The General Assembly convened on January 12th and we are following many pieces of legislation. HB 1721 is one that has dire consequences for us. Currently, 67 localities in Virginia are mandated to build Urban Development Areas.
HB1721, introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall, would make Urban Development Areas optional rather than mandatory.
The bill was recommended to report (passed by a majority of yea votes) by the House Counties, Cities and Towns Sub-committee #2 by a vote of 7-4 on January 20th, but was stalled on January 21st by the full committee at the request of Speaker Howell. It must pass this full committee and then go to the House Floor for a full vote. If it passes there, it then goes to the Senate on February 8th, Cross-Over Day, to begin the process there. This is going to be a long battle.
WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST
This bill is being attacked by heavy weights like the Home Builders Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters.
Members of the Home Builders Association stand to gain a great benefit from the construction of UDAs. Not only can they build up to twelve homes on a single acre of land that they can purchase very inexpensively, but they get tax breaks for the new urbanism, green building, and green energy efficiency practices used in the construction of these high-density communities.
Organizations like the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Sierra Club are heavily funded by other international organizations like ICLEI and benefit greatly by defeating the bill.
The reality, folks, is if we don’t get this bill passed, 67 local governments in Virginia will have no choice but to approve the comprehensive plans in EVERY locality in Virginia because UDAs are MANDATED.
What that means is we will have little chance of stopping the implementation of Agenda 21.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK NOW if we are to be successful! We must show them who the real heavy weights are.
We strongly urge you to:
• Contact every member of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee to urge them to vote in support of the bill.
• Contact Speaker Bill Howell (R) Phone: (804) 698-1028 Email: email@example.com and ask him to support this bill.
• Contact YOUR representatives to let them know you support this bill.
• We urge citizens from EVERY locality of the Commonwealth to be representatives of their community at the next committee meeting on HB1721. The regularly scheduled meetings will be January 28th and February 4th. Please plan to be there January 28th! We recommend calling the GA the day before to find out if the meeting is scheduled and the bill is on the agenda. Call 804-698-1540 or 804-698-1500 for this information. The scheduled meeting room is House Room D, but this could also change! Our legislators have already shown that they not above moving committee meetings to different days or times or locations.
We are in the fight of our lives to defend private property rights. It is up to each and every one of us to do all we can to get HB1721 passed out of this committee and on to the floor for a vote.
OUR REASONS FOR SUPPORTING THIS BILL
Please feel free to use the talking points provided to help draft your reasons for supporting HB1721.
This is not a right or left, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat issue. It is a right or wrong issue.
HB1721 is about allowing localities to have choices about whether the market in those localities can bear more development in a soft market when foreclosures rates are so high and 1 in every 501 homes in Virginia is in foreclosure.
HB1721 is about allowing localities to decide if UDAs are appropriate for their community.
HB1721 is about putting decisions on how growth is to be managed back in the hands of the communities where it belongs.
HB1721 will stop localities from being forced to replace low cost housing in communities targeted for smart growth with high priced housing that will drive the elderly on fixed incomes and low-income families out of their homes.
HB1721 will stop localities from being forced to impose very restrictive energy and water regulations that will result in the rationing of resources.
HB1721 is about protecting the individual right to own and control the use of one’s own property in Virginia.
Please act now! The future of our children, grandchildren, and beyond is on the line.
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Sadly, from this Republican’s (and Tea Party advocate’s) perspective, not only you have not only gotten it wrong but also you have been misleading. This must be either from ignorance or deceitfulness. Scare tactics are exactly what the TP should not be engaged in, given the competition. The UDA legislation was adopted for the purpose of enhancing property rights, not limiting them. It was adopted to ensure an market-wise distribution of housing, not to harm the market. It was adopted to increase property values and development opportunity, not to take them away. It was adopted to enhance the local tax base while providing more efficient public services and infrastructure. The misrepresentations that you have been publishing do not serve to advance the conservative agenda. It is a very sad day when a lobby for this agenda advances erroneous positions without, in all likelihood, having any understanding of the legislation they’re condemning.
