Regional planning body met today

The closed-door Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee meets virtually today at noon but no members of the public are allowed unless you’ve been invited. We also won’t know what they’ve discussed for a couple of weeks. 

To recap, the LUEPC group replaces a public body called the Planning and Coordination Committee that consisted of elected officials from Albemarle and Charlottesville as well as top officials at the University of Virginia. City Council and the Board of Supervisors agreed to close that entity in late 2019. 

The group last met on June 16 and discussed a need to limit public conversation about what is discussed at their meetings. At least one member of the body had been reporting items at a public meeting but according to the minutes of the June 16 meeting, that practice is to be stopped.

“The website, bi-annual reports to the 3 charter entities, and any public meeting between LUEPC and the elected officials were established to be the reporting mechanisms for LUEPC,” reads those minutes. 

The minutes also state that the charter that the group was formed to:

  • “Allow professional staff to collaborate and develop solutions on a continuous basis with regularly scheduled reports to leadership of all three entities.”
  • “Retain visibility into the substance of the work via publicly posted agendas, notes, and materials.”

The meeting was held at noon today and the minutes are to be posted within ten business days but only “when possible.” 

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be invited to meetings in August and November. There may be an in-person briefing in September. 

At the June meeting, there were two presentations.

  • The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority gave a presentation on a waterline crossing of the South Fork Rivanna River (view the presentation)
  • The University of Virginia Foundation gave a presentation on the rehabilitation of the Birdwood Mansion and its ongoing transformation to additional hospitality uses (view the presentation)

My main interest in covering this body even if I’m not allowed into the meetings is to give the community as much possible notice of what the University of Virginia plans to do. To keep track of those stories, take a look at the Land Use – UVA topic on Information Charlottesville

The LUEPC meetings give staff at the University of Virginia, Albemarle County, and Charlottesville the chance to speak freely without members of the community present.

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 July 21, 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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