City of Manassas Park

The following was among actions taken at the Feb. 5 meeting of the Manassas Park City Council. For more information, call 335-8800.

REZONING APPROVED -- The City Council unanimously approved a zoning change to allow a mixed-use development project on 37 1/2 acres of a 463-acre tract of former farmland near Buckhall that was annexed from Prince William County almost two years ago. The council's action is the first rezoning approved for any portion of the property.

Manassas Park acquired the land from the county in April 1989 in exchange for several concessions. The city wanted the tract for commercial and residential development to increase the city's tax base and boost population to reverse the declining enrollment in the city's schools.

The zoning change allows a "Planned Unit Development" -- a mixed-use designation for commercial and residential construction -- on the 37 1/2-acre site, which is owned by Lawrence Doll Co., a developer. The rezoning decision included approval of the developer's site plan.

The Doll Co. plans to build 290 town houses and 10 acres of commercial development on the site, with 112 town houses scheduled for the first phase of construction. The company has not yet applied for construction permits.

About 400 acres of the annexed property is owned by Signal Hill Development Co., which hopes to build more than 1,600 single- and multi-family homes and a major retail center, along with a PGA golf course. The company is expected to apply for a rezoning of the land in March.

The remaining acreage belongs to Northern Virginia Properties, also a developer, which is expected to apply for a zoning change for its property later this year.

In exchange for annexing the land from the county, Manassas Park agreed to improve nearby roads to offset increased traffic caused by development, to develop a park in the city that county residents will be allowed to use and to limit the type of development on the property. The city also pledged that it will not seek to annex any more land in the next 25 years and agreed to build a commuter rail station for the Virginia Railway Express service, which is expected to begin operating between Manassas and Washington in October.

City of Manassas

The following were among actions taken at the Feb. 11 meeting of the Manassas City Council. For more information, call 257-8211.

GRANT FOR TROUBLED YOUTHS -- The City Council approved a staff request to apply for a four-year state and federal grant to help the city develop programs for troubled youthS. The grant, which would come from federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act funds, could provide the city a total of $210,000 -- $60,000 a year for three years and $30,000 in the fourth year, when the city would be required to contribute $30,000.

The grant would provide funds for a proposed Sold On Success (S.O.S.) program, designed to combat juvenile crime and other problems by providing help and activities for up to 50 city teenagers, especially those in the Georgetown South neighborhood. The program would target youths in "high-risk" categories: those from low income and/or single-parent homes, and those who are pregnant or who have trouble in school. Fifty percent of the participating teenagers would be minority.

The funds would pay for a full-time administrator to oversee the program or to contract out for such services, and would start new city services -- such as a mentor program, self-help workshops, goal-setting retreats and job referral -- as well as help participants take advantage of existing city services.

The grant application will be submitted this week. The city expects a response in May. If it receives the grant, it become effective July 1.

FIRE AND RESCUE -- The council agreed to share fire and emergency medical services with Prince William County in crisis situations. The mutual-aid agreement allows volunteer and paid fire and rescue departments to assist one another when a situation demands.