Board of Supervisors member David Slutzky made an interesting proposal early last week, I’ve just discovered upon returning from a week’s vacation. He’d like to see the county allow transfer of development rights from rural property owners to growth-area property owners, meaning folks who live out in the country can sell their right to build more houses on their land to folks who already own land in growth areas. It’s a free market approach to shaping growth, requiring that nobody lose any property rights. Not everybody’s thrilled with the proposal, but this may well prove to be the most popular short-term solution to our growth problem.
10 thoughts on “Slutzky Proposes TDR”
I don’t think this proposal is going to be very popular with growth area residents, who are the majority voting block now in the County and the very people who will feel the brunt of Mr. Slutzky’s plan. What growth area will want to be “Super Sized”. Will it be Crozet, still fighting to maintain the 12,000 population limit stated in its Master Plan? Will it be the folks south of town facing Biscuit Run and its 5,000 homes? Will it be the residents of the growth area to the North waiting for the buildout of Hollymead Town Center and North Point or will it be the Rivanna growth area residents looking at the expansion of Glenmore and development up Route 20?
Make no mistake, what Mr. Slutzky wants to do is to expand the growth areas by 20% at a time the County can’t afford the infrastructure for the growth areas we already have and the State can’t afford to build the roads to serve them.
I think the other problem is that 21 arce rural lots have to go to 50 arces. And from what I have gathered is that this proposal is cannot be done without enabling legislation. Since they just passed similiar legislation that takes effect July 1; this makes new legislation unlikely for the near future.
I think it should be pointed out that Mr. Slutzky’s plan was not meant to deal with our growth problems. In fact, Mr. Slutzky’s plan will increase the over all potential population of the County since it gives developers 2 development rights, and in some cases 3 development rights for each rural development right they vacate. You’re also incorrect that the development rights are to be sold to land owners in the growth area, when in fact, Mr. Slutzky’s plan would add land to the growth area although he’s given this additional growth area land a new name hoping no one will notice the difference.
I believe a closer reading of the plan is in order.
A quick look at this plan strikes me as a windfall giveaway to big property owners. They’ll be able to reap the windfall profits brought by development demand without having to actually sell any of their land. The county will hand them slips of paper that they can turn into big money while continuing to enjoy the bucolic rural existence that will be denied those in “growth areas”. Didn’t the UN do something similar with Iraqi oil in the “Oil for Food” voucher program? I’m all for keeping the county rural rather than becoming Fairfax Co. II. However, it seems that this plan will do little more than create a bizarre market for slips of paper that will enrich land-owners and developers. I fail to see the benefit of continued development but with a lottery.
I wouldn’t say that’s incorrect — the growth area is simply being expanded by 20%.
I agree, bad idea…it’s just moving growth from one part of the county to another. And there’s no guarantee that this would do much to preserve the rural area. Would the remaining 50 acre lots be under permanent conservation easement? If not, there’s nothing that would stop another BOS from upzoning the rural area back to 21 acre lots…so much for a solution to rural fragmentation. Oh but I forgot…a bunch of people got rich….isn’t the market great (for some).
I’d sure rather see us determine how big of a population we want or can even handle, in terms of resources, and cap it there. But if we’re going to continue to have unlimited growth, I’d certainly rather see it happening within a tiny area of the country, such that we have urban areas and rural areas and as little suburban sprawl as possible.
It’s time growth area residents got out of the rural protection business and into the growth area protection business. Didn’t the board just turn down phasing and clustering, both designed to protect the rural area? Didn’t one rural resident after another come before the board to tell them that not only did they not mind rural development, but were banking on it to pay for their retirement, their childrens education and medical expenses?
That said if the you’re really interested in protecting the rural area all you have to do is eliminate the land use tax subsidy and redirect the revenue to the ACE program. If this had been done, within the past three years about 34,000 acres could have been put in protection forever.
Waldo, take heart. Once peak oil begins to take effect and international transportation of cheap goods drives their costs up, big box growth will die on its own. (Sorry, had to slip in some black humor.)
CrozetResident has a valid point: Due to citizen concern and a progressive thoughtful streak, both Albemarle & Charlottesville gov’ts have paid for study after study and report after report on environmental impacts, planning and resources. Mission statements, goal papers, and other positive affirmations of intent from both entities on these issues have been published for 20 years. Yet, when it comes down to making an actual decision — Can anyone point to a single one that the Board of Supervisors has ever made based on these stated ideals and goals? Can anyone point to any conclusion at all where the BoS has stated, uncategorically, “No, [insert property owner/developer/commercial interest here] can NOT put this [name of development] up because it violates our visionary plan for our region.”??
It doesn’t happen. Why? Basic apathy. You can occasionally motivate some people to show up to 1 or 2 meetings to speak out for or against. But it is impossible to motivate most of the population to follow the issue, stay involved in the process, and speak up at lots of meetings every month for the 2 to 15 years it takes to get a development through the process. No one’s got that kind of attention span unless they are paid to have it.
Maybe they are the exceptions, but developments do get denied. They wouldn’t let Richard Spurzem develop his property on Pantops. They denied a ginormous residential development northeast of Scottsville. That guy was asking for the moon.
Then again, they approved Hollymead Town Center while we had a severe drought and Pepsi bottling was using all our water to sell it back to us in restaurants that would not even let us urinate afterwards, calculating that once home we would find a tree.
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