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SEPTEMBER 25, 2006
5:30 P.M.

Board Present: Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings, Eric F. Purcell, and Jack T. Wright
Others Present: C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; and Michele Doty, Deputy Clerk


On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, Chairman Barnes called the Board back in session for the September 25, 2006 special work session of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors at 5:30 p.m.  


Mr. Gentry asked that the pool committee report and skeet range discussion be added to the agenda.  

On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board approved the agenda as amended.


Rick Hendrix, Green Springs District, addressed the Board indicating his concern regarding A-2 subdivisions and how dangerous these subdivisions are when they cut up the road frontage too much.  Mr. Hendrix asked the Board to be mindful and careful in choosing the dollar amount for proffers as these fees get passed down to the buyer and if this number is too high it can prevent residents from moving into the area.  Mr. Hendrix thanked the Board for their hard work.

Andrew Kenney, Patrick Henry District,
indicated that he is strongly opposed to reducing the number of lots in A-2 subdivisions.  Mr. Kenney indicated that the Board decided to increase this number to reduce cuts on our rural byways and more importantly with the idea of improving the roads into subdivision by requiring they be built to state specifications.  He feels that the decision of 18 by-right was a good idea.  Mr. Kenney noted that there have been some problems where a few developers took advantage of a loophole in the ordinance and some subdivisions were approved that might not have been approved without this ordinance.  Mr. Kenney asked the Board to address and fix the loophole and not punish the property rights of the many landowners of A-2 properties.

With no additional citizens wishing to address the Board, Mr. Barnes closed the citizen information period.


Mr. Lintecum indicated that there are three bills under consideration during the special session for the Virginia General Assembly.  These bills would shift the responsibility of maintenance for secondary roads back to the counties.  It is Mr. Lintecums understanding that in 1932, under a bill proposed by then Virginia State Senator Harry F. Byrd, the responsibility for road maintenance was shifted to the State and counties started picking up more of the educational costs then they had been previously.  Mr. Lintecum stated that some of these changes would be effective January 1st,2007, and further stated that the County is not in a position to maintain state roads.  Mr. Lintecum acknowledged that planned use controls are appropriate and something that we should be doing but it appears to him that the real purpose of these changes is to shift the responsibility of the maintenance of secondary roads from the State back to the localities.  Mr. Lintecum provided the Board with a copy of a memo that states the Countys position to oppose these bills.  He talked with several colleagues and feels that they are also going to object to these proposed bills.  Mr. Wright indicated that he feels this is the most irresponsible action the State has ever tried to pass off on the counties,  and that the State  caused these problems and got themselves in deep holes with the lack of management.  Mr. Purcell strongly recommended that we pass this motion to send a strong message that the Board  is capable of passing ordinances to manage growth in Louisa County and the State needs to do their job and take care of the roads.  Mr. Gentry indicated that VDOT is looking for more money and stirring up the locals by saying that VDOT cannot afford to do maintain the roads gets the issue into political arena and pushes the issue to the General Assembly.  Mr. Gentry stated that he has seen this type of political move before but not on this large of a scale and feels that a resolution in opposition is the appropriate thing to do.  Mr. Barnes indicated that he feels that it is ridiculous for counties to maintain their own roads, as many are not equipped to handle the task.  Mr. Barnes stated that there would have to be impact fees initiated in order to do the work that would be required to maintain our road system.  Mr. Gentry stated that part of the reason the maintenance of roads was taken over by the State was to ensure that all roads are consistent throughout the Virginia and if this management structure changes, the State will run back into the same problems.  Mr. Barnes asked Mr. Lintecum to be sure that Senator Houck and Delegate Janis get a copy of this resolution.

On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to adopt a resolution for the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to oppose House bills HB5093, HB5094 and HB5096.


