From today’s DP –
Plans for a major subdivision off Rio Road were rejected Tuesday night by the Albemarle County Planning Commission …
The applicant, Stone-haus Devel-opment, proposed rezoning the area for Belvedere in November 2003 and has worked with commissioners since to get their recommendation. …
The commission and staff came up with 10 factors that need to be addressed before the rezoning could be recommended, including widening a right-of-way from 46 inches to 58 inches and increasing plans for affordable housing.
A developer should be able to get approval/disapproval in a much shorter timeframe than this. My biggest point of contention is that, an affordable housing policy has yet to be sufficiently defined.
From Albemarle’s website –
Affordable Housing, in general terms means safe, decent housing where housing costs do not exceed 30% of the gross household income. Housing costs for homeowners shall include principal, interest, real estate taxes, and homeowner’s insurance (PITI). Housing costs for tenants shall be tenant-paid rent and tenant-paid utilities with maximum allowances for utilities to be those adopted by the Housing Office for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Affordable Housing is defined, for the purpose of this policy, as those houses affordable to the forty percent of the County population that have household incomes at or below 80% of the area median income. For 2003, the maximum affordable home for purchase (80% median income) would be $172,000 and maximum housing costs (rent and utilities) for tenants would be $787 (50% median income). Albemarle affordable info here.
Affordable housing is an issue. Subsidizing the developments is a recipe for disaster. Subsidizing the people is a more responsible plan – see here for more info on this fund. Continually delaying projects serves only to drive up costs and therefore, market prices.
The unit of measurement of the right-of-way was misreported by the Daily Progress as inches instead of FEET. They ran a correction today. I attended the meeting and the discussion about this issue had Planning Commissioners stating that is was a requirement of VDOT that the right-of-way be 58 feet wide and the County was not able to overrule that position as part of accepting a proffer on the rezoning request.