Notes From a Crozet Coffee Conversation

Ongoing series continues. A few notes I took that are relevant to Crozet, but don’t necessarily have a topic other than “relevant to Crozet.”

In the context of, ” why can’t Albemarle County control growth”?

  • A few things came up in conversation 
  • Dillon Rule
    • “… Dillon’s rule limits the powers granted to local governments to those expressly granted by the state, implied by the state, or essential to a locality. More importantly, Justice Dillon ruled that if there is any reasonable doubt whether the state has granted a power to a locality, then it has not been granted. Simply put, towns and cities derive their authority from the state. “
    • Albemarle County’s Land Use Law Handbook – a fantastic resource.
    • Adequate Public Facilities legislation
      • A sample, failed bill from 2008.
        • Adequate public facilities. Allows any locality to adopt provisions in its subdivision ordinance for deferring the approval of subdivision plats or site plans when it determines that existing schools, roads, public safety, sewer or water facilities are inadequate to support the proposed development. Such deferrals cannot extend beyond 12 years. A locality may also consider the adequacy of public facilities in the preparation of its zoning ordinance. Amends § 15.2-2242, § 15.2-2280, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »
    • Impact Fees
      • A bill in the 2018 General Assembly
        • Impact fees for residential development. Repeals provisions that limit existing impact fee authority to (i) localities that have established an urban transportation service district and (ii) areas outside of such service districts that are zoned for agricultural use and that are being subdivided for by-right residential development. The effect of the repeal will be to make the existing impact fee provisions available for use by any locality that includes within its comprehensive plan a calculation of the capital costs of public facilities necessary to serve residential uses.
      • Proffers
        • These used to be something somewhat useful to extract some costs to allocate towards paying for growth. Proffers ceased in 2016.
        • If interested, read some of the proffers news at Charlottesville Tomorrow.
        • Read this whole thing from 2016.
          • A new law recently enacted by the Virginia General Assembly, which goes into effect July 1, 2016, will dramatically change the way cities and counties address re-zonings for residential projects.The law, known as Senate Bill 549, was signed by Governor McAuliffe in March.  It restricts both the subject matter and manner in which localities may accept proffers in residential zoning actions.  The new law is causing local governing bodies, such as the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to revamp their policies on proffers – policies that had become fairly objective, even lending some predictability for investors and developers in recent years.
          • What are proffers? Proffers are essentially conditions that apply in a rezoning that are intended to mitigate a new project’s impacts to public infrastructure or facilities. For example, if a new development were projected to increase traffic at a particular intersection, a new traffic signal or lane widening could typically be expected from the developer of that project. Other frequent examples include improvements to schools and fire stations.  Under current law, proffers have been used to help improve local transit, even to promote affordable housing. Proffers can be in the form of direct cash contributions, or physical improvements installed by the developer itself.
        • My opinion:  in many ways, Albemarle County makes the development process onerous, expensive, and way too time consuming for the rezoning/former proffer process. In doing so, many developers go the path of least resistance – by-right – and often, that end result is not what is best for Albemarle.
        • Related story: County development areas attracting growth, but homebuilders see room for more
        • And this: New proffer era has begun for Virginia localities
    • Richmond Sunlight
    • VPAP
      • See who’s giving our elected representatives money, and a whole lot more information.

The Series

  1. The Beginning – A Conversation with a friend over coffee
  2. Prologue – Support local journalists & journalism
  3. How Much Money for Infrastructure Has Crozet Gotten?
  4. Crozet Population Numbers Keep Growing
  5. Crozet Acronyms – What do They Mean?
  6. Crozet Water Supply
  7. Notes from a Crozet Coffee Conversation
  8. Ongoing Crozet Projects of Note
  9. Getting Involved in Crozet – Where to Start?
  10. … I don’t yet know …
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