Fairfax County might soon breathe life into historic homes that have fallen into disrepair. If an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors last month becomes law, the county will be one step closer to establishing a resident curator program.
The program, which would be the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia, allows individuals or groups to occupy publicly owned historic properties rent-free in exchange repairs and maintenance.
“It…limits our liability because some of the properties are empty and therefore invitations to vandalism.”
— Judy Pedersen, Fairfax County Park Authority
“It allows us to preserve historic resources and limits our liability because some of the properties are empty and therefore invitations to vandalism,” said Judy Pedersen, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Park Authority. She added that the program would also transfer financial responsibility to the curator, saving taxpayers money.
Earlier this year, the county commissioned a study to explore the idea, taking in to consideration factors such as the types of properties that would be eligible, whether to allow commercial use and criteria for selecting curators.
Pederson said the county needs $241,000 and a project manager in order to start the program “But we’re on track and things are moving forward,” she said.
— Marilyn Campbell