Slutzky TDR Proposal Becomes State Law

The Board of Supervisors’ Rio District representative David Slutzky proposed allowing rural landowners to sell their unused development rights to growth-area landowners back in October, with the caveat that localities aren’t currently permitted to authorize that under state law. That changed with HB2503, introduced by Del. David Toscano. Gov. Tim Kaine just signed that bill into law, Jeremy Borden writes in the Progress, meaning that the path is now clear for transferrable development rights (TDR) in Albemarle and, in fact, throughout the state. It may not matter, though, since the BoS has thus far been entirely uninterested in the proposal.

11 Responses to “Slutzky TDR Proposal Becomes State Law”


  • I wish somone could convince me thta this could actually work.

  • It may not matter, though, since the BoS has thus far been entirely uninterested in the proposal.

    I am not entirely convinced that the BoS doesn’t want something like this. TDR was the red-headed stepchild of phasing and clustering (which if I recall correctly did have some BoS support). Especially when back in January the BoS went behind county residents backs to the state (via Criegh Deeds’ SB988) to try and get additional zoning controls over rural areas.

    That all suggests to me that the BoS *does want* and has wanted *some sort* of additional authority over the rural areas (authority that county residents have not wanted to give them), a desire which facilitated this latest “while you weren’t looking” sneak visit the state government for the fix they couldn’t get enacted locally.

    TDR might not be their first choice for gaining additional controls over the rural areas but it was the one they were able to sneak into law. Now it’s there to use- I have little doubt that they will, and will happily.

  • I used to really support TDR; however I’m increasingly concerned that it might give a loophole for unregulated growth to occur within the growth areas. Ideally, it should provide a worthwhile incentive to protect rural areas; however if it allows everythign to occur “by right” in the growth areas then that could be a disaster. I’d be interested to hear what someone who is more educated on the proposal could say.

    Secondly, I don’t really see how this sort of thing is “sneeking” something into law. In many states, localities have more rights to manage growth already. It’s no secret that local governments want more control and that Kaine ran on promises to do just that. As I recall, the Phasing and clustering wasn’t a referrendum. It was a BOS vote. If they really wanted it, then they could have passed it. It’s really that simple. (In fact, proposing it as a referrendum wouldn’t be a bad idea – then special interests couldn’t use as much of their weight against it.)

  • Secondly, I don’t really see how this sort of thing is “sneeking” something into law.

    I consider it “Sneeking” something into law – because this law was passed on the QT- Without any real notice or opportunity for those those who might speak out against it to do so and because the buck was passed to the state when the proponents couldn’t muster enough support or political will to accomplish it locally. That’s what makes it “sneaking” in my book.

  • I also disagree with the idea that this was a way of sneaking it into law, but for a different reason. As I read it, this law only gives localities the enabling authority to enact such a program. This law does not create the program that Slutzky wants, just allows Albemarle to create such a program if it wants to (remember, VA is a Dillon Rule state).

    The opportunity will be there to fight this at the local level, should you or others choose to do so, assuming the Board of Supes pursues this further. I imagine a proposed program will require and ordinance and that the County would have comparable education efforts and public input as there were for phasing and clustering last summer.

    Bottom line, this has a long way to go before it becomes reality.

  • I don’t believe growth areas residents will buy into Slutzky’s plan. When he came up with this idea he went to everyone who could make a buck off of it but couldn’t be bothered to go to any growth area/community organizations, the very people who would shoulder the additional growth. Tells you something right there.
    I sure growth area residents have enough on their plates trying to react to developments like Biscuit Run and will not have any patience for Mr. Slutzky’s plan.

  • CrozetResident – how exactly do the PEC and SELC plan to “make a buck” on the TDR plan? It is certainly not a perfect plan, but to dismiss it is rather than work to remedy the aspects that you see as being onerous is the same as the BoS not talking about it because they don’t want to (as they have done several times lately). What do you see as the solution to managing our growth?

    The TDR program would increase the growth area from 5% of the County to 6% – in the grand scheme of things, funneling growth here would be pretty good. (the statement that the TDR program would “increase the growth area by 20%” is a political talking point. So, where should we go from here?

  • I think if you check both the PEC and SELC have NOT endorsed his TDR plan and it still doesn’t change the fact he choose not to go to the very people who would be effected by the additional growth.. The increased growth area whether by 1% or 20%, it doesn’t matter, the money isn’t there to support current growth area development. Recently, Mr. Boyd announced that infrastructure found in the Master Plans was not a promise. And you want us to accept more growth?

    If you want preserve the rural character then your going to have to pay for it. Move from Land Use, a program where we currently rent rural land until the owner decides to cash in, to using the same money for ACE, which pruchases the development rights. If we had made this move 4 years ago, there would now by upwards of 40,000 acres protected versus ZERO acres under land use. If you want a TDR program, then downzone the current growth areas and sell their growth potential back in the form of TDR righs. Slutzsky’s plan, beside increasing the size of the growth areas doubles and in some case triples the amount of growth that would come out of the rural area. It makes all new development by right without proffers.

    You tell me, what’s in Slutzsky’s plan for growth area residents?

  • I’ve actually wondered if it might be possible to downzone the growth area and then apply TDR to it. It would make much more sense. I’m sure all those landowners that currently feel like they’ve won the lottery would be a little irked, but then again the city would just be taking away what it gave them to begin with.

    It was a big mistake in my opinion to upzone those areas without downzoning elsewhere. All we really did was just drastically increase the number of homes that could be built without really bringing any protection to rural areas. I think this was this flauty notion that the real estate market was locally driven and simply increasing the supply would decrease demand for the rural areas. As we’ve now seen that’s not the case.

  • So, Biscuit Run has a large property portion in the development area of the comprehensive plan. With TDR, I can go out and buy a bunch of cheep land at the edge of the county, transfer all the development rights to the Biscuit Run piece, and away I go. No public hearings, no proffers, no worries. Then I can sell the rural area parcels for estates, and probably come out ahead. Wow. I could even just make a deal with some rural area friends who aren’t going to development anyway. I could purchase their development rights easy. But, I bet rural development rights would soon get even cheaper, because there is not enough growth area for all of them, and many will realize if they don’t sell soon, they won’t ever sell. A boom market will be created before the collapse. Has anyone really done the numbers here?

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