Monthly Archives: March, 2009

The Places29 SuperTax

By. Neil Williamson

 

Tonight (3/31) the Albemarle County Planning Commission will consider the Implementation chapter of Places29 master plan.  Note these implementation strategies are being considered without numbers attached to them because planning staff believed (and the Commission agreed) a better discussion could occur without the numbers.

 

The Free Enterprise Forum knows the cost for Places29 will far exceed $300 million dollars listed in the US 29 North Corridor Transportation Study as their numbers were 2008 dollars not project year dollars and did not include the cost of land acquisition and utilities.

 

In addition, the Free Enterprise Forum notes with some cynicism the following line from the implementation plan:

The funding issue is critical: there is little funding available from many of the traditional sources for projects recommended in the master plan.  There are several reasons to adopt the Master Plan even though all funding for infrastructure to support the plan has not been identified. Emphasis added

The vast majority of US 29 improvements that have been completed in recent memory have been the result of developer proffers from large rezonings (Hollymead TownCenter, NorthPointe, UVA Research Park).  A cursory review of the Places29 map does not indicate any area in the current development area where such a large rezoning could occur.  In a previous meeting, the Planning Commission reaffirmed its commitment not to reconsider the 1980 development area boundaries.  Therefore, without significant land for rezoning activity available, significant proffers will not be available. 

 

So where does the implementation chapter suggest the funding will come from?

 

In addition to the usual funding sources (which the plan acknowledges have been drying up), the Places29 Implementation plan suggests consideration of a Places29 SuperTax.

 

This SuperTax may take the form of a Community Development Authority, Service District, or Transportation District.  Each of these legal instruments could be designed to generate additional tax revenue (usually property tax) from those landowners within the district or authority.  Most of these options require the consent of a majority of the landowners.  Based on my discussions, I doubt such consent could be achieved.

 

Would residents of Forest Lakes, Carrsbrook and Hollymead welcome up to an additional $.25 per $100 on their real estate taxes?

 

On the business side, such a SuperTax would result in increased consumer prices and increased sales tax exodus to outlying areas.  The WorkPlace 29 region supports approximately 20,000 jobs and provides over $800 million dollars in annual salaries.  This region also generates over 73 times the tax revenue per square foot of the average land in Albemarle County. To inflict a SuperTax the most productive geographic region of your locality makes little economic sense.

 

While the Free Enterprise Forum is supportive of community funded infrastructure, we oppose the implementation of a targeted Places29 SuperTax and call on the Planning Commission to reconsider the Places29 plan.   

 

 

We call on the Albemarle County Planning Commission to act responsibly and consider the reality of what can be actually be accomplished during the legally mandated twenty year planning horizon and limit the document to that horizon. 

 

The Places 29 SuperTax is simply the latest in a series of missteps in the marathon master planning process (3 1/2 years and counting).  While there are some good things in the plan, the half billion dollar boondoggle known as Places29 will never be achieved as it is currently written.  Which begs the question, should it be written this way at all? 

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Greene County Board of Supervisors Rejects Ordinance Revisions

By. Kara Reese Pennella Greene County Field Officer

Action Summary: OR#08-005 Zoning Ordinance Revision Request to Revise Equine Uses in the A-1 Agriculture Zoning Districts –Disapproved

Request to amend the Greene County Code to include Riverdale Subdivision under Section 14-61(f), Dogs Prohibited from Running at Large – Disapproved

Motion to Award Mowing Contract to Meriweather Mowing – Approved

Motion to Discontinue Publishing Meeting Agendas in Newspapers as a Means of Cutting Costs – Approved

The Greene County Board of Supervisors considered and disapproved proposed changes to Greene County’s Ordinances and County Code at their second March meeting. First, the Board considered a request to permit horses on two to five acres in the agriculture zoning district via special use permit. Second, the Board heard a request from citizens to include the Riverdale Subdivision under a County Code Section requiring dogs to be on leashes.

