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  • November 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Rick Nehrboss – November 2022

    YOU ARE INVITED TO BECOME A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE LACA HOA/POA PRESIDENTS COUNCIL

    Last summer in our membership survey, we had a couple of questions concerning HOA/POA membership.  On one question we asked if the members would support a special membership category for HOA/POA Presidents.  The overwhelming result was 85% yes!  We also had a comment about creating a forum for HOA/POA members to address areas of common interest or concern.  This very topic was the subject of discussion at four monthly board meetings, and we approved the creation of a LACA Presidents Council (PC).  In addition, we presented this concept at our July Annual Meeting and for those who missed it, we wanted to give you some highlights of what to expect.

    The Board approved the creation of the Council with the caveat the representatives should be LACA members.  We understand not all HOA/POA presidents are LACA members.  We will offer the ability for the HOA/POA President to delegate their LACA PC representation to another HOA/POA Board member who does already belong to LACA.  We will capture the appropriate organizational position in each member’s contact information on the LACA website.  Another option is for the HOA/POA Association to join as an organization with two members, and we do have several Associations who are LACA members.  We will need the contact information for the individual members for each Association along with their official positions within the HOA/POA. With this information and in preparation for the upcoming inaugural meeting, we will send out broadcast emails to Council members with invitations to participate in a Zoom meeting. 

    We envision this Council becoming a forum for Presidents and their peers to address any HOA/POA issues and to capture best practices from other council representatives who want to offer their approaches on topics such as covenant and bylaw changes, short term rental policies, pending legal actions, Management companies, contracted services, etc.  In addition to connecting organizations with similar issues, we would capture best practices into a repository for use by the Council members.  Of course, a lot of details need to be worked through, but these meetings will be specifically for the Council members. LACA’s role will be to host the meetings.  If desired, we could provide topic presentations by our Committee Chairs in a significant level of detail as our contribution to these meetings. This would provide Council members with greater insight and visibility into LACA Board decisions and initiatives. 

    We understand not all our communities are HOA/POA organizations and we haven’t forgotten you!  If you are a member of such a community and are willing to serve as a community liaison to LACA, we will add you to the Council!  You may choose to participate in meetings where you may have a common interest with the HOA/POA members and some agenda items may have broader implications!

    We anticipate conducting these meetings using Zoom only because of the size of the audience since we have approximately 180 different HOAs/POAs and subdivisions.  To accept this invitation, please contact your Regional Director listed at :https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/Board-of-Directors If all else fails, email me at rick.nehrboss@lakeannavirginia.org.  Once we have established contacts for most HOAs/POAs and subdivisions we will announce our inaugural meeting.  We look forward to meeting our new Council members!  More to come soon!

    rick.nehrboss@lakeannavirginia.org


  • November 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – November 2022

    LACA started a new water quality project this year focused on collecting data on the health of the streams and creeks in the Lake Anna Watershed. The project is called Save Our Streams and it is made possible through the work of LACA volunteers and partnerships with the Lake Anna State Park and Louisa County High School.

    The Virginia Save Our Streams program is part of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) effort that has a fifty-year history of monitoring the health of rivers, streams, and creeks across the United States. The IWLA program began in 1969 with volunteers cleaning up trash from their local waterways and reporting problems like streams becoming clogged with silt.

    The IWLA program was expanded in the 1980s to include training of volunteers to collect scientifically valid data to assess water quality in their local streams. Today, trained volunteer stream monitors across the country are uncovering pollution problems and urging their local leaders to act on water quality. The work of these volunteers also creates a critical record of water quality over time, making it possible to quickly identify pollution problems that develop in the future.

    The Save Our Streams program focuses on the macroinvertebrates (“critters”) living in the creeks and streams to identify pollution issues. Macro means that you can see them with the naked eye and invertebrates means they do not have a backbone. We look for critters that live in the water on the bottom of the creek under rocks and organic debris.

