More than 5 decades, Mr. Hazel harnessed the region’s post-World War II populace boom to develop highways, suburban subdivisions and buying centers, eternally altering the way Washingtonians reside.
Like many actual estate builders, Mr. Hazel was not a general public figure but experienced an tremendous impression. With his crew slash and Virginia drawl, he came throughout to numerous as a charming and affable place squire. But the Harvard-
educated attorney was a deft politician who savored a powerful and lasting affect at the rear of the scenes for decades as Northern Virginia grew to become a participant in governing administration contracting, know-how and higher schooling.
He cultivated highly effective close friends in progress and politics, including Maryland developer Milton V. Peterson, his small business husband or wife for 20 years and Tysons Corner Center developer Ted Lerner. Local power brokers invoked his identify with awe.
“Til Hazel described Northern Virginia,” reported George Johnson, George Mason University’s president from 1978 to 1996. “He imagined it, he brought it about, he led it and at the rear of the scenes did much more making of the group than everyone. He tried out to give it an id.”
1st as a land-use attorney and later on as a developer, Mr. Hazel stamped his imprint on substantially of the region. He argued for the correct to condemn land for the Cash Beltway and went on to establish houses now occupied by
1 in every 10 residents of Fairfax County. He received myriad authorized battles from environmentalists and other growth opponents that reaffirmed house rights and authorized creating to progress.
He was a power at the rear of the increase to prominence of GMU, obtaining land and lobbying for a school of regulation in Arlington, Va., providing revenue and marshaling the support of Northern Virginia’s company local community to nurture the school’s enlargement. To the close, he fought for a 2nd Beltway by Loudoun and Prince William counties that would snake all over Northern Virginia’s outer suburbs into Maryland but was stymied by a lack of funding and political will.
Mr. Hazel attributed his achievements — and considerable fortune — to a eyesight of a long run much eliminated from his childhood plowing the fields of the relatives farm his father acquired in the 1940s in a rural Virginia crossroads termed McLean. Mr. Hazel embodied — and was in large portion accountable for — Fairfax County’s sophistication as a company headquarters, cultural heart and a middle of secure suburban neighborhoods.
“A blind man could see the prospective,” he informed Washingtonian journal in 2001. “Fairfax was the frontier. It was open to tips.”
The rate of achievements was regular confrontation with public officers and activists disaffected by the byproducts of the expansion for which Mr. Hazel had paved the way.
Detractors accused him of ravaging the countryside with quarter-acre loads and cars and trucks trapped in gridlock. In 1988, preservationists stopped him from setting up a shopping shopping mall at the Manassas Nationwide Battlefield Park, a struggle that led the federal federal government to condemn the land.
Mr. Hazel’s mantra was dependable to the conclusion: Developers could boost daily life in a region poised for expansion, even though narrow-minded civic activists (he identified as them “antis”) and government officers usually ruined items. It designed no feeling for regional politicians to erase foreseeable future roadways from setting up maps to satisfy anti-growth activists if the demand from customers for positions and properties was there.
In 1987, Audrey Moore was swept in as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairwoman on an anti-development wave. But she had served as a county supervisor because 1972, when Mr. Hazel was pressing correctly to open watershed regions to drinking water and sewer lines for growth.
“I went up towards him as tricky as I understood how,” Moore recalled. “He was enjoying genuine-existence Monopoly in Fairfax, getting land low-priced and finding it rezoned to the variety of improvement he wanted. I really do not imagine it was favourable.”
John Tilghman Hazel Jr. was born in Washington on Oct. 29, 1930. He grew up in Arlington, in which his father was a surgeon. A grandfather was president of an Arlington lender, and an uncle was the Arlington commonwealth’s lawyer.
After the elder Hazel purchased a farm in McLean with hopes of elevating crops to feed the relatives through the Melancholy, Til would usually bicycle or hitchhike the 8 miles from Arlington just after faculty to plow the fields.
In 1947, he enrolled at Harvard University, where by he done undergraduate and law degrees, and then served a extend in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He returned to Northern Virginia in 1957, taking a position with a law company in Arlington.
Mr. Hazel’s roommate as he crammed for the Virginia bar test was John N. Dalton, the state’s long run Republican governor. The resulting friendship with Dalton and other effective Virginia figures — together with Rep. Stanford E. Parris (R-Va.), with whom he hunted in Alaska — would later on boost his entry and polish his aura of invincibility.
