A subsidized housing project that has been opposed in the past by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was delayed this week for at least 90 days.
The board voted 5 to 4 to hold off approval of a site plan application for Rolling Road Estates, a low- and moderate-income housing project planned for Springfield, while a citizens association brings a lawsuit to force a public hearing on the project.
Rolling Road Estates was cleared for construction in January when the Virginia Housing and Development Authority approved a $4.5-million loan to David Small, a Pittsburgh developer.
Two weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors voted to require that the project be reviewed by the county planning commission as a public facility. The board rescinded that vote this week under advice from County Attorney F. Lee Ruck. The county attorney said state law did not give the county the review of a private project.
Traditionally, subsidized projects in Fairfax County supported by "pass-through" funds, that is, federal money that goes through a state or local agency to individuals as a portion of their rent or mortgage payments, have not been reviewed by the planning commission as public facilities.
If the project were considered a public facility, the planning commission could schedule public hearings on the project and possibly block construction, by deciding that the project did not conform to the county's comprehensive land-use plan.
Kenneth W. Smith, an attorney representing the homeowners association, claims the housing project "is just as public as it can be without the public paying for all of it." Smith said the board's decision to postpone site plan approval for 90 days should allow sufficient time for the homeowners' suit to be heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
The supervisors withdrew previous objections to the Rolling Road project last November after the federal government threatened to cut off $3.7 million in community development funds if the county blocked the project.
In other action this week, the board appointed Robert E. Frye of Reston to fill a position on the county school board recently vacated by Frank Alston. Frye, 42, works for the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission.
In action at a board meeting last week, the supervisors decided to use $772,000 of the county's federal revenue sharing money for the coming year to pay for new roads in the county. In past years, revenue sharing money has been used exclusively for paying interest on county debts.
One of the reasons for using the money for roads, board members agreed, is that the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation is required under a new law to match local spending on roads up to 15 percent of the locality's total revenue sharing money in the coming fiscal year.
One half of the revenue sharing money and the matching state funds will be spent on the Lockheed-Van Dorn section of the planned Springfield bypass highway. The rest will be spent on local road improvement projects throughout the county.
The board also voted to hold a referendum on June 13, the date of the Republican primary for congressional candidates, for a $12 million bond issue for storm drainage facilities and a $4 million bond issue to build three new fire stations.