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Hudgins: Process for Potential Golf Course Redevelopment ‘Must Be Followed’

by Dave Emke — April 3, 2017 at 11:30 am 40 Comments

Reston National Golf Course has been advertised for potential redevelopment, but a lot would need to happen for that to take place, Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is reminding constituents.

In a statement to media Monday morning, Hudgins said an interpretation of the property’s status made by Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning is “clear and concise.”

“According to the interpretation, the process is clear and concise and must be followed in order for development other than a golf course or open space to be considered for the property,” Hudgins said.

The interpretation of the golf course property by Fairfax County Planning and Zoning reads:

“Based on the previous approvals, the redevelopment of the property from a golf course to residential uses would first require an amendment to the Reston Master Plan which is part of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, as well as obtaining both Development Plan Amendment approval and Planned Residential Community Plan approval from the Board of Supervisors.”

According to Hudgins’ office, the supervisor made the statement Monday in response to the recent advertisement of the property by developer ARA Newmark as well as a recent article on real-estate news site GlobeSt, which quoted specific rumored sale prices and development values for the property. Hudgins believes the characterization of the property as a “by-right, mixed-use development opportunity” could be misleading to some residents, who may believe its redevelopment to be “a done deal,” her office stated.

Activist group Rescue Reston, which fought against a previous attempt to redevelop the property, has stated it will “mobilize [its] allies and supporters as necessary to oppose any attempt to amend the Comprehensive Plan that would threaten our open space.”

  • Umust B Kidding

    Do you hear the sound of the County’s “no development of RNGC” position being chipped, chipped, chipped away? After all, think of all the property tax residential development of 160 acres of land would bring. Billions! And that’s all the County cares about.

    • G F

      She’s stating the obvious – there are no subtexts here. RA, RR and FFC all spent significant amounts of money in lawyers to ensure it remains green space. And in the comprehensive plan it is stated unequivocally that the golf courses of Reston are to remain as such – making it more difficult to develop them. Finally, if the County approves the redevelopment of open space in what is a very liberal county would amount to political suicide. Let’s stop the panic train, shall we?

      • Donald

        I agree, no need to panic. I do believe it is important to remain diligent. Curious to know if RA and RR are budgeingd accordingly for these potential fights?

        • G F

          Yes, we should remain diligent as when promises of monumental profits are involved, individuals may get a little reckless. However, anyone who has the money to spend ten of millions or more on a golf course with the aim of development will be sophisticated and do their due diligence. Something that Northwestern Mutual did not do and now are paying the price for it.

        • 30yearsinreston

          No

      • 30yearsinreston

        # 1 is doable
        The potential profits make the lawyers fees worth the price

        A few hundred K is a drop in the bucket

        • Donald

          Agree. The interest in Reston’s properties is increasing dramatically. The potential ROI is is also increasing dramatically, for the County as well.

          RA, RR, and others, prepare, prepare, prepare.

          Donald

      • Mike M

        Believe what you want to believe about the County Supes. Meanwhile you might just want to take a look around at what is happening and who is paying for enabling infrastructure.

        Everyone might take note of what she has enabled thus far. There’s a been a little redevelopment with some more on the way. So, I don’t know if you should call expectations of more of the same “panic.”

    • Mike M

      Truth is development around here always ends up costing the County more than it brings in. You can see it already where locals are paying tolls and taxes to facilitate it.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Goodbye Golf Course
    Commisar Hudgins will grease the skids as she does for all developers

  • Joyce

    Please tell me that someone is running against this woman! What a disgrace!

    • Haw

      Local liberals would rather die than vote against our local Democrats (Plum, Hudgins, Howell) no matter how disgraceful or ineffective their track records.

      • JoeInReston

        Hudgins ran unopposed. Don’t know about Plum and Howell. There was no choice.

  • johnson

    She is not to be trusted.

