Linda Fosdick, Associate Broker

Lake Anna Search Terms

Shopping for property at Lake Anna requires an understanding of the types of properties available at the lake. There are a wide variety of categories and styles of property and it is in your best interest to work with a Realtor® who is local to the Lake and is knowledgeable and experienced in the intricacies of selling quality property at Lake Anna. To help you get started and prepare for your search, I am providing you these Tips and Terms to help you understand how to search and shop for property at Lake Anna. Pay particular attention to the different definitions of waterfront property.  Then call or write me for personalized assistance to find your perfect place at Lake Anna. [email protected] TIPS AND TERMS:

CHESAPEAKE BAY PRESERVATION ACT: Spotsylvania County must comply with the provisions of this act which was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988. Its purpose is to protect the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and other tributariess by regulating the use of the shoreline. Typically, this means the the first 100 ft. of property from the shoreline is protected and referred to as the "RPA". Within that RPA zone there are certain restrictions to cutting down trees and making improvements that require prior approval. It is suggested that you have some understanding of this Act before purchasing waterfront property in Spotsylvania County.       

DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER PROPERTY GUIDELINES: Dominion Virginia Power owns all of the shoreline around Lake Anna. However, any waterfront property owner has an exclusive right to use the shoreline associated with their parcel of property. The determination of the location and amount of property owned by Dominion Virginia on each waterfront parcel is based upon elevation. Dominion owns up to the 257 foot elevation, at whatever point that elevation occurs on any given waterfront parcel. For additional information on the use of Dominion Virginia property please see the guidelines provided at the following link:

LOUISA COUNTY SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN:  Although the Louisa side of the lake technically does not fall within the purview of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors felt it prudent to implement similar restrictions to equally safeguard the Lake Anna waters and the shorline in Louisa County. They adopted a Shoreline Management Ordinance that outlines specific use and design standards for the Lake Anna shoreline. These guidelines protect water quality, public safety, and quality of life around Lake Anna.  The Dominion's General Guidelines for Construction and Use Agreement is enforced by Dominion Power, who owns all of the shorline around the lake.  Some of the stabilization techniques that are recommended can be found in the Lake Anna Agreement In Lieu. The Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District is available to residents to assist in complying with the county guidelines. For additional information, go to:

OUT PARCEL WATERFRONT: Property that includes a separate piece of deeded waterfront property that is not necessarily located near its residential parcel. The waterfront parcel typically includes a location for an individual dock or boat shelter.

PARK WATERFRONT: Indicates that the property abuts community common area that is waterfront. This could mean that a parcel of land is next to the common area in the subdivision, but this property is technically not waterfront and may or may not have a water view. Tends to be more expensive than Water Access property, but less expensive than Waterfront.

PRIVATE SIDE/ WARM SIDE:  Lake Anna is divided into two sides: the Public Side (also known as the "COLD" side) and the Private Side (also known as the "WARM" side). The private side is formed of three main bodies of water, interconnected by canals and encompasses over 3,000 surface acres. The public and private sides are divided by three stone dikes and boats cannot travel from one side to the other. The private side has no marinas or public access ramps; therefore, only property owners have access to the waters on the private side. The private side (also known as the cooling lagoon/pond) receives warm water discharge from the power plant. Some areas of the private side can be noticeably warmer than the public side, especially near the discharge point from the Power Plant. The water immediately outside the Power Plant discharge point is approximately 13 degrees warmer than when it went into the plant. The water cools as it travels through the cooling ponds and returns to a near normal temperature by the time it reaches the third dike where it is circulated back into the public side near the dam. The closer you are to the power plant discharge, the warmer the water. The closer you are to Dike 3, the more normal the temperature is.  Some say that fishing on the the Warm Side is good due to a longer spawning season. The warmer waters are also great for early Spring Waterskiing. The water outside of the Power Plant discharge point can be quite warm (near 100 degrees) in the hottest part of the summer, as in Mid-August.

PUBLIC SIDE/COLD SIDE:  Lake Anna is divided into two sides: the public side (also known as the "COLD" side) and the private side (also known as the "WARM" side). The public side is nearly 10,000 surface acres. The public and private sides are divided by three solid dikes and boats cannot travel from one side to the other. The public side provides cool water to the power plant, thus called the “COLD” side. The public side has a number of marinas and boat launches where the public can launch their boats for the day. As a result of its size and public access, the public side tends to be quite popular in the summer months. The public side also features Lake Anna State Park., which is quite extensive and very popular in the summer. The park has recently added several small cabins that are available for rent. Water does circulate back out of the private side into the public side through underground channels at Dike 3, therefore, the public side can be slightly warmer in the lower/southern end near the dam.

RPA: Known as the "Resource Protection Area" it is a function of compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Protection Act. The first 100 ft. from the shoreline is considered a protected zone.  There are certain guidelines and restrictions that are carefully enforced within this 100 ft. zone. You may not clear cut the trees, nor use chemicals that would cause a harmful run off into the lake. On Lake Anna, only Spotsylvania County shoreline is subject to this Act. However, Louisa County has enacted similar County guidelines to equally protect the Lake.  For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Act go to The Louisa County Guidelines can be found at: Shoreline Management Ordinance


SHARED WATERFRONT:  One or more pieces of residential property that share a deeded parcel of waterfront. Typically the waterfront includes a location for a multiple slip boat shelter providing a slip for each of the property owners. This parcel of waterfront is not necessarily located near the property, nor provides a view from the residential property. 

WATER ACCESS:  Property that is in a community which provides and maintains an access ramp into Lake Anna. The Community may have assigned boat slips. Water Access property may or may not come with an assigned boat slip. An assigned boat slip increases the value of the Water Access property.

WATERFRONT:  Property that has shoreline which physically touches the water. Waterfront property has the right to have its own dock or boat slip on the lake, subject to design and location approval from Dominion Power and possibly the community and neighboring lot owners. The quality of waterfront varies dramatically and is valued according to the amount of waterfront shoreline, the quality of the view and the depth and navigability of the water.

WATERVIEW: Property that has some view of the water. Quality of view varies significantly.  Waterview does not imply waterfront or water access.

WINTER WATERVIEW: Indicates that a view is possible only when the leaves have fallen from the trees. There is no view during full foliage.