Good morning, and welcome to another quick look forward at what’s happening at local meetings in Albemarle, Charlottesville and beyond. February gets off to a quick start and here’s what we know so far. As always, please let us know what we might have missed.
Monday, February 3, 2020
Charlottesville City Council begins its first meeting of the month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The agenda for tonight covers both land use and social justice issues.
The first public hearing deals with the $5.8 million surplus left at the end of fiscal year 2019, which ended last June. Council first discussed this at their last meeting on January 21, and made some adjustments at the budget retreat on January 23. Still in the resolution is $1.25 million for a compensation study as well as $700,000 in additional money for the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund. (staff report)
Council will then take up the form based code for a portion of the Strategic Investment Area. In January, the Planning Commission had their public hearing and sent the plan on with several concerns. This is the first of two readings by Council, so a final decision won’t be made at this meeting. (staff report)
After a discussion about the signs at the Dairy Central development, Council will take up the report on disproportionate minority contact in the adult criminal justice system. The firm MGT Consulting Group has completed a report on the topic for both Charlottesville and Albemarle County. (staff report)
There are lots of interesting items on the Council consent agenda, which is voted on as one big block at the beginning of the meeting.
- Council will vote on a letter of support for the proposed Afton Express Transit Service which would connect Staunton and Charlottesville via a bus route. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission is applying for a state grant for a three-year demonstration of the service. (staff report)
- PACEM, the organization that houses the homeless during cold winter nights, has asked for $20,000 in funds from the city’s Human Service Funds to cover additional transportation costs. (staff report)
- Council will approve a sublease agreement to operate the City Market in 2020 on the privately-owned surface parking lot at 100 Water Street. The cost to the city is $99,750 from April to December. Developer Keith Woodard has leased the space from the Charlottesville Parking Center for several years in anticipation of the West 2nd development that has now been abandoned. (staff report)
The Louisa Board of Supervisors meets in open session at 6:00 p.m. in the county meeting room. There are no major rezonings on the agenda, but the Board will vote on a proposal to allow representatives of groups to speak for up to five minutes at public hearings. The idea meets all four of the Board’s Strategic Initiatives. Supervisors will also get an update on long-term transportation priorities for Louisa. All 12 of them are intersection improvements. (agenda)
The Albemarle Architectural Review Board meets at 1:00 p.m. in Room 241 of the county’s office building on McIntire Road. In the first item, they will review a proposal for a cell tower on U.S. 250 near Crozet. In the second, they’ll hold a work session on the new Malloy Ford. (agenda)
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 6:00 p.m. in Lane Auditoriums and has two public hearings, each of which touch upon the county’s growth management policies. In the first, Tiger Fuel is seeking a special use permit to build a gas station, convenience store and restaurant on Black Cat Road at exit 129 on Interstate 64. The property is outside of the county’s development area and is not on public water and sewer. (staff report)
In the second, the owners of a 3.6 area property on Stony Point Road on Pantops are seeking a rezoning from residential to commercial so they can open up daycare facility for up to 124 children. While in the development area, the Pantops Master Plan designates part of the land to be Urban Density Residential and the rest as Parks and Green System. Our Neighborhood Child Development Center needs a new home by the summer because their existing site on Ivy Road has been sold. (staff report)
The Albemarle Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 2:00 p.m. in Lane Auditorium. On the agenda is a rehearing of a case involving a law office that operates out of a couple’s home in the Rivanna District. (agenda)
The Charlottesville Tree Commission meets at 5:00 p.m. for a two-hour meeting that has 55 minutes scheduled for a discussion of “goals, objectives and committee structures.” According to the city website, the panel is to “serve strictly in an advisory role” to “protect and improve the urban forest.” After that, Commissioners will discuss the Community Forestry Management Plan for 142 acres of new parkland adjacent to the Ragged Mountain Natural Area. Other topics include a future canopy study, an update on the Capital Improvement Program and an item on “upcoming projects that impact trees.”
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has a relatively light meeting to start the month, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Lane Auditorium. (full agenda)
Housing coordinator Stacy Pethia will give an update on the formation of a new county policy on affordability. Last April, a needs assessment conducted by the the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) found that more than 10,000 Albemarle families struggle with the cost of housing. A stakeholder committee has been meeting since October and a draft policy will be the subject of a joint work session with the Planning Commission in April. (staff report)
The rest of the regular agenda will feature an update on the Bright Stars pre-school program, a report from the Department of Social Services, and a report on the three-month autonomous shuttle program in Crozet operated by Perrone Robotics last year. The county funded the AVNU project through the Economic Development Authority in partnership with Jaunt.
The consent agenda features several items of note:
- Supervisors will set a public hearing to amend Albemarle’s Health and Safety ordinance to prohibit “stagnant water”
- Supervisors will adopt resolution to oppose eliminating of state-mandated vehicle inspections
- The terms of a Virginia Housing Development Authority require the 261-unit Berkmar Apartments to set aside 20 percent of units to households making less than 80 percent of the area’s annual median income (staff report)
- Developers of Stonefield are seeking a special exception allowing for an eight-story residential building in Block D1 (staff report)
- Supervisors will endorse the We Are Still In resolution supporting climate action (report)
- The grant report indicates the $300,000 award the county received from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to operate the Yancey School Community Center in Esmont
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Since 1972, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission has been in operation to connect and coordinate regional government services. Many agencies in the area got their start as TJPDC programs, such as Jaunt, Jefferson Area Board for Aging, and the Piedmont Housing Alliance. TJPDC staff work on land use, transportation, housing, solid waste, and many other areas of interest to Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.
The TJPDC’s work is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors that meets on the first Thursday of each month. Tonight is the first meeting for City Councilor Michael Payne, Albemarle Supervisors Ned Gallaway and Donna Price, and Louisa Supervisor Eric Purcell. The meeting is held at 407 Water Street in downtown Charlottesville beginning at 7:00 p.m. (full packet)
The Crozet Master Plan revision continues at 6:30 p.m. with another workshop at Western Albemarle High School. This time the “Character and Land Use” event will discuss neighborhoods and housing. (plan website)
Friday, February 7, 2020
Not quite a government meeting, but we welcome the new U.S. citizens who will be sworn in at a Naturalization Ceremony at the U.S. District Courthouse at 255 West Main Street, beginning at 11:00 a.m.