Reston National Golf Course Residents say "no" to development plan

6:10 PM, Sep 20, 2012   |    comments
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RESTON, Va. (WUSA) -- A golf course is at the center of a controversy in Reston.

It's a case of big corporation against the residents of the Reston golf course community.

Reston National Golf Course is off Sunrise Valley Drive and Soapstone Drive.

The landowner says they should be able to develop the land, instead of having the golf course.

But for folks who came to live in this planned community, the first post-war planned community in the country, says not so fast.

Reston is known for co-existing with business, residents and nature. There are plenty of trees, walking paths and yes, golf courses.

Charles Wilkins bought his town home 8 years ago. His realtor told him the golf course would always be his backyard.

"There's no question we paid a premium for the promise it would always be there. This is amazing to have a park that opens up to your back door."

That promise could be shattered as the owner of the golf course wants to rezone the property. Residents say building homes on the green was not part of the plan in this community.

Wilkins says, "It's horrifying, if we wanted a house a stones throw away we could have bought anywhere in Northern Virginia"

At a press conference, residents say they plan on fighting until developers see their kind of green and keep the golf course.
Many had bought their homes with every intention of retiring here.

The owner of the land, Reston National Golf Management and its parent company Northwestern Mutual Insurance want to rezone the land for residential use. The county says it goes against Reston and Fairfax County's master plan.

The companies are now taking it up to the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals .

"Cities all around the world have been based on the model of Reston. It's really kind of a gem. For it to be mauled by this development it makes you sick."

Reston Rescuers, as they call themselves, is an organization that just formed by residents a month ago. They say the fight has only begun. They plan on holding meetings and protests to stop any development on the golf course.

The Board of Zoning Appeals hearing is scheduled for October 24th.
The Reston National Golf Management Director hung up on 9news and Northwestern Mutual Insurance has not responded to questions.

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