Albemarle County 2010 Legislative Priorities

 

Growth Management, Land Use and Transportation

·         Local Authority: Request that the legislature 1) strengthen localities’ authority by enabling them to utilize adequate public facilities ordinances; and 2) not pass legislation that preempts or circumvents existing local authority to regulate land use.

 

·         Impact Fee Authority: Request that the legislature support impact fee legislation that allows for 1) a fair allocation of costs representing a “pro-rata” off-set of new growth on public facilities; 2) impact fees for facility costs related to transportation, schools, fire, police, emergency medical services, libraries, stormwater management, open space and parks/recreation lands; 3) effective implementation through simple locally-based formulae and reasonable administrative requirements; 4) does not cap or limit localities’ impact fee updates; and 5) does not diminish the existing proffer system.  

 

·         Conservation Easements: Request the legislature support and augment local efforts in natural resource protection through 1) Continuing to fund the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) for locally established and funded Purchase of Development Rights programs (e.g. ACE Program in Albemarle County); 2) Retaining provisions in transient occupancy tax legislation so that funds can continue to be used to protect open-space and resources of historical, cultural, ecological and scenic value that attract tourism; and 3) Increase incentives for citizens to create conservation easements.

 

·         Scenic Protection and Tourist Enhancement: Request enabling legislation for an Albemarle County to provide for a scenic protection and tourist enhancement overlay district. As the County pursues options to protect the visual quality of land as an aesthetic and economic resource, this legislation would provide a method to ensure full consideration of visual resources and scenic areas when the County or state makes land use decisions in designated areas.

 

·         Transportation Funding: Request the legislature 1) Establish stable and consistent state revenues for Virginia’s long-term transportation infrastructure needs; 2) Direct funding efforts at all transportation modes; 3) Coordinate planning for transportation and land use, being mindful of local Comprehensive and regional Transportation Plans when planning transportation systems within a locality; and 4) Not shift transportation responsibilities, including maintenance, to localities.

 

·         Unpaved Road Program:  Request the legislature to amend Virginia Code § 33.1-23.1:1(C) to allow for the allocation of unpaved secondary road funds for other secondary road transportation projects without penalizing the locality by reducing the amount of the unpaved secondary road funds in future years.*

 

Health and Human Services

·         Comprehensive Services Act (CSA): Request the legislature assist localities’ implementation of CSA in a consistent, financially stable manner by: 1) Fully funding the state pool for CSA with allocations based on realistic anticipated levels of need and a cap on local expenditures for serving a child through CSA; 2) Enhancing state funding for grants to localities to create community-based alternatives for children served in CSA; 3) Establishing state contracts with CSA providers to provide for a uniform contract management process, improve vendor accountability and control costs; and 4) Encouraging the state to be proactive in making service providers available and to support local and regional efforts to address areas of cost sharing among localities by procuring services through group negotiation.

 

·         Child Care for Low Income Working Families: Request the legislature provide additional funds to local governments to assist low-income working families with childcare costs. This funding helps working-class parents pay for supervised day care facilities and supports efforts for families to become self-sufficient.

 

·         Local Department of Social Services (LDSS):  Request the legislature increase funds for LDSS to match all available federal dollars to assist LDSS staffing needs in order to meet state mandated services and workloads.*

       

Local Government Administration and Finance

·         Full Funding of State Mandates: Request the state provide full funding for its mandates in all areas of local government including the Standards of Quality (SOQs), positions approved by the Compensation Board, costs related to jails and juvenile detention centers and human services positions.

 

·         Local Control of Local Revenues: Request the legislature take no action to restrict or limit the existing local control of local revenues so that local government leaders can take appropriate measures to generate sufficient revenues to sustain and improve services.

 

·         Drug Court Funding: Request the legislature fully fund the Drug Court Program, which provides effective treatment and intensive supervision to drug offenders through the Circuit Courts of several Virginia localities.

 

·         Cost to Compete Pay Differential: Due to the documented high cost of living in Albemarle County, request the legislature include Albemarle County Schools in the “Cost to Compete Pay Differential” so that the County may reach and maintain competitive compensation to help recruit, develop and retain a highly qualified and diverse teacher workforce.

 

·         Land Use Taxation: Request the legislature to amend Virginia Code § 58.1-3237 to increase the roll-back taxes assessed against property under land use taxation that changes to a non-qualifying use to an amount equal to the sum of the deferred tax for each of the ten most recent complete tax years. Currently the roll-back tax applies only to the deferred taxes relating to the five most recent tax years.

 

·          Donations to nonprofit organizations:  Request the legislature to amend Virginia Code § 15.2-953 to authorize localities to make donations to nonprofit organizations, associations, or agencies which are engaged in providing energy efficiency services or promoting energy efficiency within or without the boundaries of the locality.*

 

 

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