News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Caddyshackpocalypse Again, Maybe: Reston National Golf Course Owners Shopping Property Around

Hey, remember that time when the owners of Reston National Golf Course decided they wanted to replace all those sand traps and "links" and paths for fancy little golf carts and probably those flags they put in the cups, and whatever, with some perfectly nice sweeeeeeeet multifamily developments of middling height and dubious architectural adornments, probably, and maybe even some vowels, because money? And then Reston residents were all unreasonable, what with their talk about "master plans" and "open space" and whatnot, and legal hilarity ensued and owner Northwestern Mutual decided to back off, all the while ominously promising to "pursue additional development options in the future"?

Yeah, that was awesome. But now, with the other unwanted architectural jewels of Sunrise Valley Drive having fallen to the wrecking ball or soon to be demolished for undistingushed residential development, it looks like Reston National's owners are shopping the property around with a fancypants real estate broker, looking for the greater fool someone who hasn't read the newspapers for the past couple of years and thinks they can cash in on that sweeeeeeeeeet Metro development bonanza.

Give us some alarming blockquote, BFFs at Rescue Reston:
This morning Rescue Reston was alerted by a supporter that ARA Newmark, an investment advisory firm, has listed the Reston National Golf Course property as being for sale for development purposes. The marketing materials state that the property consists of “168 Acres of By-Right Residential Development.”

The statement that development of the land is “By-Right” is highly misleading. The Development Plans filed with Fairfax County for the Golf Course and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan clearly designate the land as open space to be used as a golf course. Any residential development plan would require a review by County Planning Commission staff, a public hearing before the County Planning Commission, a public hearing before the County Board of Supervisors, and ultimately an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan.

“After consulting with our attorney, we suspect this is the first round to determine what the market will bear. A call for bids, if you will,” said Connie Hartke, president of Rescue Reston. “RN Golf let it be known in this letter of March 4, 2016 that they intend to pursue “available redevelopment options” to develop Reston’s permanent open space. This is why we have remained vigilant and are able to react so quickly to this news today.”

The asking price? TBD, or "what the market will bear."

Let's read the real estate listing in its entirety (warning: requires annoying registration asking you, among other things, where you want to put your "investment stack." We replied "pancakes," so we expect to be contacted by a member of their wealth management team within minutes):

This is where you would be providing some information about your listing. When you have a moment, return to your account, and edit the "Content" section for this listing.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi.


Here's hoping that any prospective buyers will do a little due diligence and realize this fancy acreage isn't worth the hassle. (Here's a helpful starting point.) But as we've said before, the legal challenges of "clarifying" the property's zoning rights instead of going through the standard development approval process, which is what RGNC's owners originally tried to do, really don't mean anything if the right developer floats the right proposal to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, which hasn't exactly shown a whole lot of sensitivity to Reston quality-of-life issues when serious tax revenue is on the line.

You know, there's a reason they stopped making Caddyshack sequels after the awful one with Jackie Mason -- comedy becomes tragedy, and then it just becomes annoying. All in all, it's just another worrying development in a long saga that's not likely to end anytime soon. There's not much to laugh about here, so please to be enjoying a picture of a cute puppy:

That's a good dog.


  1. Hey, maybe Fairfax County can use some of the money from the new "road tax" they just imposed on Reston to buy the property and turn it into a public course. That would solve everyone's problems, increase existing property values and ensure it would remain open space forever.

    Nah, that's just crazy talk.

  2. Odd to see this first in Restonian, and not in Hudgins' newsletter. My Hudgins-gram arrived the same day. Ah me! Looks like my usual contributions to local politicians will go to Rescue Reston instead.

    NIMBY now, NIMBY forever. (Apologies to George Wallace.)

    I neither live on the golf course nor do I golf. My back yard is protected wetlands, more sacred than an Indian burial ground. Why do I care about the golf course?

    Because there is a sleazy shyster somewhere looking for a loophole. Perhaps my wetlands are only slightly damp lands. Cue the bulldozers.

    I support Rescue Reston saving the golf course. Someday their NIMBY will become my NIMBY. I count on RR to save my back yard when the time comes. NIMBY, NIMBY, NIMBY!


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