  • Jennifer Walter

    It will get developed, I almost guarantee it. Money always wins and the greedy will do whatever dirty actions are necessary to get their way. I sincerely hope I’m totally wrong but just going by experience.

    • Greg

      You are right. And, in this case, it’s likely a matter that the VA supreme court will (soon) settle.

    • New Reston

      This golf course is history. Bet on it. Land too valuable, location too ideal.

  • Ellanor C Lawrence

    Want the land to not be developed? Have RA buy it and not develop it.

    • Donald

      Yes, the best case scenario. RA boards may have to bring some interesting ideas to the membership in the future.

      Donald

      • 30yearsinreston

        They will all involve spending some one elses money and making us pay more

        • Donald

          Yes they will.

          • JoeInReston

            The idea that Restonites will initiate and approve a referendum to buy one or two golf courses at or above market rate (RA’s recent track record in determining market rate is poor) is not realistic.

            a) The current assessments are too high. Adding one or two golf course mortgage payments will make the assessments absurdly high.
            b) RA’s perceived competency is too low. Who wants to green light the RA to make two incredibly expensive purchases?
            c) The stench of the Tetra purpose still lingers in the Reston voters mind, ergo they will be less willing to sign off
            d) Another consequence of (c) is that newly elected board candidates will be decidedly less willing whip out the check book.
            e) The price tag will be crazy high

          • Donald

            The new board candidates better be prepared to take a stand and fight. The community has a very short memory.

            Donald

    • 30yearsinreston

      Great idea
      Realtors on the RA wil be happy to facilitate the sale
      If everyone can pay for the Lake House, why not the golf course
      And Hidden Creek as well

      • Greg

        Will they buy our house, too? We will give the RA Realtor a bonus and sell the house for 150% of market—that’s a steal of a deal.

        • 30yearsinreston

          I was being sarcastic

          • Greg

            So was I.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    Rescue Reston appreciates this statement – the purpose is to make it crystal clear to prospective buyers.

    Developer attorneys are calling Rescue Reston’s attorney asking about the history of the legal case. The more that we can convince these speculators that it will be extremely difficult to change the land use designation, the better the chance that a good steward of the land will be able to purchase it. Help us with attorney expenses by making a tax deductible contribution to our 501(c)3 partner, The Project for Athletic Leadership Inc. Please put “Rescue Reston” in the memo line and mail to Rescue Reston, 2198 Golf Course Dr, Reston, VA 20191. Include your email address so we may send you a receipt for your records.

    • Donald

      Ms. Hartke,

      You, and the Rescue Reston organization, have shown your mettle taking a stand against the redevelopment of the golf course. But, Reston National is not the only property potentially in jeopardy.

      And you highlight a true need. The community, through RR, RA, and others particular, will need significant dollars to fight these fights.

      Donald

    • Hmm

      “The Project for Athletic Leadership Inc” is ” a nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing leadership skills for young athletes”.

      Hardly seems like opposing golf course redevelopment is within the purview of this organization. From an ethical standpoint you ought to set up a different 501c3 for Rescue Reston and keep it separate from “The Project for Athletic Leadership Inc.

  • Donald
  • Greg

    It’s value has more than quadrupled in less than a decade. It’s for sale to the highest bidder — that’s what “must be followed” means in Hudgins’ thinly disguised code-speak.

    $25 million and growing.

    http://www.globest.com/sites/erikamorphy/2017/03/22/reston-national-golf-course-goes-to-market-with-home-builders-in-mind/?slreturn=20170304145347

    • Donald

      Worth over $200 million when developed.

      That’s enticing to other property owners in Reston, like Hidden Creek Country Club, and others.

      Donald

  • Mike M

    The “process is clear and concise,” and I’ll bet she’ll do everything she can to facilitate it.

    • Donald

      Let’s not forget what motivates the entire BOS. Hudgins might vote against, but what about the rest?

      Donald

      • Mike M

        They clearly have been known to logroll like this.

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