Author Archives: Sean Tubbs

November 2021 Property Transactions in Charlottesville: Greyhound building on West Main sells; Six-bedroom on Hinton Avenue sells for $1.585M

Eleven months down, one more to go. This year has seen a lot of transactions that are well over the official city assessment, and November was no exception. What will the assessments be like in 2022? Is it possible to determine yet if the Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan has influenced purchases? Is there a trend towards more limited liability companies owning homes, or has that always been going on?

Those are questions beyond the reach of this summary, which is another anecdotal account of the many individual transactions that took place.

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Albemarle PC briefed on capital budget process

Tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m., an advisory committee appointed to help Albemarle County shape its capital improvement program budget for the next fiscal year will hold its first meeting. Last week, the seven-member Planning Commission got an overview including a reminder that last year was very different. (watch the meeting)

“Last year when we were putting together the FY22 budget, there was no [capital improvement program],” said Andy Bowman, the chief of budget in the Finance and Budget office. “The county was in the middle of the pandemic and there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and really at that time it was decided instead of focusing on a long-range picture, to focus on the impacts of the pandemic and what might be able to be unpaused from a number of projects that were paused at the start of the pandemic.”

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CRHA preparing annual plan for federal review

The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will hold a closed meeting today to discuss a personnel matter. 

Last week, the appointed body held a work session on a report the CRHA must turn in to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kathleen Glenn-Matthews is the deputy director of the CRHA. (FY20-FY21 adopted plan) (FY21-22 draft plan) (FY22-23 draft plan)

“The public housing authority PHA plan is a pretty comprehensive guide to all of our agency’s policies and programs,” said Glenn-Matthews. “We spent a lot of time on our goals.”

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Planning continues for projects for VDOT’s next Smart Scale cycle

Work continues to prepare the next round of applications for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale funding process.  Chuck Proctor is a planner with VDOT’s Culpeper District and he’s assisting Albemarle and the MPO come up with potential submissions.

“Most of them are bike-ped related, a lot of them are multimodal projects like Avon Street, 5th Street, the 29-250 bypass,” Proctor said, speaking at a technical committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday.

Other projects that could be submitted include the intersection of Old Trail and Crozet Avenue, a recommendation from the ongoing North 29 corridor study, projects on Pantops, as well as various intersections of U.S. 250 east of Pantops. 

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Transit vision meeting tonight

Do you have something to say about how our area bus systems should work? Tonight you’ll have your chance to weigh in on a Regional Transit Vision that could guide the future. Lucinda Shannon is a transportation planner with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District who briefed a technical committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday.

“I’m really hoping you guys will all sign up for the public meeting which is Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.,” Shannon said. “There’s also surveys on both of the TJPDC transit projects.”

The TJPDC is also conducting a separate study of the expansion of transit in Albemarle County.

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Places29-Hydraulic group gets first look at Greystar’s Old Ivy Residences project

A proposed rezoning requested by Greystar Development for about 36 acres of land off of Old Ivy Road will be slightly smaller than the 525 units requested in the first application, but it will still be fairly substantial. 

“Our current plan is to have about 490 units,” said Valerie Long, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “We’re still under 20 dwelling units per acre so well within the range that’s permitted. 

The Places29-Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee got a first look at the Old Ivy Residences project, which is currently not scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission. (watch the meeting)

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Biden signs first of two national infrastructure packages

President Joe Biden has signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will likely change the landscape for the way all kinds of projects in Virginia and the Charlottesville area are funded. 

“This law makes the most significant investment in roads and bridges in the past 70 years,” Biden said. “It makes the most significant investment in passenger rail in the past 50 years. And in public transit ever.” 

The bill provides direct funding to specific areas across the entire country. (details from the White House)

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Village of Rivanna group debriefs after Breezy Hill rezoning

Albemarle County staff have begun work on the update of the Comprehensive Plan with a public kick-off expected sometime in January. A major aspect of the current plan is a growth management policy which designates specific areas for density. This plan was last updated in 2015 and since then Supervisors have adopted several other policies, such as the Housing Albemarle plan.

“To accommodate this growth, the County will need to add approximately 11,750 new units to our housing stock over the next 20 years,” reads Objective 1 of the plan, which was adopted by Supervisors in July. “The county must support the development of an additional 2,719 units to fully accommodate projected household growth through 2040.” 

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New Chipotle franchise proposed for long-closed TGI Fridays site; Habitat filed rezoning for Southwood Phase 2

Time now to take a look at recent land use applications in Albemarle County.

First, a site development plan has been submitted for a new Chipotle restaurant to be located in Hollymead Town Center. Before the pandemic, there would be site plan review meetings for the public to comment, but those have not been held. However, the Albemarle officials are looking to begin to resume the public process. 

“These projects are ‘by-right’, which means that if the proposed plans meet the minimum requirements of the County’s zoning, site plan, or subdivision ordinances, they must be approved,” reads the notice for this application. (take a look)

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Charlottesville real estate transfers for October 2021; Two key Court Square properties change hands

Ten months have passed this year, and I’ve now published summaries of property transactions in Charlottesville for each of them. I look through each purchase and title transfer in order to better understand the market. I am not a real estate expert, but I have been writing about the way land is used in this community since 2005.  Like many of you, I have experiences with many of these places. My work overall is improved by a parcel-by-parcel review.

This month, the anecdotal trend of residential properties trading above assessment continues. There are also several purchases of properties by Limited Liability Companies. The buildings occupied by a Guadalajara, Atlas Coffee, and JLK have new owners. Lots, developed or undeveloped, continue to trade hands at higher prices.

This month I’ve also begun referring to a staff report from a 2013 Charlottesville Planning Commission work session that covered Planned Unit Developments. These are specialized zoning districts that have been used for many years to add higher residential densities. As the community looks ahead to a rewriting of the zoning code, it is useful to note the historic presence of these Planned Unit Developments in the community.

(This piece is paid for by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. Consider signing up for a subscription to ensure I can keep going with research like this each and every week! If you do, Ting will match your first payment!)

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