Equine Uses First, the Board heard from applicants Don and Jacquelyn Sutton who were seeking an amendment to Equine Uses in Agricultural Zoning Districts. After numerous discussions over the last few months the Planning Commission crafted as special use permit that would allow horses on 2-5 acres in an A-1 Zoning District. Along with this proposed language, staff used this opportunity to clarify definitions of stables and other horse related activities that require a special use permit in Greene County.

The Free Enterprise Forum spoke in support of the applicant’s request that horses be permitted on 2-5 acres in A-1 zoning districts a move that would bring Greene County’s policy in line with other Counties’ Ordinances. Free Enterprise Forum did not provide comments on the additional definitions included by staff in the ordinance revision. Numerous citizens addressed the Board with concerns about the additional definitions added by staff.

Citizens who provided comment included A. Wilkerson and Planning Commissioner D. Lamb (who previously voted in favor of the ordinance revisions). Residents believed that the new definitions provided more stringent requirements on horse owners who want to give lessons or board horses and other small equine operations. The Board briefly discussed the changes. There was a general consensus that the current ordinances are not broken and there is no reason to change them. The Board also noted that there may be some unintended consequences from the definitions added by staff. The Board voted unanimously to disapprove the ordinance revisions.

Revising Greene County’s Equine Use definitions was discussed a second time later in the meeting. Staff brought to the Board’s attention that under the current ordinance Stables require a special use permit. Staff is aware of a pending application to build an equestrian facility. Staff sought direction on how to proceed under the current ordinance and whether the Board wanted the Planning Commission to look at the definitions again. Staff provided a general description of the project and the Board reached a general consensus that this was a situation that they would want applicant to seek a special use permit regardless of what clarification might be made to the ordinance in the future. Again the Board echoed earlier sentiment that the County’s ordinances were not broken.The Board did agree to place a revision of the County’s definition of Equine Uses on the Planning Commissions Project list as a lower priority item.

Leash Law Residents of Riverdale Subdivision turned out in force on both sides of the issue to address whether their subdivision should be included under the leash law provisions of the Greene County Code. It quickly became evident that residents were sharply divided over the issue. Questions were also raised about how signatures should be counted on the petition. The Board sought clarification on how the signatures should be counted or if they could be verified. The County Attorney replied that in the past signatures had not been verified. However, the Board’s job remains the same regardless of how the signatures on the petition are counted. The Board must determine whether it is appropriate to include the Riverdale Subdivision under the ordinance.

After some discussion the Board noted that the community seemed to be fairly evenly split on the issue. The Board did not feel that it was appropriate to add the subdivision at this time. The Board voted unanimously not to include Riverdale Subdivision under the County Code Section dealing with leash laws.

Free Enterprise Forum on the Air

By. Neil Williamson

As a part of our outreach to the community, The Free Enterprise Forum works with several local media outlets on a regular basis.  Yesterday (3/26) was our monthly visit with  “The Shilling Show” on WINA-AM

This month’s visit is now available on podcast

Hosted by former Charlottesville City Councilor Rob Schilling, this show has built up a solid audience.  I am impressed by the high level of preparation the host puts into each segment. 

Regardless of whether the Free Enterprise Forum and the host agree or disagree on a particular policy, we always seek to explain our positions in a positive, fact based manner that hopefully helps inform the public debate.

The Selfish Generation?

FORUM WATCH EDITORIAL

By. Neil Williamson

In looking across the multitude of issues facing local government, none is more pressing than infrastructure investment.  Such investment, especially repairing existing infrastructure is neither sexy nor vote generating.  Our generation seems more concerned with the here and now rather than the implications of no decision on our future. 

Those who survived the Great Depression, fought in WWII and served on the home front made up “The Greatest Generation”.  As history looks back on this time, I fear I may be a member of “The Selfish Generation”. 

Transportation. 