Mr. Gentry indicated that the pool committee met after having discussions with the only contractor to submit   a bid for this project.  Mr. Gentry provided the Board with a document that shows a reduction in cost if the County  does some of the work. The Department of Facilities Management did  a breakdown of what they thought the costs could be if the County does some of the work and there is $154,000 difference between the Countys numbers and Loudin Building Systems bid.  Mr. Gentry stated that another local contractor submitted  an estimate of the cost for construction, and that estimate much lower, with  an approximate $400,000 difference.  Mr. Gentry said the recommendation of the committee is to reject the Loudin Building Systems bid and go forward with the project with the County being their own contractor.  Mr. Gentry said the County would  save a substantial amount of money.  Mr. Wright questioned if the other local contractor bid on the project and Mr. Gentry clarified that the other local contractor did not  bid but rather gave a projected cost.  Mr. Barnes asked if the projected costs that were received from The Department of Facilities Management and the other contractor would be within budget. Mr. Gentry stated that if it came between what The Department of Facilities Management said and the other local contractor  projected we would be within budget.  Mr. Wright questioned who would actually do the work, as we dont have the staff to do it.  Mr. Gentry indicated that it would be a combination between  the County Engineer doing the administrative work and then subcontracting out work in combination with utilizing Facilities staff.  Mr. Havasy asked when the last bid was submitted and Mr. Gentry indicated that we opened bid on August 3rd.  Mr. Havasy asked if it would be wise to have Loudin Building Systems re-bid on this project due to the reduction of material prices in the market.  Mr. Gentry stated that this had been discussed, however the committee had already tried to negotiate some of the prices.  Mr. Purcell indicated that he was not prepared for this discussion tonight, however he feels that due to the diligence of the pool committee he does not feel that he has the basis or knowledge to dispute their findings or recommend something different.  Mr. Barnes indicated that the only way he would support being our own contractor would be if there is a requirement that a superintendent be appointed to oversee and maintain responsibility on this project.  Mr. Harper indicated that he, as well, was not prepared for this discussion and in that regard he cannot support this motion.

On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board rejected the bid from Loudin Building Systems.

On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 4-3, with Messrs Harper, Havasy & Wright voting against, the Board authorized the County to move forward with the pool project on its own.

Fitzgerald A. Barnes Yes
Willie L. Gentry, Jr. Yes
Willie L. Harper No
Allen B. Jennings Yes
Richad A. Havasy No
Eric F. Purcell Yes
Jack T. Wright No

