Clusters Galvanize for Golf Course Fight

Reston Rescue Reps from several clusters near Reston National getting organize to keep the open space open.

Citizens who are concerned about potential rezoning and redevelopment at held their first organizational meeting on Friday.

The group is calling itself Rescue Reston, and it is comprised of more than a dozen leaders from clusters contiguous to the Reston National and specifically skilled volunteers, says John Pinkman, a resident of Golf Course View Cluster and one of the organizers.

Rescue Reston has been formed i that the owners of the golf course, RN Golf Mangagement LLC, will go before the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals in October as part of an effort to determine the zoning for the 166-acre course.

 The county said that any changes would have to go through the county master plan, as well as the Reston Master Plan and

To see RN Golf Management LLC's appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals - as well as other documents pertaining to this issue - click here.

Meanwhile, Frank McDermott, the attorney representing RN Golf Management's case to the Board of Zoning Appeals, says the BZA does not decide development. The case before the BZA is only to determine by law the zoning for the Reston National.

"This appeal to BZA will not result in a change in the status quo," he said. "The BZA cannot make that decision. It can only interpret zoning ordinances and entitlements."

Pinkman says Rescue Reston has created an organization framework to channel information and support: Communications, Legal, and Finance. The committee chairs will serve as an executive committee and a director will be decided shortly.

The group has also created a fundraising plan.

Here is some info from the committees:  

Communications (John Pinkman)

The group now has a website (click here to access it), a Facebook page (Rescue Reston) and Twitter feed (@RescueReston).  There will also be yard signs and banners available.

Legal (David Stroh)

The group has identified a law firm to represent them and they will be on board early next week. Hours of legal research have already taken place and have produced positive results.

Finance (Joe Deninger)

The group will be meeting with counsel to determine the type of organization best suited for the mission. Plans will be developed to accept online contributions through the web site. Facing the possibility of diminished home values, the cluster representatives are returning to their boards this week to arrive at a contribution to the legal defense fund.  

"We are keenly aware that the process we are about to undertake will have broad based implications not only throughout other areas in Reston, but county wide as well," Pinkman wrote to golf course-area residents.

"We have a limited time until Oct. 24, when the Board of Zoning Appeals could make a final decision to allow redevelopment.  We know that everyone is upset, angry, and scared," he added. "Expressing what you thought was true is not helpful. All of us labored under false information for years. Let’s not spend time discussing the past, but strategically align to preserve the future by facing facts and channeling skilled resources and funds.

To keep up with Reston Development news, subscribe to our free daily newsletter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too.