Virginia Department of Transportation is currently holding hearings on how big a pothole can get on a rural road before they must repair it.  The localities surrounding Charlottesville have a majority of rural roads that, if the current plan passes, will rarely see maintenance.  A failure to maintain the rural roads will, in time, result in failing rural roads.  What is the plan then?

Nate Delesline III of The Culpeper Star Exponent has the story:

Facing an approximately $2.5 billion funding shortfall over several years, VDOT leaders say they’re left with few options to balance their budget. About 100 people gathered Thursday night at Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center to hear what residents, business owners and legislators had to say to VDOT leaders about the problem….

Under consideration are closing rest stops and welcome centers, reducing motorist assistance patrols and ferry services and delaying or scaling back roadside mowing and maintenance. If all the changes are fully implemented, the annual savings could total about $50 million.

Also on the table are consolidations or closings of VDOT residency offices statewide, including Culpeper’s residency office. About 500 people work in VDOT’s Culpeper district, which covers nine counties. Not implementing any cuts is not an option, Ekern said.

Butch Davies, our Commonwealth Transportation Board member, has said in a previous meeting that no new construction funds will be available for the next five budget cycles.  Therefore any project that does not have funding already (or has an alternate funding source) will not start before 1015.    

Where would we be without the transportation investments of the 1950s? 

How would our nation be different without the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System?

Water.

From Charlottesville to Zion Crossroads, water is being bandied about like a political pinata.  Citizen groups (on all sides) independently meet with neighborhood associations and disperse information shaded to favor one or another position. 

Fluvanna Board of Supervisors has been presented a petitionsupporting a referendum for the Joint Water Authority between Fluvanna and Louisa counties. 

As the plan details come forward some policy makers, half of whom will face the voters in 24 months or less, become fence sitters hoping to appease both sides of the equation until the next trip to the ballot box. 

Meanwhile, cost estimates continue to be sharpened and do not seem to be going down.  Ratepayers become alarmed that their bills may increase and threaten revolt.

Where would we be if Charlottesville said in “no” to building the original Ragged Mountain Dam? 

What if previous generations said “No” to the South Fork Rivanna Dam in the late 1960s?

How do we get there from here?

On February 22, The Daily Progress ran a story by Brandon Shulleeta and Rachana Dixit that asked “Can we afford our future?”.  I prefer to reframe the question, It’s not how affordable you make it,  it’s how you make if affordable.  This community does not have a lack of big thinking.  A quick review of my posts regarding the Places29 Boondoggle shows that the community, when not encumbered by fiscal reality, is able to think big. 

If citizens agree VDOT should not effectively abandon the secondary road system throughout the state and we recognize the economic need to increase roadway capacity, perhaps now is the time to look at an adjustment in the state’s gasoline tax (dedicated to transportation).  

If citizens agree that existing water and sewer infrastructure is in need of repair and we don’t have such money already put aside, perhaps water has been too cheap for too long. 

If citizens agree planning for future water supply needs is an important function of government, perhaps its time to support the most practicable and least environmentally harmful solution to meet the needs of the community.

Today, there are a relatively small number of people in the community who continue to fan the flames of dissension and distraction in the hopes of delay and non action.  Do not be misled — deciding not to decide is a decision. 

The quiet majority of citizens need to get involved in these discussions that are currently being dominated by the vocal few.  Complacency is not an option.  The stakes are too high.  Reach out to your representatives on City Council, Board of Supervisors, and the General Assembly.  Let your elected representatives know your thoughts on these critical infrastructure issues.        

Each generation stands on the shoulders of those that came before us, what will be the legacy our generation? 

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

TJPDC draft map puts Zion Crossroads in Greene County

By. Neil Williamson

The Free Enterprise Forum has been critical of hiring the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to “assist” in the creation of Greene County’s Comprehensive Plan as they just completed Fluvanna County’s comprehensive plan.  I anticipated cookie cutter planning from TJPDC. 

