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Votes

Congress To Block Fairlee?

U.S. Rep. Tom Davis weighs in on development near Vienna Metro.

<bt>U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-11) has long been opposed to the increased density on the Fairlee/Metrowest project. The recently approved change to the comprehensive plan could allow as much as 2,250 housing units, and a combined 400,000 square feet of office and retail space. The proposal is currently going through the rezoning process.

“I think it's just way too intense for this area,” Davis said, during an April 19 meeting at Oakton High School on land use issues.

As part of the plan, Pulte Homes, the developer, must acquire about 3 acres from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Davis, by virtue of being chair of the House Committee on Government Reform, has oversight over Metro, and its funding, he said. Davis said he plans to insert a provision into Metro’s funding bill that would block the transfer of land to the developers at the currently proposed densities.

The bill has not yet been formally proposed, Davis said, and would still need to get through Congress.

Board of Supervisors Chair Gerry Connolly (D-At-large) was unhappy with Davis’ plan. “I believe that local land-use decisions are best made at the locally,” Connolly said. He criticized Davis, saying that elected officials should not use their position to further their own pet projects.

Connolly also raised the issue that this, if approved, could have more regional implications. Congress could insert itself into decisions made in other areas where Metro owns land. “It’s taking advantage of the unique relationship between Congress and metropolitan Washington,” Connolly said.