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September 13, 2006

Rural area phasing and clustering proposals fail to move forward

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On September 13, 2006, a deadlocked Albemarle County Board of Supervisors failed in their attempt to move forward new proposals to strengthen efforts to protect the County's farms, fields and forests, a goal established in their 2005 update of the County's Comprehensive Plan.  [Link to agenda item]

The first item considered in the worksession today was a proposal to adopt phasing or a time release of lots for new development.  Before the Board was a resolution of intent to adopt a phasing ordinance, something that would come back for further public comment and Board review. 

After their discussion, only Supervisors Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett), David Slutzky (Rio), and Sally Thomas (Samuel Miller) were willing to support phasing in some fashion.  Supervisors Ken Boyd (Rivanna), Lindsay Dorrier (Scottsville), and David Wyant (White Hall) said they would not support phasing in any form, even if the proposal was modified to allow creation of at least 1 new lot every year.  The proposal on the table was for a maximum of 2 lots every 10 years.  All the Supervisors opposed to phasing indicated a preference for voluntary conservation easements.

The second item focused on clustering development in the rural areas and a similar resolution of intent to develop a new ordinance was under consideration.  The clustering proposal also failed to move forward.  Mr. Rooker indicated that he could not support clustering alone without a companion phasing ordinance.

Mountaintop protection proposals were also reviewed by the Board.  No action was taken by the Board which decided to hold a future worksession jointly with the County Planning Commission to discuss a number of issues raised by the Supervisors, particularly now that it would be considered without phasing and clustering proposals in place.

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Brian Wheeler

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