- Development, Land Use & Construction
- City Council
- City Budget
- Property Information
IMPACT FEES/CONDITIONAL ZONING/RECORDATION FEE
The General Assembly should enact laws to broaden impact fee authority to allow the assessment of the fees for all public infrastructure, including school construction costs, caused by growth. Impact fees should be based on public facilities construction costs, and fees should be locality-specific.
As recommended by the City’s Proffer Policy Review Committee, the City supports authority to increase recordation fees in conjunction with impact fees. The additional revenue would be used for municipal and school capital improvements.
The City does not support the loss of authority to accept cash proffers for residential rezonings. A bifurcated system could be considered where cash proffers are used for rezoning applications and impact fees for by-right development. Any change must not shift the burden of paying for new infrastructure to existing citizens through increased real estate taxes.
The City opposes any reduction of local authority to manage such functions as land use, zoning, conditional use permits, etc. Local governments must retain current authority to use conditional zoning rules in the State Code to balance the financial impact created by residential development and to facilitate well planned communities that are compatible with nearby developments.
The City supports legislation that would aid local revitalization/redevelopment efforts such as, but not limited to, additional funding for demolition of abandoned structures, statutory presumption of abandonment, authority to enter and abate derelict buildings, and expanded authority concerning spot blight abatement.
VIRGINIA HOUSING TRUST FUND
The City supports State funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. The City also supports providing for a portion of the Fund to be used to provide matching funds to localities that have established local housing funds, and grants to be made from the Fund to support innovative housing projects and low and moderate income housing projects that are located in areas experiencing extreme shortages of such housing.
FUNDING FOR OPEN SPACE CONSERVATION
The City of Chesapeake desires to protect its open space, agricultural lands and industries, natural resources, including its drinking water supply watershed, natural habitats, and historic sites. Conserving these resources is critical to Virginia’s economy and establishing a balance between the conservation of open space/natural resource lands and residential and/or commercial development is essential to quality of life and fiscal health. The City supports the efforts to establish a dedicated funding source for open space conservation, to include agricultural lands.
MOTOR VEHICLE TITLE LOANS, PAYDAY LOANS, AND OPEN-END CREDIT PLANS
The City urges the passage of legislation to enact a market based interest rate cap for consumer loans made in the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to protect citizens from the high interest rates that are presently allowed. The City also supports a reversal of the legislation adopted which eliminated provisions preventing motor vehicle title loans for vehicles registered in another state.
LOCAL TAXING AUTHORITY
The General Assembly should not cap, remove or restrict any revenue sources, taxing authority or user fees available to localities. The erosion of local revenue sources reduces local flexibility, increases local government’s reliance on the real property tax and jeopardizes local bond ratings. If the State does eliminate or restrict local revenue sources, it should replace those revenues lost to the localities. The loss to localities includes not only current revenues being derived from the revenue source but also potential increases in revenues due to growth or rate increases.
STATE AID TO LOCALITIES
State aid to localities assists in providing services at the local level, many of which are mandated. The State and localities are in partnership in providing these services to their citizens and localities should not be expected to take on a greater and greater share of the funding responsibility. The City opposes cuts in State assistance programs such as, but not limited to, full funding of State Aid to Local Public Libraries, HB 599 funding for localities with police departments, extension services, local offices on youth, Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act (VJCCCA) funds and services for senior citizens. The City also opposes any further reduction to the car tax reimbursement to local governments.
Local Aid to the Commonwealth – The Governor and General Assembly chose to respond to shrinking State revenue growth by shifting to local governments the responsibility for reducing $100 million of unmet resources through cuts in core services in the 2008-2010 Biennial Budget. In FY 2011 and FY 2012, the State Appropriation Act contained $60 million each year in these cuts, under which localities are required to either elect to take reductions in particular state aid programs, or to send the State a check for the amounts determined by the Department of Planning and Budget. The City of Chesapeake has issued the Commonwealth a check drawn on Chesapeake’s funds each year for its share of the State take back. The City actively returns funds each year, rather than permit a reduction to revenue categories, in order to emphasize the hardship caused by this State budget decision. For the current fiscal year the Governor and General Assembly reduced the amount to $50 million, and for FY 2014 to $45 million. Chesapeake’s share for the current year will be $1,202,715. Now that another State budget surplus has been achieved, the City urges the elimination of this practice.
