January 8, 2014
Members of the new Albemarle County Board of Supervisors worked together like clockwork during their first meeting of the year.
Despite being in the minority, Republican supervisor Ken Boyd was still able to make his voice heard throughout the meeting. Members seemed excited to begin the year with Jane Dittmar as chair and Diantha McKeel as vice chair.
“I'm so thrilled with the choices that the citizens made and the effort that these folks have already put in,” says board supervisor Ann Mallek.
Overall the board seemed ready to begin the year and tackle several issues that have been plaguing the county.
Members listened to several people express their disagreement towards the Western Bypass project and as a result they voted to announce the date of a future public hearing for the bypass during the first meeting of February.
“Public hearings are open to change everyone's minds so I think it actually could be quite significant,” says Dittmar.
Another hot topic is a new Water Protective Ordinance which shifts former storm water management responsibilities of the state to individual localities. Those who plan to build or develop land in the county could see more fees.
“There are costs associated with the new regulations,” says Neil Williamson, president of the Free Enterprise Forum. “The question is who should pay those costs and should the costs be shared by the whole community rather than 100 percent of the cost being forced on the development community.”
There are thoughts that this could prevent people from wanting to build in Albemarle County.
“It's just one more instance where it's more expensive to do work in Albemarle County,” says Williamson. “If it becomes too expensive to do work in Albemarle County then you could see jobs leave.”
The state law could go into effect on July first.