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Golf Course Plaza Redevelopment Proposal Has June Date with Planning Commission

by Dave Emke — March 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 49 Comments

Rendering for Golf Course Overlook/Credit: olf Course Overlook LLC

Proposed rezoning of Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newton Square, is scheduled for a Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing June 21.

Location of planned high rise near W&OD and Hidden Creek/Credit: Golf Course Overlook LLCThe proposal, which first came to light in May 2016, would see the property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) become the home of a 392,600-square-foot multifamily residential structure with three levels of underground parking. Currently on the parcel is a three-story office building and a surface parking lot.

The residential building would feature 413 units. Developer Golf Course Overlook LLC seeks to rezone the property from I-5 (General Industrial) to Planned Residential Mixed-Use. According to the summary of Reston Association’s March land development tracker, it is “unclear whether any commercial uses would be retained” on the property.

The site is between the W&OD Trail and the fourth hole of the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. It is about a third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. According to the land development tracker summary:

“The site is located in the Wiehle Station Transit-Oriented Development District and designated Residential Mixed Use, which seeks to retain a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential uses respectively, at intensities of up to a 1.5 FAR [Floor Area Ratio]. Isaac Newton Square is planned to be home to 3,200 (of the 4,600) residential units for this district.”

A county staff report on the project is to be released June 6. Signs advertising the hearing are to go up May 31.

Images via Golf Course Overlook LLC

  • RunDMC

    Noooo no no no no NO!

    The traffic in that stretch of Sunset Hills is already really, really bad during rush hours (and at lunchtime!) Adding yet ANOTHER source of cars is a terrible idea, unless they radically re-design the traffic flow on Sunset Hills (which you know they won’t). You can only put so many stoplights in a 1 mile stretch of road…

    • Mike M

      Agreed. The way you ensure the developers are not enjoying subsidy from the current residents is to make them pay for the changes necessary to accommodate them. Will that inhibit development? YES, to a more natural and symbiotic rate. Unfortunately, we keep re-electing Hudgins and Bulova. So, . . .

      • Jenny Gibbers

        So a republican would have not signed us up for (re)development?

        [Drumroll]

        • Scott

          It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Rep & Dem, but…

          1. Look up who was for and against the meals-tax designed to give the BoS another tax lever and increased $$ to control.
          2. The (almost) rubber stamp on development is a means to increase tax revenues. While there are Big Govt Republicans, all Democrats are for Big Govt. It is part of the DNA.

          Small-Govt Republicans would be less likely to rubber-stamp increased density without requiring the requisite infrastructure be addressed by the developer.

          • Jenny Gibbers

            You are making some big assumptions here. The other big assumption here is that Democrats somehow stand for the environment and that open spaces and zoning designations are protected.

            Lastly, 90% of Americans believe in angels. Something we can agree on https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/561fedd07af0b47360f6c6f33af7f559cfcad1a399c4282bbdddf905b296e33d.jpg

          • Scott

            Life is full of assumptions, but it is also full of facts.
            -Democratic politicians do not consider a golf course “the environment”..unless they live on Hole #3 then it’s NIMBY.

            -Democrats love government and need more tax dollars to fund the machine of power and incumbency.
            -Ken Plum – raging (D) – has nothing to do with FFX County, but was a vocal supporter of the meals tax.
            -Herrity and Cook are the only Republicans on the BoS. Take a look at who was for and against the meals tax.

            When you’re a big Govt politician, the leviathan of government needs an ever increasing source of money. Not a single development project will be stalled as long as it means more tax revenue and the BoS is run by Bog Govt Democrats. I have no issue with redevelopment, but that development should come with requirements for developers to address infrastructure impacts their projects cause, OR the increased tax revenues from those properties should be dedicated to the infrastructure upgrades.

          • Donald

            Scott,

            I will do my best to avoid taking political sides.

            However, I absolutely agree with your premise regarding the individuals now serving on the BoS. Again, regardless of their political affiliations, most are not qualified to address the issues of rezoning, development and redevelopment now facing Reston.

            The same can be said for future RA boards – a critical community component.

            These two ingredients will allow developers and their representatives (land use attorneys) to take advantage of the situation.

            It’s time to rally, organize, leverage whatever legal resources are available, and get in front of a potential tsunami of rezoning/redevelopment applications coming our way. It is RA’s covenanted land, we can take a strong stand — if we show up!

