Albemarle Planning Commission to hold public hearing on Old Ivy rezoning

Father Goose and Filthy Beast want to build up to 525 housing units on Old Ivy Road. 

Or, at least, Greystar Development East seeks a rezoning to construct as many places to live on about 35 acres near the intersection of Old Ivy Road and the U.S. 250 Bypass. The Planning Commission will take up the matter at a meeting in Lane Auditorium that begins at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

Planning staff are recommending denial of what’s known as Old Ivy Residences due to several factors including an interpretation of a previous proffer on one of the properties involved as well as a concern that intensity of development will shut down the road network in the immediate vicinity.

“Traffic operations at the surrounding intersections are currently, or are projected to be, failing without the development of Old Ivy Residences as proposed,” reads the staff report. “Additionally, those operations will further degrade with the construction of the proposal, moving from acceptable to failing or failing worse than would be projected without the development.”

The wooded property is located near the Darden School of Business as well as University Villages. The University of Virginia has several offices on the southern side of Old Ivy Road. 

The land was rezoned in October 1982 for a continuing care facility, and that zoning was amended a couple of times in the 80’s to allow for residential. However, a proffer from one of those amendments stated that development should not occur until Old Ivy Road had been improved to handle more additional traffic. 

“To-date, the Board of Supervisors has not made the determination that Old Ivy Road has been improved to allow density at up to R-15 on these parcels,” the staff report continues. 

The applicant disputes this and has provided a timeline with aerial maps showing 27 improvements that have been made since those rezonings. 

Though the text states there would be 490 units, the rezoning would allow up to 525 and the conceptual drawing shows 477. (Credit: KTGY / Greystar) 

The proposal would see a maximum of 490 units constructed on 27 acres with the rest of the property designated as open space. According to the applicant’s narrative, there would be 65 single family detached units, 47 townhouse units, 54 duplex units, and 324 apartments. 

“This breakdown is approximate and is subject to change at the site plan stage,” the narrative continues. 

All of the units would “likely” be rentals and the density would be 14.9 dwelling units per acre. 

A large portion of the property is designated as Parks and Green Systems in the Future Land Use Map. The land had been owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation for the right of way for the now-defunct Western Bypass project, and the current owners acquired it after the project was canceled. That is not one of the reasons staff recommends denial of the request. 

“Now that the Western Bypass project has been terminated, there is no longer any need for such a large buffer area; since the concerns for visual and noise impacts from the Western Bypass were eliminated when that project was terminated,” reads the staff report. 

An existing pond on the property would remain 

The developer is offering some funding towards transportation improvements, but staff notes that no specific projects are currently in the works for the area. A portion of the Rivanna Trail would be relocated through the development, and they would also build a shared-use path from the development to Ivy Commons. 

They also want a reduction in parking spaces, but staff notes that there is no transit service to the area now. Without a plan, they can’t use theoretical transit to justify granting the reduction from 911 spaces to 730. 

The project also needs a switch for some hillsides to be switched from “preserved” to “managed” in order to proceed. 

If successful, Greystar will buy the property from Father Goose and Filthy Beast, as well as the Beyer Family Investment Partnership. 

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 June 13, 2022 edition of the Week Ahead. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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