Fairfax Supervisor Audrey Moore warned yesterday that if her opponent, John F. Herrity, is reelected as board chairman, Fairfax "will continue going the same way we have been going: build, build, build; grow, grow, grow."

In an interview with editors and reporters of The Washington Post, the Democratic supervisor from Annandale said a fourth term for Herrity would mean "traffic will get worse {and that} the future is not going to have very much of a chance."

Moore, a 59-year-old Democrat, and Herrity, a 55-year-old Republican, have been longtime philosophical and personal rivals on the Board of Supervisors. Since they were first elected in 1971, Herrity has been a consistent advocate of rapid expansion and Moore has tried to slow the pace of development. Their sharply divergent views on these high-stakes issues have erupted into an acrimonious debate that will culminate on Election Day Nov. 3.

"While {Herrity} wants to take credit for the good things that have happened, he also has to take credit for other things . . . like bumper-to-bumper traffic," Moore said. "During his watch," she said, the county failed to build the road network and school buildings needed to accommodate the 200,000 new residents who have moved to Fairfax since 1970.

Moore, restating her campaign theme "to bring the county into balance and moderation," said she would "build the largest transportation system possible" while she worked for "some kind of proposal that would phase changes in the development rules and regulations."

When asked for specifics, Moore said she would seek tougher building standards that would force developers to provide more streets, sidewalks and public improvements. She declined to elaborate, saying she would call immediately for a panel of citizens, planners and developers to recommend steps to phase in other measures.

She again said she would support rezoning measures as a way to impede growth. But before she sponsored such a proposal, similar to the one defeated on a 5-to-4 vote last December that would have drastically reduced the amount of office space that could be built on about 10,000 acres around the county, she said she would "bring the developers into the process."

Her aim she said, is to phase in development, not to stop it.

As the first step toward "getting the traffic moving," Moore said she would call a referendum "as early as possible" to ask voters whether the county should sell $150 million in bonds to finance road improvements. That money, along with increased state highway funds, would go to speed the completion of the Springfield Bypass and other priority routes.

Additionally, Moore said Fairfax needs a new "strategic transportation system" plan that would include more mass transit, car pool lanes, and subsidiary roads.

In the 1970s, Moore sponsored several measures to slow the pace of development, including restrictions on the sewage and water systems. When Virginia's courts and General Assembly rebuffed those methods, she turned to voting against rezonings and developments. In the 1980s, she has voted against almost every major development project that has come before the board. For these reasons Moore has little support in the development community, while Herrity's major financial backers are builders and developers.

She made an attempt to allay those fears and the charges of Herrity, who has said her election would shake the confidence investors have in Fairfax County and harm its economy. Moore said she would take no "sudden actions." She added: "People understand that it is not going to be easy, and that it's not going to be done overnight."

No matter who wins, Moore said, the new board will have a public mandate to "change the direction the county has been going." All nine board seats are up for election. If Moore loses the chairman's race, she will be off the board.

"I'm pretty sure that not all the incumbents will be reelected, but if they are, they'll be coming back with a different point of view," she said. This election has given the citizens a voice and "they want moderation, they want balance."

In the past, Moore said, the board has been unresponsive to residents and at times, "irresponsible." The board majority never should have approved massive development projects in the Rte. 28 corridor and near Fair Oaks Mall without insisting on a compatible transportation system, she said.

Just in the Rte. 28 corridor, she said "12 Tysons Corners" or 40 times more office space than the planned road system can handle, could be built under existing zoning rules, she said.

"The problem is that we tried to build the whole county at one time," she said. "The county went to excess."

A recent Washington Post poll found that three-quarters of county voters want to slow development; 42 percent of those voters say the cause of the county's traffic headaches is overdevelopment. Throughout the campaign, Moore has blamed the traffic problems on "damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead" growth.

Moore said she plans no direct broadcast response to Herrity's television ads that attacked her for voting against several major road improvements, including I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road. Since those ads started running, the Republican has cut into the substantial lead Moore held in polls several weeks ago.

Moore acknowledged that she made a mistake when she first voted against I-66 in the 1970s, then voted for a compromise plan. She said Herrity's commercials distorted her record on the other road improvements.

Despite the apparent success of those negative ads, Moore said she would not attack Herrity's record. Her first commercials, scheduled to begin running Sunday, "are going to be positive, and they're going to be factual, and they are going to be on the issues," she said.

She said that one of the commercials will feature former Democratic governor Charles S. Robb, a McLean resident, who has endorsed Moore.

Moore said that Herrity has "altered" his original policy of not accepting money from developers, enabling him to raise far more money and afford more television and radio commercials. After the start of the campaign, Herrity asked developers to raise money for him.

To date, Herrity has raised about $400,000 compared with Moore's $270,000.

Praising the 5,000 contributors who have donated small sums to her campaign, she declared that "I don't think anybody in Fairfax County ever has raised the kind of money we've raised on a grass-roots basis; I don't think it's happened anywhere in this region."

On the issues of day care and affordable housing, Moore said Fairfax needs to provide more supervised facilities for small children as well as more low-cost housing. The Democrat said she believed that every new and renovated school should include day care rooms; existing schools should consider using portable classrooms for children before and after school.

Saying that nonprofit groups and churches "have put the county to shame" with their work with the homeless, Moore said "there was a terrible need" for housing that the county needed to help fill. She said the county should spend more of its money and use more of its land to bring down the cost of rents and homes, which rank among the highest in the nation.

"Nobody wants that kind of housing where they are, but we've got to do something," she said.

Herrity has never been a supporter of low-cost housing, but in recent years, as the large number of families with two working parents have made day care an increasingly important issue, he has become an advocate of expanded day care facilities.