By Sean Tubbs
Monday, May 10, 2010
A report from the
Free Enterprise Forum
is calling for reform of Albemarle County’s
Architectural Review Board
(ARB). The non-partisan organization has released a 21-page report documenting what it describes as the ARB’s “unchecked expansion of regulatory power” in its nearly 20 years of existence.
According to the report, the ARB was created in 1990 despite the concerns of former Supervisor
who warned its creation might “create a monster.” The ARB has oversight powers over the design of buildings and structures in the county’s 21 designated “entrance corridors.”
Williamson’s report documents what the Free Enterprise Forum sees as “mission creep” and includes five case studies to illustrate the forum’s view. These range from the ARB requiring a bank to change the color of its logo to the denial of approval for a private school on Pantops because the design was too modern.
“Clearly it’s time to have a community discussion about the proper role of the ARB,” said Free Enterprise Forum President Neil Williamson.
The report was released to coincide with a Board of Supervisors public hearing scheduled on Wednesday on the topic of changes to the entrance corridor review process.