Know This Truth — Developers Want to Develop Reston’s Open Space

Rescue Reston was created 10 years ago with the goal of fighting the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course (RNGC). We went to court to prevent the previous owner from implementing a plan to develop RNGC, and thus far have held off redevelopment of Reston’s north golf course at Hidden Creek Country Club as well. The current Reston Comprehensive Plan states the two “golf courses are planned for private recreation use, more specifically to remain as golf courses.”1 That designation is supported by Rescue Reston and the community.

Reston National Golf Course’s current developer-owners Weller and War Horse Cities have created the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group (Study Group) to “fully understand the challenges and opportunities facing our Neighborhood.” Their objective is development.

These developers have acknowledged that they bought RNGC in 2019 at a price that reflects future development and want to revise the Comprehensive Plan for Reston to change the golf course’s current land use designation of open space. They should have taken the warnings seriously that were issued in 2017,2 but instead, they chose to ignore public sentiment.

To be clear: if it is not an 18-hole golf course, there will be commercial and/or residential developments.

Open Space is not free,3 and the golfers do a fine job of covering the costs at this one.

The Study Group’s Charm Offensive on Reston’s Recreational Green Space

The developers’ Study Group equates “opportunities” with property development and “challenges” with convincing Reston residents that having more buildings instead of open space is in our interest. Their cause is furthered by “conversations” with residents of the neighborhoods that surround the course, socializing their “plan” and “warming up” visitors with public events to plant the seeds that development on the course is a positive thing for the community – it is not!

Much of the Study Group materials, social media content, and in-person conversations contain disinformation and omit fact-based discussion about the Comprehensive Plan for Reston.
Hundreds of our neighbors and supporters have loudly stated “NO” to the developers’ and the Study Group’s efforts to charm us with their conversation about “just ideas.” You can send a message of #NoCompPlanChange to your representatives on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors by visiting our Rescue Reston Action Center. We ask that you join us in this cause.

The Developers’ “Study Group” is Fostering Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about Reston

The “Reston National Neighborhood Study Group” was created by the company that the owner-developers hired to “sell” the project. It is a well-funded attempt to charm Reston with events featuring food and beverages, while they work to spread FUD about south Reston:

They use language that evokes a “split” in Reston between the north and south parts of the community. This shows they don’t know or respect our community.

  • We are one Reston. Most of north Reston is newer, but age does not make south Reston any less desirable. South Reston is suburban and the majority of those who CHOOSE to live here, south of the Transit Station Area developments, like the suburban-feel while only being a few minutes (sometimes a walk or bike ride, sometimes a drive) from everything that all of Reston has to offer.

They discuss creating permanent open space …

  • We already have this. It says so right in the Comprehensive Plan for Reston: “golf courses are planned for private recreation use, more specifically to remain as golf courses.”1
  • There is nothing they are offering that doesn’t include developing part of the golf course. Which part? As much as they can start with. Notice the word “start.”
  • There is no “compromise” that doesn’t include developers building on land that has no planned density (which means units of housing of any sort).

You Can Make a Difference – Let Your Voice Be Heard

There are many tactics the Study Group is employing, most often featuring south Reston in a negative way, which a truly good neighbor wouldn’t do. The reality is that Reston was developed as a planned community with varying uses in different areas. The area where Reston National Golf Course is sited has an official land use code of “Golf Course – commercial” and legal zoning of “PRC (Open Space).” When large areas of Reston are undergoing intensive development, we need to aggressively protect the open space we have. Rescue Reston supports the existing land use specification as designated in the Comprehensive Plan for Reston, and vigorously opposes any change to that use. You can help by visiting our Action Center and sending a message to our elected officials that you agree, #NoCompPlanChange.