Building Briefs

Volume III, Number I August 20, 2004

LOCALITIES PUSH OF EDUCATION "APF"

"ACTION ALERT"

HBAV has learned that members of the Coalition of High Growth Localities are contacting members of the Senate Committee on Local Government to encourage their support for Senate Bill 393 at the October 20, 2004 meeting of the Senate committee that has been called to consider "carry-over" legislation from the 2004 session of the state legislature. The measure is Senate Bill 393. The Patron of SB 393 is Senate Committee on Local Government Chairman Fred Quayle of Chesapeake.

Senate Bill 393 was "carried-over" to the 2005 session of the state legislation earlier this year on an 11 to 4 vote by the Senate Local Government Committee. Under the Joint Rules of the state legislature, all "carry-over" legislation must be reconsidered by the standing committee that delayed action on the measure prior to the convening of the next session of the General Assembly. Again, that meeting has been set for October 20, 2004 by the Senate Committee on Local Government.

"ACTION ALERT" "ACTION ALERT" "ACTION ALERT"

Every HBAV member with a State Senator serving on the Senate Local Government Committee is strongly encouraged to phone or e-mail their stated opposition to SB 393. Their Senate District office phone numbers and e-mail addresses follow.

"Begin with your stated opposition to Senate Bill 393. Let them understand that it would grant a locality the authority to delay the consideration of a plan of development or subdivision plan for seven (7) years, based on the localities self-determination that the proposed residential housing project would cause the localities self-determined level of service (LOS) for schools to fall below its self-determined (LOS) standard.

Suggest in your phone call or e-mail that the passage of Senate Bill 393 could be devastating to housing affordability in the Commonwealth. The measure would likely reduce the "supply" of new housing or significantly increase the "taxes" on new housing. Remind them that, in virtually every market where the APF planning concept has been implemented with a "pay to play" provision, either a moratorium on the construction of new housing has developed or significant new taxes have been placed on new housing.

Most importantly, inform them that Senate Bill 393 lacks balance. The measure creates no new binding obligation, whatsoever, on localities to fund future known public school needs during the deferral period; vacates the "vested rights" of property owners acquired at zoning or rezoning; creates an incentive or reward for localities to not properly fund their capital improvements program for public schools (the so-called "pay to play" provision); could create a significant financial hardship on landowners during the deferral period (i.e., interest on acquisition and development loans, real estate taxes on the upzoned land, etc., and could significantly impede the flow capital to the housing industry.

Remind them that the measure will only increase the cost of new housing by either placing a moratorium on new housing or by imposing new taxes on new housing. Suggest that it will only further shift the responsibility for public infrastructure from the public at large to the private sector. Remind them that the public at large has always been responsible for public infrastructure in Virginia, and that sound tradition should continue in the Commonwealth. Inform them that there is not enough money in new housing alone to fund the public education infrastructure needs of localities across the state, unless only the fortunate few are going to be allowed to enjoy homeownership in Virginia.

Try to obtain a commitment from your Senator that he or she will vote "NO" on Senate Bill 393 or will vote to refer the measure to the Commission on Growth and Economic Development. Such a measure was the primary topic of discussion of the commission during the 2003 interim, and on Monday, August 16, 2004, the continued Growth Commission unanimously voted to reorganize the same work group to facilitate further discussion between the interested parties on this complex subject. The Growth Commission has been directed to complete its work by November 30, 2004, and present a summary of its findings no later than the first day of the 2005 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

PHONE OR E-MAIL YOUR MESSAGE TODAY TO YOUR STATE SENATOR. URGE HIM OR HER TO VOTE "NO" ON SENATE BILL 393 or vote to refer the bill to the Commission on Growth and Economic Development at the Senate Local Government Committee meeting scheduled for October 20, 2004.

