Rural Area Protection measures pass in Albemarle County

Channel 29 says it all:

What you do with your land is no longer entirely your decision if you live in Albemarle County. After many rewrites over several months, supervisors have come to terms on three ordinances. Each of those ordinances limit your property rights.

Comprehensive coverage at Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Personal property rights have taken a blow for the greater good. The ramifications and unintended consequences of these anti-growth measures will be felt for years, for better or for worse. They are anti-growth measures – by their very definitions. By preserving what we have, we are preventing growth. There is a balance to be struck somewhere in between the two extremes presented. Do these ordinances represent that balance? Candidly, I don’t know.

Other news coverage:
Daily Progress
Related Reading:

Is Albemarle County Growing too fast?
Struggles with Growth in Charlottesville/Albemarle and beyond

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  1. j February 7, 2008 at 10:03

    I think it’s inaccurate to characterize the BOS decision as an “extreme.” Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted unanimously by the BOS and supported by much public input, already expresses the need to protect the County’s streams and rural area with ordinances such as these. So, are you saying the County’s already adopted Rural Area Plan is “too extreme,” and thus should be rewritten or cast aside?

  2. Jim Duncan February 7, 2008 at 10:12

    Sorry for the lack of clarity. When I was referring to the “extremes” I was referring from those who advocate from both sides – PEC, SELC, ASAP on one and CAAR, Farm Bureau, FEF on the other. In between those arguments is a happy medium.

  3. mallfellow February 7, 2008 at 10:22

    I think these ordinances will actually have less of an impact than either side thinks as they’ve been so watered down since they were originally proposed. The western half of Albemarle already had ordinances in place as regards the 100 foot stream buffer so this really is only changing for the eastern half of the county. The holding period for land divisions only applies to Family Divisions not all divisions as a whole. The access restrictment seems pretty easy to get around and is now geared towards making sure that emergency vehicles have safe access to homes instead of curbing environmental impact to critical slopes as the original intent was.

  4. Lonnie February 7, 2008 at 16:30

    I think the PEC’s representative had a very good point related to J’s point above. Many of us saw the creation of the growth area as “extreme”, but it was part of the comprehensive plan which also sought to reduce growth in the rural area so it passed. In fact, the BOS has rarely met any development in the growth area it didn’t approve, and typically justifies that stance based on the Comprehensive plan. Like it or not, there are two sides to that plan… one increases development rights in the growth area, and one other side puts tougher restrictions on the rural area. Without both sides of that plan, it is effectively broken. Thing is, even were we to decide it was the wrong strategy we can’t go back and remove all those subdivisions from Crozet.

    Personally, I think they should have fought hard for TDR early on before they increased a single development right in the growth area. If we’d done that, then people in the rural area could have sold those rights. Effectively then there’d be no “property rights” controversy at all. Of course I haven’t heard of any property rights activists or Libertarians in the growth area who demanded to pay the county for their extra subdivision rights…


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