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1973: Growth and traffic are out of control

Saturday, February 25, 2012 10:59 AM | Deleted user

Nearly 40 years ago, the Dranesville District Supervisor addressed the February 1973 Pimmit Hills Citizens Association meeting. His talk could be given today:

“Supervisor Phillips pointed out that the greatest problem in Fairfax County today is uncontrolled growth and development. He felt that since we do not have the legal means to stop all growth, a no-growth policy which is advocated by some groups in the county is unrealistic, and perhaps even unwise.

He stated, however, that the control of growth and development is essential to the welfare of Fairfax County and that the County Board should strive to determine both the rate and the areas where growth should be permitted. Mr. Phillips feels that transportation problems are also of prime importance.”

Also in the March 1973 Pimmit Hills Dispatch, the PHCA representative to the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations reported on the February 1973 seminar the Federation had on County growth. An excerpt:

“Post World War II growth of the Washington suburbs led to the building of the beltway, and the beltway, in turn, led to much more intense growth and development in the suburbs. This new growth has made the extension of the Metro to the suburbs necessary, and after the Metro is completed it will lead to still more growth and development.

Mr. Hanson warned that election of officials who want to stop growth is not enough since our social, legal, and financial institutions have a momentum of their own which elected officials are powerless to stop.

The only really important constraint to growth is determined citizen opposition, but this usually comes too late, after the land is zoned, after building permits are issued, sometimes after construction has begun. What the County needs is to have condemnation and other legislative powers before things happen. Once development takes place it becomes semi-permanent.

The problem of growth boils down to our ability to man, age growth. In the absence of a national or a state policy, the county must develop a growth policy which must be reviewed annually; and to be effective the policy must involve participation by and dialogue between government officials, concerned citizens and land developers.”

 

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