Work on the next phase of the rewriting of Charlottesville’s zoning ordinance continues, but it’s slightly delayed. Neighborhood Development Services Director James Freas told the Planning Commission Tuesday that a “diagnostic and approach” report was not ready in time for their May meeting, but he hopes it will be out by the end of this month. (previous coverage)
“As this point we are anticipating that the joint meeting between the Council and the Planning Commission to eventually make a decision on moving forward with that report, we’re projecting that happening in September at this point in time,” Freas said.
A lower inventory of available homes continues to drive up the sales prices in some parts of the region. That’s according to the latest quarterly report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors covering the first three months of this year. .
“In the first quarter, the median sales price was $389,900, which was up 13 over a year ago, a gain of nearly $45,000,” reads the report.
On Monday, the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board took a look at the initial site for Premier Circle which involves construction of a four story building as part of a three building campus.. The property is within the county’s Entrance Corridor Review guidelines.
“The focus is largely on the site landscaping and the building design in the Entrance Corridor facing elevation of the first phase one building,” said Khris Taggart, a planner with Albemarle County.
The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) is the lead agency in this region for the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s Continuum of Care program. They cover an area including Charlottesville, Albemarle, and the other localities in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.
“We believe that everyone deserves a safe place to call home and we believe that is a human right,” said Anthony Haro, TJACH’s executive director. (download Haro’s presentation)
Charlottesville City Council has voted to rezone nearly 12 acres of land in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood in order for Southern Development to build 170 units. They also voted for the first time on a proposal that would tie a specific infrastructure project to increased revenues that will be generated by higher property taxes.
“This is going to allow us to get infrastructure that we need in that part of the city that we would not have otherwise done,” said Councilor Brian Pinkston.
The current Charlottesville City Council had the chance this month to check in with the redevelopment of Friendship Court. The Piedmont Housing Alliance came before Council on April 18 with a request to amend an agreement that governs a $6 million forgivable loan granted in November 2020 for the first phase.
The amendment is a technical one because the full amount had not been allocated by Council in a subsequent budget cycle.
Brenda Kelley is the redevelopment manager for the city of Charlottesville, a position currently housed in the Office of Community Solutions.
“This request is not asking for additional funding,” Kelley said. “This funding is already approved in this current budget.”
At their meeting on April 18, City Council agreed with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s decision to issue $23 million in bonds for a third-party to refurbish the Midway Manor housing complex in downtown Charlottesville.
“It is assistance with the financing for the substantial rehabilitation of Midway Manor Apartments by Standard Communities,” said Michael Graff, a bond counsel with McGuire Woods.
Tonight the Albemarle Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the rezoning of the second phase of the Southwood Mobile Home Park being overseen by a local nonprofit. (meeting info)
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville purchased Southwood in 2007 and entered into an agreement with the Board of Supervisors in 2016 to work with the nonprofit. A performance agreement for a public private partnership was signed in 2019 to govern $3.25 million in county investment.
Supervisors got an update at their meeting on April 20, 2022.
“That was shortly followed by approval of the phase one rezoning application and just to let you know, the rezoning application for phase two was submitted to the county in 2021,” Pethia said.
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend an additional $2.5 million in public money on a public-private partnership to redevelop the Barnes Lumber yard in Crozet to provide the infrastructure for a more urban character.
Supervisors had previously agreed to the partnership in 2019. The original agreement required the county to pay $1.6 million toward the plaza and to provide the equivalement amount in tax rebates through a synthetic tax increment financing scheme.
Doug Bates is on the board of the Downtown Crozet Initiative, a nonprofit group also working toward the effort.
“For the last five years, we have engaged in an aspirational dream out in Crozet, hoping for a plaza,” Bates said. “A couple years back that dream began to get some real teeth to it when you as a Board acted to develop an agreement between New Town Associates, DCI, and yourself, the county itself.”
In another sign that the pandemic era is over, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development is closing an online portal through which people can apply for rent relief. Virginians have until midnight on May 15 to make a new application.
Virginia was one of the first states in the nation to put a mortgage and rent relief program in place soon after the federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES). The program went live in June 2020 and has provided more than $713 million in relief for 104,990 households across the Commonwealth.