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What to Know if Attending Reston National Hearing

by Karen Goff January 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm 7 Comments

Reston National Golf Course in WinterAdvocacy group Rescue Reston is hoping to fill the  auditorium with residents at the Fairfax County Government Center at Reston National’s Board of Zoning Appeals Hearing on Wednesday.

The BZA will consider the appeal of RN Golf, the owners of the 166-acre public course in south Reston, at the 9 a.m. hearing.

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 appealed that decision, and then deferred the hearing several times. But Wednesday’s sessions is on, and Rescue Reston leader Connie Hartke said the BZA is likely to have a decision on the appeal the same day.

What Rescue Reston wants you to know if you are going to go:

  • Be inside the auditorium at 8:45 for photographs of the “bright yellow sea of support” for County Zoning.
  • Rescue Reston is encouraging everyone to wear their bright yellow/green Rescue Reston T-shirt or other similarly colored clothing, and to bring Rescue Reston yard signs (without the stakes). 
  • If you are scheduled to make a comment to the BZA, the public comment period is at the start of the hearing. You have the right to speak at the hearing and voice your opinion. However, if a number of people have spoken and your points have already been covered, it is perfectly fine just to say that you “agree with” or “support” the previous comments, says Hartke.

The government center is located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

For more information, including car pool sign ups, visit Rescue Reston’s website.

Read more on the subject:

Reston National Owners Ask Again For Zoning Appeal

Staff Report on Reston National Stays the Course

Residents Rally to Save Open Space

Development Foes Say History on Their Side 

  • Dexter Scott

    Do they sell hot tar at Home Depot? Can I get loose feathers from Michaels?

    • Matt H

      Go away troll…you are not clever.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    More planning details for those who are attending tomorrow’s hearing in today’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bbW5hP

    • Constance (Connie) Hartke

      Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Inclement Weather Policy
      In the event of inclement weather, the County Executive may close all county offices or may grant unscheduled leave to county employees. In both cases, all Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) public hearings scheduled for that day shall be cancelled and the applications rescheduled for the next available meeting date which can accommodate the hearings and allows sufficient time for re-advertising. BZA members, county staff and citizens should listen to emergency announcements featured on Fairfax County Cable Channel 16 and provided to area television and radio stations and/or access the county’s Web page http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov. Please listen to more than one station to verify county closings and unscheduled leave and to be sure the announcement is referring to Fairfax County Government, not the school system, court system or City of Fairfax government.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    Special Message on Loss of Value to Your Golf Course Home from John Pinkman, Founding Member, Rescue Reston

    January 20, 2015

    Neighbors,

    This is intended for people who live directly on the golf course and those who feel they will suffer a significant financial loss should the golf course redevelop into housing and subsequently apply for commercial zoning along Sunrise Valley Drive.

    We’ve come a long way since August (2012) when in my home, three people began the response to this crisis. As of yesterday, Rescue Reston is over 5300 strong. We hope you can take at least part of your day to preserve the value of your home at the BZA hearing tomorrow beginning at 9:00 am. This is such an important meeting that the Board has decided to exclude all other items on their agenda and focus completely on the Reston issue.

    Any resident can address the BZA at this hearing. Rescue Reston counsel advises that affected residents should focus their comments on their potential economic loss, should the golf course be transformed into streets and medium- to high-density homes.

    As there are homes of varying locations and values, the potential impact is different for each property. For example, my home, 2188 Golf Course Drive, backs directly to the first fairway. I believe, and others concur, that our home value could easily be reduced by $75,000 to $100,000 or more should NWM and Lerner prevail. There are two specific reasons for devaluation. First, the house no longer will be adjacent to open space, for which we (and many of you) paid a premium. Perhaps the more subtle impact is the lack of confidence of new homeowners moving to Reston. Specifically, their concern will be whether or not the concept of open space will continue to exist. Which is exactly the reason Reston homes have retained their added value. But, will future homebuyers trust the planned community to keep its design promises if open space is no longer protected in this specific test case?

    Action

    We’re asking you to attend the BZA meeting tomorrow for whatever amount of time you have available. I personally don’t see this as an inconvenience in the defense of my home, and trust that you don’t either.

    Tomorrow – Wednesday, January 21, 9:00 am at the Fairfax County Supervisors’Auditorium at the Fairfax County Government Center

    Get there early, stay for an hour, or stay all day. What matters is that you personally show up fill to the auditorium as a member of Reston who objects to this reckless redevelopment. Wear your green Rescue Reston t-shirt and carry your Rescue Reston sign.

    Two and a half years of suspicion, intrigue, anger, frustration, and planning all come down to this: actions speak louder than words. Show Up! Show up and join those folks who have been working hard on your behalf to protect the value of your home and the value of the quality of life that you have and will continue to enjoy in Reston.

    Straight talk — If you cannot afford half a day of your time to save tens of thousands of dollars of your property value — you’ve completely misread the gravity of the situation.

    See You There!

    John

    • Dexter Scott

      The economic argument is weak. The developers will argue that they will suffer a large economic loss if they do not get to redevelop the property, and that the county (and the Reston Association) would get a large economic gain from increased taxes and association dues if the property is developed, plus greatly increased economic activity from new residents.

      Indeed, if the developers agreed to pay each current resident with a golf course property $100k, they’d probably still come out ahead.

      Arguments for preserving open space, preserving the character of South Reston, and avoiding a horrible increase in motor vehicle traffic are much stronger.

      • Vina Hutchinson

        I agree about the traffic; it is horrible in that area around the morning and evening rush hours and I cannot imagine the impact a residential development like this will have on it. Perhaps the developer should pay to widen the road to three lanes each side.

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