"At the December 13th BOCS meeting, 5 supervisors finally stopped over two decades of exclusionary land use planning."
A diverse mix of housing and job opportunities are now possible throughout the County- creating a more equitable balance.
The plan is aimed at boosting the county’s economic prospects and housing stock to fulfill regional goals aimed at keeping up with the predicted population growth. According to state law, all jurisdictions are required to update their long-range comprehensive plans every five years. The plan is a land-use blueprint. Specific projects would still require rezonings in most cases.
The supervisors held separate hearings on each of the five “chapters” of Pathway to 2040 on the agenda that night – land-use, housing, mobility, sanitary sewer and electrical utility services – before approving each in a party-line, 5-2 vote. All five Democrats voted for the plan while Republicans Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville) and Yesli Vega (Coles) voted against it.
“I think it’s a good plan,” Wheeler said. “I’m excited for the areas that people want to develop, and I think we’re going to get a lot of really great development in all different parts of the county as a result of this plan, and I’ll stand by that.”
“I don’t think we’re going to get overcrowded schools,” she added. “…It was a perfect storm in terms of why schools couldn’t keep up, including not building schools because the debt service was being used on roads. I don’t think that’s going to happen in this environment. And you know, it’s not all happening tomorrow--it’s happening over the next 20 years.”
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Why would any Board member vote to support this documented exclusionary land use?
Barriers raise housing prices:
• Each additional acre in minimum lot size decreases new construction by roughly 40 percent and increases housing prices by roughly 10 percent.
•Excessive zoning has pushed real house prices 56 percent above real construction costs.
Regulatory barriers increase income inequality, and reduce economic growth:
• Increases in housing regulation among the highest wage states over the last 30 years have dramatically reduced population growth in high wage regions, contributing to growing income inequality nationwide.
• Restrictive land use regulations reduce employment by restricting migration. By reducing migration, highly restrictive land use regulations are associated with as much as a 10 percent reduction in employment.
• Constraints to housing supply may have lowered aggregate US growth by 36 percent from 1964 to 2009; and researchers have recently found that local regulations are reducing economic efficiency.
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