News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Caddyshackpocalypse Now: BZA Hearing Hinges on Scooby Doo Plot Point

BZA shocker
Yesterday's Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on the future of Reston National Golf Course was a doozy, stretching out for more than five hours. The BZA has deferred a decision on whether the golf course property can be considered as zoned for residential development instead of permanent open space until April 15. But who knew the property owners are basing the crux of their argument on whether a yellowing document from 1971 had the correct stamp? Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

After RN Golf’s side gave a long saga of trying to locate the original documents — which took them through Fairfax County file rooms and Reston Association records, among others — McDermott argued that at least two of the the 1971 documents located came from George Mason University’s planned community archives.
McDermott said without coming from the county with official government stamps, the documents are not valid.

“You must be persuaded you be persuaded [by Fairfax County zoning] to respect and give greater dignity to unapproved plans from an unapproved source,” said McDermott. “They call these the approved development plans. There is not one iota of evidence that they are the approved development plans.”
Zoiks, Scooby! As of now, there's no truth to the rumor that the seal was STAMPED IN INVISIBLE INK.

The folks from Rescue Reston argue all this is a diversion, given that Old Man Wilkins was wearing a ghost costume county staff and the Reston Association support their position.
John Pinkman, founder of Rescue Reston, said talk of missing files is a diversion from the real issues.

“When you have a weak position, you create a diversion,” he said. “That diversion is the rabbit hole of suspicion, such as where did docs stamps come from? If you look at the spirit of the community, no one would think of that. I don’t know if there is anyone here in 1971 who said in 40 years there will be a subway here and we have to create the documents to create a loophole.”

Others in attendance said that the BZA told the large crowd that their decision on the haunted amusement park golf course would focus on technical issues, not the impact of a proposed change on nearby property owners or residents (they suggested those arguments would be better served if and when any proposed development goes before the county board of supervisors). That's one reason a decision wasn't made yesterday. Who knows, maybe they're going to squeeze some lemon juice on the documents to see if the INVISIBLE INK appears.

But we digress. We'll have to wait and see what happens next. But it seems clear that the property owners are prepared to leave no legal loophole unturned. But what happens when the developer behind the scenes is finally unmasked?

Zoiks, indeed.

Action McNews coverage (moved to this link because of the stupid autoplay).


  1. When God created the word "sleazebag", He (or She) had Frank McDermott in mind as the role model

  2. It's an attorney's job to cast doubt on the other side's argument. It looks like the property owner's attorney found a pretty good way to do just that.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

  3. Understand your point about an attorney's role, Anon, but seriously, the best argument he has is that (cue scary music) "There's no stamp!"? Pretty pathetic,

  4. Don't forget the part where he said people walking on RA paths through the golf course were trespassing. Hilarious.

  5. What about all those pesky woods throughout Reston? Could they too be missing a seal of approval? Did His Majesty the King follow proper stamping procedures when grant a large part of Colony to Lord Fairfax? Perhaps the property in question deserves further study in London by the Chief Librarian at George Mason' fine University

    1. Stay out of my woods, developers, or you will meet the same fate as Saruman!

  6. Sadly we're now into the 5th age: the Age of the Dollar. You old ents won't stand a chance next to the mighty bulldozers and even mightier dollars of the developers... sadly. I guess you'd better head to the grey havens.

    1. The Grey Havens - would that per chance be Ashburn?

  7. So far my predictions have, sadly, been correct. The deferral, the reemergence, and the date of the reemergence have all been spang on.

    The next step is the crossing of palms with silver. On the QT, of course. One may only hope some enterprising Post reporter can peer into the financials of the parties concerned.

  8. The annoying thing will be when this diversionary tactic actually works. Hopefully the county will be smarter than that.

  9. Curious how the sacred docs disappeared from:
    1. County Files
    2. RA files
    3. Reston museum files AND
    4. Some GMU archive files
    all at the same time!!! Something freaky going on here?


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