The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session, meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, September 18, 2007, at 4:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members attending were Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Marcia Joseph, Chairman; Duane Zobrist, Bill Edgerton and Jon Cannon. Mr. Cannon arrived at 4:15 p.m. Absent were Eric Strucko and Pete Craddock. Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent.
Other officials present were Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. Mr. Kamptner arrived at 4:20 p.m.
Ms. Joseph called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. and established a quorum.
The Planning Commission took a break at 7:26 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 7:41 p.m.
Public Hearing Items:
CPA-2007-00004 Proffer Policy
Amend the Growth Management and Facilities Planning Sections of the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan Chapter, and other appropriate sections as necessary, to incorporate expectations for addressing the fiscal impacts of development on the County's public facilities and infrastructure and to adopt a policy to address the impacts on schools, public safety, libraries, parks and transportation (the "public facilities") caused by residential development resulting from a rezoning through a voluntary cash contribution proffered by the landowner seeking the rezoning (the "cash proffer policy"). The cash proffer policy establishes general guidelines, the methodology for calculating the cost of the impact each new dwelling unit has on the public facilities, and the maximum cash proffer that will be accepted for various types of dwelling units. (Wayne Cilimberg)
Mr. Cilimberg summarized the staff report.
· The Planning Commission is very familiar with the history of the consideration of proffers. On a number of occasions in the past the Commission has expressed frustration over how to best address the impact of development on capital facilities through the proffer process. The Board as well was really struggling, particularly in the past several years with how to best address those impacts. The Board dealt with them on a case by case basis with some reliance on what they had done in the past. There has been some increase in of the cash proffer amounts in projects over v last several years. But, it was not based on a set of standards. The closest they came to discussing impacts was through the fiscal impact analysis that came with rezoning considerations. Potentially the fiscal impact analysis could have been a way to determine the cash proffer needs on a project by project basis. But, it really does not establish a standard. The Board seemed to be more interested in establishing a standard for the amount of cash per type of dwelling unit that would be provided as a starting point at least for the expected proffer that would address the impact of residential development.
· The Board made the decision to have the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee go through a process of identifying what the best approach would be in calculating a cash proffer amount based on impacts. At the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee level, over a number of meetings with Steve Allshouse, staff representative, and Mr. Strucko, Planning Commission representative, it was decided that the proffers should be applied to residential development as most are in Virginia and not apply to commercial development. Commercial development in and of itself usually from the standpoint of a balance sheet is providing more in revenue than it is requiring in expenditure. Also, it is with the understanding that in most commercial development projects they are getting proffers that are addressing the actual aspect of that project through improvements to capital facilities, such as major road upgrades and transportation system type of proffers. The proffered amount would focus on residential use only and look at five areas of the capital facility provision, which were Parks and Rec, public safety, libraries, transportation and schools. The calculations that were developed through the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee were to determine how the residential development by dwelling unit type related to the impacts of residential development on each of those capital facility types. They judged the costs associated with anticipated development based on the capital improvements program and the capital needs assessment, which takes us out 10 years in terms of identifying capital facilities.
· The cost out process led the Fiscal Impact Committee to make a recommendation to the Board of a particular per unit amount by dwelling unit type. Attachment A on page 2, which is the executive summary that went to the Board on May 2, the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee’s recommendation, was for certain dollar amounts per dwelling unit type. In this calculation there was an assumption that 10 percent of the future costs would be vetted and would be considered to be covered out of revenues received by the County as general revenues. The Board had an extended discussion when that was delivered to them as to giving any kind of credit towards impact from general revenues. Several Board members wanted it to be 0 percent, which would have meant 100 percent of the cost that had been calculated would be recovered in these per unit amounts. Ultimately, the Board decided that they would give a 6 percent credit. That was based on what the current debt level for the County is in terms of its standard it uses for indebtedness, 6 percent of revenue.
· The actual dollar amounts seen in the policy ended up being somewhat higher than the ones shown on page 2 of the executive summary because there was a lesser percentage being discounted off of the actual costs. The other decision the Board made was not to include mobile homes because traditionally and typically mobile homes are a type of affordable housing when they are provided. The items before the Commission tonight attempt to address the incorporation of cash proffer policy into the Comprehensive Plan both with language in the plan as well as an appendix to the Comprehensive Plan, which would be the actual policy document itself. It addresses why they need to recover the impacts to help pay for facilities and to be expected for participation of different sources in recovering impacts and costs of capital facilities. It is Attachment E. Attachment D covers the language that would be included in the appropriate sections of the Comprehensive Plan. It makes reference to responsibilities for paying for the cost of growth. There is an amendment under the growth management section on page 8 of Attachment D. There is also a section on page 10 under facilities planning in Attachment D. Attachment E covers the actual policy itself, which is referenced out of the main Comp Plan document. This is an adaptation of some earlier policy considerations that the Board had in its work sessions.
