Mallek Seeking White Hall BoS Seat

Earlysville resident Ann Mallek is running for Board of Supervisors, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports. Though she hasn’t made her formal announcement yet, she confirmed her intention to unset freshman White Hall district supervisor David Wyant at last night’s Crozet Community Association meeting. Mallek is the first new candidate to announce for this November BoS elections. Rivanna representative Ken Boyd and Scottsville representative Lindsay Dorrier’s seats are also up this year.

34 Responses to “Mallek Seeking White Hall BoS Seat”

  • colfer says:

    What are their positions? Competencies? (Is there a more natural word than “competencies,” by the way?)

  • Judge Smails says:

    Wyant is, among other things, a ref in the NFL. That’s pretty damn cool.

  • TLPatten says:

    Excellent! Glad to read that Ann is running. My parents live in Wyant’s district and they’ll like this news.

  • Tigernach says:

    Anyone know anything about her position on development/growth issues?

  • CrozetResident says:

    Ms. Mallaek came before the Crozet Community Association to tell us she was running for the board. She gave a nice introduction to who she is and her background in the community. That said, when asked about her postion on the Crozet Master Plan, it was clear she didn’t have a clue to the current situation. I believe what we need is for someone from Crozet who not only knows the situation, but will live with the results of the outcome of the Cozet Master Plan to run for the board. The vast majority of the land use issues that come before the board are those that directly effect growth area residents, their communities and their quality of life. For that reason I would like to see growth area involvement from not only Crozet, but the other two districts that will be up for election this year. Growth area residents now make up the majority of the population of Albemarle County and should have adequate representation on the board.

  • Tigernach says:

    Crozet Resident,

    That’s an interesting observation, and I would agree that these growth areas are poorly represented.

    Most of all I think we need to get rid of Lindsay Dorrier, Kenneth Boyd and David Wyant. It was these three who effectively killed the Phasing and Clustering ordinance and the Mountain Overlay District in one fell swoop. We need people in office who will be willing to stand up to the land baron’s and developers in this county. I can’t believe poeple like the Farm Bureau’s Joe Jones can honest speak about how the phasing and clustering was a violation of his property rights, and simultaniously claim that he deserves a break on his taxes to support the future subdivisions he plans to create to replace farmland. We need supervisors who’ll confront these issues and let these groups know they can’t have it both ways (and I’m a Farm Bureau member myself and a farm owner).

    So the question here is “Is that you Ann?”

  • Judge Smails says:

    @ Tigernach: I don’t sympathize with your point of view above, but I thought you might be interested to know that D. Wyant has apparently shifted his position on MOD if today’s C-VILLE Weekly is correct.

  • Tigernach says:

    Judge Smalls,

    Actually all Wyant did was reverse his opinion on the issue of critical slopes, he is still against phasing and clustering. Also the critical slope doesn’t stop you from building on the top of a mountain (which can be flat), it merely prohibits development of steeper areas of the sides (and should a flatter area present itself on the side, then you will still be able to build there as well). While I’m certainly glad for Wyant’s support of this, I think it is really a minimum common-sense ordinance, and doesn’t go nearly far enough. Besides, anyone who’s familiar with what happened with Hurricane Camille should know how foolish and deadly it can be to allow development on mountain sides…

    In my opinion, Wyant and the others need to do a whole lot more before I’m conviced they should keep their seats on the Board.

  • Judge Smails says:

    Why stop with limiting development on mountain sides? What about the coast? Near rivers? Etc. Can’t it be dangerous to build there, too?

    I didn’t know the MOD argument had evolved to the point where its advocates were actually tossing in public safety to buttress their crusade, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Whatever it takes, eh?

    The really dangerous thing is when anti-development environmental zealots (who’ve conveniently already built their home) want to sieze the machinery of the state to serve their own narrow interests in the name of defending the environment by forcing people to treat their own property in a manner deemed fit by the environmental sages.

    I doubt the Sage of Monticello would approve. Of course, under the MOD, there couldn’t have been a Monticello.

  • Why stop with limiting development on mountain sides? What about the coast? Near rivers? Etc. Can’t it be dangerous to build there, too?

    Denuding the side of a mountain allows rainwater to flow freely down the sides, which leads to rapid erosion, landslides, and the downstream effects of all of that flow can be terrible. And, yes, we should and do discourage development too close to the coast, or too close to rivers, if developing there presents a significant hazard to the occupants of that home or to people nearby. If some fool builds their house on a steadily-eroding bluff over the bow of a river, the thing is just going to collapse into the river, requiring an expensive rescue and cleanup of the debris. Ditto for the coast. Which is precisely why we do not permit people do build in dumb places.

