For over three and a half years, the city of Charlottesville has been conducting an overhaul of its land use policies in order to increase density. On Monday, City Council took another step towards completing the process by officially directing the Planning Commission to make up with a formal recommendation on how to proceed.
“This is the third part of our overall Cville Plans Together effort,” said James Freas, the city’s director of Neighborhood Development Services.
The resolution officially starts the clock for the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on what’s being called the Development Code. That includes both the new zoning ordinance and the new subdivision ordinance.
“This action tonight is a requirement of state law and our existing zoning code which require that Council refers these items to the Planning Commission and the Planning Commission has 100 days to get back to you with a recommendation.”
The referral came before a consolidated draft has been released to the public. That had been intended to be available the week of July 24 but has been delayed for additional legal review.
“We are really at the point of any day now,” Freas said. “We are expecting it this week. I will say that we are working through those last couple of issues trying to make sure that we have this thing buttoned up so that everything is ready to come to the Planning Commission and Council.”
Freas said the objective is to get the Development Code approved by the end of the year.
There will be at least one new member of the Planning Commission. Council has extended the deadline to apply for the seat vacated by Liz Russell earlier this year. At least seven had applied before the previous deadline but Council did not make a selection.
A joint work session is scheduled for August 29 to review the final draft. That’s the fifth Tuesday rather than the fourth Wednesday. Freas told the Planning Commission that that meeting will go over the adoption process in detail.
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