Will the city be able to build the infrastructure residents to allow for a more dense development on Stribling Avenue? At their meeting on September 14, 2021, the Charlottesville Planning Commission pondered this question and a public-private partnership could be worked out to cover the costs that a cash-strapped city cannot afford.
Southern Development seeks a rezoning to Planned Unit Development to build up to 170 units on about 12 acres of wooded land. That came after a directive at an earlier work session for the firm to increase the units in the development.
“The Planning Commission told us very clearly that you wanted to see something less dense and more suburban,” said Charlie Armstrong, vice president at Southern Development.
At their meeting on September 20, Charlottesville City Council held the first reading of entering into a ground lease with the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont, a nonprofit that has been working with the city to use a portion of land in the northeast corner of McIntire Park.
“Documentation previously approved at the Council level goes back to September of 2012 with a master plan of McIntire Park,” said City Manager Boyles. “There have been conceptual designs, resolutions for agreement, a [memorandum of understanding] with the McIntire Botanical Garden, and then most recently in 2017 a final site plan approval for McIntire Park.”
A site plan has filed for a Wawa gas station within the city of Charlottesville on 5th Street Extended. If approved and constructed it would be either the third or fourth franchise within the urban area around Charlottesville. Plans have also been filed for a Wawa at the corner of Route 29 and Greenbrier , just over the line in Albemarle.
The property in Charlottesville is currently a Hardee’s restaurant. A virtual site plan conference is scheduled for October 20. Materials for that meeting sent to neighborhood associations do not identify the 5,300 square foot gas station as a Wawa, but the agenda for the September 14, 2021 Planning Commission identifies Wawa as the subject of a future consideration by the Entrance Corridor Review Board. That will be the only legislative approval required for the project as the property is zoned for Highway Mixed Use Corridor.
This summer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has been updating various committees in Albemarle on their efforts to redevelop the Southwood Mobile Home Park as a mixed-use community. The Board of Supervisors approved the first phase of a rezoning in August 2019, and they got an update at their meeting on September 15. There are a lot of details, and if you want all of them, I recommend watching the full presentation. (watch)
But here is a summary beginning with planner Megan Nedostup with the basic info.
“Habitat acquired the property in 2007,” Nedostup said. “1,500 residents live there in 341 mobiles homes.”
Charlottesville Fire Chief Hezedean Smith has been on the job nearly ten months and he had the opportunity Monday to talk about the department as well as to explain changes to the way the fire department dispatches ambulances. Earlier this month, representatives from the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad critiqued the new “proximity dispatch” system. (Story from September 8, 2021)
“I’m appreciative of the many years of contributions from CARS for over 60 years and for our Fire Department for over 165 years and agree that working together collaboratively, we’ll be able to create a model system framework in this region based on 21st century concepts and strategies,” Smith said.
When the University of Virginia’s new hotel and conference center opens on Ivy Road, there will be a rooftop bar. The Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Visitors will meet Thursday to approve a change to the design for the six-story structure which is part of the Emmet/Ivy Corridor.
Another future building is the Institute of Democracy and the Committee will consider design guidelines for that structure as well as a renaming proposal to the Karsh Institute of Democracy. They’ll also consider a proposal to name a new McIntire School building Shumway Hall and will consider the expansion of the Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital at the Fontaine Research Park. The latter had been originally proposed as a new structure at the North Fork Research Park, but the decision was made to expand in place.
Last night, the Charlottesville City Council got the latest details on the plans for reconfiguration of the city’s middle schools. Go back and read/listen to the September 14, 2021 edition of the show for the details.
Since that was posted, a Community Design Team that has been shepherding the work of architectural firm VMDO has made their final recommendation. Here’s Wyck Knox of VMDO with the latest information. (presentation from September 14, 2021 CDT meeting)
“The unanimous choice by the CDT was Option 3 that builds in the bowl and gives a new look to the school and the most square footage and the most variety of outdoor spaces to the new building,” Knox said.
Charlottesville Area Transit Route 5 will no longer serve the Rio Hill Shopping center, according to a release from the bus agency. The release states the property owner has requested the change, and that means two stops within the shopping center will become dormant. The 31 acre property is owned by SCT Rio Hill LLC, a firm associated with the retirement system for employees of the state of Connecticut.
The manager of the Rio Hill Shopping Center said in June 7 letter to the city that planned renovation implements a vision that does not involve public transit.
The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission is preparing a plan for what happens to discarded materials that is required by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that is due in October. (review the Solid Waste Plan)
“The solid waste and recycling plan for our region consists of Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna and Greene,” said Shirese Franklin, a planner with TJPDC.
It has been about a month since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes issued an update on progress toward efforts to keep the average global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. Achieving that ambitious goal will take coordinated action at all levels of government, including the county-level in Virginia.
Earlier this month, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors learned the county is not currently on track to meet a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent of 2008 levels by the year 2030. A second goal is to become at net-zero by the year 2050. To get there, the county has a Climate Action Plan that Supervisors adopted in October 2020. (read the plan)