CPA 2008-0004 Economic Development Policy - Update



Public Hearing on the updated Economic Development Policy, a component of the County’s Comprehensive Plan 



Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, and Ms. Stimart





February 11, 2009


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   









This public hearing is to consider adoption of an updated Economic Development Policy based on input received from the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission and the community. In November 2007, staff presented updated economic data to the Board of Supervisors.  In February 2008, following consideration of the data, the Board directed the Planning Commission to work with staff on updating the Economic Development Policy to address three key areas: 1) work force development, 2) light industrial land availability, and 3) agricultural vitality. The Planning Commission held work sessions in April, May, July and September to address these key areas and other policy questions.  Using this information, staff prepared a draft updated policy.  The Planning Commission held a public hearing in October 2008 at which they received public comment.  The Planning Commission then forwarded a policy recommendation to the Board. On November 5, 2008 and January 7, 2009, the Board held work sessions to review the Planning Commission’s recommended policy and provide staff direction on additional desired policy changes.  Staff has incorporated these changes into an updated Economic Development Policy for the Board’s consideration.


STRATEGIC PLAN:  Economic Vitality By June 30, 2010, the County will continue to maintain a strong and sustainable economy; increase the economic vitality of the County's development areas; and increase the ability of those individuals and families, who are living in lower income households, to become self-sufficient.



Exhibit A is the proposed updated policy based on the Planning Commission’s recommendation and subsequent changes.   Exhibit B is the redline version of the proposed updated policy, which shows the changes made to the draft recommended by the Planning Commission.  The following is a list of the substantive changes:  

·         Introducing the Neighborhood Model into commercial development goals (Policy introduction, Objective I, Strategy 1 [page 4], and Objective II, Strategies 2 and 4 [page 6]). The Policy’s adoption predates the County’s Neighborhood Model; therefore, the Board felt it was important to bring this into the Policy update.

·         Enhancing support to the local agricultural industry by several measures (Objective I, Strategy 4 [page 4], Objective V, Strategy 2 [page 8]). The farming industry in the County has dropped in scale and profitability over time, with the most recent farm profits showing an average deficit in 2002. The Board, Planning Commission and community developed several strategies to help bolster this industry, beginning with a study of the impact of agriculture to the Albemarle economy.

·         Recognizing that, while the University is a main driver of the local economy, military intelligence is also important to our local economy (Objective I, Strategies 5 and 6 [page 5]). The 1995 Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) initiative to “upsize” operations also predated the original policy. The recognition of University of Virginia and Rivanna Station drivers is a more accurate reflection of current conditions.

·         Enhancing support for work force development (Objective I, Strategy 8 [page 5], Objective VI, Strategies 1-4 [page 8]). The County has experienced a loss in manufacturing jobs as well as in other sectors. To help address these losses of employment opportunity, the Policy has several new strategies to address workforce training.

·         Giving special attention to cooperating with other jurisdictions to address regional transportation needs (Objective II, Strategy 6 [page 6] and Objective III, Strategy 1 [page 7]).


With these changes, staff believes the attached policy has addressed all of the Board’s requested changes and the updated policy is ready for adoption following the public hearing.  



No direct budget impacts.  Strategies under this policy can result in enhanced County revenue. 



Staff recommends adoption of the updated Economic Development Policy (Exhibit A).



A – Draft Economic Development Policy    
B – Draft Economic Development Policy (redline/strikeout formatting)

Return to regular agenda