Prince William County

The following were among actions taken at the June 5 meeting of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. For more information, call 335-6600.

DAVIS FORD ROAD -- The Board of County Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to build a new $57 million four-lane divided highway rather than widen a heavily congested section of Davis Ford Road from Hoadly Road to Manassas. The board also agreed to acquire enough land to eventually expand the four-lane road to six lanes.

And the board, which heard over two hours of citizen testimony on the matter before the vote, also agreed to make $7 million in safety improvements to Davis Ford Road, a major east-west route through the mid-county area.

The design and property aquisition for the eight-mile road will be funded by $20.2 million in bonds approved by voters in the fall of 1988.

For construction funding, the Supervisors are expected to include a $37 million bond referendum on the November ballot. The proposed road is expected to be completed by 1994.

Opposition to the new roadway was expressed by mid-county residents who alleged that it was not clear to voters in 1988 that the $20.2 million bond referendum was for a new road. The bond referendum called for funds to be used for improvements in the "Davis Ford Road corridor."

The planned roadway will begin at Hoadly Road, travel south of Davis Ford, River Forest and Pine View roads and then gradually turn northwest to rejoin Davis Ford southeast of Manassas at Liberia Road. Construction of the road would displace eight houses.

Supporters of the new road argued that widening Davis Ford Road would have been more costly -- $65.5 million -- and would have displaced 18 homes.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING -- The board voted to establish a nine-member citizens advisory board to help find ways to increase the amount of affordable housing in the county.

Unlike a housing authority, which can establish policy and administer housing programs, the Prince William advisory board will only make recommendations, leaving final decisions to the Supervisors. They are expected to make appointments to the advisory board this summer.

A county citizens task force on affordable housing recommended creating the permanent advisory board.

The county currently defines affordable housing as that which costs no more than 30 percent of a household's monthly gross income.

Currently, about 30 percent of Prince William County households cannot afford to buy an average priced single-family home, now valued at $132,720, according to that report. Rental rates -- now about an average of $680 for a three-bedroomapartment -- are barely affordable to households making less than $25,000, which comprises about 11 percent of the county's households, according to the task force.

The advisory board will be composed of representatives from various communities, such as development, business and housing. Members will serve three-year terms.

Responsibilities of the advisory board will include advising supervisors on zoning and legislative decisions affecting housing; increasing public awareness of housing problems: and encouraging both more business involvement with the issue and more developers to build affordable housing.