Your phone message or e-mail, made in a timely manner to your State Senator, will make the difference between success or failure.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Membership:
District Phone
E-mail Address
Fred Quayle (Chairman) (757) 698-7513 [email protected]
Henry Marsh (804) 648-9073 [email protected]
Louise Lucas (757) 397-8209 [email protected]
Steve Martin (804) 674-0242 [email protected]
Emmett Hanger (540) 885-9868 [email protected]
Steve Newman (434) 385-1065 [email protected]
Patsy Ticer (703) 549-5770 [email protected]
Mary Margaret Whipple (703) 538-4097 [email protected]
Roscoe Reynolds (276) 638-2315 [email protected]
Bill Mims (703) 779-1888 [email protected]
Mark Obenshain (540) 437-3126 [email protected]
Phil Puckett (276) 979-8181 [email protected]
Toddy Puller (703) 765-1150 [email protected]
Frank Ruff (434) 372-0551 [email protected]
Ken Cuccinelli (703) 766-0635 [email protected]

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GROWTH COMMISSION HOLDS
ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

On Monday of this week, the Commission on Growth and Economic Development held their organizational meeting in Richmond. Most of the so-called anti-growth/anti-housing legislation introduced to the 2004 Session of the Virginia General Assembly was referred to the Commission for further consideration. Most interim committees and commissions of the state legislature have started later than usual this year as a result of the extended legislative session, which was required in order to adopt a state budget and finance plan.

Re-appointed to the Growth Commission by the Speaker of the House and Senate Priveleges and Elections Committee were Senators Watkins and Hanger; House Delegates Hall, Albo, May and Suit; and citizen member Granger MacFarlane of Roanoke. Newly appointed to the Commission by the House Speaker was HBAV First Vice President Jeff Ainslie of Virginia Beach.

At their first meeting, the Growth Commission referred all Adequate Public Facilities (APF) legislation to its so-called APF work group. Re-appointed to the work group were Senator Watkins, Delegates Hall and Suit, and citizen members Rich Napier representing HBAV, Chris Miller representing the Piedmont Environmental Council, Dana Dickens representing the Coalition of High Growth Localities, and Percy Montague representing the Virginia Association of REALTORS. Mr. Ainslie was appointed as a new member of the work group. The work group was specifically directed to focus their discussion on APF for public education. Similar discussions by the work group on that topic did not develop consensus on the issue last year.

The Growth Commission kept the study of the evolution of the "proffer system" before the full Commission and adopted a "plan of work". The plan would include the calling of several localities that have adopted "proffer guidelines" to present their guidelines and the basis for their development at their next meeting.

As you may recall, at the urging of HBAV, the state legislature expanded the charge of the Growth Commission during the 2004 legislative session to include an examination of conditional zoning (the proffer system), and its impact on housing affordability and residential land development patterns in the Commonwealth. The Commission was directed to specifically examine the proffer guidelines or policies or the implied expectations of those localities that have created the same to determine (i) the accuracy of the methodology; (ii) the effect of the methodology on the cost of new and existing housing, the annual real estate tax obligation associated with homeownership, and the residential development patterns in the state; and (iii) the timeliness of the expenditure of cash proffered for the construction or improvement of public infrastructure for which they were contributed.

The evolution of "conditional zoning", or as it is more often referred to as the "proffer system", in Virginia has not been thoroughly reviewed since it was first enacted in 1978. Since that time, the so-called voluntary "proffer system" has evolved from a system designed to facilitate the orderly development of land into an illegal system of hidden taxation without enabling authority. Yet, given the extremely liberal rules of the court (the fairly debatable standard) applicable to the defense of land use actions, landowners have little choice but to pay the hidden taxes demanded by the localities.

The Growth Commission also made a decision to keep the road impact fee legislation assigned to it before the full Commission. Transportation funding is expected to be a priority issue of the state legislature in 2005, and full Commission directed localities and representatives of the development community to prepare remarks for their next meeting on their recommended solution to the transportation crisis facing many regions of the state.

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COLUMBIA GAS ANNOUNCES
IMPROVED SERVICE PLAN

Earlier this week, HBAV received notice from Columbia Gas of a new notification plan designed to improve their installation of new service.

According to Columbia Gas, the company will begin to implement a new "sticker system". The new "sticker system" is designed to improve communication between builders and the company to facilitate the timely installation of services.

It is our understanding that on some occasions their employees have arrived at job sites only to find, for one reason or another, that they cannot install their utilities. This causes unnecessary delay for all parties involved in the installation process. Under the new "Sticker System", a Columbia Gas employee will visit the home site ahead of the scheduled installation to inspect the job site. If corrective action is required, the company inspector will leave a brightly colored sticker posted in a prominent location on the job site for easy visibility outlining the corrective action required. Once corrective action is taken, builders will call the toll free number on the sticker so they can install their utilities in a timely manner.

The company has tested the program in one area of the state and has received such an overwhelming positive response that they have decided to expand this program statewide. The stickers have been printed and should start showing up at jobs sites within the next 30 days or so.

