HJR 178 / SJR 70: Joint Subcommittee Studying
Development and Land Use Tools in Virginia's Localities
November 12, 2008
The joint subcommittee
held its third meeting at the General Assembly Building in Richmond. Legislative
members in attendance were Chairman Athey, Vice-Chairman Vogel, Delegates
Oder and Miller and Senator Lucas. Members who serve ex officio in attendance
were Pierce Homer, Secretary of Transportation, and Alex Daniel, Assistant
Commerce and Trade and designee for the Secretary of Commerce.
Tysons Land Use Task Force
William Lecos delivered a presentation to the joint subcommittee entitled
Planning and Urban Design for Tysons Corner. He began by stating that
the Tysons Land Use Task Force's mission is to transform Tysons Corner
from suburbia to a truly urban place that is built for people, not for
cars. The goals of the task force are to make Tysons Corner a top downtown
center, nationally known by its green stewardship, where people want to
reside. To achieve that goal, Mr. Lecos testified that the task force
focused growth on transit, on creating more jobs and increasing residents
in Tysons Corner, and on making Tysons Corner more environmentally friendly.
Those factors driving the goals of the task force, according to Mr. Lecos,
- Creation of a
people-focused urban setting so that residential development is encouraged
in nearly all of Tysons Corner.
- Redesign of the
transportation network so that modes of traveling (walking, biking,
transit, cars) are balanced, 95% of development is within a short walk
of transit, and urban streets exist within Tysons Corner.
- Strong emphasis
on the environment so that streams are restored, parks meet urban park
standards, and the architecture and buildings are environmentally friendly.
- New authority
for implementation of the task force's work.
In summary, Mr. Lecos
stated that the vision of the Tysons Land Use Task Force is that Tysons
Corner is an environmentally sustainable—as measured by its parks,
restored streams, and "green" buildings—urban center with
200,000 jobs and 70,000 residents that contains a variety of affordable
and workforce housing choices, because twenty percent of the buildings
contain residential units.
Bailey, Virginia Resources Authority
Dr. Bailey delivered a presentation to the joint subcommittee entitled
Innovative Financing to Build Virginia Communities. After delivering an
overview of the Virginia Resources Authority (VRA), Dr. Bailey discussed
specifically how VRA's investments and financial support have made a difference
in Virginia, such as funding more than 800 projects across the Commonwealth
since the inception of VRA. She next detailed the financing options VRA
is able to provide localities. Namely, Dr. Bailey stated that financing
is available anytime and that localities can utilize revolving loan funds,
participate in the Virginia Pooled Financing Program, or seek VRA equipment
and term financing to undertake projects. Relating to urban development
areas, Dr. Bailey stated that existing VRA tools can augment development
by either establishing a VRA revolving loan fund for local infrastructure
or combining initial capital investment with existing VRA Pooled Financing
Program to maximize impact. However, the General Assembly must define
loan eligibility criteria, but localities can capitalize on VRA's proven
record of getting investment to communities quickly.
Assistant Secretary of Transportation
Nick Donohue delivered a presentation relating to new secondary street
acceptance requirements. He stated that the requirements, which will supersede
and replace existing subdivision street requirements, are a result of
legislation introduced at the request of Governor Kaine and unanimously
approved during the 2007 General Assembly Session. The intent of such
requirements is to ensure streets accepted into the state system for perpetual
public maintenance provide public benefit. Mr. Donohue highlighted the
connectivity requirements contained within the secondary street acceptance
requirements, but noted that connectivity is not always feasible and that
exceptions for land use incompatibility and automatic reductions for perimeter
constraints (e.g., mountains, rivers) exist. He, however, noted the grandfathering
provisions of the new secondary street acceptance requirements:
- Streets within
a proffered plan of development, site plan/subdivision plat, preliminary
subdivision plat or approved street construction plan may be accepted
under former requirements.
- Proposals officially
accepted for review by a local government may be accepted under the
former requirements at the request of the locality.
- New requirements
allow previous area type requirements to apply when area type is modified
after approval of development proposal.
Also, Mr. Donohue
noted that pedestrian accommodations required in the secondary street
acceptance requirements are generally based on density and specifically
state what types of accommodations, if any, are required depending on
the lot size. With respect to stormwater runoff, Mr. Donohue remarked
that the Virginia Department of Transportation has worked with the Department
of Conservation and Recreation and the private sector to develop a list
of innovative stormwater facilities that can be placed within Virginia
Department of Transportation rights-of-way because such placement is not
Finally, Mr. Donohue
stated that implementation of the new requirements includes the production
by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) of a guidance document
to accompany regulation to assist local staff and developers, as well
as provision by VDOT of outreach and training similar to the outreach
and training that was provided for the traffic impact analysis regulations.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Alan Pollock delivered a presentation to the joint subcommittee entitled
Progress Report on Nutrient Trading in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed of
Virginia. After discussing the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement and tributary
strategies, Mr. Pollock discussed the nutrient credit exchange legislation
that was adopted in 2005 that:
- Authorizes the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Nutrient Credit Exchange Program.
- Directs the Department
of Environmental Quality to issue a watershed general permit for point
source discharges of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) to the Chesapeake
Bay and its tributaries.
- Authorizes the
creation of the nonprofit Virginia Nutrient Credit Exchange Association
to assist the regulated community in complying with the watershed general
The purpose of utilizing
a watershed general permit and market-based point source nutrient credit
trading program is to:
- Meet the nutrient
cap load allocations cost effectively and as soon as possible in keeping
with the 2010 timeline and objectives of the Chesapeake 2000 agreement.
- Accommodate continued
growth and economic development in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
- Provide a foundation
for establishing market-based incentives to help achieve the Chesapeake
Bay Program's nonpoint source reduction goals.
Mr. Pollock discussed
highlights of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Nutrient General Permit, which
was effective January 1, 2007, covers 124 significant and 23 nonsignificant
discharges, and has a compliance date of January 1, 2011. Furthermore,
he stated that a wastewater treatment facility can grow under nutrient
caps by a locality and acquire nonpoint source offsets, purchasing additional
point source allocations from other plants and upgrading to more advanced
treatment. Finally, in relating point source nutrient load caps to urban
development areas, Mr. Pollock noted that nutrient loads discharged from
treatment plants are capped but growth is not and lots of creative possibilities
are provided through the Nutrient Credit Exchange Program.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Jack Frye began his presentation by discussing the statutory requirements
for urban development areas and stormwater management. He shared with
subcommittee members the timeline in which proposed stormwater management
regulations become effective and also shared the changes reflected in
the proposed regulations. Mr. Frye testified that the changes incorporate
better site design and LID techniques into site design process and allow
for regional approaches, pro-rata fees, exceptions, etc. Key areas of
compatibility exist between the statutory requirements for urban development
areas, such as satisfaction requirements for stormwater management and
reduction of subdivision street widths, and the proposed stormwater management
regulatory requirements, such as reduction of impervious cover as in narrower
streets, which reduce best management practice requirements.
Mr. Frye discussed
the impacts of proposed regulations on higher density development. He
concluded that initial evidence from studies indicates that addressing
stormwater requirements can be compatible with higher density development;
and stormwater requirements will address all development of all densities
and intensities to varying degrees, both within and outside of urban development
The next meeting
of the joint subcommittee is scheduled for January 13, 2009.
The Hon. Clifford
Kevin Stokes, Jeff Sharp, DLS Staff
of Legislative Services > Legislative
Record > 2008
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