Battle to Save Reston National Golf Course Moves to Fairfax County Circuit Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Battle to Save Reston National Golf Course Moves to Fairfax County Circuit Court

Reston, VA  July 23, 2015 – The date of October 23 at 2 pm has been set for a hearing on motions for summary judgment in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County.  Fairfax County, Reston Association and numerous petitioners who border the golf course property have all filed appeals asking for a review of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) April decision regarding whether RN Golf Management may sidestep the normal process to change a land use designation and potentially turn the 166 acre Reston National Golf Course into medium-density residential housing.

The Reston National Golf Course is a very popular and profitable public course that has the misfortune to be near Reston’s Silver Line metro. In 2005 Northwestern Mutual (NWM) bought a majority ownership interest in the course with a $5 Million investment, clearly a price for recreational open space, which has been its land use designation since its inception. NWM had other intentions.

The Golf Course provides much more than recreational space for golfers and vistas for those who live nearby or walk the Reston Association paths that run alongside and across the fairways.  It is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program Golf Course, which means that the course management is committed to protecting our local environment, conserving natural resources, and providing wildlife habitats.  The Reston National property contains “edge habitat” and “old field habitat with hardwood cover” for a great diversity of wildlife.  The latter habitat is among the most endangered in Fairfax County.

Rescue Reston is a grass-roots volunteer organization comprising supporters who oppose redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course into residential housing or any site development other than a golf course or comparable open space. The group was brought to action because of a July 27, 2012 proposal by the investor-owners of the Reston National Golf Course to turn the golf course’s open space into a residential development, which is contrary to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and the Reston Master Plan.

Rescue Reston is raising funds to support homeowners and cluster associations in this important litigation. A win will help protect the golf course as the open space it was always intended to be. Your donations to Rescue Reston will contribute to the costs of this litigation. View a webcast that features an update on the appeal to the Fairfax County Circuit Court at rescuereston.org/donate.

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Contact:

Connie Hartke   571-205-8874, conniehartke@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rescuereston

Twitter: @RescueReston

Video:

Save the Reston National Golf Course

https://youtu.be/qW2HFPYgYvM

–    written and filmed by The Kids of the 13th Fairway

Downloadable Flyer: http://www.rescuereston.org/wp-content/uploads/flyer1_ItsNotOver.pdf

“It’s Not Over” Flyer depicting Northwestern Mutual as Goliath and Rescue Reston as David. “All they have is money for attorneys. We have facts and evidence.” – Connie Hartke, President, Rescue Reston

Rescue Reston Update Webcast Now Available on Demand

The May 19, 2015 webcast, featuring an update on the appeal of the BZA’s decision to the Fairfax County Circuit Court is now available on YouTube. Speakers include RR Board Members. Listen as Counsel Randy Greehan of Greehan, Taves, Pandak and Stoner provides an overview of the appeal, and learn from RR’s President how you can help Rescue Reston continue to support the fight to save the 166 acres of green space that is Reston National Golf Course from residential development.

Rescuers Please Heed Our Call to Action!

Golf Course Residents Appeal BZA Decision to Circuit Court

The Petition for Appeal of the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals, which was filed on May 15, 2015 on behalf of ten Reston homeowners and two cluster associations, can be found below. The BZA overturned certain key decisions of the Fairfax County Zoning Administrator regarding potential development of the Reston National Golf Course.

These ten homeowners and two cluster associations all own property adjacent to the golf course and have legal standing to file the petition for appeal because they all are directly impacted and harmed by the BZA’s decision, which opens the door to re-development of the golf course property. While Rescue Reston as an organization may not necessarily have legal standing under Virginia law to file an appeal and therefore is not a party to the appeal, it is supporting the homeowners and cluster associations because a win for these parties will help to protect the golf course as the open space it was always intended to be, and will thereby benefit all residents of our community. Your contributions to Rescue Reston will help fund the costs of this litigation.

The Fairfax County Attorney’s Office and Reston Association have also filed appeals of the BZA ruling. We will posting an update later with links to those documents.

Below are links to the related documents for this appeal:

Battle to Save Reston’s Recreational Open Space Moves to Fairfax County Circuit Court

Join Us for a Live Webcast to Learn About the Appeal of BZA’s Decision and How You Can Help!

LIVE WEBCAST – featuring an update on the appeal to the Fairfax County Circuit Court in defense of the permanent open space that Reston has always expected at the 166 acre Reston National Golf Course.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

WHERE: by phone and/or internet

Rescue Reston’s David Burns and John Pinkman plus Randy Greehan will provide an overview of the timeline of events, discuss the impact of the Board of Zoning Appeals’ (BZA) decision and provide information about the appeal filed with the Circuit Court. There will be an open Q & A as part of the webcast.

