COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
North Pointe Worksession
Solicit Board recommendation on use of development CDA and proffers
Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Echols
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
October 6, 2004
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
At the September 1st Board meeting, staff sought direction on a proposed County policy for the use of Community Development Authorities (CDAs) created for the purpose of financing development costs, which staff has referred to as a “development” CDA. (see attachment) Staff recommended that the use of these CDAs be limited to (1) projects implementing an approved master plan that is part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan or, (2) exceptional projects that are only considered after all zoning is in place and which demonstrate that a CDA is necessary to accomplish the infrastructure improvements for that area that are consistent and necessary to implement the Comprehensive Plan. Staff believes that based on current land use and economic development policy, CDAs should be reserved for circumstances where projects require CDAs to accomplish infrastructure improvements consistent and necessary to the Comprehensive Plan and are beyond what would typically be expected.
While the Board did not take action on the proposed policy, staff was asked to complete an evaluation of two different approaches to the applicant’s plan, one with a development CDA and one without. The primary objective of this analysis was to clarify what additional benefits were being offered to the County by considering the approval of a CDA. This would be done through an evaluation and comparison of the proffers being offered by the applicant. In addition to considering the difference in the applicant’s proffers with and without a development CDA, determining how North Pointe’s proffers compare with those provided with other recently approved major rezonings is also important in considering North Pointe’s application.
In the attached narrative and table (Attachment D), staff has provided its comparison of the applicant’s proffers with those provided with other approved rezonings, both with and without the use of a development CDA. While the applicant does not necessarily agree with staff’s analysis, we feel that it represents a reasonable comparison given the differences between the various rezonings. In staff’s opinion, due to the significantly higher percentage of residential units in the North Pointe development, we believe the impacts are actually greater than those with the other rezonings.
Strategic Direction 2: Protect the County’s natural, scenic and historic resources.
Strategic Direction 3: Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Citizens
The purpose of this work session is to determine if the Board is willing to support the use of a development CDA to finance North Pointe’s proposed plan and proffers. This plan has been compared to both North Pointe’s plan without a development CDA and other recently approved rezonings. While the Board has yet to approve a policy regarding the use of development CDAs, staff believes that since this project has not been done through the master planning process, to qualify for the use of a development CDA, at a minimum it should (1) be considered exceptional and at least compare favorably with other recently approved rezonings and (2) adequately address the impacts of the development. In the case of both the North Pointe plan with a CDA and the plan without one, staff does not believe that these criteria have been met. The basis for this conclusion is included in the attached table and narrative.
Finally, while not the primary topic of this work session, a number of design issues have previously been expressed as concerns and have actually resulted in a recommendation for denial by staff and the Planning Commission. While considerable work over a number of months has addressed some of these concerns, staff and the applicant have agreed to disagree on a number of issues the committee of the Board asked to be worked out. However, staff does not believe that further effort would be beneficial in these areas without Board direction on the use of a development CDA. A decision regarding the use of a CDA may significantly affect any further work on the plan and, therefore, is necessary prior to additional staff time being spent in the review of this application.
It must be noted that staff anticipates that significant work remains to have a final plan and proffers ready for a public hearing. The attached proffers with staff comments illustrate the complexity of that task. While a November public hearing is considered desirable by everyone working on this project, staff believes this would require a flawless process using the existing plan and proffers, with the final submissions to be made within one week of this work session. If the owner proceeds using the alternative plan (without the Northwest Passage property), staff and the applicant are effectively starting over. The application plan would need to be revised, the proffers would need to be revised, and the special use permit conditions would need to be revised. Assuming the Board would want a final work session for that plan, staff believes it would be difficult to have the plan ready for public hearing before January.
Finally, it must be noted there is some question as to whether the alternate proposal (without the Northwest Passage property) should go back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing. This plan is a significant change from what the Planning Commission originally considered. The County Attorney has opined this is not a legal requirement, but the Board has previously shown reluctance to proceed without the Planning Commission’s recommendation when there is a significant change to a plan.
Staff does not believe that the use of a development CDA is appropriate for consideration with this rezoning for the reasons outlined above. If the Board determines it is appropriate for this project to proceed with a development CDA, a schedule for consideration of the CDA needs to be developed and coordinated with the rezoning application. In addition, staff will need Board guidance regarding changes that may be needed to the proposed plan and proffers and whether the alternate proposal (without the Northwest Passage area) should be referred back to the Planning Commission.
Attachment A – 9/1/04 Exec. Summary: Policy Regarding Community Development Authorities
Attachment B - Plan without Development CDA
Attachment C – Plan with Development CDA
Attachment D – Proffer Comparison Narrative and Summary Tables
Attachment E – Proffers with incorporated staff comments
Return to regular agenda