Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd voted in favor of the development. (Wickham Pond) “I feel that we can’t legislatively squeeze out the small developers,” he said. Supervisor David C. Wyant said proffers from Wickham Pond could go toward infrastructure, such as the proposed eastern connector, and Supervisor Sally H. Thomas said such a development could limit growth in the rural areas.
Excellent point, and one on which I have been masticating for some time.
In recent years, the difficulty of getting things built has made business harder for small, local builders and easier for big companies, with their greater resources, to gain control of the housing market. “The large builders have taken the position: we’re just going to fight,” Chris Mayer, a housing economist at Columbia University’s business school, says. ” ‘We have lawyers, we have experts, we have money, we’re going to buy these tracts of land and fight it out’ ” – that, according to Mayer, is their position. “That has proven very time-consuming. But the local builder who used to have the benefit of knowing the local people – that has become far less important than the ability of the big builders to fight the current regulatory environment.” As Mayer points out, virtually every state in the country now has policies to restrain developers. No matter the region, he says, the small developer is at a tremendous disadvantage. (bolding mine)
What will be the impact on the region if the local builders, who have done large developments (by Central VA standards) no longer have the ability or desire to fight the red tape in local governments? CharlAlbemarle is still a small town in many respects, where knowing someone is a valuable commodity – but for how long?
Economies of scale are one thing, but allowing a bureaucracy to develop and grow that may in effect strangle the smaller developer … not so good. In my perfect world, developers and landowners would have a clearly identified process to follow in order to gain approval. The market benefits from equitable competition (I debated using “fair” for “equitable” but fair has become such a relative term …
Efficiency and clarity benefit us all.