Ray Wedell August 19, 2012 at 02:01 PM
This entire idea of re-zoning any of this space as anything other than open space is an outrage. The mere zoning as "open space" is not enough. There is a shortage of recreational facilities open to men and women in Fairafx County, and in Reston. This needs to remain as a golf course, as it has been for decades. Some of my fondest memories of my son revolve around playing golf with him growing up; some of the best ways to meet and earn friendship is through golf. Reston National is a valuable treasure to us. I can go on, but enough on that topic for now. There is an alarming trend in Reston the past decade... the need to continue apace with anything related to "high end" or "luxury living." I am on board with that, as are most Reston residents, when it comes to well-planned communities in areas which are a natural fit for this, such as Reston Town Center. However, when perfectly adequate and somewhat affordable apartment complexes are proposed to be "re-zoned" to make way for "luxury condoes", i.e., development which will allow developers and other LLCs to extract huge dollars out in some self-aggrandizing move to "upgrade" a community, then we have lost our sanity and our soul as a well established community of diverse-minded people. This same mentality is now spreading to the removal of valued open spaces? Anyone who is reasonably compos mentis has to see the insanity in this re-zoning proposal for the Reston Golf Course. In life, it is NOT all about money.
BBurns August 19, 2012 at 02:20 PM
But it is all about money. It is for the developers and generally the county/Hudgins. Reston has some of the last undeveloped land in Fairfax County. Today the golf course, tomorrow... ? Venting our outrage is a normal reaction, but then we need to give our time and $$, if able, to fight this. It looks like Reston Rescue organizers have made a great start in just a few days.
Stella McEnearny August 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I couldn't have said it better than Ray did. That trend toward luxury dwellings and accommodations must not include destroying the fabric of Reston, which is what this incursion upon the golf course would represent. Reston would then become just another luxury 'burb, turning its back on its very founding principles. Beth is right: It is all about the money, and it is to the benefit of those developers...
Ray Wedell August 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Do you all remember the fiasco at the former Prison Ministry home? Linden Springs? Is that the type of nonsense we have to look forward to? And now that all the talk is about the silver line subway coming in, we need to be careful about massive overdevelopment around the station. We don't need another Dunn Loring.
The Analyst August 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Ms. Burns: The term "underdeveloped" is a term used by developers to connote something negative because they haven't gotten around to ruining it yet. Apparently our "representatives" in the county government need to be constantly beat over the head with citizen input otherwise, just like a child molester alone in a room with a small child with no one watching, they simply can't help themselves. It's really quite pathetic!
The Analyst August 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM
As I and a few others have pointed out, the "If we build it, they will come" theory used by developers to justify more overdevelopment is utter nonsense. As has been referenced many times here, the building at the corner of Sunrise Valley/Hunter Mill/267 has been sitting empty for over 10 years now. This area is filled with marginally or partially filled buildings. The BOS is using taxpayer dollars to subsidize developers in Tysons Corner so upper middle income people will move into their newly created mega-mess...otherwise they (apparently) can't get anyone to move in them. This is flat-out fraud. I believe the County is deliberately presenting fraudulent or misleading occupancy data on behalf of developers to potential investors so they'll finance unneeded construction projects - in other words, I think some of the county's officials are engaged in investment fraud. When the building never fills up, the investors bear the loss, not the developers. Contrary to what the county and Hudgins wants you to believe, they're supposed to be working for us, not developers. Clearly developers have infiltrated and are now effectively running some of the county agencies - witness the fact that one of their officials was out here a few months ago prancing about and announcing that the entire area needed to be redeveloped - apparently Reston is a ghetto. I'm afraid we all need to get involved in this group - it's annoying, but it's the only way we can stop the idiocy!
Ellen Moyer August 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
How sad. As a life- long resident and Realtor located in Reston I try to stay positive for people moving to the area and current owners here. Bringing in the metro is one thing....developing around the Town Center is also fine by me...but the core of Reston living is the "open spaces". When folks are thinking of moving to Reston, but not that familiar with the area, I give them a tour... We do a drive-by of the Reston Town Center...we pass by the golf courses, the lakes, soccer fields, dog park, Cafesano on Lake Thoreau, the pools, get a coffee at Lake Anne, etc....Those places are the heart of Reston. I don't golf, but sell homes that back to them. The majority of these people don't golf either, but love the beautiful and peaceful view. These places are the entire reason people want to move to Reston. There's plenty of new housing in, say, Ashburn. There isn't only this emotional factor for the owner's of town homes that that back to golfcourses. There is also the financial aspect. Homes that are positioned on or near golf courses or lakes are worth more money. I sure hope the golf courses are left as they are.
G August 19, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I for one, could care less about the golf course. The loud gas golf carts driving by all day, the spraying and fertilizer they surely dump and contaminate our streams with. Go look at the pond at Plaza Americana and all of the dead fish floating in it. I like the open space, but would be happy to see the golf course go away.
Robert Beale August 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Amen, everywhere you look there is vacant retail/office space in Reston and in contiguous Herndon. What is happening? Rents will be going up, small businesses will be going out of business, people will lose jobs and their livelihood, and the planners/owners and developers will be trying to get filthy rich. All the while another speculative commercial real estate glut is emerging that will hurt our local economy, the State of Virginia and N VA. Developers and their lenders seem to never learn. Enough is enough!