    LACA joined the IWLA network of volunteers this summer and took steps to begin sampling our local streams and creeks. We reached out to the Lake Anna State Park and local educators about joining our effort and we are pleased to partner with both the State Park and Louisa County High School on this project. We worked with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify potential sampling sites and we now have four stations that are perfect for Save Our Streams type monitoring. The stations are located on Goldmine Creek and the North Anna River in Louisa County, Pamunkey Creek in Orange County, and Pigeon Run in Spotsylvania County. LACA worked with the landowners near each station to ensure access to the streams is approved.

    Our first sampling session took place on Saturday, October 8th.  We sent two teams out to monitor the North Anna River and Pigeon Run stations.  A LACA volunteer team conducted sampling from State Park property located on Pigeon Run and the Louisa County High School team monitored the North Anna River station. You can see more images from the October 8th sampling on the LACA website at our Save Our Streams page. Our data reports will be posted on the LACA Save Our Streams site as soon as the data is checked for quality control purposes and loaded to the IWLA database. The data are used by DEQ in updating their biennial assessments of impaired waterways in Virginia.

    Interested LACA members are welcome to volunteer in support of LACA’s Water Quality Monitoring Program.  Contact the Water Quality Project Officer at this link if you are interested in learning more or volunteering. 

    harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org


  • November 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne - November 2022

    The proposed plan for 15+ Lake Front Acres on 208 across from Lake Anna Plaza calls for a 130-room hotel, restaurant and a 250,000 Sq Ft Condo building. On October 13, 2022, the Planning Commission held a public hearing which surprisingly drew less than ten citizens who stood to oppose the requested zoning change. The required re-zoning from C2 to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the proposed development passed the Planning Commission and will now be placed in front of the Board of Supervisors for their consideration and action. It appears that the Public Hearing with the BOS will be scheduled for November 21, 2022, at 6:00 pm.  

    To recap, the proposed Lake Anna Resort development is planned to have a hotel with no more than 130 rooms, a restaurant, and a condominium with up to 96 residential units consisting of 2 to 5 bedrooms each. There is also a plan for up to 83 covered and 46 uncovered boat slips all on the southern shore of the properties approximately 850 feet of water frontage. The shoreline development plan includes approximately 62,000 sq/feet of over-the-water covered area for boathouses and other amenities.

    The property’s water requirements will be met by on-site wells while the wastewater will be handled by a wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) currently in place and serving the Lake Anna Plaza complex. Louisa County and the Applicant have entered a Memorandum of Understanding for Louisa County to purchase and upgrade the existing private WWTF currently operated by Lake Anna Environmental Services. Under the plan, this upgraded facility will continue to provide wastewater treatment for the Lake Anna Plaza customers, the added Lake Anna Resort’s wastewater treatment needs and perhaps that of future commercial development within Route 208 corridor. The terms for this agreement include a one-million-dollar upfront payment from the Resort and payments for use of the WWTF going forward. Estimates for the cost to improve and upgrade the WWTF are approaching the $10M range.

    During the Community Meeting held in September and the Planning Commission Public Hearing in October, members of the Community asked many questions and expressed a number of concerns about the plan, most having to do with the issues that will come with a development of this size and scope. Issues raised by those in attendance included the County overextending itself with the purchase and upgrade of the LAES WWTF, the environmental impacts of a development this size, changing of the "rural" nature of the lake with a "Virginia Beach-style" condo setup, the light and noise pollution that will come from the proposed developments large buildings perched on the edge of the lake, increased boat traffic, safety issues for boating on Mitchell Creek and the traffic that the development will bring to Route 208, among others. LACA Land Use Committee Chair John Wayne made a statement representing the concerns and position of LACA including those surrounding the upgrade of the WWTF and the nutrient levels coming in to the Lake, opposing the Conditional Use Permit that is also being requested by the developer to raise the height of the Condo building up to 80 feet tall, and limiting short term rentals of any Condo’s that are approved to be built in the development, among other items addressed.

