The city of Charlottesville has begun moving ahead with changes to the city’s Downtown Mall, which will turn 50 in the year 2026. Last week, the Board of Architectural Review weighed in on one change intended to make parts of it a little safer.
“This is a request from the city of Charlottesville to install metal grates at the three small fountains located on the Downtown Mall,” said Jeff Werner, the city’s historic preservation planner. “The situation we have is that because of issues related to pedestrian safety and ADA accessibility concern, the decision was made to install grates.”
The summer of zoning review continues in Charlottesville with the release this week of a document that is intended to increase the number of required homes that must be rented or sold at below-market levels. HR&A Advisors has put together an analysis and recommendations for how a “inclusionary zoning” policy would work.
“The affordable housing plan adopted in March 2021 calls for the city to develop an [inclusionary zoning] policy that supports Charlottesville’s housing needs and meets the needs that the market will otherwise now address,” said Callahan Seltzer, principal with HR&A, in a video sent out with a press release.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation has awarded a $1.552 million grant to Charlottesville Area Transit to operate a demonstration project for microtransit service in Albemarle County. That includes a match of $388,000 in local funds. The service could take up to a year to get underway, according to Lucinda Shannon, a transportation planner with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.
Similar projects have been implemented at various stages across the nation. The city of Wilson, North Carolina with a population of around 50,000 people replaced its fixed route service with on-demand shuttles in September 2020.