Developer told plan is lacking

By Julie Stavitski  / Daily Progress staff writer October 7, 2004

The developers of North Pointe have failed to offer sufficient incentives to warrant approval of the proposed 269-acre residential and shopping complex, Albemarle County staff said Wednesday.

The rezoning plan, submitted by North Pointe developer Charles Rotgin Jr., includes a promise to build a northwest passage road along the development, sites for a school and library and $25,000 for a regional transportation study, among other items. If the plan is approved, North Pointe would be allowed to establish a community development authority to finance necessary infrastructure improvements.

Mark B. Graham, director of community development, told the Board of Supervisors that staff looked at North Pointe’s offers along with those of two “comparable rezonings” - Hollymead Town Center and Albemarle Place. Both offered the county more incentives than has North Pointe, he said.

For example, Albemarle Place proffered $100,000 toward a regional transportation study.

“It is staff’s recommendation that we don’t believe the applicant met the criteria in the [CDA] policy,” Graham said.

County staff recommended last month that community development authorities be used only to implement projects identified in master plans or in “exceptional” situations that prove the developer will finance infrastructure above and beyond the average proffer.

Rotgin, however, said that the county is seemingly holding North Pointe’s rezoning to an unfair standard. “Based on the CDA decisions, you are saying you want to see the value of [North Pointe’s] proffers equal to or greater than those of Hollymead Town Center,” Rotgin said.

If the county rejects the authority plan, Rotgin has offered an alternative proposal that does not include the road, school and library sites and other incentives. The complex would be built at the corner of U.S. 29 and Proffit Road.

Rotgin stressed his desire to work with county staff during the next month in an attempt to see eye-to-eye on the plan. “We’ve got to see a light at the end of this tunnel that isn’t a freight train,” he said.

However, County Executive Robert W. Tucker Jr. said this may not be the case.

“I think this is going to come down to the board picking A or B of the two proposals,” Tucker said.

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