.

Hudgins: Zoning Inquiries, Appeals Not New

There are many reasons - and they aren't all massive redevelopment - that Reston National owners are looking into zoning specifics, Hunter Mill Supervisor says.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins , the owners of, is "not a new thing."

"My interpretation is the property owner is asking what he can do with the property," said Hudgins. "It can be for future develpment, but it can also be for refinacing or to sell. The property owners asked for interpretation. The staff gave it. It is not a new thing.

"Twelve or 13 years ago, the question was raised 'was this open space an entitlement or could it be used for other uses?'" said Hudgins. "Staff said it is open space unless you want to get a PRC [Planned Residential Community] amendment."

More than a decade later, Reston National is still a golf course.

RN Golf Management will go before the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals on Oct. 24. Last April,  

The April request was actually a follow-up by Cooley LLC attorney Mark Looney to a 2010 inquiry. It appears Looney did not get a response from the county then.

Said Looney in his April letter to Eileen McLane of the county planning and zoning office: "After exhaustive research of the official Fairfax County records, neither we nor County staff could find evidence of any written statements signed by or accepted by the rezoning applicant of the then-property owner, including any proffers, develpment conditions or any such restrictions that would preclude the property being used for and developed permitted or permissible uses."

To see Fairfax County's list of permitted and permissible uses in a PRC such as Reston, click here.

In its June 2012 response to Looney's most recent inquiry, the county said that any changes would have to go through the county master plan, as well as the Reston Master Plan and 

Hudgins says she thinks Reston National, as well as the other golf facility at, are a nice addition to the community.

"I think if you look at the amenities Reston has, the two golf courses enhance what we have," she said. "We have residential enhanced by open space."

Hudgins says the county uses a guideline of 25 percent open space.

"We rarely give space up," she said. "We are always looking to bring in."

Reston Association President Ken Knueven said there are no RA documents that require a certain amount of open space within Reston.

"The original County documents that established the old RPC (now PRC) zoning may have had some basic requirements," he said. "One figure we do know is that RA has 20 percent of the open space in Reston (roughly 1,350 acres/6,750 total acres)."

When you add that number to cluster open spaces, county parks, school open spaces and, of course, the golf courses, the ratio climbs significantly higher.

Meanwhile, RA is sending a letter of support to residents of the clusters adjacent to Reston National. Those clusters have organized Rescue Reston and are