    It was pointed out that the current commercial (C2) zoning does not permit individually owned residential dwellings such as the proposed condominiums, which appears to be the largest bone of contention for the surrounding community. Citizens voiced frustration to county representatives at both meetings regarding how the County continues to approve plans for growth in areas where many feel the road infrastructure is already operating beyond capacity in the peak season. Other concerns mentioned were the County’s ability to respond to a fire in an 80-foot-tall building with current fire apparatus, whether families with children of school age will occupy the condominiums posing a strain on the current school system, and others. 

    Since the Planning Commission meeting where the re-zoning request was approved, there is a growing swell of opposition that promises to make their opinions known to the Board of Supervisors prior to and during the BOS Public Hearing expected on November 21st.    

    You can find additional information on this development in the Programs/Land Use pages of the LACA website https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/Lake-Anna-Resort#Lake%20Anna%20Resort. As always LACA encourages our members to be informed regarding development on the Lake and to make your opinions known to your elected officials.

    John.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org

     


  • September 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Mike Rigdon – September 2022

    There have been recent reports of bear sightings in subdivisions around the lake.  The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is an excellent source of information on bears in Virginia (https://dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/becoming-bear-aware/) Virtually all of this article is taken from the DWR website.

    Bears are highly adaptable and intelligent animals that can live close to people. With a significant black bear population in the counties around the lake, an occasional bear may wander into residential areas due to the smell of food around homes. The most common food attractants are birdfeeders, garbage, and pet food; however, outdoor grills, livestock food, compost, fruit trees, and beehives will also attract bears.

    What should you do if you see a bear?

    Enjoy and keep a respectful distance! In most cases, the bear will move on quickly.

    • If a bear is up a tree on or near your property, give it space. Do not approach and bring your pets inside to provide the bear a clear path to leave your property. Never run from a bear.

    What should you do if a bear is consuming bird seed, garbage, pet food, etc. on your property?

    • The best way to encourage the bear not to return is to remove the food source.
    • Do not store household trash, or anything that smells like food, in vehicles, on porches or decks.
    • Use bear resistant trash containers or retrofit your existing container.
    • Keep your full or empty trash containers secured in a garage, shed or basement.
    • Take your garbage to the dump frequently or if you have a trash collection service, put your trash out the morning of the pickup, not the night before.
    • It is best not to put out birdfeeders between April 1 and November 1, but if you do and a bear accesses the feed, you must take down your birdfeeder for 3-4 weeks after the bear visits.
    • Consider installing electric fencing, an inexpensive and extremely efficient proven deterrent to bears, around dumpsters, gardens, fruit trees, beehives, or other potential food sources.
    • If addressed quickly, this situation can be resolved almost immediately after food sources are removed from the neighborhood. This is likely to require cooperation among neighbors and homeowners associations.  Sometimes, the bear may return searching for food but after a few failed attempts it will move on to greener pastures.

    What do I do if I see a bear cub on my property?

    • Sows with cubs are typically in dens until the mid-March to May time frame. Most small bears people see in early spring are not actual “baby bears” but yearlings (>12 months old). They do not need their mothers to survive.
    • If a small yearling is on your property, the worst thing you can do is feed it. Yearlings need to learn how to find natural foods and not become food conditioned or habituated to humans.
    • Once females leave their dens with 3 to 5-month-old cubs, they will typically travel in a close group unless something makes the female nervous. If you see a very small cub, do not try to remove it from the area or “save it.” When sensing danger, a female bear will typically send her cub(s) up a tree and leave the area. She is attempting to divert the danger away from her cub(s). These trees are called “babysitter trees”. In such cases, the female will almost always return to gather up the cub(s) when no people or pets are around, usually after dark. A female bear can be up to 4 miles away from the cub while it is at the “babysitter tree”.

    Preventing problems with bears is a shared responsibility between the citizens of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Always remember that a bear is a wild animal, and that it is detrimental to the bear, as well as illegal in Virginia, to feed a bear under any circumstances. Even allowing a bear to feed on trash or birdseed is illegal. Feeding bears may cause them to lose their natural distrust of humans, creating situations where bears may become habituated and sometimes aggressive towards people. Thus, human and bear safety is the responsibility of all residents and visitors of the Commonwealth.

