Reston National Golf Course Advertised to be Sold for Residential Development
This morning Rescue Reston was alerted by a supporter that ARA Newmark, an investment advisory firm, has listed the Reston National Golf Course property as being for sale for development purposes. The marketing materials state that the property consists of “168 Acres of By-Right Residential Development.”
Screen shots from the ARA Newmark website may be viewed here.
The statement that development of the land is “By-Right” is highly misleading. The Development Plans filed with Fairfax County for the Golf Course and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan clearly designate the land as open space to be used as a golf course. Any residential development plan would require a review by County Planning Commission staff, a public hearing before the County Planning Commission, a public hearing before the County Board of Supervisors, and ultimately an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan.
Rescue Reston’s Attorney Randy Greehan was informed by the County Zoning Administrator’s office earlier today that they are aware of no applications having been filed on the Golf Course property.
The owner of the Golf Course, RN Golf Management (which is owned by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company), asserted five years ago that it had a right to develop the Golf Course for residential purposes but the County Zoning Administrator refuted that position in a letter to RN Golf’s attorney in June 2012. The Zoning Administrator’s position was overruled in part by the Board of Zoning Appeals, but the BZA’s decision was vacated by the Fairfax County Circuit Court, which held that the Zoning Administrator’s 2012 letter was in effect an advisory opinion and not appealable. The result of those legal proceedings is that RN Golf will be required to go through the formal processes before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors described above, and to obtain an amendment of the County Comprehensive Plan, before the Golf Course can be developed.
“After consulting with our attorney, we suspect this is the first round to determine what the market will bear. A call for bids, if you will,” said Connie Hartke, president of Rescue Reston. “RN Golf let it be known in this letter of March 4, 2016 that they intend to pursue “available redevelopment options” to develop Reston’s permanent open space. This is why we have remained vigilant and are able to react so quickly to this news today.”
“We will mobilize our allies and supporters as necessary to oppose any attempt to amend the Comprehensive Plan that would threaten our open space. We ask that supporters who wish to stay well informed subscribe to our newsletter or update your contact information at RescueReston.org/contact,” adds Hartke.
About Rescue Reston
Rescue Reston works to defend Reston’s recreational green space at Reston National Golf Course, a 166-acre Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program Golf Course on the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Follow their effort in social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/rescuereston, Twitter: @RescueReston
Reston was planned as one of the nation’s first “new towns” where people could live, work and play. It was imagined since its inception to be a community with concentrated areas for open space and recreation for all to enjoy. The Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan for Reston very clearly states that the land at Reston National Golf Course is planned for private recreation use, more specifically to remain as a golf course. This plus 5 lakes, 55 miles of trails and the Silver Line Metro, Reston is an attractive community for employers and residents.