Laurie Dodd August 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Thanks, Karen, for this informative report!
Ray Wedell August 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Karen, thank you for this report. But let's get real here. Saying Reston has two golf courses is an absolute truth, but one which deceptively covers up the obvious bigger issue. Lawyers and politicians can disguise whatever they want in proclamations with a smile, but Ms. Hudgins is well aware that Hidden Creek is a private golf course NOT available to most residents in any way. The statement that we have "two golf courses" appears to be framed in such a way as to imply that maybe we have one too many, or at least be interpreted as such by crafty developers seeking a zoning change (I can hear them now, "Reston already has two golf courses; no other town has two golf courses; Reston is growing rapidly and has a subway coming in; it needs more housing and strip malls....ya-da-ya-da....."). Rather than telling me what "is nice to have" or tossing us soft statements of what may or may not be possible, or what may or may not be legally permissable, how about an honest answer to a simple question: Ms. Hudgins, what is YOUR personal preference for how the property should be zoned? And how diligently will you be fighting for what YOU believe in? How diligently will you be fighting for the residents interests? How much passion do you have for this fight?
John Lovaas August 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Right on the mark, Ray. The soothing, not to worry talk is not convincing. And it happens that Mr. Looney is on the Reston Master Plan Task Force, appointed to it by the Supervisor. That Task Force is charged with, and about to begin, revising land-use plan for Reston including all that choice 166 acres making up the RN Golf Course. Perhaps it is a just coincidence.
G August 22, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Why is everyone up in arms about keeping polluting golf courses that have signs all over the place telling people to keep out? That's not the Reston I know and love. The golf courses are not open to the residents unless you want to pay $80 for a game of golf. They're not "ours". They don't add value to anyone in Reston except the cluster homeowners that want to keep their property values high with the "nice golf course views." No one else benefits. I saw a resident almost come to blows with some golfers because he had the nerve to walk down the path to his house. They're useless in my opinion and do more harm than good for the majority of residents.
BBurns August 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
So our elected offiicial appointed the attorney for RN Golf Course to the Master Plan Task Force. And is telling us not to worry about development of RN or other green space? How many developers, attorneys for developers, attorneys for owners of green space, or those who fall into similar categories have been apppointed to the task force?
Nancy Mowry August 22, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Actually it's not about Golfers who golf or homeowners on the golf course or in and around Reston. It is and should be about the traffic and feasibility. There is no way anyone (and that includes people who come here from all over Virginia, DC or MD to work) will be able to move. It would be much much worse than LA or anywhere. The roads will not sustain the growth. Reston Pkwy can't take what is there right now. So imagine if they allow that massive high rise and surrounding retails spaces to go where Parc Reston is now? It will be insane. Reston will be Crystal City or Ballston or like Manhattan. There has to be a limit for the sake of quality of life. With over-development the quality of life in Reston will be zero. It will no longer be beautiful but rather ugly and one big traffic jam.
Nancy Mowry August 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Aren't we sorry we voted for her now? Yes!
Kathy August 22, 2012 at 02:10 PM
To respond to Beth Burns question--the voting majority. Developers, their attorneys, their architects and their engineers make up the voting majority and they were appointed by our County Supervisor, Cathy Hudgins. This task force will make recommendations to the Planning Commission and to the FxCo Board of Supervisors to rezone all of Reston--the Dulles Corridor, the village centers and the neighborhoods--to completely rewrite the Reston Master Plan. There is a list of all those on the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force up on the county's website, but the link to that list is not functioning at this time. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/reston/ Kathy Kaplan
BBurns August 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Good point about the traffic. But of course it is about the homeowners who paid a premium for their homes, and the golfers, and the families and their dogs who stroll on the paths in the evenings. It's about having a livable community with open space and multiple amenities - all of which put us on Money Magazine's list of top ten places to live. Not everyone will use the golf course. But not everyone will use the pools, parks, visit the farmer's market or eat at town center restaurants, either.
G August 22, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Traffic can be planned for and feasibility studies done. No one's talking about high rises that will add to the congestion. Have you seen plans for that? I'm sure the RA has requirements in that regard that will need to be met.
John Farrell August 22, 2012 at 02:57 PM
44 people per acre translates into 11 units per acre which is at least garden apartment density. Fearing high rises springing up where RNG is now is not hysterical. Perferring a golf course to high rises in their backyard is not unreasonable. It may not be "G's" view of nirvana but it beats the alternatives. Zoning is a County issue first. RA's DRB may involved later. Why is it that "G" is the only commentator on this thread who doesn't use a real name? RA Board will have a meeting today @ 3. Check the RA website. No doubt Karen will have a story on it, shortly.
