Albemarle’s Persistent Proffer Procrastination

By. Neil Williamson, President

Adapted from “Comments from the Public” December 9, 2015

While I would like to simply join in the holiday chorus of speakers thanking Supervisors Ken Boyd and Jane Dittmar for their service to the community, I must use my three minutes this evening to again request that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors do their elected duty and follow state code to modify their cash proffer policy in accordance with state law changes enacted in 2014.

When I raised this issue in November, I was told by one Supervisor “Don’t worry staff assures me this will be on our  December agenda”.  Pardon me for feeling like Charlie Brown as Lucy pulls the football away because yes it is on your agenda tonight, as an informational item indicating the Planning Commission may hold public hearing in the 1st quarter of 2016.

Last week when I said Albemarle County’s current cash proffer policy was operating in violation of state code, County Attorney Larry Davis told the Board of Supervisors it was not.

I am not an attorney but I understand the spirit of the General Assembly’s action TWO YEARS AGO:

Virginia Code 15.2-2303.2: Proffered cash payments and expenditures D. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other provision of law, general or special, no cash payment proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall be used for any capital improvement to an existing facility, such as a renovation or technology upgrade, that does not expand the capacity of such facility or for any operating expense of any existing facility such as ordinary maintenance or repair.

Following the passage of this code change the Board of Supervisors charged a select group of community leaders known as the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee to meet and adjust the calculation.  In September, they presented their results.

Building Type Current Proposed
Single Family Detached $20,987 $4,918
Single Family Attached $14,271 $3,845
Multifamily $14,871 $5,262

The reality is the County’s current cash proffer policy calculation includes renovations and technological upgrades and thus does NOT agree with State Law.

According to tonight’s informational staff report rather than immediately fixing this egregious error that overcharges cash proffers by 426% than allowed by law, staff has again and again deferred and delayed action on this proposal for the financial gain of the County.

I hope the new Board of Supervisors will stop this “Rope-a-dope” of delays and deferments and legalisms and instead demand staff act on the spirit of the State Code changes.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak, thank you for your service and Happy Holidays.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President

Neil Williamson December 2 2015 Albemarle BOS meeting Photo Credit Charlottesville TomorrowNeil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.

Photo Credits: Charles Schultz, Charlottesville Tomorrow

2 responses

  1. […] if Albemarle County actually followed State Law and reduced their cash proffer policy from more than $20K per unit to under $5K, or better yet eliminated this unreliable, unfair […]

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