City officials are optimistic that some proffer contributions will come their way as a result of the Biscuit Run development in Albemarle County (est. 3,500 homes). However, the City Planning Commission was informed last Tuesday by staff that there was virtually no chance Biscuit Run proffers would pay for the Fontaine/Sunset Connector.
In response to a question from City Councilor Dave Norris* about the City's planning for the connector road, Jim Tolbert, Director of Neighborhood Development Services responded:
“I think the chances of getting the Fontaine connector out of this project are slim to none. I think we might get some money towards part of that. The big unknown in there is the bridge cost [Note: estimates range from $3 to $18 million for the bridge per Mr. Tolbert]. The bridge cost is so excessive, potentially, that this development would not be able to be profitable, and therefore you wouldn’t get the proffer for the entire bridge cost. We are working with the University and property owner of the Granger property looking at alternatives for financing and for moving that forward and I would anticipate that some of those [Biscuit Run] proffers might very well go towards a portion of that, but I don’t think we would expect to get enough out of it to be able to do that [entire] project.”
This exchange came during the Charlottesville Planning Commission's November 14, 2006 update on the Biscuit Run development located near the City's Southern border. The City's new traffic engineer, Jeannie Alexander, provided information on the preliminary transportation study. Jim Tolbert, Director of Neighborhood Development Services, answered questions about potential proffers and possible contributions to the construction of the Fontaine Ave/Sunset Connector.
Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20061114-CityPC-BiscuitRun.MP3
* In Charlottesville, City Councilors are required to attend some Planning Commission public hearings and they may participate in the meeting. Supervisors do not participate in County Planning Commission meetings unless there is a joint meeting between the two bodies.