The impact of growth on the visual environment has not been discussed much in the Moore-Herrity race for Fairfax County Board chairman, but it should be weighed carefully by the voters.

If John Herrity wants to claim credit for the positive results of the office-building boom of the past 10 years, he should also be held responsible for the negative results, among which I would rate the sheer ugliness of many of the new buildings as the most objectionable. I doubt there is another jurisdiction in the metropolitan area in which the buildings are so diverse in color and form, so helter-skelter in location, and so out of harmony with neighboring buildings and surrounding natural environment.

Order is the principle that distinguishes beauty from ugliness. In architecture, order implies respect for place, a willingness to affirm in mortar and stone the community's sense of identity and cultural style.

The application of this principle is what has made Washington one of the most beautiful cities in the world and makes even little Alexandria a place of harmony and charm. The principle may be applied in a different way and with different results in Fairfax simply by demanding that officials and developers pay due attention to the felicities and amenities of community life -- including a respect for beauty in the human environment -- in planning future growth. MATTHEW P. GALLAGHER Falls Church

As a resident of Fairfax County, I have closely followed the Moore-Herrity race. I find it astonishing that Fairfax County, which boasts one of the highest educational and income levels in the country, could only produce these two candidates.

Oh, we voters have a choice: on one hand we have a no-growth, antibusiness drone, and on the other we have a macho prodevelopment ''good old boy.'' We deserve better choices.

I'd venture to guess most residents want continued growth with a detailed plan for transportation improvements. I hope the next election will produce candidates that accurately represent the county -- professionals who will intelligently lead Fairfax County into the future. Does Audrey Moore or Jack Herrity represent the residents? Not a chance.