Realtor group seeks greater awareness of Charlottesville zoning rewrite

This week the first concrete details of the city’s next zoning code will be released to the public. The work is part of the Cville Plans Together initiative which has already resulted in an Affordable Housing Plan and a new Comprehensive Plan. Now, the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has mounted a new campaign to promote what they see as a way toward more affordable places to live. 

“To make Charlottesville more affordable, we need to make housing more livable,” reads the first line of the public service announcement. 

The message is that allowing more density will translate into more affordable price points. 

“So as soon as you’re able, see how the Charlottesville zoning plan will make our city more affordable and livable,” the message continues with a directive to visit the Cville Plans Together website

CAAR also keeps track of home sales in the area. According to their December 2022 report, only 39 homes sold in Charlottesville in 2022 compared to 55 in 2021. 

A map from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors December 2022 report (view the report)

The median sales price increased from $406,000 to $468,000. One prominent example of the increase in valuation is the $270,000 sale of a duplex in the Orangedale neighborhood on December 19. That unit had been purchased in June by an entity called Aspiring Developments who bought it for $140,000.

What to expect next? Last week, the city’s Director of Neighborhood Development Services sent me this email. 

“The first module or portion of the draft zoning ordinance will include all of the zoning districts, the land use table and the zoning map. So the district implementing that land use category will be included,” wrote James Freas. “The second module we release will have the development standards, so everything on lighting, landscaping, signage, etc – which will be important to understanding how development might occur there.” 

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 January 30, 2023 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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