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Residents Rally in Defense of Open Space at Reston Golf Course

by RestonNow.com — May 8, 2017 at 10:30 am 29 Comments

More than 100 turned out for a planned rally at the Reston National Golf Course Sunday against the development of the 166 acres which has long been kept as natural open space.

The group, which calls itself “Rescue Reston,” says the acreage is “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program Golf,” and that its designation as open space dates back to Reston founder Bob Simon’s vision for the community.

“We’re going to send a message to the majority owner of the golf course — Northwestern Mutual — and potential bidders that Reston will not stop defending the 166 acres across Sunrise Valley Drive from the Northwestern Mutual offices,” said Connie Hartke, president of Rescue Reston. “Restonians have the power when the zoning is already on our side.”

“[Our] message to speculators regarding the sale of Reston National Golf Course is: buy a golf course if you wish, but know that recreational open space is all you will have,” Hartke continued.

News of this latest potential sale and development of Reston National Golf Course emerged earlier this year when ARA Newmark began distributing information that implies the acreage is “coming soon” for interested parties. The memorandum indicates it was prepared “solely for the use of prospective buyers of the real property commonly known as Reston National Golf Course.”

Rescue Reston members have been consulting with attorneys in preparation of fighting any potential rezoning, sale or development of the property, the organization’s website states.

  • SuperCoop1280

    Protesting on a Sunday? I am sure the cleaning crew and the security guard working at the time got the message.

    If you care that much, why not do it during the week or better yet, organize a massive letter writing campaign to elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels?

    • drip

      This is the same group that blindly supported Tetra and worked to convince people that RA absolutely needed to purchase that property in the name of “open space.” That sledgehammer approach is not very pragmatic and harms their credibility.

      • Jenny Gibbers

        Basically all the yes voters were lied to, we had no idea the lake hut would turn into such an expense and that – despite have realtors on the board – they could not write a rent back clause.

        The best you can do now is raise awareness and fire the guilty parties!

        Regardless, RR is still the best option at this point unless you have better ideas?

        • Conservative Senior

          Eve Thompson is the only realtor on the board & is self serving.
          Cate & her million dollar attorneys screwed up the rent back & were responsible for the tetra mess. The info was out there exposing the lies (no restaurant wanted the bldg., too many restrictive easements, false info to the appraiser, etc). Those who voted for it closed their minds to the truth exposed by Terry Maynard & others.
          RA is not working for the members!

          • drip

            In all fairness, Ray Wedell also is a realtor and was one of the most vocal advocates of the Tetra purchase, to the point of insulting those who questioned RA (and RR’s) claims in support of Tetra. I question RR’s credibility because the facts existed as you point out prior to the vote, yet RR was extremely quick to express its vocal support for Tetra without doing the appropriate research. If RR is so easily bamboozled by the likes of Cate Fulkerson, then how can RR be credibly taking the lead on something much bigger and impactful?

          • Conservative Senior

            I agree with you. Forgot about Wedell.

        • SuperCoop1280

          Is there a blog or Facebook group keeping track of the actions of Fulkerson and Board members? We recently moved to Reston last year so while it was nice to vote on Board nominations this year, it would be even better to know which Board members strongly advocated for Tetra so we all can vote against them.

          Has the Board done anything to Fulkerson for the really bad Tetra purchase? She clearly is not qualified for the job.

          • 40yearsinreston

            Are you really asking that question
            The Board is a rubber stamp

          • John Higgins

            Good to hear that a new resident took the time to vote this year. None of the candidates was an incumbent. I didn’t hear any of them being opposed to the purchase at the time it was being considered, but they all seemed to fault the actual execution.

            Stay involved, in a positive way. There is a lot good happening in RA (not usually noted here) and we will all benefit from fresh ideas.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Probably because they have jobs.

    • TheKingJAK

      To echo The Constitutionalist, many of those present attend school and work during the week.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    For those who haven’t missed the point, please share widely the NBC4 coverage (and thanks RestonNow!): https://youtu.be/6VlAiSjvaSQ

    • Donald

      Ms. Hartke,

      Is Your organization rescuing Reston, or just the Reston National Golf Course?

      Thank you,
      Donald

    • John Farrell

      Any regrets on the Tetra support?

    • Bernie Supporter

      Don’t you just love armchair generals who tell you how you should protest while not protesting themselves? Way to go, Connie! Way to go Rescue Reston!

      • The Constitutionalist

        Didn’t you do exactly this just a few days ago?

  • Big Drop

    Even with the Weihle Metro station open traffic is nightmarish in Reston in the rush hours. This is without the 500 apartments by the golf course, 80+ th and condos near the Westin, 500 apartments at Weihle, 400 apartments next to Oracle and 500+ at Town Center (Signature) still under construction. There are also a lot of vacancies in other buildings. These 2,000+ units are going to put a lot more cars on the road. Note that it is a half mile walk from the Town Center Metro to Town Center (!). If the golf course were developed where exactly would the cars go?

    I’ve liver here 29 years and Reston has nothing in common today with what it was when I moved here.

    • Winslow Wacker

      Bingo! I have been here since 1968 and it has been all but destroyed from its’ original vision. I was for growth, up to a point, but it is almost becoming unlivable with the traffic now.

  • Conservative Senior

    It was a nice place to live. It has changed & not for the better.

  • TheKingJAK

    I travel up North often and I notice how beautiful many of their communities are, mostly because they’ve restricted growth. There are towns that I’ve spent time in which haven’t grown in population in nearly eighty years, yet they’re still vibrant epicenters filled with culture, beauty, and a high standard of living. This absurd notion that constant development is necessary is not only false, furthermore, it actually drives people away and will in the end drive the standard of living down. More development = more infrastructure requirements = raised taxes = residential flight = depression and decay.

    • Greg

      “North” being where? Have you ever visited Detroit? Or Hazleton? Or Wikes-Barre?

      • Mike M

        In New England the towns have a say in what kind of community they want to be and their voices are heard. In Reston, Democrats play their MAGIC flutes of feel-good philosophy which is enough to ensure they are handily re-elected with our naive electorate. They are the pied pipers.

    • Mike M

      I completely agree! I’ve said as much in here.

  • 40yearsinreston

    They should be protesting against Hudgins who has not seen a development she won’t support
    Put her on the bus and one may have a chance of getting a deal which preserves some space
    Isnt there a pipeline which runs through the property ?

  • John Farrell

    Don’t forget Knueven who now works for the homeowner who most benefits from this $5 Million boondoggle.

    • Conservative Senior

      That homeowner is Richard Beyer who is now selling his home for $1.7 million. Located across the lake from the Tetra mess, he benefited & supported the purchase. Self serving!

  • restonresident

    I am not necessarily in favor of turning Reston National into a bunch of condo’s but I do strongly believe in property rights.
    My impression of Rescue Reston is that it is mainly made up of people who live near the golf course and that it is not so much a fight against development but against development in my back yard. NIMBYs.
    Their support for Tetra clearly demonstrates a lack of fiscal responsibility and really a tit for tat in return RA footing their legal bills for the zoning appeals. This cost the residents hundreds of thousands.

  • DevelopReston

    “We’re going to send a message to the majority owner of the golf course — Northwestern Mutual — and potential bidders that Reston will not stop defending the 166 acres across Sunrise Valley Drive from the Northwestern Mutual offices,” said Connie Hartke, whose 5 bedroom detached home purchased for $500,000 in 2004 is now worth approximately $915,000.

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