Albemarle’s Architectural Review Board met on Monday, and its members had no issue with the appearance of a 94-foot cell tower Verizon wants to build in Greenwood off of I-64. The ARB has jurisdiction because this site is within an Entrance Corridor.
Albemarle’s current wireless policy does not ban such towers, but requires them to blend into the scenery. ARB member Fred Missell said the process has worked well.
“Of all of the projects that we do in the county, I think the way the visibilility of these monopoles has been handled has been top-notch compared to other counties,” Missel said.
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors agreed to pursue several avenues to convert several roadways to classifications that would allow them to be under the purview of the Architectural Review Board. Three years ago staff noticed that several of the county’s 21 Entrance Corridors were not actually compliant with state guidelines.
One of the disqualified Entrance Corridors is Avon Street, which lost its status. Staff has recommended asking the Virginia Department of Transportation to classify the roadway as an arterial, but that has triggered concern from members of the 5th and Avon Community Advisory Committee. Supervisor Donna Price read from a letter they sent.
“We know that a corridor study is supposed to be taking place on Avon Street Extended and have some serious concerns as to the impact that obtaining arterial status may have specifically with regards to things like speed limits,” Price said. “We have Mountain View Elementary School up there and Biscuit Run Park at the southern end of Avon Street Extended.”
Planning staff in Albemarle’s Community Development Department have recommended a three-year review of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, but some members of the Board of Supervisors suggested it should take place faster.
Virginia’s code requires the Planning Commission in each locality to create and maintain such a plan to guide future development.
“In the preparation of a comprehensive plan, the commission shall make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of the existing conditions and trends of growth, and of the probable future requirements of its territory and inhabitants,” reads 15.2-2223.