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.”
Under the terms of the MOU, the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont would cover the costs of any buildings or structures in the site. Under the terms of the lease, they would have to begin construction within five years of it being signed.
“This would be a landlord/tenant lease and not a partnership with the botanical garden,” Boyles said. “The city is not asked to contribute any financial resources to this other than once complete, Parks and Recreation would be asked to maintain the parking lots and the sidewalks of the parking area.”
The project will include a stream restoration and a pedestrian trail through the area. The proposed ground lease will be updated to provide more clarity on this item before the second reading and public hearing on Council’s October 4 meeting. There will be no cost to visit the park but there will be a fee to reserve function space. (9/20 edition of the ground lease)