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|Board Present:||*Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings, Eric F. Purcell and Jack T. Wright|
|Absent:||Willie L. Gentry, Jr.|
C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; Darren Coffey, Director of Community Development; Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology; Bob Gibson, Director of Economic Development; and April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk|
*Fitzgerald A. Barnes arrived at 2:22 p.m.
CALL TO ORDERChairman Wright called the August 1, 2007 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 2:06 p.m.
Discussion - Community Development Authority (CDA)
Mr. Kenneth Powell, Managing Director for Stone and Youngberg, stated Senator John Watkins and himself were giving the Board a presentation to explain what CDAs are and how they are used in Virginia. Mr. Powell added that CDAs are similar to tax districts and were voted into the law in 1990.
Senator Watkins stated that roads are extremely expensive and there is less revenue that the State has to contribute to that. Senator Watkins said the County is going to find that there will be more reliance on the local government and their ability to partner with developers and the private sector to make roads happen. Senator Watkins indicated that what makes a business work is the ability to deliver transportation systems, water, sewer, gas, communications and electric. Senator Watkins stated for many localities, it is a challenge to keep up with the demands on the infrastructure. Senator Watkins said corresponding with that has been the willingness of the General Assembly to impose the fees necessary to get adequate transportation systems.
Senator Watkins stated with cash proffers, infrastructure may be able to be built five to fifteen years later, but with a CDA, the County has the ability to put the financing up in cooperation with the landowners and the developers to be able to see the infrastructure built first. Senator Watkins indicated that one of the biggest challenges with CDAs is to get a group of landowners and developers who are willing to work together.
Mr. Barnes arrived at 2:22 p.m.
Mr. Purcell said in the history of Louisa County, most of the development has been done by small mom and pop operations and questioned if the people that are interested in doing CDA bonds are mom and pops or large businesses. Senator Watkins said the Board needs to keep in mind that it is all voluntary and he thinks that the Board of Supervisors biggest challenge is going to be convincing landowners in a certain area that the Comprehensive Plan and zoning that may accompany the Comprehensive Plan will create value in their property.
Mr. Barnes questioned what would be the first step Senator Watkins would recommend the Board taking. Senator Watkins said he would recommend an overall study of what the County wants to accomplish and how it could it be invested. Senator Watkins added then the Board would have to fit that into the Comprehensive Plan and provide a zoning mechanism.
Mr. Powell stated a CDA is a public instrumentality authorized by the Board of Supervisors upon petition by a majority of property owners or those owning a majority of the assessed value within the proposed CDA boundaries for the purpose of providing public infrastructure. Mr. Powell said CDAs are granted the power to finance, fund, establish, acquire, construct, equip, operate and maintain infrastructure improvements to meet increased demands placed upon a locality that has a public purpose and owned by a public entity.
Mr. Powell indicated that CDAs are also authorized to provide special services, such as garbage and trash removal and disposal, street cleaning, snow removal, extra security personnel and equipment, recreational management and grounds keeping. Mr. Powell indicated that money from a CDA couldnt be used for anything that will have a profit or that is owned by private people.
Mr. Powell stated there are two repayment mechanisms for a CDA bond. Mr. Powell indicated that bonds issued by the CDA could be repaid through assessments levied upon the property owners within the boundaries of the CDA district. Mr. Powell said the second mechanism of repayment is Tax Increment Financing (TIF) where the County could agree to pay over all or a portion of tax incremental revenues. Mr. Powell noted that the TIF mechanism is now used on just about every project and the incremental taxes could include all or a portion of the following: real estate taxes, personal property tax, BPOL tax, sales tax (local portion), transient occupancy tax, meals tax or any other tax.
Mr. Powell explained the following projects and indicated that they were all built or being built by CDAs:
Mr. Powell said the Board should think about using a CDA if it can accomplish what the County wants because it has so much flexibility.
Mr. Barnes said Louisa County has not borrowed money traditionally and questioned how a CDA would effect the Countys bond rating. Mr. Powell stated that a CDA would not effect the Countys bond rating.
Mr. Purcell questioned if CDAs were done, who would pay the money on the bonds if the businesses werent quite ready to come yet. Mr. Powell said the landowner, but that wouldnt happen because the bonds couldnt be sold until so many tenants are in place. Mr. Powell added that certain criteria have to be met in order for the bonds to be sold to the County.
Mr. Wright questioned under what circumstances are the access roads eligible to be taken into the VDOT system. Mr. Powell said they are able to discuss with VDOT to decide which roads would be taken into the VDOT system before the bonds are done because the issue of liability and maintenance come up.
Mr. Harper said a lot of what is going to happen with Zion crossroads has already been zoned and placed and questioned if the County was too late to get the CDAs. Mr. Powell said he didnt think so, but it is all part of the buy in from the landowners.
Mr. Skip Notte with Dewberry stated the development of a CDA District has to have a boundary to include areas that require significant infrastructure support for growth. Mr. Notte indicated that previous utility master plans have focused on the Louisa County Water Authority service area in Zion Crossroads. Mr. Notte added that service area has been the location for majority of the growth. Mr. Notte referenced a map showing the Zion Crossroads Louisa County Water Authority current service area.
