Some residents in Fairfax County are pushing for a new tax that would force developers to pay for transportation improvements.
Two years ago, developer J.B.G. Rosenfeld constructed a new Wal-Mart at Kings Crossing, a traffic-clogged stretch of Richmond Highway. The property did not need to be rezoned, so no public hearings were conducted and county officials were unable to force the developer to construct a new turn lane. That's only added to problems on Richmond Highway.
"It is imperative that we do have a more balanced system to spur growth and have a way to mitigate things that can degrade the quality of life here," says Jim Davis, a Sulgrave Manor resident.
Davis and others believe it's time to create a new transportation-impact fee, so that when developers come forward with a by-right development like the Kings Crossing Wal-Mart, Fairfax County can charge for a new turn lane.
Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation David Versel says many developers would likely be against the proposal.
"I would have to believe they would not support paying an impact fee they currently don't have to pay," says Versel. "But, you know, maybe there's another business that wants to see traffic improved, and maybe they would support it."
So far, county officials have resisted the idea, but some residents along the Route 1 corridor say it's time for developers to pay the price of gridlock.