Imagine my lack of surprise when I reviewed the public information maps at the Greene County Administration Building this afternoon and found this in the map:

Perhaps the most critical location for the development of an urban street network is at the Zion Crossroads target area.  This is the largest area and is the focus of regional growth, yet it has no street network beyond the intersection of US 250 and US 15.  The regional partners must work closely with developers (using guidelines presented here) to develop a street network concurrent with growth in Zion Crossroads.

An analysis of traffic conditions at buildout was performed at the intersection of US 250 and US 15 in Zion Crossroads.  The analysis showed that unless an urban street network is built, traffic volumes at the intersection will be over 60 percent greater, likely requiring a flyover or some other type of grade separation.

To be fair, Zion Crossroads is in two counties, neither of which is named Greene!  A link to a PDF of this map element is here.

This is not the only example of unprofessional sloppiness from TJPDC and their subcontractors.  On the same map is another “break out box” outlining the maximum street widths desired.  at the bottom of the box in all caps it reads:

NORTHWEST FLUVANNA/SOUTHEAST LOUISA CORRIDOR STUDY

The US 29 Multimodal study will frame the discussion of the comprehensive plan and many of the maps will become a part of the comprehensive plan.  There will be a public meeting next Tuesday March 31 from 6 – 9 pm at the Stanardsville Firehouse to discuss the draft maps.

Greene County residents should be concerned that elements of the maps prepared by the well paid TJPDC consultant group were simply lifted from their work in Fluvanna. 

When the Free Enterprise Forum raised this issue to the Greene County Planning Staff, we were told these are just drafts not the final maps.  We believe the issue is a symptom. 

If the consultant group can’t be bothered to create unique maps for Greene County how much real Greene County specific thought is going into this plan?

It’s too late to fire the consultants, but it is high time Greene County Supervisors and Planning Commissioners stop playing nice and demand better work out of them.

New Setbacks and Business Restrictions Discussed at Greene County Planning Commission

By. Kara Reese Pennella

Action Summary

OR#08-004 Greene County Zoning Ordinance Revision to B-1, B-2 and B-3, Business Zoning Districts –Approved

Nomination of B. Martin to Serve as Liaison to the Town of Stanardsville –Approved

Nomination of A. Herring to Serve as Liaison to the Economic Development Authority –Approved

The Greene County Planning Commission took up the issue of uses permitted in each Business Zoning District in a public hearing on Wednesday March 18, 2009. The Planning Commission has been reworking the business zoning districts over the past several months with the goal of eliminating the need for businesses to seek B-3 zoning and then proffer out the most onerous uses.

Three members of the public spoke during the public hearing. However, it quickly became clear that citizens were interested in using the opportunity to seek increased regulations on local businesses.

A. Wilkerson of the Ruckersville Citizen Council stated that her issue was not with the uses but with the setback regulations. She believes that applicants will continue to only seek B-3 after this ordinance is revised. She also noted the County must address issues such as hours of operation, odors and security near new developments or people will leave Greene County.

Two additional citizens also addressed the Planning Commission seeking increased regulations on businesses. One citizen stated that people were being forced from their homes as a result of recent business rezoning. Several members of the Planning Commission seemed to agree with citizens concerns. B. Martin noted that the comments from citizens were “taken to heart.” N. Slezak repeated prior concerns that despite these changes developers would continue to seek only B-3 zoning and this created an unfair situation for homeowners.

D. Lamb generally agreed with N. Slezak. He added that the County needs to improve transitions between business and residential. J. Frydl felt that the Commission had gotten off-track with this discussion and noted that these concerns should be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of this public hearing was only to consider which uses will be permitted in each zoning district. The Planning Commission voted to approve the revisions to the Business District Zoning Ordinance as written.

Other Matters. In other planning matters the Commission appointed A. Herring to serve as liaison to the Economic Development Authority and B. Martin as liaison the Town of Stanardsville.