The Analyst August 22, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Two words for everyone: Be vigilant. We now know we have, like so many other county supervisors throughout the county before her, a special interest "representative" in Ms. Hudgins. I remember when, roughly 12 years ago, the redevelopment and ultra-high densitization of Tyson's Corner was proposed by developers and commercial realtors. A group of outraged citizens formed committees to meet with the BOS. Former supervisor Gerry Connolly, openly laughed, telling the residents the idea being proposed by developers was too ludicrous to consider and it would never be approved. The residents went home satisfied. A few years later the project was approved - spearheaded by none other than Gerry Connolly. The mistrust residents have of Ms. Hudgins has been earned by her and her actions. My opinion is that she should be impeached. My opinion is that every single politician out there, regardless of level or party affiliation that decides they're *entitled* to ignore constituents and represent special interests and special interests alone should be impeached. The reason this country is such a mess is because it's no longer a democracy. It's run by essentially corrupt politicians catering to special interests and attempting to lure supporters to their sides by playing frequently to the more obscure elements of society. None of these people will ever "get it" until they're shown the door. Until then, get down on all fours and prepare to be whipped like an abused dog.
Nancy Mowry August 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
What most people don't realize is that Reston National is primarily used for corporate Charity Golf Outings..several a week. Charities benefit tremendously from the golf outings by corporations and associations. I heard it was the number one golf course in the area used for Charity Golf Tournaments. Not to mention the government and military agencies that hold their work-related or charity events there.
Gene August 22, 2012 at 07:01 PM
How informed are you? Have you seen the detailed plans around Whiele Ave. 900 new residences, I can't get to my bank now let alone after that mess is completed. How long does it take to get over to the Post Office or Home Depot these days? The whole area around Plaza America and Plaza America itself was a mistake that we now suffer through. My office use to be in Tyson's and I do not want that mess here. If we don't stop this train now our quality of life will be gone and property values will fall.
BBurns August 22, 2012 at 07:55 PM
http://rescuereston.org/ You don't even need to type in the http://
BBurns August 22, 2012 at 08:24 PM
By Tom Jackman, NoVa writer for The Washington Post. If you have to register, the Post doesn't spam you. Unfortunately, you may not be able to just click on the link - need to copy and paste. Or go to 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
Nora Loftin August 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM
bACK LAST FALL THERE WAS A MEETING TO QUIET THE NOISY ONES. tHOUGH THE MEETING WAS POSTED A WEEK IN ADVANCE iT STILL WENT UNATTENDED BY PEOPLE BECAUSE BEFORE THE START OF THE MEETING THERE WAS NO MORE ROOM. sEVERAL FOLKS WERE TURNED AWAY. i WAS INSULTED BY THE TONE THE PRESENTER TOOK (SHE WAS FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD KEEP THEM CALM GROUP) sHE PRESENTED PHOTOS OF MANY COMPLETED AREAS OF THE METRO LINE, MENTIONED YOU WOULD GO THROUGH AVERY LONG TUNNEL TO ACTUALLY GET TO THE MALL. tHEN ASKED IF ANYONE HAD EVER BEEN UP ON A CRANE BECAUSE THAT IS HOW SHE AQUIRED HER PHOTOS. WE SAW AN HOUR OF COMPLETED WORK AND VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE IMPACT SIX LEVRLS OF PARKING WILL HAVE ON THE CORNERS OF wHIELE AND SUNSET HILLS/SUNRISE VALLEY. HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC THAT IS GOING TO BE COMING TO RESTON. WE CAN HARDLY HANDLE THE SWIM MEETS, AND DO NOT EVEN THINK OF DOING ANYTHING TO THAT ORGANIZATION. i AM SO SAD, I HAVE LIVED AND WORKED IN RESTON. IT WAS GREAT BUT THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. SOUTH LAKES DRIVE DOUBLES FOR THE BRICK YARD.iNDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY. PLEASE STOP, LITTERING IS MORE OF A PROBLEM THAN I HAVE EVER NOTICED. WE HAVE SO MANY VISITORS ALREADY WHO TAKE THE EVENTS AND LEAVE THE TRASH AND THE METRO IS NOT HERE YET. NORA LOFTIN
Lillian Christman August 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Thank you for posting the link to this article. It's extremely comprehensive and does point out the contradictions between what Cathy Hudgins is saying and what the actual situation is.
John Botts August 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The developers don't represent the citizens of Reston. How can we remove them from the Task Force? Apply massive pressure on Ms Hudgins? Threaten her recall? The developers are not playing nice; nor should we.
BBurns August 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM
You're welcome. Nice mention of Karen Goff's good work in the article too. (Thank you, Karen, and for the article you just published today about the RA meeting.) Kathy Kaplan posted a link to the Master Plan Task Force, and mentioned that the link to the members wasn't working at the time. It is now. And the bi-monthly meetings are open to the public, though it doesn't look like their focus is on this at this time. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/reston/meetings.htm
Restonian August 23, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The golf course isn't always $80 per round. After 3pm it is $49 and after 5pm it is $29. They have a range that I frequently drop by and use, and summer and spring break programs for kids (that my daughter had taken and loved.) Beyond being a fun course to play, there is tremendous scenic beauty. The homes, many office buildings, and even hotels that overlook the course view rolling green instead of the thousands of units the developers would love to put in.
Restonian August 23, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Mark Looney sits on the Reston Plan Task Force representing the Reston Chamber of Commerce. However, he is also a land use attorney retained by developers who wish to have the Master Plan altered in ways that allow them to increase development - changes that conflict with the original intent of the plan regarding open spaces, low density, etc. It seems like a fundamental conflict of interest for Mr. Looney to sit on the task force - a task force that will "consider changing the plan" while being paid by developers who want "changes to the plan". Most organizations take steps to avoid even the "appearance" of a conflict of interest. Doesn't seem like they care in this instance.
Jim H August 23, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Nancy, While I'm sure your post is well intended it is hardly accurate. Yes, RNGC does hold some charity golf events, as do many other public and private courses, it is far from the courses primary use. And believe me RNGC makes money on every tournament/outing held there.
Jim H August 23, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Take a look at this web site that lists golf courses in NOVA http://1stop4golf.com/GolfCourses.asp?region=NV You will see that aside from RNGC and Herndon Centenial, that there are really NO public golf courses in our immediate area
John Doe August 23, 2012 at 04:25 AM
"G", what do you think they are going to do with the golf course, build a park for disabled kids? You can bet the owners are planning something big. Consequently, they hire a local "made man" to look after their own interest. In addition, why is Hudgins talking to us as if we are clowns (she might be right given how passive we have been regarding these types of boondoggles). This is how most of these gangsters politicians talk to their constituents just before they sell our interest to the gangster developers for next to nothing! Restonian brings up a great point regarding Looney. Looney should resign from the Reston Task Force effective immediately! What is this Enron? Give me a break. Frankly, I'm tired of this unethical behavior. I say we vote out all of these clown politicians starting with Hudgins! Most sold their souls to the devil years ago anyway. These gangsters know that they need county tax revenue to pay for the ponzi scheme otherwise known as the Fairfax County Pension system. Wake up!
Nancy Mowry August 23, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Jim H - I understand. And it's good for a business to be profitable. People probably forget or don't understand what other values RN brings to the community and area organizations. Plus it's one of the more affordable places for a company or charity golf tournament to host an event vs. some of the private clubs which are twice as much. Like someone said here, there aren't that many public courses in the area and that are so beautiful. Reston offers a lifestyle (right now anyways) where people can golf, play tennis, kayak, canoe, swim, run, bike and more. It's what makes it different than the average over-developed concrete jungle.
John Doe August 23, 2012 at 04:32 AM
The Analyst, I like your style and you are exactly correct. It is time to start firing these clowns. Lets replace them with public servants that both "tell the truth" and follow our directives. Good luck and don't ever giver up!
The BSD Guy August 23, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Special interests are, unfortunately, a national problem, especially with the "Citizens United" ruling. Picture the following scenario: 1. Outraged citizens decide to oust Hudgins, and attempt to hold an election and find candidates to oppose her. 2. Hudgins turns to her buddies, the DEVELOPER BILLIONAIRE ELITES behind a lot of this garbage for support. There's a lot of money at stake for them. Of course they'll help her! 3. The elites set loose a team of investigators to find every little piece of garbage they can find on Hudgins opponents, true or not, and then start publicizing it in TV ads. Why not play the race card too! Play every angle they can to discredit opposition. 4. Some of these opponents, regardless of party affiliation end up possibly ruined and embarrassed. All so some developer elites can do what....replace the gold plated bell on their yachts with one that's solid gold? What we have witnessed in the last 10 years, particularly with the "Citizens United" ruling is, for all practical purposes, the assassination of democracy by special interests. How ironic it is that they give it a name like "Citizens United." United in what? Watching America adopt the exact same economic model followed by virtually every single third world country on Earth? And their will be our priceless "supervisor," Kathy Hudgins, serving the elites at everyone else's expense. Perhaps there's a solid gold bell out there with her name on it!
Jim H August 23, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Nancy, I totally agree! I play RNGC quite a bit and have played there in a number of charity/fund raising events. I certainly understand the value that RNGC brings to all of us. It is quite affordable and if you look at a link I posted in another comment in this thread (above) everyone can see that the list of public golf courses in this area are few and far between. I want RNGC to be successful and profitable as I know that successful and profitable golf courses enhance their properties and make living near or playing on them even more enjoyable.! I was simply pointed out that RNGC is not "primarily" used for charitable events.

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