· The policy in the beginning makes reference to what is covered, how it meets the test and is authorized under the Virginia Code. It goes over what the policy is in requiring residential development to pay for its proportional share. Section B speaks to the dollar amounts per dwelling unit type that would be expected. It also talks about the annual adjustment that would be computed to increase these amounts each year. In Section C it describes how the per unit cash proffer amount was calculated and would be calculated in the future. Periodically this will need to be revisited.
· On page 3 of Attachment E there is a section on credits. This is a section to note. While there is a calculated cash impact for projects based on residential unit types, there are credits that are allowed against that impact that can reduce the actual dollar amounts per unit that get paid. The first credit is for the provision of affordable housing that meets the County Affordable Housing Policy. If it is actually provided for on site as part of the development the developer would get a credit for those units. There is also the potential of providing land and public infrastructure that meets the needs of the capital assessment. If there is a school site, as an example, that is anticipated in the CIP, the capital needs or the master planning for particular areas that school site, if provided in a project, can be credited against the impact calculated for the project in determining how much cash the project will provide per unit. There is a way set out to determine the value for land and infrastructure being provided. It can not exceed what the development’s calculated impact is. There is an occasional possibility of operational expenses that might be allowed, such as public transit eliminating the need for planned road improvements. That could be a credit. Where there is a very minimal increase or no increase in density being proposed to an infill development where existing dwellings are in place there is a possibility for credits where there is substantial upgrade to design and development standards. This could possibly be taking something that could happen by right and having it instead developed in more of a Neighborhood Model approach.
· In summary, the section on credits explains what can be potentially considered. Outside of the cash that is expected and the affordable housing credit the rest of the potential credits need to be determined on a case by case basis with each project. That is all set out in this section. There is timing for the contribution as well in Section D and how they will expend the money as a County. The result is intended to create a standard that can be used where expectations are clear for the County, the staff and the developers as to what should be provided in each project. It is the starting point for an evaluation of a project in terms of its impacts. It is understood by the Board that there are going to be other considerations that also need to be weighed in on each project’s case. As an example, the Biscuit Run project among its different proffers actually proffered over 400 acres for a park. That was not in any plan for either the capital needs assessment or capital improvements plan. But, the Commission and Board felt that it was an important enough opportunity in that particular area that it should be considered as having a value to the County that could be an offset against the cash expected to address impacts in that particular project.
· What is before the Commission tonight is 2 recommendations that identify responsibilities for the provision of public facilities and infrastructure and implement expectations for the residential component of new development to address their particular public infrastructure impacts as part of the rezoning process. To address the long standing concern to get to this point and the Board of Supervisors resolution of intent, staff recommends approval of these amendments to the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Morris asked if the monies coming from the various proffers would be applied to projects within the area where the zoning change is taking place.
Mr. Cilimberg replied for strictly cash a determination on what the impacts would be are covered under the calculation section where they talked about how they are geographically addressed. Transportation tends to be in a particular area. The idea would be the impacts are being created there and monies would theoretically be going to projects in that area. Some of these facilities may be more generally needed in the County because there may be one or two of the facilities serving a very large area. Therefore, it would depend on the circumstances. They have had the case so far that in some projects the applicants have specified where the cash should go. In so doing if they list particular projects staff has gotten them to also have in there allowances as a “kick out” saying that if it is not used on those particular projects that the monies can be used more generally in a geographical area associated with the project. But, in its cleanest form this cash proffer policy would be on a per unit basis and there would be no targeting of the proffers by the applicant in their proffer. The decision will be made by the County based on accumulating the cash for that particular project and others. It is going to come in on a per unit basis so it is going to be extended over time. By the time the money accumulates if they are waiting to accumulate the monies for a particular use in a certain location it may be many years out. One of the things they note in the Comp Plan Amendment is that one way of utilizing resources is to consider debt service. One thing about the cash proffer flow is that it can be tied to servicing debt rather than letting it accumulate and paying it in a lump sum at some later point in time if they are trying to get a project started earlier.
