The Home Builders Association of Virginia is proud to present its legislative agenda for the 2023 session. This year, we are focusing on a variety of issues that will help strengthen and protect our industry in the Commonwealth and beyond. We are committed to advocating for legislation that ensures access to affordable housing, encourages economic growth and job creation, supports small business owners and more. As always, we remain dedicated to promoting responsible development within our state so that all Virginians can benefit from it. Our goal is to create an environment where builders have the resources they need to build quality homes at an affordable cost while providing safe neighborhoods that families can be proud of calling home.
LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR THE 2023 SESSION
Extends the validity of plans, permits, and other local land-use approvals to July 1, 2025, provided that such approvals were valid as of July 1, 2020. HB 1665 and SB 1205 continues the statewide extensions enacted by the General Assembly in 2020 and 2022.
Virginia Housing Commission Review of Land-Use, Zoning, and Development Review Statutes; Report to Secretary of Commerce and Trade by November 2023 – HJ 507 (Marshall)
Directs the Virginia Housing Commission, in consultation with the Governor’s office and stakeholders, to develop amendments to the “Planning, Subdivision of Land and Zoning” chapter of the Virginia Code to (i) streamline and enhance predictability in local development review processes and (ii) alleviate the effects of local policies and ordinances on housing costs and supply. The legislation also directs the Commission to identify state funding sources and other incentives to encourage localities to modernize zoning and land-use ordinances. The Commission’s report, recommendations, and draft legislation must be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade no later than November 1, 2023
In-Lieu Fee Mitigation for Wetland and Stream Impacts – HB 1628 (Coyner) Budget Amendment
Provides the Department of Environmental Quality with the staffing and resources needed to obtain U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval to operate a state in-lieu fee mitigation program, known as the Wetland and Stream Replacement Fund; amends existing Code to ensure operational efficiency of the Fund.
Increases maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year from $5 million to $10 million. In addition, should the taxpayer incur expenses toward the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure in a locality that has a designated enterprise zone, as defined in the Code, the taxpayer may claim up to an additional $10 million in any taxable year.
Local Land-Use & Housing Policy Clearinghouse – HB 2494 (Ware)
Requires any locality with a population greater than 3,500 to submit a report to the Department of Housing and Community Development. Such report shall summarize any information collected or changes made regarding such locality’s policies, ordinances, or processes affecting the development and construction of housing. The bill requires such localities to submit the report annually by September 1 in accordance with any forms developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Residential Land Development and Permit Fee Transparency – HB 1671 (Wyatt)
Establishes requirement for localities to submit annual reports to the Department of Housing and Community Development detailing the total amount of fees collected to process, review, and issue permits for all residential land development and construction activities approved, under-construction, or completed over the preceding year.
Establishes criteria for an individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state to apply to a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and be issued an occupational license or government certification if certain conditions are met.
Statewide Inventory of “Residential-Ready” Sites and Structures – SB 1114 (Stanley) Budget Amendment
Establishes the Virginia Residential Sites and Structures Locator to assist localities in promoting residential and mixed-use development opportunities in their community to builders and developers.
Public Notice Requirements for Land-Use Applications and Ordinances – HB 1473 (B. Fowler)
Improves efficiency of the local development review process by removing requirement for localities to include a “descriptive summary” of land-use proposals in public hearing notices published in newspapers.
Constitutional Amendment – New construction property tax exemption – HJR 517 (Leftwich)
Proposes an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to allow localities to enact property tax exemptions/abatement ordinances to spur new residential development.
Local Land-Use and Housing Policy Clearinghouse – *TO BE FILED* (Ware) Budget Amendment
Requires localities to submit annual reports to the Department of Housing and Community Development summarizing any adopted or amendment ordinance, policy, or regulation affecting the residential land development and construction process. Establishes a comprehensive, statewide clearinghouse of local housing policies to inform legislators, policymakers, and stakeholders about the evolving local regulatory landscape.
HBA of Virginia Budget Priorities**
- In-Lieu Fee Fund: Additional $450,000 to the Department of Environmental Quality to assist in obtaining approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate the Fund and one FTE to manage day-to-day operations of the Fund.
- Residential Sites and Structures Locator: Additional $350,000 to the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist in the development and operation of the Residential Sites and Structures Locator.
- Land-Use and Housing Policy Clearinghouse: Additional $300,000 to the Department of Housing and Community Development to collect annual reports from localities and create clearinghouse.
- Funding for Local Building Departments to Accelerate Permit Review: $10M to provide financial assistance to localities to increase capacity for and accelerate the review and issuance of building permits by local building departments.
- DEQ Permit Efficiency and Accountability: $3.5M to expand implementation of the Permit Evaluation and Enhancement Program (PEEP) to streamline the Department’s permit review process, creating transparency and accountability for permit review timelines.
**As of 1/17/23; will be updated as budget amendments are introduced.