Any legislation having a fiscal impact on local governments should also be accompanied with State appropriations adequate to cover the full cost of such mandates.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
The City supports State funding for such programs as the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. The City also supports changes to the State’s economic development incentives program to provide increased flexibility to provide assistance to a wider range of companies, especially smaller and mid-sized projects. Further, the City supports the creation and implementation of new economic development incentives programs that are based on “best practices” of Virginia’s competitor states.
VIRGINIA ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
The City of Chesapeake’s Enterprise Zone program was recognized as one the most successful in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was a vital component to the City’s ability to bring business and job growth to the City’s South Norfolk community. The program designation expired in 2005, and the reapplication process was placed on hold by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development while changes to the statewide program were being considered by the 2005 Virginia General Assembly. These program changes were highly significant, and removed the City’s eligibility to participate in the Enterprise Zone program.
The City supports a revision of the state’s Enterprise Zone program to revert back to the original eligibility criteria, whereby Enterprise Zone designations were granted based on the demographics and economics of specific neighborhoods, and not the City as a whole.
FUNDING FOR SPECIAL PROJECTS
The City is cognizant of the current economic realities. State and local government budgets are stressed, as well as those of the private sector and our citizens. In the past, when economic times were better, the State would fund “non-state agency” groups – mostly for cultural and historic preservation projects. If and when the State finds itself in the position to provide funding to such groups again, the City would request that consideration be given to the following projects: the Chesapeake Arboretum; the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways Park and Visitor Center; and the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge: Chesapeake Visitor’s Center.
FUNDING FOR CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES
The City of Chesapeake urges the State to fund the additional positions for the Offices of Clerk of the Circuit Court, Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, City Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue, that its own staffing standards indicate are needed, and which more accurately reflect the actual workloads and requirements of these offices.
The City supports full funding of State education programs including the Standards of Quality, incentive, categorical, and school facilities programs. The City opposes changes in methodology and changes in the division of financial responsibility that result in a shift of funding responsibility from the State to localities. As examples, the City supports the full restoration of the Prevailing Cost Method for the funding of support positions used prior to FY 2009-10 and the elimination of the cap on support positions used since FY 2009-10. The City supports the restoration of Lottery Funds to be used for school construction and operating expenses, similar to the method of distribution used prior to FY 2008-09. The City opposes any further use of Lottery Funds to supplant State general fund revenues and resources in support of the State’s obligation toward K-12 SOQ, incentive and categorical funding.
TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE - CHESAPEAKE CAMPUS
The City of Chesapeake values access to higher education, lifelong learning and workforce training services as essential to its citizens’ quality of life as well as to the economic development of the City. Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake Campus, as the only State-supported higher education facility in the City, has grown with the Chesapeake community in scope and depth of offerings as well as in numbers of students served. The City has partnered in growth of the campus. Most recently, the City purchased and deeded to TCC $4.2 million in land adjacent to the existing campus. The college’s footprint and influence continue to grow with the State Board’s funding and construction of two new buildings at the Chesapeake Campus - an Academic Building and a Student Center – that will more than double the size of the Chesapeake Campus. The new facilities will help meet the high demand for quality and affordable higher education in the City.
The community college is more important than ever as an alternative for our youth pursuing their college degrees and to our citizens seeking workforce training to equip themselves for new careers. We applaud the State’s continued commitment to the Tidewater Community College. The next phase of the master plan for the Chesapeake Campus of TCC includes a science and technology building and adjacent parking garage. While the parking garage can move forward with funding backed by user fees, funding for the science and technology building was not included in community college funding during the 2012 legislative session. Our employers speak to the difficulty in hiring qualified technical staff. Workforce training in technical / scientific fields is critical to our economic development efforts in the City and region. The City requests that every effort be made to gain funding for this next addition to the TCC campus in Chesapeake.
MENTAL HEALTH, INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES
The City urges the State to maintain funding to community services boards with no further cuts, to allow for the provision of recovery-focused community treatment and emergency/crisis stabilization services that prevent more costly institutional care in mental hospitals, state training centers or correctional facilities.
