Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Golf Course Owners Ask For Zoning Specifics, Reston Patch, August 11, 2012

Does inquiry mean Reston National might eventually be something other than open green space?
By Karen Goss
Are there plans for Reston National Golf Course to be turned into something other than 166 acres of rolling greens, manicuDred turf and recreational space?
Maybe, but it will take some work to change the property's designation in Fairfax County and in Reston's Planned Residential Community (PRC).
The investor-owners of Reston National will go before the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals on Oct. 24 to discuss the golf course's designation as major open space.
The appeal stems from an April inquiry, in which the owners asked the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning exactly what designation the South Reston property holds.
Is it residential? Open space? And what would need to be in place to offer it up for redevelopment? . . . .
Click here for the rest of this timely article.  

This article reflects about the worst fears of this so-called "planned" community for its future being anything like Robert Simon's vision.

If anything, this large open space on the edge of two Metro station areas ought to be converted to parks and recreation purposes given the shortage of space in the Reston's TOD areas and the absolute refusal of the developer-owners to give up any turf their for purposes other than massive high-rise development.   In part, it would meet the need outlined by the parks and recreation committee--comprising County & RA staff--findings for the Reston Task Force for some 100 acres of P&R space to meet the needs created by the huge density increases in the TOD areas in the next two decades.   Moreover, with its existing natural features, it provides a great setting for a large park, complete with extensive walkways (starting with what are now called "cart paths"), sports fields, play grounds, gardens--flower and vegetable, amphitheater, and many other features that would change the area into a major attraction to current and prospective Reston residents.  Reston could outdo New York's Central Park with this as an attraction. 

Even as a golfer (really, a duffer), I have come to appreciate that golfing is not a growing industry that will assure the landowners growing profits in the years ahead, although I'm sure local golfers would oppose the loss of the course.  I believe that the use of the land for a large, multifaceted Reston Common--in the absence of the preferred creation of a large park area in the North Town Center area in the immediate area of population and job growth--for public purposes along the lines sketched above would be a higher use of the space (in development lingo) and a magnificent addition to Reston.

Those are far better uses than adding 2,000 townhomes (at 12/acre) or 8,300 high-rise condominiums/apartments (at 50/acre), much less more office or retail space.

I don't know how we get there, but if there is an effort to redevelop the golf course, I urge the County and RA Boards to get onboard with the best possible outcome for Reston, a large public common for the 100,000-plus residents and 140,000-plus jobs that are proposed to be allowed in Reston in 2030.


  1. An major residential development of this space would be a disaster for local roads and would require new schools. The idea of returning the space to residents as a "Central Park" like complex is very attractive and should be pushed as an alternative. RA should demand right of first refusal on any plan to convert the zoning to anything other than open space and purchase the golf course if necessary.

  2. I grew up on that golf course and second that open space proposal!


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