Rescue Reston: BZA Decision Will Reach Beyond Reston

by Karen Goff April 21, 2015 at 11:00 am 6 Comments

Reston National/Credit: Glencourse ClusterRescue Reston, the open-space advocacy group formed in response to the zoning appeal on the zoning status of Reston National Golf Course, says at least one factor in the Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision last week was faulty.

On April 15, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals gave a partial ruling on course owners’ RN Golf Management’s 2012 appeal to see if the property was designated residential. The BZA said it overruled the zoning administrator to the extent she says a comprehensive plan amendment is a precondition to development.

That may open the door for future development, but the BZA said it wants to see what RN Golf has in mind first.

Rescue Reston says it expects to take the case though an appeal in Virginia Circuit Court. Here is a statement it issued Tuesday:

The BZA got it wrong on the Comprehensive Plan issue. The Planned Residential Community (PRC) ordinance is unique to only three geographic areas in Fairfax County, all of which have green open space as an integral factor in the planning. It is complicated to those who do not deal with it often or ever, and this includes members of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).

The last time the BZA made a ruling in a PRC District (it was Reston) was in 1992 when they were later overruled by the Supreme court – see this post by Reston 2020.

On April 15, 2015 the BZA essentially turned the clock back to the fall of 2012 and ruled based only on the evidence in hand in 2012 – almost 3 years ago. They stated they were ignoring all of the evidence presented since the Zoning Administrator’s 2012 determination letter.

Rescue Reston expects to take this case to the Circuit Court where all of the evidence will be considered. Your support and donations are needed to challenge this threat to Reston’s most important defining characteristic — its open space.  More info at RescueReston.org.

The implications of this BZA decision reach far beyond these 166 acres of recreational open space. If Reston National Golf Course falls to development, the Hidden Creek Golf Course on the north side could be next. And what if the U.S. Government decides some day to sell the 105 acre U.S. Geological Survey property in Reston?

These are key pillars in the Reston Master Plan that the citizens of Reston and all of Fairfax County must not allow to fall.

RCA has written a one-page information sheet to explain these unique PRC Districts – please read and share:

What is a PRC (Planned Residential Community) District?

“PRC Zoning Districts are established to encourage innovative and creative design for land development; to provide ample and efficient use of open space; to promote a balance in the mix of land uses, housing types, and intensity of development; and to allow maximum flexibility in order to achieve excellence in physical, social and economic planning and development of a site.”

Fairfax County has only three of these unique PRC Districts and they all have green open space as an integral factor in their design.

Photo: Reston National/Credit: Glencourse Cluster

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