Fairfax County home buyers soon may be entitled to more information about the houses they are considering under a new disclosure law being studied by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The bill would require sellers to provide information on the cost of utilities, homeowner association memberships and maintenance fees.
The measure, which won unanimous support from the supervisors this week, also would requrie sellers to inform home buyers of the locations of schools and other public facilities. The supervisors agreed to hold a public hearing Jan. 29 on the disclosure bill.
The bill is much weaker than one proposed two years ago by Supervisor Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield). Under her proposal, sellers would have been required to provide information on land use changes, existing zonings, pending rezoning applications, road improvements and rights of way that would affect the home being sold.
The new bill would not require disclosure of such information. However, if the measure is passed, home buyers would be given a standard, county-produced form with the names, locations and phone numbers of county agencies that could provide information on land use and transportation issues that would affect the home up for sale.
"I visualized this bill differently . . ." said Travesky during the meeting. "But this stands as something valuable and we should move forward with it."
She urged that a similar law be enacted by the Virginia legislature, "becuase a state law would have more clout."
The board decision to hold a public hearing followed a recently revised opinion from County Attorney Frederic Lee Ruck that disclosures that do not present an "unreasonable" burden on sellers may be required by local ordinance.
At the meeting, Surpervisor Audrey Moore (D-Annandale) commended Travesky.
"May be she took half of the loaf when she should have gotten the whole . . ." said Moore. "But we should make it work as well as we can."
Moore earlier had cited a problem with home sales practices in Burke Center, where some residents are protesting the installation of fences around their homes. When residents in the Parkside section of Burke Center bought the detached, single-family homes, they were unaware that the section's development plan called for the fences, Moore said.
Moore claimed that by installing the fences, the developer could redesignate the houses "patio homes." Such a development could qualify for higher density than typical, single-family homes, according to Moore.