By William J. Des Rochers Fluvanna Field Officer
Fluvanna’s Planning Commission held its monthly work session on July 8th to discuss recent Virginia legislative changes and upcoming work. Commissioners also expressed a desire to become more active in shaping the county’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). State legislation which will have a direct impact on Fluvanna include:
- HB 1788 – preempts local regulations on the installation, operations, and maintenance of alternative onsite sewage systems [this is in response to those localities that developed regulations as a means to control development];
- HB 2029 – reduces the maximum permissible overhead percentage on developer performance bonds for public improvements from 25 to 10 percent (until July 1st, 2014);
- HB 2055/SB 1418 – amends the transfer of development rights statutes, including the opportunity to “bank” development rights, i.e. sever the rights from the donor without prior identification of the receiving property;
- SB 1335 — permits local governing bodies to approve “minor” proffer amendments without going through a full public hearing process; and,
- HB 2158—creates the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transit Authority, which allows Fluvanna to opt in should its supervisors decide to do so.
Some commissioners had expressed a desire to begin work on land use issues that would address the goals of the newly established Comprehensive Plan: most notably how to preserve the rural areas of the county.
Staff informed the commissioners that it is reviewing land use policies in other localities to determine how they deal with rural preservation issues and that the work should be done by September – a change from the previous deadline of January, 2010. It appears that nothing will be done before the fall elections.
The planners also want to become more active in developing the Capital Improvement Plan. Several years ago, the Planning Commission was deeply involved in CIP preparation but was marginalized after it got too deeply involved with school issues. In this latest iteration, members would like to review individual components of the CIP and ask staff how the proposals conform to the Comprehensive Plan. By linking the two, planners hope to make the CIP more relevant to the county’s goals.