Mr. Strucko pointed out that the Fiscal Impact Committee went through a series of debates. There was not complete unanimity on some of these things. What came out of the committee was the best consensus that they could pull together. Some of the discussions and debates centered around what Mr. Morris just asked on whether the proffer dollars should be regionalized or localized to just the area of the particular development that the proffers would apply to, or would it be considered on a County wide basis. They looked at the financial impacts of that. What if a development is proposed in an elementary school district that school is currently at a 110 percent capacity? That would have a different fiscal impact than a development that was in a school district that was at a 70 percent capacity. So what the committee did was to take a County wide view of things. There are several remedies to that particular example he gave such as redistricting. As they went back and forth on the committee debating these issues they felt that a County wide approach was best. The committee debated the difference between residential development and commercial development. There were some on the committee that felt that commercial development may have a significant financial impact on the community that is not readily recoverable through taxes. Major shopping centers generate significant traffic. If those shopping centers are designed to bring in customers from outside of Albemarle County, then that would have a greater impact on a community than perhaps the taxes that the County receives from that development. In the end they all acknowledged that residential development certainly was the driver of additional costs to the community. Again, the committee came to a consensus
that focused on residential development in what is before the Commission today. In Attachment D on page 8 he assumed that the bold italics were the additional language. The concept of a cash proffer is represented by the phrase at the very end, “funding commitments from new developments.”
Mr. Cilimberg replied that was correct among other things.
Mr. Strucko said the concept of a cash proffer was represented by the phrase at the very end, “funding commitments from new development.”
Mr. Cilimberg agreed among other things. That is because it can be used in the cash flow and the needs.
Mr. Strucko said that another subject that received substantial discussion was debt issuance versus collecting cash and covering the cost immediately. Mr. Cilimberg was always very vocal with noting that road projects would cost a lot more than any one potentially small development could generate in proffers and there needs to be an accumulation of cash over a period of time before they reach a critical mass so that the road could actually be built. So it may take years of collecting that cash. A way of doing it in lieu is to finance that debt through proffers over time and get the thing built if the applicant was unwilling to actually build the road or contribute capital outlay. He noted that he had a question on credits, which was on page 4, letter c. He articulated what he hoped this was not. Is this a credit for adopting a Neighborhood Model zoning. The one concern he has is if they are potentially giving credit for applicant’s coming for rezoning to adopt the Neighborhood Model Model District.
Mr. Cilimberg replied that this was intended to address a rezoning similar to Belvedere where they were not having an increase in the potential density of the project. It is about the design. It is to improve what could otherwise be done by right. It is not a set credit. It is an optional consideration and a possible consideration during the rezoning review.
Mr. Strucko said that in the past he has been critical of applicants attempting to proffer Neighborhood Model design. That is what he is concerned with here. He thought that the whole point of the Neighborhood Model design was to actually see an increase in density, but follow a form that made the community livable that could utilize the designated growth area land efficiently. To adopt the Neighborhood Model without necessarily an increase in density was something that he was not sure if he would allow credit for.
Mr. Cannon asked if the concern here was as follows. They have a zoning designation that allows a certain density and they want to operate it in a more flexible productive appropriate zoning category that basically allows the same density. They need proffers to get from one to the other. There is some disincentive to adopt the more useful or appropriate form. So they don’t want to produce a disincentive in the system to keep people from doing that. There is a balance here. They should not give credit for the Neighborhood Model. But, it is important to recognize when there may be disincentives generated by the proffer policy that is something that they would like to avoid as a matter of policy.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that section E gets into the design and the development, such as Neighborhood Model and LEED, etc. where there may be a consideration given for credit in pre-existing lot yield with some increase in density. But, again these were to be considered on a case by case basis.
Ms. Joseph asked to go back to Mr. Morris’ question about having the money go into a general fund. If there are proffers that are spelled out for transportation that directly affects this particular proposed development, those monies will stay in that area to deal with whatever transportation issues have been addressed.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that as an example, in Biscuit Run they listed a number of transportation projects for which the money could be used. They put language in their proffer that said if not used in those areas it had to be used for transportation projects in the southern development area, Neighborhoods IV and V. It is geographically specific in that case. Staff has had a lot of discussions on this and is more interested in seeing if they are going to be giving per unit cash that would be put into a fund to be used for projects as identified under the policy. On Page 2 under 3c Transportation it says, “with respect to transportation the fiscal impact of rezoning requests will be analsized on a County wide basis with cash collected from a rezoning and spent on transportation projects in the County’s Comp Plan, associated Master Plans and so forth that relates to the impacts resulting from the rezoning.”
