Fairfax County has asked Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams to authorize a study of the effects a proposed expansion of Dulles Airport would have on the county before the plan is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
In a letter sent to Adams early this week, Fairfax county Board Chairman John F. Herrity said the board passed a resolution Nov. 21 requesting the environmental impact statement. The letter outlined several complaints the county has with the FAA's long-range plans for expanding the airport.
The letter is the county's latest expression of opposition to the plans for the government-owned international airport in western Fairfax County. Fairfax County claims the FAA has ignored the county's planning policies in designing the expansion. The county also says the FAA relies too heavily on the county to solve environmental problems that airport growth will cuase, especially increased noise levels.
"This version of the plan for Dulles has absolutely no regard for the county's own planning processes. It undermines all that the county has planned for that area," said County Supervisor Martha Pennino (D-Centreville), who represents much of the area affected by the expansioN.
"The FAA plan takes into consideration only the internal development of the airport. It doesn't discuss how its growth will affect what is around it," she said.
The letter says that if Dulles is expanded according to the FAA plan, it will cause a major disruption of Fairfax County's land-use plan for the western part of the county.
It says that if the FAA plan is adopted, increased noise levels - levels that county says are unsuitable for residential areas - will affect 2,000 more acres of the county than are now affected by the airport traffic. About 7,490 acres are affected by high noise levels from airport traffic now. More than 7,100 acres are planned for residential development in the area that is or will be affected by those noise levels, according to the county's letter.
Replacing the count's planned residential development in the area of the airport with commercial and industrial development is no solution because it would "amount to almost a doubling of existing commercially and industrially zoned land in the county," the letter said.
An environmental report prepared by FAA consultans does not address the county's problems, the letter says, and should be "fully and carefully analyzed in an environmental impact statement."
In other business at Monday's meeting of the County Board of Supervisors, the board defeated a resolution introduced by Herrity that would have had county staff develop new criteria governing the construction of public housing in the county.
The board defeated the resolution 5 to 4. Several supervisors opposing the resolution said that requesting county staff to form new criteria would be placing the county administration in the middle of a political battle over public housing.
Herrity's resolution resulted from his ongoing effort to stop construction of a controversial 100-unit public housing project in the Springfield area.
The project, Rolling Road Estates, is planned for construction between the Newington Station and Saratoga subdivision on Rolling Road. The Virginia Housing and Development Authority is to vote on it Dec. 20. The Fairfax County Housing and Community Development Agency, an autonomous body created by the state to advise the VHDA on public housing matters, recommended that Rolling Road Estates be built.
The board of superviors has no formal position on the project because the federal department of Housing and Urban Development warned the board last week that a resolution it has passed against the project could jeopardize $3.7 million a year the county receives the community development bloc grant funds.
Herrity's resolution, which he said was intended "to prevent another Rolling Road from happening," proposed that county staff give the board recommendations on methods to improve citizen participation regarding subsidized housing developments and develop criteria to govern the number of units and location of public housing in the county.
Supervisor James M. Scott (D-Providence), a supporter of public housing, said county criteria governing public housing projects and avenues for citizen input "are already sufficient" and that Herrity's request for futher criteria was "putting (county) staffs in the middle of a political shootout."
Voting against Herrity's resolution were Scott, Pennino, Audrey Moore (D-Annandale), Alan H. Magazine (D-Mason) and Warren Cikens (D-Mt. Vernon).Voting with Herrity were Joseph Alexander (D-Lee) John P. Shacochis (R-Dranesville) and Maria B. Travesky (R-Springfield), who has also worked to stop Rolling Road Estates.