Category Archives: Housing

Regional planners get preview of North Fork rezoning

An official group of planning officials from around the Charlottesville area got a preview last month on a major rezoning on land at the University of Virginia Foundation’s North Fork research park. The Land Use Environmental and Planning Committee was created in 2019 when elected officials agreed to cease meeting in public as a body known as the Planning and Coordination Council.  One of its members is Hosea Mitchell of the Charlottesville Planning Commission.

“They are actually asking for a rezoning and the rezoning is to allow for residential to be included in the industrial developments that they’re doing there,” Mitchell said. 

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Anonymous group of city property owners files suit against Comprehensive Plan adoption

Comprehensive Plan lawsuit

Last week, a group of citizens filed a lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court against the validity of the Comprehensive Plan. The argument cites four specific failures and asks that Council’s vote be held null and void. The seven plaintiffs are Charlottesville residents seeking to withhold their identity. They argue the Future Land Use Map “radically increases density within the city” in a way that violates state code. (read the argument)

“Unlike the Comprehensive Plans that are contemplated by the General Assembly…the Plan at issue is very specific, and assigns new zoning designations to each specific parcel in the City,” reads paragraph 15 of the argument. “As a result of this approach, the City’s actions are already  having a direct impact on property owners.” 

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Council holds first reading on Piedmont Housing projects on Park Street

In their first land use items of the year, and the first rezonings since the Comprehensive Plan was updated in November, Council appeared to approve two projects on Park Street submitted by the Piedmont Housing Alliance. 

Let’s hear City Planner Dannan O’Connell describe the one at Park Street Christian Church.

“The proposed PUD development plan calls for 50 multifamily units and about 54 parking spaces to be constructed at the rear of the existing church site,” O’Connell said. 

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Supervisors approved Rio Point project in late December 

In one of their last actions of 2021, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors voted to approve a rezoning in the Rio District that will bring over 300 rental units to the county’s urban ring. The project had originally been developed by a Virginia Beach firm who opted to not continue with the review process after Supervisors appeared ready to deny the project on a tie-vote on June 3, 2020. 

Local company Stony Point Design Build took over and have since purchased the 27-acre property. The company also built Dairy Central in Charlottesville. Stony Point Design Build renamed the project Rio Point but more or less kept the development, though they made a few changes. Cameron Langille is a planner with Albemarle County. 

“To the northeast is the Dunlora subdivision, to the southeast is the Dunlora Forest neighborhood,” Langille said. “The property is bounded by the north by the John Warner Parkway and across John Warner Parkway is the CATEC site and to the east is actually land that’s within the city of Charlottesville’s municipal boundaries.” 

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Council briefed on affordable housing funds

A firm hired to conduct an audit of the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund presented preliminary results to City Council at their final meeting of the year in the early morning of December 21. 

HR&A had already completed an affordable housing plan as part of the Cville Plans Together initiative but Council paid an additional $165,000 to the firm for that audit, as well as creation of a program to ensure that the upcoming rewrite of the zoning code is inclusionary. The adopted plan called for the city to spend $10 million on housing for at least ten years. 

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5th and Avon group briefed on Southwood’s second phase

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has filed an application to extend an existing rezoning application to cover all of the Southwood Mobile Home Park. The 5th and Avon Community Advisory Committee got a look at the details in a community meeting on November 18. (watch the meeting)

Rebecca Ragsdale is now the county planner overseeing the implementation of the initial rezoning and the preparation for the next one, taking over from Megan Nedostup who now works as a planner for the firm Williams Mullen. 

“It does include 93.32 acres and is the remainder and is the existing mobile home community along with a couple of smaller parcels,” Ragsdale said. “There’s three parcels in total. And the code of development proposes a minimum of 531 units or up to a maximum of 1,000 units.” 

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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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Southern Development agrees to contribute $900K more to Stribling sidewalk, PC recommends rezoning approval

A rezoning of 12 wooded acres in Charlottesville’s Fry’s Spring neighborhood moved one step closer to approval last night. The seven-member Planning Commission recommended approval of a project that goes by the name 240 Stribling that would see 170 units. 

On September 14, the developer asked for a deferral of a decision following a public hearing. City Planner Matt Alfele has this recap.

“During the public hearing, the Planning Commission heard from 16 members of the public,” Alfele said. “Most speakers raised concern about the safety of Stribling Avenue and how additional dwelling units on the subject property would be detrimental to public safety.” 

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Site plan conference held for CRHA’s Sixth Street redevelopment

The City of Charlottesville has held a public meeting for the next phase of redevelopment at the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Carrie Rainey is an urban planner in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services.

“What we’re looking at right now is a final site for what is currently a by-right project to build a new apartment building with structured parking at 715 Sixth Street SE,” Rainey said.

Riverbend Development is working with the CRHA on this project, continuing a partnership that has also been involved with Crescent Halls and the two phases at South First Street. CRHA has a new redevelopment coordinator in Brandon Collins, formerly with the Public Housing Association of Residents. 

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Council balks at $850K cost for Stribling sidewalks

Charlottesville City Council held a work session yesterday on how to cover the costs of sidewalk improvements for Stribling Avenue to support a 170 unit development on about 12 acres of undeveloped land. James Freas is the director of the city’s Neighborhood Development Services department. 

“So, as many as you know, there’s a [Planned Unit Development] proposed for 240 Stribling Avenue,” Freas said. “The proposed project includes a mix of apartments, townhouses, two-family units.”

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