Fairfax City has once again delayed a decision to bring all of the Mosby Woods subdivision under its wing. City officials said the delay was designed to give both the city and Fairfax County more time to study the issue.

Fairfax City Mayor Fred Silverthorne added that a decision is now expected Nov. 5.

Mosby Woods is a neighborhood of 334 homes, with about two-thirds in Fairfax County and about one-third in Fairfax City. In their fight to unite the neighborhood, most Mosby Woods residents have indicated they prefer to be governed by Fairfax City.

The decision temporarily to table the issue came after a public hearing Saturday before the Fairfax City Council. It was the second hearing in a week on the issue.

After the hearing, Silverthorne said the council decided to delay a decision until it can smooth out several points with Fairfax County.

Specifically, Silverthorne said, the city wants to find out if contracts between the city and county can be adjusted so that city jurisdiction over Mosby Woods would be less expensive. Fairfax County officials have indicated that such adjustments are unlikely.

Mosby Woods, between Lee Highway and I-66, first asked eight years ago to be brought under the city's wing. In their most recent petition, residents have said the city could provide closer fire and rescue services and that several problems would be eliminated, such as confusion over what taxes are owed to the two jurisdictions.

However, city officials estimate that approval of the Mosby Woods request would cost the city $354,000 under current contracts with Fairfax County.

Some residents at the public hearing Saturday said they feared the decision to table the issue had effectively killed the chances of city approval of their request. However, Silverthorne was more optimistic. "It's my suspician that we will go ahead" and approve the request, he said.