Monthly Archives: August 2022

Review of zoning rewrite continues in Charlottesville

Earlier this month I asked if this was the summer of AC44, as Albemarle County’s review of its Comprehensive Plan has been called. Compared to a similar effort in Charlottesville, AC44 is in its infancy being at just halfway through the first phase, which is taking a look at the county’s longstanding efforts to preserve rural area land from overdevelopment through growth management. 

We’re now well into the third year of the Cville Plans Together initiative, with both an Affordable Housing Plan and an updated Comprehensive Plan calling for a significant increase in residential density. 

At their meeting on August 9, the Charlottesville Planning Commission and Charlottesville City Council got an update on the creation of a Zoning Diagnostic and Approach report intended to inform the new zoning rules that will make it easier for bigger buildings on almost all parcels of land across the city. 

“Zoning is that set of regulations and tools that define the buildings that can be built, the building spaces as opposed to open space, and then how land can be used,” said James Freas, the city’s director of Neighborhood Development Services.   

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Preservation Piedmont seeking applications for funding

An area nonprofit that seeks to draw attention to historic buildings and advocates for their preservation is seeking applicants for grants. Preservation Piedmont is offering up to $3,000 in funding for research, documentation, interpretation, and articles about historic places. 

“Proposals will be considered from individuals, organizations, and/or localities from the following: City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Orange,” reads a section of the Preservation Piedmont website

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Charlottesville seeking consultant to work on economic development strategic plan, offers new BRACE funding for businesses

What direction should economic development go in the city of Charlottesville? The city is seeking a firm to help create a new strategic plan to guide the next five years. A request for proposals was issued in late July that seeks the following:

  • A full review and analysis of key demographic information and relevant economic indicators for the City, presented in context with at least 10 peer cities.
  • An analysis of existing target industry clusters and their associated workforce. 
  • A review and deep understanding of the City’s current situation with regard to opportunities and constraints with attention to:
    • a) current/planned land use and zoning rules
    • b) national/regional trends in real estate development 
    • c) trends in entrepreneurship and business development 
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Milestone reached for UVA School of Data Science building

The Emmet-Ivy corridor being developed by the University of Virginia continues to transform with major infrastructure being placed underground to support a number of major new buildings. 

One of those new structures is the School of Data Science, which is to be a four-story building facing Emmet Street with a green roof. The final steel beam was placed atop the exoskeleton in a ceremony on August 2, according to an article in U.Va Today

Over 300 construction workers, data science students and others involved at UVA signed the final beam, which was hoisted into the air along with an artificial Christmas Tree. 

The occasion was marked by the University of Virginia Architect who said a new era has begun for area land use. 

“This building for the School of Data Science will serve as a ‘front door’ for the district, and therefore this day not only marks an important milestone in the construction of a single building, but also marks the beginning of the realization of a vision for this new and exciting district for the University,” said Alice Raucher. 

Those working on the project include Gilbane Construction, Liphart Steel, Virginia Steel Erectors Inc., Piedmont Concrete Contractors Inc., Design Electric Inc., Riddleberger Brothers Inc. and Faulconer Construction Company.

On the design team are VMDO Architects, Hopkins Architects and Arup engineers.

Construction workers on the skeleton of the School of Data Science, which will anchor of the University’s entrance corridor along Ivy Road (Credit: Dan Addison, University Communications)

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 August 15, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.