Monthly Archives: February 2023

Charlottesville Planning Commissioners give committee updates

Church solar panels, tax change legislation fails, and MPO tried again for funding for pedestrian bridge

You can learn a lot about what’s happening in the overall community by reviewing the first several minutes of one of their regular meetings of the Charlottesville Planning Commission. The following all comes from this last Tuesday’s event. 

Commissioner Phil d’Oronozio told his colleagues he would be a representative on the new appointed body that will review applications for funding from one of Charlottesville’s affordable housing pools. Applications now go through the Office of Community Solutions, which is headed by Alex Ikefuna. 

“Alex expressed to us that if Commissioners wanted to have a participatory role on the CAHF allocations or the Housing Advisory Committee to see if they qualified for a category and apply which I dutifully did,” d’Oronozio said. 

Read more

LaPisto-Kirtley files for reelection for Rivanna seat in Albemarle

A round-up on other candidates who have filed so far for 2023

There are 263 days left until the general election on November 7, and more candidates are emerging in the community. 

This week, Supervisor Bea LaPisto-Kirtley of the Rivanna District filed paperwork with the Virginia Department of Elections to run for re-election. She won election to a first term in 2019 in a race that was technically unopposed but write-in candidate Mike Johnson received nearly a third of the vote. 

Johnson raised $99,336 for his write-in campaign, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project. That’s among the highest amounts ever for a Supervisor race in Albemarle County. That amount compares to $23,476 for LaPisto-Kirtley in 2019. She won the Democratic primary that year against Jerrod Smith. 

This year, LaPisto-Kirtley may have an opponent in the General Election.

Supervisor Bea LaPisto-Kirtley (Credit: Albemarle County)

David Coleman Rhodes filed paperwork to run as an independent. I contacted him to confirm his candidacy and he said he didn’t have much to say yet. 

“I am a lifelong resident of Albemarle, don’t like the direction this community has taken, and believe the Supervisors need a different voice,” Rhodes said in an email to me on Thursday. 

Rhodes said he would not run if another candidate emerges. 

So far, the only other candidate to announce for the Albemarle Board of Supervisors is Michael Pruitt, a Democrat who launched his campaign last November. Read that story here.

Other candidates:

  • A third candidate has filed for the South District seat on the Nelson County Board of Supervisors. Mary Kathryn Allen is running as an independent. Republicans James C. Bibb and Philip Purvis have both filed to run for the seat. The incumbent is Robert Barton. (read story on Information Charlottesville)
  • David Michael Goad is running for the Fork Union seat on the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors. He filed as an independent. The seat is currently held by Mozell H. Booker, who was first elected in 2007. 
  • Joe Chambers has filed to run for another term as District 6 representative on the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors. Chambers has been on the Board of Supervisors since at least 2003. The Department of Elections online records for local races only go back to 2000. Chambers ran unopposed in 2003, 2007, 2015, and 2019. In 2011 he ran as a Democrat and won against a write-in candidate who got 29.1 percent of the 581 votes cast.
  • Daniel Reed has filed to run for the Fork Union Seat on the Fluvanna County School Board. The seat is currently held by Perrie Johnson who was first elected in 2015 with 54.5 percent of the 974 votes cast. 
  • Stephen C. Harris will seek a fifth term representing the Cuckoo District on the Louisa County School Board. He was first elected in 2007 and has never faced opposition. 
  • Patty Coleman Madison will seek another term as Clerk of Court in Louisa County. Madison was elected to the position in 2017 after the retirement of Susan Richardson Hopkins. 
  • Democrat Angela Fortune Hicks has filed to run as re-election as Treasurer in Nelson County. She was first elected in 2011 when she secured 73.7 percent of the 5,418 votes cast that year. Hicks won with 81.4 percent of the vote in 2015 and was unopposed in 2019. 
  • Stacey Coleman Fletcher is running for another term as Commissioner of the Revenue in Louisa County. She won election in 2019 with 46.5 percent of the 11,992 votes cast. 
  • Likewise, Henry Binns Wash has also filed for re-election to run again as Louisa County Treasurer. Wash first won in 2011 in a six-way race in which he won with 24.8 percent of the 8,105 votes cast. In 2015 he won in a two-way race but this time got 62.2 percent of the 7,627 ballots cast. Wash ran unopposed in 2019. 
  • Stephanie D. Love will seek another term as Commissioner of Revenue in Buckingham County. She was first elected in 2011 with 59.8 percent of the 4,985 votes cast. 
  • Democrat Jim Hingeley has filed to run for a second term as Commonwealth’s Attorney in Albemarle County. Hingeley defeated incumbent Republican Robert Tracci in 2019 with 56.27 percent of the vote. Tracci had defeated incumbent Democrat Denise Lunsford in the 2015 race with 51.26 percent of the vote. 

Interested in the election news? Sign up for Fifth District Community Engagement where you’re more likely to see these first. Both are products of Town Crier Productions. 

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 February 17, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

VDOT studying 14-mile stretch of Route 151 in Nelson County for potential improvements

Ten years have passed since the Virginia Department of Transportation analyzed the Route 151 corridor in Nelson County and now it’s time for another study to begin. Such work can help identify projects to address safety concerns, and the Nelson County Board of Supervisors got a briefing at their meeting on Tuesday. 

