The developers of a proposed 245-unit apartment building on East High Street along the Rivanna River submitted a third version of a preliminary site plan in late February, around the same time that Charlottesville City Council agreed to hire a firm to appraise the potential value of the site.
This week, the Deputy Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development Services reported that a third round of comments has now been sent out. Those documents are not easily available without requesting them, but Missy Creasy said a round of recent public comment may lead to a Planning Commission review of the site plan.
“So the code allows for the commission, even though this is a ministerial review, the code does allow for the Commission to call up a site plan that wouldn’t necessarily come forward and I understand that we are likely to get paperwork from this body to do that,” Creasy said.
This possibility was first mentioned at the October meeting of the Charlottesville Planning Commission, as I reported at the time.
One person took advantage of the public comment period to make his views known.
“The proposal is concerning because it involves a massive amount of fill dirt and it would be placed in the 100 year floodplain to elevate the buildings and the surface parking,” said Sam Gilliand of Goodman Street. “Fill dirt is the worst way to elevate structures because it increases the risk of flooding to properties around it and on a large enough scale it can also change the flow and velocity of the river in flood events.”
Gilliand said the Planning Commission has a role to play under state code to review the effect of such an artificial topographical change on public facilities such as roads and utility lines.
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