HJR 178/SJR 370: Joint Subcommittee Studying
Development and Land Use Tools in Virginia's Localities
June 18, 2009
The Joint Subcommittee
Studying Development and Land Use Tools in Virginia’s Localities
held its second meeting of 2009 at the General Assembly Building in Richmond.
Prior to the full subcommittee meeting, the workgroups met at the General
Assembly Building. Workgroup 1 discussed the proposed draft legislation
relating to conditional zoning and impact fees while Workgroups 2 and
3 met together to discuss the proposed draft legislation relating to urban
Director, Department of Planning and Development, Frederick County
spoke regarding the urban development area Frederick County has had for
about 20 years and how the proposed legislation would affect the county.
The urban development area in the county is 15,000 acres and provides
for 10-20 years of growth. The area provides for a density of four residential
units per acre. To meet the proposed legislation, Frederick County would
have to shrink its urban development area by 5,000 acres.
Curtin, Dir., Intergovernmental Relations, Chesterfield County
provided the report of Workgroup 1, the group charged with discussing
the legislation relating to conditional zoning and impact fees. The general
consensus of the members of Workgroup 1 was that the proposed legislation
does not accomplish the intended goal and needs to be completely reworked.
According to some members of the workgroup, new legislation needs to reflect
the true cost of growth, while others, including Mike Toalson, representing
the Home Builders Association of Virginia, argued that one industry should
not be responsible for carrying the cost of all growth. Likewise, Philip
F. Abraham, representing the Virginia Association for Commercial Real
Estate, emphasized that the commercial real estate industry should not
be burdened with paying for services such as schools. The workgroup members
strongly indicated their willingness to continue working together, and
Jeryl Phillips, President of the American Planning Association's Virginia
Chapter, conveyed her group's interest in assisting the joint subcommittee
in any way possible.
Executive Director, VA League of Conservation Voters
Ms. Guthrie provided a detailed report of the work done by Workgroups
2 and 3. These workgroups went through the proposed legislation line by
line to propose changes. The workgroups expressed concern over term/definition
usage, population numbers of towns being double-counted (they agreed that
towns and the counties in which the towns are located need to work together
in projecting growth), and certain language being too prescriptive. Ms.
Phillips stated that members of her association are ready and willing
to provide assistance with the language and any standards that may be
proposed. Several members of the public stated that density should be
used as classification rather than population. It was agreed that if populations
continue to be used, localities with larger populations, e.g., localities
having a population of 250,000 or more, need to be addressed in the legislation.
voiced by members of the workgroups was the notion that the proposed legislation
limited localities to 20 years when projecting future growth in urban
development areas. Both M. Barrett Hardiman, also representing the Home
Builders Association of Virginia, and Ted McCormack, Virginia Association
of Counties Director of Governmental Affairs, voiced this concern to the
full joint subcommittee and both stated that 20-year time period was not
sufficient. According to them, this limitation does not take into account
a variety of factors, including the new transfer of development rights
The August 19, 2009,
meeting of the joint subcommittee has been cancelled due to the announcement
of a special session of the General Assembly on that date. Please check
the joint subcommittee’s website to confirm the date of the rescheduled
meeting. The workgroups met jointly on July 30, 2009, in preparation for
the next joint subcommittee meeting.
The Hon. Clifford
Kevin Stokes, Jeff
Sharp, Rebecca Young, DLS Staff
of Legislative Services > Legislative
Record > 2009