HRRA believes that everyone has a right to realize the American dream of homeownership. Home ownership gives people a sense of pride in their community and themselves. Unfortunately, more and more Americans including members of the military, firefighters, school teachers, and police officers are finding home ownership outside their grasp due to cost pressures.
In some cases this decrease is brought on by local governments’ attempts to control growth through a) exclusionary zoning practices that limit the amount of land zoned for residential development (e.g., large minimum lot sizes), and/or b) policies that increase the cost of developing new housing (e.g., proffers and impact fees). This creates a cycle in which people must move farther from the city centers to find affordable housing, which means longer commuting times, increased traffic congestion and a decreased quality of life.
We are committed to improving the affordability of housing, committed to the development and preservation of the region’s housing stock and making it available to the widest range of potential homebuyers. HRRA urges elected officials and local government planning and zoning staffs to consider affordable housing options in their comprehensive plans and zoning guidelines. Mixed use and mixed income developments that incorporate single and multi-unit housing options are an effective tool for providing affordable housing in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and without overburdening the locality’s infrastructure.
The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act currently applies to 29 counties and 17 cities defined in the Act as “Tidewater Virginia” and requires local governments to incorporate into their local comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, stormwater management ordinances, subdivision ordinances and erosion and sediment control ordinances water quality protection measures which define and protect environmentally sensitive lands. HRRA is extremely concerned about achieving a balance between a healthy Chesapeake Bay and a strong, viable economy throughout the Commonwealth.
HRRA will support efforts that will seek to better protect one of our most valuable natural and economic resources, the Chesapeake Bay; in other words, HRRA supports expansion of the CBPA to include the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
HRRA recognizes the need for localities to raise revenue to address critical infrastructure needs, particularly for school construction. We believe that a dedicated, broad-based funding method, such as a local option sales tax, is the most equitable and efficient method to address these needs. HRRA opposes recordation/transfer taxes and fees for the following reasons:
HRRA recognizes that a balanced transportation system that effectively moves people and products throughout the Commonwealth is vital to the economy and a high quality of life for Virginians. HRRA believes that our transportation system, provided by the state and in conjunction with local governments, must be fully funded by broad-based revenue sources. Furthermore, HRRA recognizes the significant and immediate transportation needs that exist in the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions. Accordingly, HRRA supports: