Cash proffers

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Cash proffers are contributions that developers agree to pay per unit in exchange for a rezoning. They are part of a contract signed between government officials and developers and are binding. While new legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2016 restricts how cash proffers may be collected, rezonings prior to July 2016 are still valid and cannot be changed without approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Albemarle County

The Board of Supervisors adopted a cash proffer policy in October 2007 that established a formula that calculated the cost each residential unit would create in terms of additional government services. For instance, each student in Albemarle schools costs about $12,000 a year to educate. That's one factor in the "Cost-Revenue Impact Model" formula that also involves the capital improvement program.

In September 2014, the Board of Supervisors directed the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee to study the policy in order to determine if any changes should be made given development trends. Some developers such as Southern Development opted to build by-right resulting in a lower density than called for in the county's Comprehensive Plan. [1] Other developer had asked for and received credits and the group was to study whether that was appropriate and perhaps expandable.

The group held a total of 18 meetings and over the course of their work were told about changes in state law that affected the formula. Localities can no longer include maintenance projects included in the capital improvement program. [2]

For instance, the figures according to the formula in 2015 are $20,987 per single-family dwelling, $14,271 for each townhome and $14,871 for each unit in an apartment complex.

But dropping maintenance projects from the calculation means Albemarle could only charge $4,918 for each single-family unit, $3,845 for townhomes and $5,262 for each apartment unit.

Many Albemarle County developers are considering rezonings that would allow them to lower the amounts originally agreed to but the Board of Supervisors has not yet determined a process. [3] However, developers whose projects were rezoned prior to 2007 are already locked in to the lower rates. For instance, Great Eastern Management Company will only pay $515 for each unit in North Pointe. [1]

However, two requests from developer Vito Cetta have been recommended for denial by the Albemarle Planning Commission. They issued that judgement on Spring Hill Village in February 2016 and for Out of Bounds in April 2016. [4] [5]

Impact of new state law

In 2016, the General Assembly passed legislation that only allows proffers to be used to mitigate impacts of specific developments. This effectively nullified Albemarle County's existing cash proffer policy. [6]

This forced the need to address the county's existing cash proffer policy. The Planning Commission took up that repeal at their meeting on May 10, 2016. [4]


Cash proffers are much rarer in the city of Charlottesville. There are no cash proffers associated with a special use permit.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Group begins process of reviewing Albemarle proffer policy, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 29, 2014, retrieved November 16, 2015.
  2. Web. Albemarle panel briefed on lower cash proffers, policy changes, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 22, 2015, retrieved November 16, 2015.
  3. Web. Supervisors to consider streamlining of rezoning amendments, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 14, 2015, retrieved November 16, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Web. Albemarle panel says no to developer’s second request for lower proffers, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 26, 2016, retrieved April 27, 2016.
  5. Web. Albemarle commission denies request for lower cash proffers, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 23, 2016, retrieved December 29, 2016.
  6. Web. New proffer era has begun for Virginia localities, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 10, 2016, retrieved December 31, 2016.