Albemarle Considers Keeping vs. Scrapping Cash Proffers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Considers Keeping vs. Scrapping Cash Proffers

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Albemarle County leaders met Tuesday night to decide whether to do away with some development fees that have some homebuyers upset.

They were talking about cash proffers, a program that charges developers an extra $20,000 for every single family home they build in rezoned areas. But that could be about to change.

“It makes people look for less expensive options and those options are out in the rural areas,” said Charlie Armstrong, vice president of Southern Development, which has developed neighborhoods across Albemarle County, including Dunlora Forest.

“When you make building close to town in the development areas $20,000 more expensive, and make those homes cost $20,000 more close to town,” Armstrong said.

Those fees are tacked on to homes in neighborhoods that had to be rezoned ahead of construction. Tuesday night, county leaders are discussing what to do with the program. It's been around since 2007 and has brought in millions of dollars in revenue.

"Either to leave it the way it is or update it or change it or scrap it,” said Bill Fritz, chief of special projects for Albemarle County.

For some people in the county, it's a clear choice. Neil Williamson, president of the Free Enterprise Forum, said, “In our opinion, cash proffers should be eliminated.”

Williamson has been active in sharing his research on the program through the forum.

“It’s something that has to be penciled in on top of your water and sewer hookup fees, which in Albemarle County are about $10,000,” Williamson said.

Some developers are cautioning county leaders to, whatever they choose, think about the homebuyers, not the builders. “Either it makes the home cost more or it makes people's underlying land worth less,” Armstrong said.

Greene, Louisa and Fluvanna counties also charge these fees but Albemarle charges a lot more.

Supervisors did not make a decision on the program at Tuesday night's work session. Rather, they said they want more analysis before they decide what to do about the fee.

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