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The Fight for Fairfax presents the story of a group of local citizens in Fairfax County, Virginia, and their efforts over the past half-century to invent a place that would be more than simply a Washington, D.C., suburb. Told from the group’s point of view, the book chronicles their vision of Fairfax and the steps they took to bring it to life. The group faced many opponents, including populist politicians and anti-growth forces, and this book examines those clashes as part of the overall story.
The Fairfax pro-development group—a zoning attorney, a university president, two defense contractors, a homebuilder and several county officials, real estate developers, and engineers—believed their work would transform Fairfax’s rural landscape into what might be called the cradle of the Information Age. And indeed, Fairfax has become a vibrant economic hub that boasts of modern industries, high-paying jobs, superior public schools, a multicultural workforce, and abundant open spaces. In making the case for these architects of change, the author, who extensively researched the subject and conducted numerous interviews with key players, produces an eloquent account that must be considered by all—those who agree with and even those who question the development.
The Fight for Fairfax will appeal to a diverse audience, including local Virginia history buffs and scholars and those with an interest in business history, especially in terms of the challenges and opportunities that are often linked to growth and change.
Distributed for George Mason University Press
George Mason University
Preface Joel Garreau vii
Chapter 1 The Great Migration 1
Chapter 2 Crossroads of Change 27
Chapter 3 Closed for Business 57
Chapter 4 Land Use by Litigation 99
Photo Section Past to Present to Future Vision 127
Chapter 5 A Blue Ribbon Resolution 159
Chapter 6 Uniting For Change 195
Chapter 7 From Recession to Renaissance 229
Chapter 8 Nexus of Prosperity 261
Chapter Endnotes 289
List of Illustrations: Sources and Credits 300