Albemarle County BoS meeting … growth issues come to a head

If you are concerned, curious or just feel ignorant about where the Albemarle County growth process/issue, take 30 minutes to listen to this podcast provided by Charlottesville Tomorrow. I have attributed the quotations to the appropriate Supervisors and have indicated my uncertainty where necessary.

One of the most cogent remarks came from Ken Boyd – “If this were my business I would really be worried about being able to continue in business if my suppliers and my end users were not at all happy with the product that we were creating and the process that we were going about doing it.”

“It’s (the Neighborhood Model) not working.” Ken Boyd
“It is a fundamental conflict…” Bowerman (?)

“Our surveys indicate that people are generally very satisfied with what the County is doing, the direction it’s taking, we’re considered one of the best places to live in the county.” Dennis Rooker

“It’s broken” Lindsay Dorrier

Dennis Rooker defended the Neighborhood Model while affirming that he is “not against looking at it, but …”  “I am not opposed to … but …” His argument that “one or two people” and “six or seven vociferous” opponents doesn’t hold water. It’s easy to say this type of thing when one doesn’t have to drive from Pantops, Crozet, 29N to get to work.

I grow weary of Mr. Rooker perpetually saying that Crozet’s infrastructure has been prepared for this growth … when in reality only water and sewer have been improved. It’s just disingenuous.

The County’s own survey shows that residents are becoming less satisfied with the growth plan. (I said this the other day, but think it needs repeating)

The survey indicated continued support for the county’s major growth management policies, with approximately 70% of respondents favoring concentrating development in the urban areas to protect the rural areas, but that percentage showed a significant decline in support from the 2002 survey where almost 80% of respondents said they favored concentrated growth.

The public is raising its voice of disapproval with the direction the BoS has been leading the growth process.

The development process needs to be more efficient, faster, more transparent and better managed. Slowing development raises the cost of development, housing, et. al. The BoS needs to plan and implement their plans better. Address infrastructure needs, for goodness sakes! Don’t plan to raise the population in Crozet to 12,000 people without at least starting road improvements or mass transit. It is irresponsible and an extraordinary disservice to our community and region.

The people voices have been heard … maintaining the discussion and the pressure on our elected officials remains the challenge. Progress.

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While your attention is focused on growth and the development process, read this week’s C-ville, which has excellent coverage of the local growth patterns, process, etc.

Given the amount of money the City and County hand over to planning consultants and pump into their community development offices (Charlottesville’s planning department budget is just more than $2 million and Albemarle County’s is nearly $5 million), you would think that somebody could punch a few buttons on a computer and tell you, for example, how many residential units are in the planning pipeline. You would think that, but you’d be wrong.


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