Landes touts bills to help Albemarle County

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three bills have been introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates that could have a direct impact on Albemarle County.

Delegate Steve Landes says he filed the bills in response to requests made by the county and residents.

"These bills are intended to improve the quality of life in Albemarle County," he said. "House Bills 775 and 776 will enable Albemarle County to ensure that its urban ring and suburban areas remain livable, usable and desirable for both individuals and businesses alike. House Bill 1148 address the revenue-sharing agreement between Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville."

HB775 addresses snow and ice removal by authorizing any county outside of Northern Virginia with the county executive form of government to create by ordinance criteria and requirements for the removal of accumulated snow and ice on public sidewalks.

Albemarle County has this type of government and is not in Planning District 8, which is Northern Virginia. The bill would set up requirements for owners or other people in charge of an occupied property to clear snow.

HB776 deals with regulating parking on secondary highways, adding Albemarle County to the list of counties that can regulate parking on secondary highways by ordinance.

The big impact could come from HB1148, which deals with reviewing economic growth-sharing agreements, like the revenue-sharing agreement that has existed for more than 30 years between Albemarle County and Charlottesville.

"Albemarle County has been paying millions of dollars to the city of Charlottesville and this legislation will help remedy that inequity," said Landes. "The revenue-sharing agreement is antiquated since annexation is no longer an option for localities. This bill will provide an option for Albemarle County to extricate itself from this agreement."

Under the bill, all economic growth-sharing agreements that last longer than five years shall contain a provision allowing any party in the agreement to call for a review of it to see if the agreement is still in the best interest if the reviewing locality.

It would also allow such agreements to have a provision allowing a locality to end the agreement if a majority of the members of the locality's governing body vote to end the agreement.

Finally, the bill would provide a provision that if such an agreement has been in effect for at least ten years, as of July 1, 2018, it shall be subject to renegotiation if requested by one of the parties to the agreement.

The 2018 General Assembly convened on Jan. 10.

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