  • Rural Dem says:

    I would certainly have say that my position on these issues is squarely in-between the name calling both Judge Smails and Tigernach imploy.

    Its absurd for Tigernach to throw around caricatures of someone like Mr. Jones and all the people who opposed phasing. If I remember correctly there was a huge public upraising against phasing that was over and above the opposition of these supposed “land barons”.

    (By the way if my particular family had to pay full taxes on our property we would have to sell it . . . that result doesn’t seem the kind of result we want when discusing goals of rural preservation)

    Tigernach if you truly are farm owner, a farm owner like Mr. Jones and many of the other old farming families, you would understand that these families’s principle equity is tied up in their land. Again, the farming family’s entire equity is tied up in their land. That equity is their retirement, their children’s college education, so on and so on.

    I surely do not have to make the argument on how hard it is to make money farming, and that there usually is not enough money laying around after the bills are paid to put in a mutual fund.

    I do not care how you cut it, phasing did restrict access to that equity.

    Until we address issues under a paradigm of true economic fairness I truly believe we will not solve this problem.

    As for Judge Smails . . . as soon as a person starts calling the people they disagree with, zealots, I just stop listening.

    Not to mention the fact if we were allowed development willy-nilly like the Judge seems to advocate, that soon he might have all of the water sucked out of his well (by the development up stream from him), or maybe all the fish killed in the stream that he used to go fishing at; or maybe his dog or child will be hit by all the traffic that now goes flying by his house; or his taxes will be raised to build a new school, or expand fire and rescue services, or build new roads and fix the old ones; or even more interestingly all these new “Yankee NINMBYs” (who want to restrict growth) will keep moving in and become the majority.

  • cvillity says:

    Rural Dem….do you really think that average tax payers should foot the bill for the growth that “farmer folks” like Fred Scott and the like are causing by selling out to developers? My tiny 401k is not gauranteed, so why should rural landowners be gauranteed the right to make a fortune by selling out? I don’t buy it. With phasing, landowners would still have been able to sell off a few parcels a year (is a few $100K/year not enough?). From what I recall, there were just as many people in favor of phasing.

  • CrozetResident says:

    Amen to what cvillity wrote. It’s time to do away with the land use tax scam. If rural residents want property rights that’s OK by me as long they pay at the same assessment rate as the lowest income homeowner, who doesn’t have the option to sell off land to pay the tax bill. No one in county government has ever been able to provide a cost benefit analysis that shows land use as a benefit to those who pay for it.
    If its rural protection that the people want then the money is much better spent by investing in the ACE program, which has averaged protecting about 1,000 acres per 1 million spent. In the last 4 years if the money wasted in land use was put into ACE approximately 40,000 acres would now be protected.
    Much better to invest in permanent protection rather then renting until the land gets sold to developers.

  • Judge Smails says:

    @ cvillity & cr

    Y’all have really got your fingers on the pulse of rural landowners. They all own 2,200 acres just like Fred Scott, and can’t wait to develop it when no one’s looking.

    As for land use taxation, how fair is it that the county’s already picked winners by designating growth areas? Hell, I’d rather own a single acre in a growth area than 10 outside of one.

    Go ahead and take advantage of the demographics to leverage your grasping selfishness to prohibit any further development by people who bought land under one set of rules and will be forced to live with it under another.

    And by the way, getting rid of land use taxation would be disastrous if what you seek to do is deter development. I can practically see the plats being recorded were that to happen.

    If you two have a decade between you of living in Albemarle I’d be surprised. (Cue “I’m a 4th generation resident lie…”)

  • CrozetResident says:

    I knew it would only be a matter of time when someone would bring up the old “my family has been here for generations” as if longevity somehow bestowed extraordinary rights with it.
    As for the plats being recorded, they already exists and this year brought a record number of them being developed. As for protecting the rural area, it was rural residents who packed the house and went before the board and told them they needed to develop their land to pay for their retirement , their children’s education and medical bills. If this is what land use is paying for then it certainly can’t be called rural protection. So you tell me how land us is protecting the rural area, because there’s not one person in county government who can explain it.
    As for your statement about trying to prohibit further development, I’m all for protecting your property rights. I just don’t want to subsidize them anymore. I also have no problem in moving to an ACE format, where those who are really interested in keeping the land rural would have a chance to.
    So once again, I challenge you to present factual data to show how land use benefits those who pay for.

  • perlogik says:

    Land use protects rural owners from selling their land should they believe any restrictions would make a later sale to expensive or onerous.

