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Rescue Reston Again Urges Golf Course Owners to Honor Its Status as Open Space

by Dave Emke August 31, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

Rescue Reston is continuing its effort to ensure any future action at Reston National Golf Course maintains its status as nearly 170 acres of open space.

The grassroots organization has been working for more than five years to preserve the golf course. Its efforts to block a sale of the property for residential development resulted in a temporary victory in 2016. However, the property’s owners continue to show interest in what they view as “by-right residential development” on the site.

In a letter emailed today to representatives of property owners Northwestern Mutual and investment advisory firm ARA Newmark, as well as delivered by hand to RN Golf Management LLC, Rescue Reston urges them to remember the desires of the community.

Rumor has it that you are encouraging speculative development of the Reston National Golf Course property, including that, through litigation, one might be able to build upwards of 4,000 units on this land.

Northwestern Mutual and ARA Newmark personnel responsible for this should be ashamed to be willing to put Fairfax County taxpayers through years of litigation to defend the very definite land use designation of Open Space at the property located at 11875 Sunrise Valley Drive and 2018 Soapstone Drive, Reston, Virginia.

We direct your attention to your PR statement regarding strengthening local communities at northwesternmutual.com/about-us/what-we-believe. If Northwestern Mutual, the majority partner of RN Golf Management LLC, which is the owner of the property at Reston National Golf Course, truly believes its own statement, then NWM must stop.

Reston is a Planned Residential Community.  You can read the short version of what that means at http://bit.ly/PRC-Districts.

We request that NWM consider a tax efficient strategy which will preserve the golf course as open space involving the donation of the land to the Reston Association or a conservation group, or the creation of a perpetual conservation easement. Andrea Reese, Sr. Land Conservation Specialist at the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust stands ready to explore this option with you. She can be reached at 703-354-5093.

Rescue Reston’s correspondence also refers back to a letter it penned in May reminding ARA Newmark of the group’s commitment to defending the property and of the property’s approved zoning uses and land use limitations.

Earlier this year, ARA Landmark sent out information indicating that by-right residential development would soon be available at the golf course. The price was designated as “TBD by Market.” A report by real-estate news website GlobeSt.com estimated its selling price might be more than $25 million — and that a developer could make up to $200 million from the property.

In April, Fairfax County Superintendent Cathy Hudgins reminded constituents that any attempt to redevelop the property would require a lengthy list of rulings, including “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.”

  • Why do you bother?

    Expecting the response to be: “Well, since you asked nicely….”…

    This is as lame as RA meeting with BP.

    • Mike M

      These folks have a successful track record. I would not dismiss their efforts.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Money talks, the rest walk

  • Reston Resident

    That Cathy Hudgins quote is basically saying she and the developer friendly board have the final say. Expect them to allow the maximum density development, a limit they are actively trying to increase.

  • 40yearsinreston

    LMAO – Reston South will turn into another RTC – chock full of high rise apartments and no roads

    Hudgins talls, developers cheer
    Why does she delight in fouling her home

  • RoadApples

    I look forward to the Development in the near future of increased residential and commercial space of this golf course property. This is the 21st Century. Nimbism has no place in a growing community.

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