Category Archives: General Government

Council makes appointments, but not yet to Planning Commission

Plus: An update on city’s shortage of building inspectors

On Tuesday, City Council appointed Laura Knott and Sally Duncan to the city’s Historic Resources Committee and Dashad Cooper to the Police Civilian Oversight Board. Other appointments included members of the Sister Cities Commission, the Region 10 Board, and the Retirement Commission. 

However, they did not fill all the open positions.

“Appointments to the Planning Commission have been postponed until the July 18 Council meeting,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook. “There were a few people we needed to interview and didn’t have time to do it today and at least one person was not available.”

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Brackney sues the city of Charlottesville, other parties

Former Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney has filed a lawsuit in federal court against multiple parties alleging that, among other things, the city of Charlottesville acted unlawfully when former City Manager Chip Boyles fired her last September 1. She’s seeking ten million dollar in damages. (read the suit and its exhibits)

In addition to Boyles, Brackney’s complaint in the Western District of Virginia also includes: former city Communications Director Brian Wheeler; city attorney Lisa Robertson; acting police chief Latroy “Tito” Durrette; former assistant police chief James Mooney; current Councilors Sena Magill and Lloyd Snook, former Councilor Heather Hill, and former Police Civilian Review Board chair Bellamy Brown. 

She also named Mike Wells of the Police Benevolent Association as a defendant. 

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Board of Zoning Appeals upholds city zoning in Wawa

Officials with Tiger Fuel attempted yesterday to overturn a decision by the city’s zoning administrator that affects the future layout of a proposed Wawa on Fifth Street Extended. This one gets a little technical. 

“The applicant contends that the prescribed front setback for gas stations in Section 34-931(h) of the zoning ordinance are more lenient than the front setbacks for structures in the Highway Zoning district,” said Genevieve Keller, the chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals. 

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Louisa Supervisors unanimously oppose name change for regional library

At their meeting this past Monday, the seven-member Board of Supervisors for Louisa County voted on a resolution to formally oppose any change of the name of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library system. A group requested that action at the most recent meeting of the JMRL’s Board of Trustees.

Supervisor Chair Duane Adams of the Mineral District asked for the resolution to be put on the agenda. 

“I think about $392,000 of our tax money goes to funding the Jefferson Madison Regional Library [and] we have a right to say how our money is spent,” Adams said. 

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City Manager report: Utility disconnections, city leases, building permits, and more

One innovation to come with the tenure of interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers is a written report that is produced once a month to address items that come up at City Council.  He also read from the report at the beginning of last night’s meeting and provided an update on the city’s current pause on issuing new building permits. No new inspections or permits will take place through June 13. (read the report)

“We have made multiple offers for a new building official and have to restart the process again with the most recent candidate changing their mind about relocating here at the last minute after we thought they accepted the position,” Rogers said. “We had previously contracted with a firm to help us with the inspections to offset our shortage. The two employees signed by that firm also left us recently so we are scrambling to catch up.”

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Virginia Supreme Court rules against Albemarle in Jaunt proffer case

Albemarle County acted unconstitutionally when it demanded the developer of the Hollymead Town Center begin making $50,000 annual payments for a transit route operated by Jaunt. That’s according to a Virginia Supreme Court opinion issued this morning by Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn. (read the opinion)

“While a state, under its police power, may regulate land use to further legitimate state interests, it may not use this power as a cudgel to coerce concessions from a land-use applicant who seeks to repurpose her property,” reads the opinion. 

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Charlottesville officials recommend steps to “reboot” transportation project management in the city to avoid losing out on future funds

The city of Charlottesville has planned and built most of the transportation infrastructure projects within city limits since 2005. Soon after Deputy City Manager for Operations Sam Sanders took on the role last summer, he noticed there were some performance issues that require a total reboot of the way the city undertakes this work. 

“Some initial assessments when I first arrived here was that the development review process within [the Department of Neighborhood Development Services] needed some attention,” Sanders said. “And in doing that work since I’ve been here I’ve discovered it was more than just that. It was also looking closely as the Public Works / Engineering side of the house.” 

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Charlottesville warns of slower turnaround time for building permits

Staff shortages are causing the city of Charlottesville’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services to put a pause on building and trade inspections between May 31 and June 13. 

“The department acknowledges the inconvenience this may cause and appreciates everyone’s patience and cooperation during this time,” reads a press release that went out Friday afternoon. 

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Charlottesville opening up search for new police chief

Nearly ten months since former Charlottesville police chief RaShall Brackney was fired by former City Manager Chip Boyles, the city is seeking a permanent replacement. On Friday, the city issued a request for proposals for a firm to conduct an executive search. 

“The City is seeking a consultant to assist the City Manager through the process of hiring a new Chief of Police who embodies the principles of 21st Century Policing and has an anti-racist focus,” reads the request for proposals

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City seeking to know more about what property it rents 

The City of Charlottesville could be pulling in more revenue from tenants who may be leasing city property at rates well below the market rate. That’s one of the takeaways from a report given to Council at their meeting on May 16. 

As the City of Charlottesville government seeks to rebuild after a recent era of frequent leadership transitions, the current management is looking at aspects of the city administration that have gone unnoticed or unchecked. 

Until now, there has not been one central source in city government that controls all of the various leases the city has for its properties as well as service agreements. That makes it hard to track who is responsible or where the public can get information.

“So what we’re trying to do at this moment is compile that but one of the first things we had to do was identify an individual who would have that as their job,” said Sam Sanders, the Deputy City Manager for operations. 

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