1st North Pointe plan rejected

From staff reports
Charlottesville Daily Progress
Thursday, December 13, 2007

The first plan to start building at what could be a 900-unit development in northern Albemarle County has been rejected.

After years of contentious debate, North Pointe is one of the largest area developments the county Board of Supervisors has approved in recent years.

Developer Richard Spurzem has proposed to build about 180 units on 40 acres on part of the North Pointe site. But county staff rejected his plan for numerous reasons, officials and Spurzem said. The proposal did not conform to the general plan supervisors approved last year, among other reasons.

Mark Graham, director of community development, said one of the central issues was sewer capacity. Before North Pointe approvals can move forward, the issue of sewer capacity - and who will pay for necessary upgrades - will have to be worked out.

“It’s a very significant issue, and we thought so at the time of rezoning,” Graham said.

Spurzem, the developer, said he’s considering suing the county over the issue, but he said Wednesday that he has not yet made up his mind. He has sued the county before over similar matters on another project.

“It seems like the county is taking the position that they’re going to reject the plan because it doesn’t meet this concept plan exactly,” Spurzem said. He said once detailed engineering had been done, some aspects of the general plan were not feasible.

Lee Catlin, county spokeswoman, said county officials and developers typically go back and forth until solutions are found. In this case, Spurzem wanted an answer quickly.

“We just told them we weren’t going to go through this process, and under state law they had 60 days to approve or disapprove the site plan,” Spurzem said. “We don’t think the county has the right to do this back and forth.”