News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Caddyshackpocalypse Now: County Board Chair, Zoning Officials Support Rescue Reston, Says Rescue Reston

The Shack.jpegAs the weather gets warmer, our thoughts wander to hitting the links a parcel of indeterminate zoning status. Although things have been quiet ahead of the scheduled May 22 Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on whether the owners of Reston National Golf Course can redevelop the property for other uses, our BFFs at Rescue Reston have reaffirmed the support of county officials, according to our BFFs at Rescue Reston. Here's their account of a recent meeting:

"I fully support your position.” Those were the words of Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova as three Directors of Rescue Reston concluded a meeting with her on Wednesday, March 27.

[Cathy Belgin, Sr. Assistant to the Zoning Administrator] explained how thoroughly the Zoning Administrator’s office had researched its position that the 166 acre golf course is designated as permanent open space. She reported that this had been in planning documents dating back to the period when Reston was founded, and was reaffirmed in subsequent rezonings. [Leslie Johnson, Fairfax County Zoning Administrator] confirmed that the Zoning Administrator’s position is very firm. Chairman Bulova asserted her belief that the County Attorney’s office would surely support the Zoning Administrator should there be a further appeal after the BZA hearing.

In summary, the Zoning Administrator is concerned primarily with issues of process. They do not take a position as to whether development would be good or bad, but simply rule on the zoning as it currently stands, and their position is that no portion of RNGC can be developed for any use other than open space. Chairman Bulova appreciates the jewel in the County that Reston is, and heard us when we said there is no compelling reason to allow a change in the zoning that would threaten this open space.
That's pretty unambiguous, and definitely not at all in keeping with the earlier rumblings about behind-the-scenes dealmaking that may (or may not) be happening. Of course, there's a reason why Rescue Reston, the Reston Association, and others have gotten all lawyered up to fight Northwestern Mutual Life's efforts to challenge the zoning (namely, Virginia's overwhelmingly property owner-friendly laws), so this doesn't mean that attempts to transform the golf course into yet another vowel-free paradise of bollardy goodness will necessarily end on May 22.

Rescue Reston is continuing to ask for signatures on its petition, which is nearing 3,000 signatures, as well as holding a fundraising event at, ironically enough, Reston's other golf course, which we assume will go something like this:

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