Steep slopes waiver sought for Woolen Mills project

An entity known as the Greenhouse Abatement Industries Association has filed plans with Albemarle County to clear the way for redevelopment of an old power plant at the end of Market Street just across Charlottesville city limits. 

“The owner seeks a rezoning of the preserved steep slopes on the property, which encumbers approximately 85 percent of the property,” reads the application written by Shimp Engineering. “With a redesignation of the preserved slopes to managed slopes, the owner proposes a by-right residential development on the property.” 

The former power plant itself dates back to the turn of the 20th century and is a contributing structure in the Woolen Mills Village Historic District. That district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The application cites the materials submitted for the 2016 rezoning of the Woolen Mills factory which show that Albemarle staff believed the slopes in question are made by human activity. 

Site location for the by-right project titled Power Plant Residences (Credit: Shimp Engineering)

“The re-designation of these slopes will facilitate the construction of dwelling units in close proximity to businesses, parks, and trails,” the application continues.

The final unit count is not listed in the application, but Justin Shimp said in an email this would be for two or three houses. The driveways would enter on East Market Street, which then travels into Charlottesville. (ZMA202200013)

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