    If they see a door closing many will get out. Ask anyone what happen when subdividing lots became more difficult. Many people subdidved to protect their options. Many of those same people hold that land today. And much of that land is all ready divided and waiting to be developed.

  • CrozetResident says:

    I don’t think there’s any proof that many will get out, especially if given an alternative in the form of ACE. A recent bulletin put out by the dept of agriculture stated the purchase of development rights (ACE) was superior to land use programs in preserving rural land. The massive sell of of rural land has been the the threat given for land use, but I have not seen nor has anyone presented data to support such a threat. It’s also very hard to issue such a threat while at the same time your going down to the county and telling them your don’t want rural protection, because you have every intention to carrying out your threat. The truth is, the protection you speak of is an illusion, which is being paid for by low and middle income home owners. According to the county accountant land use accounts for about 10 cents of every 74 cents of tax paid, that is to say the tax rate could be lowered by 10 cents if the rich paid at the same rate as the lowest income homeowner in the County. This is not to mention the board of supervisors just cut a million dollars from the school budget, so it would appear that even our children’s education comes behind paying off the rich, as if asking tax payers to subsidize Hollymead Town Center, North Point, Old Trail, Bundoran Farm and Biscuit Run wasn’t enough reason to eliminate the program.

  • perlogik says:

    This is not to mention the board of supervisors just cut a million dollars from the school budget
    It is this type of misinformation that makes debate nearly impossible. The budget (when looking at last year’s) has not been cut. There will be more money in the school budget then last year. That money will be more than the cost of inflation. This on top of the fact that there is almost zero growth in the school population. When some one you hasn’t been cut.

    ACE funding isn’t very large part of the budget. We could make it bigger, should we take it out of the school budget?

    There will be no data to show people will sell their land- it will just happen. Go ahead and show me anyone who predicted the massive division of land that happened years ago when divsion rights changed. No one did at the time.

    By the way, who should pay more tax people who are living on small plots of land who want all the services, schools, water, and all that entails. Or perhaps we could give a little back to the wide open spaces that cost the county almost nothing in comparison. It is a bad comparsion to say otherwise. Unless we provide public education for the cows, rural land does not place much of a burden on Albemarle budget.

  • Ask anyone what happen when subdividing lots became more difficult. Many people subdidved to protect their options.

    My wife and I are having our land surveyed next week, to divide it up into several parcels. We have no intention of selling it — in fact, we only envision making use of those divisions in order to share the land with her siblings or with the next generation — but we want to make use of those division rights now, in case they’re removed at some point.

  • CrozetResident says:

    As to your question of who should pay more taxes, the answer is everyone should pay on an equal basis based on assessment, which is not what’s happening. I would also point out that on a per household basis it takes more money to support rural households. Assuming it takes the same amount of money to teach each child, or provide police protection for each household, the other major expense is fuel and with gas now continually over two dollars you do the math. I would also remind you that growth area residents pay for our water, which by the way does not come from the county, but from the Albemarle water authority.
    The ACE budget could be made much larger without taking a dollar away from the schools simply by taking the funding from land use and using it for ACE. This is the point I’ve been trying to make, ACE is an investment in the future to preserve the rural area, while land use does not preserve one acre of land.
    As to Waldo and his statement about dividing the land for the next generation, I would just point out that once those division rights are exercised the land is just that much more less rural. The question is do you think low and middle income home owners should subsidize your tax bill till you exercise those rights?

  • Judge Smails says:

    Enlarging the ACE budget “simply by taking the funding from land use and using it for ACE?” Forgive me if I’ve misinterpreted you, but that’s French for a massive tax increase, no?

    If that’s what you’re advocating, fine. But you should at least say it in plain languge.

  • As to Waldo and his statement about dividing the land for the next generation, I would just point out that once those division rights are exercised the land is just that much more less rural. The question is do you think low and middle income home owners should subsidize your tax bill till you exercise those rights?

    The establishment of imaginary lines across our land in no way affects how rural that the land is. Nobody is subsidizing my tax bill, but if I could find some rich people to sponsor me, that’d be just fine. I could sell them ads on my refrigerator or something.

    Hey, I’m middle class now. That just occurred to me. Income-wise, it’s been a while since I’ve qualified as such. Go, me.

