Rescue Reston: North Course Update

Reposting here Rescue Reston’s latest update on the status of Hidden Creek Golf Course, recently purchased by a developer. We’re sharing this to broaden awareness of a significant threat to the existence of this 164-acre recreational green space on Reston’s north side and also to encourage all to take Rescue Reston’s short survey (click here!). To be added to Rescue Reston’s newsletter list, please contact northcourse@rescuereston.org 

Rescue Reston: North Course Update, 15 May 2018

Momentum Continues to Build

On April 23, 2018, Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee had an opportunity to update attendees of the Coalition for a Planned Reston Community Meeting at Reston association.

Fairfax County’s pursuit of a density increase in the PRC (Planned Residential Community) District from 13 to 16 persons per acre would impact the development of Hidden Creek Golf Course. In addition, the “Road from Nowhere” presents a direct threat by laying the groundwork for future golf course development. Reston Citizens Association President Dennis Hays addresses these issues in a 14-minute presentation that is worth viewing.

A letter of response to the Coalition for a Planned Reston’s April 12th letter came from Catherine Hudgins, Hunter Hill District Supervisor, dated April 23, 2018. The second paragraph, third sentence reads, “The plan approved in 2015 was specifically written to . . . reinforce the preservation of Reston’s two golf courses.”

These words conflict with actions being taken by the County at the North Course. The Road from Nowhere was slipped in to the Comprehensive Plan surreptitiously, and now we have learned that the County has been planning for years to take over a portion of the fourth hole of the course for a 1 to 4-acre storm water detention “pond.”

Cluster Presentations

Since our last update, we have been invited by several clusters to come and present to their board and membership meetings. Several presentations have been scheduled including both general membership and Board meetings. If your cluster is interested in a presentation from the North Course Committee, please send an email to northcourse@rescuereston.com.

Survey

A Sampling of the North Course Community Survey Results as of today sees 116 responses. The results thus far follow:

  • 108 (93%) either Strongly Agree or Agree with the statement, “I believe that the land that now makes up Hidden Creek Country Club should remain an 18-hole golf course.”
  • 114 (98%) want to see Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee fight to protect Hidden Creek’s land use designation of “private recreation use, more specifically to remain as a golf course.”
  • 66 (59%) of respondents have indicated a willingness to work with Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee in a more active way such as making calls, attending meetings, etc. Once the survey closes, we will be contacting those respondents with some optional dates for volunteer training.

The survey is still open, so please participate if you haven’t already AND forward the link to your neighbors. TAKE THE SURVEY!

Focus Group Update

In our April 11th update, we reported on the efforts that Wheelock is making to involve the community and community organizations in a series of small focus group sessions. The North Course Committee is represented and met on May 10th for the second of four sessions. The evening started off with tour via golf cart of the course. [funny no sooner had we returned to the club house I had a call on my cell. The message was from a neighbor reporting a group of about 15 golf carts that appeared to have no business being out on the course. I returned the call upon returning home from the focus group with the explanation. Needless to say, I’ve got some pretty astute and awesome neighbors.]

Once we returned to the clubhouse, the evening was spent primarily talking about environmental impacts (wildlife habitat, creek beds, Resource Protection Areas (RPA’s), trees and a small amount on transportation.) Connie Hartke and I hammered about the Road From Nowhere and the disingenuous implication that builders and developers “think” there’s a road there.

While we appreciate Wheelock’s even-keeled approach to exploring all options, Rescue Reston stands firm in working to defend Reston’s recreational green space:

  • North Course, Hidden Creek Country Club (164-acres); and
  • South Course, Reston National Golf Course, a 166-acre Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program Golf Course on the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The land use designation of both properties is private recreation use, more specifically to remain as golf courses.

FACT CHECK!

To refute some statements regarding the health of the golfing industry, the National Golf Foundation’s Up-To-Date Report on Golfer Participation shows the industry is healthy and growing.

  • Many of the trends in traditional participation are encouraging: the total number of beginning golfers (those playing on a golf course for the first time ever in 2016) rose to a record-high 2.5 million, surpassing the previous record set in 2000, when Tiger Woods was at his prime and drawing newcomers to the game in unprecedented numbers.
  • There is even greater interest among those looking to take up the game. The NGF’s national study found that the number of non-golfers expressing the highest level of interest in playing golf increased by 7.6% to 12.8 million.
  • While the latest research indicates a modest 1.2% decline in on-course participation – dipping to 23.8 million (age 6+ who played at least once) in 2016 from 24.1 million in 2015, commitment to the sport in many respects is more evident than ever before. The number of committed golfers – a group that accounts for approximately 95% of all rounds-played and overall spending – rose for the first time in five years, from 19.5 million to 20.1 million.

Additionally, it has been reported by Wheelock and Hidden Creek staff that the club is profitable!

Forward this email and encourage your neighbors and friends to sign-up for the North Course Committee updates which will serve as the source for alerts when we need to mobilize.

Best,

Lynne Mulston, Chair and

Sue Beffel, Co-chair

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Author: Planned Reston

We are the Coalition for a Planned Reston, working to keep Reston a planned and livable community.

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