetwood, the department’s director.
The news comes as work on a visioning study to determine the future of Lake Anne continues. Consultant Street Sense is formalizing a vision for the village center area after working with residents and other stakeholders.
“The redevelopment is anticipated to reflect the guidance from the economic visioning study and comport to the board’s intent when it purchased the property in 2006: to preserve and expand the affordable housing opportunities on this site, and to contribute to the economic vitality of historic Lake Anne Village,” Fleetwood wrote in a statement to FFXnow.
Both pieces — the economic visioning study and the development plan — will work in tandem to explore ways to reshape the area.
“The goal is to merge the local market’s pulse with the aspirations of the Lake Anne community and shape a prosperous future for everyone,” said Elizabeth Hagg, director of the community revitalization section in the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development.
At a June 8 meeting on the economic visioning study, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn emphasized that he wants to ensure the vision for Lake Anne aligns with the redevelopment of the Crescent site.
“I wanted to make sure if at all possible what happens with the Crescent is consistent with what else is happening at Lake Anne,” Alcorn said at the meeting.
Yesterday, Alcorn requested an additional $200,000 from the county for the third phase of the economic visioning project.
The current land use plan for the site was approved in March 2015.
But that December, a long-awaited, 1.7-million-square-foot revitalization plan for the area was pulled. The application covered land unit D of the village center, which includes the Crescent parcel and the gas station. It called for 935 new development units, 15,800 square feet of retail, and 30,000 square feet of office space.
Per the county’s comprehensive plan, there are two options for the site: a redevelopment option and a full consolidation option.
The redevelopment option limits the area to 902,000 square feet of development, with a cap on residential uses of up to 750 apartment units and a non-residential component of up to 2,000 square feet, not including the gas station.
Under the option of full consolidation of the area, the number of residential units is capped at 1.1 million square feet or 935 units and up to 48,000 square feet of non-residential space. The gas station would be consolidated and redeveloped.
The county is currently reviewing an update of its comprehensive plan for Reston, but since the economic visioning study is still underway, the language related to Lake Anne is largely unchanged from the existing plan.
In 2015, the county’s private partner — Lake Anne Development Partners (LADP) — said the development plan was not feasible at the time. LADP had originally intended to break ground later that same year.
(Updated at 5 p.m.) The final phase of the economic visioning of the Lake Anne area is nearing.
At a meeting today (Tuesday), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors opened up a request for an additional $200,000 for the third phase of the project.
Consultant Street Sense is wrapping up the first phase of the Economic Visioning Study for the Lake Anne Commercial Revitalization Area. The study intended to build community consensus on a path forward for the area.
(Correction: This story previously said the study’s first phase wrapped up this spring, as indicated by a project timeline, but the Hunter Mill District office says it’s just now finishing.)
“We sought an economic vision that was aspirational, grounded in market realities, and able to strengthen the economic viability and sustainability of the area,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn wrote in his board matter. “There was extensive participation by the Lake Anne community to shape the economic vision through a combination of focus groups, an online survey, and several in-person workshops and meetings.”
So far, the plan suggests a concentration of new apartment units on the Crescent property at 1527 Cameron Crescent Drive, added cultural attractions, a parking structure, a centralized green space, connections from the Crescent site to Lake Anne Plaza via a new park, and the restoration of a tunnel to the east side of the area.
Street Sense kicked off the visioning study in mid-February with focus group sessions, followed by several community meetings and workshops. The study came at the request of Alcorn, who sought to build consensus on the economic vision for the area.
In the second phase of the project, Streetsense will work with individual property owners and determine their willingness to take part in implementing the economic vision.
During the final phase, Streetsense and sub-consultants will investigate options for implementation in a more comprehensive manner.
“This information will provide landowners and the county with a clear understanding of options and allow all stakeholders to construct an actionable plan for realizing the economic vision,” the board matter states.
The final phase is expected to kick off in the first quarter of next year. The funds could be allocated this fall via a carryover adjustment from the fiscal year 2023 budget.