UVA continues to develop next master plan

The University of Virginia is in the midst of updating its master plan, which is to be known as the 2030 Grounds Plan. These meetings are not open to the public, but the documents and presentations are available for your review. 

According to a presentation at the June 15, 2022 meeting of the Master Planning Council, the next plan will integrate several recent plans such as the 2030 Great and Good Strategic Plan as well as sustainability goals. 

The first phase of the plan’s update began last summer and the second phase took a look at Big Ideas, System Plans, and Redevelopment Zones. One identified opportunity is to:

“Improve the Grounds-City interface through ongoing collaboration and cooperation on sustainability, equity, and community well-being,” reads a bullet point on slide 11 of the presentation

Big ideas include the goal of requiring second year students to live on Grounds, creation of mixed-use nodes including one at Fontaine Research Park, and creation of transit priority corridors. 

The presentation also includes maps for where future parking structures might be. In June, the Buildings and Grounds Committee recommended approval of an update to the UVA capital plan to include a $54 million 1,000 space garage. Potential locations could include Fontaine Research Park and North Grounds, as well as two other locations. (slide 28 for details). 

The third phase will begin to draft the actual plan. Both the Master Planning Council and the Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee (LUEPC) were asked what they thought of the Big Ideas and what was missing. The LUEPC committee is a closed-door body of Albemarle, Charlottesville and UVA staff that replaced what has been a public body in late 2019.

Development of the 2030 Grounds Plan will continue throughout the rest of the year. 

The 2030 Grounds Plan will build on recent activity at the University of Virginia. (download the presentation)

The Charlottesville Planning Commission got an update on what’s happening at one of those nodes from Bill Palmer, their non-voting representative from the University of Virginia’s Office of the Architect. 

“At the Ivy corridor, the big construction site down there continues,” Palmer said. “The School of Data Science is the building you see coming out of the ground. A lot of steel in that one that, as well as the landscaping and the stormwater pond, which I heard held up well in the rain last weekend.” 

How does this compare with how the University markets the Charlottesville area to its students? Take a look at a video from May 2018. A series of speakers extol the virtues of this place. 

“The University feels like a major part of this community and town,” one unidentified voice can be heard. “There is this separation but also togetherness.” 

“You want to be part of a community that is constantly evolving, not in a rush, but gradually so you can make the place work for you,” says another unidentified speaker whose voice may sound familiar. You’ll have to hear the podcast to make your guess. 

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 July 13, 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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