The development of a new Comprehensive Plan for Albemarle County puts equity and climate action as major drivers of government policy. At their meeting on May 23, the Planning Commission reviewed a new mechanism that will be used to help guide decisions.
“Understanding the purpose of equity and climate action ties back to our county mission overall,” said Jesse Brookins, the county’s director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Albemarle County. “To enhance the well-being and quality of life of all community members through the provision of the highest level of public service consistent with the prudent use of public funds.”
After nearly a year of being down to six people, the Albemarle Planning Commission is back to having a full complement of seven voting members. Earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors selected Nathan Moore to represent the Rio District.
“My day job is that I manage WTJU Radio,” Moore said in his introductory comments at the May 23 meeting of the Planning Commission. “That’s the University of Virginia’s community radio station as well as our student sister station.”
A woman who has spent many years working for the United States Chamber of Commerce has been selected to serve as next president and chief executive officer of the local counterpart.
Natalie S. Masri will begin work leading the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce this Thursday. Masri has spent the last 12 years at the Center for Women in Business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Businesses play a vital role in making our communities stronger, and the Chamber is the voice of the business community, serving as a champion, convener and catalyst,” Masri is quoted in a press release. “Having worked with chambers around the country as they tackle local challenges, I’m eager to apply those lessons in my home community.”
The three major governments in the area all have ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050. Those plans are measured by inventories and the city of Charlottesville has released data for the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.
“Due to stay-at-home orders and the reduction of GHG-producing activities, emissions levels dropped significantly,” reads a press release on the topic. “In fact, community-wide emissions were 45 percent below the 2011 baseline, which meets the City’s 2030 reduction target.”
Primary elections in Virginia are 23 days away and many have already cast their ballot on who should be three Democratic nominees for City Council. June 20 is also the last day for prospective candidates for elected school board.
In Charlottesville there is so far only one candidate that has filed paperwork with the Virginia Department of Elections and that’s Amanda Burns. Another candidate who has announced is Chris Meyer, who ran in 2019.
There have been many forums for the five Democratic candidates for City Council but the group Charlottesville United for Public Education opted to send specific questions. (read the survey)
“The candidates’ thoughtful responses to our questions underscore the importance of public education for our local leaders and the community,” said Sandra Aviles Poe, Community Organizer for Charlottesville United for Public Education. “Even with their varying approaches and solutions to challenges like mental health, school safety and transportation, we find it very promising that across the board the candidates recognize the challenges and opportunities and consider our schools a top priority.”
Any one who may have been reserving judgment on Charlottesville’s new zoning code now has a more complete picture of the rules for how the city would become more a place with more residential density.
Consultants with Rhodeside & Harwell and staff at the City of Charlottesville have released the third of three modules of the draft zoning code. This is all part of the Cville Plans Together initiative which has already seen results in City Council’s adoption of an Affordable Housing Plan as well as an updated Comprehensive Plan.
Module 1 covered the basic parameters for new zoning districts and Module 2 provided more details such as landscaping and parking requirements.
The Charlottesville department responsible for approving land use applications has denied a final site plan for a new development in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood.
“City Staff have made a good faith effort to identify all deficiencies within this submission,” writes Matt Alfele, a planner with the Department of Neighborhood Development Services. “However, in the event that there remains any other deficiency which, if left uncorrected, would violate local, state or federal law, regulations, or mandatory engineering and safety requirements.”
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors is planning to purchase hundreds of acres of land on U.S. 29 North from developer Wendell Wood to help preserve the continued existence of a key military base in northern Albemarle County.
“Albemarle County will assume an agreement to purchase approximately 462 acres in the Rivanna Magisterial District for about $58 million,” said Supervisor Chair Donna Price. “The vision for this purchase is to solidify the long-term vibrancy of Rivanna Station in Albemarle County.”
There are 27 days to qualify for the ballot for the November 7 general election. Today, Charlottesville City Schools announced that neither Sherry Kraft or Lashundra Bryson Morsberger will seek another term.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my service to the Board, and the time has come for me to pass the torch to the next person,” Kraft is quoted in the press release. “Those who are considering the role have my full encouragement – it’s a rewarding, challenging, and meaningful way to contribute to our community.”
Kraft was first elected in 2015.
Morsberger was elected in 2019.
“This job and our children deserve someone who can give it the time and careful consideration it deserves,” Morsberger said. “It’s been an honor to serve, but my job, my family, and my other commitments need to take priority right now. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, and there is more work to do.”
The owner of a used vehicle dealership on Pantops has announced he will run for Rivanna District Supervisor as an independent candidate, setting up a second contested race for elected office in Albemarle County this year.
“I have a large stake and a personal investment in sound government in our community,” said T.J. Fadeley. “And I’ve been asking residents ‘how did you like your recent property tax bill?’”