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Gallaway will again serve as supervisors chair; County to consider amending development fees

Albemarle County Supervisor Ned Gallaway will again serve as chair of the Board of Supervisors in 2021.

Gallaway was unanimously selected at the board’s first meeting of the year on Wednesday.

This is his third time serving as Chair.

“Board, thank you for your confidence,” he said. “It is a pleasure that I will again serve as chair again for this year, and look forward to that.”

Supervisor Donna Price was selected vice chair for the second year in a row.

“Thank you, members of the board for your continued confidence, I greatly appreciate it, and I look forward to a very productive 2021,” she said.

The Board of Supervisors will continue to hold regular meetings at 1 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Community Development Department Fees

The board on Wednesday adopted a resolution of intent to amend the Community Development Department fees, and voted to schedule a public hearing to consider amending zoning fees.

The proposals would increase fees around building regulations, the county’s short-term rental registry, subdivisions and streets, water protection and zoning. They would also create new fees related to architectural review, water protection and building-related services.

Approximately $215,000 in additional revenue would be generated by changes in existing fees, about $88,000 from a proposed technology fee and about $40,000 in revenue from the various proposed new fees, according to an executive summary.

The item was initially pulled from the board’s consent agenda for the board to discuss.

Steve Allshouse, the county’s manager of forecasting and performance, said this was the beginning of this process.

“We are in the phase now where we’re going to be engaging in community outreach,” he said. “Our intention and community development is to speak with builders, speak with developers, to speak with environmental groups, to speak with land use attorneys, to get everybody’s input into the fees that were proposing, and perhaps to tweak them,” he said.

Allshouse said the fees were calculated based on a formula. The specific proposed fees are available in documents on the county’s website.

The executive summary said that most CDD fees have not increased since November 2015, while several other fees have not risen since July 2014 and others fees have not increased since November 2018. According to county staff, between FY 15 and FY 21, Board-approved salaries increased cumulatively by 13.36%; between FY 16 to FY 21 salaries increase 10.05%; and between FY 19 to FY 21 salaries increase 3%, and these were used to change existing fees.

For the new fees, the summary said county staff “has estimated the amount of time necessary to perform each of these services, the associated costs in terms of salaries and benefits, and the indirect costs that these services generate in terms of administrative work and technological infrastructure.”

During public comment, Neil Williamson with the Free Enterprise Forum, said resource tracking being used in the Community Development Department should allow a more accurate calculation, instead of using a “broad brush salary inflation guide.”

“The Free Enterprise Forum requests that the CDD staff, working with [Albemarle’s Housing Principal Planner] Stacy Pethia, calculates the impact of the proposed increases on different housing types,” he said. “Basic math leads me to believe the increases will be most impactful on properties in the lower price ranges, making more housing unaffordable to more individuals.”

Yancey Lumber

The board also approved an extension to the deadline by which the owners of R.A. Yancey Lumber Co. must obtain certificates of occupancy for all existing structures on the property.

Earlier this year, the board approved multiple special exceptions to reduce setbacks, allow buildings closer to dwelling units and allow expanded hours of operations.

One condition was that the owner must obtain certificates of occupancy for all existing structures by Feb. 1, but the owner requested changing that date to Oct. 1, citing project timing issues.

“I have worked very hard to meet or exceed all the deadlines and terms to which we agreed, but these two projects far exceed my ability to meet the stated deadlines,” Yancey Lumber President Patrick May said in a letter. “I did not plan to return to you for a deadline extension request, but circumstances beyond my control have made this my only option to avoid a shut down.”

According to the letter and photos, three fences that were part of mitigation conditions have been installed.

The change was approved on the board’s consent agenda.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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