“And I’m happy to say that we’ve had success not only through the Highway Safety Improvement Program but also through Smart Scale getting a number of projects vetted and fully funded and constructed along this corridor,” said Rick Youngblood is a planner with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Lynchburg District. 

“There’s still more work to be done and that’s why we’re looking at this study again,” Youngblood said. 

The firm RK&K is working with VDOT on the study, which Youngblood said is not a land use study. The land use work will be done separately as part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan review that is under way. That’s not directly related to this study.  

“The part of the study aspect is not to define future growth or the possibility for future growth,” Youngblood said. “We’re trying to correct the measures and issues that are on there now in preparation for the future based upon the data that we collect.” 

A slide from the presentation given to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors 

This study will cover a fourteen mile stretch from Afton Mountain Road to about two and a half miles south of Beech Grove Road. They will look at crash data and locations as part of the work. 

“Seven intersections total and these are what we call [Potential Safety Improvement] intersections,” Youngblood said. “They meet a certain metric to be identified as a high accident intersection. We are aware that there are other intersections that have come up.” 

A stakeholder meeting for the study took place in mid-January and Youngblood said data collection is about three months behind schedule in advance of going to the public for comment. There will eventually be an online survey as part of the public involvement.

“We’re hoping to be able to catch folks that are coming through the area as well and not just those that live in the area,” Youngblood said. 

The 2013 study included some recommendations for multimodal improvements such as bike lanes, particularly in the Nellysford area. Currently there are almost none. Youngblood characterized the landscape.

“You’ve got rolling terrain, you’ve got short shoulders, there are crossover accidents, there are road departures, there are no bike-pedestrian facilities throughout the corridor,” Youngblood said. “Mind you, when these recommendations come up they will be pricey. Bike and ped specifically. Bike and ped facilities are pricey and expensive and they are high-maintenance.” 

A website will be created for the study and there will be two public meetings that are not yet scheduled. 

Additionally a project to convert the intersection of Route 151 and Route 6 has been recommended for funding in the current Smart Scale round. 

A slide from the presentation given to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors 

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 February 17, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Albemarle Supervisors briefed on grant program to incentivize creation of below-market units

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors adopted a plan called Housing Albemarle in July 2021 that is intended to increase the number of housing units in the county. That came with a goal of requiring a minimum of 20 percent of new units to qualify as “affordable.” That’s up from 15 percent in the current policy which applies to units that need rezonings or special use permits. 

“At that time, the Board delayed full implementation of the policy until a package of the developer incentives could be identified and approved that would support developer efforts to meet the new goals of that policy,” said Stacy Pethia, the county’s housing policy manager. 

Read more

City Parks & Rec seeking entries for post to mark 50th anniversary of City Market

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Charlottesville’s downtown City Market and the city’s Parks and Recreation is looking for help to promote the event. They’re asking for people to design a “fun and fresh” poster. 

“Charlottesville Parks & Recreation will select 1 winning poster design that depicts a combination of engaging graphics, informative messaging, and regional or market identity. The winning artist will be awarded $500 and bragging rights,” reads the call for entries. 

The deadline is March 12, 2023 and people can submit more than one entry. 

The market operates April to November on space rented from the Woodard Company, who in turn rents it from the Charlottesville Parking Center. The city market used to operate on the city-owned lot next door, but moved to the more level space after a city-requested development by Woodard called West 2nd was withdrawn following a denial from the city’s Board of Architectural Review. 

For more information on the poster contest, visit the city’s website

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 February 15, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Nonprofits have been asked to work on UVA housing projects

The University of Virginia has asked a total of five entities to respond to requests for proposals to develop two sites for housing units that will be rented or sold to households with qualified incomes. 

“After careful evaluation of each respondent on the criteria outlined in the [Request for Qualifications], which included qualifications and experience, project approach, and financial/transaction approach, the review committee recommended inviting three teams be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for each of the two initial sites,” reads the website for the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships.

The two sites are a two-acre site on Wertland Street. The other is a 12-acre site on Mimosa Drive known currently as Piedmont that is off of Fontaine Avenue. 

Read more

Planning continues for CAT to run microtransit in Albemarle County

Charlottesville Area Transit has a contract to work with Albemarle County to provide microtransit service in the area along U.S. 29 in the urban ring as well as in the Pantops area. 

“Microtransit is an on-demand transportation solution really being implemented across the nation and here in Virginia,” said Jessica Choi, a transit planner with the firm Kimley Horn. “Folks can make real time trip requests and those trips are dynamically routed and programmed through the application and the vehicle is dynamically routed to serve those trips.” 

Read more

UTS continues night-service pilot, should receive four electric buses this year

The University Transit Service offers 15-minute headways while school is in session. Last year, the service began to offer some late-night service. Kendall Howell is the assistant director of UTS.

“We run one route that kind of goes through most popular areas like the library, the Corner, the dorms,” Howell said. “And then we run what used to be known as Safe Ride but it has been rebranded as UTS On-Demand.” 

Read more

Albemarle Schools continues to seek ways to address drive shortages

One of the main issues facing any transit agency is the shortage of drivers. That’s certainly the case for pupil transportation at Albemarle County Public Schools. Charmane White is the director of transportation and she said her team is preparing a strategic plan to address the issue. 

“Part of that recruitment and retention, as you know, is that we went up to $21.50 an hour,” White said. 

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »