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Residents Ask RA Board to 'Fight For Reston'

Dozens attend Reston Association meeting, where board announces it has hired special counsel to fight Reston National Golf Course redevelopment.

It was standing-room only atregular meeting Thursday as dozens of residents came to express their concerns about possible redevelopment of to the RA Board of Directors 

For nearly an hour, citizens - some who have lived in Reston for more than 20 years - told the board about why they chose to live in Reston (among them, green space and recreational amenities) and how much they enjoy living on the fairways of Reston National.

Residents - along with Reston Association - have galvanized since it was learned last month that RN Golf Management, the owner of the course, is appealing an inquiry to Fairfax County as to the status of the golf course - whether it is open space or residential.

The county said any redevelopment would require an amendment to the county master plan. The owners, who are maintaining they can bypass that process, have filed an appeal with the Board of Zoning Appeals, which will be heard on Oct. 24.

"I am just an average person who 14 years ago fell in love with my townhouse," said Donna Robuck, a resident of Newbridge Court, told the board Thursday. "Then I found out my dream would possibly be destroyed by the thought of someone taking a golf course and open space away from us."

Robuck said she is hoping to retire early with money she could make when she sells her home. 

"This could mess with my retirement," she said. "This is not just a legal battle, this is our livelihood."

Reston Association on Thursday reiterated its stance that it will fight development at Reston National. The board, which called a , announced it has hired Odin, Feldman, Pittleman PC to represent RA in the golf course matter.

The law firm will advise and provide counsel - and litigate if necessary - to the Board of Directors with respect to RN Golf Management appeal before the BZA and advocate on behalf of the RA and its Board of Directors in opposition to any proposed or suggested development or re-development of the golf course.

Rescue Reston, the citizens group recently formed to fight golf course development,

The board will also establish a special committee comprised of President Ken Knueven; Directors Donna Miller Rostant, Mike Sanio, Andy Sigle; and CEO Milton Matthews to work with staff and special counsel on the matter.

Golf course-area residents at the meeting told the board they appreciated their support- but also hope they will fight even harder.

"I moved to Reston 20 years ago because it was a planned community," said one resident. "I felt I could buy a house that could be protected. Turns out it is not as protected as I thought."

 "Since I have lived in Reston, every time a neighbor needed to build a fence, they had to come around and ask permission from Reston Association," he added. "Why is it the golf course can do all this stuff and not ask permission from the neighbors? Why don't we look around and see if there are other things where someone can come in and take advantage? Let's become a city if Fairfax County is not helping us. Let's protect Reston, because it is worth it."

To read related stories about potential Reston National Redevelopment, click here. Subscribe to our free daily newsletter to keep up with all Reston development and Reston Association news.

Ray Wedell September 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM
There is no question the Reston Association needs to be extremely strong in its opposition to re-zoning the golf course area.. If something like this is allowed to stand, it is proof positive that we have truly reached the moment in which all that matters is money. Some developers consider residents to be little more than gnats needing to be eradicated. At least we can become a swarm of yellow jackets.
John Pinkman September 14, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Rescue Reston wants to thank the many neighbors who attended the meeting; Great, meaningful and from the heart commentary. I have attended many community meetings this past week. Admittedly I am new to this arena. But I can report that Again last night at the RA Board Meeting the there was an important and disappointing message conveyed relating to the Board of Supervisors approval of 24 story building on Reston Parkway; All Reston community organizations RCA, RA, The Master Plan Task Force, were in opposition to the 24 story project which they added - was firmly supported by our local supervisor. How will we then fair in the effort to prevent the destruction of open space? That my friends is a reason to: one, pay attention, two stay informed and three join the citizen action group Rescue Reston. ALL of you will make a difference. Visit regularly, register and help in the effort to save this irreplaceable open space at - RescueReston.org
Diane Blust September 14, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Thanks for all you are doing, John.
RKO September 15, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Although I find myself falling into the"Impeach Hudgins Now" crowd, realistically the entire county government needs thorough examination. It is saturated with special interests from the development community.
Walt Culver September 21, 2012 at 03:12 AM
With all due respect, RKO, the process within the county is that once the Zoning Board denied Reston National's interpretation, the Zoning Appeals Board gets it next (in a 24 Oct hearing). I don't believe Cathy Hudgins or anyone else can intervene at this time without making things worse for us legally. The next step for all of us is to write polite but firm letters of opposition to the clerk of the Zoning Appeals Board at ClerkToBZA@FairfaxCounty.gov

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