  • CrozetResident says:

    Judge: You have three options with land use. 1. continue the status quo 2. eliminate it and lower the overall tax rate for everyone by 10 cents, while those in land use pay their fair share of the freight and 3. Move the money to ACE.
    If you want the rural area preserved you have to pay for it. ACE has been very successful at this. In one respect you can look at ACE as a tax reduction program, since in the long run you are removing those division rights that would have added to your tax bill with new roads, schools, police, fire etc. With new schools now costing between 25 and 30 million dollars ACE could be very cost effective in the long run.
    Remember Land Use is a voluntary program. No one is forcing the County to use it. It does cost and cost plenty amounting to about 12 million this year alone and about 40 million in the last four years in lost revenue.
    Waldo, Sorry, I thought your land was getting a land use tax break and if so, you are being subsidized.
    There is one other option that just became available, which is the TDR or transfer of development rights. I think Sluztsky’s plan is a disaster since it actually doubles the amount of development rights that could be exercised and enlarges the growth area. Rich Collins a professor at the university has suggested a different approach, where developers have to buy rights in the current growth area. This would give those rural land owners income from those rights.
    But whatever plan we come up with should have at its core tax fairness for all.

  • Tigernach says:

    Wow, what a great discussion. We need more of it.

    I’ve got a few points though… CrozetResident is right, if we we offer ACE to everyone currently covered by land use tax credits then taxes basically remain the same with more money going into actual preservation. It will have the effect of weeding out those who like the tax break, but have no intention whatsoever of preserving the land. I’ve no idea if Judge Smalls makes use of this tax credit, but I’ve a distinct impression that if he does then it isn’t for “conservation”. I have to admit, when I first heard of getting rid of these tax credits, I wasn’t for it; however the people in opposition to phasing and clustering just killed the proposals – they wouldn’t even negotiate. If there’s going to be no viable middle ground to argue for, then I’m going to swing to the side which says “kill the tax break” because I’ve been left with no other choice.

    Secondly, I’ve heard quite a few comments about Bundoran Farm. Before people get too critical, I encourage you to meet the project managers and talk about your concerns. They are nice people and their plan is actually a good model of sustainability – one that keeps open space, farm land, and advocates environmental restoration and preservation. I think their willingness to listen to their neighbors was the reason their development has sailed through the approval process. That seems to be a model even Judge Smalls can appreciate.

    Lastly, I agree that there is a big issue not being address here. There are lots of areas of land already subdivided. Once that’s done, it is relative impossible to even get an easement on them. I know from experience since there is a tract of land next to me with some rare species (Surviving Chestnuts over 75ft.) but no one will even consider offering the seller an easement because it is only nine acres. Even if all of the local neighbors which are part of the same forest, collectively offered to be under easement they’d be rejected becuase it is already subdivided. To me, this suggests that easements themselves are often merely tax breaks for the wealthy. If a nine acre plot with rare species doesn’t qualify, but a field with horses does, then I see that as an issue too. From experience, I can tell you that many of our most precious resouces are often on small plots of land. We need a program that addresses that too. I almost wonder if we should ask the county/state for way people to voluntarily “undo” subdivisions with some kind of incentive to do so. Once again, I see that kind of thing as a win for all of us.

  • Sorry, I thought your land was getting a land use tax break and if so, you are being subsidized.

    Nope, not that I know of. I’m very new at this my land thing, though. :)

  • Judge Smails says:

    I agree it’s a good discussion, and I’ll try to be more, um, diplomatic with my objections to a major restructing of county land-use policy.

    What some people seem to be glossing over is just how frightening these proposals (phasing, in particular) are to rural landowners. I don’t know how many of you were at one of the two Aug 2006 meetings at Burley where this was discussed, but I certainly noted that the mean age of those most vehemently opposed to this idea was not exactly that of a spring chicken. You’ve got a lot of folks in their 50s and 60s whose real estate is their major asset and you’re rather blithely discussing various proposals that would have the effect of gutting its value b/c you want to maintain your view or protect the watershed or prevent traffic or some such thing. These goals may be worthy, but next reducing someone’s life savings by more than half, they don’t have much heft. How do you think they’re going to react?

    Someone above mentioned that their 401k wasn’t guaranteed, so why should the value of someone’s real estate investment be? Obviously, landowners are not protected against downturns in the real estate market anymore than investors in bonds are by a downturn in that market. What they oppose is a volitional act by the local government that would adversely and drastically effect the value of their land. Phasing and the like are quite different from the vagaries of the market.

  • Tigernach says:

    Judge Smalls,

    I think this is why TDR is so appealing to folks. Land owners could then get compensated for their reduced land value.

