A major Virginia real estate company that specializes in commercial space has published its latest report on the Charlottesville market. Cushman Wakefield | Thalhimer begins with an overall assessment of the economy.
“After experiencing its highest unemployment rate on record of 10.2 percent in April 2020, Charlottesville employment has rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels of more than 116,000,” reads the top of the retail report.
A pair of activists and a journalist have filed suit against the City of Charlottesville seeking the release of documents they claim should be made available through the Freedom of Information Act.
Attorney Jeff Fogel filed a petition Thursday in Charlottesville Circuit Court on behalf of Tanesha Hudson, Cherry Hanley of the People’s Coalition, and Dave McNair of The DTM who submitted two separate requests for information. One was on March 24, 2022. (read the petition)
“For the years 2020 and 2021, all records concerning the settlement of claims of police misconduct, or other violation of constitutional rights, by the city or any of its employees, whether or not the claim was filed in an administrative or judicial agency.”
Charlottesville City Council has voted to rezone nearly 12 acres of land in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood in order for Southern Development to build 170 units. They also voted for the first time on a proposal that would tie a specific infrastructure project to increased revenues that will be generated by higher property taxes.
“This is going to allow us to get infrastructure that we need in that part of the city that we would not have otherwise done,” said Councilor Brian Pinkston.
The current Charlottesville City Council had the chance this month to check in with the redevelopment of Friendship Court. The Piedmont Housing Alliance came before Council on April 18 with a request to amend an agreement that governs a $6 million forgivable loan granted in November 2020 for the first phase.
The amendment is a technical one because the full amount had not been allocated by Council in a subsequent budget cycle.
Brenda Kelley is the redevelopment manager for the city of Charlottesville, a position currently housed in the Office of Community Solutions.
“This request is not asking for additional funding,” Kelley said. “This funding is already approved in this current budget.”
The final round of briefs in a federal case to force a House of Delegates race this November may have been filed this week. Richmond Attorney Paul Goldman filed suit against the Board of Elections last year claiming the certification of winning candidates in the 2021 race was not valid because the districts are outdated because they are based on the 2010 Census.
In March. the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Eastern District of Virginia to answer the question of whether Goldman has the right to have filed the suit. In a new brief filed on Monday, Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson argues Goldman does not have standing.
“Goldman’s brief is long on rhetoric but falls short on standing—the only question the Fourth Circuit authorized this Court to answer,” reads the motion. “He offers no explanation of how he has suffered the sort of particularized injury-in-fact that Article III requires for any plaintiff who wants to invoke federal jurisdiction.”
At their meeting on April 18, City Council agreed with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s decision to issue $23 million in bonds for a third-party to refurbish the Midway Manor housing complex in downtown Charlottesville.
“It is assistance with the financing for the substantial rehabilitation of Midway Manor Apartments by Standard Communities,” said Michael Graff, a bond counsel with McGuire Woods.
Tonight the Albemarle Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the rezoning of the second phase of the Southwood Mobile Home Park being overseen by a local nonprofit. (meeting info)
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville purchased Southwood in 2007 and entered into an agreement with the Board of Supervisors in 2016 to work with the nonprofit. A performance agreement for a public private partnership was signed in 2019 to govern $3.25 million in county investment.
Supervisors got an update at their meeting on April 20, 2022.
“That was shortly followed by approval of the phase one rezoning application and just to let you know, the rezoning application for phase two was submitted to the county in 2021,” Pethia said.
There are eight vacancies on the Village of Rivanna Community Advisory Committee and the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has no intention of filling them any time soon. That’s according to Emily Kilroy, the county’s director of communications and public engagement.
“The Board will not seek to make reappointments at this time, as Committee support right now is in a transition,” Kilroy wrote in an email to Charlottesville Community Engagement on Monday.
In six years, the amount of electricity generated by solar panels in increased by 12,150 percent. That’s according to data cited in the first ever survey of Virginia localities on their policies related to permitting large utility-scale installations as well as rooftop panels.
The survey was conducted by the Virginia Department of Energy and the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia and asked a series of questions to officials in Virginia’s 133 localities.
“In Virginia, the permitting and siting of solar energy and energy storage facilities is heavily informed by local governments,” reads the report. “Therefore, to realize the full potential of solar energy development in Virginia, it is important to understand and support the solar experience, concerns and priorities of local governments.”
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend an additional $2.5 million in public money on a public-private partnership to redevelop the Barnes Lumber yard in Crozet to provide the infrastructure for a more urban character.
Supervisors had previously agreed to the partnership in 2019. The original agreement required the county to pay $1.6 million toward the plaza and to provide the equivalement amount in tax rebates through a synthetic tax increment financing scheme.
Doug Bates is on the board of the Downtown Crozet Initiative, a nonprofit group also working toward the effort.
“For the last five years, we have engaged in an aspirational dream out in Crozet, hoping for a plaza,” Bates said. “A couple years back that dream began to get some real teeth to it when you as a Board acted to develop an agreement between New Town Associates, DCI, and yourself, the county itself.”