The Planning Commission also engaged in workshop training for the upcoming Public Hearing on the Multi-modal Workshop. The Workshop is scheduled for March 31, 2009 and will likely be the last workshop style meeting before moving into the public hearing stage of the Comprehensive Plan and Multi-Modal Corridor Study.

Charlottesville City Council Touches on Major Issues in Extended Meeting

By. Justin West, Charlottesville Field Officer Intern

          Charlottesville City Council’s March 16th meeting touched on many of the divisive issues facing the City during a marathon five hour meeting. Around midnight the proceedings eventually came to a close with the five councilors weighing in on issues such as the city managers proposed 2010 budget, the school boards proposed 2010 budget, the appropriation of funds to build part of the Meadowcreek Parkway, and the composition of the Rivanna Water and Sewer and Solid Waste Authorities.

 

School Board Presents its 2010 Budget

 

            Due to the hard economic times, including a nearly 12% decrease in state contributions the Charlottesville City School system plans to cut their budget by $1.4 million or 2.5% in FY 2010, while still attempting to keep city schools competitive in the region. Despite cuts of 4.1 positions at the central office level and 22 total city school officials are optimistic about the budget.

           

  City School Superintendent Rosa Atkins made clear the city’s number one priority is teacher pay. Despite the drop in the overall budget teachers are receiving an additional 1 % pay increase potentially on top of the 1.5% increase many will receive by virtue of moving up a step on the city’s normal pay grade system. This could mean many teachers will be eligible for a 2.5 % pay increase, while those on the top of the scale will still receive the 1 % blanket increase. “We have to make our school division attractive to employees by maintaining salaries that are competitive with neighboring areas” argued Atkins. Additionally the budget provides for retirement incentives, which Atkins assured City Council are not designed to push employees into retirement, but reward them for their years of hard work for the City.

            City Council served a limited, advisory role during the report on the School Board budget with Councilor Holly Edwards emphasizing that “it is important for City Council not to micro-manage the School Board”.

 

City Managers 2010 Budget Promises “no tax increases or cuts in services”

 

            City Manager Gary O’Connell seemed quite pleased with his proposed FY 2010 budget that included no tax increases and no cuts in services despite $2.78 million in state cuts and lower property tax rates due to lower assessments the past few years. The losses are offset by cutting 14 city positions and by not providing city employees with a pay raise, a maneuver that will save the city about $1.3 million.

          

  Additionally the budget provides for $2.8 million to be placed in an Economic Downturn Fund. The fund would contain emergency money that could help in getting the city through more unexpected state cuts or another significant drop in tax revenue. However, the fund is not seen by all as a good thing, a member of the public argued against it in the joint public hearing, claiming that the fund should have been created with the surplus money from the last few years budgets, when O’Connell was already speaking out about the conditions being present for downturn. Now, the citizen claims is an inappropriate time to make the fund because we are already amidst the downturn, instead he proposed that the city use the Downturn Fund money to lower tax rates, thus stimulating the economy of the region.

            The public also went to bat for various groups, organizations, and programs perceived to be left out, or short changed by the budget like the Real Dads Program, Quality Community Council, and JABA. Mayor Dave Norris expressed concern on behalf of the programs acknowledging that there are some “hard questions we need to ask about viability and sustainability” of programs, adding that there are “many worthy programs” out there in the community.

 

Resolutions to Add Elected Officials to Rivanna Water and Sewer and Solid Waste Authorities Pass Unanimously

 

            In two separate resolutions the city moved to authorize the addition of positions to be filled by elected officials on the boards, by two 5-0 votes. The resolution intends to create two new positions to be held by one City Councilor and one Board of Supervisor member on each authority. According to the council the action was taken in order to address public concerns about government employees on the boards, but former City Councilor Kevin Lynch, who spoke in the public hearing, saw the action as unnecessary in both cases.

