Albemarle Supervisors Reconsider Development Fees - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Supervisors Reconsider Development Fees

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Rural Albemarle County is coming into focus for the Board of Supervisors - from broadband to farm breweries and home building.

Supervisors are reconsidering the fees the county charges housing developers. Those cash proffers bring in millions of dollars for the county, at a cost to certain homebuyers.

Wednesday night, supervisors are getting an update on broadband and discussing farm brewery regulations. But a decision earlier in the afternoon – at the first meeting in the board's new schedule – will affect the fees for future homebuyers.

Albemarle supervisors are challenging a committee of bankers, economists, policy professors, and developers to revamp the county's cash proffer program.

“We're going to bring them together, let them get the creative juices going, and hopefully come up with some good plans that will work for the community and the development community,” said Supervisor Ken Boyd.

The county charges developers a proffer to build on land that has to be rezoned. It comes out to about $20,000 for a single-family home. The county says that extra cost, which gets passed on to homebuyers, pushes developers out into rural areas to build neighborhoods on land zoned residential.

“To me, the flaw begins with how we're setting up the expectations with the zoning we put into place right now,” said Supervisor Brad Sheffield.

The new fiscal impact advisory committee will look at credits the county could offer developers to build in targeted growth areas. The board is also asking that committee to update the maximum cash proffer per housing unit.

“It's going to be a challenge for sure. We want to make sure we cover the infrastructure costs that are involved with development as well as give people to develop at a reasonable cost to the taxpayers,” Boyd said.

Albemarle County collected a little more than $2 million in cash proffers last year alone. There's no estimate right now how much the county could lose if the proffers change.

“We want our higher-density developments kept in the growth area. We don't want it expanding out to the rural areas,” Boyd said.

The committee will get to work later this month. The board is asking for the committee to send its recommendations to the planning commission as soon as possible.

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