Category Archives: Infrastructure updates

New roundabout to open at U.S. 250 / Route 151

A new traffic pattern will begin tomorrow at the intersection of U.S. 250 and Route 151 in Nelson County. The Virginia Department of Transportation expects that vehicles will be routed through a new roundabout beginning at 9 a.m. 

“Flaggers will control traffic through the intersection while the traffic signals at the intersection are removed and pavement striping is completed,” reads a VDOT press release. “Drivers should anticipate brief delays during traffic stoppages and congestion in the vicinity of the project. The traffic switch will be complete, and the flagging operation removed by 3 p.m., at which time traffic will use the roundabout for all movements through the intersection.”

Read more

Supervisors approve $200K to Premier Circle emergency homeless shelter through end of April

In recent years, both Albemarle and Charlottesville have increased the level of funding that goes to pay for initiatives to subsidize the cost of housing for households below certain income levels. Albemarle’s housing policy manager provided an update to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting on November 2. 

“Looking at overall funding activity in [fiscal year] 2022 and [fiscal year] 2023, the Board has approved about $11.5 million in funding across many different funding streams,” said Dr. Stacy Pethia. 

Read more

Supervisors approve rezoning of Southwood’s second phase

After taking a six-week pause, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has approved a rezoning for the second phase of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville’s redevelopment of the Southwood Mobile Home Park. 

“Phase 2 would include a minimum of 527 residential units up to a maximum of 1,000 units,” said Rebecca Ragsdale, a planning manager in Albemarle County. 

Ragsdale said a minimum of 227 units would be required to be rented or sold below market to eligible households but there could be more depending on build-out. 

Read more

Charlottesville seeking applicants for housing funds

Charlottesville City Council adopted an affordable housing plan in March 2021 that calls for $10 million a year in investment in programs and initiatives to expand the amount of units that are guaranteed to be rented or sold to people with incomes below sixty percent of the area median income. 

On Tuesday, the city announced it is seeking proposals from groups for city funding to help subsidize the cost of major projects. 

“This application process is open to those multi-family affordable housing development projects, proposed to be located within City limits, that may be requesting significant investment consideration for which developers may be desiring to ask the City to assist with gap funding,” reads the press release for the announcement.

Read more

CTB briefed on Smart Scale funding as Round 5 approaches

In three months, the Virginia Department of Transportation will release the results from the fifth round of Smart Scale, the major avenue through which projects related to roads and sidewalks are funded. 

“We are in Smart Scale season,” said John Lawson, Virginia’s deputy transportation secretary. “Everybody will be wondering how much money will be available for this round and for many reasons it is to be determined.” 

Read more

Commonwealth Transportation Board briefed on why construction estimates are increasing

Charlottesville Community Engagement is a newsletter and podcast that tries to keep up with how much it costs to build things, a major factor in the provision of infrastructure. The Virginia Department of Transportation also keeps an eye on changing trends as part of an effort to deliver services more efficiently. This comes out of a 2020 study by the firm of Ernst and Young who took a lot at the methodology VDOT uses to estimate the cost of projects and the way it bids them. 

The Commonwealth Transportation Board got a briefing at their meeting on Tuesday, October 25.

“Ernst and Young made several recommendations to the Department and one of those recommendations was to constantly keep up with the economic items including inflation and commodities in our bidding process throughout the year, which is historically something VDOT has not done,” said Bart Thrasher, VDOT’s chief engineer.  

Read more

Council holds first reading of $200K to keep Premier Circle shelter open through end of April

First, Council was asked to appropriate $565,000 from the city’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). That’s part of a larger pot that Councilor Michael Payne alluded to earlier.

“There’s currently about $2.3 million of unallocated ARP money,” said Chris Cullinan, the city’s finance director. 

Read more

City crews preparing to remove some Downtown Mall trees

Later this week, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will hold an information meeting on removing some of the trees on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. Riann Anthony is the deputy director of the department. 

“We are very lucky that the Downtown Mall trees have been in existence for this long,” Anthony said. “Some of them are healthy and others are not healthy but per our urban forester is that all of the trees are stressed from a number of factors.”

Read more

Council agrees to adopt guidelines for procurement

In the near future, Charlottesville could very well finalize plans to renovate Buford Middle School to accommodate sixth grade students, a first step toward a long-planned and long-awaited reconfiguration of the city’s schools. 

The School Board got an update on construction estimates in September, and the final number will factor heavily into the city’s budget discussions for the next fiscal year. (VMDO working against inflation as design for Buford expansion continues and estimates increase, September 2, 2022)

On Monday, Council approved guidelines for the use of funds that could be raised through something called the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act, which goes by the acronym PPEA. 

Read more

Council extends loan to Woodard Properties for Dogwood Housing properties

Charlottesville has many tools in the effort to ensure some residential units in the city that are below-market. Two of them date back to 2007. 

One is the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund, which has disbursed $46.7 million in funds since 2010 according to a report Council was briefed on this past April. (Deputy City Manager Sanders reviews recent audit of Charlottesville’s housing fund, April 6, 2022)

The other is a 2007 loan to the Piedmont Housing Alliance to assist Woodard Properties in acquiring Dogwood Housing. 

“In 2007, Council at that time extended a loan in the amount of $850,000 for the acquisition of 57 residential units to be maintained as rental properties,” said Sam Sanders, the Deputy City Manager. 

Read more
« Older Entries