Reston National neighborhood study group to look at natural environment

The Reston National Golf Course has launched a new study group to help understand the property’s past and current conditions and future plans for the neighborhood’s natural environment.

Funded by Virginia Investment Partners LLC, which owns the 168-acre golf course, the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group is focusing on six primary categories: open space, amenities, tree canopies, safety, housing costs, and water quality.

The group hosted its first community meeting on May 13 with the Hunters Green community, and at least additional conversations are planned, according to study group leader Greg Hamm.

As founder and president of the real estate planning firm New City Enterprises, Hamm represents the developers Weller Development Cos. and War Horse Cities, which purchased the golf course in 2019.

Hamm says the community conversations are intended to provide transparency for the study group’s work and opportunities for public engagement, particularly with adjacent neighbors like the Hunters Green Cluster, which shares almost six miles of property with the golf course.

“This is a very important piece of property, and it’s a very important topic and issue to many people,” Hamm said. “…It’s a big responsibility on us to really listen, engage and be creative and thoughtful in how we are stewards of this property and this important piece of the community. So, there are going to be lots of ideas, lots of opinions, lots of very important concerns that we have to address.”

The conversations will touch on shared property lines, trees, and the vegetative state of the surrounding property, including how to address invasive plant species, along with other challenges identified by the study group and neighbors.

Other topics include understanding the trail network and engaging in conversation about permanent open spaces, a recurring concern in Reston when it comes to golf courses.

While an effort to update Reston’s comprehensive plan is ongoing, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn has maintained that he would not support amending the plan to allow for development on the area’s two golf courses, though a proposal to build townhomes near the Hidden Creek Country Club course is currently working its way through Fairfax County’s planning process.

Hamm says the Neighborhood Study Group will be guided by the seven founding principles laid out by Reston founder Robert E. Simon.

“We think that keeping in the spirit of Reston and master planning, and community building, there’s some ways we could go about possibly addressing some of these things that could be very positive,” Hamm said.

Hamm added that these conversations will not result in an overnight transformation, but he hopes to encourage an open dialogue so the study group can work with surrounding community members and learn about their concerns or ideas.

“We want to make sure we genuinely thought through and understand the major underpinning issues the community has about our future and their future,” Hamm said. “Part of that is enabling them to understand what’s happening already.”

Photo via Reston National Golf Course/Facebook

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