Albemarle water authority asked to prepare for expansion areas
By Sean Tubbs
Friday, October 21, 2011
The executive director of the
Albemarle County Service Authority
told his board of directors Thursday they may be reviewing seven service area expansion requests in the coming year.
“These seven areas could comprise up to 2,500 housing units, 350,000 square feet of commercial development, and two potential industrial sites,” said
, the ACSA’s executive director.
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Earlier this month,
the Planning Commission voted 4-2 to end consideration of several requests to expand the county’s designated growth area
for residential and commercial developments.
However, the current
Albemarle Board of Supervisors
is expected to review those requests more favorably.
“Some of these areas have readily available water and sewer services, while for others it would be difficult and likely very expensive to get service to the proposed development area,” O’Connell said.
ACSA board member
asked who would be responsible for paying to connect to the system.
“Most of the ones they are talking about now, if it’s not adjacent to [the system], it would likely be at the developer’s expense,” O’Connell said. “There are a couple places where it could be an exception to that.”
O’Connell said some of the expansion requests are in the watershed of the
South Fork Rivanna Reservoir
and will likely not be granted.
“The area that I think could [face] the most infrastructure cost would be the industrial area … at I-64 and Crozet,” O’Connell said, referring
to a proposal from the Yancey family
to bring 184 acres into the development area to create a light industrial business park.
The commission will consider that and other requests regarding industrial expansion at a meeting in December.
In interviews related to their local election campaigns, all the Albemarle supervisor candidates were asked by
if they would support boundary adjustments for the growth area.
Kenneth C. Boyd
, an incumbent running for reelection to the Rivanna District seat, said the board should keep an open mind regarding the growth area boundaries.
“We are currently updating our comprehensive plan and studying land use needs, particularly as it relates to the economic vitality action plan and light industrial zoning,” said Boyd.
His opponent said she disagrees.
“I am not comfortable at this moment expanding the boundaries of the growth area,” said Democrat
Christopher J. Dumler
, one of two men running to replace
Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr.
, said the board should first look at ways to encourage redevelopment as opposed to developing currently vacant land.
“It may be good for the bottom line of the developer, but those incentives can be adjusted such that it’s easier to redevelop and that’s one of the things I think we need, before we talk about expanding the growth area for business,” Dumler said.
His opponent, Republican
James C. Norwood
, said he is for growth but added he is cautious.
“I would be very, very careful to expand and rezone rural areas,” Norwood said.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, O’Connell told the ACSA board that the request for proposals to design and build the U.S. 29
will give insights into possible relocations of county water and sewer lines.
“During that process we’ll start to get a better sense of utility impacts on the service authority,” O’Connell said. He also said the RWSA has already begun to negotiate with VDOT about using some of the right-of-way for the pipeline that will eventually connect the
Ragged Mountain reservoirs
The ACSA also approved a resolution supporting the regional water plan, which the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority will now submit to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.