Redeveloping Reston National Golf Course as residential housing could have a severe impact on the surrounding environment - including diminishing wildlife homes and disappearing trees and plants, RA's CEO and Parks and Recreation Director say.
CEO Milton Matthews and Parks Director Larry Butler outlined some hypothetical findings to the RA board last week. Matthews and Butler said since there are no official plans at this point, it difficult to make accurate assumptions.
Reston National's owners have filed an appeal with the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals. They maintain the parcel, which has been a golf course for nearly 40 years, is zoned residential. The county does not agree. The appeal, scheduled for Oct. 24, has been deferred until Jan. 30 at RN Golf Management's request.
RA - along with several citizens groups - is against the potential golf course redevelopment . RA has hired a top land use firm to represent them in the expected fight.
Using a formula of 10 units per acre on the 166-acre property - about 1,100 units and 2,775 people - the report found:
* Potential development could encroach on RA-owned natural buffer areas between homes and the golf course. "Development very close to these parcels could also alter drainage patterns, which could easily affect the health of the vegetation on these parcels," the report stated.
* Pressure on existing facilities - the addition of more than 2,000 residents who would use nearby RA-owned recreational facilities such as Lake Thoreau, Ridge Heights, Shadowood and Newbridge pools would cause crowding on those facilities. Altering the structure of the golf course parcel could also affect RA pathway accessibility in the area.
* Reston National is a certified a Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International. RA points out that developing the land, home to habitats of many species, would "greatly minimize" this habitat type in Reston. Development would also cause forest fragmentation, inhibiting growth of mature trees and encouraging growth of invasive species - which will further impact wildlife habitats.
* Stormwater runoff - Stormwater from the golf course currently drains into Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau, and development could degrade natural stream channels.