In an effort to stop the Metro parking crunch from worsening, Fairfax County supervisors approved a plan yesterday that would provide temporary parking during construction of Metro parking lots.
The plan would allow landowners to apply for a permit to rent out spaces on property adjacent to the four subway stations in the county: Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church on the Orange Line, and Huntington on the Yellow Line.
The Metro staff is working on a plan to build additional parking spaces at several suburban stations throughout the area where the shortage has become acute. Though the supervisors are anticipating that the Metro board will adopt a parking plan, the staff has not developed a proposal acceptable to all the local governments.
If the Metro board's plan is approved, Fairfax's plan would allow "private entrepreneurs" to rent out parking spaces by special exception permit on commercially zoned land within 2,000 feet of a station platform in Fairfax, said Supervisor Joseph Alexander (D-Lee), who is chairman of the Metro board and author of yesterday's proposal.
The plan, which was approved with one abstention, also would allow temporary parking on residential land that is planned for commercial development. Chairman-Elect Audrey Moore declined to vote on the proposal, saying she hadn't considered all the information.
"We're exploring all avenues at all stations to look for ways to ease the parking crunch," said Supervisor Kate Hanley (D-Providence).
In the first board meeting since three supervisors were defeated in the Nov. 3 election, the session yesterday seemed business as usual. The newly elected supervisors will be seated in January. Yesterday, Supervisor Nancy Falck (R-Dranesville), who lost her seat to Democrat Lilla Richards, was the only member not in attendance. Falck is out of the country, said outgoing Chairman John F. Herrity (R).
At one point, the supervisors poked fun at the county government's switch to a new $6 million telephone system.
Most Fairfax government telephone numbers changed yesterday, but supervisors and others throughout the county had trouble placing and receiving calls -- problems that officials expected to be remedied.
"What the hell is going on," Herrity bellowed, jokingly asking County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert for a "complete and full report."
Lambert tossed back, "I'll call and check but I can't get a line."
In other matters, county officials and landowners along Rte. 28, who are trying to devise a special tax district that would finance transportation improvements, moved closer to a possible showdown that could jeopardize the future of the financing plan.
Lambert said landowners had presented the county with an inappropriate resolution that seeks to tie their participation in the tax district to agreements that the county cannot or will not make.
"It looks like they're trying to overstuff the turkey," Lambert said.
The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year allowing for the creation of the special tax district to help finance the widening of Rte. 28 between Rte. 7 in Loudoun County and I-66 in Fairfax.
Under the plan, which is scheduled for public hearing before the Fairfax board Monday, developers would pay for 80 percent of the $392 million project and the state would cover the rest.
The supervisors also asked the county staff to study a consultant's report paid for by the Fairfax County NAACP and two labor organizations that raised concerns about persistent job discrimination against minorities in county government.
In addition, the board agreed to provide financial assistance to more than two dozen families, some of whom are elderly and poor, who will be forced from their homes at the Oak Grove Trailer Park along Rte. 1 so the landlord can develop the property.
The board agreed to allot $1,000 per family to help pay for such things as moving, security deposits and trailer appraisal. Supervisors also asked the county staff to study a policy to deal with similar, future occurrences.
Staff writer John Ward Anderson contributed to this report.