1. The language in the plan is very vague and subject to the interpretation of the reader.
2. The plan turns the entire county into a planned community with governing boards to establish the rules with no oversight much like “Home Owners Associations” do in planned communities.
3. The plans state there are lifestyle choices but is not specific about what the choices are and implies a vast amount of restrictions we will be forced to live by.
4. The plan restricts the majority of future growth to within the new urban boundaries.
5. The plan puts a lot of emphasis on aesthetics and implies that some properties that do not conform with the “aesthetics” of the community may be required to reconstruct the front of buildings to fit in with the design plan for the community as determined by unidentified decision makers.
6. The plans are designed to lower density further in the less populated areas while increasing the density in more populated areas which seems to have the goal of population control.
7. The plan calls for very expensive revitalization and development that is unaffordable in this economic downturn.
8. The Comprehensive Plan Reference Handbook with supplemental material is said not to be adopted but does not state the significance of the material to the plan. It implies that it is to be used as the handbook for implementing the goals set forth in the plan with no further action by the BOS.
9. The plan calls for public/private partnerships to redistribute the wealth as seen in socialist societies for economic development and affordable housing.
10. The plan includes strategies, plans, policies, and processes to control every aspect of life.
1. Proponents of "sustainable development" like the Renaissance Planning Group are taking advantage of the UDA mandate to facilitate the implementation of very strict land use regulations to achieve a political agenda that goes far beyond what the legislature intended.
2. In 1993, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order #12852 which created the President's Council for Sustainable Development. Their purpose was to translate the recommendations set forth in the 1992 United Nations' Agenda 21 into public policy administered by the federal government. Among the objectives of the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) were:
To implement new policies for America as described in "Sustainable America -A New Consensus".
To use land use planning to control populations.
To establish "sustainable communities", also called smart growth, calling for high-density mixed use feudalistic transit villages to handle future growth in localities across the nation.
To forever preserve rural areas and establish "wildlands" for more than 50% of the nations landscape with roadless areas that would be off limits to humans.
To create buffer zones for another 35% or more of the land between areas of high density and the wildlands.
To establish government funding to seek and acquire private land. They have stated in their documents that public ownership of land should be used to exercise urban and rural land reform.
To use incentives and disincentives to achieve the goals as set forth in Agenda 21. It was determined by members of the council that 67% of the recommendations could be implemented administratively using rule making authority at the local level.
3. The process used to develop the plans to meet the UDA mandate is of great concern. The decisions for the community were made by unelected facilitators of the "steering committee". The Renaissance Planning Group was paid nearly $900,000 for the visioning and planning project at taxpayer expense. The plans they present are merely a template for social engineering that is presented as the goal just as it is done in every locality across the Commonwealth, the nation, and around the world.
The Renaissance Planning Group, the facilitators of the "steering committee", in fact, did the steering. The plans are never voted on by the members resulting in an outcome that was obviously pre-determined. Though their meetings were open to the public, they were void of any public input thus the questions and concerns of the true stakeholders in the community were never even heard during the planning process. Any questions or expressed concerns by other members of the committee
were marginalized and left unanswered.
The end result was the "vision" for the community in a "new comprehensive plan" that was presented to the county BOS as the "consensus of the community".
4. Low-income areas are targeted for the establishment of the UDAs. High density development increases housing costs, thus taxes, which will displace many of the elderly and low-income families. Though subsidies are offered for low income housing in the UDAs, the cost to make homes more affordable for some are transferred to the cost of homes for others.
5. All the funding, subsidies, and tax incentives for the implementation of the plans adds to the national debt at the expense of taxpayers.
6. There is a correlation between restrictive land use regulations and foreclosure rates. According to the leading housing data firm, Realty Trac, Virginia ranked 16th worst among all states in terms of its foreclosure rate in 2009.
Ronald Utt, Senior Research Fellow for The Heritage Foundation, recently did a study of foreclosure patterns and concluded that "the state's foreclosure problems stem from the state's exceptionally high home prices in comparison to the incomes of its residents, and these high home prices are due to land shortages caused by abusive zoning. "Housing is considered "affordable" if median home prices in an
area are no more than three times the median household income in that area. This ratio is called the "median multiple"." What is considered affordable is a median multiple of 3.
California was one of the first states to adopt "sustainable community" polices more than two decades ago, commonly referred to as smart growth, imposing strict land use regulations to discourage building and growth. As a consequence, in 2006 and 2007, the median multiple in California soared to more than 10.
Such regulations spread rapidly to many other states and communities during the 1990s and 2000s. Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond warmly embraced them with similar consequences. In Northern Virginia the median multiple hit 5.6, Hampton Roads went to 4.7, and Richmond hit 4.1. As we
continue to implement "smart growth" policies, this number is expected to rise.
7. Many high density urban development areas already established across the state have been empty for a year or more.
8. Land use decisions should be largely driven by a free market. If UDAs have to be mandated, one can only conclude that:
There is no market for UDAs.
The community doesn't want it and doesn't feel it's appropriate for their locality.
9. In 2009, Realty Trac reported there were 16,687 homes in foreclosure in Virginia. In 2010, 1 in every 948 homes received a foreclosure filing with a sharp increase in December of 2010 when every 1 in 501 homes received foreclosure filing. At this rate of foreclosure and with so many homes already on the market, mandating UDAs will only add to the inventory of unoccupied homes at a great risk to the economy. While it may be putting builders to work, we must also consider the burden to the taxpayer for the money that is funding this development through grants, subsidies, and tax incentives. Then there's the loans to finance construction to build more homes that there is no market for. Who will pay the construction loans if the homes don't sell and what will that mean to the economy in the long
10.The plan fits perfectly with the goals in the biodiversity plan called for in the United Nations plan, Agenda 21, called for in the Biodiversity Treaty that was rejected by the Senate in 1994. The plan calls for strategies, policies, and processes to control every aspect of life. The developers of the UN plan stated:
"Land...cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also the principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, and therefore, contributes to social injustice..."
11.The new comprehensive plan provides for the type of social engineering that is the perfect definition of a soviet.
12.Most would agree that we need to be good stewards of the environment and most people are. Sensible planning is generally accepted by the community but the abusive land use planning in the new comprehensive plans determines every aspect of how and where we live and is seen to be a violation of private property rights.