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April 17-23

Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page C04

Davis Fights Development Near Home Complex's Plan Counts on Purchase of Metro Land

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said he will propose legislation to scale back a massive development planned next to the Vienna Metro station, near his neighborhood.

Davis announced at a community meeting that he would amend a Metro funding bill to block the sale or lease of land the agency owns next to the Orange Line station in Fairfax County.

Maria Garcia, left, and Laurie Granger place flowers on a tree in Harrison's memory. The boy was injured Monday when his school bus crashed. (Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)

Pulte Homes is negotiating with Metro for 3.2 acres on which the developer plans to build three 12-story residential and office buildings. The property would be the densest part of a planned mini-city that would include offices and 2,250 homes on the Metro land and 53 additional acres. Several Fairfax County supervisors accused Davis of abusing his power.

Fairfax Tax Rate Down but Bills Up Pr. William Homeowners Also Will Pay More

Fairfax County homeowners will pay $364 more on average in real estate taxes this year under a $3 billion budget approved by the county board.

The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 sets a tax rate of $1 per $100 of assessed value, a reduction of 13 cents from the current rate and of 23 cents over the past four years. At the lower rate, the owner of a house valued at the county average of $444,766 will pay $4,448 in real estate taxes.

In Prince William County, homeowners will see the lowest real estate tax rate in nearly four decades, but they will pay on average $128 more in property taxes this year under the $765 million budget approved by the Board of County Supervisors.

The average home assessment has jumped from $266,502 to $327,433 in the past year, according to the most recent data available. The budget establishes a tax rate of 91 cents per $100 of assessed value, putting the average bill at $2,980.

High-Occupancy Beltway Lanes Mulled Board Will Evaluate Effect on Region's Air Quality

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board voted to evaluate proposed high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes on the Capital Beltway in Virginia to see how they would affect air quality.

Virginia officials are considering a private proposal to build four toll lanes on the Beltway between the Springfield interchange and Georgetown Pike.

The panel will vote in the fall on whether to include the HOT lane project in the region's long-range plan, the board's final step.

Juror's Actions Topple Murder Verdict Pr. William Woman Seen Buying Newspapers

A Prince William County judge threw out a guilty verdict in the first-degree murder trial of a Manassas man after the defense produced a videotape of a juror buying newspapers on the day she was scheduled to deliberate his fate.

Lindy L. Heaster of Woodbridge was held in contempt of court by Circuit Court Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. after she acknowledged to him that she had bought newspapers last Friday morning, the day the verdict was given, said Jon E. Shields, an attorney for the defendant, Gerardo N. Lara Sr., accused of stabbing his estranged wife.

Alston indicated that Heaster could be forced to pay the cost of the five-day trial. Prosecutors said they are considering perjury charges against her.

Subdividing Gets Judge's Approval Higher Loudoun Land Values Predicted

A Loudoun County Circuit Court judge ruled that property owners in much of the county once again have the right to carve up their land into three-acre lots, a decision that implements a Virginia Supreme Court ruling from last month.

The ruling means that property owners in the county's west who want to subdivide can do so, resulting in sharply higher land values for some because they are allowed to build more houses. Those who oppose additional construction say the ruling will harm rural businesses and spur massive development.

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