Mr. Hazel was married to Marion “Jinx” Engle for 41 years until eventually her loss of life in 1995. His next wife, the previous Anne Barnett Merrill, whom he married in 1997, died in December.
In addition to his son, of Fredericksburg, Va., survivors incorporate a few youngsters from his 1st marriage, LeighAnn Hazel-Groux and John T. “Jack” Hazel III, both equally of Wide Run, and James W. Hazel of Charlottesville two stepsons, R. Searing Merrill III and William Merrill, each of Tampa 15 grandchildren and five good-grandchildren.
Mr. Hazel’s agency was hired to condemn land for a road that came to be identified as the Cash Beltway. Mr. Hazel argued these scenarios, starting to be an qualified on zoning, acquisition and eminent area.
Then, as Fairfax leaders welcomed advancement, he was the go-to attorney to get land rezoned. In the early 1960s, he served a few a long time as a District Court docket decide in the county and was a lieutenant in the political device of then-Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr. (D-Va.). At the time, the machine’s electricity was held by significant landowners.
Mr. Hazel started out his very own full-time legislation follow in 1966, and, by the early 1970s, he had emerged as the most well known zoning lawyer in Virginia. He represented Lerner, who created Tysons Corner Middle and the Tysons II searching, workplace and resort sophisticated.
All-around this time, Fairfax County governing administration was rocked by zoning scandals. Bribes experienced come to be a way of undertaking organization in lots of quarters in advance of federal and point out authorities cleaned household.
A single of people billed was a point out senator and political boss named Andrew W. Clarke, who hired Mr. Hazel to characterize him. Mr. Hazel argued that his customer really should be excused from trial for very poor health, a defense the commonwealth’s lawyer derided as phony till Clarke died in 1968, shortly following the costs have been dismissed.
The scandals resulted in bribery convictions of three county supervisors and deepened the concerns of quite a few people about the county’s fast progress. By 1971, voters had elected a area board that tried to put the brakes on development. Mr. Hazel, on behalf of developers, fought the politicians at each individual transform. He had tiny problems scoring victories that overturned quite a few constraints on creating and demands that builders set aside affordable housing.
In 1972, Mr. Hazel turned a developer himself, joining forces with Peterson, a difficult-driving developer with a name for striking discounts. The Hazel/Peterson Cos. crafted Burke Centre, a planned neighborhood of 15,000 folks second only to Reston. Other massive projects adopted, together with Franklin Farm in the vicinity of Washington Dulles Global Airport Honest Lakes, a household and place of work sophisticated on 657 acres in western Fairfax and Fairfax Station, a substantial-end subdivision off Route 123.
In 1984, Mr. Hazel grew to become the first Virginia president of the Higher Washington Board of Trade, a leading company team. Four decades later, Hazel/Peterson paid out $11 million for 542 acres in Prince William County.
The strategy was to establish the land into a mixed-use elaborate of homes, workplaces and a procuring mall. The Williams Heart stood on Stuart Hill, the web site of Robert E. Lee’s command through the 2nd Fight of Manassas, in 1862.
Preservationists and civic activists mobilized immediately to help you save the historic Civil War web page. It was a bitter fight, pitting Mr. Hazel’s check out of development in opposition to background buffs, and it drew intercontinental attention. Congress inevitably condemned the house and preserved it as an addition to the nationwide battlefield park. The federal federal government gave Hazel/Peterson an $81 million buyout.
The genuine estate partnership was dissolved in 1991 as a second technology took independent paths. Mr. Hazel returned to working towards regulation, and he and Peterson remained buddies.
In his final decades, dwelling on his 50-acre estate in Fauquier County, Mr. Hazel observed a political local climate ever more turned towards his sights. County boards in Northern Virginia seesawed among nurturing expansion and curtailing it, but the tide experienced turned towards solitary-family members households in distant suburbs. “Sprawl” grew to become a watchword — and not a superior just one — for the empire Mr. Hazel had crafted.
He remained certain that regional leaders experienced no vision for wherever to place new persons and employment. He dismissed the huge town-fashion redevelopment planned for Tysons Corner, stating the Silver Line under design to Dulles would do minimal to minimize street congestion.
Questioned to answer to the criticism that he was among the the region’s largest contributors to suburban sprawl, Mr. Hazel informed The Washington Write-up in 2010: “I manufactured up my head early — greater to be highly regarded than loved. I have generally experienced a essential determination to growth, prosperity and men and women, and the antis are towards all a few.
“I do not make any apologies, I really don’t protect it, if you don’t like it, do not pay attention to me.”