John T. (Til) Hazel Jr., one of the region's preeminent developers and a potent political force in Northern Virginia, strongly attacked local politicians yesterday who have an "obsession with" controlling growth.

Hazel's remarks, representing sentiments similar to those expressed by many county developers and touching on key issues in the current race for county chairman, were aimed at antigrowth policies espoused by several county activists and politicians.

Fairfax County Supervisor Audrey Moore, the Democratic candidate for chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, has consistently voted against developments proposed by Hazel and is the champion of citizens and planners in Fairfax who would like to increase the controls on development.

Moore, who was not named in the speech, is running against two independents and board Chairman John F. Herrity, a Republican and one of the architect's of the county's prodevelopment policies of recent years. The election is Nov. 3.

In a speech to the Northern Virginia Press Club, Hazel attacked proposals advanced by Moore and like-minded candidates to limit growth and force developers to pay more for road construction as "an effort to place a tax burden on a narrow slice of society."

Because those costs to developers would be passed on to office tenants and home buyers, Hazel said, they make "a mockery" of efforts to build affordable housing and meet the demands of corporate customers in a highly competitive office-leasing climate.

He added: "To have a bunch of government bureaucrats running the development industry when they can't even build the roads" that are needed "is ridiculous."

He characterized the policies of slow-growth politicians as "solving a problem by slowing down growth and prosperity."

Questioned after the speech, Hazel said that while a victory by slow-growth politicians would be unlikely to derail Northern Virginia's prosperity, a victory by Moore "could add a lot of pain and agony" to the development process and, perhaps, diminish the quality of projects under construction in the area.

Despite his strongly held opinions on the political issues at the heart of the race for chairman, Hazel insisted that "speculation" would be the extent of his role in the race.

Democrats, however, have said that Hazel is the leading force behind the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, a business group that is conducting a fund-raising and public relations campaign aimed at addressing transportation issues. Moore has said the group is a thinly veiled effort to augment Herrity's campaign with large donations from developers in an election year.

Hazel said that he is not closely involved with the group but is raising some money for it. Former Democratic governor Charles S. Robb suggested last month that the alliance postpone its spending until after the election to eliminate the appearance that it is involved in politics. Robb made the suggestion after the group asked him to be honorary chairman.

In his broadly focused speech, Hazel also:Attacked the Virginia Department of Highways for what he called its inability to build roads quickly, and suggested he'd "like the chance to" fire bureaucrats there who don't move fast enough. Dismissed proposals to initiate commuter rail service in Northern Virginia -- a project with which Moore has identified herself -- as economically inefficient, declaring, "To serve a low-density county like Fairfax {by rail} is not cost-efficient; it's just not going to happen." He also disparaged the use of buses in the the county.