Project Management Division  |  Courts Projects Options

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors met on December 20, 2017 to provide staff with direction on desired next steps regarding government operations / courts relocation opportunities. At the meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved the following motion on a 5-1 vote, with Supervisor Dill opposed:

  • The County will impose a moratorium on further discussions of the courts potential relocation from downtown from today until March 2 in response to the letter from the Mayor of the City of Charlottesville.
  • The Board is directing Stantec to continue to explore the development of, and facilities in Albemarle County, such as the County Office Building, a performing arts center, and a convention center.
  • The County Executive and the County Attorney will resume negotiations on the Board’s behalf with the City of Charlottesville, on the County’s ownership and the County’s control of the 7th and Market Street parking lot and other related issues and terms.
  • Land-use valuation should be recognized in the revenue-sharing formula between the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville.

Any option to address the long-term needs of the Albemarle County courts will involve a significant financial investment. The exploration of potential partnerships related to relocating the courts facilities to an urban area of the County is, in part, motivated by the opportunity to invest County funds into urban development and revitalization to expand the County’s commercial and industrial tax base.

The Revenue Sharing Agreement is an agreement between the City and the County reached in 1982 by which the City agreed to forgo its right to annex County lands in exchange for payments from the County based on a formula.
As we reenter into negotiations with the City to keep the County courts downtown and consider the potential economic benefits to the County that would go unrealized, the County believes it is appropriate to reevaluate how the formula is applied for revenue-sharing to ensure economic fairness between the two localities. 
The calculation of the revenue sharing payment is based on a number of factors, including the respective assessed value of real estate and population.
Generally, the assessed value of real estate approximates its fair market value and real estate taxes are paid by each landowner on that value. However, under State and County law, some landowners in the County’s rural areas may be eligible to have their property assessed at its “use” value when it is devoted to bona fide agricultural, forestal, horticultural, or open space uses. “Use” values are significantly less and, therefore, tax revenues generated from those properties are significantly less.
The assessed value of real estate as used in the formula is discounted to reflect land use valuation policies which results in a significant increase in the annual payment by the County to the City. The County believes that its land use policies are consistent with State objectives for preservation of agriculture and natural resources and benefit the entire regional community and, therefore, should not be financially disadvantaged under the Revenue Sharing Agreement.
On Monday, December 18, 2017, staff from the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County met to discuss the General District Courts. The City requested the meeting as an opportunity to clarify its June 2016 proposal regarding a City/County partnership for downtown courts parking. Those present at the meeting were County Executive Jeff Richardson, County Attorney Greg Kamptner, City Manager Maurice Jones, and City Attorney Craig Brown. Following the meeting, this letter was sent from City Mayor Michael Signer to then-Board of Supervisors Chair Diantha McKeel. Board of Supervisors Chair Ann Mallek provided this letter as a response to City Council on January 8, 2018.

During a Public Hearing on December 18, 2017 Stantec provided the following resources:

Contact the Department
Project Management Division
401 McIntire Road
Room 420
Charlottesville, VA 22902
FAX: 434-293-0294
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