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Development Could Make School Crowding Worse

A FCPS report shows that South Lakes High School is already overcrowded. What will happen if thousands more people move into housing here?

For many months, Rescue Reston has been trying to broaden the discussion of why the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course into housing is a very dangerous idea to the entire community of Reston.

Thank you, Patch, for today’s article addressing the existing overenrollment in South Lakes High School. Thank you for introducing Rescue Reston’s January message - overcrowded schools. Development of open space will negatively impact education.

Reston, this crisis involves more than a real estate issue for those surrounding the Reston National Golf Course.

While the potential elimination of the golf course and redevelopment will directly affect more than 1,000 homeowners, a much bigger issue faces Reston. If and when there is development of the open space, you can bet you last dollar that Hidden Creek Golf Course in north Reston will fall in the same manner.

Reston National is not merely a crack in the dam; it is a gaping hole - a massive breach.

Hidden Creek Golf Course is a much different - and many say easier - open space to redevelop than Reston National. Hidden Creek has fewer residential homes contiguous to the course. Much of the current housing units are rental apartments that may produce less resistance and objection.

Reston National has but a few hundred yards of commercial border. Hidden Creek currently shares an expansive border with existing commercial real estate development and will be a very short walk to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, which opens in 2013.

Everyone’s Issue

It is reasonable for young families to focus on the immediate pressures of today. We have all been there; the early stages of establishing careers, the rush to get the kids to sports, piano or dance lessons. But please consider that young families moved to Reston for a specific lifestyle that includes education as well as a balance in open space and density.

Reston was named by Money magazine as one of of the top 10 places to live in the nation for that very reason and not because we stuff anything that will make anyone a buck anywhere we can!

That educational asset and balance are under attack. That battle is simply between lifestyle and profit. Community planning by definition involves the community.

We say NO!

These redevelopment plans could bring 2,500 to 3,000 people to fill the homes that are then constructed in the South Lakes pyramid and conceivably a larger amount (3,000+) in the Lake Anne area.

Lake Anne development will be in addition to a recent sale of apartment units on North Shore Drive (with a higher density projection) and the current redevelopment of more apartments on Temporary Road.

On Jan. 30, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals will hear the appeal from Reston National Golf Management (a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life) to begin the destruction of what took Reston 60 years to create.

Please join Rescue Reston and help to prevent that from happening. Go to RescueReston.org to discover the many ways you can help.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael January 04, 2013 at 04:14 AM
So anyone who doesn't sign must be demonized? There's the rhetoric again: the only way to "support your community" is to do what we tell you, and don't think of any other ideas? "Sign our petition or be known forever as someone who doesn't support your community!" You could have just asked people to sign it, and not gone for the emotional blackmail.
Richard Holmquist January 04, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Michael, do you at least concede that it's fair for Reston's residents to expect Reston to grow based on its founding principles? I think John has correctly identified how several principles will be violated with this end-around by the golf course. Planned development, bands of green space and diverse recreational opportunities are a few that come to mind. Some may expect everything to stay the same, but I think most of us would be satisfied with slow, steady, well-planned growth. That's what has always proven the most effective in the long-term, not boom & bust growth based on developers cramming through projects that win them a fast buck.
Richard Holmquist January 04, 2013 at 05:20 AM
In the spring you reported on a proposal for a 1330 unit re-development of the Crescent Apartments. It didn't go through, but that set the bar for what I expect the county will seek in the coming years for that property.
DGeorge January 04, 2013 at 11:01 AM
It is supporting your community and neighbors by signing the petition. You have a problem with that Michael? Or would you rather just sign it if no-one said you were supporting your community. Sounds like you would eat your carrots only if no-one told you to. I had a six year old that went through that faze.
Karen Goff January 04, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Richard - yes, there are MANY proposals out there and of course some will approved down the line. I am just stating here what is either under construction or has been approved. The line between facts as I report them and rumors batted around in the comments has gotten very fuzzy, so I am just reposting the numbers to remind people.

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