A copy of the Sticker Notice follows:

IMPORTANT ACTION REQUIRED

INSTALLATION OF GAS SERVICE / SITE VISIT

Columbia Gas of Virginia visited __________________________ to install natural gas service on __________ . We were not able to complete our work due to the following reasons noted below.

To meet your deadline, we need your assistance with these items not later than __________ and contact us at 1-800-440-6111 upon completion.

Delays in addressing the checked items and failure to update us with the results

will adversely impact our ability to provide your service within the requested timeline. We appreciate your support in addressing this matter thus avoiding the potential rescheduling your service installation.

Your response to this request will also help avoid delays with the Miss Utility locating process. Should the current locate ticket expire prior to your response, the law states that we will have to call for a new ticket. This will require another 72-hour waiting period while we wait for the new locate ticket to clear.

A reminder to please contact our New Business Team at 1-800-440-6111 upon completing those items checked below or to ask any questions.

The following requires attention and addressed so that natural gas service can be installed. The items are :

_____ Building materials in the way

_____ Trash pile / dumpster in the way

_____ Scaffolding in the way

_____ Landscaping has removed Miss Utility marks

_____ Other Utility Contractor in the way

_____ Brick masons / framers in the way

_____ Vacant lot

_____ Other :

Thanks in advance for your assistance
and understanding in this matter.

Columbia Gas of Virginia

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HBAV "PAC" GOLF CLASSIC

We are pleased to announce that HBAV has joined Virginia's NAHB Build-PAC Trustees - Mak Koebig, Vince Napolitano, Ben Graham and Randy Williams to sponsor the 1st Annual HBAV "PAC" Golf Classic to benefit the "political action" effectiveness of the housing industry in Virginia. All HBAV builder and associate members are encouraged to participate in the golf tournament.

The 1st Annual HBAV "PAC" Golf Classic will be held on Friday, September 24, 2004 at Massanutten Resort just outside Harrisonburg, Virginia. Registration for the 4-person Scramble Format/Shotgun Start golf tournament will begin at 10:00 a.m., and the shotgun start will be at 11:00 a.m. A brief awards ceremony and buffet dinner sponsored by NAHB Build-PAC will follow at the resort's conference center. As a special "perk", the winning team of the 1st Annual HBAV "PAC" Golf Classic will be declared the HBAV Champion Team for 2004, and will qualify to represent Virginia in the NAHB Tournament of Champions to compete for the title of NAHB National Champion. The NAHB Tournament of Champions will be held in conjunction with the NAHB International Builders Show in January in Orlando, Florida.

Individuals and sponsored 2- or 4-person teams may register to participate in the 1st Annual HBAV "PAC" Golf Classic. Registration materials are available on the HBAV website for individuals, 2-person and 4-person sponsored teams. The individual entry fee is $250.00; 2-person sponsored teams may participate for $500.00; and the entry fee for a 4-person sponsored team is $1,000.00. Individual players and 2-person teams will be teamed with other participating players to form a 4-person team.

Individual hole sponsorships are also available for $100.00, and beverage cart sponsorships are available for $500.00 each. Golf tournament participants will receive a quality travel bag, golf balls (and other great golf goodies), lunch, spirits, dinner and be eligible for outstanding door prizes. Awards will also be given to the first, second, and third place teams, longest drive, closest to the pin, and putting contest winners. This will be a first-class HBAV/NAHB event... a Golf Classic.

To participate as an individual, complete and return the Individual Registration Form, along with your $250.00 entry fee. The 2-person and 4-person sponsored teams should complete and return the Sponsored Team Registration Form along with the appropriate entry fee. Sponsored teams will also receive program and on-course signage recognition.

Individuals or member firms wanting to sponsor a hole ($100.00) or a beverage cart ($500.00) should complete and return the Hole/Beverage Cart Sponsorship Form, along with the appropriate contribution.

We would hope that a minimum of one golf team would register for the 1st Annual HBAV "PAC" Golf Classic from each of the 17 HBAV-affiliated local associations. Get your local team together today! Bragging rights are on the line.


Office Hours: 9 a.m.-noon., 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Directions: From I-64, take the Greenbrier Parkway N. exit.
Turn right onto Military Hwy., follow to Smith Ave. and take a right.
The TBA office is on the left, 2117 Smith Avenue, Chesapeake, VA 23320.
757-420-2434