COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Proffer Management Program

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Report on Work Underway and Completed to Confirm Compliance with Zoning Proffers Made to the County

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, McCulley, Shepherd, Baldwin

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

January 3, 2007

 

ACTION:                                  INFORMATION:    X

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                                INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:      Yes

 

REVIEWED BY:

 


 

BACKGROUND:

In recent meetings, the Board has inquired about the status of proffer compliance.  The purpose of this report is to provide information about the growth as well as the future direction of the proffer management program.  This will include a description of the proffer tracking database tool.  In addition, staff has identified a number of public improvements that were made possible by proffers (see Attachment).  Finally, staff will report on proffers that are in default with the plan to bring those into compliance.

 

Since 1969, the Board of Supervisors has approved 400 rezonings or amended prior rezonings.  Of these, 237 rezonings were subject to proffers.  These proffers typically include limits on density, uses and specific improvements to the site.  In 1990, the General Assembly enabled the County to accept cash proffers to offset the impacts of development through rezoning.  Since that date, the Board has approved 200 rezonings, 163 of which included proffers (several of these are amendments to rezonings).  Of the proffered rezonings, 30 were approved with the acceptance of cash proffers.  Preliminary information from the Finance Department shows that $2,585,285 in cash proffers have been collected since 1997.

 

Proffer management from 1969 to 2004

Compliance with proffers and conditions of rezonings has been achieved in a variety of ways through the efforts of planning, zoning, finance, the county attorney’s office and county executive staff. These efforts, which continue today, include the following:

·              Use limitations were enforced each time ownership or use of a property changed through the review and approval of a zoning compliance clearance. 

·              Site improvements and other obligations required by proffers or conditions were enforced during review of site plans and subdivisions. These include the verification of the payment of proffers in addition to the provision of such things as landscaped buffers, turn and taper lanes, reservations for future roads, greenways and the like.

·              Staff responsible for CIP projects and budgeting were aware of available proffer money.

·              The Finance Department has had an active role in managing the financial records for cash proffers.

 

Progress since 2004

As the scope of proffers grew more complex (from 1 page documents to upwards of 100 pages where rezonings included codes of development), the proffer coordination and management became increasingly challenging. In response, the Board funded the new Proffer Planner position filled by Sarah Baldwin in September, 2004.  Since the Proffer Planner position was filled, the County has collected almost $1.5 million in cash proffers.  With this new position, staff has been building an effective proffer management program which other localities are now duplicating.  The program consists of several components to assure proffer accountability that (1) enables staff and the public to reliably determine whether a property is proffered; (2) allows staff and other stakeholders to quickly review the proffers and their status; and (3) provides various reporting mechanisms.  Specific elements of the program include the following:

 

·              A Proffer Tracking Database has been constructed and is accessible to appropriate County staff (“stakeholders”) (see Attachment B).  The database is a primary tool to track proffer compliance.  It contains a direct link to the rezoning documents and lists all proffers in an abbreviated form, their type, status, stakeholders and triggers (# units, date, etc.).

o        Proffers can be searched by various fields such as project name, proffer category (schools, parks, transportation, etc.) date due and the like.

o        It is a work-in-progress that will link to other systems in the County such as City View, CAMA and the performance bond database.  A later link to Great Plains (a comprehensive financial management system expected to be fully implemented in 2007) will provide an essential link to finances, including tracking revenues and expenditures.

o        Once the data is stable throughout the system, we can provide reports on any proffer information. 

 

·              Standard operating procedures are being developed with each stakeholder to assure sound management of the proffer compliance program. The SOPs will clearly establish roles and procedures for implementing proffers.  (See attachment for list of stakeholders.)

·              Proffered properties are identified within the City View tracking system.  In addition, through the interface with the Proffer Tracking Database, reviewers are alerted to critical dates, triggers (such as payments due based on a certain date or number of units or lots) or proffers in default.  (See attachment for screen views from the database.)

·              All proffered parcels are now delineated on the official tax map as required by State Code. This information will be available to the public in the near future when the GIS system is web-enabled.

·              All proffers accepted in conjunction with an approved rezoning are scanned and viewable through the County website.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 3:  Develop Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs

 

DISCUSSION:

The background information explains the tools and procedures by which Zoning and the various stakeholders are assuring proffer compliance. A copy of the 2005 proffer report is attached to illustrate the current reporting used. (Attachment D & E) In addition to assuring that money, land dedications and improvements are provided as stated within the proffers, stakeholders are working to confirm that proffers are implemented (the money or land is used for the intended purpose).  This remains a work-in-progress as procedures and responsibilities are refined over time.  Staff is working towards a reporting mechanism which will list specific projects completed for the dollars or land received. 

 

Summary of Proffers in Default

A proffer status can change rapidly as evidenced by the fact that several which were listed in this draft report as being in default have since been satisfied.  Staff is in the process of confirming payment for two cash proffers (Grayrock and Greenbrier Office Park) at the time of this writing.  Other than those, staff’s review indicates that all cash proffers that are due have been paid.  Previously proffered greenways have proven problematic to enforce and remain the one area where non-compliance is a problem.  Staff is addressing these issues with new development proffers by asking that dedication be sooner and be tied to a subsequent approval, such as a subdivision plat.  The older proffered developments, where the homeowners now control the open space, remain a difficult issue because staff must work with a homeowners’ association rather than the developer.  Staff has also found that some proffered greenway areas are not practical due to terrain or other features.  There are seven proffered greenways that have been requested but to-date are not yet dedicated.  The owners have been notified that progress is required by a date certain or the County will begin enforcement proceedings.  These outstanding greenways include:  River Heights, Waylands Grant, Grayrock, Westhall, Cory Farms, Glenmore and Young America.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

No additional funding is being requested at this time.  Staff believes the County will see increasing amounts of money, land and improvements being received through the proffer program in future years and this will improve the cost to benefit of the current proffer management system.   

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

This information is provided for Board information and no action is required.  Staff will work toward the development of a regular summary report for the Board on the status of County proffers.  At that time, staff would welcome input on how to make this report as useful and informative as possible.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A-Examples of Projects Made Possible By Proffers;
B-Stakeholders List;
C-Proffer Tracking Database Sample Screens

D- 2005 Proffer Report to State, Summary

E- 2005 Proffer Report to State, Details

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