Monthly Archives: May 2022

Albemarle Supervisors discuss incentives for housing plan

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors continued a conversation earlier this month about how to incentivize developers to build units to be sold below market value. The six-member Board last discussed the matter in February and pushed back on the idea of creating an overlay district in the county’s zoning ordinance. (previous coverage)

“The main question today that we would like some feedback on after listening to the information that’s provided is [whether] an affordable dwelling unit program something the Board would be interested in and staff reviewing?” asked Stacy Pethia, the county’s Housing Policy Manager. (view her presentation)

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Jaunt CEO talks transit with Charlottesville City Council

The relatively new CEO of the transit agency Jaunt introduced himself to the Charlottesville City Council Monday and also had the chance to re-introduce a public service organization plagued by recent controversy. 

Ted Rieck started with fundamentals. 

“Our basic goal is to enable people to live their lives independently and with dignity and we’ve been doing this for about 42 years,” Rieck said. (view his presentation)

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Pittsylvania County group wants to try again on sales tax referendum 

Last November, voters in Pittsylvania County on the south side of Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District had on their ballot a referendum on whether or not to approve a one percent sales tax increase to fund school improvement projects. The measure failed on a 23-vote margin according to election night results from the State Board of Elections. 

This Tuesday, the seven-member Board of Supervisors got an update on a campaign to try hold the referendum again this year, based on enabling authority that passed the General Assembly in 2020. Martha Walker is the chair of Pittsylvanians for a Brighter Future, an advocacy group that seeks passage this time around.

“One cent, one penny, will generate $3.8 million each year for the 19 years that we will be allowed to have that one cent sales tax added,” Walker said. 

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Albemarle CACs are being briefed on county’s climate action implementation

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors adopted a Climate Action Plan in October 2020 to help guide the county’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent of a baseline by the year 2030. That’s the first step before a second goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and the baseline is derived from the year 2008. 

Albemarle Climate Program Coordinator Gabe Dayley began his journey through the county advisory panels by asking the Crozet Community Advisory Committee what their first thoughts are when thinking about climate action and what he might have as an update. (review Dayley’s presentation)

“I’ll jump in because I hope that I will hear some real substantive things that we’re going to do and not just talk about them,” said Supervisor Ann Mallek. 

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Albemarle Supervisors to be asked to support reintroduction of James Spineymussel 

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is working on a plan to restore an endangered freshwater mollusk back into the James River watershed from which it has perished. 

On Wednesday, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution giving their support to efforts to introduce the James Spineymussel into the Rivanna River as well as the James River. 

“Existing JSM populations have been augmented in six streams in Amherst, Bath, Buckingham, Botetourt, and Nelson Counties, but to truly recover this endangered species, the mussel also needs to be reintroduced to waterbodies from which it has been lost,” reads the staff report.

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Site plan review meeting for Belmont infill residential scheduled for tomorrow

As Charlottesville continues to change under the impact of a new Comprehensive Plan that encourages more residential density, there are still some examples of projects that could build to higher density under existing zoning.

One such example comes up tomorrow at a site plan review conference that will be held virtually at 10 a.m. by the city’s Neighborhood Development Services Department. (meeting info)

An entity with the name Belmont & Carlton Holdings LLC owns 16 parcels in the area, with one of them being a 2.58 acre parcel purchased in February 2006 upon which an automotive repair use has been on the property for many years. All of the land is zoned Neighborhood Commercial Center, which is the reason there are commercial uses in what some refer to as downtown Belmont. 

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Divided Planning Commission approves seven-story building on Jefferson Park Avenue 

A divided Charlottesville Planning Commission voted 4-3 on May 10 to recommend that City Council approve a special use permit for additional height and density for a seven-story U-shaped building at 2005 Jefferson Park Avenue.  They’ve also recommended reducing parking requirements by 22 percent over what would otherwise be required.

“The [special use permit] is required to accommodate a development being proposed for 119-units of multifamily dwellings within one building with underground parking,” said city planner Matt Alfele. 

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Augusta County official named to State Board of Elections

Governor Glenn Youngkin has named a member of the Augusta County Board of Elections to serve on the Virginia State Board of Elections. Youngkin named Georgia K. Alvis-Long to the position. A press release identifies her occupation as a registered nurse instructor. 

Under Virginia law, the State Board of Elections is a five-member body that will have three members from the political party that won the Governor’s mansion in the last election. 

“Each political party entitled to an appointment may make and file recommendations with the Governor for the appointment,” reads Section 24.2-102 of Virginia Code.

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Alderman Library construction reaches milestone

The tallest portions of the new Alderman Library have been installed, and the University of Virginia marked the occasion with a “topping out” ceremony. UVA Today reports that over a hundred workers were on hand to witness the placement of two steel beams that had been signed by UVA officials and more. 

“The two beams are part of the steel-framed clerestory roof structure, an architectural feature that will allow natural light to reach the study and reading rooms inside the library,” writes Matt Kelly in an article posted yesterday. 

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Charlottesville zoning info slightly delayed 

Work on the next phase of the rewriting of Charlottesville’s zoning ordinance continues, but it’s slightly delayed. Neighborhood Development Services Director James Freas told the Planning Commission Tuesday that a “diagnostic and approach” report was not ready in time for their May meeting, but he hopes it will be out by the end of this month. (previous coverage)

“As this point we are anticipating that the joint meeting between the Council and the Planning Commission to eventually make a decision on moving forward with that report, we’re projecting that happening in September at this point in time,” Freas said. 

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