Scattered throughout affluent Fairfax County are pockets of older and low-income communities - communities the county hopes to preserve for residents who cannot afford a $65,000 home, the median home price in the county.
Last week, nearly 40 residents from some of these communities paraded past the county planning commission seeking a share of $3.7 million in federal money the county expects' to receive next year to improve such neighborhoods. Until Friday, however, there was uncertainty that any of the requests, which ranged from plans to repair drainage gutters to construction of community centers, would be granted.
Last fall, it appeared that the Department of Housing and Urban Development might cut off funds for such projects if Fairfax County blocked construction of a controversial, subsidized housing project in Springfield, called Rolling Road Estates The board of supervisors took a position against the project in November but dropped its opposition after the HUD threat.
Moreover, on Friday, the project was cleared for construction by the Virginia Housing Development Authority which granted a $4.5 million loan to build it. Unless the county takes further action to stop the project, funding under the community development block grant program appears to be secure.
Even though the matter seemed to be settled, several residents at the planning commission hearings continued to voice their concern about the issue.
Pat Vernon of 2311 Victory Drive, a representative of the Huntington community, criticized the board of supervisors for threatening the federal funds. The Huntington community is seeking $115,000 of the community development funds to add a kitchen and lobbies to the Huntington Community Center.
"That money makes a lot of difference to a lot of people in the county who want to make their neighborhoods a better place to live," Vernon said. "If the county does anything else that might stop the funds from going through, it's going to be left with a lot of half-done projects and a bunch of angry people."
Another speaker, representing three Sprindfield communities that are fighting construction of Rolling Road Estates, took an opposite position.
Calling himmself, "the skunk in the garden party," Alvin W. Smuzynski of 7818 New London Drive told the planning commission the county should not apply for the community development funds.
"It isn't worth getting $3.7 million at the price of losing local rights," Smuzynski said. "I urge the county not to submit the grant application and instead raise local money to pay for these community improvement projects."
So far, community development funds have paid for about 30 neighborhood improvement projects that are finished or are underway in every district of Fairfax County, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. The $3.7 million requested for fiscal year 1979 would be used to finish or continue work on those projects and to begin 18 new projects.
Most of the request for funds at the public hearing last Wednesday came from the Huntington, Fairhaven, Gum Springs and Rt. 1 corridor areas of Mt. Vernon, the Lincoln-Lewis Vannoy community of Springfield and low-and moderate-income communities in Reston.
A special committee of the Redevelopment have paid for about 30 neighborhood improvement projects that are finished or are underway in every district of Fairfax County, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. The $3.7 million requested for fiscal year 1979 would be used to finish or continue work on those projects and to begin 18 new projects.
Most of the requests for funds at the public hearing last Wednesday came from the Huntington, Fairhaven, Gum Springs and Rt. 1 corridor areas of Mt. Vernon, the Lincoln-Lewis Vannoy community of Sprindfield and low-and moderate-income communities in Reston.
A special committee of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority selected the $3.7 million in projects from requests totaling $5 million, which were presented at another hearing Nov. 17. The planning commission will make its recommendations on projects to be funded, which could include some modifications of proposed projects, based on testimony at the public hearing last week.
The board of supervisors must give final approval to the projects before the county can apply for the community development funds. The board is expected to act on the project list after another public hearing Feb. 13. At that hearing, residents also will be allowed to comment on the county's housing assistance plan, which states the county's need for subsidized housing and outlines criteria for locating subsidized housing sites.
Major neighborhood projects marked for community development funds include a waste disposal system for the Lincoln-Lewis-Vannoy community in Sprindfield ($375,000), street improvements and relocation of trailers park on the Rt. 1 corridor ($476,000), improving the storm drainage system for the Huntington community in Mt. Vernon ($550,000) and designing a new community center for Lincoln-Lewis-Vannoy ($640,000).
Other major costs are no-interest, home-improvement loans for residents of Clifton, the Rt. 1 corridor, Mt. Olive and other communities in the Mason, Mt. Vernon and Springfield districts ($490,000) and partial administrative expenses of the Department of Housing and Community Development, which runs the county's housing programs ($685,000).
Chapel Acres, Springfield - study for sanitary sewer and drainage system, $25,000.
Bailey's, Mason - replacement of three substandard houses, $107,500, completion of sidewalk construction, $35,000.
Lincoln-Lewis-Vannoy, Springfield - rehabilitation of three substandard houses, $920,500; improvements to storm drains, $12,000.
Saunders B. Moon Housing Development Corporaton, Mt. Vernon and Annandale - administrative and operating costs of this community-based housing development organization, $103,000.
Fairfax County Commission on Aging - equipment and building materials to start home repairs for the elderly countywide, $25,000.
Bailey's Mason - completion of sidewalk construction, $35,00; a study for road improvements to help traffic circulation in the community, $25,000.
Huntington Community Center - addition of kitchen, two lobbies, meeting room, office space and improvement of bathrooms, $115,000.
Chapel Acres, - land acquisition for community park, $20,000.
Lincoln-Lewis-Vannoy-improvements to storm drains, $12,000.
Bailey's, Mason District - a study for road improvements to help traffic circulation in the community, $25,000.
Gum Springs, Burgundy, Jefferson Manor and Rt. 1, Lorton - planning and management costs to initiate general improvement programs for these communities is included in administrative costs of Department of Housing and Community Development. A local option of $280,000 also is included for this program.
Herndon - land acquisition and facilities for Elden Park planned near low-and moderate-income housing, $10,000.
Gum Springs, Mt. Vernon - air conditioning for day care center, $20,000.
Burgundy, Lee - improvements to community center, land acquisition for tot lot and a drainage studey or sidewalk construction, $50,000.
Jefferson Village, Providence - construction of three tot lots, $35,000.
Hollywood Road, Providence - installment of a traffic light and high-intensity street lights, $15,000.
Williamstown, Providence - improvements to storm water drainage system $50,000.
Yorkville Apartments, Providence - acquistion of land occupied by private business in middle of housing development for recreational use, $55,000.
Spanish American Community Information Center, Seven Corners area of Mason - lease of space for community center, $6,500.
Reston - improvement of recreational facilities for low-and moderate-income housing, $30,000.
Lorton - acquire space for Lorton Community Action Center, $12,000.
Fairhaven, Mt. Vernon - improvement of traffic signals, drainage system, sidewalks and parking $10,000.
Upton Hill Park, Mason - addition of observation tower, miniature golf, nature center and park space, $75,000.
Other projects that would be funded if additional money becomes available include parks for Hollywood Road and Williamstown communities, more home improvement loans, a tot lot for Vannoy Park and more local option funds.