UPDATED May 17, 2021
Fact: The developer-owners of RNGC have admitted that they paid for these surveys and focus groups.
Fact: There is no development allowed on Reston’s two open space golf courses.
Fact: Nothing has changed about the land use designation of open space.
Fact: Developers are working to mislead the public.
This page is dedicated to sharing the stories of Restonians who have been surveyed by Luce Research or Shugoll Research companies about development in Reston. If you or someone you know has been called or texted from these companies and asked to participate in a survey about development in Reston, please contact us to let us know about the experience.
Ellen Goldman was recruited to participate both in the $200 online focus group and the phone survey. She’s a college professor and knows what proper research looks like. As she said below, these were not good market research and the findings should not be considered.
Meredith Graves received one of the deceptive survey calls about development in Reston you’ve heard about. The truth is: development of our two golf courses IS NOT inevitable and there is no done deal for the community to weigh in on.
Sue’s story first appeared here.
First, I had to “qualify” — don’t work for a PR company, don’t work for local government … no problem, I’m retired.
Then was asked if I was aware of what is happening locally and I said I generally was. Then – they asked if I had I taken specific actions, from researching local issues online to attending public meetings and reaching out to local politicians. Check check …
Was asked what my priorities were for Reston — I responded — open space, affordable housing, traffic…and gradually the survey got to development.
Was asked in a sort of slanted way if I supported development within (not sure if it was 1/2 mile or a mile) of metro. Feeling that it encroached on golf course area, I said “no,” and sure enough, then the questions were about the golf course.
When asked if I supported the development of the course — couched as “small area of development and donation of most for open space” — I said “no” and when asked why, said “It’s zoned as open space already and that’s what it should be.”
Then it got weird — The Luce Research lady had a list of attributes of the development plan (grand park, housing…) about which I was to answer, “which are more or less important”, and there was no way for me to simply say the plan was not acceptable. My only choice was to say “not interested”, which clearly doesn’t reflect my strong anti-golf course development opinion. So, after asking her several times to record my comments, I finally hung up.
If I had not been aware of the sales pitch of the course and the issues involved and were not a trained survey analyst, I would not have realized I was being guided to appear to support the plan, by encouraging “development near the metro” and supporting various aspects of the plan as more or less important.
As it is, this survey should not be recognized as fair or unbiased, and its results should not be accepted by RA, Fairfax County or other government entities.