Urban Development = Sustainable Development = Smart Growth = Agenda 21
You can sugar coat globalist united nations propaganda all you want.
What comes out of a bull still steams and still stinks.
VTPP Communications Director
We would like to see the research that supports your assertions because after looking at hundreds of websites, reviewing hundreds of studies, and talking to policy experts nationwide, we can’t find any.
We have done a great deal of research ourselves and know that property values soar within UDAs and plummet outside of the UDAs. Virginia’s own foreclosure rates are highest in the three areas of the state that support high density building – NOVA, Hampton Roads and Richmond City. We know that homes become seriously unaffordable within the UDAs. (Not our opinion – see RealtyTrac)
We know that the Virginia code that mandates UDAs for 67 localities in Virginia stemmed from HB 3202 which was passed in 2007. We know that some of these localities are as small as 5,100 people (Craig County).
We know that the current Virginia code does not mandate that localities change their zoning laws and ordinances. But, we also know that you were “assigned” to some localities as their UDA consultant. We know that you are being paid by grants provided by VDoT. We know that VDoT has $3M of our tax dollars in their budget to pay these consulting fees. We know that the agreement that has to be signed by the localities in order to get the (up to) $50,000 grant money per location requires the localities to agree to zoning and ordinance changes. We know that most citizens are unaware that our local officials were stripped of their authority to enact these zoning laws.
We know some Virginia Democratic senators, who will vote to keep the mandates because they vote along party lines, but who will privately tell us that “the consultants don’t tell them anything they did not already know” and that the $50,000 spent was a “waste of money”.
We know that the organizations who stand to gain the most from these mandates are the Homebuilders Association, the Realty associations, and consultants. We’ve heard their lobbyists speak at the General Assembly in committee meetings in favor of keeping UDA mandates. Interestingly, we have heard some say that mandates don’t exist!
We know that grants paid for with our tax dollars heavily fund these projects because they do not make economic sense on their own merits.
We know how UDAs fit into the sustainability/United Nations Agenda 21 movement. We know that this is an entire movement that wants to fundamentally change how we live and we have all of the data checked and cross-checked. A great website is http://www.DemocratsAgainstUNAagenda21.org. They lay out the problem very succinctly.
We know of over 500 other websites that detail this problem. The connection of organizations who are involved numbers in the hundreds and we have cross-referenced many of them to show their inter-involvement.
We have talked to officials in Carroll County, Maryland and Charlotte, North Carolina, both of which have recently KICKED OUT the UN after they figured out what was REALLY happening to them. This is happening all over the US as citizens begin to wake up to what has been fostered on us.
We know that high-density communities that have been in existence for many years are now falling apart – check out Prince William County. We know that California has had “green initiatives” for 20 years or more and citizens are now taking actions in all parts of the state to take back their communities from non-governmental organizations. We know of hundreds of local organizations and local governments across the nation who are fighting back.
We know that the entire process is void of true public input because the “public meetings” are a sham as they are led by facilitators who steer the citizens to a predetermined outcome. We understand the specific technique that they all use.
We know that you provided Goochland County with two surveys about UDAs and we know that these surveys are disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst as they also lead the citizens down a one-way path with no opportunity to provide meaningful feedback.
We know that presenters at UDA public meetings cannot back up any of their assertions with facts because we asked them and were told that they got their information “from the internet” (yep, that’s it – the internet). They could not cite even one specific study, any hard data, or any websites. We know that is because their assertions cannot be supported.
If UDAs are such a great idea, why do they have to be mandated? You speak of fair market forces, why are you against allowing them to work? If high-density building makes sense to any locality, let the local government and their citizens make that decision and let the free markets work. If they are acceptable to the local government and the citizens, they will happen anyway.
Tea Party supporters are against mandates that strip local governments of their authority and circumvent the citizen participation process.
We the People are sick of mandates. We can self-govern thank you very much.
Now, give up your UDA involvement and really join the Tea Party!