Moratorium on New Residential Construction in Hanover County, VA
This petition had 427 supporters
In recent years, there has been a great deal of growth in the Atlee Station Road corridor. While this area is designated as suburban service area per the comprehensive plan, nearly half of all new residential construction in the entire county was located along this 4 mile stretch of road. There are well over 1000 additional units planned for this area with no plan to address the traffic congestion, safety, or schools.
Development is important, but it should be done with great care to maintain and improve upon what people love about Hanover.
We, the undersigned citizens of Hanover County petition the Board of Supervisors of Hanover County, Virginia to enact the following:
A moratorium to halt the rezoning of any parcel of property not currently designated as residential to residential, and the issuance of new building permits to any entity desiring to construct new residential structures. This would not preclude a homeowner or landlord from obtaining a permit for property improvements, nor should it prevent a landowner from subdividing their property to deed to a family member for construction of a primary residence.
This moratorium would take effect immediately and expire either in 12 months, or at which time both the Comprehensive Plan review of 2017 is complete, and the county has developed a long term strategic plan to address increased traffic and school populations in the Suburban Service Area including cost and funding plans.
This moratorium is necessary due to the current level of growth being experienced in certain parts of the Suburban Service Area within county. The specific references below are in regards to the Atlee Station Road corridor, but are representative of what could happen anywhere if this is left unchecked.
· Currently there is nothing in the Hanover County Capital Program (2017-2021) for widening the 4 mile long, two lane road. Any potential widening relies on speculative funds. Widening much of the road would also require the loss of land and or displacement of several residents who live on ASR.
· Of the 360 new home sales in Hanover County in 2016, 175 were in the ASR corridor, with 154 units directly contributing to traffic on ASR.
· The schools directly affected by the development are currently nearing capacity, yet there has been no significant public discussion on redistricting, or construction of new schools.
· A current proposal in front of the board places the density of the proposed subdivision at nearly twice that of the surrounding area despite the Comprehensive Plan directive that development shall ensure land uses “harmonious with surrounding uses and residential density.”
We would ask that ONLY residents of Hanover County, Virginia sign this and if you could please comment with your neighborhood or magisterial district it would be a great help.
Background and legal precedent:
Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302 (2002)
In this case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that localities are not in contravention of the 4th and 5th amendments by issuance of a building or zoning moratorium in order to provide those localities adequate time to develop a plan to address concerns that may arise from such development. This decision has been used in localities across the country to provide such localities the opportunity to ensure that growth is reasonable, smart, and properly managed.
Virginia SB 549 Conditional zoning; provisions applicable to certain rezoning proffers:
During the 2016 session, the General Assembly proposed and passed legislation severely restricting proffers in the Commonwealth, which was subsequently signed into law by Governor McAuliffe. This legislation has hobbled any county’s ability to request or even accept proffers to improve roadways, schools, or other public facilities offsite of the proposed development. These proffers were a source of money to help offset the cost to the county taxpayers to fund improvements needed to support new development.
Currently there are several subdivisions already approved for ASR where construction has not yet begun. Of those there are 974 units planned. The completed and under construction projects represent an additional 620 units. Based on the county planning guidance of 0.6 children per unit, this represents an additional burden of 956 students. This number is based on the average across Hanover county and is not necessarily representative of the number of potential families with (multiple) school aged children who these developments are marketed to. Planning for schools also relies on families “aging out” as their children graduate, but does not take into consideration the turnover to younger families in these neighborhoods.
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