Open Space
The private Reston National Golf Course is not open space for the public – but it could be. It’s for golfers only. Reston was created in the 1970s with a vision of trails, natural walks, open spaces and nearby amenities, like shopping, recreation and dining. But to live in the neighborhood in 2022 is to drive to everything.

Permanent open space in Reston has always been, and is required to be, designated through the Reston covenants. The founders of Reston understood that unlike zoning, covenants “run with the land permanently, safeguarding the use of open space and preventing encroachment upon open land.”

If there’s no covenant on the land, it does not qualify as official, designated open space. Reston National of course has no covenants on the land and has never been designated as open space. It’s not for public or neighborhood use.  The land is used exclusively by a limited group of people capable of paying to play golf.    

Neighbors can’t walk on the land, except for a single Reston Association trail that crosses it, and a few other trails along its edges.

Real open space is large and varied.  It’s much more than the new “pocket parks” more commonly built in Reston. Real open space offers a spectrum of environments, from purely natural habitat, to nature trails, greenspace for picnics, recreational options and gathering places for families and community groups.

The Study Group is seeking to understand the options for true, permanent open space that would also be a permanent barrier to any future development. What types of space can reshape, and significantly improve our properties, offering more and better ways to interact with the land, and each other?

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