Jim H August 20, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Greg, You'll have to check some of the posts from the other articles surrounding this issue. RNGC is a gold mine and has been for years!
Chris Taylor Moller August 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
G: The golf course has nothing to do with a fish kill @ a pond @ Plaza America. Please feel free to move if you don't like it here.
BBurns August 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
"G," it's Plaza America, not Americana. It's in north Reston. The golf course is in south Reston. My husband and I primarily use organic treatments on our lawn and garden, plant only native plants and are concerned about overuse of fertilizers and chemicals, as well as the sale of highly invasive plants by nurseries like Merrifield. But I wouldn't presume to know what is used on the golf course without researching it. I would hope/guess their methods have come a long way in the last decade or so.
Skip Endale August 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Many of the people that are scared and confused are those with homes right next to a golf course. That is understandable. What is not understandable is that many of those people are banking on litigation with the hopes of drawing things out and eventually receiving a payout. I am unwilling to support an organization that will not benefit the greater good of Reston. Further, litigation will not guarantee anything other than a few lawyers getting rich. If Reston wants to maintain the concept of LIVE WORK PLAY then all of us need to get involved not just a handful of clusters. Looking at the clusters now I think they may have to be bulldozed to the ground and rebuilt, perhaps this is one way of keeping the golf course/green space here. I think the clusters are business savvy enough to make this happen. For starters there are several flaws with the clusters right now - upkeep and maintenance of these properties is very expensive and the design of these units is outdated and impractical. For example, there is no reason why 40-60% of the available space in the cluster dwellings is dedicated to parking, cars should be underground. There are other distractions, regardless... I challenge the cluster to rethink their course of action, their future and the benefits they can bring to this community. Litigation is not one of them.
G August 20, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I thought one of the golf course ponds was linked to the pond at the plaza. I thought it flowed under the toll road. Maybe not. Many of the ponds/run off systems are linked in Reston. What did cause the fish kill? And I like it here, I just don't know why people are so concerned about a golf course leaving? We don't even know what, or if, anything will replace it.
Mason Miller August 20, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I don't really want houses where the golf course resides, but it is already zoned for Residential Use. The owners of the land make a very compelling case. If Reston's developers wanted to keep it as green/open space, they should not have sold the land to a business, they should have made it part of Reston Association's green/open space or put deed restrictions on it's use. They didn't.
Family of four August 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Green space is why i moved to Reston. It's the "no so pretty spots" that should be redeveloped, beautified. There are lots of those still around, but people lack imagination.
CicadaReston August 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM
No so fast, Mr. Miller. You have been hoodwinked by Mr. McDermott's statement as one of fact that the property is zoned residential. It isn't.
Skip Endale August 21, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Sorry to tell you that imagination is stifled by RA restrictions. I have in past been able to beautifully remodel my home but when the unit sold my newly installed front door had to be replaced. Total cost to meet RA requirements: over $4000. The old door was institutional green, had an odd size requirement and a tiny little window (similar to what you see in Lockup prison documentary series). Yes - they insisted that that door had to go back in. The same goes for colors, siding, fencing etc.
BBurns August 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM
By Tom Jackman, NoVa writer for The Washington Post. If you have to register, the Post doesn't spam you. The link may not work - you may have to copy and paste, or visit washingtonpost.com local - virginia. Thanks, Tom! http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/reston-nati onal-golf-course-owner-hints-at-tearing-it-out-building-on-land-near-t wo-new-metro-stations/2012/08/22/f78e574e-ec09-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_ blog.html
K2 October 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM
No one has mentioned here (yes, I'm late to the game) but housing prices will surely stagnate if the golf course is turned into residential homes. I think most of us have been hoping that the Metro will eventually help housing prices in the area, but if you toss in hundreds of new homes, that prospect will go away. Look at Ashburn and some areas of Leesburg. Folks can't sell their homes because new homes are the better bargain. Now, I don't know if new homes would be McMansions (and maybe could up the average housing price in Reston) or if new homes would match more of the average housing price that currently exists. If it's the latter, it's not good for housing prices. But either way, it's not good. I can't wait to see how many red light cycles we'll have to wait to make a left onto Wiehle off of Sunrise Valley after this happens. I do, however, agree with the person who wrote that the RA is the main reason we have not modernized. My favorite story is how the RA once told one of the original architects of Reston that his request was not in keeping with the intentions of the original planners of Reston. He then showed documentation that he was an original planner. Amazing.
Natural Space October 22, 2012 at 01:21 AM
When is the next meeting to get and discuss the "facts"? Find out what the homeowners or Reston can do to keep our area as it was intended - no trees higher than the tree line??? Whatever's happened to why many of us over here. Oh that's right - $$$$$$$$ for who though?!?
Connie Hartke November 09, 2012 at 04:26 PM
New aerial video of the golf course and open space: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBbFVbOu5YE&feature=youtu.be


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something