Monthly Archives: December 2020

Charlottesville Planning Commission gets year-end update on consultant-led initiative

This January will mark four years since the Charlottesville Planning Commission began its review of the Comprehensive Plan. The process was delayed due to a renewed focus on affordable housing, an outcome that stems from increased public attention on inequity following the Unite the Right Rally in August 2017. 

The previous City Council put the review on hold in December 2018, and hired the firm Rhodeside & Harwell in the summer of 2019 to complete an update of the plan, draft an affordable housing plan, and then begin a rewrite of the city’s zoning ordinance.

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Albemarle PC recommends approval of Premier Circle rezoning

The Albemarle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a rezoning to allow for up to 140 units and commercial space to be built on U.S. 29 adjacent to the Red Carpet Inn. The proposal is from three housing nonprofits. 

“The project proponents are Virginia Supportive Housing, Piedmont Housing Alliance, and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless,” said Lori Schweller, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “VSH intends to develop 80 units of permanent supportive housing for 50  percent or lower [area median income] and PHA intends to develop 60 primarily one and two bedroom units at between 30 percent and 80 percent [area median income].” 

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Regional body ready to move on regional cigarette tax

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission is prepared to move ahead with regional administration of additional taxes on cigarettes should area localities decide to impose them. Counties can begin to levy such taxes as of July 1, 2021. David Blount is the legislative liaison for the TJPDC and he spoke at the December 3, 2020 meeting of the TJPDC Board of Commissioners.

“Counties are starting to look at discussing their budgets for fiscal year 22 which begins next July,” Blount said. “They are looking at the cigarette tax as an option for implementing in that next budget.”

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Jackson P. Burley High School now listed on National Register of Historic Places

(this story was originally posted in the December 1, 2020 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

The high school established by Albemarle and Charlottesville in the middle of the 20th century for Black students is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Jackson P. Burley opened in 1951 on Rose Hill Drive, eleven years after the city had built a new school for whites only. Jimmy Hollins of the Burley Varsity Club alumni group said Burley also was for Black students from Greene and Nelson. 

“Burley was a big part of the Black community back in those days,” Hollins said. “When they played sports, football or basketball games, those games was crowded. Pretty crowded.  And we not only had Black fans, we would have white fans that would come and stand outside of the gates and look at the games.”

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