Talking about Population Growth in Charlottesville – Costs, Benefits and Challenges

This should be fun. For those who read last month’s note, you know that I was contemplating accepting the invitation to be on this panel put on by ASAP – Advocates for a Sustainable Population. Anyone who has read RealCentralVA for a while knows that I’m extremely skeptical of forced (and arbitrary) population limits. You also know that I struggle with growth, its implications and the inherent conflict between being a real estate agent who ostensibly benefits from growth – while at the same time recognizing that unbridled, unmitigated growth is, for lack of a better word – bad.

I’m looking forward to an interesting conversation tomorrow night at ASAP’s annual meeting.

Click through to read ASAP’s email about the event.

* And while they will mention that I’m on the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors’ Board of Directors, I’m not speaking on behalf of the Board.

This Thursday evening, March 21, ASAP’s Annual Meeting will feature a critical discussion of our recently completed study, “Counting the Costs and Benefits of Growth: A Fiscal Impact Analysis of Growth in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia.”

Time: 7:00 pm, Thursday, March 21
Place: the library of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 Rugby Rd., Charlottesville (the library is on the uphill side of the cluster of church buildings; there’s ample parking behind the church)

This lively and informative meeting is free and open to the public. For more information call (434) 974-4582.

Following a brief overview of the findings (by Dave Shreve, an economic historian and ASAP’s Treasurer) and the policy implications (by Jack Marshall, a population specialist and ASAP’s President), a critical assessment of the study will be initiated by two residents knowledgeable about area growth and development:

–  Jay Willer, former Executive Vice President of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association, and current member of the Greene County Planning Commission
–  Jim Duncan, 25-year active resident of Charlottesville/Albemarle, a Realtor, and writer of RealCentralVA/RealCrozetVA

Questions and comments from the audience and panelists will conclude the session.

The research is important because it indicates that population growth and most local development—whether for homes or businesses—does not generate sufficient local government revenue to pay for the added infrastructure and services needed (for schools, libraries, police, fire protection, urban roads, etc.).

Among the public policy implications: as our local populations continue to increase, taxes must rise and/or local government-provided services and infrastructure must decline.

In coming months the city and county will revise their Comprehensive Plans (framing policies for, among other things, the potential for local growth); the county may also revisit its policy on proffers (offers by developers to local governments intended to help offset the costs of development). The ASAP research has important implications for these decisions.

A 5-page summary of the report of this research is here . The full report, which includes all the tables and graphs, is available here.

Please join us for our meeting this Thursday evening.

(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)

1 Comment

  1. Simon Campbell March 23, 2013 at 07:02

    This is a frequent problem facing large and small towns alike. If taxes are increased and reach a level that is higher than surrounding cities , then residents are likely to sell and move which only compounds the financial stress upon the city. Higher property taxes along with the stigma that goes with them can have a long term effect on property values also.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *