Virginia's establishment, including U.S. Sen. John Warner (R) and Gov. Charles S. Robb (D), turned out in force last night to honor Fairfax County's best known zoning attorney and land developer, John T. (Til) Hazel Jr.
At a roast sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Hazel was toasted by 800 Northern Virginia businessmen, lawyers and politicians. Guests included those whose campaigns Hazel has helped, such as former U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr., and those whom Hazel has opposed, such as Robb.
Robb came and left early last night, going on to Washington to help promote the city for the 1984 Democratic convention. The man Robb defeated in the 1981 governor's election, former Virginia attorney general J. Marshal Coleman, who received thousands of dollars from Hazel and his family in the campaign, stayed for dinner.
Hazel was honored particularly for his contributions to George Mason University, where he has been a member of the board of visitors for eight years, and to St. Stephen's School and to charities in the area.
"He's one of the finest people I know," said Byrd, who traveled to the Springfield Hilton from the Winchester apple farm where he has lived in retirement since January.
Although Hazel frequently has held an adversary relationship with Fairfax, filing lawsuits and zoning cases that repeatedly overturned the county's attempts to slow growth during the last 15 years, a number of county officials also turned out last night. County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert was there, as were the deputy county executive in charge of planning and development and County Attorney David Stitt. Stitt currently is defending the county in court against more than a score of lawsuits filed by Hazel's firm, aimed at nullifying growth controls in the county's undeveloped west.
Some supervisors stayed away, apparently reluctant to associate themselves with a widely known developer in an election year, but others attended, including Board Chairman John S. Herrity (R).
"I like him. He's done a lot for the county," said supervisor Joseph Alexander (D), who also attended.