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by Fatimah Waseem December 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm 7 Comments

Rescue Reston, a grassroots organization that successfully helped prevent the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course several years ago, is vowing to defend Hidden Creek Country Club after it changed ownership in late October.

In response to overwhelming requests from citizens for advice and support, the group has pledged to defend recreational open space at Hidden Creek Country Club by amending its mission statement.

Community advocates have long feared both Hidden Creek and Reston National Golf Course will transform into residential development as Reston expands.

“Rescue Reston and its supporters are standing between the green space and the developers who want to reduce, repurpose or eliminate green space for yet even more housing. There is precious little green recreational space in Reston to support the greatly increasing density that is already planned for all of Reston,” the group wrote in the statement.

Wheelock Communities purchased the club earlier this week from its previous owner, Fore Golf Partners, which will continue to manage the club.

In an October email announcing $300,000 in upgrades to the club, Wheelock, which owns properties in Texas and across the East Coast has listed several potential options for development, including additional public amenities, environmental benefits and new housing choices.

by RestonNow.com December 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm 37 Comments

This is an op/ed submitted by Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

Good governance requires a bond of trust between citizens and their elected and appointed officials.  This trust can best – in fact only – be achieved and maintained when citizens are confident officials have the community’s best interests at heart and all proposals and plans affecting the community are fully presented and discussed.

County officials are currently proposing to amend zoning ordinances to allow significantly more population density in Reston.  They make their case by stating such amendments are required to fulfill the vision of the Reston Master Plan.   More specifically, the Plan is the only justification given for proposals to add tens of thousands of new housing units without providing the basic infrastructure needed to support such growth. 

So, is the Plan by itself enough to satisfy the need for transparency and to engender trust?

County officials will tell you the Plan was developed by the “community” through an exhaustive series of meetings held over six years.  Sounds good, but the reality is something very different.  First, membership in the working group was heavily weighted toward developers and their attorneys.  Second, and equally troubling, the Plan has been amended after it was theoretically finalized, without community input.  The following is one example why this should be of concern to everyone who lives, works or plays in Reston.

In mid-2015, after community involvement had concluded, an unmarked line representing a new road mysteriously appeared on revised maps associated with the Master Plan (Staff Report, Appendix B page 60).  This new road would connect Isaac Newton Square and American Dream Way.  The stated purpose is to “construct or improve {a} local or collector street.”  What it actually does is cut through the full length of the fourth fairway and across the approach to the third green of the Hidden Creek Golf Course, thus destroying the integrity of Hidden Creek.   As several observers have pointed out – there is no such thing as a 16 hole golf course.

The placement of this road directly violates the letter and spirit of sections of the Comprehensive Plan rarely mentioned by County officials – the sections  which call for this area to perpetually be “open space, designated as a golf course.”   And open space and recreational areas – along with roads, bridges, schools and public safety – are among the issues ignored or shortchanged in the density proposals. 

So, where did this road come from?  No one knows–or will admit to knowing.  The Reston Association wrote to the County last January opposing this road and asking for an explanation of how it appeared.  Eleven months later they continue to wait for a response.

Perhaps this was a mistake, quickly corrected?  No, the road remains in the current edition of the Comprehensive Plan –  no longer in an appendix, but now promoted to the main body of the report (page 137).

Does the addition of this road have anything to do with the recent sale of Hidden Creek to a development company? One can only speculate. 

The County/citizen relationship is important enough to give the benefit of doubt as to how we got to this point.  But this can’t be ignored any longer.  County officials need to explain why this road appeared out of nowhere and why the County has refused to provide information on it, despite repeated requests.  Although it is late, it isn’t too late for the County to respond.  But there are only two possible explanations and courses of action:

First, the County acknowledges this was a mistake, perhaps just an overeager subordinate acting without proper review or authorization.  If so, the road needs to be immediately removed from the Plan.  Second, this was not a mistake and the County does want this road built and open space bulldozed.  In that case, the County needs to take ownership of the proposal and try to justify the multiple violations of its own rules and planning guidelines.

It’s a matter of trust.

by Dave Emke October 25, 2017 at 10:15 am 76 Comments

Hidden Creek Country Club, one of Reston’s two golf courses, is now under new ownership.

According to an email sent by the country club to its members Tuesday, real-estate developer Wheelock Communities purchased the club earlier this week from its previous owner, Fore Golf Partners. According to the email, signed by Fore Golf CEO Charlie Staples:

Wheelock owns properties along the East Coast and in Texas that range from private golf clubs to large master-planned communities, to luxury waterfront condominiums and urban mixed-use projects. They look forward to becoming part of the highly respected Reston community.

Fore Golf will continue to manage the club for the new owner, according to the email, and club memberships will be unaffected by the change in ownership.