    You can help manage the Commonwealth’s black bear population and keep bears wild. Make sure your property is clear of attractants, communicate with your neighbors to resolve community bear concerns and learn about bears, one of the most amazing intelligent wildlife species in Virginia. If you experience a bear problem after taking appropriate steps of prevention, please call the Wildlife Conflict Helpline at (855) 571-9003.

    mike.rigdon@lakeannavirginia.org


  • September 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Mike Gelber - September 2022

    LACA started the study of Floating Treatment Islands (FTI) in 2021. Since Lake Anna was created as an impoundment naturally created wetlands were never established. To create a wetland buffer would cost millions of dollars and the removal of many acres of farmland. The creation of these Floating Treatment Islands was interesting because a 250 square foot island was found to be equivalent to an acre of natural wetland at a fraction of the cost. The initial trial was with homemade islands that were filled with marsh plants native to Virginia. 

    There were some “growing” pains with the selection of some of the plants. We did not know how deep the islands would ride in the water and some of the plants did better than others in the deeper water. During the winter of 2021-2022 the tops of many of the plants died back which was expected.  By the Spring of 2022 new growth was seen in last year’s Islands. LACA and the Runnymede POA purchased commercially manufactured FTI and they were planted and deployed in the Spring of 2022. As seen in the photograph above; the plants are doing well and by mid-Summer the roots were starting to hang below the Islands.

    Because the plants are growing with no root contact to the lake bottom, all the nutrients they are using come directly from the water. When the Island plants absorb the nitrogen and phosphorus from the water there are less nutrients available for the algae to use.  Notice in the photo below the visitor in the upper left corner.

    mike.gelber@lakeannavirginia.org

  • September 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Willie Kelly - September 2022

    For a long time around Lake Anna, the promise of a premier golf community was something of an unfulfilled dream.  In 2019 Reef Private Equity, LLC bought the land and started bringing life to it, first through completing the Cutalong Golf Course and opening it for members only play in 2020.  With the golf course open for its second full year now, the Cutalong development team is steaming ahead establishing the infrastructure needed to support a community consisting of a championship golf course (open), a clubhouse, golf performance center, 891 resident lots including 56 “stay & play” units (short term rentals  with associated golf membership privileges), and an amenity center complex including an aquatic center, tennis courts, pickleball courts, 90 wet boat slips and a boat hotel with 200 slips.  Completion of all this capability is envisioned to take 8-10 years from today.

    So why are you reading about this in a LACA newsletter?  LACA’s mission to “… preserve and protect the cleanliness, beauty, and safe use of Lake Anna and its watershed through communication, advocacy, education, and community involvement to benefit the membership and all lake users” makes digging into the details of impactful development initiatives like Cutalong something of an imperative.  All the planned infrastructure and growth of residents (permanent, semi-permanent and transient) that Cutalong promises no doubt carries a potentially significant impact to Lake Anna.

    In coming months and years, we will be exploring this impact and bringing what we learn to our LACA members via this newsletter.  Our first deep dive will focus on the water and waste treatment capability being developed and planned for completion in the 1st Qtr of 2023.  A community the size of Cutalong with a championship golf course, three restaurants, and a slew of amenities as stated earlier will generate a significant demand for water and generate a lot of wastewater to boot…which could be highly impactful to Lake Anna and its ecosystems.

    Another deep dive will be to dig into plans for dredging along Contrary Creek to facilitate creation of the 90-slip private community dock and boat hotel capabilities.  We will explore potential environmental impacts to the lake associated with this activity and report on the Cutalong development team plans to mitigate them.

    Every indication is that the Cutalong development team is truly focused not only on successfully developing this 1050± acre plot of land into the premier golf community of the Mid-Atlantic region…but doing so in an environmentally conscious manner demonstrating their commitment to enhancing Lake Anna’s position as the pre-eminent regional tourist attraction.

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org
  • July 10, 2022 1:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Harry Looney – July 2022

    The Lake Anna Advisory Committee (LAAC) recently completed an assessment titled “Algal Bloom Assessment and Recommendations for Part of Lake Anna”.  LAAC issued a contract to SOLitude Lake Management for the research, data capture and analysis, assessment and recommendations.  Field work was conducted between May 2021 and September 2021 consisting of sediment and water sampling and analysis.  The final report from the work was published in February 2022 and is available at this link.

