News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, January 9, 2015

Caddyshackpocalypse Now: Rescue Reston Gears Up For BZA Hearing

Please to be enjoying this subtle cartoon about the recently revived efforts to challenge the zoning of Reston National Golf Course to open the door for development. Fortunately, our BFFs at Rescue Reston held a press conference this week to explain things.

Here's the video from the press conference, which actual members of the press actually attended. (Journalists hate press conferences, so that's a big win.)

The resulting news coverage repeated one of the few public comments from the managers of the golf course, which is itself owned by insurance giant Northwestern Mutual.

RN Golf Management’s legal representative, Frank McDermott, has said repeatedly through this process that the company is seeking clarity on the property’s zoning.

“The owner of Reston National is asking for confirmation of the zoning that applies to the property so it can understand the property rights that apply,” McDermott said in November. “It has proposed no change in the zoning of the property and has filed no plans for its redevelopment.”
Which is why it's spent countless thousands of dollars on lawyers -- out of idle curiosity. Which is why we hired geological experts to drill under Restonian World Headquarters to see if it was suitable for a profitable potential fracking operation -- we were just curious. Don't sweat the oil rigs in our backyard, DRB!

But we digress. During the press conference, Rescue Reston officials shared their own interpretation of what's happening.
Rescue Reston founder John Pinkman said RN Golf tried to slip its case back in over the holidays, when no one would be looking.

“The timing of the appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals is suspicious,” he said at a press briefing on Wednesday. “From day one, this secret project has hoped to slide through the appeal process without involving Reston residents. Now they come again, trying to push this appeal through during the holiday season, hoping that few would notice. Well, that didn’t work.”

Pinkman says he believes Lerner Enterprises, owners of, among other properties, Dulles Town Center, North Point Village Center and the Washington Nationals baseball team, is the developer that seeks the golf course property. Lerner has had no comment.

“Respectable developers have in the past come to directly affected residents in clear transparency,” he said. “Northwestern Mutual’s strategy is quite the opposite.”
That's for sure.

To its credit, the Reston Association, which participated in the press conference, is holding firm to its opposition to any changes to Reston National, even offering to buy the golf course to preserve it as open space (though if people don't want to spend a couple of thousand bucks for a bocce court, getting a multimillion-dollar purchase approved might be a little dicey). That aside, RA President Ken Knueven made the right point about why it's important to oppose the redevelopment of Reston National, whether you like golf, or golf course views, or open space, or not:
"If it doesn’t follow the master plan, then we are no longer a planned community. If we are no longer a planned community, we are no longer Reston.”
Well put.

Rescue Reston is holding a rally at 2pm Saturday at Langston Hughes Middle School to rally support ahead of the Jan. 21 Board of Zoning Appeals hearing, which it is also urging residents to attend. Rescue Reston has pointed out the hearing is at an inconvenient time for most folks, but we'd say it might be worth taking the morning off work.


  1. Why does Reston need two golf courses?

    1. Because we fucking like it that way.

      I don't even play golf.

    2. Capt. Obvious, USAF (Ret.)January 9, 2015 at 3:38 PM

      Excellent point, Anonymous. For that matter, why does Reston need four lakes? We could easily drain one or two of them and let developers build there. People might complain a little, but they would just be a bunch of stupid NIMBYs.

    3. Actually, Bob Simon's 1962 marketing plan said there would be FIVE golf courses in Reston--2 @ 18 holes, 3 @ nine.

      So we're already 3 golf courses short!

    4. One is a private country club that costs thousands to join and the other is a public golf course. That's why.

    5. I'll answer your question when you answer mine: Why does Reston need 60,000 more Restonians?

  2. Could Rescue Reston have spent more than 5 minutes in WordArt building their logo?

  3. Good neighbor Restonian, please provide more information on the proposed redevelopment of the Thoreau Place building. Will it be a residential development or just more commercial development, an expansion of the popular South Lakes shopping center?

  4. In addition to all the good arguments about open space, lost golfing opportunities for local high school teams, increased traffic, greater crowding, and diminished property values, there is a crucial element of risk to US foreign policy. The course is used often by the South Korean and Japanese diplomatic communities. As a result, the latest North Korean Greatest Leader, Kim Chong Eun, has developed a lust to play the course to demonstrate his--and his country's superiority to those traditional enemies. Kim's grandfather was famous for having completed more than one course in 18 strokes.Accordingly, the State Department has offered Kim the opportunity to play in exchange for an end to North Korea's nuclear program. Demolition of the course would be a major blow to national security. John Kerry MUST testify at the zoning board appeal later this month!

    1. I was for the redevelopment of Reston National before I was against it.


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