Hey, golf fans! Been hitting the links with
Folks in the clusters around the Reston National Golf Course have formed "Rescue Reston," a group "committed to defending Reston's planned community open spaces from over development." Feel free to check out their website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed if you're so inclined. They've identified a law firm to represent them, started to raise money, and are planning to design banners, signs and whatnot. In a letter to supporters, they pointed out one particularly germane fact:
We know that everyone is upset, angry, and scared. Expressing what you thought was true is not helpful. All of us labored under false information for years. Let’s not spend time discussing the past but strategically align to preserve the future by facing facts and channeling skilled resources and funds.The Reston Association is also holding a special meeting today on the golf course, including sending "a letter of support to homeowners near the golf course regarding what they call 'a Potential Threat to a Reston Founding Principle,'" according to our BFFs at Patch.
Meanwhile, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins tells our Patch BFFs not to worry, as these kinds of requests are totally routine:
"My interpretation is the property owner is asking what he can do with the property," said Hudgins. "It can be for future develpment, but it can also be for refinacing or to sell. The property owners asked for interpretation. The staff gave it. It is not a new thing."The attorney for the property said similarly comforting things to the Washington Post:
Looney told me that what RN Golf was seeking “is not a rezoning. What this is is trying to determine what the actual zoning of the property is today.” Yes, but then what? Looney said he couldn’t say any more about whether his clients had specific ideas or whether they were just assessing their options.Color us just the teensiest bit skeptical, as the property owner's appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals specifically calls for the board to "reverse the Zoning Agent's determinations and direct that the County be required to accept a properly filed and complete PRC Plan application as the next step in redevelopment of Subject Property for residential uses." (Our emphasis, obv.) Not a whole heck of a lot of gray area there, though we're sure that no one's decided whether to put up sweet midrise condos or sweet midrise apartments, or maybe a sweet midrise Cheesecake Factory with sweet midrise condos and sweet midrise apartments on top of it.
Of course, lots of questions remain, including how county officials will react if/when the zoning determination is overturned and an actual development proposal surfaces. We all know the county board has the reputation of being just a soupcon developer-friendly, but given the time and effort they've put into master planning in Reston -- and probably more importantly to them, the walkable urban nirvana that Tysons is supposed to become -- it might not be in their best interest to be blase about this. After all, all the fancy master planning meetings and charettes in the world, no matter how well intentioned, don't add up to much of anything if even one land owner decides to, say, plop a giant parking lot in front of a Metro station or opt out of building connecting sidewalks or trails across their property.
Rescue Reston spokesperson John Pinkman told the Post:
“This is a moment in the town’s history,” Pinkman said, “when we start clarifying who’s going to keep Reston’s promises.”Exactly.
Okay, here's the part with the jokes: In a RESTONIAN WORLD EXCLUSIVE, here's some grainy YouTubes video of what the first conversations about redeveloping the course just might have sounded like: