Email signup

NEW: Developers propose turning Reston’s golf courses into open space with housing

Sunrise at Reston National Golf Course (photo by Terry Baranski)

Developers are seeking permission to redevelop Reston’s two golf courses through a process where Fairfax County considers land use changes to its comprehensive plan.

The county is currently considering dozens of nominations throughout the county for the Site-Specific Plan Amendment process, including the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course and Hidden Creek Country Club.

Currently, the county’s comprehensive plan states that both areas are planned for private recreation uses — more specifically as golf courses. For years, community organizations like Rescue Reston have vehemently opposed the redevelopment of both golf courses.

Reston National

Weller Development and War Horse Cities, the owners of Reston National, want to convert the “obsolescent golf course” into a 100-acre open space conservancy with an 8-acre linear park and a “mixed-use village.” The concept is not new and was initially floated several years ago.

The application says the development team could pursue a more intense development plan with more residential development, given its “substantial, longstanding zoning rights.”

“Repurposing the property to provide much needed community amenities, a range of housing and shopping opportunities, and permanent useable open space with covenants, so as to preserve that open space in perpetuity, better utilizes one of Reston’s premier assets,” the application says.

But the prospect has previously drawn backlash from community groups. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn also publicly stated that he would not support redevelopment, unless there is existing community support.

The owners say the golf course is the “very definition of underutilization,” averaging 95 people per day on an annual basis across its 168 acres.

“To remain a dedicated ‘golf course’ is counter to the vision set out by Robert E. Simon in his founding principles, as his was a uniquely inclusionary vision,” the application argues. “Far worse, this serves to delay or potentially forfeit a timely opportunity to accomplish key goals set out by Fairfax County leadership.”

The application proposes converting the golf course into a “village” with new houses and retail and permanent open space dubbed the Conservancy, joined by a linear park that could have nurseries for native plants, vegetable gardens, and pollinators.

The Conservancy is described as a “generational opportunity” to create publicly accessible open space with restored meadows, a performance pavilion, other pavilions, seating areas, community gardens, a dog park, waterfront pier, and new trees.

“Reston National Golf Course has been the focus of intense debate within the community going back more than a decade,” Steve Siegel, a partner at Weller Development, wrote in the application. “While this Owner respects and understands the perspective of Reston National’s immediate neighbors, we contend that, as wonderful as the game of golf is for the few who actually play it, a private pay-to-play golf course is the wrong use for this site in 2022 and moving forward.”

Hidden Creek

Wheelock Communities, the owner of Hidden Creek Country Club, also contend that the golf course “no longer contributes appropriate to the live, work and play principles on which Reston was based,” adding that the country club has roughly 500 members.

The application notes that a significant number of the club’s membership lives outside of Reston.

“The reality, therefore, is that the combination of weakening economics and competing country club and golf course options, together with ongoing and significant need for capital reinvestment not supported by current revenue, means the Country Club’s future in its current form is shaky, at best,” wrote Mark Cooley, a land use lawyer representing Wheelock.

Instead, the developer pitches turning roughly 100 acres of the property into recreational open space and adding residential units, which could include a range of housing types at several price points to address the “missing middle” of affordable housing.

In July, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors tweaked the SSPA process by allowing more frequent opportunities for nominations, new submission criteria with more information, and enhanced community engagement.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to decide which nominations will move forward — and which ones will be killed — at a meeting on Dec. 6.

The first SSPA cycle kicked off in 2017 for the North County area followed by a second cycle in 2019 for the South County area.

In October, the county accepted nominations for all nine supervisor districts in the current SSPA cycle.

A complete list of other SSPA nominations for the Hunter Mill District is available online.

Recent Stories

With Virginia’s presidential primary elections just around the corner, one candidate is hoping to whip up some support in Fairfax County before polls open next Tuesday (March 5). Former South…

Carrabba’s Italian Grill has officially shuttered in Reston after more than two decades of business. A sign on the door of the chain restaurant at 12192 Sunset Hills Road thanks…

For the first time since it was established in 1921, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has expanded its vehicle fleet to three ambulances.

The newest ambulance began operating out of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 1 (1455 Laughlin Avenue) on Feb. 21 and will get an official, public reveal this Saturday (March 2) at the annual “I Love McLean” celebration.

Eviction cases continue to rise in Fairfax County as the millions of dollars in financial and legal support allocated during the pandemic run out, county staff say. Without the nationwide…

Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.

Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.

Minimum Requirements

  • Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches

  • Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.

  • Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.

  • Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

The Van Metre 5K Run

Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and

Active Bystander: Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Training

The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.

Similar to FEMA’s

×

Subscribe to our mailing list