    This article provides an executive summary of the final report and final briefing conducted by SOLitude Lake Management to the LAAC staff on 23 February 2022. 

    The primary model used by SOLitude Lake Management for the assessment was the Lake Loading Response Model (LLRM).  SOLitude referenced several models that are used within the research community for assessing lakes and other surface waters and documented their reasoning behind the use of the LLRM for this assessment. 

    The assessment focused on an 865-acre area of Lake Anna in the upper North Anna River branch (see Figure 1).  The assessment area starts at the Holladay Bridge and extends NW to where the North Anna River flows into the lake and includes Goldmine Creek, Duckinhole Creek, and Christopher Run.  The assessment area comprises less than 10% of the Lake Anna water surface and approximately 40% of the Lake Anna watershed drainage area.


    Figure 1: Assessment Area – 865 Acres of the North Anna River

    The assessment broke the 865-acre area into 2 separate “basins” based on watershed area, water depth and choke points (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2: North Anna River Basins

    Basin 1 is fed by a watershed covering 113 square miles and basin 2 is fed by a watershed covering only 33 square miles.  Basin 1 is shallow with a mean depth of less than 3 meters while basin 2 is deeper with a mean depth greater than 3 meters. 

    SOLitude’s data showed that Basin 1 was well-mixed throughout the year and had sufficient oxygen throughout 2021.  SOLitude’s data for basin 2 indicated that the lake was stratified and lacked oxygen over the sediments throughout the 2021 algae growing season. 

    One of the primary research focus areas in the SOLitude assessment was the availability of nutrients, primarily phosphorous, in the water column (dissolved phosphorous) and in sediment. 

    A key finding in the assessment is that 80% of the phosphorous loading in basin 1 is driven by external sources in the watershed while only 20% of the phosphorous available to the aquatic biomass comes from internal loading (phosphorous stored in sediment). 

    The assessment found that basin 2 is also driven by external loading (60-70%) in the watershed.  SOLitude stated during the final briefing that Lake Anna is a “Phosphorus Limited Lake”, meaning that small increases in phosphorous lead to large increases in algal biomass densities.

    The SOLitude final briefing stated that watershed management alone is rarely sufficient to recover lakes impacted by algal blooms.  They also stated that data from other lakes and areas with algal issues shows that the contributions from agriculture, forested areas, and septic systems are at least as great as urban and development impacts on a watershed.   A general rule of thumb used by environmental engineers is that one square mile of watershed management in developed areas costs $5 million to achieve a 20% reduction in nutrients.  The SOLitude analysis shows that 32% of the assessment area watershed is developed. This means that the funding required to manage just the North Anna tributary and watershed could be greater than 220 million dollars.  

    The final report provides recommendations on different approaches to reduce phosphorous loading and for mitigating algal blooms.  The type of approach LACA is currently taking in our Cyanobacteria Mitigation Program (CMP), hydrogen-peroxide-based algaecides, is mentioned in the report on page 62.  The final report states that “algaecides provide a low cost and short-term solution to address harmful algal blooms”.  The report goes on to state that “peroxide-based algaecides tend to be more selective for many cyanobacteria and leave no potentially harmful residue behind”.  You can find more information on the LACA CMP and our Kick the HAB campaign at this link or by scanning the QR code in this newsletter.

    LACA’s decision to focus on near-term mitigation approaches was developed over several years of research and data analysis.  The SOLitude report on spot algaecide treatments provides additional justification for LACA’s focus on mitigation efforts that can be implemented now with funding levels that LACA can reasonably raise through donations and grants.                                                                                                     

    Based on the results of the LAAC assessment, major federal, state, and local funding is needed to get long-term results from watershed management.  LACA is working to bring federal, state, and local funding to this problem.  Given the large dollar amounts that are needed, a focused, multi-state agency approach is required.  That is why the FY23 Virginia State Budget included 1 million dollars of funding for a study on how to mitigate algal bloom issues on Lake Anna.  This is a complex problem and the approaches to remedy the problem are numerous, varied, expensive, and primarily long-term before effects are realized.  LACA understands that people are tired of studies and data collection but the state funding of 1 million dollars for a study on how to best mitigate the algal bloom issues on Lake Anna is a wise investment to ensure future expenditures are focused on the mitigation and prevention approaches that have the highest probability of success for Lake Anna.

