On Tuesday morning,

Supervisor David Slutzky

is holding a

press conference

to launch what he describes as a new rural area protection proposal for Albemarle County based on the

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

.  A TDR program for Albemarle would allow rural area landowners to voluntarily sell any unused potential housing lots as credits to landowners building in designated receiving areas.  The rural land would be protected because the development lots would be permanently eliminated once purchased.  A landowner acquiring development rights under a TDR typically does so in exchange for the ability to build more housing than would be allowed under the land’s existing zoning.  The receiving areas are typically located near growth areas with adequate public facilities and infrastructure.

In the 2006 General Assembly session, legislation was passed giving localities the authority to provide for voluntary TDR programs in their zoning ordinance [links to the

legislation

and the

Code of Virginia

]. However, Mr. Slutzky’s TDR proposal will require some amendments to the new law to be approved by the General Assembly. As a result, Mr. Slutzky says he will ask the

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

to add TDR amendments to the County’s legislative agenda for the 2007 session.

In January, the

Washington Post

described some of the TDR supporters in Richmond as “strange bedfellows.”  Reporter Michael Shear was referring to Chris Miller, President of the

Piedmont Environmental Council

, and Mike Toalson, chief lobbyist for the

Home Builders Association of Virginia

, both of which asked the General Assembly to pass the law. Mr. Slutzky’s media release claims a similar alignment may be occurring in Albemarle as well.

“Property Rights Advocates, Environmentalists and Business Leaders have all voiced support for Slutzky’s proposal. Already, the Farm Bureau, Southern Environmental Law Center, the Free Enterprise Forum, the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Blue Ridge Homebuilders have expressed interest in the County exploring the proposal.”

Slutzky’s proposal, as described in the

media release

and in briefings attended by Charlottesville Tomorrow, includes the following major components:


Charlottesville Tomorrow

plans to podcast Tuesday’s press conference and interview Mr. Slutzky about the details of his initiative.  Updated information will be published on our Weblog.


ADDITIONAL LINKS OF INTEREST



David Slutzky’s October 2, 2006 Media Release



Daily Progress coverage October 3, 2006


Discussion about TDRs in the 2006 General Assembly session:

Brian Wheeler


*

Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan

: “In December 1980, the County was comprehensively rezoned. In the Rural Areas, a single zoning district was created that focused on agriculture and forestry as the preferred uses, but it also accommodated development by assigning each rural parcel up to five development right lots (lots with a minimum of 2 acres). Outside those development right lots, a minimum parcel size of 21 acres was established in hopes of preserving larger parcels for agriculture, open space, and rural character.”

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