After Ownership Change, Future of Reston National Golf Course in Question

Local community groups are gearing up to protect Reston National Golf Course from redevelopment once again after the 168-acre property was sold off to a pair of Baltimore developers earlier this month.

Weller Development Cos. and War Horse Cities purchased the property from RN Golf LLC, a partnership of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Billy Casper Golf, according to the Washington Business Journal.

So far, the developers have “no set plans for the property at this time,” according to the report. But both companies appear to focus primarily on development.

Weller Development creates “large and small-scale development projects with the potential to transform cities,” according to its website. War Horse Cities is focused on “programming spaces, developing real estate and creating philanthropic initiatives,” according to its website.

Rescue Reston, a group formed in 2012 to protect Reston’s two golf courses and open spaces, has already declared that it is ready for battle.

“You bought a golf course and you own a golf course. Period. The war is on,” the group wrote on Facebook.

The fight to preserve Reston’s golf courses now has two fronts.

The advocacy group has vowed to protect Hidden Creek Country Club, which has been the subject of discussion for redevelopment in recent months after it was sold in 2017. Wheelock Communities, the owner, is considering plans to build 600 to 1,000 residential units and create a public park on the property. No formal plans have been proposed, but the company has discussed ideas with community stakeholders.

Rescue Reston says Reston National’s new owners have yet to contact them about their plans for the site.

Weller Development Co. and War Horse Cities state in this Washington Business Journal article that they are ‘focused on building relationships’ and  ‘being part of the Reston community.’ Yet they have not reached out to Rescue Reston or any other Reston entity which is in favor of golf and open space in Reston, thus showing their true intentions,” the group wrote in a statement.

Redeveloping the golf course would require a comprehensive plan amendment — a protracted process that Reston National’s previous owners backed off on in 2012.

Although the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals ruled that RN Golf could redevelop the site, the decision was overturned by the Fairfax County Circuit Court. In 2016, RN Golf decided not to take the fight to the Virginia Supreme Court. The golf course was later listed for sale in 2017.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

File photo

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