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Zoning Staff Report on Reston National Stays the Course

by Karen Goff — January 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm 5 Comments

Reston National Golf CourseA staff report issued by the Fairfax County Department of Zoning Administration requests that the Board of Zoning Appeals uphold the Zoning Administrator’s determination of June 20, 2012 in next week’s BZA hearing on Reston National Golf Course.

The BZA will consider the appeal of RN Golf, the owners of the 166-acre public course in south Reston, at a hearing on Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.

RN Golf, a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Insurance, has been asking the county since 2010 whether the course was considered residential. The county said in 2012 that the course is designated permanent, open recreational space, and to change the designation would require a change to the Reston Master Plan.

RN Golf disagrees and would like to bypass the amendment change process.

According to the Jan. 13 staff report, the zoning staff previously confirmed to RN Golf that the existing zoning is “Planned Residential Community District without any proffered condition, restriction, limitation, or prohibition.”

From the report:

[RN Golf] further asserts that no other conditions, restrictions, limitations, or prohibitions are set forth in the Ordinances and none have been found in the County records that would prohibit, restrict, or proscribe the use of the Subject Property for residential.”

Even prior to locating copies of the approved development plans for RZ C-l35, RZ C-203, and RZ C-281 at the time of response to [attorney] Mark Looney’s inquiry letter of April 20, 2012, it was clear through staff reports, legal notices, and other relevant documentation that the three parcels making up the subject property had been designated on the development plans as golf course and open space only.

The zoning appeal hearing was postponed three times in 2012 and 2013 to give time to locate the original 1971 documents that designate the golf course as open space. The staff report says RN Golf has been notified of the confirmation of the plan, but is proceeding anyway.

Subsequent to the submission of this appeal application the development plan copies were located, and the appellant was provided with copies of these development plans, which occurred prior to the initially scheduled public hearing date(s) in 2012.

Staff has clearly demonstrated through the current (and prior) Zoning Ordinance language how these approved development plans, which designate the property as “South Golf Course Permanent Open Space,” “South Golf Course” and “South Golf Course Permanent Open Space” and “South Golf Course Permanent Open Space,” respectively, are binding to the property irrespective of the absence of proffers or development conditions, and must be amended to propose alternative development from the current use of a golf course or continued use as open space.

Meanwhile. grassroots advocacy group Rescue Reston is trying to rally as many people as possible to attend the hearing to voice their opposition to potential development.

See the entire staff report on the Fairfax County website.

  • Adrian Havill

    Since 2019?

    • Mike M

      2009 no doubt.
      Typos happen.

      • Karen Goff

        Good catch. Fixing now.

  • johnson

    Amazing why they are even entertaining this request let alone over and over again.

  • Linda Ascher Singer

    Rescue Reston members and leaders deserve credit for all the work they have done to make sure no one sneaks in and develops the golf course. Luckily, they are being backed up by the Fairfax County Zoning Administration and by Supervisor Hudgins. There will be a real victory when the BZA ends this attempted development and agrees that the golf course is open space. Should RA attempt to purchase this property?

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