Reston resident Kathy Kaplan shared with Patch a letter she sent to Northwestern Mutual Insurance CEO John Schlifske last week after it was discovered that Northwestern Mutual is the parent company of the company that owns Reston National Golf Course.
Dear Mr. Schlifske:
Perhaps when you bought Reston National Golf Course you were led astray. Perhaps someone in Fairfax County government assured you that our community was undergoing massive redevelopment and that it was a good opportunity to make a cool half billion. Perhaps someone told you that no one living here would lift a finger if you took away our open space and removed one of our long-standing community amenities. We would really like to know if you were egged on by someone in our county government. We might need to do some house cleaning. Please inform us; we would appreciate it.
Perhaps your advisors didn’t tell you that Reston is a planned community and both of golf courses were included in the original Whittlesey and Conklin master plan of 1962. They are designated as open space in every county map produced since then.
We are an unusual community, not like any other. Perhaps you don’t know very much about us. We do things very differently here. We have an ongoing love/hate relationship with the Design Review Board. We love to hate them. We endure, mostly in silence, insults from our original developer/founder who believes he should be our dictator. We are a difficult people. We have stayed put here 50 years and we aren’t going anywhere. Many of us have three and four generations of our families living in Reston. My daughter, who grew up in Reston, lives on Reston National Golf course. So do my grandchildren. Reston is our home.
Restonians understand the balance of nature. We live in nature. We live in harmony with our resident predators—foxes, coyotes. As long as they don’t break the rules and eat our pets or our children we don’t trap or poison them. We let them stay and eat whatever else they can find. And we live in harmony with our resident predatory developers—Boston Properties, JBG, and others. They occasionally put up nice buildings. We appreciate nice buildings.
But stealing our open space breaks the rules. You do a disservice to your stockholders if you think you will win this battle to take what is ours, what has always been ours. You will not be allowed to eat the future of our children. You need to reconsider your legal actions to redevelop Reston National.
We will never back down.