    Interested LACA members are welcome to volunteer in support of LACA’s Water Quality Monitoring and Cyanobacteria Mitigation Programs.  Contact the Water Quality Project Officer at this link if you are interested in learning more or volunteering.

    harry.looney@lakeannavirginia.org


  • July 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne - July 2022

    With much of the focus of the Land Use Committee being on a successful outcome regarding the Four Seasons RV Park over the past year, we will begin to report more information as we have it on other developments around the Lake.  Members of the Committee have been watching these developments and communicating with developers and county officials about them.  While some are progressing at the expected rate, others have stalled.  Over the next months we will be providing details on those developments which are active and/or coming in the not-too-distant future.

    One of the “developments” that we can report on is the update to the Spotsylvania Comprehensive Plan for the areas surrounding the lake.  The Planning Commission, working with the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors had designated the Route 208 corridor in the Lake Anna Area as Mixed Use Commercial Heavy.  This would require that developments proposed for this area have more “commercial” use than residential. 

    In the latest update, they are also adding the Planned Residential Rural (PRR) zoning district as complementary to Mixed Use Commercial Heavy.  This designates single-family detached housing requiring individual well and septic, to the zoning requirements making it harder for developers to get approval for private community wastewater treatment systems and mass drain fields.  While this updated Comprehensive Plan has not received all the required approvals, we have already leanings in this direction by the Planning Commission (PC).  Last year the PC voted unanimously to deny the zoning request for the Towns at Point Seanna development on the property located between Anna Point Marina and Pigeon Run.  This plan proposed utilizing a community wastewater treatment system and the PC indicated that there was not the proper mix of commercial/residential use proposed to be in line with the Comprehensive Plan.  Additional time has been granted to this request and it has not yet gone before the Board of Supervisors.

    Zoning requests and Special Use Permits for upcoming developments on properties in Spotsylvania County will likely now be viewed by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors through the lens of the new Comprehensive Plan once it is approved.  We will watch to see how this affects developments being planned for the Hairfield property, on Rte. 208 across from High Point and Anna Point marinas, and the former Hayden property, where the SUP for the Four Seasons RV Park had been proposed and is currently withdrawn. 

    On the Louisa side of the lake Cutalong is currently most active.  The Golf Course is in full swing with 18 holes and a member count that continues to grow.  Infrastructure is being built out to include the wastewater treatment facility and the community water system.  Look for a complete report on Cutalong in next month’s newsletter.  Other developments continuing through the process in Louisa are the Lake Anna Gateway Shopping area at the corner of Rte. 522 and Mansfield Road which is looking for tenants prior to beginning the build out, the New Bridge Fire and EMS Station where construction should begin soon to be completed in 2023 and the Rte. 522 and Rte. 208 Round About scheduled for some time in 2023. 

    Over the next months we will provide additional details of these and other pending developments around the lake.  If you have questions or hear information that you would like to get to us, please drop the Land Use committee a note.  You can find us on the LACA Website.

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org


  • July 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker – July 2022

    Thank you again for participating in the biennial 2021 LACA Member Survey. The goal of the board is to listen to the feedback from the membership and use this information to form the positions that we take as an organization. The board takes this feedback seriously. Over the course of the year, we plan to publish several newsletter articles that share the results and most importantly, LACA’s response to the feedback. This is the second article related to the survey, you may read the first article focusing on Water Quality Issues by following this link.

    The focus of this article is to address the feedback that we received on questions that were not specific to one of our five standing committees which include, Water Quality, Environmental Preservation, Emergency Services & Safety, Fireworks and Land Use. 

