Virginia May Pass New Laws Limiting Developer Proffers

Reston Station constructionThe Virginia Senate will vote today on a bill that would weaken developer proffers, which Fairfax County officials commonly use to get builders to contribute to park, roads and other improvements in exchange for development.

This is important in Reston, which is undergoing a period of multifamily housing growth as it turns towards being a transit-oriented community.

For instance, the Fairfax County Park Authority has said it will seek developer proffers to partially pay for a multimillion indoor recreation center, now slated for Reston Town Center North. The county also has identified more than $2 billion in infrastructure improvements needed in Reston over the next several decades — money that would likely come from proffers, as well as taxes and even a new special tax district.

Features of the bill require that proffers be limited to offsetting impacts that are directly attributable to new residential developments, such as traffic. The Senate version of the legislation does not apply to high-density areas, commercial developments or neighborhoods near Metro stations.

The bill places restrictions on what local officials can ask for in development negotiations. A House version of the bill passed 68-27 last week.

Officials in Northern Virginia told the Washington Post that changing the legislation would hamper their ability to negotiate for extra amenities from developers. They also argue that amending the land-use tool would open them up to lawsuits if builders whose projects were rejected argued that they were denied because of their refusal to agree to “unreasonable” proffer requests.

The proffer system in Virginia has been around for three decades. In Fairfax County, rapid growth in the 1970s prompted local government to demand that builders contribute to offset population growth’s effect on traffic, sewers and other systems, as well as help grow affordable housing.

The presidents of the Home Builders of Virginia told the Post that the proffer system has gotten out of control, developing into a list of demands rather than requests.

“We feel that proffers have gotten out of control,” said J.M. Snell, whose group helped craft the legislation. “They’ve grown out of proportion to where now localities have already predetermined proffers, which become demands, which is exactly the opposite of the word ‘proffer.’ ”

Fairfax County Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova says the new restrictions could lead to development projects’ not being approved.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

Railroad tracks are elevated above Lake Accotink Park (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Retired Priest Found Not Guilty of Sexual Abuse — “Terry Wayne Specht, 69, of Pennsylvania was found…

This sponsored column is written by the team at Arrowine & Cheese (4508 Cherry Hill Road in Arlington). Sign up for the email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts and offers. Experience Arrowine’s Tastings & Events. Have…

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay (file photo) Fairfax County deserves more local authority, Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says, calling Virginia’s Dillon Rule “increasingly more intrusive”…

The South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry’s annual “Do It Your Way 0.5K” fundraiser returns this month (photo by Alexis Doty) The South Lakes High School PTSA’s annual “Do…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list