 

Lynch who cited overworked appointees lack of attentiveness to the items at hand on the boards as the primary reason for their weaknesses, said adding elected officials will do nothing but exacerbate the problem, as they have a heavy work load as well. He also made the case that the city should not even be involved in the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority as it now serves the county more than the city. Lynch argues that in these times of budgetary struggle the city should cut ties with the authority and stop “subsidizing the counties recycling effort”. Despite Lynch and others from Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan’s opposition the resolutions passed without a hiccup. Now the city must wait for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to pass similar resolutions before they can go to the State Corporation Commission.

 

Money Appropriated for Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange

 

            The final item on the regular agenda for the evening and certainly the most high profile, was the 3-2 vote resulting in the appropriation of funds to be used on the Meadowcreek Parkway interchange at the route 250 Bypass and Hillsdale drive extended. The funds were $10,353,701 in VDOT money that the city has already received but had not appropriated to the appropriate account. $8,008,034 will be going to the Meadowcreek Parkway interchange, money that city Director of Neighborhood Services Jim Tolbert says could not be appropriated to any other project as it is a federal earmark, however, the $2,345,667 for the Hillsdale drive extended project could theoretically be moved around, undoubtedly not the answer Councilors Norris and Edwards were looking for.

           

   The issue was addressed to Council as a mere balancing of the books by Tolbert, as the city has already taken the money, but as is true with anything Meadowcreek Parkway related the political element was never far from the surface. In addition to his vote against the appropriation of the money along with Councilor Edwards, Mayor Norris spoke out against the parkway, “I think it’s no secret where I stand on the Meadowcreek Parkway” he stated “even though I realize it’s a housekeeping measure I’d like to see those dollars allocated elsewhere”.

Petition Roils Fluvanna Supervisors’ Plans

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

 At the March 18th Board of Supervisors meeting, Fluvanna citizens turned out in force to object to the supervisors’ plan to create a joint water authority with Louisa County.  They spoke against it (26-2) and presented a petition containing over 2,100 signatures requesting a referendum on the issue.  Just over 1,600 are required (ten percent of the registered voters) to force a referendum on the issue.

County attorney Fred Payne suggested that the Board defer any water authority action for a month until he and staff could determine the legality of the petition. Earlier Mr. Payne suggested that the petition might be invalid since one technical procedure was omitted.

Supervisors split 4-2 over whether to accede to a referendum (Ott and Weaver in favor) and agreed to defer.  Four supervisors currently favor establishing the joint authority and were not moved by the petitioners’ complaints that the authority would undermine Fluvanna’s sovereignty and have too much power – such as eminent domain.  The authority also could issue bonds backed by the two counties.

Board members fear that the petition effort, if successful, could undermine potential federal support for the project.  They also suspect that a negative vote to establish the authority would derail the entire project, although petition sponsors say that is not the intent.

On another matter, the county’s draft Comprehensive Plan was approved unanimously.  The plan was long overdue (the previous plan was approved in 2000), and sought to avoid the ideological traps that plagued the previous Planning Commission.  Once a decision was made to defer the controversial land use decisions, the process moved smoothly and quickly under Planning Director Darren Coffey.

The Indecision of Charlottesville Decisions

By.  Neil Williamson

While Charlottesville City Council flexes its muscle regarding “holding all the cards” in the community water supply discussion, one councilor is suggesting his previous support of the Meadowcreek Parkway does not mean he “might not change his mind”.   Rachana Dixit of The Daily Progress reports:

 Taliaferro has been supportive of the parkway, voting in August to grant the Virginia Department of Transportation a temporary construction easement to construct the city’s portion of the road through McIntire Park. Though he acknowledged his support of the thoroughfare at that time, “that’s not saying I might not change my mind,” Taliaferro said.

Considering the high level of public conversation about both of these projects, in one case over 40 years, one might wonder when is a decision final in Charlottesville? 

All localities have regular elections and see the membership of governing bodies change.  In most cases, the new council/board considers the work of previous councils/boards with respect. 

The current City Council seems to believe any decision that they were not a part of , excluding revenue sharing, is deserving of their attention.  

Such an expansive perspective may on the surface seem to be good government but the Free Enterprise Forum believes it hinders the city’s ability to efficiently achieve its goals.

In any organization, private or public, there comes a time to make a decision.  Participants in the decision making process should gather all the information available (one will never have all the information) and make the best decision possible.  

If obstructionists can revive long term decisions by building devisive  debates among participants every few months, is there any benefit to asking the community to think on a strategic long term basis?

If the community has no intention to “stick to the plan”, why have a plan in the first place.

Greene County Supervisors Approves Rezoning and Industrial Zoning District Updates

By. Kara Reese Pennella
Greene County Field Officer

Action Summary:
RZ#08-006 Request to Rezone 19.97 acres located along Route 29 near the Greene County Line from R-1 to B-3 – Approved
OR#08-006 Revisions to Industrial (Limited) M-1 and Industrial (General), M-2 Zoning Districts – Approved
Motion to increase the fee for Commercial waste and construction debris by $4 per ton – Approved

The Greene County Board of Supervisors, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 considered an application to rezone property from R-1, Residential to B-3, Business. It also looked at the County’s Industrial Zoning, prioritized projects for 2009 and considered a rate increase for commercial waste at the solid waste facility.

Rezoning Application

 The Board of Supervisors approved an application to rezone approximately 20 acres of land from residential to business. The property is located at the Greene/Albemarle County Line along Route 29. The Comprehensive Plan currently designates this area as either Residential or Business. Approval of the application was recommended by the Planning Commission during its January meeting.
 
Applicant’s proffers included a warrant study and installation of a stoplight at the Route 29 crossover, land for use as an additional lane and turn lane along Route 29 and 100 feet of stream buffer along the back of the property.  Applicant also proffered out some of B-3’s uses including Highway Retail Service Centers, Truck Stops and Terminals for Buses, Trucks, or Taxis.

 Two citizens addressed the Board regarding this project. A. Wilkerson of the Ruckersville Citizens Council felt that it would be better of Lake Saponi Drive could be moved to eliminate the need for a U-turn on Route 29. R. Burkholder, an adjoining property owner spoke in favor of the project.

During its discussion the Board asked several questions about the traffic proffers as well as voicing their support for the project. C. Schmitt commented that it was “good project.”  B. Peyton noted that the project is ideally situated for the proposed use. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the application with proffers.

Industrial Zoning
 
 At the request of staff, the Board considered changes to the language of Industrial Zoning Ordinance. The changes bring the Industrial Zoning in line with other zoning districts by allowing less intense uses in the more intense zoning district. M-1 uses will be permitted M-2 districts.
 
Two citizens spoke about the changes. A. Wilkerson was concerned about the setback requirements for Industrial Zoning. Another citizen did not feel the change in the ordinance was necessary.

 After some discussion the Board determined to go forward with the changes as written, but requested that Staff provide them with information regarding the County’s current setback requirements. The Board also requested that Staff identify what Industrial Zoning the County currently has in place.  The Board unanimously approved the ordinance revisions.

Other Matters
 
 The Board also worked to prioritize items for 2009. Among those projects on the list were removing the ability to expand nonconforming uses and housekeeping revisions to ordinances. The Board also specifically requested that a water and sewer service area be established within the County. It is likely that the development of a service area will be included in the Comprehensive Plan.

 B. Clark, the County Administrator reported to the Board regarding the solid waste facility in Greene County. He reported that the tonnage of waste handled by the county is increasing yearly. While as of December 31st the facility had a net profit of about $36,000, he noted that there had been no additional equipment expenses during the period. Equipment maintenance expenses can be very costly; consequently, he recommended a $4 per ton increase of commercial and construction waste to increase revenue in anticipation of future maintenance needs. Citizens’ per bag cost will not be increased. The Board unanimously approved the $4 increase per ton.