HJR 195

Joint Subcommittee to Study Land Development Patterns

June 30, 1998, Richmond

The 11-member joint subcommittee is the result of a merger of several proposed study resolutions during the 1998 Session. The initial focus of HJR 195 was on the impact of rapid growth upon land development patterns. Proposed SJR 107 was to examine proffer zoning and impact fees, while proposed SJR 53 would emphasize local infrastructure needs and land use taxation. The resulting HJR 195 instructs the joint subcommittee to examine the cost and impact of land development patterns and identify approaches by which local governments can address demands for increased services and infrastructure resulting from residential growth and to specifically study the use of proffer zoning and impact fees. The joint subcommittee is further instructed to communicate with the Commission on the Future of the Environment regarding any overlapping issues in order to minimize duplication of effort.

Initial Meeting

At the initial meeting of the joint subcommittee, staff provided various background materials to the members, including a summary of existing conditional zoning and impact fee authority in Virginia, examples of a proposed new impact fee authority which has failed to pass the General Assembly in recent years, examples of proposed transferable development rights legislation, and proposed adequate public facilities legislation. In addition, previous legislative studies of local infrastructure needs were summarized.

A member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors addressed the joint subcommittee and explained the impact of high growth in his county. Loudoun is growing at the rate of seven percent, the highest in the Commonwealth, while the school age population is growing at an even faster rate. Loudoun anticipates needing 13 new schools in the next six years. The Loudoun official believes that a locality can adequately sustain growth of only two-to-three percent. He also described a recent meeting of high-growth localities and the frustration that many of these localities feel in not being able to solve their problems. Representatives of these high-growth localities will meet again this fall.

After a general discussion of the issues before the joint subcommittee, the members agreed that at the next meeting local governments, the development community, environmental groups and other interested parties should be invited to make presentations. The members stated that speakers should emphasize the success or failure of current growth management tools and the impediments that hinder improved growth management, including lack of authority to implement new tools.

Future Meeting

The next meeting of the joint subcommittee will be September 25, 1998, at 10:00 a.m. in Richmond.

The Honorable Gladys B. Keating, Chair
Legislative Services contact: Jeffrey F. Sharp