Home » Development »News » Currently Reading:

Developer Proffers and the Public Good: Part 1

July 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Development, News No Comments

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

On June 6 the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) released its final rankings for the 2012 submissions to the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits program (LIHTC). Shreveport Ridge, a submission by Middleburg-based Windy Hill Development Company (WHDC) to construct and manage 98 affordable dwelling units (ADUs) proffered by the developer of Brambleton, received the highest ranking with a score of 750, providing the project with access to more than $1.4 million in federal income tax credits to underwrite construction.

So the question is …

As WHDC prepares to close on its $2.45 million land purchase from Brambleton for the project, a number of interesting questions arise. Does the use of tax credits provide developers who agree to construct ADUs or workforce housing with a means to transfer that financial liability back to the public? Does the importance of ensuring an adequate inventory of affordable work force housing outweigh the public’s expectation that the for-profit residential development community at least cover some of the infrastructure costs they create? Should density bonuses be retained by developers when fulfillment of a proffer is shifted to a third party or is this generally how proffer obligations are discharged?

Public discussion of these questions began last year at meetings of the County’s Joint Housing Trust Fund Committee. In March of this year, the Board of Supervisors gingerly touched on the subject in response to WHDC’s request for letters of support for Shreveport Ridge’s VHDA application. In a multi-part article, The Blue Ridge Leader will attempt to understand the implication of this new approach. This month, we focus on the County’s use of proffers as they relate to affordable housing. Next month, we will take a closer look at the WHDC model and its implications for affordable housing development and County proffer policy.

What is a “proffer?” …

Proffers are the mechanism by which the Virginia General Assembly allows localities to partially offset the capital costs associated with residential development. These costs include the construction and expansion of public facilities such as schools, playing fields, roads and other infrastructure to accommodate the service needs of the new residents.

Under this mechanism local governments can request capital contributions from a developer in return for approving additional density. Such contributions can take the form of a cash payment for each additional unit above the base zoning, in-kind contributions, such as acreage for a school or public safety center, or a combination of both. A legal document, running with the property, binds the County and landowners to the terms. Where a developer chooses cash contributions, the expectation is that the cost will either be passed through to the homebuyer in the purchase price or absorbed as a cost of business by the developer.

A change in county proffer policy …

Prior to 1993, developers could proffer affordable dwelling units, as the original owner of Brambleton did in its 1988 application. This reflected a belief that the construction of low-income housing could be considered a capital cost of the government.

In 1993 the Board of Supervisors revised the Zoning Ordinance mandating that most (but not all) land development projects proposing 50 or more residential units make at least five percent of the units affordable dwelling units. Developers who agree to higher percentage of ADUs receive a density bonus of 10-20 percent.

The Zoning Ordinance defines an ADU as “units for which the rental and/or sales price is regulated pursuant to the provisions contained in [the ordinance], as adopted by the Board of Supervisors.” The stated intent is to make homes available for purchase by households whose income is between 30 percent and 70 percent of the median income for the local statistical area and available for rental by households whose income is between 30 percent and 50 percent of the Washington Area Median Income (AMI). The current AMI is $107,500. This is a $1,100 increase over last year.­

Clearly, such housing will not fit into every development proposal. Thus, the ordinance offers developers the option of making a cash payment in lieu of building units. Developers, with the agreement of the Board of Supervisors, can also proffer an alternative housing mix to offset the ADU requirement. This is what the Kincora developer did in its 2010 application.

Who is paying the costs?” …

According to discussion between County staff and the Board of Supervisors, a significant number of developers in Loudoun choose to make cash payments rather than actually build units. In such cases, the financial liability clearly falls upon the developer. In the case of Shreveport Ridge, however, Brambleton will not only shift the cost of constructing the proffered ADUs to WHDC, while still retaining the additional density granted to it by the County, it will also receive $2.45 million from WHDC for the purchase of the 5.48 acres on which WHDC will construct the units.

The LIHTC program “encourages the development of affordable rental housing by providing owners a federal income tax credit.” According to the VHDA website, “It also provides incentives for private investors to participate in the construction and rehabilitation of housing for low-income families.” Federal tax credits, however, lower the total revenue received by the federal government. In offering such credits to create one public good, affordable housing, Congress must then either cut its budget correspondingly or make up the difference from other revenue sources.

According to documents submitted by WHDC to the County, this is not its first successful submission to the LIHTC program. It has secured such credits for two projects in Middleburg (Levis Hill House and Llewellyn Village Apartments) plus a third project in Fauquier County (Piedmont Lane in The Plains). However, it appears to be the first time the program will be used in Loudoun County to meet a developer’s legal obligation to provide the County with proffered affordable dwelling units.

NEXT MONTH: The Windy Hill model and its implications for the future.

Comment on this article


By commenting, you agree to abide by our Terms of Service.


