Reston National Case Goes Back to Fairfax County Court Friday

Golfers at tourney at Reston National/Credit: Jay SzlamowiczThe long and winding saga of the future of Reston National Golf Course has a date in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Friday.

When we last saw the main players — advocacy group Rescue Reston, golf course owners Reston National Golf Management (RN Golf), Reston Association, Fairfax County and others — they were in the same Fairfax County courthouse.

In early November, Judge Michael Devine granted the motion for summary judgment filed by lawyers for Rescue Reston, RA and other parties concerned about Reston’s open space. He also vacated the Board of Zoning Appeals‘ decision from earlier in 2015.

This means that golf course owners RN Golf Management would have to file a formal plan with Fairfax County in order to pursue redevelopment of the course. April’s ruling allowed RN Golf to circumvent rezoning in order to redevelop.

The issue dates back to 2012, when RN Golf asked Fairfax County if the 166-acre public course at Sunrise Valley and Colts Neck Road could be considered residential. Fairfax County Planning and Zoning said no, it’s open and recreational space. After several postponements, RN Golf filed an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). A BZA hearing took place in January of 2015, the final ruling in April 2015, and the newest decision on the April ruling in November.

At Friday’s hearing, the judge will enter the order (provided all parties agree on language) implementing November’s decision. It also starts the clock rolling on RN Golf’s timetable to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, should it choose to do so.

But even though there is a day in court, there is a chance nothing might happen at all. On Tuesday, RN Golf filed a motion asking Devine to defer issuing an order on the golf course case until “at least March 1, 2016,”  reps for Rescue Reston said.

“This should not be surprising, given that RN Golf previously has pursued a strategy of delay, for example by appealing the County’s initial decision to the BZA and then postponing the BZA hearing for over a year,” said Rescue Reston president Connie Hartke. “The adjacent landowners who are opposing RN Golf will request that the court deny RN Golf’s motion for delay, and we anticipate that RA and the County will do the same.”

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