Monthly Archives: January 2023

Council agrees to renew lease with McGuffey Arts Center

For many years, the City of Charlottesville rented out properties throughout the city with no central way of knowing who was where, how much they were paying, and whether the public was receiving any benefit by subsidizing tenant rents. Last year, Council was briefed on efforts to get the issue under control. (read the story)

Now, the city is considering renewal of the lease with the McGuffey Arts Center which is housed in a former elementary school in downtown Charlottesville that has been used by artists, artisans, and artsy people for several decades.

“The McGuffey Arts Association has leased this building from the city since 1975,” said Brenda Kelley, redevelopment manager for the city City of Charlottesville.  

“We are an arts association that is run like a cooperative and run on committee and on sweat equity,’ said Amanda Liscouski is the Executive Council President for McGuffey’s current fiscal year. “We have 100 associate artists in our community who exhibit in our space and teach in our space as well as 50 renting members who have studio space.” 

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Albemarle Supervisors to get updates on Smart Scale projects, other transportation initiatives

One of the items on the agenda for the January 11, 2023 meeting of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors is a quarterly update on transportation projects. This will be from the the county’s transportation planner, Jessica Hersh-Ballering. The major piece of information coming up later this month will be the scoring of Smart Scale submissions.  As a reminder, here’s what Albemarle submitted:

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Albemarle Planning Commission to select officers, review Misty Mountain campground expansion

There are supposed to be seven members of the Albemarle Planning Commission, but there’s been a vacancy in the Rio District since last summer. That’s a long time to go without representation on this advisory body. The six members will gather in Lane Auditorium at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

The first item on the agenda is the selection of chair and vice chair. Karen Firehock of the Samuel Miller District was the chair in 2022 and Corey Clayborne of the Rivanna district was vice chair. Both have the claim to fame of also having served as members of the Charlottesville Planning Commission. 

After officers are selected and in place, there are three public hearings.

The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont has spent many years doing the legwork to get a facility off the ground in McIntire Park. Three of the 14.7 acres of the proposed public garden are located within Albemarle County. That means the Planning Commission will be asked to weigh in on whether this will be consistent the Comprehensive Plan. 

“Public uses are permitted by-right in all zoning districts,” reads the staff report. “However, if the proposed facility/use is not specifically identified in the locality’s Comprehensive Plan, a review for the facility’s compliance with the Comprehensive Plan is required by Virginia Code.” 

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