Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
UDAs Public Hearing, take 2
Twenty-one county residents spoke at the public hearing on urban development areas. Most are against them. They argue that UDAs encroach on property rights, will raise taxes and that the growth would be bad for the county.
Beginning the meeting, County Planning Director Wanda Parrish said, “I want to emphasize: This is not new growth. This is the expected growth we would see over 10 to 15 years anyway.”
Some residents do worry that building traditional neighborhoods with walkable communities could attract more growth than would ordinarily come.
Supervisors are now talking about the possibility of not designating a new UDA but to instead pass a resolution that the county has already met the requirements. Supervisor Hap Connors suggests using part of the county’s mixed use areas in the Comp Plan. He said the county has already accommodated growth by designating those mixed use areas.
ETA: County PIO Kathy Smith sent me this clarification about the ramifications of designating the UDAs late:
The legal repercussions for not designating the UDAs as comprehensive plan components by July 1, 2011 are not spelled out in the law, as indicated in the FLS article and at the June 28th Board meeting. The Board has indicated that it will probably move forward with alternative UDA designation/s, but slightly after that July 1 deadline. The Board will take up the UDA issue at their July 12th meeting and probably again at their August 9th meeting.
With regard to the grant obtained for consultant services, the deadline to meet UDA-designation requirements tied in with that grant is September 30, 2011, so the issue of any potential repayment obligations could well be resolved, with requirements met, by Board action at the two summer meetings.