Please accept my apologies for the tardiness of this update. I know I have been promising an update since last Thanksgiving, but I can assure you, on this read you’ll find it worth the wait.
Wheelock has begun meeting with clusters and cluster boards surrounding Hidden Creek in an attempt to garner favor for the Grand Park proposal. Wheelock’s proposal would divide the 164-acre open space into 100 acres of undevelopable floodplain that could be gifted to either Fairfax County Park Authority or Reston Association for permission to develop the remaining 64 acres of prime real estate into real estate plots for sale to builders of residential properties. In light of the fortune Wheelock stands to make it is understandable that they tried to get our former Supervisor to make a motion at a year-end Board of Supervisors meeting for an out-of-turn amendment to the comprehensive plan for the north golf course specifically. Fortunately, Supervisor Hudgins stood firm and resisted their push.
We arranged in-person meetings and introductions of Hidden Creek’s “interested buyer” to Wheelock representatives, Walter Alcorn and Jeff McKay. The “IB” proposes to keep Hidden Creek functioning as a country club and golf course with special membership opportunities available to RA members. As we said during the Reston Association Informational Meeting in September 2018, ‘We HAVE an interested buyer, what we need is an interested seller.’
In case you missed it, Washingtonian Magazine published a scathing article titled, What’s Eating Reston, in the December 2019 issue. The writer failed to provide readers with an accurate community and civic view of the issues we all face, opting instead to focus on characterizing Restonians in a horrible light. Thank goodness there are honorable journalists out there who can see through this journalistic hit job, and call a spade a spade. In his letter to the editor, Dale Peskin shines a light on the article in Follow the Money.
Concurrent with Washingtonian’s article on the street, Luce Research began contacting residents with a telephone survey. Several Rescue Reston supporters were contacted and alerted us to some of the biased questions in the survey. [It appears there is a full-scale marketing effort being pushed by someone against Rescue Reston supporters and those who want to keep the quality of our planned community, even as we accommodate planned growth. We refer you again to Follow the Money.]
Some positive news – Fairfax County chose to focus on Reston in their latest Historic Resources Research Study. No doubt the destruction of Marcel Breuer’s API Building served as the catalyst for this inclusion. I was overjoyed when the researches listed both Reston Golf Courses as having historical significance in reporting on their initial “drive-by”. Read this article by Mercia Hobson in the Fairfax Connection. We STILL have much work to do in getting both of these Ed Ault designed courses established in a “Historic District.”
Another good news read: Golf Courses can be Environmental Assets in Urban Settings written by Doug Britt, who led the September nature hike around HCCC.
One last piece of encouraging news: The new Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Walter Alcorn, was voted in and took office on January 1, 2020. Vowing not to meet with Wheelock and representatives until after taking office, Supervisor Alcorn met with Wheelock on January 15, a day after making a motion to selectively open the Reston Comprehensive Plan. In a conversation that I had with Supervisor Alcorn, he shared his specific statement to Wheelock representatives that his motion did not include the open space golf courses and that ANY change to the golf course zoning would require initiation and support from the local community. Thus far, boards from two of the largest clusters that border Hidden Creek have written letters of opposition to any development on the golf course.
Thank you for your ongoing support and Happy New Year. Stay strong and stay the course.
North Course Committee Chair