The City supports: funding for additional intellectual and developmental disability waivers slots services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; expansion of out-patient services; additional community funding for crisis stabilization and support services for children and youth; additional Local Inpatient Purchase of Services (LIPOS) funds needed to divert children, adolescents and adults from mental hospitals by providing access to local hospital beds; additional funding for school-based mental health services, day treatment services, and targeted case management; use of funds spent on jail/prison days and other societal costs to provide jail diversion programs, mobile crisis teams to serve individuals whose acute care mental health needs lead to illegal behavior, and crisis intervention training for law enforcement; State funding for, and expansion of drug courts in Virginia; funding for medical detoxification services; specialized regional gero-psychiatric capacity and local crisis services; and explore the feasibility of mental health courts.
COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES ACT
As there are increasing demands for services for high risk children/youth with severe emotional and behavioral problems, the City opposes any reductions to Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) funding. The City also opposes a State appropriation cap on general fund expenditures, requiring local governments to meet the costs for federally mandated sum sufficient cases, as well as any reduction to the State Medicaid match rate for therapeutic services for high risk children/youth.
The City supports additional administrative funding for local CSA programs. To date, administrative funding has not increased and is insufficient considering the scope and complexities of the program. The City also supports continuing State incentive match rates to provide local and community based services to prevent out of home placement and/or more restrictive special education placements for high risk children/youth.
The City opposes any amendments to limit the scope of Pretrial Services, as well as supports the continued funding of Pretrial Services in the Commonwealth.
For years the state has consistently underfunded its share of administrative costs (including personnel and technology) for programs administered on its behalf by local departments of social services. The state agency has now decided to make local agencies solely liable for federal financial penalties resulting from federal audits of the system. Federal law does not require passing this cost onto localities; it is the State’s choice to do so. If the State is concerned with improved performance and accountability, it must fully acknowledge and fulfill its responsibility in this partnership by properly funding, staffing, equipping, and supporting the local offices that render services on its behalf.
The City urges the State to provide additional funding for transit services and client advocacy training. We support the State’s efforts to open an interactive “portal” for clients to review their resources, apply for and change appointments and access services from their home. The Chesapeake Social Services Division has concerns with the barriers to human service providers sharing redundant customer information, which the customer has authorized to be shared. We request that the State remove electronic barriers to the sharing of this information. Along these lines, it is requested that the State continue to find ways to reduce the paperwork requirements, simplify program requirements and integrate requirements between State systems. The City supports an amendment to the State Code that would make being listed on the central registry for child abuse and neglect a barrier to employment in a juvenile detention facility. The City also supports the Department of Juvenile Justice increasing the Block Grant Funding to 50% of the Chesapeake Juvenile Services (detention home) operating budget.
The City supports State funding to meet the demand for construction and maintenance of highways, bridges and other critical components of transportation, including transit.
State funding assistance will be critical in ensuring toll rates are affordable and not counterproductive to mobility and commerce. Additionally, should the State provide a designated highway funding stream, the City urges the General Assembly to ensue that those localities that have, or are, building facilities with local dollars and/or tolls, will receive their appropriate share of these dollars and not be penalized for their initiative.
The City supports additional funding for bridge construction, operations, and maintenance to offset this costly burden. The City supports increased funding for transit systems without the reduction of funding for other transportation modes.
The City strongly opposes any proposal to reduce annual road maintenance payments to the 83 Virginia local governments that own and maintain their own streets.
SAFETY BELT REQUIREMENT
An amendment to Section 46.2-1094 of the Code of Virginia is necessary to protect the lives and wellbeing of citizens of the Commonwealth and others traveling on the roadways within Virginia. Currently, Virginia Code Section 46.2-1094 requires persons who are at least 16 years of age and riding in the front seat of a motor vehicle to wear a safety belt; however, law-enforcement officers are prohibited from enforcing this section, unless they have cause to stop or arrest the driver of the vehicle for some other violation. Wearing seatbelts has proven to save lives. To make this code section more effective in saving lives, law-enforcement officers need to be authorized to enforce Virginia Code Section 46.2-1094, without first being required to find that another law has been violated.
The City supports the introduction of legislation that addresses the issue of distracted driving.
Uranium mining, milling, and disposal of generated wastes pose health and environmental concerns for Virginians. If uranium mining activities are permitted in Virginia, the City is concerned that radiation and other pollutants from mill tailings may occur and water supplies may be contaminated. Therefore, the City opposes uranium mining in Virginia, and opposes the elimination of the existing legislative moratorium on the mining and milling of uranium in Virginia.
SOLID WASTE OR OTHER SURCHARGES
The City opposes the imposition of a state fee or surcharge on water, sewer, or any other local government service.