1600 Lakeside Drive
From the first public hearing through several phone calls and meetings with VDOT they have been aware that our reason for purchasing this property was because it was sub-dividable and that we intended to divide the parcel into four pieces. This website has been online since before we closed on the property in 2004 showing sketches of our sub-division. Despite this the appraisal considers our property one large tract instead of the four individual lots and chooses properties which are not of similar size to the the lots being impacted by their seizure. See (page 7 Delineation of title in the VDOT appraisal) where it states we presented our intention to build on a portion and to sell the lots in an interview on 4/18/05.
The appraisal quotes me (page 7 Delineation of title in the VDOT appraisal) as saying "I got a good deal" which is true. We purchased the property from family and is why I feel we got a good deal. Yes I was aware of the road project but was not aware until months later that VDOT intended to take a part of the property for use as a holding pond. I had thought that only a small portion would be taken to widen the roadway.
Comparable Lands Chosen by VDOT (Comps) NOT!
Tax assessed values of land are determined every two years in York County, Virginia. New tax assessed values are now shown online on York County's Public Information System (PIMS). Any of the data presented here can be verified on the PIMS website. The most recent appraisal was conducted in the latter portion of 2005 and is presented for tax year 2006. Also shown is the data for the previous assessment (in the property details) which would have been performed during the latter portion of 2003.
The first data point (Dec-03) value shown in the above plot (221 Jonadab Road) is the value of the property for the tax year beginning 2004. The last data point is the value of the property for the 2006 tax year. The middle data point is the actual sales price of the property plotted at the date of deed of transfer. The data shows a 57% increase in value occurred, during the approximately 14 month period, between the 2004 tax assessed value and the actual sale. The tax assessed value from 2004 to 2006 represents almost 81% increase in value in the two year period. Since the actual sale price is slightly higher than the straight line between the two tax assessed values; the tax assessed values seem to be in line with "market value".
The above data for (1015 Dare Road) plotted in the same manner shows an even better agreement between the tax assessed value increases and the "market value" increase. The increase in sales price over 2004 tax assessed value shows a 37% occurred during that approximately 12 month period. The tax assessed values show an approximate 70% increase in value during the two year period.
Now take a look at the third property presented as comparable to 1600 Lakeside Drive. First note the sales price is less than the tax assessed value of the property was nine months earlier that the sale. Also note the increase in tax assessed value from 2004 to 2006 is only about 11%. Just looking at the data these figures seem to be far from norm. In reviewing the VDOT appraiser's data sheet I noticed that the seller stated that the reason she felt the land sold at a low price was do to the fact that 1/3 of this site is build able and the remaining 2/3 is wetlands. The appraiser also states on page 18 Topography "RL- 12 is encumbered by a wetland that decreases its utility." The consideration offered for this is a 10% adjustment to compensate for reduced "utility". If only 1/3 of the property is build able as stated by the seller then the appraiser would be wrong in stating that this property would be sub-dividable and an 'Sub-division Potential' adjustment should have been applied to this property as well.
The York County PIMS also has overlays to show both managed and protected wetland areas. The overlays do not show this property as being in either. However it makes no real difference if the seller believed the property was only 1/3 usable and therefore sold at a reduced price as she stated. The tax assessed value is likely much below the norm because the sales price was so low. These facts thus make this property a very poor choice for price comparison data.
On page 12 of VDOT's appraisal under in the Correlation: section stating how the chosen comparable properties correlate to 1600 Lakeside the appraiser states "All of the sales are similar in that they are heavily wooded larger acreage sites impacted by wetlands."
Below are maps showing the the wetland impacted areas on each property from the PIMS website.
The Green area shown above indicates the area which is under "resource protection". The red shaded area denotes the area which is under "resource management". I am sure you can see that approximately 2/3 of the "comparable" property is under, the more stringently regulated, "resource protection" and the entire remainder is under resource management. This property is 1.44 acres and cannot be subdivided in the RR zoned area it is located in thus reducing it's value per square foot.
A lesser portion of the 1015 Dare Road "comparable" property is under the more stringently regulated, "resource protection" while most of the rest of the property is under resource management. The property is very irregular in shape and has only 115 feet of road frontage and therefore cannot be sub-divided thus reducing it's value per square foot.
The Railway road property shows no area under either resource management or protection. As stated earlier apparently the seller thought that 2/3 of the property was wetlands and accordingly sold at a reduced price. It would appear that this property maybe sub-dividable if the seller was wrong and the property is not 2/3 wetlands but again since it was believed to be, by her statement, the sales price was reduced.
Now lets look at the 1600 Lakeside Property which is supposed to be "comparable" to the above three
Note none of the property is in the " resource protected" area and less than 25% of the property is in the less regulated "resource managed" area. The property has frontage on two roads with enough width to meet the minimum 150 foot lot width on all four of the lots (See sketch of sub-division) and provide road frontage to all four lots.
To give the impression that these four properties are comparable with regard to wetlands is beyond my understanding.
Since 1600 Lakeside Drive is sub-dividable by right into four lots without having to build roads etc. the value of this property is much greater than the 20% difference allowed by the appraiser. I believe one of the VDOT individuals questioned the amount of frontage on Lakeside Drive to support four lots since there is a small wedge of property owned by Mr. Davis making this frontage slightly less than 300 feet. See the York County Code Section 24.1-202 paragraph (c) 2) which clearly shows flag lots may be approved in this situation. The contingency plan if sub-division "by right" was not allowed would have been to purchase the small parcel, of mostly pond, belonging to Mr. Davis; thus without doubt making the property sub-dividable "by right". The only thing holding this all up has been VDOT and it seizure plans.
In short none of the three properties selected as comparable appear to me as truly comparable. On page 16 of the appraisal it is stated "In accordance with York County's requirements for rural residential zoned sites, the subdivision of this site into three 1+ acre lots would be legally permissible and financially feasible; and in doing so. it would prove to be maximally productive, thus achieving the highest and best use of this property."
The land VDOT is seizing should have been compared to lots of a similar size to the ones they are effecting, according to "highest and best use", and having similar wetland encumbrances.
Last Edited: 2008-05-14 08:18 PM -0500