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2004-01-17
Calvert County, VA. Officials Propose Fee on Big Box Stores

The Washington Post reported on January 11, 2004 that county officials in Calvert County, Virginia are proposing new fees that would help local communities pay for the burdensome costs of big box retail stores. Under the proposed ordinance, developers of superstores would have to pay a new fee, and assume some of the costs of infrastructure, such as road upgrades. The rules would impact the size, design and location of super-sized stores -- all restrictions that are permissable in local zoning codes. Under the draft plan, retailers would have to buy "transferable development rights (TDRs), or pay money to the county to build stores larger than 43,560 square feet. This fee would be in the form of an excise tax. Rather than limit the size of stores, which many communities have done, the county would tax stores that exceed the size threshold. If developers bought TDRs, they could be used to build more intensively in other locations. TDRs have generally been used to help protect farmland from overdevelopment. The County's planning commission has also recommended that big box stores be limited to certain locations in the county. The county is also looking for ways to limit the size of other stores that cluster around the superstores, requiring that a certain percentage of these other stores be locally-based retailers, and at provisions that would require developers to help pay for road upgrades. One commissioner asserted that big stores should be required to "mitigate the traffic you're going to bring to this area."

What you can do: For more examples of zoning amendmens driven by the desire to limit uncontrolled development, search this database by "zoning" or "caps".










 
 
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