Opportunity — Clear & Immediate:
On Tuesday night, the Albemarle County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend DENIAL to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors of the restoration of 223 acres of lost development area acreage at US29 South & Interstate 64. This is very disappointing.
Two weeks ago our Chamber had previously communicated with the Commissioners and Supervisors that our Chamber “firmly supports this reasonable partial restoration of the lost development area acreage and other such future reasonable adjustments that do not present manifest shifts to the important development/rural area balance.” This significant matter, with the regrettable Planning Commission denial recommendation, now goes to the Board of Supervisors, in early September, for a decision.
Over the past several years, Albemarle County has taken a number of steps to improve its overall business environment and adjust, perhaps erase, hopefully with needed further steps, its decades-old reputation as unreceptive, sometimes even hostile to business. This very modest proposal to restore 223 of the 440,000 acres (95%) in the County’s rural area to allow for needed business sites presents a clear, immediate opportunity for Albemarle County – business, jobs, tax revenues.
Our Orange Dot Report estimates there are more than 5,000 families in Albemarle & Charlottesville that are not self-sufficient.
The best anti-poverty, economic development program is: a job.
Planning Commissions deal in the details of land use. It is hard work and they are honorable citizens. Supervisors, however, have a much broader responsibility to address and balance myriad important, often competing concerns: public safety, economic opportunity, workforce enhancement, tax-base growth and diversity, school and pre-school enrichment, infrastructure, cultural, environmental and recreational improvement – and more.
Hopefully our Supervisors will choose to move forward.
If between now and Labor Day you have occasion to speak with any Albemarle County Supervisor, please take the time to express your support to seize this opportunity.
Timothy Hulbert, IOM