Why Was Rescue Reston Formed?
Rescue Reston is a grass-roots organization comprising community volunteers 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 owners of the Reston National Golf Course to turn the golf course’s open space into a residential development, which we believe is contrary to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and Reston Master Plan. The primary work of Rescue Reston is to establish cohesive community-based strategies and activities to promote grass-root efforts that oppose redevelopment attempts by the Reston National Golf Course owners.
In early 2012, RN Golf Management, LLC, an entity which we have learned is owned by the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, filed a letter with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning (the “P&Z”) asking for a ruling that the golf course land was zoned for residential development and was not subject to any restrictions that would prevent such development. On June 20, 2012, the P&Z responded that the property was restricted under the Reston Master Plan to use as “open space,” such as a park, nature center or golf course. The P&Z went on to state that because the Reston Master Plan is incorporated into the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, the golf course property may not be developed for residential use unless an amendment to the Fairfax Comprehensive Plan permitting such development was adopted. Such an amendment would require the affirmative vote of the County Board of Supervisors.
RN Golf Management filed an appeal of the P&Z’s decision with the County Board of Zoning Appeals. In its appeal, RN Golf Management’s attorneys aggressively disputed the determination of the P&Z, and argued strenuously that the property should be subject to residential development without the need for amendment of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan. Rescue Reston has retained legal counsel to oppose RN Golf Management’s position in this appeal, and to argue that the golf course was and continues to be restricted to use as open space. The Reston Association has separately retained legal counsel to oppose the appeal and our attorneys are working co-operatively with the Reston Association lawyers. The Board of Zoning Appeals hearing is scheduled for May 22, 2013.
- Maintain Reston’s status as #7 of Money Magazine’s top ten places to live in the United States by preserving Reston as a place that embodies its founding principles of “Live, Work, Play and Get Involved.”
- Maintain the sense of community that Reston has enjoyed for almost 50 years through thoughtful planning and zoning.
- Rescue Reston from proposed development that is counter to the adopted Reston Master Plan and the vision for Reston laid out in its founding as an ideal place to live, work and play.
- Preserve the integrity of the Master Plan for Reston.
- Prevent the destruction of the Restonian way of life that includes building–free open spaces where nature can thrive and people can enjoy wildlife and natural horizons.
- Maintain the vision that Reston offered homeowners. People bought homes here with the understanding that Reston would maintain a geography of lakes, golf courses, and open spaces forever free from houses, commercial space, or other development.
- Maintain the guiding premise of Reston as a true planned community, still used to attract families and individuals and businesses.
Rescue Reston has a core team of community members that organizes the group’s efforts. This team has formed into an executive committee to help mobilize supporters in each of the three principal areas of effort:
- Communications: This team focuses on community outreach and awareness through the development, distribution and maintenance of all media to the broader community including press releases, interviews, newsletters, signs/posters, petition forms and the like.
- Legal: This team focuses on working with Greehan, Taves, Pandak & Stoner, PLLC, a pre-eminent Fairfax County land use firm. Rescue Reston has engaged Greehan, Taves, Pandak & Stoner, PLLC to oppose the efforts of the Reston National Golf Course owner’s attempt to rezone the golf course property for development and to deal with other legal issues concerning our organization.
- Fund-raising: This team focuses on obtaining and managing donations to support communication, outreach and legal efforts by the group.
Board of Directors
- Connie Hartke, President
- Joe Deninger, Vice President – Finance/Treasurer
- David Burns, Vice President – Legal Affairs/Secretary
- Robin Hogan, Vice President – Communications
- Lisa White, Vice President – Technology
- John Pinkman, Director
- Ray Wedell, Director
Additional members from various community clusters also provide support to the executive committee and the organization.
The Reston Association, members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor, Reston Citizens Association, and many Reston residents also oppose the re-development of the golf course and support our position on this issue. Please click on “How You Can Support Us” to learn what you can do to help.