The process of adopting a budget is underway in Albemarle County with the release this week of County Executive Jeffrey Richardson’s nearly $551.5 million budget for fiscal year 2024. A public hearing will be held on March 1 before a series of work sessions where the six Supervisors will go through the budget line by line. (view the draft budget document)
“This budget is balanced on the same tax rates as the current year,” Richardson told the Albemarle Board of Supervisors at their meeting on February 22.
That includes the personal property tax rate which will remain at the lowered rate of $3.42 per $100 of assessed value. The real property tax rate will remain at $0.854 per $100 of assessed value. The average real property assessment was up 13.46 percent, generating an additional $27,262,905.
Every now and then there are items in Albemarle County land use documents that may not rise to a full news story but may be worth telling you about anyway. Here is the latest such a post:
- A zoning clearance has been filed for a convenience store at 777 Monacan Trail, three quarters of a mile southwest of the I-64 interchange with U.S. 29. There used to be a previous convenience store at the location called Hickory Hill. The new business would be called El Tako Nako Store. This will also need to go through the Architectural Review Board. (ARB202300024)
- The University of Virginia Foundation has filed plans for the rehabilitation of the Birdwood Mansion including additionals for event space. The site plan shows a small addition to the existing mansion as well as dedicated space for three tents on enhanced gardens. (ARB202300020)
- Riverbend Development has filed for a rezoning for nearly 33 acres of undeveloped land in Crozet along the future Eastern Avenue Connector. The proposal is to rezone from single-family residential to Planned Residential Development at a scale of six units per acre, for a maximum of 134 units. (ZMA20230002)
For many years, the city has been planning and preparing to replace a bridge that carries Dairy Road over the U.S. 250 Bypass. On Thursday, the city awarded a “design build” contract to the firm A. Morton and Associates.
“In this method, the designer and builder work on the same team from preliminary design to project close-out,” reads a press release that went out in January. “This method allows better communication of intent and constructability right from the start.”
Tonight the City of Charlottesville begins the first of three open houses on the first module of the draft zoning code. For a recap, take a look at the story I wrote on February 4 within 24 hours of the draft new rules being produced.
The first open house is at Charlottesville High School tonight at 6 p.m. with the second tomorrow night at Buford Middle School at 6 p.m. I’ll be at that one. Then on Saturday, the final open house will be held at 11 a.m. at CitySpace. The meetings are all informal and offer a chance to talk to staff about the work.
And then there were four, though that number could still change.
Former Charlottesville City Councilor David Brown has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for House District 54.
“This will be a very competitive primary, and I realize that I am not prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed,” wrote in an email to supporters. “I will continue to be involved in helping our community address the serious challenges we face, but will look for opportunities locally instead of in Richmond.”
Charlottesville City Council has selected a former member of the Charlottesville School Board to fill out the unexpired term of former Councilor Sena Magill. The election by the four remaining Councilors took place at the beginning of their meeting last night.
“Is there a motion for the appointment?” asked Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook.
“Yes, Mr. Mayor,” answered Vice Mayor Juandiego Wade. “I move that the City Council appoint Leah Puryear for the uncompleted for Sena Magill.”
The vote was unanimous and Puryear was sworn in immediately but will not actually begin her term until February 27 when the human resources paperwork is complete.
This is the 25th summary of property transactions that I have put together for paid subscribers of this newsletter to have a first look. Since the beginning, the idea is to track what is happening parcel by parcel as a way of understanding what is happening in a market where so many fundamental changes have been made in recent years. What kind of year will this be?
Just before 2023 got underway, the City Council amended and reaffirmed a Comprehensive Plan that calls for additional density as one tool to bring down the cost of housing through increased supply. There’s also an affordable housing plan that calls in Council to spend $10 million a year in spending to subsidize units.
For most of 2022, I listed the Future Land Use Map designation for each parcel. Now we have more specifics. At the end of January, the city released the first of three “modules” of the new zoning code that will establish the rules for what can happen and where. In this summary, each parcel now lists what the draft zoning code designates for each property as well as the acreage.
Tonight, Council will have the second reading of a proposal to give half a million to a nonprofit organization outside of the budget cycle for an economic development project.
“This is BEACON, which stands for Black Entrepreneurial Advancement and Community Opportunity Network,” said Yolunda Harrell, the CEO of the New Hill Development Corporation. “What we are seeking to develop is a shared-use commercial kitchen and incubator in Charlottesville.”
A public body charged with coordinating emergency responses for Charlottesville, Albemarle and the University of Virginia met earlier today. These meetings are no longer available to view remotely, but the meeting packet is worth a review. (review the packet)
Of the five public safety agencies that participate, the Albemarle County Police Department is by far the busiest with the most calls in all months in 2022. For instance, ACPD received 5,901 calls for service in December compared to 3,051 for the University Police Department and 2,968 for the Charlottesville Police Department.
Ann Mallek was first elected to the White Hall District on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors in 2007 when she defeated Republican David Wyant with 55.64 percent of the 5,307 votes cast that year.
Mallek ran unopposed in 2011 and 2015 but faced Republican Steve Harvey in 2019 and won 56.7 percent of the 7,728 votes cast that year.
It’s been many years since anyone sought a fifth term, but Mallek made her intentions known at a kick-off event Saturday at Crozet Library.
“With encouragement from local citizens and county leaders across the Commonwealth, I declare today to seek re-election for a last term representing the White Hall District,” Mallek said.