Golf Course Development Would Have Negative Impact, RA Says

by Karen Goff May 19, 2015 at 9:30 am 29 Comments

Reston National Golf CourseReston Association says it will be “substantially impacted” if the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals decision on Reston National Golf Course is allowed to stand.

Reston Association, as well as the county Board of Supervisors and citizens advocacy group Rescue Reston have filed appeals in Fairfax County Circuit Court after the BZA ruled in April that potential development at the 166-acre course does not necessarily have to go through a comprehensive plan amendment.

That ruling could open the door to the public golf course eventually being redeveloped as residential, RA, along with many citizens, say would be unfortunate for Reston’s open space.

“The BZA decision in this manner will directly contribute to unplanned residential development of 166 acres that has clearly been identified as, and designated for, open space and golf course uses on the detailed development plans approved by the Board of Supervisors,” RA says in its appeal.

“If upheld, the BZA decision will have significant adverse impacts to the RA. Unplanned residential development of the golf course will substantially impact the RA’s financial and management resources, by increasing its burden to operate and maintain a sufficient number of environmental and recreational facilities to serve the appropriate number of residential dwellings.  More frequent stream restoration and lake dredging will be required — at significant cost to RA.”

The golf course’s owners, RN Golf Management, first inquired with Fairfax County Zoning whether the course is considered open and community space or residential in 2012. After the county affirmed open and community space, RN Golf appealed the ruling. After delays of more than a year, the BZA finally heard testimony in a January hearing and issued its decision in April.

The golf course owners have not shown any plans for what, if anything, they intend to build at the course.

Other key points of RA’s filing:

The BZA decision will affect more than just the course. It will affect any redevelopment within about 450 acres, including the golf course, private residences and RA common property such as lakes and streams.  Residential development would have a serious negative affect on stormwater management, RA says. The 450 acres is the area covered by the three development plans from the early 1970s that include the Reston National and the houses that surround it.

Allowing residential development would harm the “interconnected balance of recreational, open space and residential uses .. specifically approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1971.

Any change in a development plan normally requires the consent or inclusion of landowners. “RN Golf maintains that no development plan amendment is required to convert the golf course to residential use, therby depriving property owners such as the RA of the aforementioned protections against an unplanned change to their common scheme of development.”

See the entire filing on RA’s website.

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