By-right and Continuous Parcel Discussion

Mr. Purcell indicated that there needs to be a consensus that the first problem is the loophole of adjoining lots and this ordinance needs to be rewritten so that it is concrete with the intention of the Board and no loopholes in that regard if that is the will of the Board.  Mr. Havasy indicated that he has always been in support of having seven by-right and thought they should have stayed with what they had.  He noted that the Planning Commission has come up new districts so that denser subdivisions would need to come through the County for either rezoning or get approval and this would provide the County with some sort of control.  Mr. Havasy stated that the County is watching itself being eaten away with no control and when the 18 lots was implemented it was too much and he feels we should go back to a much more reasonable number like seven and utilize the additional zoning that Community Development has developed.  This will give the County, Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission and staff more control on what is being built.  Mr. Gentry indicated that it is a concern of how the 18 by-right is affecting the A-2 development in trying to preserve the rural nature of the County.  Mr. Gentry further noted that the number of 18 by-right was agreed upon to meet the costs of maintaining the state roads and since this cost has not been as high as anticipated and the market value of the lots has increased he feels it would be reasonable to reduce this number.  Mr. Wright indicated that not only is stacking these subdivisions a problem but we have killed ourselves when you look back at what VDOT has reported in the last few months on the number of subdivisions they are reviewing for us.  We are getting an astronomical number of subdivisions coming to Louisa County and the only ones seen at the Board level are the ones that are being stacked and we have only seen about six in the last two months and yet there have probably been 40-50 submitted in the period of time.  Mr. Wright indicated that these subdivision should not be in A-2 at all, if you dont rezone you cant get a cash proffer and his position is that we need to get these residential subdivisions out of the agricultural zones.  Mr. Harper indicated that there are times when stacking makes sense such as when you are trying to keep the amount of access roads down.  Mr. Harper stated that he feels that zoning is done based on current desires and conditions rather than looking long-term in planning and thinks we need to look at the long-term to make these subdivisions work and we need an approach that takes the politics and emotion out of it.  Mr. Purcell stated that he feels that if the Board is going to go with new zoning districts then there has to be enough incentive that if you consider proffers it makes sense that nobody will do them they will just do R development because they can always get more out of R and pay their proffers and satisfy their needs.  If you go to just 10 and 12 and still paying proffers its not going to work.  If this number is put at 20 or 25, if the Board doesnt like it or it is ineffective it is a rezoning so it can always be turned down.  Mr. Purcell stated that he feels that these zoning districts are a good idea and will eliminate a lot of the problem.  Mr. Barnes acknowledged that this is not an easy topic but when this began the goal was to get houses off the road and the second was to get some state roads and whether or not you like the 18 concept or not there have been a lot of houses gotten off the road and we have gotten better roads.  Mr. Barnes stated that growth, development and affordable housing are the toughest issues to handle for all localities.  Developers are going to the by-right, building and stacking as many as they can and staying out of the proffers areas within the master plans.  The majority of these people felt that impact fees would be more beneficial and effective than proffers because impact fees are paid regardless.  Mr. Wright stated that most areas in Louisa County are A-2 and would have to be rezoned and questions if what the developers want is necessarily right for Louisa County.  Mr. Havasy stated that if developers are going to build no matter what he would prefer to see three than eighteen and if you look at what developers are building you would be hard-pressed to find a home selling under $300,000.  The developers are making the decision on what they are going to build to be profitable and the market dictates its, but by going to additional rezoning districts and requiring that a number of the houses be affordable give the County the opportunity to control this.  Mr. Gentry indicated that there was a lot of effort put in to get state maintained roads and doesnt want Louisa to take a step back.  Mr. Purcell indicated the home market dictates home prices and currently the market is $150,000-250,000 and the higher market has dried up.  He thinks that the market will handle these things and agrees that we should take the emotions out of this and set up a system that has different levels depending on the kind of development which will require the appropriate amount of the requests will come to the Board for rezoning.  Mr. Purcell doesnt think it is logical to make it more expensive to develop when we know that affordable housing is a problem in the County already.  Mr. Purcell questioned if there is a distinction between affordable housing and middle-income housing and if you deed restrict or otherwise legislate in that a house has to be at a certain price how does that affect a middle-class person if the market does go up and if they can get more for their house why shouldnt they be able to benefit from that change in the market.  
Mr. Coffey responded that there is a distinction between affordable housing and middle income housing but that the definition of affordable housing is largely dependent on the type of housing a locality is trying to provide.  The federal definition of affordable housing is that which serves persons at 80 percent of the Areas Median Income (AMI) or below.  Localities typically use this definition but may also target affordable housing for those persons at 100 or 120 percent of the median income.  Typically housing more than that is not marketed as affordable.  In Louisa County, housing at or below $200,000 is generally considered affordable.  Housing to serve 100 or 120 percent of AMI could possibly go as high as $250,000 at the most.  Housing prices above that level are not generally considered to be middle income housing, but more upper-middle to upper income housing.  Mr. Coffey also stated that a locality does not have to deed restrict affordable housing, but it may if it wants to ensure the affordable housing stock for a defined period of time.  Localities may require deed restrictions from a few years up to 10 or more, or simply allow the purchaser to sell whenever they choose and realize an equity gain much quicker.  The latter strategy can help lower income individuals gain equity quicker, but it also places the affordable house back into the free market at middle income pricing levels or higher reducing the number of affordable housing units in the community.  Mr. Coffey concluded by saying that it is important to allow for individuals to take advantage of the market, but that a locality can set the conditions under which that can occur both in terms of level of assistance and duration of affordability requirements.  Mr. Gentry agreed that the market changes are very obvious and the price of housing has come down.  Mr. Wright indicated that this issue should be handled by the new affordable house committee and questioned who makes the decision on what is affordable.  Mr. Barnes feels that landowners should have certain rights and doesnt know what the number should be.  Mr. Barnes stated that when there are changes to land use it can be a problem for the landowner and what they have planned for the property.  He also feels that people should have the right to be able to sell off pieces of land when they need money for expenses.  Mr. Purcell indicated that he recommends going to seven lots with state roads and look at the numbers that are appropriate for the new zoning districts.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the Planning Commission has given this a lot of consideration and stated that the products they have come up with tie all of these questions and issues together.  The affordable house initiative that was recently developed will be huge.  They looked at what the County will look at in 15-20 years, indicating that some will stay agricultural but the trend is residential and feels that there needs to be additional zoning districts to handle the challenges that lay ahead.  The County currently has A-1 and A2, residential and commercial district either in a growth area or not in a growth area and it is too dense to do residential outside of the growth areas.  From a marketing stand point currently there are no zoning districts for rural residential so they started looking at other zoning district options and came up with transitional residential and rural estate.  This gives two new products that a developer can choose from and decide if they want to do affordable housing or rural clusters.  If you reduced the by-right from 18 to seven citizens could still divide by-right, but it would not be a good incentive for a developer.  If we pay attention to the market and get the policy right it will be a win-win situation for the developer, the property owner and the County.  We can then get buffers, open space and affordable housing if the developer chooses to provide it by giving density bonuses for affordable housing through the proposed ordinance if it is adopted.  By using a long-range guide and piece-meal rezoning development we will preserve the rural character of the County and let it continue to develop.  Mr. Gentry asked how this process would take place and agrees that we do have to leave some by-rights out there.  Mr. Gentry asked when we should make these by-right changes before, during, or in connections with the additional types of zoning.  Mr. Coffey indicated that he would recommend that all the changes be made at the same time.  Mr. Wright indicated that he thought we were going to be pushing proffers and he did not hear any of this in Mr. Coffeys presentation.  Mr. Wright indicated that if you leave the by-right in A-2 there will be no income from proffers and the tax rate will not support the needs of the growing community.  Mr. Coffey stated that cash proffers are an important component and as you see larger developments that are approved for rezoning they will bring cash proffers with them.  Mr. Harper indicated that there is a lot more going to come our way and the infrastructure needs to keep pace with the growth and be done in a planned manner.  Mr. Harper stated that he would hope the process allows growth on a schedule that allows us to keep pace with the infrastructure.  Mr. Gentry said that he would like to see the Board issue direction to the Community Development Department and the Planning Commission to go ahead and start the process of studying the proposed new zonings and approve the fact that we want proffers and get this into the process to take action on it.  Mr. Barnes indicated that we need to get the Planning Commission to look at alternative zoning for the County.  Mr. Barnes stated that there needs to be a very diverse group in making these decisions and we must be sure that the public is educated on all changes.  Mr. Purcell stated that is seems to be the consensus of the Board that seven by-right lots should be the starting point and then you plan the other zoning classifications from that and that we send that recommendation.  Mr. Havasy asked that a final decision be made instead of leaving this in limbo and should state that it be seven period.  Mr. Purcell suggested that anyone who has already begun the process be grandfathered in with the 18 by-right ordinance.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board asked that the Planning Commission review this issue starting with seven by-rights and work up from that with the new zoning classifications.  

Proffer Discussion

Darren provided a summary list of items in the Capital Improvement Project that could be offset with cash proffers.  They have tried to make direct links to items that are already in place and those that we would like to get into place.  As you load your CIP for the necessities the proffers adjust to the maximum amount that would be accepted and spent on capital improvement items.  Mr. Purcell asked what the total capital budget was and Mr. McLeod indicated that Darren has broken these down into what needs to be done.  Mr. McLeod further stated that these needs varies dependent on what is being added such as infrastructure, schools, etc and it depends on the project.  Mr. Purcell confirmed that it is at the Boards discretion as to what capital improvement projects qualify for the purpose of setting the proffer rate.  Mr. Coffey further clarified that state code sometimes mandates that something is not eligible such as if it is a recurring cost.  Mr. Gentry stated that he feels that it is time to start moving forward or we may miss the cycle for next years budget and feels that Planning Commission and Community Development have already done a lot of research on this issue.  Mr. Wright expressed that fact that we need to make sure that the public knows that these funds do not go into general operating funds and doesnt offset taxes.  Mr. Purcell asked at what point are the proffers locked-in.  Mr. Morgan indicated that once a proffers is accepted that proffer cannot be changed.  Mr. Barnes indicated that the most developers around the County do not have a problem with proffers but rather the biggest problem is knowing what the proffers are.  Mr. Barnes feels that with existing homes in which families do not pay proffers should be paying a 1% real estate transaction fee as this would help cover infrastructure costs.  Mr. Barnes noted that the only way he will support this is if we put some caveat to accept non-cash proffers.  Darren emphasized that once the ordinance has been created all proffers need to be done consistently and failure to pay a cash proffers is not a reason to deny a zoning application.

On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0 the Board voted to go forward with the number presented and direct the staff to move forward with the building permit process and add language that we can accept non-cash proffers if the Board deems it with the rezoning application as appropriate.

Skeet Range Discussion

Mr. Gentry stated that he thought that the Board had previously agreed to the concept of the skeet range and asked that we have the Parks and Recreation Department apply for a CUP as previously proposed.  

On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 6-1, with Mr. Wright voting against, the Board voted to have the Parks and Recreation Department apply for a CUP so that this can eventually come before the Board for approval..


Mr. Barnes asked if the Board would be interested in doing pre-budget meetings to see what people want to build into the budget for the upcoming year.  These meetings will be held at Trevilian, Thomas Jefferson and Jouett Elementary Schools.  Mr. Wright stated that these meeting would be for public comment for the Board to hear before the budget is created.  It was agreed that the meetings would be held at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeterias of Trevilian Elementary on 10/31, Thomas Jefferson Elementary on 11/8 and Jouett Elementary on 11/16.  

On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to hold pre-budget meetings.

Mr. Coffey handed out a draft Schedule of Fees for the Boards information and review.  He asked that the Board consider the implementation of the new fees in the near future.  He stated that the schedule shows the current fees, the proposed fee, and a comparison of fees in adjacent jurisdictions.  The building fees also contain a comparative analysis among counties since some jurisdictions calculate their building fees differently from Louisa County.  He encouraged Board members to contact him if there were any comments or questions and thanked them for their consideration of the new fee schedule.  


On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the special work session at 7:25 p.m.