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Hudgins: 'Not Involved' In Any RNGC Talks

Hunter Mill Supervisor says she supports county zoning's stance that Reston National should remain open space.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins says she has not had discussions with the owners of Reston National Golf Course about redevelopment there.

Hudgins statement comes in response to a Reston 2020 report earlier this week that said there may be a deal in the works to bring some residential development to the 166-acre site, along with a big park.

On Thursday, Reston Association also said it has not been involved in any talks.

The issue of redeveloping Reston National Golf Course has been discussed since it came to light last summer that the golf course owner, RN Golf Management, inquired with Fairfax County Zoning as to the space's residential status.

When the county said turing the open space into residential would involve a change to the county master plan, the owners filed an appeal. The appeal will be heard May 22.

The entire text of Hudgins' message in her weekly Hunter Mill Highlights newsletter is below.

As most of you are aware, last summer, Reston National Golf Course(RNGC) requested an interpretation of its zoning status. As I shared in previous communications, it is not unusual for land owners to request that the Fairfax County Zoning Administration provide an interpretation on the use of their land.

Following the established process, the Fairfax County Zoning Administrator responded that, according to the original development plan, the RNGC property is designated open space. Reston National Golf Course, disagreeing with that opinion, has chosen to appeal that decision before the Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA).  Currently, the BZA Public Hearing on this matter was originally scheduled for a January date.  Reston National Golf Course chose to defer its appearance before the BZA until May 22, 2013.

From the outset, I have supported - and continue to support - the Zoning Administrator's decision.

In addition, contrary to the Reston Patch and Reston 2020 reports, I have not been involved with any discussions with RNGC owners, Reston Association, Fairfax County Park Authority or others regarding any activity associated with this property.

As Reston residents, all of us can make our voices heard by attending the  May 22nd meeting and signing up to speak. Or, you may forward a letter to the BZA expressing your concerns regarding the appeal. I would encourage you to do both.Let’s remember that Reston’s original planning and development required open space for active and passive recreation and I feel confident that will continue.

Please do contact my office if you have concerns. It is the best way for both of us to separate fact from fiction and work together to resolve community issues. As always your input is critical to success

 

 

To read Reston Patch's stories on the Reston National Golf Course issue, click here.