            Donald

          • Scott

            To be clear, I’m not taking political sides either. Just stating facts. I’m neither a Dem nor a Rep. There are Big Govt Rep too (Newt Gingrich comes to mind), but almost universally:
            Dems love trains, high-rises, bicycles, “walk-ability” and tax dollars. They hate cars. Applied to Reston then, an 80% Democrat-controlled BoS will never turn down higher-density and will never require adequate infrastructure upgrades, unless it’s expanding a bike-share rack or bike lanes that few use. The only exception is if one of the BoS lives next to said development.

            More money for Pols to control. Make Drivers miserable. That should be the new Democratic slogan.

            On the other side of the aisle, the fight over the new HC law among Republicans shows diversity in opinion among the party. There are big-gov types. There are libertarian leaning types. Therefore, Reps will be more likely to check unfettered-development.
            Dems have excised all moderate thinking in the party that leaves Obama, Pelosi, Warren, & Schumer as the standard-bearers. There is still room for moderates at more local levels, but Bulova and Hudgins are not those moderates.

          • Donald

            Scott, I look forward to discussing politics with you, it would be enjoyable. Mind you I may challenge you on a couple items, but that’s what makes the conversation enjoyable.

            However, at the moment, as you point out so well, our local politicians have allowed Pandora’s Box to be opened. It’s a fait accompli. Rezoning, redevelopment and new development will impact Reston’s covenanted land directly.

            I suspect you will agree with me, this RA board, the next RA board, and the future RA boards better bone up on land use law, and they better be prepared for long, tumultuous meetings.

            They are facing the toughest decisions this community has ever faced.

            Donald

          • Chuck Morningwood

            Somehow, considering that we now have a Developer in Chief, I would think that a Republican led government would rollover faster for the developers.

          • Scott

            1. Trump is not a conservative.
            2. You see Republicans fighting him on things they disagree with and not just lining up because he’s a Republican.
            3. Don’t you think Trump would pay for road improvements to get a building approved?
            4. I’m not against the re-development. All Restonians who were ecstatic about metro coming and though Reston wasn’t going to change, are, well, morons. I was against the metro b/c suburban rail doesn’t work and we will be stuck subsidizing it for eternity. Anyone who wants the development to slow, should push metro to actually enact their schedule reductions. The only hope is to make metro relatively worthless to residents during off-hours.

          • Greg

            I still don’t understand why nearly everyone (but for you and me) was ecstatic about metro…what were they thinking and expecting?

        • The Constitutionalist

          Maybe they would’ve. We’ll never know since we enjoy electing people who will sign us up for (re)development.

          [Drumroll]

        • Mike M

          Good question. The answer is NO. The answer is vote the SOBs out after two years so they get the message, then it won’t matter what party. Can you have an intelligent dialogue? Dems did this because they had a monopoly granted by the residents.

    • The Constitutionalist

      WE NEED MORE BIKE LANES, THAT’LL FIX THE CONGESTION!!!!!

      • cRAzy

        …and more sidewalks, but no grade-separated crossings at busy intersections. (Heck, some don’t even have crosswalks marked!) If we hit enuff pedestrians, congestion will be relieved!

        • Guest

          I’m not sure even fatalities will be enough. Check the long sad tale of Route 15 north.

        • The Constitutionalist

          Let’s just replace the right lane with a giant sidewalk and the left lane with a giant bike lane.

          Boom, no more cars and therefore, no more congestion.

      • Jenny Gibbers

        [Drumroll]

  • cRAzy

    So the developer wants to get this built and rented well before the “golf course” it touts turns into acres of development.

    Better get crackin’! The County’s wheels are in motion to get rid of Hidden Creek Country Club for more valuable density that can be taxed.

    • Donald

      Absolutely agree.

  • SuperCoop1280

    I think this is a swell idea. Let’s have more cars on very thin roads. Who allows for these ideas to even become possible?!

    • Greg

      The same idiots who put the roads on diets and add bike lanes. Bike lanes solve traffic issues everywhere all the time, right?

      • The Constitutionalist

        Well duh, don’t you know all these studies prove it, here let me link them:

        • Guest

          Excuse me sir I think you dropped this link.

          You may also enjoy this PDF, which includes the Lawyers Road and Soapstone Drive diets including super deluxe bicycle lanes.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Thanks for picking that one up for me. My tight spandex wouldn’t let me reach it.

