Fairfax County

The following was among actions taken by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its Oct. 26 special meeting. For more information, call 691-3187.

TOWN HOUSE PARKING -- In its last meeting before the Nov. 3 election, the board unanimously approved a controversial measure to increase by 15 percent the number of parking spaces required at new town house developments.

However, in a concession to developers, the board voted to allow spaces in garages to count towards the increased parking requirement.

The ordinance, opposed by the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, requires developers to build 2.3 parking spaces for each new town house instead of the two spaces presently required.

At the urging of developers, the board decided to allow all spaces inside private garages to count toward the required parking allotment, instead of counting each garage space as only 75 percent of a parking space as recommended by the county planning staff and supported bySupervisor Audrey Moore (D-Annandale).

Robert Moore, chief of the county's transportation planning section, said the increase was necessary because the number of cars in Fairfax County is increasing faster than the number of houses. Requiring 2.3 spaces per unit would give 95 percent of new town house developments adequate parking.

He said 25 percent of garage spaces should not be counted because some people use them for storage, not parking. But Supervisor Farrell Egge (R--Mount Vernon) said the 25 percent figure was "just a guess."

Supervisor Thomas Davis (R-Mason), who proposed the higher standards, told the board "I've personally gotten a lot of complaints from town house developments where 2.0 is just not cutting it."

William Peacock, resident of the Kingsberry town house development in Annandale, said at the meeting, "We've had (parking) problems like you would not believe. . . . The problem has been such that we've had some scuffles."

The ordinance change would not affect existing developments.

Opposing the change, Building Industry Association president-elect Ray Smith said the proposed standard would mean many developments would have far more parking spaces than needed.

"You're going to have unused parking spaces that could be landscaping and that are going to raise the cost of housing," he said. "Trees are prettier than asphalt, if asphalt is not needed."

A county survey of 29 town house developments showed there were none that had more than 2.2 cars per unit, Smith argued.

Supervisors were sharply divided on the issue.

Supervisor Martha Pennino (D-Centreville) proposed a smaller increase in parking standards, at least for Reston, where she said citizens "were not complaining." But her motion to require 2.2 spaces per town house and to count entire garage spaces failed for lack of a second.

The town house parking ordinance is one of series of changes in parking ordinances, most of which will be heard when the board meets early next year. Other possible revisions include: changing parking requirements for shopping centers, office buildings, banks and fast-food restaurants. reducing the size of parking spaces to reflect today's smaller cars. allowing developers to build fewer parking spaces near Metro stations.

Town of Vienna

The following were among actions taken by the Vienna Town Council at its Oct. 19 meeting. For more information, call 255-6300.

TOWN BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENTS -- The council unanimously approved preliminary recommendations for areas to be included in proposed boundary adjustments with Fairfax County. Town and county planning staffs will now discuss the proposals, and eventually take them to a joint public hearing of the council and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Final approval of any changes is expected to take several years.

Most of the proposed changes affect small parcels in residential areas, but the town also wants to take over Virginia Center, a site proposed for an office, apartment and retail complex near the Vienna Metro Station.

According to town spokesman Marie Kisner, the purpose of most of the changes is to even out the town's boundaries, because some parts of town cannot be reached by road without passing through the county. Virginia Center is also expected to be a good source of tax revenue. The town has contemplated adjusting boundaries for more than 10 years, she said, but this is the first time the council has approved any specific recommendations.

ZONING CODE CHANGE -- The council unanimously voted to prohibit new doctors' and dentists' offices in areas zoned for multi-family houses. The original zoning code was intended to permit individual doctors or dentists to have medical offices in apartments and town house communities, town officials said, but some interpreted to allow entire medical office buildings to be built, so the council was prompted to change it.

TAX REFUNDS -- The council unanimously voted to pay interest on business license and real estate tax refunds resulting from errors by the town.