    Question #9 asked if LACA should get involved in the regulation of short-term rentals (STR). LACA’s focus would be related only to issues outlined in our mission statement. This would include how overcapacity on septic systems impact the water quality on the lake and how over-capacity impacts the safety of the renters if they do not have working fire extinguishers or egress to bedrooms. The response was overwhelmingly (80.54%) in favor of LACA supporting regulation. We also received 58 comments on this questions that primarily focused on over-capacity.

    In response, the board has taken a position to support smart regulation related to preventing STRs from renting over the capacity of their septic system. This means no more than 2 people per bedroom as it is stated in the septic permit. We have publicly supported the pending ordinance in Louisa County related to STRs. We have made a presentation to the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors on the issue. To be clear, LACA is NOT opposed to STRs at Lake Anna, we will continue to fight on your behalf for reasonable regulation to prevent STRs from renting over capacity and to require working fire extinguishers in STRs and all bedrooms to have proper egress.

    Question #10 asked if our members currently rent their lake homes as STRs. Less than 4% of our members currently rent their homes.

    Question #18 focused on our dues which have been $15 per year since the founding of the organization 30 years ago. This is the second time that we polled the membership regarding increasing dues. On both occasions, the membership responded that they would support an increase in dues. Just under 95% of the members supported an increase of at least $5 and well over 50% supported an increase of $10.

    LACA has made significant investments in our water quality testing capabilities with the advent of Harmful Algae Blooms on Lake Anna and the corresponding Recreational Advisories (no-swim warnings) from Virginia Department of Health. In the past, LACA primarily financed our water quality testing program with grants from DEQ, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties. For the past several years, given the urgency of the HAB problem, we have spent far more than the grants that we receive.

    This is not financially sustainable for LACA to continue. To overcome this deficit, we have asked for increases in our grants from both Louisa and Spotsylvania County. We are grateful to announce that both Louisa and Spotsylvania County approved these requests. We requested funding from Orange County as well, but to date, have never received any funding from Orange County. We have moved to an electronic version of newsletter. This has been well received and has removed one of the largest line items in our budget which was the mailing and printing of our newsletter.

    Even with the increased grants and the reduction in costs within LACA, we continue to run a deficit in our water quality programs. Primarily for this reason, the board voted unanimously to implement an increase in our dues to $25 per year effective January 1st, 2022. There continues to be significant discounts if you extend your membership for over a one-year period. The board notified the membership in the fall of 2021 and gave our members the opportunity to extend their memberships prior to the scheduled increase.

    Question #23 asked about a new mandate for LACA. This would create a “President’s Council” made up of HOA/POA Presidents or their appointed representative. The goal of the council would be to provide a forum at Lake Anna to share best practices and ideas with the communities surrounding the lake. The membership overwhelmingly (86.81%) supported this concept.

    Based on this feedback, the board has been working very hard to come up with what this might look like. At the most recent board meeting in July, the board unanimously voted to establish the council. Please be on the lookout for more information related to the council over the coming months. We will need your help. With close to 200 HOA/POAs on Lake Anna, it is a challenge to know who the president is for each organization. We will be reaching out for your help in identifying who should be invited to join the council.

    Questions #25 through #29 related to our annual meeting and its content. We have had terrific feedback on the annual meeting, and we hope that you will attend the 2022 LACA Annual Meeting on July 30th. To attend, you may preregister by following this link.

    Because of Covid, our 2020 Annual Meeting was conducted later than usual and virtually via Zoom. It was well attended. In 2021, we were able to do a hybrid approach offering both the opportunity to attend via Zoom or in-person. We have had terrific feedback on this approach and we hope to offer both in-person attendance as well as broadcasting the meeting via Zoom going forward.

    LACA scored well on the amount and quality of the content that we present at the meetings with 91% of our respondents suggesting we hit “just the right amount of information.” Having a guest speaker is strongly supported by our membership. The most requested quest speaker by a small margin was to have a member of Louisa and/or Spotsylvania County government speak to the long-term master plan for Lake Anna. Coming in tied for the second most requested speaker would be either a Dominion representative to speak about the nuclear power plant and its operation or a member of local government to speak about the long-term plan for high-speed internet at Lake Anna.