            Here’s a better link. One for open minded folks who would like to see both sides of all arguments. This is not for people who have already made up their mind.

            http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/bikelanes.html

          • Guest

            Sadly, I missed your above recommendation of editorials opposed to bike lanes. It looks like there are significantly more pro-bike lane USDOT, state, and university studies. But what a trip to read.

            And thank you for contradicting your suggestion that said studies don’t exist. It feels almost like honesty.

  • New Reston

    Very excited about this development!

    • Mike M

      Why?

      • New Reston

        Because I’m clearly pro-development.

        • Donald

          You just might just get what you want.

          Donald

          • New Reston

            This appears to be a warning of some sort. Thanks Donald. You’ve changed my mind. Now I’m anti-development.

          • Guest

            New Reston, no! I trusted you! Why would you betray me like this??!

          • New Reston

            Don’t fret Guest. What’s my name? New Reston. Say my name. I enjoy nothing more than seeing rezoning applications, approvals, and plans for new high density, mixed use development. Love the demo and development the most. New Reston is a beautiful thing.

          • Guest

            Whew! Thank goodness, I was worried.

          • Scott

            Which do you love the most? The grid-locked traffic or the RTC parking app?

        • Mike M

          Clearly. And why is that?

  • Donald

    And everyone wonders why I have fears regarding the Hidden Creek Country Club over the long term. Another Reston National threat in my opinion — it’s just a matter of time. New board members get ready!

    • Don’tBeScared

      Donald– The value in this property will be that it’s “on” the golf course. The developer will want it to stay “on” the golf course.

      • Donald

        I’m not concerned with what THIS developer thinks. She/he is just making the case.

        I’m concerned with what the owner of Hidden Creek Country Club (Fore Golf Partners) thinks. Other developers are seeing the true development value of the HCCC property and the owner is seeing dollar signs as the value of his property continues to go up. Why, HCCC actually borders and runs across the TSA boundary.

        You need to play more billiards, and think three to five shots ahead son.

        Donald

    • Mike M

      The battle could be won. Round 1 was one. But Dems have to send the clear message to Hudgins and Bulova.

      • Donald

        Mike M,

        I believe matters such as rezoning and redevelopment surpass political loyalties. To developers, it doesn’t matter what party the County officials belong to. They’ll play both fronts.

        Look at any major corporation and you will see their PACs are large and okay both sides.

        People like Hidgins, et al, don’t stand a chance against the influencing powers of the likes of Lerner, JBG, Boston Properties, etc. Their powerful land use attorneys make millions on one transaction alone.

        The RA board has some big fights coming its way.

        Donald

        • Mike M

          Donald, we have traction on these matters through our elected County officials. the question is will we apply it. History shows Restonians are overwhelmingly committed to pols who talk about things that don;t really matter, so these pols are free to not serve our true interests. Had Hudgins and Bulova been tossed last time, the current pol would know performance matters. But you are right that party is irrelevant in these issues.

          • Donald

            You and I are in agreement.

  • Nyla J.

    Will there be any units with a view of Popeye’s AND a gas station?

    • Donald

      Not sure which location you’re looking at. This is Hidden Creek CC not Reston National GC.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Can we do a recall vote? If elected, I will never vote for any new construction that doesn’t at least destroy as much existing construction on a Sq ft basis.

    • Scott

      Elections are only 2 years away. The time to start is now! Let’s get Chuck on the Ballot!!
      The irony is that FFX BoS elections are scheduled in years when there are NO National Federal elections going on, guaranteeing a small turnout with no one really paying attention, and therefore, few consequences for governance decisions. The flip-side is that a small, motivated contingent could throw out Hudgins and company relatively easily.

      CHUCK MORNINGWOOD FOR FAIRFAX BoS!!!!!!!!!!

  • Donald

    Please see this morning’s RestonNow headlines.

    Reston Board and new board members, and future board members, wake up! The developers’ attorneys have very deep pockets.

    Reston Board and new board members, and future board members, you are about to face this community’s biggest challenges.

    “GlobeSt.com asked Mark Anstine, ARA Newmark’s executive managing director for land services, for comment and he declined to answer except for this rather bold and sweeping statement: “We think it is the best residential development opportunity with the highest return potential of any property currently on the US market.”

    One reason for Anstine’s extreme confidence could be Reston National’s zoning, which dates from the 1970s and could be argued to be ‘by right’ — an almost forgotten zoning regulation that means a plan for development needs only to receive administrative approval as opposed to political approval.”

    And Hidden Creek isn’t going to be too far behind.

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