Ms. Joseph said that it would be targeted. They heard a lot about transportation issues with Biscuit Run and she would hate to think that people would not get those improvements that they thought were going to be done.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that in that case those were specifically spelled out anyway.
Mr. Strucko asked how this will work with these funds going into a general fund. He remembered discussion by the committee on whether these funds stay earmarked in perpetuity until the particular project or something is built or do they just simply rely on the discretion of the elected officials at the time as to where the money gets spent.
Mr. Cilimberg said that it goes into the proffer fund associated with capital projects. It gets spent according to this policy. In the case of transportation it will be spent for projects with impacts resulting from the rezoning. If they have one project in the eastern urban area, one in the southern urban area and one in the northern urban area each proffering money for the transportation component of those projects, the policy says that money as it is collected needs to be spent on projects that are associated with that rezoning. In other words, the money would be spent for projects in that area of each one of those approvals.
Mr. Strucko questioned how the accounting will work.
Mr. Cilimberg said that is a challenge. He suggested that Mr. Graham could address that. Staff has told the Board that there is a real administration to proffers. There is going to be a cost to the County actually.
Mr. Strucko said that the real upfront work of determining what the per unit dollar amounts were depending on the type of unit were based upon projects already enumerated in the CIP. The onerous was on the Board of Supervisors ultimately to ensure that the CIP was comprehensive and had everything that the County needed to accommodate what was going on at the time. When cash proffers were collected they were not earmarked as specific things. There was so much for transportation, schools and parks and rec. The $17,500 for a single-family detached unit would be given to the Board to spend it on whatever they think needs to happen. That is not what is happening here. Those dollar amounts are designated for specific needs based upon what is in the CIP at the time.
Mr. Cilimberg said that for schools and transportation the money is going for projects in the area so to speak. The other can be used anywhere.
Mark Graham noted that staff is working on this issue right now. That part of the policy is not set. The recommendation that is going to come forward is this will have to tie into the CIP process. It is part of the annual approval of the CIP. The CIP Technical Review Committee will be looking at what they receive in cash proffers, what the demands are in the CIP or capital needs assessment and decide where they need to allocate it. Some of that money will be spent very quickly. Some of that money could be ear marked for a future project that may be 8 years down the road. It is going to take a lot of situation by situation analysis.
Mr. Zobrist said that under the State law there were some limitations in terms of the impacts that are being occasioned by the development. He asked for Mr. Kamptner’s input.
Mr. Kamptner said that under the enabling authority they are currently operating under they have a little more latitude. There still needs to be some type of connection, but the express connection Mr. Zobrist was referring to was in the old enabling authority and does not exist now. The conditions just need to be reasonable. They look at that under more of an exaction standard that is a little looser than the statutory standard that they previously had.
Mr. Zobrist suggested that they use more general language than specific language. The County is heavily monitored by people who watch what they do. The last thing that they want would be that the people on Old Lynchburg Road come in and say that part of that money for transportation was imposed with a constructive trust for Old Lynchburg Road and the County better spend it down there. He felt that they have the ability to have their options open wider than maybe where they are going. He would not be any more specific than what State law allows.
Mr. Graham said that they are a little more specific. He would refer them to the October 3 Board agenda. It is on the consent agenda. There is a report on proffers collected and how they were expended. Staff gets fairly specific on what money went to what project.
Mr. Zobrist said that his point was that when Biscuit Run makes a proffer of 1.5 million dollars for transportation that money is imposed with a constructive trust and can only be used there if they accept the proffer.
Mr. Graham noted that if the almost all of the proffers have a “kick out” clause at the end that allows the cash to be used for other uses as determined appropriate.
Mr. Kamptner noted that at least for the transportation related cash proffers the General Assembly made a change a couple of years ago. It provides regardless of the date that the cash was received if it was received for a transportation improvement, the locality can use it for any transportation project in its CIP.
Mr. Strucko noted that money was ear marked.
Mr. Graham agreed that the money was ear marked, but there is some flexibility. For example, they might have collected a million and a half dollars, but if it is a 20 million dollar project and the other funding for the project is not in the foreseeable future and the impacts area was still occurring, they may want to shift how that money would be used to address transportation impacts on that project.
Mr. Strucko voiced concern because they don’t know how much of the $17,500 from each unit would go to transportation from each unit.
