City Council holds public hearing on trail connection for 250 Bypass pathway

A new partnership has formed between the City of Charlottesville and an entity that secures open space easements in Virginia, and that will slightly increase the cost of land transactions. 

“We have a property owner that we’ve been negotiating with and we have a granting agency in the Virginia Outdoors Foundation that’s providing the funding which has already been appropriated,” said Chris Gensic, a planner in the Parks and Recreation Department. 

When complete, the transaction will trigger a $3 fee for recordation of most deeds to go toward a pool of money to allow the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to purchase more land. Gensic said most localities of Virginia already have this arrangement but the city has yet to record an open space easement within its borders. 

A map from Chris Gensic showing the segments of the 250 Bypass shared use path that will be advanced by this parcel.

The property in question would allow for the 250 Bypass Trail to continue on an already paved trail in the woods to the south of Charlottesville High School toward the Piedmont Family YMCA to the east

“The parks department has been working diligently over the past few decades to acquire pieces of property to stitch together a trail network per the Comprehensive Plan,” “We’ve been discussing this particular acquisition that’s on the western end of McIntire Park.” 

The public hearing was held to move the transaction forward, but Council took no action. That will come when the deal is nearing completion. 

Rex Linville of the Piedmont Environmental Council said the parcel in question was significant. 

“It is a crucial link in the multiyear effort to create a shared-use path that will connect McIntire Park, the YMCA, and Charlottesville High School to Hydraulic Road,” Linville said. “This parcel is also a vital part of a larger four-mile loop that will connect these public resources to Michie Drive, the Greenbrier neighborhood, and the John Warner Parkway.” 

No city funds will be directly used in the transaction, according to Linville. 

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 May 24, 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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