Biscuit Run goes to public hearing

Tomorrow evening, the

Albemarle County Planning Commission

will hold a public hearing on the proposed 3,100 home

Biscuit Run development

on 828 acres just south of the City of Charlottesville.  Unless the applicant requests a deferral, which is not expected, the Commission’s vote and recommendation would send the project to the

Board of Supervisors

who could schedule work sessions to begin in April and could hold their own public hearing and vote as early as May 9, 2007.

In their report released last Friday, County staff outlined both favorable and unfavorable aspects of the development, but concluded that they could not recommend approval of Biscuit Run until a number of outstanding issues were resolved and a revised plan and proffers are submitted and evaluated.

Two key reports have been finalized since the applicant last submitted their plans to the County for final review.  Earlier this month,

Charlottesville Tomorrow

was the

first to share the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) assessment


Biscuit Run’s transportation infrastructure needs

.  VDOT’s analysis focused on improvements required only to Route 20, Avon Street, and Old Lynchburg Road. The total cost of the improvements is estimated to be $88,092,000 (2014 dollars)

with VDOT suggesting the pro-rata share that should be proffered in cash by the developer totaling $32,085,000

.  That amount is just for improvements on these three streets.

The second new report is the

County’s fiscal impact analysis

which is conducted for most major developments in the County.  According to the staff report it reveals Biscuit Run would have “a negative fiscal impact.”

Staff estimate that over the next twenty-years, if the Biscuit Run property is developed as requested, it could have a negative impact of $134.6 million on Albemarle County

.  The property could also be developed “by-right” with fewer homes resulting in a negative fiscal impact of $88.7 million over twenty years.  To mitigate the impact of the Biscuit Run rezoning, the developer has

proffered the equivalent of $20.7 million

in transportation improvements, greenways, parks, affordable housing, and a school site.

The staff report also points out that, “[w]hile many mixed-use projects have either no fiscal impact or a positive fiscal impact, in this case, the commercial area is too small relative to the residential area to influence the fiscal impact in a positive way. Almost all residential projects result in a negative net fiscal impact.”

Brian Wheeler