Supervisors approve rezoning of Southwood’s second phase

After taking a six-week pause, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has approved a rezoning for the second phase of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville’s redevelopment of the Southwood Mobile Home Park. 

“Phase 2 would include a minimum of 527 residential units up to a maximum of 1,000 units,” said Rebecca Ragsdale, a planning manager in Albemarle County. 

Ragsdale said a minimum of 227 units would be required to be rented or sold below market to eligible households but there could be more depending on build-out. 

“There is a maximum of non-residential of up to 60,000 square feet and there is a commitment to a minimum of 10,000 square feet and that provides for the neighborhood center that is recommended in the master plan,” Ragsdale said. 

A rezoning to Neighborhood Model District includes a Code of Development which governs how the site will be developed. Review the plan here. (Credit: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville.

Supervisors were close to a vote on September 22 after a public hearing but wanted certainty about the cost Albemarle will pay Habitat for a seven acre school site. Albemarle has until July 1, 2027 to decide if it wants to purchase the property for a cost not to exceed $680,000. 

“If it’s not sold, it may be developed under the uses that are permitted in the code of development which could include affordable units,” Ragsdale said.

If residential ends up that site, 20 units must be designated as affordable. 

Charles Rapp, the deputy director of the Department of Community Development, told Supervisors about various transportation improvements that will be made on Old Lynchburg Road and Fifth Street Extended as well as Southwood’s primary thoroughfare. 

“Hickory Street is currently a substandard road,” Rapp said. “It lacks stormwater management infrastructure. It doesn’t have sidewalks. It doesn’t have curb and gutter. It doesn’t have on-street parking and the paving along that road in multiple locations is severely deteriorated and in need of some attention.” 

Rapp said the county could apply for grants to help pay for that work jointly with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville or possibly through the Virginia Department of Transportation’s revenue-sharing program. 

Other solutions include a road diet on Old Lynchburg Road that would replace vehicular lanes with a shared-use path. 

The vote to approve was unanimous. 

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 November 3, 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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