HB3202

Highlights from The Comprehensive Transportation Funding and Reform Act of 2007:

  • Most large counties will be required by law to designate specific areas for higher density development.
  • Some counties will be able to levy impact fees to curb “leap frog” development and to direct growth into areas where roads and infrastructure have already been planned.
  • Owners of farm land will no longer be allowed by right, to divide their pastures into acre-plus housing lots without paying a price.
  • Developers will not be allowed to build subdivisions as completely disconnected entities. State approval of roads will require new subdivisions to have roads that connect with adjacent subdivisions.
  • Fifty-nine counties including the state’s largest and fastest-growing, such as Fairfax, Loudoun, Chesterfield, Henrico and Stafford, will have to create Urban Development Areas (UDAs) by July 1, 2011.
  • Inside a UDA, housing densities must reach four units per acre or more. UDAs must be of sufficient size to handle growth for 10 to 20 years.
  • Development within UDAs should apply “New Urbanism” design principles, critics argue that the bill’s language doesn’t specifically require it.
  • Urban Transportation Service Districts (UTSDs) may be created for counties of 90,000 or more people that do not maintain their own roads. Aa a reader notes below: this provision will not apply to Hanover County.
  • Special real estate taxes for road maintenance may be levied within those UTSDs and densities within the area must be at least one unit per acre.The UDA requirement now extends to counties with more than a population of 20,000 and a 5% per decade growth rate.
  • Over half of the counties can assess impact fees for road improvements on residential and commercial development. In addition, a county can help direct growth within their UDAs by exempting those areas from impact fees. Another type of impact fee can be assessed in counties that have more than 90,000 people but do not maintain their local roads.
  • If counties agree to maintain their roads, they will be allowed to charge a fee to pay for fire, police, schools or libraries on by-right development projects on agricultural land.
  • Predictably, the Home Builders Association of Virginia opposes the impact fees while proponents believe it will make it easier to build more affordable housing within UDAs and UTSDs.
  • Incentives for counties to maintain their own roads is meant to relieve VDOT, which now maintains secondary roads in all counties but Arlington and Henrico Counties.

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Your Home. Your Vote. Your Voice.

200 days until CITIZENS elect a new Board of Supervisors in Hanover County!

It’s all about the box – the ballot box.

Who will define your future, your children’s future, the quality of life in Hanover County for years to come?

Local Governments for Sustainability

Today’s Washington Post:

“…a third of Americans say global warming ranks as the world’s single largest environmental problem, double the number who gave it top ranking last year, a nationwide poll shows.”

Global warming is arguably the most serious and complex environmental challenge facing humankind in the twenty-first century. On the domestic front, local governments have been the biggest agents for change on this issue with the biggest measurable achievements being demonstrated at the local level.

What could Hanover County government be doing? For starters, Hanover County could join 660 other local governments who are members of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI works with local governments to promote ICLEI’s Local Agenda Program entitled Communities 21, a program developed in accordance with the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development Agenda 21 program. The primary mission of the Communities 21 program is to improve the ecological health of communities across the nation while promoting economic vitality and social justice. The Communities 21 program provides local governments with a methodology and practical tools to establish healthy, livable communities that are ecologically sustainable.

Given that the recent approval of a reckless Comp Plan, doesn’t the time seem right to reshuffle the deck on November 6th?

Proposed Development at Lee Davis & Pole Green

A new development of townhouses (approx. 59 units) and a business have been proposed at the corner of Lee Davis and Pole Green Roads. The development would destroy the field behind the Exxon station and local produce stand. L. McCauley Chenault is handling this development and the zoning request is GPINs 8725-07-0186 and 8715-96-8701 (aka the Harris
property). The proposed plan includes buildings to be located around 15 feet from existing property lines in Laurel Meadows Subdivision.

A community meeting will be held on April 30th at 7 p.m. at Pole Green Church of Christ.

Citizens just learned that the developer is submitting a change to his request: the townhouses will be age-restricted (age 55+). This change is unacceptable because the number of townhouses create too much density on this particular parcel. One resident said, “It might look as bad as Legacy Park, located at the end of Shane Edmonds Lane in the Laurel Meadows Subdivision.”

Please attend the meeting and/or send letters to the planning commissioner, Elizabeth Moorhouse (Henry District) as well as the Hanover County planning department regarding this proposed development, especially before the public hearing (date forthcoming).