After years of tackling transportation and land use problems in a piecemeal fashion, Fairfax County is conducting a major reevaluation of the ways it plans for the future.

The impetus for this self-evaluation, which many believe is long overdue, was the Fairfax County Goals Advisory Commission, charged by the Board of Supervisors with drawing a blueprint for the county's future. Since its inception six months ago, the commission has been responsible, indirectly, for the formation of other committees that also are examining the county's longstanding land use and transportation policies.

Perhaps the most significant proposal, officials say, is to overhaul the comprehensive master plan to include a countywide transportation plan funded by a transportation capital improvement program.

Other ideas under consideration are creating a transportation commission modeled after the county Planning Commission, reviewing the system by which the county extracts concessions such as open space from developers, and levying impact fees on developers to pay for road improvements near their developments.

"People said enough is enough" to "efforts to attack problems on a piecemeal basis," said David Bobzien, chairman of the 22-member goals commission. "Transportation problems are a symptom or a function of inadequate planning for a long time. We have to attack the issues on a comprehensive basis."

Spurred by the public outcry against massive traffic congestion and rampant development, the goals commission and other groups are slowly devising mechanisms to guide Fairfax into the next decade and beyond. Many of the proposals probably would require enabling legislation from the Virginia General Assembly.

"There are good things and bad things happening," said Fairfax County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert. "The good thing is that people are realizing there is no single answer. Asphalt is not the solution. The bad thing is that possibly we haven't done a good job telling people how many different approaches we are reviewing and implementing.

"It's a war on inconvenience. Isn't that what traffic problems are?" Lambert said. "Prosperity in itself creates certain problems. The converse, though, is really a bummer."

Some officials and residents, noting that the nine-member Board of Supervisors is up for election Nov. 3, say they believe that some of the groups have hidden political agendas designed to boost the chances of candidates who, in the simplest terms, are either pro- or antidevelopment.

However, despite occasional digressions of political rhetoric, the groups are coming up with some intriguing and worthwhile proposals for handling the county's growth-related problems, officials say.

"There's no question that some of these things will become policy with the new Board {of Supervisors} and maybe even before the elections," said Supervisor Thomas M. Davis III (R-Mason).

"The pressures of an election year are helpful," Davis said. "People are trying to find out where candidates stand on these issues. In an election year, there's no question the citizen's voice is louder than at other times. I think that's fueling a lot of the reports and citizen interest . . . . People are afraid of being shut out."

The goals commission was created by the county board in December after the board rejected 5 to 4 a controversial proposal to reduce by 75 percent the amount of development allowed on about 10,000 acres of land zoned for industrial uses.

The members of the commission, which first met in March, include some of the county's most prominent figures, such as developer John T. (Til) Hazel, former Board of Supervisors chairman Jean Packard, School Board member Kohann H. Whitney and Planning Commission member John H. Thillmann.

The commission is to revamp 16 goals established in 1975, and to recommend to the board changes in county policies.

After some supervisors said the formation of the goals commission was a stall tactic that might enable the board to avoid making tough decisions in an election year, the commission was ordered to draft a preliminary paper on its findings by August.

Realizing that commission recommendations to the board will carry a lot of weight, groups are drafting papers and making presentations to the commission, hoping to influence its direction.

In addition to the county goals commission, Supervisors Nancy K. Falck (R-Dranesville) and Martha V. Pennino (D-Centreville) each appointed a task force from her district to study goals and report to the commission. In addition, the new Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, a coalition dominated by business and development groups, and the Citizens Committee for the Review of Land Use and Transportation in Fairfax County, sponsored in part by the League of Women Voters, are grappling with development and transportation issues on countywide and regionwide levels.

Armed with the voluminous studies of the past, the groups are searching for solutions on a wider scale than might have characterized the efforts of such bodies in the past, officials say, and are recognizing that small initiatives have a cumulative effect and that transportation, land use, housing costs and care for the elderly are related.

The Centreville task force and the citizens committee already have drafted reports with recommendations that have been presented to the commission. Their reports suggest short-term measures to ease transportation problems, including adding car pool lanes, coordinating traffic signals, encouraging staggered arrival and departure times for people who work in the county, adding turn lanes at congested intersections, increasing the size and number of commuter parking lots near mass transit facilities, and reversing the direction of traffic on some lanes of crowded streets in rush hours.

For the long term, the commission is considering greater use of intracounty bus routes, tying future development to transportation improvements, encouraging the county to seek more authority from the state in planning and constructing roads, refining zoning categories, and streamlining the road planning and construction process. Many of those suggestions were recommended by the citizens committee and the Centreville task force.

Chairman Bobzien said the goals commission intends to draft a preliminary report on its findings intended to be discussed at a hearing in September.

"The $64,000 question is whether we will have a final report before the November elections," he said.