The Virginia legislature is moving forward with “proffers” reform. Chesterfield County has used the proffers system to fund infrastructure due to its impact on growth.
The legislature’s language indicates proffers cannot be “unreasonable” which means it is open for interpretation. Proffers are a major piece of Chesterfield’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with $3.94 million in revenue coming from proffers in FY16.
Localities typically use proffers as a means to control growth. Proffers in Chesterfield, although only implied, starts at $18,966 and decreases from there with various contingencies agreed on between developers and zoning officials.
Currently, Senate Bill 549 is making its way through the legislative process. It was passed by the Senate on Feb. 9 (29 – 8 Chesterfield Senators Amanda Chase and Glen Sturtevant yes.)
The bill, currently before the Virginia House of Delegates Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns – could be on the floor this week.
“The Virginia bill would restrict local powers to negotiate highly specific development agreements without adding any mechanism that facilitates either an explicit or an alternative “gray” market to ensure that restrictions would encourage development,” according to the CATO Institute.
Chesterfield’s proffers system was created in 1989 and the night before the system was to begin is generally known as “Midnight Madness” due to the number of cases that were considered and approved carried the Board of Supervisor meeting past midnight.