Purchase contracts for development opportunities in Chesterfield will need longer rezoning and plan approval periods. Buyers and sellers will need to adjust their expectations going forward when negotiating contracts. Existing time periods in contracts may not be long enough, and sellers will need to be flexible.
The reason, as of the first of the year, Chesterfield fully implemented a new process for rezoning applications. The previous predictable schedule, which was based on application filing, was removed. Rezoning schedules and the time it will take to complete a rezoning will now be based on the date a rezoning request is released from the new Technical Review Committee (TRC). The TRC is a new staff review process designed to foster greater staff coordination and faster delivery of comments. Staff comments will need to be addressed within the TRC portion of the rezoning approval process. Discussion topics that previously came up at site plan review or subdivision plan review may now be raised during TRC review. Hopefully, this will enable faster plan reviews after rezoning approval. The County hopes the TRC creates more efficiency in the process. However, this new process requires completion of TRC review prior to holding community meetings with staff in attendance and before an applicant receives its schedule for public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
When proposed, the new process also called for greater plan detail at the application stage. The industry expressed significant concern about the cost of the proposed plan elements and features. Jeff Geiger and other industry representatives are working with Chesterfield County to reduce the plan preparation cost and reduce the required elements and features to reflect the degree of information known at the application stage.