Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Op-Ed: Why I’m Voting No on Tetra Purchase Referendum, Terry Maynard, RestonNow, April 15, 2015

This is an op-ed by Reston resident Terry Maynard. His opinion does not represent Reston Now.
I am voting “NO” on RA’s referendum to purchase the Tetra property at Lake Newport and, having reviewed the available materials, official and otherwise, I believe it may be useful to share with you why I have made that decision. I apologize in advance for the length of this letter, but I believe it is important to present evidence for my position, not just assertions.
The $2.65 million price is waaaay too high! In fact, the County puts the property’s assessed value at $1.2 million, down $50,000 from last year. The difference, as directed by RA and stated in the RA-funded appraisal ,is largely the “market value of the subject, assuming restaurant uses are permitted and any deferred maintenance has been corrected, as of Jan. 23, 2015, is estimated to be” $2.65 million. In fact, there is no restaurant on the property nor will there ever be. The property condition analysis points to at least a quarter-million dollars in needed repairs. At most, this property is worth one million dollars–if we really need it.
That $2.65 million price will cost Restonians more than $3.8 million in loan payments over the next 20 years and, even with RA’s optimistic revenue forecasts for rental of the small Tetra building, mean net cash outflows totaling nearly $2 million that RA members must pay over two decades. To pay off that shortfall, RA will have to add over 20 percent to the average annual increase in RA fees over the timeframe if its fees grow at a 3-percent inflation rate. (See attached 20-year financial chart.)
There will be no development there because of planning, environmental, and easement restrictions. An alleged key reason to buy the property is to prevent others from building a 6,900-square-foot restaurant there (hence, the appraisal assumption) under a 2001 zoning determination or expanding “Lake Newport convenience center” as the Tetra building property is characterized in the current Reston Master Plan. Neither of these will happen. . . .
 Click here for the rest of Maynard's op-ed.

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