    This year, given the 50th anniversary of Lake Anna, we are excited to have Katelyn Coughlan, Execute Director of the Louisa County Historical Society speak about the history of Lake Anna.

    Finally, we received 88 comments with ideas to address at the annual meetings. These comments ranged from controlling sound levels on boats, to HAB remediation plans, to more police patrolling the lake, to bulkhead issues, to high-speed internet and many, many more.  We encourage all our members to participate in the annual meeting. At the end of the meeting, we will have an open forum where we hope to answer as many of these questions as possible and to understand the concerns of our members!

    greg.baker@lakeannavirginia.org


  • July 01, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi – July 2022

    This past fall and winter, I wrote articles related to those seasons.  I hope you found them helpful.  To continue my health series, there are a variety of health risks that come with the warmer weather.  It’s a time that we all wait for, a time to get out of the house and enjoy the higher temperatures, sunshine and longer days.  Those longer days increase the possibility of insect and animal bites and physical injuries associated with increased activity, especially outdoor sports.  So, let’s run through a few warm weather consequences.

    Insect Bites and Stings - Most insect bites and stings cause a mild reaction, such as redness, itching or minor swelling.  There may be an instant burning pain or redness at the site.  A welt at the site may be present, or a small white spot at the sting area, where you may be able to see the stinger.  A moderate reaction may be swelling around the area that increases through the day and may last several days.  A severe reaction, or anaphylaxis, may cause shock, respiratory and cardiac arrest within minutes.  Symptoms may include swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness. 

    Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and 911 should be called.  People known to have an anaphylaxis reaction should always carry epinephrine.  For treatment of a mild reaction, cold compresses or topical cortisone cream should reduce pain.  If a stinger is visible, remove by pushing it aside with a scraping motion.  Do not grab with fingers or tweezers or more toxin may be released.  Administer an antihistamine as prescribed, if not allergic to this medicine.  A person may consider West Nile virus if generalized symptoms continue.

    Animal Bites - During warmer months, the possibility of non-domestic or domestic bites increases.  Stray and wild animals, including bats, raccoons and skunks, bite thousands of people every year. 

    Animal bites have a greater probability of becoming infected, especially for people with diabetes, peripheral artery disease or weakened immune systems.  If bitten by a non-domestic animal, call 911 and move to a safe area.  Authorities will attempt to capture and quarantine and test for rabies.  A health care provider should be seen within 24 hours to assess for infection.  Other diseases transmitted may be viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic. If you come in contact with any of the above, immediately wash the skin with soap and warm water.  Apply cold compresses or soak the area in cold water.  Over-the-counter oral antihistamines are helpful.  For more severe rashes, oral, cream, ointment or gel forms of corticosteroids may be used.  Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and enclosed footwear. 

    Other warm weather issues to consider - Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by a bite from an infected tick, which may affect joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  Treatment is with antibiotics.  After outdoor activities, persons should examine all areas of the skin, especially the groin, axilla and scalp.  Mostly, a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or longer before transmitting Lyme disease bacteria. 

    Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac - All poisonous plants are found throughout yards, gardens and wooded areas.  Identification of these plants is the best way to avoid becoming victim to their allergic reactions.  There are many samples of types of leaves online.  Becoming familiar with the different varieties may help you avoid coming in contact.  

    These are just a few of the problems associated with the warm weather season.  After being restricted to mostly being indoors for the past two or more years, everyone is getting out into the fresh air and resuming those wonderful, fun activities that may find us in one of the situations listed in this article. 

    My next article will contain information about how to respond to snake bites, concussions, drowning, lacerations and puncture wounds, sprains and strains, sunburn and West Nile virus.  Most of these topics become more prevalent as the temperatures increase and we are swimming and spending longer hours outdoors.  If you have any questions related to anything mentioned in this article, be sure to email me at sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org and I will be glad to answer any questions or concerns.  See you next month.

    sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org


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