Mosby Woods is a subdivision divided. This week, residents once again attempted to unite their neighborhood when they went before the Fairfax City Council with a request to include all parts of Mosby Woods in the city.
At a hearing before the Fairfax City Council Tuesday night, more than 100 residents crowded into council chambers to plead their case. Most citizens wore "Unite Mosby Woods" buttons and spoke fervently of the need to bring the community under the city's wing.
The council decided to delay a decision on the request until after a second public hearing, which was set for 10 p.m. Saturday in council chambers. s
Of the 334 homes in Mosby Woods, about one-third are in Fairfax City and two-thirds are in Fairfax County.
At least thirty houses straddle the city-county line. In one housedinner can be cooked in a Fairfax County kitchen and eaten in a Fairfax City dining room.
Residents say city police and rescue services would be closer than county services if the city took in all of Mosby Woods.
Uniting the neighborhood, residents add, would eliminate the tax time nightmares of trying to figure out what is owned to which jurisdiction and would give children a better chance of attending school with their neighbors.
"Kids that swim together all summer at the community pool swim against each other in high school during the winter," says Robert Knopf, president of the Mosby Woods Civic Association and a city resident. At the hearing Tuesday, and get some quotes.
The first move to unite the community -- which was built in 1961 -- came in 1972 when residents asked to be brought into the city.
Informal surveys by the civic association show that most Mosby Wood residents want to be part of the city. Faixfax County officials are amenable to giving up the small area, but some Fairfax City Council members are reluctant.
The reason is simple enough -- money.
City administrators estimate it will cost the city $354,000 to bring all of Mosby Woods together under city jurisdiction. The major expenditure, they say, would be the cost of tuition paid to the county for city children (all Fairfax City schools are operated by the county). They add the city also would have to pay for increased police and fire protection for the subdivision. w
Fairfax City Council member Mary Roper says she supports uniting Mosby Woods, but cannot vote to bring it into the city unless the county makes a favorable trade-off to the city for absorbing a residental area -- which is regarded as a tax liability.
"We'd be doing them a favor, taking these houses off their hands," Roper said earlier this week. "I hate to put it this way, but that's what it amounts to.
"In good conscience, I cannot vote for bringing the rest of Mosby Woods in unless we get some sort of compensation from the county."
Roper suggests that the compensation could be in the form of adjustments on one of the multitude of contracts between the county and city for services the county provides the city.
Fairfax City Mayor Fred Silverthorne, on the other hand, is a strong supporter of uniting Mosby Woods by bringing it into the city.
"Demographically, politically and morally it should be in the city," Silverthorne said. "My opinion is that the staff projections (on the cost) are a little too high.