    Of course, I would take issue with the whole land vaue reduction argument. I’m fairly certain that it is only a short term reduction. After all, restricting devleopment rights reduces supply and increases demand (A point often brought up by affordable housing advocates). So, yes, it might be harder for someone to cash in on their land value tomorrow; however long term their investment would be just fine. Of course, if you are eighty then maybe you feel you don’t have so long…

    These are issues I think that could have been address even within Phasing and clustering. That package came with significant financial incentives, which were nixed along with it, and generally ignored in the discussions. My anger is that apparently the whole concept was just killed by three poeple onthe BOS without any attempt to come to a reasonable compromise. Even worse, there was a whole consensus process beforehand involving a wide spectrum of the communty. Where were the land rights advocates THEN? Some how they only manage to show up for the final vote on these issues… After all, there could be any number used in the Phasing. What if it was ten instead of 1? For that matter, it could have been 100… but there were people there who’d accept no limit at all. To me, that goes beyond protecting someones retirement/college fund and is merely protecting a cash cow. I also do feel that real estate is indeed like investing in the stock market; you can’t complain to the county every time a decision affects your land value. They’ve got larger issues at stake that affect everyone, including natural resources for current and future generations. After all, what if cashing in on your investment means that an existing subdivision runs out of water? This is not a hypothetical – it is happening now.

    You also brought up a good point about those who essentially won the lottery by having property in the growth area. They didn’t say, “hey gee thanks Albemarle! Here’s a check for my additional land value…” In my opinion, we made a really big mistake there and lost an opportunity. The problem now is how do we fix what was obviously bungled in the first place? Maybe Rich Collins suggestion will help fix things, but nothing is going to work at all if certain parties refuse to even come to the table to negotiate.

    So… if I sound a bit extreme myself and fail to shed a tear for folks like William Yancey then that’s why.

  • perlogik says:

    With new schools now costing between 25 and 30 million dollars ACE could be very cost effective in the long run.

    ACE is much worse than land use in terms of revenue. Land use is a lower rate. ACE permanently reduce revenues from that land source, With land use you have more options.

    those in land use pay their fair share of the freight

    If the math was correctly applied we would be better suited to tax by size of one’s residence. Opens field to not represent a burden on services.
    Does anyone really want to argue that some house sitting on 100 acres in a 3000 sq ft house represent a much heavier burden on Albemarle’s budget then a house of the same size on a 1/2 acre lot? It is people not land that demand the majority of services. Saying that the county doesn’t sell the water is misleading as well. They and the city control the authority and it is the governments that utimately decide on expansion and improvments.

    Economics and logic both conclude that the elimination of land use taxes will hasten the sale and development of the affect areas. Higher taxes will insist that the land will have to become more productive to pay those taxes- more timber harvest, grazing lands, and possible development.

  • CrozetResident says:

    perlogik wrote:
    Economics and logic both conclude that the elimination of land use taxes will hasten the sale and development of the affect areas. Higher taxes will insist that the land will have to become more productive to pay those taxes- more timber harvest, grazing lands, and possible development.

    My answer to your statement is I don’t care if it does hasten the sale of development, since that’s exactly what’s happening right now. The only thing land use accomplishes is 1. gives the current politicians a way to buy rural votes with growth area tax dollars and 2. Allow rural land owners and developers a way to use growth area tax dollars to hold out till they decide to cash in.
    So, does land use work? Answer No, and the data shows that.
    Are rural residents more interested in getting profit out of the land then maintaining the rural character of the county? Answer Yes, and this was clearly evident by their statements before the board.
    If you have another plan that levels the playing field then let’s hear it. Land use will be an issue come next election and it will be interesting to see how the 65% of the residents who pay into land use react when they find out that about 120 million dollars spent on land use has essentially gone down the crapper.

    Thanks for an interesting conversation, but it’s clear we’re not going to agree on this issue.

  • perlogik says:

    My answer to your statement is I don’t care

    I am still waitng for your justification on why all land should be taxed at the same rate. Should a tax policy have some relationship to services used?

    I reject your assertion that rural residents are more interested in profit then preservaton. What they want is to keep their land the way it is or profit, by their choice. While you look at the 120 million wasted (an inflated number to be sure) many voters look at rolling hills and smile.

  • GreeneCountyMan says:

    At least in Albermarle you don’t have the Charlottesville Board of Realtors lobbying against planning changes.

    In Greene County, the realtors organization (CAAR) sent anonymous postcards to the entire county opposing time based zoning. No details, didn’t mention that its only some rural areas and that they could still be developed.

    It didn’t come out for another week that the Charlottesville realtors had paid for them.

  • cvillity says:

    you’re absolutely right….it was diningenuous. However, that’s nothing new from CAAR. They’re for less zoning, less rural land protections, more houses, more sprawl, etc…

  • Jim Duncan says:

    The postcard is here and it says clearly who sent it.

    I am all for debating the merits (and deficiencies) of phasing, so long as everybody is on the same page and able to debate based on facts.

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