Charlottesville zoning rewrite to begin this year

In November, the City Council adopted a new Comprehensive Plan as the second leg of the Cville Plans Together initiative. The first was adoption of a new affordable housing plan in March. The next step is the rewriting of the city’s zoning code. James Freas, the director of Neighborhood Development Services, told the Charlottesville Planning Commission that the public process for the three phases of the zoning rewrite will kick off at the end of the month.

“What we are looking at is a complete rewrite,” Freas said. “This isn’t going to take your existing ordinance and redline it and make changes. This is going to be a complete rewrite.” 

Freas said some portions of the existing code would be copied over into the new version with new formatting and wording. 

“There are some aspects of the new ordinance we anticipate bringing over wholesale but it will be a new document,” Freas said. 

The Future Land Use Map increases the density potential across the entire city. Download the plan here for a closer look.

The first phase will be a diagnostic comparing the existing zoning code to the Comprehensive Plan to eliminate barriers to implementation. A report will come before the Planning Commission and City Council for approval before the drafting process begins.

“That first phase will probably take us up to the end of May, hopefully not, but maybe the beginning of June but I’m anticipating that first phase will take us to the end of May,” Freas said.

In the fall, drafts will begin to be shared with the Planning Commission and Council. The adoption process will be the third phase and that section has not yet been determined. 

“But we’re anticipating that adoption process taking us into 2023 and culminating in a vote by Council sometime in the spring of 2023,” Freas said. 

There will be a community engagement process, but of course, there will also be Charlottesville Community Engagement. Details to come as they’re known. 

During the process, there will be at least two new Planning Commissioners. The terms of Commissioners Jody Lahendro and Taneia Dowell will expire at the end of August and neither can reapply.

Commissioner Karim Habbab is filling out an unexpired term that ends in August, but he can reapply. Hosea Mitchell and Rory Stolzenberg’s terms expire at the end of August, too, and both can reapply. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the January 12, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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