Ms. Joseph said that this “may be stuff” made her a little uneasy. She asked if the County decides that Berkmar Extended has to happen and decides to build that with the proffer funds how could that be justified to benefits those citizens around Biscuit Run.
Mr. Strucko noted that it depends on the elected officials.
Mr. Cannon said that the proffers are based on an average cost or an average impact of new development wherever it occurs. Conceptually it is not linked specifically to any development in any particular place. It is a general level of contribution by the developer designed on average to take care of at least some of the significant external costs that the development is likely to pose on the community. Given that concept there is no reason to ear mark it to a particular project or development. It is used generally to develop infrastructure needed by the community for all of the development that is taking place within it.
Mr. Graham noted that in other localities that was a decision that was made. Other localities have done it differently. Chesterfield, for example, divided their county into 2 transportation districts. The cash proffer money stays within that transportation district and they don’t shift it from one to the other. They have chosen not to do so and have one district for the entire county.
Mr. Strucko said that when the Fiscal Impact Committee started looking at other jurisdictions they saw that different localities all did it in different ways. Hanover dedicated 2/3 of the proffer money to schools. That was a decision they made. They had nothing for parks and rec. Fairfax County had the most comprehensive list. They gave 42 percent to schools and 10 percent to parks and rec. Affordable housing was only in Fairfax County. They came up with policies to allocate these monies. He thought that was made by the decision making body or ultimately their elected representatives or the Board of Supervisors here. When they looked at an average across the whole community the point was to give lead way to those decision makers to accommodate the changing circumstances in the community. If a critical road need or a bridge need pops up somewhere they can go into the general proffer cash and dedicate resources for it. When they looked at specific areas and specific zones it became very problematic in terms of accounting and calculating need. Legally if he was a developer and the County said that he had to proffer money for a specific school he would suggest that they redistrict. He would note that was the remedy and ask why they are charging cash.
Ms. Joseph questioned why they do traffic impact analysis if they already have these projects in the CIP.
Mr. Cilimberg said that there are a whole set of transportation system improvements that can be related to development proposals that are not covered under the CIP or capital needs assessments. VDOT does those with impacts to the whole system. Calculations are done based on capital needs and capital improvements projects. The traffic study gives a bigger picture of the overall needs.
Ms. Joseph asked if the Commission would be reviewing rezoning requests differently.
Mr. Graham replied that staff had hoped that it would simplify rezoning reviews, but it seemed to make it more complicated.
Mr. Strucko noted that there was a lot of discretion as seen in the Biscuit Run Park.
Mr. Cilimberg said that it has given us a starting point. It may be a range and dwelling unit types might not be decided, but potential credits are outlined. In its simplest form it provides the per unit amount as the policy was laid out.
Mr. Morris said that at least they have a solid starting point.
Mr. Cilimberg said that staff would not be doing a fiscal impact analysis project by project. That is the route that was taken.
Mr. Edgerton asked when the annual adjustment will occur.
Mr. Cilimberg said that he was not sure, but that would be decided by the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Edgerton said that it can be adjusted annually and the public is going to want to know.
Mr. Kamptner said that other localities it seems to be a yearly review that goes to the governing body. They don’t always adjust it even though they recognize it might be falling behind in addressing the CIP issues
Mr. Edgerton suggested that it might be appropriate to set a time in the year when that will be done or not done at the Board’s discretion.
Mr. Cannon suggested an annual review be set from the date of enactment.
Mr. Graham said that he had talked with Mr. Allshouse and probably the best way is have it run with the CIP process as a fiscal year review. They can decide where the money will be allocated at the same time.
Mr. Cannon said that it was a wonderful discussion. It is a wonderful document that has had a lot of conscientious work with strong factual support. There are folks at all levels impressed with the balance and care in which the proposal has been worked out.
Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing
Valerie Long asked to make a few comments about the credit issue. She was pleased to see some provisions in the policy that would permit credits for projects that have some by right examples. The Belvedere is an often used as an example that is used where there are has some conventional units in place where someone could build some units by right. There is a desire to come forward with a better plan to be more consistent with the Neighborhood Model principles and other components of the Comprehensive Plan had there not be the perverse disincentive that Mr. Cannon referenced. She was happy to see that. She was happy to see that request that the Commission consider something that would be a little broader. It talks about that the credit is only available if there is a minimal increase in density. There are some properties in the designated growth area that have R-6 zoning that permit quite a few dwelling units by right while there may be some good reasons in particular cases to rezone to higher density and to give credit even if the increase density is more than minimal or nominal. In line with the discussions tonight about preserving flexibly for the current and future Planning Commission there should at least be some language that would grant flexibility to provide greater density when an applicant can demonstrate that the overall request warrants giving credits for those units that could be developed by right. It would provide quite an incentive on certain projects that have that to under go an added expensed to go to Neighborhood Model. That is her suggestion. The suggested granting some credit for commercial components of projects that in light of the fact that commercial generates significant tax revenue. There should be some consideration for the off set of revenues generated by the commercial development.
