Unnecessary governmental restrictions delaying the construction of new homes in Fairfax County said $2,800 to the cost of a typical new $60,000 house, Fairfax supervisors were told yesterday.
Construction delays are partly reponsible for the spiraling cost of new homes, said Joanna Hirst, a real estate agent who served as a citizen member of the county-appointed Committee to Reduce the Cost of Housing, which prepared the report.
However, some supervisors wondered aloud whether the savings would be transferred to the home buyer if the delays were eliminated.
"Is the money being saved money to be saved by the cosumer or the developer?" asked Alan H. Magazine (D-Mason).
Orlo Paciulli, an engineer who also served on the committee, said the savings would eventually be passed onto the consumer since it "serves to further delay the next increase" in housing costs.
The median cost of housing in Fairfax County has increased from $35,000 in 1970, to $64,000 in 1977. Fairfax is among the costliest housing markets in the nation.
The report states that at least 212 days of delay, representing 5 per cent of the cost of the house, could be eliminated if the following steps were taken: Tight time constraints were placed on county reviewing agencies during the building process; the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation consolidated its review comments into a one-stage presentation: the county permitted large-scale builders to hire independent, certified building inspectors.
"There have been considerable lengths of time in the review process," a county building official said. Nevertheless, quite a few of the delays that the committee mentioned in its report have already been eliminated, he said.
The state highway department conducts numerous "progress reviews" during the construction process "as a courtesy," according A.S. Brown, a state highway official.
Brown said the reviews are done to insure that the streets and the materials used are in order before the final review. "This should be beneificial as opposed to a deterrent," he said.
Changing the state highway department's review process would eliminate 30 days of delay, the report states.
Supervisor James M. Scott (D-Providence) warned that county officials would have to be careful to avoid lowering county building standards by changing building requirements.
However, Board Chairman John F. Herrity said that none of the recommendations in the report represent "a lowering of our standards."
At least one supervisor was not pleased with the report. "I'm a little bit disappointed that they didn't come up with more savings," said Supervisor Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield).