Conditional zoning; provisions applicable to certain rezoning proffers. (SB549)

Introduced By

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) with support from co-patrons Sen. Ben Chafin (R-Lebanon), Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Conditional zoning. Provides that no locality shall (i) request or accept any unreasonable proffer in connection with a rezoning or a proffer condition amendment as a condition of approval of a new residential development or new residential use or (ii) deny any rezoning application, including an application for amendment to an existing proffer, for a new residential development or new residential use where such denial is based on an applicants failure or refusal to submit, or remain subject to, an unreasonable proffer. A proffer shall be deemed unreasonable unless it addresses an impact that is specifically and uniquely attributable to a proposed new residential development or other new residential use applied for. An off-site proffer shall be deemed unreasonable pursuant to the above unless it addresses an impact to an off-site public facility, such that, (a) the new residential development or new residential use creates a need, or an identifiable portion of a need, for one or more public facility improvements in excess of existing public facility capacity at the time of the rezoning or proffer condition amendment, and (b) each such new residential development or new residential use applied for receives a direct and material benefit from a proffer made with respect to any such public facility improvements. In any action in which a locality has denied a rezoning or an amendment to an existing proffer and the aggrieved applicant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that it refused or failed to submit, or remain subject to, an unreasonable proffer that it has proven was suggested, requested, or required, formally or informally, by the locality, the court shall presume, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, that such refusal or failure was the controlling basis for the denial. The bill also provides that certain conditional rezoning proffers related to building materials, finishes, methods of construction, or design features on a new residential development are prohibited. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/13/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16103808D
01/13/2016Referred to Committee on Local Government
01/28/2016Impact statement from DHCD (SB549)
02/02/2016Committee substitute printed 16105117D-S1
02/02/2016Reported from Local Government with substitute (10-Y 2-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/04/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2016Floor substitute printed 16105216D-S2 (Obenshain)
02/05/2016Read second time
02/05/2016Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2016Committee substitute rejected 16105117D-S1
02/05/2016Substitute by Senator Obenshain agreed to 16105216D-S2
02/05/2016Engrossed by Senate - floor substitute SB549S2
02/08/2016Passed by for the day
02/09/2016Read third time and passed Senate (29-Y 8-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/11/2016Placed on Calendar
02/11/2016Read first time
02/11/2016Referred to Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns
02/16/2016Assigned CC & T sub: Subcommittee #2
02/17/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (7-Y 0-N)
02/19/2016Reported from Counties, Cities and Towns with substitute (17-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2016Committee substitute printed 16105559D-H1
02/22/2016Read second time
02/23/2016Floor substitute printed 16105756D-H2 (Cole)
02/23/2016Read third time
02/23/2016Substitute by Delegate Cole rejected 16105756D-H2
02/23/2016Committee substitute agreed to 16105559D-H1
02/23/2016Amendments by Delegate Marshall, R.G. rejected
02/23/2016Pending question ordered
02/23/2016Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB549H1
02/23/2016Passed House with substitute (72-Y 26-N 2-A)
02/23/2016VOTE: PASSAGE (72-Y 26-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016House substitute agreed to by Senate (33-Y 5-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016Title replaced 16105559D-H1
02/26/2016Enrolled
02/26/2016Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB549ER)
02/26/2016Signed by Speaker
02/29/2016Signed by President
03/01/2016Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on 3/1/16
03/01/2016G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 8, 2016
03/08/2016G Approved by Governor-Chapter 322 (effective 7/1/16)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 5 clips in all, totaling 49 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

AYES 21, NOS 19. AYES 21, NOS 19. THE BILL PASSES. SENATE BILL 549, A BILL RELATING TO CONDITIONAL ZONING. THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM, SENATOR OBENSHAIN.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO ASK THAT THAT BILL GO BYE FOR THE DAY.

[Unknown]: WITH THAT OBJECTION,.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): BILL: 549 WILL GO BYE FOR THE DAY.

[Unknown]: SENATE BILL 574, A BILL
RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg): AYES 21, NOS 19.

[Unknown]: AYES 21, NOS 19. THE BILL PASSES. SENATE BILL 549, RELATING TO CONDITIONAL ZONING. SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM, SENATOR OBENSHAIN.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): MR. PRESIDENT, I MOVE THE BILL PASS. SPEAKING TO THE BILL.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): MR. PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF THE SENATE, THIS BILL DEALS WITH PROFFERS AND IT CORRECTS WHAT HAS GOTTEN A LITTLE BIT OUT OF WHACK IN TERMS OF WHAT THE APPROPRIATE STANDARD IS FOR PROFFERS IN VIRGINIA. RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE A SYSTEM IN WHICH CASH PROFFERS ARE ALLOWABLE AS LONG AS THEY ARE REASONABLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE INCREASED IMPACT THAT A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OR REZONING HAS UPON THE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS OF A LOCALITY. HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM IS THAT THAT REASONABLY ATTRIBUTED TO STANDARD HAS BEEN SO, SO LOOSELY INTERPRETED BY LOCALITIES AROUND VIRGINIA, THAT WE HAVE LOCALITIES THAT ARE ADOPTING JUST FLAT $60,000 PROFFERS, AND FLAT FEES WITHOUT REGARD TO THE IMPACT THAT IT IS REALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE -- OR THE INCREASED BURDEN THAT'S ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE IMPACT OF A PROPOSED REZONING. THIS TIGHT TENS THAT DEFINITION. IT TIGHTENS THE STANDARD, ALLOWS -- CONTINUES TO ALLOW CASH PROFFERS, BUT IT REQUIRES THAT THE PROFFER BE ONE THAT IS SPECIFICALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE INCREASED IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED REZONING ON THE LOCALITY. THERE HAD BEEN SOME CONCERNS EXPRESSED ABOUT THE -- ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURAL PROFFER BAN. THAT'S BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THIS BILL, AND APPROPRIATE FOR CERTAIN HIGH-DENSITY AREAS ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AROUND THE QUELL OF VIRGINIA. SO -- COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. SO MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT, I WOULD SAY THIS IS A PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT FRANKLY IS GOING TO HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON REDUCING SPRAWL. IT'S GOING TO HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON KEEPING HOME BUILDING AND HOME BUYING AFFORDABLE. IT'S GOING TO PREVENT PUSHING PEOPLE -- FARTHER AND FARTHER OUT THE I-95 AND 66 CORRIDORS AND CREATING ADDITIONAL STRATEGIC DEMAND ON THOSE ESSENTIAL CORRIDORS FOR COMMERCE. MODIFY THE BILL PASS.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY, SENATOR PETERSEN.

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax): GENTLEMEN YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

[Unknown]: I YIELD.

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax): THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM YIELD FOR A QUESTION? HE YIELDS, SENATOR.

[Unknown]: I ASK THE GENTLEMAN IF I LOOK AT LINE 44 AND 45 OF THIS BILL, IT DEALS WITH LOCALITIES THAT REQUEST OR ACCEPT ANY UNREASONABLE PROFFER, IS THAT IT IS CORRECT. CORRECT? FURTHER QUESTION, MR. CHAIR. SENATOR YIELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION? HE YIELDS, SENATOR. I'D ASK THE GENTLEMAN IF A DEVELOPER COMES FORWARD AND SAID I'D LIKE TO REZONE THIS PROPERTY AND I'M WILLING TO DO X, Y, Z, WILLING TO BUILD A NEW PARK, INVEST MONEY IN A NEW ROAD, I'M WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY TO THE LOCAL YOUTH CLUB, AND THEY MAKE THAT REQUEST VOLUNTARILY AND THE LOCALITY ACCEPTS THAT REQUEST AT FACE VALUE, THEY COULD ESSENTIALLY BE PUTTING THEMSELVES UNDER LEGAL LIABILITY, AM I NOT CORRECT. THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY RESPECTFULLY, THE SENATOR FROM THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IS NOT WE ALL KNOW THE REALITIES OF THE CORRECT. SITUATION. WE KNOW THAT VERY OFTEN WHEN REZONING REQUESTS ARE MADE, THERE ARE SUGGESTIONS MADE BY THE LOCALITY THAT WE MIGHT MORE FAVORABLY LOOK UPON YOUR APPLICATION IF YOU MADE THIS PROFFER OR THAT PROFFER, AND, OF COURSE, THE DEVELOPER, THE HOME BUILDER, THE HOME BUYER, THEY SAY -- THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THAT AND THEY SAY, YES. THOSE ARE PROFFER DEMANDS NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. TAKE THE SITUATION OF SOMEBODY WHO SIMPLY WALKS INTO JURISDICTION A AND SAYS I MAKE THESE PROFFER OFFERS, WHOLLY UNSOLICITED, IN THE FIRST COMMUNICATION TO THE COUNTY, AND THE COUNTY SAYS NO. AND THE DEVELOPER SUES AND SAYS, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE DENIED MY REZONING REQUEST ON THE BASIS OF, YOU KNOW, THESE UNLAWFUL PROFFERS. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GET OUT OF THE GATE BECAUSE, NUMBER ONE, THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE ANY EVIDENCE THAT THERE IS EVEN -- ANY SUGGESTION THAT THOSE WERE PROPER REQUESTS THAT WERE MADE BY THE LOCALITY. NUMBER TWO, IN A SITUATION IN WHICH, IN WHICH THE PROFFER OFFERS ARE ACTUALLY ACCEPTED, THIS DOES NOTHING TO UNDERMINE THE DOCTRINES OF WAIVER OR ESTOPPEL, AND IF THE, IF THE REZONING IS APPROVED AND THE HOMES ARE BUILT AND THE GUY COMES BACK IN AND SAYS, YOU KNOW, I WANT MY REMEDY FOR YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE UNLAWFUL PROFFERS, THE COUNTY WINS BECAUSE WAIVER AND ESTOPPEL WOULD BAR SUCH CLAIM. THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX. FURTHER QUESTION, MR. CHAIR. WITH THE SENATOR YIELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION? I YIELD. THE SENATOR YIELDS. I WOULD ASK THE GENTLEMAN, JUST GOING BY WHAT I SEE ON THIS PLAIN WHITE PIECE OF PAPER, IS THERE IN HERE THAT SAYS ESTOPPEL OR WAIVER OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN IF A DEVELOPER MAKES A VOLUNTARY PROFFER AND IT'S ACCEPTED AND LATER DEEMED UNREASONABLE, THE DEVELOPER CAN NOT ONLY LOOSE THAT PLAYOFF, BUT THEY COULD BE THERE IS NOTHING IN HERE, BUT LIABLE FOR LEGAL FEES. THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED THE BLACK BOOK, CODE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA WHICH HAS IN THE VERY BEGINNING OF IT PROVISIONS THAT SAY THAT THE COMMON LAW GOVERNS AND THE COMMON LAW OF ENGLAND, WHICH IS THE COMMON LAW THAT'S BEEN BE A PLIED HERE IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, HAS WELL ESTABLISHED THE ZOK STRINS OF UNCHEAP -- DOCTRINES OF UNCLEAN HANDS, ESTOPPEL AND WAIVER AND THERE'S NOTHING IN THERE THAT UNDERNINES OR JOEFRLS THOSE DOCTRINE. FURTHER QUESTION. THE SENATOR SIMPREELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION? I YIELD. I'D ASK THE GENTLEMAN IF HE AGREES WITH ME THAT THE COMMON LAW IS ALWAYS OVERRIDDEN OR SUPERSEDED BY A STATUTORY LAW WHICH SPEAKS FOR A SPECIFIC SITUATION? MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY THIS DOES NOT SPEAK FOR A SPECIFIC SITUATION THAT OVERRIDES THE COMMON LAW AS IT RELATES TO WAIVER, ESTOPPEL, OR UNCLEAN HANDS. THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY. LAST -- OR FIRST FINAL QUESTION, MR. CHAIR, IF I MIGHT ASK IT. SENATOR YIELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION? I YIELD. HE YIELDS, SENATOR. I WOULD ASK THE GENTLEMAN THAT THIS BILL USES THE TEXT ABOUT SPECIFICALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE NEW PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT. I WOULD ASK THE GENTLEMAN WHO MAKES THAT DECISION AS TO WHAT A PLAYOFF IS ATTRIBUTABLE -- A PRAUF IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO A RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT. MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT I WOULD SAY TO THE GENTLEMAN IS THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN SUPPOSED TO BE -- IN THE PAST, UP TO NOW, IT HAS BEEN THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE JUDGMENTS AS TO WHAT IS REASONABLY ATTRIBUTABLE, WHAT IS ATTRIBUTABLE, AND QUITE FRANKLY, THEY HAVEN'T BEEN DOING THAT. THEY HAVEN'T BEEN DOING THAT. THEY'VE NOT BEEN DOING WHAT THE ORIGINAL LEGISLATIVE INTENT OF OUR CASH PROFFER LAWS ENVISIONED THEM TO DO, AND AS A CONSEQUENCE, THIS IS GOING -- THIS PUTS THE BURDEN BACK ON THEM TO DO WHAT THEY WERE EXPECTED TO BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE. NOW, SOME -- AND FRANKLY, MOST JURISDICTIONS AROUND VIRGINIA THAT DO HAVE CASH PROFFERS, THEY'RE DOING A PRETTY GOOD JOB. THEY'RE NOT OVERREACHING, THEY'RE NOT SIMPLY IMPOSING BLANKET PROFFERS. IF YOU ARE MAKING AN ASSESSMENT ON BEHALF OF A COUNTY AS TO THE IMPACT THAT IS SPECIFICALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE DEMANDS OF THE REZONING -- THE INCREASED DEMANDS THAT ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE REZONING, YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN COME MINES. IF YOU'RE -- IN COMPLIANCE. IF YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT RIGHT, YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN COMPLIANCE. SO IT'S UP TO THE COUNTIES AND WE'RE ASKING THEM TO DO WHAT WE'VE ALWAYS EXPECTED THEM TO DO, BUT THAT WHICH SOME OF THEM HAVE NOT, FRANKLY, BEEN DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF. THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. I SPEAK TO THE BILL AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. IT'S APPROPRIATE. YOU HAVE THE FLOOR. THANK YOU. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE, LONG BEFORE I GOT INTO THIS BODY, I ACTUALLY SERVED ON A CITY COUNCIL AND TO BE HONEST, I WAS AT LEAST 29 YEARS OLD WHEN I GOT LETTED, SO IT WAS -- ELECTED, SO IT WAS ALL FAIRLY NEW TO ME ANDS WOFT THINGS WAS, IT WAS A VERY ACTIVE TIME IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA FOR REDEVELOPMENTS AND REZONETION AND MEETING WITH DEVELOPERS AND DECIDING TO DEVELOPMENTS, THAT'S WHAT YOU DID. THAT'S WHAT YOU RAN FOR AND MADE THE DECISION, AND I WOULD MAKE A POINT ARE NOT JUST GOING TO THE SITE, BUT GETTING TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORS AND GETTING TO KNOW THE PROJECT AND MEETING WITH THE DEVELOPER. I NEVER ONCE IN ALL THE TIMES I LISTENED AND VOTED FOR OR AGAINST REZONETION, NET WITH A DEVELOPER THAT DIDN'T NECESSARILY WHEN THEY ASK FOR REZONING, HAVE PROFFERS THEY WERE WILLING TO MAKE OR CONSIDER TO GET THE REZONING. THAT'S HOW THE PROCESS WORKED. SOMEONE LIKE MYSELF WAS NOT SMART ENOUGH TO MAKE A BUNCH OF TYPICALLY, YOU HAVE SOMEBODY DEMANDS. COME TO YOU AND SAY ITS TO REZONE THIS PROPERTY AND I'M WILLING TO MAKE AN IMPROVEMENT TO A PARK, PUT A TURN LANE ON THE ROADWAY AND THAT'S WHEN THE NEGOTIATIONS WOULD BEGIN. THE BOTTOM LINE IS, THE PEOPLE THAT WE ELECT TO PUBLIC OFFICE ARE IN THE BEST PLACE TO MAKE THESE NEGOTIATIONS. YOU ANYWAY SAY, YES, BUT THE -- MAY SAY, YES, BUT THE SYSTEM IS RIGZ, BURDEN IN ON THE DEVELOPER AND IN A LOT OF WAYS, I AGREE. IN A LOT OF WAYS, THE REGULATIONS AND THE PROFFERS BECOME BURDENSOME, BUT THERE'S 131 DIFFERENT LOCALITIES IN THIS STATE AND YOU HAVE A COUPLE MORE ACROSS THEHE POTOMAC RIVER AND THERE'S PLENTY OF PLACE STOP GO. I WOULD AGREE TO A REASONABLE BILL TO LIMITING CASH PROFFERS, BUT IS THIS WAY MORE BROAD THAN THAT AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PROFFERS WHICH A LOCALITY ACCEPTS, NOT DEMANDS, WHAT THEY ACCEPT. YOU COULD HAVE SOMEBODY COME IN AND SAY, WELL, I WANT MORE DENSITY AND I'M WILLING TO DO X, Y, Z FOR IT, AND YOU COULD ACCEPT THOSE PROFFERS AND JUST UNDER THE PLAIN LETTER OF THIS LAW, YOU'RE SUDDENLY OPENING YOURSELF UP FOR LIABILITY. AND I NOTE THAT SOME AREAS HAVE BEEN EXEMPTED BECAUSE THEY'RE CLOSE TO A TRANSIT STATION OR THEY'VE BEEN PLANNED ALREADY FOR HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT, WHICH ALWAYS LEADS ME TO BELIEVE IF IT'S A BAD IDEA IN GENERAL, WHY IS IT SUDDENLY A GOOD IDEA NEXT TO A METRO STATION, OKAY? IT'S EITHER A BAD IDEA OR A GOOD IDEA. TO BE HONT, I'M VERY SYMPATHETIC WITH THE HOME BIDDERS. I REPRESENTED THEM AS A LAWYER, I UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES. I DO AGREE THAT PROFFERS DRIVE UP THE COST OF HOUSING, BUT WE HAVE PEOPLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL THAT HAVE TO WEIGH THESE CHOICES AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE THEM, GET RID OF THEM, BUT I THINK THIS IS MICRO MANAGING IN AN AREA WHERE WE REALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON, SO I DO PLAN TO STROTE AGAINST THE BILL. THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM LOUT DONE, SENATOR WEXTON.

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg): I RISE TO SPEAK TO THE BILL.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg): THANK YOU N PRESIDENT. AS I THINK NERVE THIS BODY KNOWS, I'M FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY AND HAVING ONLY BEEN HERE A COUPLE YEARS, IT'S BEEN VERY INTERESTING TO ME SO SEE HOW, WHEN I TELL PEOPLE I'M FROM LOUDOUN, I GET A LOT OF EYE ROLLS. OH, LOUDOUN. I GET IT IN FROM SIDE OF THE CHAMBER, FROM THAT SIDE, FROM THE RURAL CAUCUS, THE URBAN CAUCUS. I GET IT, LOUDOUN IS A LITTLE BIT KOOKY TIMES. I THINK THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN AGREES WITH ME ABOUT THAT AND I GET FRUSTRATED WITH LOUDOUN COUNTY TOO, BUT MR. PRESIDENT, THERE'S AN EXPRESSION, NOBODY BEATS UP MY BROTHER BUT ME, AND I THINK THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF MISINFORMATION GOING ON WITH THIS BILL AND I THINK THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THE KIND OF GROWTH PACK FORCE WE'VE HAD TO -- FACTORS WE'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH IN MY HOME COUNTY THAT I HOPE OTHER FOLKS IN THIS CHAMBER HAVE TO DEAL WITH AS WELL. IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE THAT WHEN I CAME HOME ON FRIDAY, I WAS GREETED BY THE HEADLINE OF THE LOUDOUN TIMES MIRROR, LOUDOUN GROWTH LEADS STATE AND WHAT'S NOT STATED IN THE HEADLINE IS, AGAIN, BECAUSE THAT SAME HEADLINE, THAT SAME STORY COULD RUN IN OUR LOCAL PAPER EVERY YEAR FOR THE LAST DECADE PLUS. WE HAVE A LOT OF FACTORS AS WE SHIFT FROM BEING WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A RURAL -- WAS A RURAL COUNTY TO A MORE URBAN COUNTY AND GUESS WHAT? WE DON'T WANT TO BE FULLY URBAN. WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THAT RURAL CHARACTER THAT IS -- THAT MAKES IT SUP A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND OUR PROFFER SYSTEM HAS ALLOWED US AND TO LARGE EXTENT TO DO THAT. NOW, I JUST WANT TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE NUMBERS ABOUT WHAT WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT AND FACING IN LOUDOUN COUNTY OVER THE PAST FIVE, 10, 15 YEARS. WHILE VIRGINIA'S POPULATION HAS INCREASED BY ABOUT 4.8% SINCE 2010, LOUDOUN'S HAS INCREASED BY 20%. SINCE 2000, OUR POPULATION HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED FROM ABOUT 147,000 PEOPLE TO 375,000 PEOPLE. WE ADD THE POPULATION OF ESSEX COUNTY EVERY YEAR IN LOUDOUN. WE ADD ALMOST 3300 NEW STUDENTS TO OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS EVERY YEAR. SINCE 2001, WE HAVE CONSTRUCTED A NUMBER OF CAPITAL FACILITIES WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OUR PROFFER SYSTEM. NINE FIRE STATIONS. HE ALSO HAD TO BUY A BUNCH OF EQUIPMENT TO GO INSIDE THOSE FIRE STATIONS, THREE SHERIFFS STATIONS, TWO LIBRARIES, TWO REC CENTERS, TWO RESPITE CENTERS, SEVEN GROUP HOMES, EIGHT PARK AND RIDE LOTS, A NEW ADULT DEATTENTION CENTER, A NEW YOUTH CENTER, AND SINCE 2001, 41 NEW SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED IN LOUDOUN COUNTY. THAT'S 23 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, NINE MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND NINE HIGH SCHOOLS. I'VE BEEN IN THE SENATE TWO YEARS, I'VE HAD TWO NEW HOMELESSES OPEN IN MY -- HOMELESSES HOPE IN MY DISTRICT. WE'VE ISSUED ABOUT 3200 NEW RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS EACH YEAR SINCE 2005. THAT'S DEPTHS OF THE GREAT RECESSION. IN 2015, WE'RE PROBE LOOKING AT ABOUT 3800. THAT FAR EXCEEDS THE NATIONAL AND STATE AVERAGE AND WHAT THE NUMBERS TELL ME IS RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IS DOING JUST FINE IN LOUDOUN COUNTY. BUT I DO HAVE A FINAL NUMBER THAT ITS TO SHARE WITH YOU AND THAT'S 1.21 PER $100 OF ASSESSED VALUE. THAT'S BEEN OUR AVERAGE TAX RATE IN LOUDOUN COUNTY OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS OR SO. SO THIS GROWTH COMES WITH A PRICE AND IT'S NOT ALL BEING PICKED UP BY THE DEVELOPERS DESPITE WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE. IT'S BEING PICKED UP ON THE BACKS OF MY CONSTITUENTS. I THINK THAT THIS BILL WILL LIMIT THE LOCALITY'S ABILITY TO MANAGE GROWTH AND TO MAINTAIN THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND IT'S GOING TO CREATE A FURTHER TAX BURDEN ON MY CONSTITUENTS, AND SO I'M VOTING NO. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM, SENATOR OBENSHAIN.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY, SPEAKING TO THE BILL.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT A LITTLE BIT OF AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE ON THIS, AND I REALLY DO APPRECIATE THE COMMENTS FROM THE SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY AND OTHERS. YOU KNOW, MY DISTRICT IS ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA. I REPRESENT WARREN COUNTY AND I WILL REPRESENT RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY, AND I REPRESENT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN PAGE COUNTY AND SHENANDOAH COUNTY WHO WORK IN FAIRFAX AND IN LOUDOUN AND IN ARLINGTON AND IN ALEXANDRIA AND IN THE DISTRICT. LOUDOUN, I'M SURE, IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND I'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME THERE. IT IS THE RICHEST COUNTY IN AMERICA AND ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THAT IS THAT WORKING FOLKS CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE THERE. THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE THERE. LOUDOUN AND SOME COUNTIES, YOU KNOW, THE PROFFERS ARE, YOU KNOW, VERY AGGRESSIVE IN SOME OF THOSE COUNTIES. AND WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT NURSES OR POLICE OFFICERS, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS, WHO MAY WORK INSIDE THE BELTWAY, THEY CAN'T AFFORD THE EXTRA $60,000 TO MAY BE TACKED ON A HOUSE SOMEWHERE ELSE INSIDE THE BELTWAY, SO WHAT THEY DO IS LEAPFROG OVER OUTSIDE OF THE CORRIDOR, OUTSIDE OF LOUDOUN AND PRINCE WILLIAM AND FAIRFAX AND ARLINGTON INTO PLACES LIKE STAFFORD AND FAUQUIER AND WARREN AND RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY. THEY'VE GOT TO GET TO WORK EVERY DAY, AND THE WAY THEY GET TO WORK EVERY DAY IS ON ROUTE ONE AND ON INTERSTATE 95 AND ON 66 AND ON 50 AND ON 7. AND I HEAR AN AWFUL LOT OF COMPLAINTS FROM PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA ABOUT THE TRAFFIC OUT THERE. AND, YOU KNOW WHAT? A LOT OF FOLKS WHO LIVE IN MY DISTRICT, I LOVE THEM AND I LOVE REPRESENTING THEM, BUT THEY SURE WOULD LIKE TO NOT SPEND AN HOUR OR TWO HOURS OR TWO AND A HALF HOURS ON THE ROAD AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILY, COMMUTING AND CAUSING TRAFFIC JAMS EVERY DAY. SO, YOU KNOW, MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT I THINK THIS DOES IS IT MAKES THE SYSTEM MORE FAIR AND REVERTS BACK TO A SYSTEM THAT IS LIKE WE INTENDED IT TO BE. LIKE EVERYBODY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE. IF YOU'RE GOING TO BUILD A HOUSE, IT'S NOT FAIR FOR THEM TO GET SOCKED WITH ALL THE EXPENSES THAT MAY ARISE COUNTYWIDE, BUT IF I'M GOING TO BUILD A HOUSE IN A DEVELOPMENT THAT'S BEING REZONED FOR TEN HOMES, YOU KNOW, SOCK ME WITH THE INCREASED INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS THAT'S CAUSED BY MY TEN HOMES. NOT BY THE THOUSAND HOMES THAT WERE BUILT OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST DECADE FOR WHICH YOU NEED TO CATCH UP ON INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A FAIRNESS ISSUE. THIS IS A WORKING VIRGINIANS ISSUE. THIS IS RESTORING WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG, SO WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK THAT THIS BILL PASS.

[Unknown]: THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY, SENATOR SASLAW.

Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield): MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST OFF, LET ME TELL YOU, THIS BILL HAS BEEN AMENDED UMPTEEN TIMES TO TRY TO ACCOMMODATE AS MANY MUNICIPALITIES AS POSSIBLE. WE DEALT WITH ONE CRITICISM AFTER NEXT, AND I UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, THAT LOUDOUN IS IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION THAN A LOT OF OTHER AREAS, BUT THE FACT IS THAT THE SITUATION WAS BEING ABUSED AND THE BILL -- SENATOR WEXTON NAMED A LOT OF THINGS THAT HAVE OCCURRED THERE. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE WOULD BE BARRED BY THIS BILL. LET ME REPEAT THAT. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PROFFERS ARE BARRED BY THIS BILL IF THE DEVELOPMENT CAUSES THE IMPACT THAT CREATES THE NEED FOR THAT. ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT GOT UP AND TESTIFIED AGAINST THE BILL SAID, GEE, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO -- WE NEED THIS MONEY TO BUILD LIBRARIES. THAT'S NOT WHAT THE PROFFER SYSTEM IS FOR. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE PROFFER SYSTEM IS FOR, SO YOU CAN BUILD LIBRARIES. THE CASE THAT WENT TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT YEARS AGO, AND I'M NOT AN ATTORNEY, SO I DON'T PAY A WHOLE LOT OF ATTENTION, BUT I THINK IT WAS A CASE FROM OREGON WHERE A DEVELOPER PUT SOMETHING UP, YOU KNOW, I GUESS A LARGE SUBDIVISION WOULD BE END OF THE COUNTY AND AT THE OTHER END OF THE COUNTY, HE HAD TO PAY TO BUILD A SCHOOL AT THE OTHER END OF THE COUNTY. AND IF IN FACT IT'S -- THE SUBDIVISION -- AND BY THE WAY, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY COMMERCIAL REZONINGS. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY COMMERCIAL REZONINGS, SO IF THAT -- WHATEVER THAT COMMERCIAL REZONING CREATES, THE DOOR IS OPEN. IT DOESN'T APPLY TO THAT. IF YOU'RE NEAR A MASS TRANSIT AREA, AND I HEARD WHAT THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY SAID, BUT THEY'RE EXEMPTED OUT FOR A REASON AND THE REASON IS THAT YOU GOT MASS DENSITY AROUND THERE, AND IF THEY -- A TRANSIT ZONE OR A MASS TRANSIT ZONE, THEY'RE PRETTY MUCH OUT OF THE BILL. AND BY THE WAY, I THINK IF A COUNTY CREATES A CORRIDOR WITH A WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY A FOUR-STORY BUILDING, THEY'RE OUT OF THE BILL. AND IF BUILDING -- SOMEBODY WANTED TO COME IN WITH A SUBDIVISION, QUITE FRANKLY, USE NOT GOING TO BUILD THAT BIG OF SUBDIVISIONS ANYMORE IN MY HOME COUNTY. LOUDOUN IS DIFFERENT, I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT IF THAT A FLOOR-TO-AIR RATIO OF FOUR, CREATES A NEED FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL, THEN THE DEVELOPER, YOU KNOW, IS RIGHT THERE WHERE THE SUBDIVISION AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. WE HAD DEVELOPERS IN FAIRFAX COUNTY BACK IN THE '70s AND '80s DOING THAT WHEN MASSIVE SUBDIVISIONS CREATED THE NEED FOR AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. THEY CONTRIBUTED. SO THEY SHOULDN'T PAY -- THE PROFFER IS FOR THE SUPPOSED TO PAY FOR THE OPERATING COST. THAT'S WHAT THE REAL ESTATE TAX DOES THAT'S ON THE NEW HOMES BEING BUILT. THERE WERE ABUSES GOING ON AND YOU OUGHT NOT TO HAVE A BLANKET FEE. THE PROFFER SHOULD BE CONNECTED TO WHATEVER IMPACT IT CREATES IN THAT AREA. NOT A BLANKET FEE FOR WHATEVER BECAUSE YOUR COSTS ARE GOING UP ALL OVER THE COUNTY AND YOU NEED THE MONEY TO FIX THE PROBLEM. SO -- AND LIKE I SAID, WE HAVEN'T STONE WALLED IT ON THIS BILL. WE HAVE TRIED TO MEET EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S DEMANDS ON THIS BILL, BUT THERE ARE SOME -- SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN'T BE SATISFIED. I WOULD HOPE THAT YOU ALL WOULD SUPPORT THIS BILL AND VOTE FOR ITS PASSAGE.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE QUESTION IS SHALL SENATE BILL 549 RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL. THEIR VOTE?

Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield): AYES 29, NOS 8, RULE 36-2.


Sen. Steve Newman (R-Forest): AYES 1, NOS 39.

[Unknown]: AYES 1, NOS 39. THE SENATE REJECTS THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTE. SENATE BILL 549, PASSED THE HOUSE WITH A SUBSTITUTE. THE SENATOR FROM ROCKINGHAM, SENATOR OBENSHAIN.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): MR. PRESIDENT, I MOVE THAT WE ACCEPT THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTE AND SPEAKING TO THAT. THIS IS THE PROFFER BILL AND SINCE THIS BILL LEFT THIS CHAMBER AND TRAVELED ACROSS THE HALL, SOME ADDITIONAL NEGOTIATIONS, SOME ADDITIONAL CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE LARGELY IN RESPONSE TO CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN ARTICULATED BY CERTAIN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND I WANT TO RUN THROUGH PRETTY QUICKLY WHAT SOME OF THOSE CHANGES ARE. IF YOU LIKED THIS BEFORE, YOU OUGHT TO STILL LIKE IT. HOPEFULLY WE'VE SATISFIED SOME OF THE CONCERNS OF SOME OF THOSE WHO REPRESENT LOCALITIES THAT HAD SOME OF THE CONTINUING CONCERNS. ONE THING THAT WAS CHANGED IS THE DEFINITION OF RECREATIONAL FACILITIES HAS BEEN -- WELL, PUBLIC PARKS HAS BEEN CHANGED TO INCLUDE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES AND PLAYGROUNDS. THAT WAS A LOCAL GOVERNMENT REQUEST. ALSO, IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN ARTICULATED BY PARTICULARLY LOUDOUN COUNTY AND FAIRFAX COUNTY CONCERNING PLANNED DEVELOPMENT AROUND METRO AREAS, IT ADDS A DEFINITION OF SMALL AREA COMPREHENSIVE PLANS TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE PLANS AROUND THE METRO, PLANNED METRO DEVELOPMENT AND REVITALIZATION ZONES SERVE BY MASS TRANSIT. ALSO, IT ALLOWS A LOCALITY TO BASE ITS PUBLIC FACILITY CAPACITY ON PROJECTED IMPACT THAT SPECIFIC -- ARE SPECIFICALLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AND THIS WAS A PARTICULAR REQUEST FOR THE BENEFIT OF MY SEAT MATE AND A COUPLE OF OTHERS OF LOUDOUN COUNTY THAT WAS ADDED TO THIS. ALSO, THE AVAILABILITY OF COMPENSATORY DAMAGES. SOME PEOPLE WERE CONCERNED, SOME LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WERE CONCERNED THAT LANDOWNERS, WHEN FILING PRIVATE CAUSES OF ACTION SEEKING NOT ONLY APPROVAL OF THE ZONING THAT MAY HAVE BEEN DENIED, BUT ALSO SEEKING COMPENSATORY DAMAGES, THAT'S BEEN DELETED. IT'S BEEN STRICKEN FROM THE BILL. AND FINALLY, THE -- THERE ARE PORTIONS OF THE BILL THAT WERE REWORDED TO FURTHER ACCOMMODATE THE FUTURE METRO STATIONS AND THE ANTICIPATED HIGH DENSITY REVITALIZATION ZONES. SO WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK THAT THE BODY ACCEPT THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTE.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE QUESTION IS SHALL THE SENATE CONCUR WITH THE SUBSTITUTE. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg): AYES 33, NOS 5, RULE 36-2.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB770.

Comments

Tom writes:

This bill appears to weaken local governmental authority to negotiate with developers for proffers to secure funding to infrastructure - roads, schools, parks, etc - that the development may necessitate. So those costs would have to be picked up by taxpayers. New developments should pay for the costs of their impacts on a community.

Nelson Ruffin writes:

People need to be reminded that developers once had the right to hold people legally responsible if they even spoke out against them. Tell everyone that this is essentially Republican Obamacare for the housing industry and the middle class will pay for all the rich landowners whims. Urge the governor to veto the legislation. I am a conservative republican and I am appalled at. No wonder this state is going Democratic.