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Reston National Golf Course Redevelopment: Alcorn Opposes Plan Change

Patch 9/26/2022 Michael O'Connell
This map released by Supervisor Walter Alcorn shows communities surrounding the Reston National Golf Course. Color code: Black = opposed to re-opening comp plan, Blue = support of an open, public process and Orange = reconsider comp plan design © Hunter Mill District Supervisor This map released by Supervisor Walter Alcorn shows communities surrounding the Reston National Golf Course. Color code: Black = opposed to re-opening comp plan, Blue = support of an open, public process and Orange = reconsider comp plan design

RESTON, VA — Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn will not support an effort by Weller Development Co. and War Horse Cities to seek a change to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan to redevelop Reston National Golf Course.

"Since I took office almost three years ago, the topic that my office has received the most emails about is the potential redevelopment of Reston's two golf courses, Hidden Creek and Reston National Golf Course," Alcorn said in a statement released on Monday. "On this question I have consistently stated that any proposal to change the comprehensive plan for these properties from their current respective 'golf course' designations would need support from surrounding communities."

In an Aug. 30 Facebook Live interview with Patch, Steven Siegel, a partner with Weller Development, said the owners would pursue their existing zoning rights if they were unable to obtain Alcorn's support for a change to the comprehensive plan.

A portion of the golf course is zoned medium density residential and the golf course itself has by-right ancillary uses, according to Siegel.

"That could be anything from a hotel and conference center to support the golf use to a two-level golf experience range with food and beverage and entertainment options, where we can do a really special golf experience and keep a championship nine-hole course," he said.

Siegel added that while the owners would prefer a change to the comprehensive plan, they were prepared to pursue their by-right zoning options in the next comprehensive plan review cycle, which begins in October.

When Wheelock Communities, the owner of the Hidden Creek Golf Course proposed redeveloping the site to include 1,000 housing units and a 100-acre park in October 2020, Alcorn said he would not support the proposal due to overwhelming opposition from the community.

"By a 5 to 1 margin, community members have told me that they do not want to see the Comprehensive Plan changed," Alcorn said, at the time. "From my point of view, the matter is now closed and I will not be supporting a change to the Comprehensive Plan for that property."

Alcorn took a similar stance when representatives from Weller Development Co. and War Horse Cities expressed an interest in redeveloping Reston National. He went so far as to exclude Reston's two golf courses from consideration as part of the Reston Comprehensive Plan Review that was then underway.

In response, Reston National's owners began a series of meetings with homeowners associations that owned property adjacent to the golf course to discuss the issue of invasive plant species on their adjoining land. This effort was viewed by many in Reston as a means to start a discussion about redeveloping the golf course, which received significant pushback from the community.

Failing to receive support for its proposed invasive species mitigation plan, the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group, which was financed by golf Weller Development Co. and War Horse Cities, then conducted a study of the surrounding communities to see what amenities were lacking.

When the study group wrapped up its work in August, it published a future vision for the golf course that included:

The Conservancy: A Living Landscape

  • Self-funded, not-for-profit ensuring local governance and programming.
  • Approximately two-thirds (+/- 100 acres) will be reclaimed from the golf course and restored to a natural state, creating the most significant, usable open space in Reston.
  • Remediation on adjacent parcels will open up views and connect the neighborhood to amenities.
  • Restore meadows with native grasses and wildflowers while planting new deciduous and evergreen trees.
  • Partnership with Reston cultural organizations for performances, public art installations, or community gatherings.

We think the plan is much, much better the use of this property makes much more sense with respect to how we're proposing it.

  • A half-mile-long park runs through the entire neighborhood.
  • Planted fields for produce and community gardens, and open-air events.
  • Opportunity for a cultural master plan in collaboration with groups like Public Art Reston.

The Village

  • Shops, groceries, restaurants, arts, and neighborhood gathered space.
  • Neighborhood scale, tree-lined, small-scale streets.
  • Transit accessible
  • The essential economic anchor to revitalize the neighborhood.

Along with his statement on Monday, Alcorn released a map overwhelming opposition by property owners surrounding the Reston National to reopening the comprehensive plan to change the golf course's designation.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Alcorn said, in his statement. "Therefore, as with Hidden Creek, I do not support changing the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan’s current designation of this property as a golf course and consider this matter closed."

The article Reston National Golf Course Redevelopment: Alcorn Opposes Plan Change appeared first on Reston Patch.

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