Jack Quinn, a city resident, said that the gentleman that first started talked about the commercial job engine that generated all of the jobs north of the city for where all the jobs are located. He wondered why the southern part of the County was a high density growth area for human residential and all of the jobs are in the northern part. These people have to go through the city to get to their jobs. It seems to put a lot of stress on the city streets to get to their job. The City and County need to consider the community as a whole. He felt that would help alleviate the tension between the city and city officials. Have we ever thought about doing transportation as one group? He would like to see the city and county merge on the transportation issues, but knows that will never happen. He had concerns about the proffer thing regarding where the money may go for the Old Lynchburg Road transportation improvements. He questioned if they were considering the City and County or if the City worries about the City and the County worries about the County.
Jay Willard, Executor Director of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association, said that this has been a wonderful discussion tonight. The original intent of the proffers discussion was to establish a clear road map for the County and developers so that they would know what to expect in terms of costs and credits. From the questions asked tonight, as Mr. Graham implied, that in a lot of ways it would be making the process more complicated. That concerns his group as well as the Commission. He has 2 concerns. There has been is a lot of discussion about the transportation related funds. There is a difference between those proffers that are allocated for an additional cost to a project and there are transportation related costs related to the $17,000 per house. He wanted to speak to the piece related to the $17,000 consumed per house. The assumption is that charge will go towards addressing the transportation aspects of the development. As discussed, the concern is that money could go any where. If the Advance Mill Bridge suddenly needs money even though this money was derived from Crozet, the solution never happens in Crozet but goes to solve the Advance Mill Bridge problem. The folks in Crozet say that they got this new development, but the transportation impacts did not get addressed. They are going to come back to the developer and say that enough money was not paid to do this. The answer will be that in the formula they paid the appropriate amount and their appropriate share. If the money was sent somewhere else the impact is never addressed. The community is lead to believe that it was going to be taken care of by the developer. Then the developer is going to get blasted when the County did not pay its share or spent the money somewhere else. They have some significant concerns about the impacts of that. Regarding the issue of credits, the intent of process is to make it as simple as possible. It needs to be carefully laid out and very clear. The developers want to come into a project knowing what it will cost and what kinds of credits will be given. He urged that the Commission try to be clear as to what the credits are, how they will be credited and what it will take to qualify so they don’t have to come before the Planning Commission and be told. They want to find a solution to this problem, which was the original intent of this process.
Ms. Joseph closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.
Mr. Morris said that the comments about the credits are very well taken. It is a difficult topic, but it needs to be as objective as possible to get rid of the subjectivity as much as possible.
Mr. Cannon said that there were some concerns expressed that some of the language for the credits was vaguer than the language for determining the actual amounts. That is true because the credits are a kind of safety valve. They are designed to allow some judgment to work. In C on page 4 Attachment A there was a suggestion that instead of a minimal increase in density that there be an alternative formulation that this kind of credit could be allowed where the overall benefits to the community would be warranted by giving additional credits. That language submits to some judgment. His inclination was to note the concerns that were raised, which he felt were real, and trust that the language here that gives discretion can be used to exercise good judgment in the allocations of these credits so that they do produce results in the best interest of the community.
Mr. Strucko said that the $17,500 per single family detached home is supposed to cover the costs for schools, libraries, roads, fire/rescue, roads and parks. So unless that design provides a part for one of these items, he was not inclined to give credit for that. The whole point of these proffers was to off set the costs of those things found in the plan for residential development.
Ms. Joseph said that it should be made clear that there are circumstances the proffer cannot have a “kick out” clause. There will be designated areas surrounding rezoning that transportation should be addressed.
Motion: Mr. Strucko moved, Mr. Zobrist seconded, to recommended approval of CPA-2007-00004 Proffer Policy.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0. (Mr. Craddock was absent.)
Ms. Joseph stated that CPA-2007-00004, Proffer Policy will go before the Board of Supervisors on October 10, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.
Return to PC actions