Villages

This post at Bacon’s Rebellion pointed me to an editorial in the DP (I tend to forget that they have their editorials online).

The county not only establishes strangely worded rules to rezone by, it sets up so many hoops for developers and nearby residents to jump through that all the hoop-jumping may disorient residents as much as it improves, or modifies, developers’ proposals.

All the hoop-jumping probably has improved the Old Trail Village project about to gobble up land next to Crozet, but the county remains slow to make the necessary improvements to streets and sidewalks that could integrate the new development into the existing community.


Whenever I hear the word “village” in this context, I am reminded of this. Oh well.

Good editorial in the DP, raising several valid points. I suspect that we will soon see and hear more discussion about APF’s – Adequate Public Facilities amidst the rampant discussions and gnashing of teeth about growth issues.

A good summary of of APF’s is at the Virginia Conservation Network’s site –

What is an adequate public facilities ordinance?

An Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) is a law adopted by the local government that allows it to defer the approval of developments based upon a finding by the governing body that public facilities would not be not adequate to support the proposed development at build out.

What are the components of an effective APF ordinance?
• Identifies the types of public facilities to be considered.
• Limits the period of time during which the deferral on development imposed by an APFO can be in force.
• Requires the locality to have in place a capital facilities plan to remedy the infrastructure inadequacy that has been the basis for the development deferral.


This issue depends a
great deal on perspective.

Anti-Growth Measures Defeated Once Again
VAR faced another year of numerous Adequate Public Facilities (APF) and impact fee proposals that would unreasonably restrict growth and drive up the cost of housing. APF ordinances allow local governments to defer approval of new development based on their finding that the existing infrastructure (such as roads and schools) is “inadequate” to support it. By doing so, these localities simply export unwanted housing growth to neighboring jurisdictions, exacerbating sprawl and further limiting the supply of affordable housing. Likewise, residential impact fees meant to “offset” the effects of new development are passed on to homebuyers in the purchase price.

What we need is healthy balance between the two positions. Anti-growth NIMBYS and conservationists who oppose all growth, either openly or surreptitiously do their position a disservice by taking an extreme position, as do those who are typically portrayed as pro-growth.
Pro-growth, (how about “wise-growth”?) yet still with the understanding that we are going to remain in and live in this area is a good position. Make wise growth relatively simple and easy to accomplish and do not infringe on the private property rights of landowners. The “common-good” argument usually comes with the implicit understanding that the “haves” are going to ultimately lose out to the “have-nots.” This is an untenable position.

The worst part of this is the government. I firmly believe that reasonable people could come to a reasonable agreement, but that government has too many levels of bureaucracy, red tape, ulterior motives and not nearly enough integrity to either accomplish or even facilitate success. Those who are beholden to and desire such power are dangerous folks indeed. This is the simple reason that people (who are sufficiently educated the pertinent subjects) must get involved. Many of us do happen to live here and love it.

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