In the email, it is announced that Wheelock plans to invest more than $300,000 in upgrades to the club. This is to include upgrades to the club’s dining and events facilities, the lobby, and the locker rooms. A new fleet of golf carts is also expected to arrive in December.

More “potential changes” are listed, though:

Over the next few years, Wheelock will be working in partnership with the club members and the Reston community to explore potential changes to the property that could provide the Reston community with additional public amenities, environmental benefits and new housing choices.

It has long been feared by community advocates including Rescue Reston that both Hidden Creek and Reston National Golf Course will become the sites of residential development as Reston expands. A specific question about Hidden Creek’s future came up during Monday’s community meeting about potential changes to Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district. Fred Selden, director of Fairfax County’s Department of Planning & Zoning, said any developer that wishes to build residential units upon Reston’s golf courses would have hurdles to overcome.

“One of the things that the plan that was adopted in 2015 did was explicitly call the golf courses as planned for golf courses and to remain as golf courses,” Selden said. “I can only speak to what kind of development can occur. It’s planned for a golf course. If somebody wants to develop it in some other fashion, they have two options: They have to prove that they have some kind of property rights to build, or they have to come in and request a change to the Comprehensive Plan.”

The new ownership team is offering Hidden Creek members the chance to meet them for the first time next week.

by Dave Emke March 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 49 Comments

Rendering for Golf Course Overlook/Credit: olf Course Overlook LLC

Proposed rezoning of Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newton Square, is scheduled for a Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing June 21.

Location of planned high rise near W&OD and Hidden Creek/Credit: Golf Course Overlook LLCThe proposal, which first came to light in May 2016, would see the property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) become the home of a 392,600-square-foot multifamily residential structure with three levels of underground parking. Currently on the parcel is a three-story office building and a surface parking lot.

The residential building would feature 413 units. Developer Golf Course Overlook LLC seeks to rezone the property from I-5 (General Industrial) to Planned Residential Mixed-Use. According to the summary of Reston Association’s March land development tracker, it is “unclear whether any commercial uses would be retained” on the property.

The site is between the W&OD Trail and the fourth hole of the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. It is about a third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. According to the land development tracker summary:

“The site is located in the Wiehle Station Transit-Oriented Development District and designated Residential Mixed Use, which seeks to retain a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential uses respectively, at intensities of up to a 1.5 FAR [Floor Area Ratio]. Isaac Newton Square is planned to be home to 3,200 (of the 4,600) residential units for this district.”

A county staff report on the project is to be released June 6. Signs advertising the hearing are to go up May 31.

Images via Golf Course Overlook LLC

by Dave Emke March 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Morning Notes - Lake Fairfax Park

Is It Going to Snow This Weekend or Not? — A few snowflakes are possible this weekend, but forecasts seem to indicate a growing chance that a storm previously predicted to hit us will miss the area. [Capital Weather Gang]

RA Focusing on Future of Golf Courses — In the latest “Reston Today” dispatch, Reston Association land-use attorney John McBride breaks down what’s going on with potential threats to Reston National Golf Course and Hidden Creek Country Club. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Seuss To Be Celebrated at Library — Children ages 4 and up are invited to Reston Regional Libary on Monday at 4:30 p.m. for a celebration of the works of Dr. Seuss. Steve Somers will present the stories at the event, co-sponsored by Friends of Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

Reston Company Named to CNBC ‘Upstart’ List — Reston-based Cloudistics gives its customers “all the simplicity, elasticity and consumption characteristics of the public cloud, with the predictability of performance, cost and data governance that a private cloud offers.” Its work has been honored by recognition on CNBC’s list of 25 startups that are breaking industry barriers. [CNBC]

by Karen Goff June 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm 0

Reston Real Estate column banner  

This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now.

Many consider golfing the perfect sport. I can definitely agree with that on those glorious days when the sun is shining and a light breeze carries the aroma of honeysuckle through the air.

On those days, nothing beats grabbing the clubs and heading over to one of the two amazing Reston golf courses: Hidden Creek Country Club and Reston National Golf Course. Legendary golf architect Ed Ault built both of these beautiful courses.

So, for you golf enthusiasts, here is the lowdown on Reston golf courses.

Hidden Creek Country Club

The Hidden Creek Country Club course is a classic, playable design renowned for its meticulously landscaped tees and greens where beautiful plants and flowers adorn each hole. This PGA-quality course is a favorite for serious golfers.

Reston National Golf Course

Located in South Reston, Reston National Golf Course is Reston’s public golf course. This secluded course is full of shaded fairways that provide a tranquil environment for any kind of golf outing you can imagine. Visit the restaurant or the clubhouse before or after your game to prolong the fun.

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