In 1958 a third of Shelley Krasnow's 39-acre tract of land was annexed by Fairfax City along with 2,212 other acres taken from the jurisdiction of Fairfax County.
Last Friday, charging that the city has not treated him equally with its other residents, Krasnow petitioned Fairfax Circuit Court to de-annex his land and return it to county jurisdiction.
Krasnow said the city has violated one of the conditions of the 1958 annexation, which stipulated that the city would formulate a master plan of development "providing for the equal development of the said territory (that which was annexed) with the territory of the present town."
Krasnow contends that the city violated that condition by agreeing to the construction of a tank frarm (gasoline depository) and to other industrial development in the annexed area.
What Krasnow wants is preservation of what he considers an appropriate environment for his 180-year-old farmhouse on Pickett Road about a half mile from the tank farm.
The six-room home is built with hand-hewn beams fitted together with wooden pegs. Krasnow, an electrical engineer, designed and installed a central radiant heating system using hot water coils placed along the beams on the first-floor ceiling. A holly tree believed to be over 100 years old stands 45 feet tall in the backyard.
Krasnow says he interprets the "equal development" provision of the annexation as ensuring "that we could not be treated as second-class citizens just because we came into the city later."
He has been concerned about the enrcoachment of industrial development on Pickett Road for several years, he said, but his decision to file suit came after the Fairfax City Council voted 4 to 3 on March 8 to rezone three acres immediately south of his land from residential to industrial use.
"When they did that, I could see the handwriting on the wall - that they no longer considered this a residential area," Krasnow said. "In fact, one city councilman said he expected me to come with a petition to have my own land rezoned industrial. That shows you how little he understands that what I want is to save this historic and antique structure (his home) and to preserve a appropriate environment for it," Krasnow said.
Krasnow says he wants all his land back in the county because "I find the county and county residents on my side." The county' planning commission, he said, has asked the city not to rezone land in this area industrial because the county subdivisions of Mantua Hills and Stockbridge are nearby.
John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisiors, said he will ask the supervisors to go on record today that they do not oppose the return of Krasnow's land to county jurisdiction.
But Nathaniel F. Young, mayor of Fairfax City, said he thinks the city will fight the de-annexation move. He remarked that the supervisors "don't want any annexations and I don't want any de-annexations." He said the loss of Krasnows land would "make it difficult to get orderly development along Pickett Road, which the city wants to make into a four-lane high way in the 1980s.