Bob Riley, Haley Barbour, Ed Rendell, Phil Bredesen, and Bob McDonnell -- governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, respectively -- call on the federal government to help fund the Crescent Corridor, a 2,500-mile rail route stretching across 13 states from New Jersey to Tennessee and Louisiana. Besides relieving traffic congestion, the governors cite projections that say the Crescent Corridor project will create 47,000 jobs by 2020 and 73,000 by 2030.
The Washington area grew over the last ten years, with new residents attracted by jobs and development. Even the inner areas such as Arlington County and Alexandria saw growth, in contrast to population declines in the 1990s.
Loudoun and Prince William counties continued the explosive growth seen in those counties in the 1990s. Loudoun was the fifth-fastest growing county in the country from 2000 to 2009, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The robust growth is good for area homeowners, who should see their property values grow along with the region's population and job opportunities.
Orange County supervisors have decided to advertise a 6-cent increase, although they may ultimately pass a lower rate. Supervisors don't yet know how much funding the county will get from the state, and they can pass a rate less than advertised, but not higher without running a new advertisement.
County Administrator Julie Jordan's proposed budget gives the school system the same local contribution as last year, but state funding cuts have led the schools to eliminate 81.5 jobs. The county may need to provide more money for the schools.
A small victory in Roanoke for property owners around the Commonwealth: The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority has been ordered to pay Jay and Stephanie Burkholder $2.2 million for land seized under eminent domain. The figure falls between the $1.53 million the housing authority had offered to pay and the value of about $4.5 million given the Burkholders by two appraisers.
The Burkholders plan to continue their fight against the seizure, and say they hope to ultimately strengthen the rights of Virginia property owners.
"I intend to be a missionary or warrior for property rights," Stephanie Burkholder said. "I will not roll up and go away."
Virginia Beach developer nailed with $24,000 fine after state and local agencies make conflicting demands
When a Virginia Beach developer was asked to mow an overgrown 1/3 acre wetlands field by the local government, it complied. But the State Water Control Board considered the tract of land a protected wetland, and by mowing it, they say the developer altered and degraded the wetland, which should have been preserved as natural and open space.
"We had the state saying, 'Don't touch the site,' and the city saying, 'Mow it now,' " said Carl Eason, an attorney representing Glenwood South and its affiliate, Warner Construction. "I felt like I was in 'Alice in Wonderland.' "
Virginia's state legislators have gone home for the year, but not before approving a very thin budget and three homeowner-friendly bills that will help increase the value of your Virginia home in these ugly economic times. We've got the need-to-know information for homeowners in the latest installment of YOUR VIRGINIA, the official newsletter of the Virginia Homeowners Alliance.
Appalachian Power Co. wants to raise rates a whopping 12.8%. If the rate hike is permitted, a customer currently paying $105 per month would instead owe $118.44. The State Corporation Commission is recommending that commissioners consider limiting the rate increase to 3%.
Appalachian's 2009 profit from its full service territory, including parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, totaled $155.81 million.
Read more at The Roanoke Times
Stricter standards to keep stormwater runoff under control -- and out of the Chesapeake watershed -- have been postponed until at least the end of 2010, and possibly as late as Dec. 1, 2011.
The tougher standards would control the way new homes, shopping centers, and other developments are built. Environmentalists maintain the new standards are necessary to protect the watershed for future generations, but opponents say the rules will increase sprawl, increase the cost of housing, and that consumers would ultimately bear the cost of stricter development rules that builders would have have to comply with.
Read more in The Daily Press...
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