Board votes to continue cash proffers

Builders and developers will continue to pay cash proffers for the next year. Proffers pay for the impact that new homes have on infrastructure such as schools, transportation, libraries, public safety and parks and recreation.

Although the cash proffers will remain the same per dwelling at $18,966, as they have for the sixth consecutive year, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors last week decided not to raise the cash proffer. The budget and management staff calculated that $21,261 dwelling unit, which is 7.7 percent higher than last year’s calculated infrastructure cost, would be appropriate.

The cash proffer discussion has been building for a number of years. Builders and developers say the cash proffer prices them out of the market because Henrico County doesn’t charge cash proffers. The other side of the coin is home prices in Chesterfield are competitive with Henrico.

According to the Budget and Management report that the Board used to assess the cash proffer level for this year:

Staff has evaluated several variables [to be] discussed and requested during the FY2014 cash proffer update, including: revitalization, differentiation by housing type and location, transportation calculations, quality standards and policy flexibility.

Revitalization is important in several areas in the county. Consider the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor as one example. The Bensley Civic Association and the Jefferson Davis Association would like to have funding to complete their vision of the future of the corridor. That will require credits or elimination of cash proffers like that of Colony Village opposite the Halfway House Restaurant.

Differential proffers allow lower cash proffers or no cash proffers for special areas of the county. Some builders have said that it is impossible to build an affordable home when they have to put on top of the building cost almost $20,000 in cash proffers as well as almost $10,000 in utility hookups.

“Maybe I am an optimist but I don’t consider the differentiated proffer issued dead,” said Dorothy Jaeckle, Bermuda District Supervisor. “It is an essential component of bridging the east-west divide.”

Transportation costs are accelerating. One lane of highway can cost from $3 to $4 million, in addition to normal repairs.

Quality standards related to what a builder plans to build. Is the home built with brick, vinyl siding, 30 year shingles slate thrown on gravel for a sidewalk. Those who are involved in revitalizing neighborhoods built in the 1970s are concerned that new homes built now should not need renovation in 35 or 40 years.

Over the next few months, County staff, the planning commission and the Board are going to be busy fielding requests for elimination of cash proffers.            

There are 11 zoning cases on the books amounting to 2869 dwelling units with $43 million in relief from cash proffers.


Cash Proffers

The solution to this is to have the proffers for each development be based on the cost to the county for the development, this includes both residential and non-residential developments. From document have seen county staff is already calculating these numbers for each project brought before the Board. So a policy that is based on those numbers should not be hard to implement. Doing so would encourage in-fill, redevelopment and revitalization, and discourage sprawl.

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