Council make two new appointments to Planning Commission

When the Charlottesville Planning Commission meets on September 13, two veterans of other advisory bodies will take their place at the makeshift dais in CitySpace. 

Carl Schwarz served two terms on the Board of Architectural Review from 2014 to the end of last year. He’s an architect in private practice who lives in the 10th and Page neighborhood. 

Phil d’Oronzio has been the chair of the Housing Advisory Council Committee since August 2014. He’s the CEO of Pilot Mortgage who lives in the Belmont neighborhood. 

The pair join three Planning Commissioner who were reappointed by Council at their meeting on July 18.

“By some accident of history we wound up with five different Planning Commissioners whose terms expire on August 31, 2022,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook. 

By Virginia law, the seats have to be staggered so that terms don’t expire all at once. To make that work, they had to technically reconstitute the body and reappoint everyone, even those who terms were not yet.

A section of the Virginia code that enables Planning Commissions to exist 

Commissioner Hosea Mitchell was appointed to Seat One for a term expiring on August 31, 2023. Mitchell served a partial term in the late 2000’s before rejoining the Commission in June 2018 to fill an unexpired term. He is retired from a career in the medical business. 

Commissioner Rory Stolzenberg was appointed to Seat Two also for a term expiring on August 31, 2023. Stolzenberg first joined the Commission in October 2018.  He’s a software engineer with Lumin.

Seat Three will continue the appointment of Lyle Solla-Yates whose term expires at the end of August 2024. Solla-Yates has been on the Commission since March 2018 and is the current chair. He works for the University of Virginia School of Architecture. 

Commissioner Liz Russell will continue in Seat 4 with a term that also expires at the end of 2024. Russell has been on the Commission since September 2020. She’s the director of planning, sustainability, and project management at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. 

Seat 5 will continue to be occupied by Commissioner Karim Habbab until August 31, 2025. Habbab was appointed in June 2021 and is an architect with BRW Architects. 

The terms of Schwarz (Seat 6) and d’Oronzio  (Seat 7) and Schwarz will expire on August 31, 2026. 

The reconstitution of the Planning Commission comes at a time when the city is rewriting the Charlottesville zoning code to increase density. That’s a major objective of both of the Affordable Housing Plan adopted in March 2021 and the Comprehensive Plan updated in November 2021.


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 27, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

2 thoughts on “Council make two new appointments to Planning Commission

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: