Author Archives: Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville to reopen public hearing for Comprehensive Plan

Those with criticisms of Charlottesville’s new Comprehensive Plan will have another opportunity to go on the record about the long range planning document, as will those who are in support. But a joint public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2022 is largely a formality related to a legal challenge. 

“On that same day, following the public hearing, it is the intention of the City that the Planning Commission will vote on the proposed action,” reads a legal notice in the November 29, 2022 Daily Progress. “(City Council’s vote would take place at a later City Council meeting agenda, following receipt of the Commission’s recommendation.)” 

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Charlottesville Police Chief candidates introduce themselves at forum

On Monday, three finalists for the position of Charlottesville Police Chief appeared at a forum at the Carver Recreation Center that was an event of the Police Civilian Oversight Board.

“The PCOB, though a new element in our government, is an an important component in assuring there is transparency and accountability in the execution of police services in our community,” said Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. 

The candidates are: 

  • Latroy A. “Tito” Durrette, acting Charlottesville Police Chief (view resume)
  • Michael Kochis, Chief of Police in the Town of Warrenton (view resume)
  • Easton L. McDonald, Major-Division Commander, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department (view resume)
Latroy A. “Tito” Durrette, Michael Kochis, Easton L. McDonald
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2023 legislation continues to be filed

There are now seven weeks until the General Assembly convenes for the 2023 session. There are still plenty of bills carried over from the 2022 sessions, but new legislation is coming in every day. Here’s another round-up. 

  • Delegate Tim Anderson has filed for a Constitutional Amendment to repeal its now obsolete ban on same-sex marriage. Read more about this on Virginia Scope. (HJ460)
  • Delegate Jason Ballard wants a law that allows for cost-recovery from wildfires to be extended to negligent property owners. (HB1390)
  • A 20-person Commission on Social Media would be established if legislation by Delegate Wendy Gooditis passes both houses. The group would evaluate risks and harms to community members. (HB1391)
  • Delegate Wren Williams has a bill that would require regulation of derricks and cranes to prevent hazardous rotations of loads. (HB1392)
  • Delegate Lee Ware has filed for a study of funding for constitutional officers are elected by local voters. (HJ461)
  • Senator Amanda Chase has filed legislation to prohibit gender transition procedures for people under the age of 18. (SB791)
  • Chase also wants to prevent the state from requiring COVID vaccines (SB792) and allowing doctors to provide treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (SB793). 
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UVA Foundation acquires another Ivy Road property and 45 other October 2022 transactions

Welcome to another summary list of property transactions in Charlottesville. I have been doing these monthly lists for almost two years as a way of better understanding the city I’ve been documenting for a long while now. I still have a lot to learn.

I started this after I wrote a series of article about a rezoning request on Booker Street in the city’s Rose Hill neighborhood that required research into land use records. I kept it up, and thought this was work people might be interested in. 

Since resuming writing about land use applications and policy in 2020, one of the main stories has been the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan update which resulted in a new document adopted in November 2021. The central theme of the update is to increase the amount of residential units across the entire city, especially in single-family neighborhoods. You can find all of my stories on this in the Land Use – Charlottesville section of Information Charlottesville.

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2023 General Assembly bills so far include voting age change to 16

There are 44 days left until the 2023 session of the Virginia General Assembly begins, and this is a good time to begin looking to see what legislation has been pre-filed. 

  • Community members who serve on juries would get paid $100 a day in allowances if SB789 from Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. is adopted. The current allowance is $30 a day. 
  • Civil penalties for some towing infractions would be repealed in some parts of Northern Virginia is SB790 from Senator Barbara Favola gets through. 
  • Favola also has legislation that would transfer oversight of the state’s medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority
  • Delegate Sam Rasoul has filed legislation for an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to lower the voting age to 16 in “local elections.” This bill is HJ459.
  • Delegate Tim Anderson has another Constitutional amendment to limit Virginia Senators to three terms and Delegates to six terms. (HJ458)
  • Delegate Karen Greenhaigh has a bill that would prevent transgendered students from participating in interscholastic sports. The details are in HB1387
  • Another bill from Senator Bill DeSteph would require school libraries to have policies requiring parental consent before checking out any material that includes any sexual contact of any kind. Details of what that entails in SB787
  • Delegate Ronnie Campbell pre-filed legislation to remove the restrictions on what law enforcement officers can’t currently pull motorists over for. Details in HB1330
  • The declawing of cats would be prohibited in most circumstances and punishable with a fine if HB1382 makes it through both Houses. That was filed by Delegate Wendy Gooditis
  • Finally for this rundown, Delegate Tony Wilt has filed a bill to repeal the requirement that the State Pollution Control Board implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions requirement for new vehicles after the year 2025. (HB1378)
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Albemarle County Schools seek consultant to study persistence of achievement gaps

Albemarle County Schools have issued a request for proposals for a firm to better understand why many students consistently remain behind. (view the RFP)

“Results for our students of color are not the same as other demographics groups,” reads the background for the request for proposals. This is what Ellen Osborne was referring to earlier in this newsletter.

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Pruitt announces candidacy for Scottsville seat on Albemarle Board; Osborne to seek School Board re-election

UVA Law student is first to announce in 2023 Albemarle Supervisor elections

A small group gathered on the steps of the Albemarle County Office Building Saturday afternoon to support the first candidate to make a formal announcement to run for the Board of Supervisors. 

“My name is Mike Pruitt, and I’m a Democrat running for the Albemarle Board of Supervisors to represent the Scottsville District,” said Mike Pruitt. 

Mike Pruitt, a candidate for the Scottsville District on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors at his announcement on November 26, 2022 (Credit: Sean Tubbs / Town Crier Productions)

Pruitt grew up in a small town in Anderson County, South Carolina he said was about an hour away from a city where people could find work. A former mill had closed, leaving no major industry. 

“As I got older, I realized that this wasn’t a place I could stay,” Pruitt said. “Decades of disinvestment meant that there were no opportunities and growing up in the 90’s as a kid like me, I didn’t always feel the most welcome.”

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Albemarle registrar: Ranked choice voting not ready in 2023

Localities in Virginia have the ability to institute a new way of casting ballots whose proponents say would encourage more people to vote and run for office. But Albemarle’s new registrar told the Board of Supervisors earlier this month that more time is needed to implement ranked choice ballots. 

“There are significant unresolved technical and legal issues that affect the implementation of ranked choice voting in 2023 elections,” said Lauren Eddy, Albemarle’s Director of Elections.

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City responds to 2005 JPA suit

The City of Charlottesville has responded to a lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court seeking the voidance of a special use permit granted by City Council in mid-September. Around a dozen neighbors of 2005 Jefferson Park Avenue filed a motion a month later. 

Charlottesville City Attorney Lisa Robertson has filed a motion for demurrer to throw out the suit claiming that none of the plaintiffs have standing to bring the case. 

“The Complaint fails to allege facts demonstrating particularized harm from the City’s zoning decision to any of the Plaintiffs,” reads the demurrer. (read the city’s response)

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Albemarle Fire Rescue staff has begun staffing North Garden

Full-time fire rescue personnel are now supplementing emergency response efforts in southern Albemarle County. Albemarle County Fire Rescue is now staffing the North Garden Volunteer Fire Company Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This began on November 7. 

In a release sent out by Albemarle County this week, Fire Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston said this strengthens a partnership between his department and the volunteer organization. 

“As volunteer rates decrease across the country, departments locally are committed to working together to provide effective and efficient emergency services to the people of Albemarle County,” Eggleston said. 

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