Laura Ramon February 16, 2013 at 12:23 AM
I thought the Patch report was pretty clear that the Reston 2020 was highly suspect- I don't think you can say that Patch was reporting that the talks were taking place- they reported on the Reston 2020 post. It's been highly amusing the whole way around. If anyone has seen any of John Pinkman's Rescue Reston internal communications knows the source of this foolishness.
Karen Goff February 16, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Thanks, Laura. I personally sent ms. Hudgins an email pointing that out.
Lilguy February 16, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Find it interesting that, while denying personal involvement ("I have not been involved with...), Supr. Hudgins does not deny that such negotiations may be underway. She doesn't even deny that she is aware of such negotiations! She is just not involved in them, she says. Ms Hudgins--Free, the truth and the whole truth will set you!
DGeorge February 16, 2013 at 03:21 AM
How is it that a Politician can make a statement that instead of clearing things up just make a person more suspicious? She has not been involved........etc. Can she say that she has never heard of those discussions being held. Has anyone that she is aware of been involved in discussions? What?
DGeorge February 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Karen, the headline states that Hudgins says, "there have been no golf course talks." Where in Hudgins answer do you come to that conclusion?
John Lovaas February 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM
As I recall both Reston 2020 and Patch were clear they could not confirm whether the rumor of possible talks between the County and RN was true or not. Hudgins firm declaration that it ain't so closes the matter for me. Time to move on.
Karen Goff February 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM
She said this - I have not been involved with any discussions with RNGC owners, Reston Association, Fairfax County Park Authority or others regarding any activity associated with this property. But - I see your point. I meant SHE says she has not been involved in any golf course talks (and I have limited space to try and make a concise headline). Let me work around with it and see what I come up with...
BBurns February 16, 2013 at 01:00 PM
When will Supervisor Hudgins clearly assert that she would fight development of Reston's green space, including the golf course? She has said she has supported and will continue to support the Zoning Administrator's decision. That is not the same as coming out against development. If the BZA overturns the current decision will she support that new decision aka development? She has said she supports the process. She has not said she supports keeping Reston's green space. Please write to her to urge her to do so, and write to the BZA.
BBurns February 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM
When will Supervisor Hudgins clearly assert that she would fight development of Reston's green space, including the golf course? She has said she has supported and will continue to support the Zoning Administrator's decision. That is not the same as coming out against development. If the BZA overturns the current decision will she support that new decision aka development? She has said she supports the process. She has not said she supports keeping Reston's green space. Please write to her to urge her to do so, and write to the BZA.
Lilguy February 16, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Mr. Lovaas--Ms. Hudgins statement was anything but a "firm declaration that it ain't so." It has more holes in that a slice of Swiss cheese. The big question is, "What does she know and when did she know it?" She hasn't told us what she knows. She has only told us she is not "involved." You can believe anything you want, but the statement is not a rejection of the idea that RNGC may be up for grabs--Reston 2020 rumor mongering or not.
Kate Peterson February 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM
For what it's worth a friend of mine who works with one of the largest land planning law firms in the area has said that the chances of such a change happening is close to non-extant; if only for the sheer number of yes responses that it would take to first over-turn the current status and then to get something approved. I'd still rather have a Meadowlark Garden than a Golf Course.
Laura Ramon February 16, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I'm shocked that you've passed up an opportunity to accuse Ms. Hudgins of selling Reston to the highest bidder or some other conspiracy.
DGeorge February 16, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I personally would prefer a Garden. I'm not familiar wit a "Meadowlark Garden", what is it?
DGeorge February 16, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Never mind, I looked it up. Beautiful!
Lilguy February 16, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Laura--What Ms. Hudgins may know about RNGC discussions could be A GOOD THING if it means getting some part of RNGC set aside for a park and the only alternative is turning the whole thing over to development. Most Restonians, including RA, want to retain RNGC as open space--a golf course or park. The point is we don't know what is going on. The issue is whether or not there are secret negotiations about the future of the golf course. And Ms. Hudgins hasn't made that any clearer by her statement despite the pro-open space posturing in it.
BBurns February 16, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Your friend is a land use attorney? Sheer number? If it's a simple majority, it's four. And how many on the BZA represent business or development interests? (I don't know.) This could well end up in the courts for interpretation of zoning status. As to wanting Meadowlark Garden West? How do you propose to get that?
Lisa White February 16, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Laura, what Rescue Reston internal communications are you referring to? I haven't seen anything from RR so I'd like to check it out.
Kate Peterson February 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Beth- My friend isn't a lawyer, she's a planner. Such a change would take an amendment to the Master Plan, it's more steps than the BZA. My comments about Meadowlark Garden West is simply that as open space goes I think one could do better than a golf course.
Laura Ramon February 16, 2013 at 06:08 PM
The communication I'm referring to is one in which Mr. Pinkman says that NW is meeting with Lehner or sites Lehner as the suspected developer. I'm sure if you ask him for it he'll send it back out to you- It tracks so well to this story I think it is the source of the Reston 2020 blog post. The point being- IT'S ALL RUMOR- and to ask people to prove that a rumor is false is ridiculous.
David Burns February 16, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Just to clarify re Kate Peterson's comment, the golf course owner's position is that it can develop the course with residential housing units as a matter of right without any amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan (of which the Reston Master Plan is a part). That position was rejected by the County Zoning Administrator, and that decision is currently on appeal before the BZA. If the golf course owner loses before the BZA, and on any subsequent judicial appeals, it could still lobby the Board of Supervisors to amend the Comprehensive Plan to permit development. That is where Ms. Hudgins becomes a key player, since the other supervisors are likely to follow her lead on what is an issue that impacts her district. I agree with Ms. Hudgins that you should make your concerns about developing the golf course known to the BZA, but let Ms. Hudgins know how you feel as well. Click on "How You Can Support Us" on the Rescue Reston website (rescuereston.org) for suggestions on how to write to the BZA. In addition, if you haven't done so already, you can sign the Rescue Reston online petition which is available at rescuereston.org.
Connie Hartke February 16, 2013 at 07:00 PM
When you sign the petition, a copy goes to Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals, Media Relations at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Fairfax County Hunter Mill District.
The BSD Guy February 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Ms. Hudgins is the SAME woman who wanted to push for a development out in the middle of nowhere off of Hunter Mill Road, if you recall. She insulted residents and acted not like a people's representative, but more like a belligerent sales rep for the developers. Some of her anti-resident quotes can be found in the Reston Connection and other local papers. THIS IS A SPECIAL INTEREST POLITICIAN ALL THE WAY. Government by and for the developer elites at the expense of everyone else. The reason that fiasco failed is because the developers got so cocky after dealing with the board of supervisors that they started putting up signs saying "Future site of..." before they had approval, and it was uncovered that an "independent pro-growth" organization that JUST HAPPPENED to be "lobbying" on behalf of the developers was stacked with nothing but the developers employees and family members. EVEN THEN Hudgins basically had to be hit over the head before she finally gave into the residents. As an FYI, the developer collapsed and went bankrupt a few years later. If Hudgins had had her short sighted and anti-resident way, that heavily wooded land would have likely razed by the developer and just left like that, unfinished. Hudgins is someone that needs to have someone keeping an eye on her all the time. She's simply a developer's rep in Democrat's clothing, and EVERYONE should be suspicious of everything she does.
BBurns February 16, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Good point, Connie. I'd guess that writing letters - in addition to signing the petition, not instead of - would still be a good idea, because writing takes more effort. Sometimes that's taken more seriously.
Joseph V. Morris February 16, 2013 at 08:22 PM
While I regret having to ask Supervisor Hudgins for further clarification, I feel that it is necessary, but she wrote her statement as she saw fit. That said, I'm quite confident that Supervisor Hudgins has NOT personally been involved in any discussions with RNGC, its parent company, or others. That would be improper (as I'm sure she well knows) since this matter, whatever the BZA may decide, is ultimately going to come before the Board of Supervisors. Still, she has failed to state that their have been no 'discussions' with members of her personal staff or with County staff on this subject -- of which she is aware, of course. I think we need clarification on these further questions since she has now seen fit to make a public statement that failed to address them.
Lilguy February 21, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Ms. Hudgins made another mis-statement in her statement. She says, "contrary to the Reston Patch and Reston 2020 reports, I have not been involved with any discussions with..." (anyone involved in RNGC). Actually, neither the Reston Patch nor Reston 2020 said she had. Both stated there are rumors of discussions going on, but it did not, in fact, could not, identify who may be participating--if such discussions are going on. So, not only did she NOT clear up her knowledge of any such discussions (if they are going on), but she wrongly impugned both Patch and Reston 2020. ...an apology would be too much to ask, I suppose.
Suzanne Larne April 25, 2013 at 02:38 AM
Reading this thread makes me wonder why Supervisor Hudgins keeps getting elected, I believe she has been in place since 1999... term limits anyone?

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