COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Fiscal Impact Analysis of North Point Mixed Use Project

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Reconciliation of Developerís Fiscal Impact Figures with Countyís Fiscal Impact Numbers

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Allshouse

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

March 1, 2006

 

ACTION:                                 INFORMATION:   X

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                              INFORMATION:   

 

ATTACHMENTS:      No

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

In December 2002 the Countyís Fiscal Impact Planner produced two fiscal impact analyses of the applicantís proposed North Pointe Development.  In July 2003, the applicantís consultant provided a fiscal impact analysis. The Fiscal Impact Plannerís analysis and applicantís fiscal impact analysis both showed a net positive fiscal benefit to the County. There existed, however, a $719,800 discrepancy between the two analyses, with the applicantís figure higher than the Countyís.  In August 2003, the Fiscal Impact Planner wrote a memorandum examining, and to a certain extent explaining, the origin of the discrepancy.  A copy of these materials was provided by Elaine Echols to the Board at the Boardís February 8, 2006 meeting.  The Board requested that the Fiscal Impact Planner clarify further the origin of the discrepancy between the applicantís report and the Countyís fiscal impact analysis.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Fund County services in a fair, efficient manner and provide needed public facilities and infrastructure.

 

DISCUSSION:

The Fiscal Impact Planner has contacted the applicant requesting the assumptions used in the applicantís fiscal impact analysis.  The applicant recently provided a set of assumptions used in that report.  One challenge in reconciling the applicantís net fiscal impact figure with that of staff is that the two models are structurally different.   As noted in Fiscal Impact Plannerís August 14, 2003 memorandum, for example, with regard to meals tax revenue, the developerís figure of $290,400 diverges substantially from CRIMís estimate of $141,000.  This disparity seems to result from the fact that the applicantís model calculated its estimate using a sales-per-square-foot of restaurant space methodology, whereas CRIM generated its result from the assumption that meals tax revenue comes to roughly $43 per the number of people and jobs created by new development.  If the Board desires, staff could reconcile, item by item, all of the differences in the assumptions between the two models, as the models existed in 2003.  This effort would be quite time consuming.  Staff, alternately, could undertake a completely new fiscal impact analysis using CRIMís most recent assumptions.  This effort, however, likely would produce a net fiscal impact figure that would diverge from the corresponding figure produced by any new analysis that the applicant would undertake.  As previously noted, the applicantís report and the Countyís analysis both project a positive net fiscal impact and this result is not anticipated to change as the result of a new fiscal impact analyses being completed.  The Board might wish to treat the divergent figures found in the two existing fiscal impact analyses as representing the upper and lower bounds of the net fiscal impact of the proposed development.  It should be noted that, if North Pointe is developed in phases, the net impact of the project in a phase could be positive or negative, depending on the relative amount of residential and non-residential development built in that phase.  With regard to the ability of the local retail market to absorb new retail square footage, the Fiscal Impact Plannerís memorandum of July 11, 2003 (which was provided to the Board at the Boardís February 8, 2006 meeting) indicated a ten year capacity of roughly one million square feet, a figure consistent with the number found in the ZHA Retail Market Analysis of January 14, 2006 (which the Board also received at its February 8, 2006 meeting). 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Fiscal impact of this proposed project would be positive according to the Countyís Cost Revenue Impact Model (CRIM).

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board treat the divergent figures found in the two existing fiscal impact analyses as representing the upper and lower bounds of the net fiscal impact of the proposed North Pointe development.

 

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