Transportation and land use

Might transportation reform be nigh? Heck, just visit Bacon’s Rebellion – there are at least three articles there worth reading. Related reading. The bills are here. There is never going to be either a quick or an easy fix. Take note that there are an awful lot of components that will affect home- and land-owners.

Last night, ASAP hosted a forum to discuss TDRs (Transfer of Development Rights). Before your biases get you all bound up, take the time (2 hours!) to listen to what they have to say; or at least read Charlottesville Tomorrow’s forthcoming summary. It is far better to listen to all sides of the debate first, then come to conclusions, as all sides have their own agendas and interests. Filter these agendas for the truth and, thanks to Cville Tomorrow, go straight to the horse’s mouth.

Interesting comparison between Loudoun’s and Albemarle’s proffers. Do we want housing prices to get to Loudoun’s level?

Speaking of transit and transportation … an argument against transit.

Update: This is a relevant and great discussion at Cvillenews.

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  1. Brian Wheeler January 19, 2007 at 10:19

    Jim – Thanks for plugging the TDR podcast. With respect to my comparison of proffers in Albemarle and Loudoun… should we be correlating home sales prices to the average proffer contribution? I am not sure. But if you do, then the Biscuit Run proffers are half of what they should be based on our CURRENT median home sale prices in Albemarle and Loudoun. Let’s look closer to home too… Last Summer in Orange County a developer was offering $25,000 per unit. That also suggests to me there is plenty of room for discussion about the appropriateness of the contributions. There are many factors involved of course, different traffic demands and the specific uses to name a couple. The Loudoun project is going to be a huge employment center and tax revenue producer. Biscuit Run, by comparison, is almost all residential which overall is a fiscal drain on local government. I have asked the County for the fiscal impact assessment on Biscuit Run, but it has not been produced yet. I expect it to be very different from the positive cash flow projected for a project like North Pointe. We will see how much tax revenue they project the 150,000 sq.ft. of non-residential space will generate. I’d be interested in additional feedback as to how to best make these comparisons. Brian Wheeler

  2. Jim Duncan January 19, 2007 at 10:41

    Brian –

    Now I just need to carve out 2 hours to listen to the podcast … whew!

    Regarding home prices – I think that there is a direct correlation between home prices and proffers; developers are going to (I assume) pass on any additional cost to the end user.

    This is a great point:

    The Loudoun project is going to be a huge employment center and tax revenue producer. Biscuit Run, by comparison, is almost all residential which overall is a fiscal drain on local government.

    I look forward to the impact assessment as well. Depending solely on property tax revenues alone places and unjust burden on homeowners – throughout the County.

  3. TrvlnMn January 21, 2007 at 01:37

    Actually Orange County got much much more than just the 25,000 per unit from the developers.

    From The Fredricksburg Freelance Star:

    Eventually, the company dropped to 290 homes and tripled its initial cash proffers to $25,000 per house. It also offered the county $75,000 for sidewalks, $1.2 million to build swimming pools, 22 acres for a park or recreational site and 20 acres for a school.

    By the time of Tuesday night’s public hearing, cash and land promised to Orange County totaled more than $10 million. The Gordonsville Town Council endorsed the development, which would benefit the town with water customers and tap fees. (emphasis mine)

    Again, that was after they got the developer to reduce the amount of units being built from 650 to 290.

  4. jm January 21, 2007 at 23:32

    Thinking of roads and proffers, the “four seasons” subdivision in Ruckersville avoids both but adds traffic to Rt 33 and 29.

    The web site features a picture of Monticello, 30 miles to the south,

    This might make sense in Pantops, where at least its in town – instead its by low rent strip malls where the only access is by car.

  5. jm January 21, 2007 at 23:35

    I just checked KHovanian’s website a bit more and it gets stranger. This is how they describe Ruckersville.

    “At K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons Charlottesville, you’ll savor the rich history, culture and art that constitute the heritage of this quaint city. Charlottesville is inspired by the relaxed, enlightened times of the colonial past. You’ll join a population of approximately 40,000 city residents who delight in an energetic, worldly and intelligent atmosphere.”

    No mention they are 50 minutes away from the quaint city.

  6. Jim Duncan January 21, 2007 at 23:48

    Regarding Four Seasons’ “identity crisis” – you might find these two articles I wrote last year interesting – one and two.

  7. jm January 22, 2007 at 00:56

    Thanks for the links. One of them had this from the Post, “They also have plans for Four Seasons Charlottesville, to be made up of 535 single-family, detached homes.”

    535 homes in Ruckersville/Charlottesville, wow.

    I wonder if they also describe Ruckersville as a college town.