Albemarle OKs development restriction
By Julie Stavitski  / Daily Progress staff writer
November 11, 2004

Albemarle County supervisors approved a policy Wednesday that restricts the creation of community development authorities by developers while they considered the financing mechanism for one of the largest rezonings before them.

“Never in our wildest dreams would we have believed the CDA issue would become the issue it has,” North Pointe developer Charles Rotgin Jr. said.

Community development authorities are a mechanism for developers to finance infrastructure, and have been used by the county in the rezonings of Hollymead Town Center and Albemarle Place.

Rotgin, developer of the proposed commercial and residential development at the corner of Proffit Road and U.S. 29, showed the board two North Pointe plans: one with county-initiated CDA and one with a developer-initiated CDA. Rotgin’s CDA includes significant improvements to U.S. 29 as well as an additional entrance road - termed “Northwest Passage” - from U.S. 29 into the development.

After seeing both plans, the supervisors voted unanimously that developer-initiated CDAs can only be used if the project is implementing an approved master plan, or for “exceptional” projects considered after zoning is in place or contemporaneous with a rezoning.

Projects would also have to demonstrate that a CDA is necessary to aid infrastructure improvements consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

“We need to have guidelines for approving CDAs,” Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker said.

The county CDA for North Pointe offers some transportation improvements on U.S. 29, an elementary school site, $25,000 toward a regional transportation study, affordable housing, and stormwater management for offsite facilities.

Rotgin’s CDA offers completion of a Northwest Passage road that would offer another entrance to the development, a library site, and additional third-lane improvements to the northbound lane on U.S. 29.

Rotgin said it was “our desire to do everything” on his CDA plan, but he was happy with most aspects of the county’s plan.

The CDA plans were unveiled after county staff and North Pointe developers worked together to resolve numerous issues over the past month.

“We’ve resolved as many differences as possible,” Director of Community Development Mark B. Graham said, but on some issues, like the amount of money contributed to the regional transportation study, they’d have to “agree to disagree.”

Graham said staff still recommends denial of both plans based on several design issues, including recommendations made by the Architectural Review Board and the layout of the library block.

Contact Julie Stavitski at (434) 978-7237 or jstavitski@dailyprogress.com.