State oversight over local development?

Local government has failed, state-wide, from here to there. How will another layer of bureaucracy affect local growth and needed infrastructure improvements? Seriously. Listening to friends and clients, it is a rare (and usually misinformed) person who thinks that growth management has been responsibly implemented – locally and throughout the Commonwealth.

The WP has an interesting article today that neatly summarizes the issues we face as we move forward.

It comes down to trust. To a man woman person, not one to whom I have spoken believes that the politicians, the builders, the NIMBYs (add your pejorative here) is trustworthy enough to look beyond their own selfish, short-sighted self interests. In a vacuum, each is right.

Commonwealth Commonsense has a good analysis today, from whom I have cribbed this snippet of the pertinent legislation: Note: if you don’t read the legislation, it’s hard to determine whether you’re “for” or “against” it.

Provides that prior to adoption of any comprehensive plan or amendment the locality shall submit such plan or amendment to the Department of Transportation for review and comment. The Department shall provide written comment on the proposed plan or amendment within 90 days of receipt thereof. Also, upon submission to a locality of an application for rezoning, the locality shall submit such application to the Department of Transportation within 10 business days of receipt thereof. Such application shall include a traffic impact statement if required by the locality by ordinance. Within 45 days of its receipt of such application, the Department shall either (i) provide written comment on the rezoning application, or (ii) schedule a meeting, to be held within 60 days of its receipt of the application, with the local planning commission or other agent and the applicant to discuss potential modifications to the application to address any concerns or deficiencies.

Whom do you trust to do the “right thing?” What is the “right thing?” This is not, and should not be perceived or presented as either an “us versus them” situation. It is in the best interest of everybody involved to grow in an intelligent manner that will allow for strong growth in the future, but also growth that will allow for the pursuit of happiness we all desire. When ha

This post has been germinating a bit today …  then I come back from a home inspection to this news: There will be a Special Session of the General Assembly to discuss/act on/remedy/pander about Transportation 27 September to 30 September. (Thanks to Waldo for the tip)

I’m hoping that anything that comes of the Special Session will be reflected in the General Assembly RSS Feed (and of course throughout the VA blog world).

For further reading, visit Charlottesville Tomorrow’s post and podcast on local transportation priorities.

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5 Comments

  1. C August 28, 2006 at 21:44

    Clarification: national developers have proposed/had approved almost 100,000 new housing units (=1 million more car trips every day) in Loudoun County, an already congested region. So, it’s not gov’t officials or (as you call them) NIMBY’s or conservationists that people should not trust. Having followed the latest Loudoun developments in the Post, it’s fairly apparent that it’s the national developers who would rather not have transpotation studies/planning conducted for their massive new developments. Does that sound smart?
    Charlottesville should take notice that national builder Ryan Homes is opening an office on the downtown mall. Does this community want to put its future in the hands of a company that will undoubtedly pay more attention to its shareholders than cville/albemarle citizens and the costs (traffic, taxes, schools, air, water..) of growth that everybody in THIS community incurs.

  2. TrvlnMn August 28, 2006 at 22:52

    The question one needs to ask oneself about this bill is – Do you really trust the Department of Transportation? Aren’t we usually griping about their inablity to finish a project within a reasonable time line? Would we really be that much better tossing zoning and development issues up to them?

    I agree with you when you write:

    It comes down to trust. To a man woman person, not one to whom I have spoken believes that the politicians, the builders, the NIMBYs (add your pejorative here) is trustworthy enough to look beyond their own selfish, short-sighted self interests. In a vacuum, each is right.

    But inspite of that I really don’t think adding another layer of government to the process is the answer.

  3. Jim Duncan August 29, 2006 at 09:15

    I agree with both of you and was meaning to write about Ryan Homes’ new office on the Mall – I saw it Sunday night. Very interesting. They are extending their reach and their tentacles dramatically region-wide.

    They are another reason that I prefer local builders to national – typically local builders have more at stake, more accountability and it is easier to discern who they are – warts and all.

  4. Brett August 29, 2006 at 20:21

    VDOT also has a stake in having more roads/transportation infrastructure being built so I don’t see them being an impartial party here. Their funding is directly related to development and additional roads. Every state agency wants the biggest piece of budget pie they can get.

  5. Jim Duncan August 29, 2006 at 21:14

    Brett, are you saying that money is an influencer? 🙂

    I am curious as to whether more government has ever been effective.