Fairfax City

The following were among actions taken at the Sept. 4 meeting of the Fairfax City Council. For more information, call 385-7855.

LEE HIGHWAY WIDENING -- The Fairfax City Council approved widening from four lanes to six a one-mile stretch of Route 29 and 50 (Lee Highway) from Eaton Place to Draper Drive to ease traffic congestion.

Construction is expected to begin in 1994 after the state acquires the right-of-way, and is expected to cost Fairfax City about $423,000. The federal and state governments will pay the rest of the total cost of the $5.6 million project.

The increasing volume of traffic along Lee Highway, an interjurisdictional east-west highway that cuts through a commercial district in Fairfax City, prompted the project. The portion of the road that will be widened carries up to 40,000 cars per day, and is expected to carry about 50,000 cars per day by 2005.

DOWNTOWN ZONING CHANGE -- The council, in an effort to advance the city's goal of revitalizing its historic downtown district, eased zoning restrictions to allow development of retail stores, restaurants and service businesses in any areas zoned for commercial development within the historic district.

Until now, the city allowed only offices, banks and inns on properties in the historic district that were zoned for "limited" commercial development. Now retail stores, restaurants and service businesses will also be permitted in this zone, with a special use permit approved by the council. Retail, restaurant and service businesses were allowed only in other types of commercial zones in the historic district.

The zoning change was prompted by a developer's informal request at a council meeting earlier this year that the city allow the Moore-McClandish House, a 19th-century structure at 3950 Chain Bridge Rd. that contains offices and is zoned for "limited" commercial development, to be redeveloped for uses other than offices.

City officials said they supported the zoning change in an effort to promote the historic district as a center of activities in the city, draw more pedestrians there and enhance the historic district's economic base -- three goals in the city's long-range comprehensive plan. City officials also are considering a similar zoning change in areas immediately surrounding the historic district to allow retail, restaurant and service businesses on properties currently limited primarily to office use.

Town of Clifton

The following were among actions taken at the Sept. 4 meeting of the Clifton Town Council. For more information, call 631-1081.

CUT-THROUGH TRAFFIC -- The Clifton Town Council, long concerned about the need to decrease or slow traffic in the town, decided to renew efforts to install stop signs at the intersection of Main and School streets, and ask the Fairfax County government to conduct a traffic count in the town.

Town residents have become concerned about the speed and increasing volume of traffic in the town, especially along the two main roads in town, Main Street and Chapel Road. Much of the traffic is caused by out-of-town commuters travelling between Prince William County and the Dulles Airport corridor. "Right now it's hard for an adult to cross the street between six in the morning and six at night in the crosswalks," said Vice Mayor Jim Chisley.

The county police department has been helping the town investigate ways to slow down or decrease traffic, including installation of stop signs and crosswalks. However, the Virginia Department of Transportation rejected a county police department request to install three-way stop signs at the intersection of Main and School streets, a particularly dangerous pedestrian crossing.

The Town Council asked county police to resubmit the request for three-way stop signs at Main and School streets to the department of transportation, modifying the request, if necessary, to two-way stop signs.

In addition, the council voted to request the county to adopt a policy against cut-through traffic in the town, a request that the council hopes will force the county office of transportation to conduct a traffic count of busy streets. The last traffic count was conducted several years ago and, residents believe, does not reflect the current level of traffic.