BoS Wants Impact Fees

Albemarle supervisors have asked our legislators to let them assess developers with proper impact fees, Bob Gibson and Jeremy Borden write in today’s Daily Progress. Right now the county has a tough time getting developers to pay for the enormous cost of upgrading public infrastructure to support new developments, which is why we lose money on every new resident. Though similar legislation passed the General Assembly last year, but it’s not all it was promoted as, and so no localities in the state have bothered with it. The next General Assembly session starts in January.

9 Responses to “BoS Wants Impact Fees”


  • Actually the county can extract proffers now, what they want is the ability to charge fees in the rural areas.

    Waldo if what you say about every new resident was true why do we have more money then ever as a county. Shouldn’t we be broke since we have doubled the populationin the last 20-30 years?

  • Have you seen your tax bill lately? We are broke!

  • Did I read that the current proffers are limited to transportation costs and not schools, fire, and police?

  • Waldo if what you say about every new resident was true why do we have more money then ever as a county. Shouldn’t we be broke since we have doubled the populationin the last 20-30 years?

    I can’t vouch for whether it’s true — that’s the county’s claim. I’m not equipped to verify it, though I have no reason to doubt them. And, as dkachur, taxes just keep going on up. Albemarle has gotten lucky that our latest population boom has coincided with rising home values. If — when — that ride comes to an end, then tax rates are going to go up, as they’ll have to in order to accommodate Biscuit Run, Hollymead, etc.

  • As I mentioned before, alot of these new homes have been bought by retired baby boomers. So, right now, they aren’t using the same level of infrastructure that they will when families occupy the homes. Of course, once the home values drop, or get foreclosed on, or the population just ages out of them, then there could be a big shift of families moving into them. If that happens then we’ll be totally unprepared. In other words, to some degree impact fees may need to assume the “worst case” senario. We don’t know who will occupy the homes so we have to assume that a family might. That means we need to account for some amount of additional school funding when these developments are built.

    There are also lots of “free” services that have economic value that can be lost when developments are built. We can lose things like natural water treatment and flood mitigation provided by wetlands, or lose tourism thats a result of our viewshed (i.e. mountains and trees). These aren’t always things for which we may be able to require an impact fee; however, they do have financial value and should be taken into account.

    In terms of fiscal responsibility though, I kind of wonder if it’d be a good idea to require that the money from fees go towards the impact in question. That means that if an impact fee was charged for transportation that it be ideal to see that money actually go into building sidewalks, roads, and bikepaths. This would also decrease the potential for abuse by local govenments who just want to increase their overall budget.

    Overall, I strongly support any initiative to get developers to pay their fair share of the impacts to local communities. It’d greatly reduce the robber barron mentality of developers who just want to build quick and cheap and then get out of town. It’d also reduce some of the tension between new Residents and existing ones, who may currently feel that they are being forced to subsidize irresponsible growth through their taxes. I’d have much less issue with all the people moving here if I felt they were paying their fair share.

  • Lonnie, your comment in the first paragraph says there has to be a seat on a board or commission in your future. Do realize though that the more developers have to spend up front the more expensive the housing. Therefore, the newcomers will be paying more because of their impact up front and in subsequent years through regular taxes. The developers will eventually retire somewhere else.
    Worth repeating: “In terms of fiscal responsibility though, I kind of wonder if it’d be a good idea to require that the money from fees go towards the impact in question. That means that if an impact fee was charged for transportation that it be ideal to see that money actually go into building sidewalks, roads, and bikepaths.” This will probably be interpreted by the BoS as funds to supplant the current funds being allocated to those projects from the General Fund (currently 2 cents on the tax rate). The only danger here is if they interpret your suggestion to be the financial cap to that pot of money, which I don’t think is your intention. There’s an article in the Progress today that is somewhat related to your suggestions for increasing the County’s Capital Improvement Fund.

  • At this point, the only seat on a board I want is a seat on the County Biodiversity Committee. That’s probably not likely to happen this time around due to my rather public opinons about some current members of the Board of Supervisors on growth issues. After Mallek takes her seat on the BOS, then perhaps there would be a better chance for a community activist like myself to be appointed. I’m also meeting next week with the City on crafting an amendment to the Charlottesville Weed Ordinance, and I can definitely see myself doing more work like that on issues related to sustainable landscape, green building, and urban ecology if such a committee ever forms.

    Regarding the impact fees, I agree that it shouldn’t be interepreted as a cap, but rather should supplant the current funds. I haven’t seen that article in the progress yet, but I’ll check it out.

  • Oh, and yes I know it’ll raise housing costs for the large irresponsible developments (The same ones that currently appeal to retiring baby boomers), and I do support that. It’s far more preferable to me than sticking existing residents with the bill for infrastructure improvements caused by new residents. I’m not sure it’ll effect the cost of housing overall significantly because of the selective nature of the bill (i.e. it wouldn’t stop you from buying a piece of land and building your own home.) I also think that by removing the bulls-eye off our town as a development-friendly area that demand will go down too. After all, in many ways the demand for many of these homes is somewhat artificial. The developers create their product where there is the least regulation then sell people on what a great place it is to live.

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