Supervisor David Slutzy is thinking outside the box. And he wants to expand the growth-area box by 1%. It’s too late for a full analysis, so read Charlottesville Tomorrow’s excellent coverage and the Daily Progress’ as well. I hate to admit this, but this (paraphrased) quote is from a Starbucks cup – “to be able to think outside the box, you have to know what’s inside the box.” Mr. Slutzky knows both, and this radical idea might have legs, and at least he is taking the time and effort to present solutions and options, in contrast to many stakeholders involved in the process.
What’s a TDR? – “Transfer of Development Rights.”
A TDR program for Albemarle would allow rural area landowners to voluntarily sell any unused potential housing lots as credits to landowners building in designated receiving areas.
More on how this affects the average home/landowner a bit later today, but in short, this may be a vehicle to help achieve higher density within the urban area whilst preserving the rural surrounding area.
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TDR’s are a good concept, but the specifics of Mr. Slutsky’s proposal pose many questions. The current growth area is far from built out, so why does it need expanding by 1% to “receive” the transfer of rural area development rights (where did 1% come from anyway….?)? Why not transfer the growth into our existing growth areas? How do growth area folks feel about being subjected to this new growth? The 50 acre downzoning is as temporary as the next election when a new Board decides to upzone the rural area (or will these larger parcels be perminantly eased?). The county can’t afford the growth in our growth areas as they are now, so how will the county afford this massive amount of new growth? And on and on….
The best thing about this announcement is that people are talking about a different possible solution. Conversation has been so repetitive and stagnant for so long, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Not that thhis is the light, but at least the train is moving.
today’s DP highlights the problems that we as a community face – people jumping to conclusion prior to analyzing (carefully or not) the proposal.
I hope that more people focus on the 94% of rural area rather than the additional 1%. They are both important, and a balance must be struck.
Well, that’s pretty fair. First you downzone to 50 acre lots and THEN you concede that development rights are valuable property that can be sold. If that’s the case, where is the money for the ones that were eliminated through downzoning?
Ethics 101 anybody?