 

 

 

 

Columns

Public Input June 6, 2017

Public input June 6, 2017 “We must, incidentally, make it clear from the beginning that if a thing is not science, it is not necessarily bad. For example, love is not a science. So, if something is said not to …

Anatomy of a Sunflower

By Andrea Gaines Nothing is as simple and summery as that big yellow ray of light known as the sunflower. These not-so-bashful beauties enter the world from seeds we’ve sown intentionally, or from seeds tossed out as happy, uneaten castaways …

Parental Help Needed

Dr. Mike, My husband and I are planning to hold our son back to repeat eighth grade. He plays on a travel sports team, and the extra year would give him an advantage for high school. My sister did it …

Misconceptions about 529 Plans

Just like the kids you’re saving college funds for, 529 plans are often misunderstood. Read on to learn 529 plans are more flexible than you may think. They can be set up by anyone, for anyone, and used for a …

Transforming Scars – Engendering Hope

By Samuel Moore-Sobel The woman’s voice on the other end of the line is warm and inviting, speaking softly in crisp tones, with great excitement, and at a hurried pace. Her words are eloquent and profound. Furiously I type, trying …

Addicted

By Mary Rose Lunde When most people think of addictions, they choose the more well-known types, such as alcohol or drugs. But there are other addictions that people don’t always want to talk about. These can include: screen time, video …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Cooksville Road

By Tim Jon You see – there’s this bell: A church bell, suspended inside a little white tower atop the old Mount Olive Baptist church building – that you can see for just a few split-seconds as you make your …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

ATTENTION CALENDAR USERS: IT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY TO LOG IN TO POST EVENTS. PLEASE CLICK HERE INSTEAD.

Calendar

June 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
May 29, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 30, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 31, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live
June 3, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
June 4, 2017

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA
June 5, 2017 June 6, 2017 June 7, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus
June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 10, 2017

20th Annual Cajun Festival

20th Annual Cajun Festival

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Healing Service

Healing Service
June 11, 2017

Come Paint with Us

Come Paint with Us
June 12, 2017 June 13, 2017 June 14, 2017 June 15, 2017 June 16, 2017 June 17, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard
June 18, 2017
June 19, 2017 June 20, 2017 June 21, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 24, 2017

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You
June 25, 2017
June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 29, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 30, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
July 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
July 2, 2017

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • jonathan weintraub on Cultivate Innovation-Driven Solutions: Delegate LaRock, Your constituents have grown tired of your unoriginality, your constant cut and paste of terrible, untested "ideas" from...
  • Brenda Davis on Gina’s Pies: The Perfect Crime: Gina makes the best pies! You will not even know her crusts are gluten free - it has taken her...
  • Julia Faber on Gina’s Pies: The Perfect Crime: It's Faber, not Farber! And her pies are amazing, I've had many!
  • Bob Ohneiser on Buzz Words: Public input should focus on the most important issues and not be distracted by creative imagery type titles of areas...
  • MATTHEW GALLELLI on Update on Catoctin Corner: traffic projections? how often will there be jams in the circle? should we contact Lazaro about this?

Lifestyle

Music with a Cause June Concert: Bud’s Collective

31 May 2017

The Music with a Cause Concert celebrates the culmination of its first year with a concert to be held at Otium Cellars at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. Bud’s Collective is a powerful trio of pickers from the hills of West Virginia. The evening will also feature an auction of a piece from David Norton Pottery. Norton is an …

(Be the first to comment)

Loudoun Library Card Design Contest Has Begun

31 May 2017

Loudoun artists are invited to submit designs for Loudoun County Public Library’s Second Annual Library Card Design Contest, which began May 22. A panel of judges from the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee will choose three finalists based on creativity, originality, and message. Artwork or photography submitted should reflect the spirit of Loudoun and the work of Loudoun County Public …

(Be the first to comment)

Loudoun Art Advisory Committee – Call for Artists

31 May 2017

All Loudoun County artists are invited to submit original photographs for the 2017 Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee show “Loudoun’s Evolving Landscape: At-Risk Art Project.” The photographs, which may be in color or black and white, will be exhibited in Gallery One on the first floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg, from September …

(Be the first to comment)

Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

A Winner of a Budget

On May 23, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and the Purcellville Town Council voted to finalize the FY18 budget on behalf of our taxpayers. As an elected government, this is the greatest responsibility that we have. We also have the unlimited ability …

Supports Walbridge

I am proud to endorse and express my full support for Tia Walbridge to represent the 33rd District in Richmond.  As a current Town Council member in Purcellville, I understand the concerns of Purcellville and western Loudoun citizens and I …

View From the Ridge

Envision Loudoun – Bold Action Versus Business-As-Usual

Everyone is talking about it. “Envision Loudoun,” our local government’s effort to reach out to the public for advice on how to rewrite and update the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Officials …

Around Virginia

Tuesday, June 13 – Primary Elections Voting Information

A Primary Election for both parties is scheduled on June 13. Voters will choose a candidate for the Republican Party for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. For the Democratic Party voters will choose a candidate for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and House of Delegates for the 33 …

(Be the first to comment)

Cultivate Innovation-Driven Solutions

By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Schools are letting out for summer break and many families are celebrating graduations and making plans for college. Few would disagree with the importance of quality affordable education. While it may not be prominent in the conversations, our state and local governments play key roles …

(1 comment)

Transportation: Problem Solving and Promises Kept

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Four years ago I came before the voters of the 33rd District, challenging the status quo transportation funding policies that sent our taxes to other parts of the state while leaving us sitting in traffic. I called out projects like the Dulles Rail Project, …

(1 comment)

Sports

Purcellville Cannons: Talent, Talent and More Talent

31 May 2017

By Andrea Gaines Cannons home opener vs. the Winchester Royals at Fireman’s Field, Friday, June 3. At their 2017 home opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers absolutely trounced the San Diego Padres. Said one sports commentator: “Their opening-day bats were so special … it was easy to forget the Dodgers also …

(Be the first to comment)

WLVBC U14 Boys Volleyball Wins WLVBC Invitational

3 May 2017

The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys team won the inaugural WLVBC Invitational Tournament held Saturday, April 15 at Foxcroft School.  The team went 4-0 on the day, winning first place against WLVBC U15 boys team in a three-set match 25-19, 22-25 and 15-11. The team reached the Gold Bracket …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009