Albemarle’s “External Resources” Community Development Solution


By. Neil Williamson, President

Adapted from testimony to Albemarle Board of Supervisors March 4, 2020

Good afternoon. My name is Neil Williamson and I serve as the President of the Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization focused on Charlottesville Albemarle and the surrounding localities.

As was noted in the recent budget meeting, the FY21 projected income from Community Development fees increased by over $400,000.

This is not a windfall, as by state code these fees are designed to be cost recovery. This is a function of increased workload beyond prior projections. As an aside, the Free Enterprise Forum believes the fee cost capture should be allocated at 80% to recognize the value of such inspections to the entire community not just the property owner.

Yesterday in the budget work session we were encouraged to hear a new term “external resources” as it relates to Community Development. Later today, you will hear the Community Development Work Plan that will further explain this process. The Free Enterprise Forum is highly supportive of testing “External Resources” as this best management practice utilizes and expands the internal staff capacity via the active management of such “External Resources”. We believe this test, managed properly by internal resources, will be successful and worthy of rolling out.

We can see the use of such external resources with internal management could positively impact the County’s capacity for:

  • inspections See the source image
  • site plan review
  • small area plans
  • rezoning reviews
  • traffic studies
  • and much more

Such activity also prepares Albemarle Community Development for the current and impending “Silver Tsunami” of Community Development retirees. We are hopeful that this test and successful rollout will increase capacity and efficiency.

The Free Enterprise Forum respectfully asks for your support of Community Development’s External Resources test.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President

Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded non partisan public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.  For more information visit the website

Photo Credits: Albemarle County (via screencap)

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