Click here for to access the Smartcloud system to view the slides during the event on May 19th. Join as a guest and use password reston (all lower case).

For audio portion dial 888-426-6840. Access code is 61065076, and then press # key. To mute or unmute your phone, press *6.

This webinar is supported by IBM’s SmartCloud and Conference Call capabilities. Thank you to IBM for generously donating the use of the technology for this webinar to Rescue Reston.

Rescue Reston Will Appeal to Circuit Court

Rescue Reston’s attorney Randy Greehan is working diligently on our appeal which will be filed by the May 15 deadline. Read more about Mr. Greehan’s experience here: http://www.gtpslaw.com/our-team/62-2/.

On Monday evening Reston Association will hear advice from their counsel, and on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will hear from theirs.  We each (RA, County, Rescue Reston) have different specific pieces we may appeal, but appeal we must. As we said last week: “Letting the BZA ruling stand unchallenged will disadvantage, now and in the future, the County and the Reston community from being able to regulate and control redevelopment requests for the 166-acre golf course property and potentially other properties in Reston within the RPC/PRC District.”

Action Alert

If you live in Fairfax County – we need you to email your County Supervisor NOW asking to appeal the BZA decision.

Below is a sample email. Copy and paste with your name and home address or modify as you choose. Live in a different district than Hunter Mill? Check here to find your District Supervisor’s email: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/.


To: huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov
cc: chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov

Subject: Allow an Appeal of the BZA Decision regarding Reston National Golf Course

Dear Supervisor Hudgins,

I am writing to request that you authorize the County Attorney to appeal to the Circuit Court the BZA’s April 15, 2015, decision in Appeal Application A 2012-HM-020, RN Golf Management, LLC, Tax Map Ref Nos. 17-4 ((11))4A, 26-1((2))8 and 26-1((5))4. This appeal involved the Reston National Golf Course property.

The BZA’s decision was legally and factually wrong and needs to be appealed to the Court. It patently disregarded the approved development plans for the Reston National Golf Course, as well as the adopted Reston Master Plan and the County’s Comprehensive Plan, all of which only allow golf course and open space uses of the golf course property. Because of the findings and conclusions made by the BZA in conjunction with its decision, including some that the BZA failed to even put in its decision motion, it is patently obvious that the legislatively-approved RPC development plans for the property, certified by the Zoning Administrator as the final approved plans, were disregarded by the BZA. Letting the BZA ruling stand unchallenged will disadvantage, now and in the future, the County and the Reston community from being able to regulate and control redevelopment requests for the 166-acre golf course property and potentially other properties in Reston within the RPC/PRC District. The BZA’s ruling also could negatively impact other properties across the County in any situation in which the zoning staff was unable to locate pertinent County records in what the BZA determined was a “timely” manner.

The BZA’s decision needs to be challenged in the Circuit Court.

Respectfully,

(your name)
(your home address)

cc: Honorable Sharon Bulova

County requests clarification from BZA

In preparation for a potential appeal, the Fairfax County Zoning Administrator has formally requested a clarification of the vague April 15, 2015 BZA determination on the status of Reston National Golf Course. Copies were sent to attorneys for Fairfax County, Reston Association and Rescue Reston. You can read it here.

Rescue Reston Board of Directors Recommends That RA Members Vote Yes in Tetra Referendum

Tetra Property - View of Lake Newport

Rescue Reston has a focused mission statement of opposing redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course into residential housing or any site development other than a golf course or comparable open space.

Our Board sees important parallels between defending the golf course property and the opportunity to purchase the 3.47 acre Tetra property (formerly the Reston Visitor’s Center). At stake is our control of open space and development in Reston. The Rescue Reston Board of Directors therefore recommends that Restonians vote yes in the Tetra Referendum, which is open for voting until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2015 (link to information and voting: Tetra Property Purchase).

All seven Rescue Reston board members are Reston Association members. Our own households have voted yes on the referendum.  This is a rare opportunity to put this property under the ownership of our homeowner’s association, to serve our interests, and remove the potential for an unknown developer entity to commercially develop the site.
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It ain’t over

Thank you to the over 6,000 petitioners (both online and on paper) whose support will continue to be important. Please stay tuned at RescueReston.org for future updates as we move into the next phase of this land use battle.

This does not end today.