Unanimous Vote Against Biscuit Run

The Planning Commission unanimously rejected Biscuit Run at last night’s meeting, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports. (Local media outlets left before the meeting ended.) Of the 27 members of the public who spoke at the meeting, only four supported the enormous proposed development. Significant factors in the decision appeared to include the need for significant upgrades to the sewer line (which simply can’t handle thousands of new people), the major expansion to transportation infrastructure that would be required, and some more traditional concerns like proffers, school capacity, etc.

Now comes the fun part: the Board of Supervisors. That’s because the Planning Commission’s vote is simply a recommendation to the BoS, who can choose to accept or reject the recommendation. A unanimous recommendation is tough to ignore without looking bad, but it’s hardly unheard of. Muddying the waters, three members of the BoS are up for reelection, and no industry gives quite as generously as developers.

4 thoughts on “Unanimous Vote Against Biscuit Run”

  1. Wow. A unanimous recommendation to reject is quite stunning. I have been reading over your posts about the price tag to county residents and now this and have started to rethink my position on this one. If they were willing to pay their fair share in infrastructure improvements it would be one thing but offering a few million dollars for improvements when its going to cost the county several times as much is quite ridiculous.

  2. I’m stunned, too, but this just leads to more uncontrolled development. The overwhelming majority of building in the county is done by-right: thus mcmansions, the hacking up of farmland, & a great deal of whatever because no-one has to okay it, no-one gets proffers out of ’em, and the burdens keep mounting little bit by little bit. Development happens & we still don’t have a grip on channelling it into truly self-sustaining avenues.

  3. I wouldn’t get too excited about this vote. I see the developers could have taken a deferral, but choose to go on to the board. I don’t think they would have done this unless they had a good idea they had the votes on the board to get it passed. If the recent past has anything to say about the vote, it would appear they have reason to be hopeful. Boyd, Wyant, Dorrier and Slutzsky have never met a development they couldn’t vote for. Oh, we might see it get sent back to the planning commission for some changes, if only to give them political cover before they vote for it.
    Then again, some things have changed. The republicans just had their dog and pony tax show last week and with the fiscal impact data showing Biscuit Run as one huge tax increase you have to ask if it could it prove problematic for Boyd and Wyant? And surely they can’t give us the usual BS of “if it doesn’t go here it will end up in the rural area”, especially since they turned down rural protection and we had the spectacle of one rural resident after another telling us rural protection wasn’t important.
    Could a vote for Biscuit Run be the straw that broke the camel’s back and change the make up of the board? Inquiring minds want to know.

  4. Actually, I’m one of those rural residents who did comment and asked for rural protection…

    I don’t think it’s a question of Rural residents not really wanting protection. What really happened there is that the Farm Bureau betrayed us. You also had people come forward as if they were “poor farmers”, and asked for sympathy that they wouldn’t be able to make millions of dollars off of selling their land for a subdivision. Unfortunately, neither the BOS nor the general public could see through that farce. After all, where were the dissenters during the idea and discussion phase?

    Also, I admit that, as often happens, many that did care about rural preservation just didn’t think commenting was important. They figured someone else would comment for them. I suppose that’s a bitter lesson they’ve hopefully learned now.

    All this doesn’t change CrozetResident’s main point though… we need to start thinking of the bigger picture here. These developments have real costs, and those costs translate into higher taxes. A vote for Biscuit Run is a vote for higher taxes. Likewise, we shouldn’t blindly pursue policies that make the growth areas suffer for the sake of the rural area (or visa versa). We need a little more vision than that.

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