Mr. Notte explained that potential infrastructure needs are potable water from the James River, sanitary sewer from the Waste Water Treatment Plant, natural gas from the extension of the distribution to serve the Zion Crossroads area and road improvements to I-64, Route 15 (James Madison Highway) and Route 250 (Three Notch Road).
Mr. Notte said the natural gas distribution concept is to have a connection to Columbia Gas Main, which is West of the Route 15 and Route 250 intersection. Mr. Notte said the extension would be along Route 250 East to the Zion Crossroads service area and the approximate cost would be $2.25 million. Mr. Notte referenced a map showing where the potential gas line would run.
Mr. Notte stated there are three potential options for the I-64 and Route 15 interchange for road improvement concepts.
Mr. Notte explained Option 1 “Maintain the current interchange configuration.” Mr. Notte said a signal and short dual left turn lanes would be added and the entrance and exit ramps would be widened. Mr. Notte indicated that the potential costs would be between $1.5 million and $2 million and the useful life duration would be about five years.
Mr. Notte explained Option 2 “Construct minor interchange improvements.” Mr. Notte said a signal and full dual left turn lanes would be added, the entrance and exit ramps would be widened and the existing Route 15 bridges over I-64 would be widened. Mr. Notte indicated that the potential costs would be between $4.5 million and $5 million and the useful life duration would be about 10 years.
Mr. Notte explained Option 3 “Construct more significant interchange improvements, but still maintain the existing diamond interchange.” Mr. Notte said the current interchange would be reconstructed to an urban single point interchange. Mr. Notte stated there would be modifications to the ramps, new Route 15 bridges and a potential vertical alignment change on Route 15. Mr. Notte indicated that the potential costs would be between $12 million and $18 million and the useful life duration would be greater than 15 years. Mr. Notte showed an example of an urban single point interchange.
Mr. Wright questioned if the options could be a sequence of events where they could be completed over three phases. Mr. Notte said Option 1 and Option 2 could potentially be phased, but Option 3 is a totally different concept. Mr. Notte recommended that a study be completed at some point in the future to comply the best options to deal with the interchange and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Notte said the recent Route 250 corridor study at the intersection of Route 15 was just completed. Mr. Notte indicated that the study projected that, in the future, the intersection would be overcapacity, having over 180,000 trips per day. Mr. Notte said one concept that came out of that study was the belief of using urban networking. Mr. Notte said urban networking is the process of looking at not only how the development is coming in, but also how the traffic can be funneled around the intersection to try and offload it. Mr. Notte explained a map showing the concept of urban networking around the Zion Crossroads area.
Mr. Havasy questioned how the CDA project would be affected if Route 15 were a six-lane highway from Route 250 through Spring Creek then changed to a two-lane highway towards the Green Springs Historic District. Mr. Notte indicated that a traffic analysis would help decide on the transition of the lanes and help understand the direction to go in.
Mr. Barnes questioned if Mr. Powell has ever run into problems where some landowners wanted to participate in a CDA and some didnt even though everyone would benefit from the improvements. Mr. Powell said he has experienced that problem a number of times where there are people who dont want to participate that think they will still get the improvements and then there are other people who dont think their property needs it.
Mr. Purcell said it seems to him that it would be important to make sure the property has changed hands from the original owner to the corporate entity that was doing the development because the original owner would not put their property up for collateral. Mr. Powell agreed with Mr. Purcell and said he thinks that CDAs work better when a decision could be made based on a business context.
Mr. Gibson questioned when the best timing was to initiate CDAs. Mr. Powell said if the County wanted to include those properties that are already on their way, the process should be started immediately.
Mr. Purcell indicated that affordable housing needs this type of infrastructure and questioned how the residents of an affordable unit would repay the CDA bond. Mr. Powell questioned if Mr. Purcell was talking about home ownership or leasing for the affordable housing. Mr. Purcell said either. Mr. Powell stated typically, it would be paid off at closing so the resident wouldnt have to participate. Mr. Coffey questioned if something similar would be done for homeowner occupancy as the County does locally, where affordable housing could be exempt from cash proffers. Mr. Powell said if it were inside the property, it might require that those houses be paid off at closing to an ultimate consumer. Mr. Powell said once people realize what CDAs are and use them correctly, they are a good tool.
Mr. Harper questioned if there is an entry point, which would not be feasible to look at because of it being too small. Mr. Powell said there should be about $10 million of infrastructure there to sell to get the attention of people that would buy enough of it to look at for CDAs.
Mr. Barnes questioned if Mr. Powell thought that it would be wise for the County to meet and discuss with the landowners about CDAs and how they work. Mr. Powell stated ultimately, the landowners have to understand CDAs and that would be one place to start because there has to be community buy in.
Mr. Lintecum indicated that if CDAs could work in the County, they would really be just taxing the properties that benefit from the improvements.
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to adjourn the August 1, 2007 meeting at 4:32 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
JACKSON T. WRIGHT, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA