The Arlington County Board, which has been attacked for allowing high-rise developments to mar the Washington skyline, yesterday rejected a New York developers proposals for a hotel and office building complex near Crystal City.
The proposal would have called for a 692-room, 18-story hotel and 15-story ofice building complex at 2765 Jefferson Davis Highway.
But board Chairman Dorothy T. Grotos said the developer wanted to exceed the county's height limits without offering sufficient benefits in return. "Usually they toss us a crumb . . . but in this case they wanted additional height and really offered us nothing in return," she said.
She joined board members John W. Purdy and Ellen M. Bozman to deny North American Investors, a New York real estate investment trust, permission for the project. Board members Walter L. Frankland and Stephen H. Detwiler voted for the building.
Lee Fifer, attorney for the trust had urged the board to approve the project, which would have exceeded existing height standards in the area by as much as three stories. Fifer told the board that in return for the height, his firm would complete three streets and a pedestrian bridge linking the high-rise complex with the Crystal City metro station.
Grotos said she was displeased by Pfeiffer's offer. "All the developers are completing roads," she said. "They said they didn't know who would build the hotel and while I'm sure the office building would be built, I'm not so sure that they wouldn't come back in a few months and ask that the hotel be substituted for another office building.
Fifer, who appeared surprised by the denial, defended his offer, saying that the board had approved other high-rise projects in nearby are from developers who offered similar trade-offs.
Arlington County officials have come under attack from several federal agencies for approving highrise projects along the Potomac which critize claim have harmed the beauty of the Washington skyline. County official have denied the charge.