Category Archives: Infrastructure updates

Virginia Housing does not recommend funding for two CRHA projects

The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has appeared to have fallen short in its attempt to get financing for two planned redevelopment projects in a current funding cycle. 

Virginia Housing, the entity that authorizes low-income housing tax credits in Virginia, has issued its final rankings for this year pending approval by their Board of Commissioners later this month.  

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Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority will get to turn 100

Fifty years ago today, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority was incorporated as a public body, pursuant to what was known as the Virginia Water and Sewer Authorities Act. The body was created at the request of both Charlottesville and Albemarle County. 

“That was for the purpose of managing our reservoirs and dams, our public drinking water, treating that and distributing it, and also treating our sewage,” said Lance Stewart, the director of Facilities and Environmental Services for Albemarle County. 

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Council action on seven-story building on Jefferson Park Avenue delayed

Charlottesville City Council had been expected to consider a special use permit for a seven-story building on Jefferson Park Avenue  at their meeting last night, but the item was delayed until a further meeting. The Planning Commission voted 4-3 on May 10 to recommend approval, with some members expressing concerns about the massing and scale of the project. Mayor Lloyd Snook addressed the delay. 

“There were a number of issues raised at the Planning Commission and the approval that the Planning Commission gave was in some ways was conditioned upon ‘you all go figure ways to moderate this, to mitigate some of the harmful effects of the way it was appearing to be so massive and so on,” Snook said. 

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City transportation planners present ideas on Fifth Street

Skepticism of bus lanes, support for roundabout, more data needed on road diet details

On Tuesday, Charlottesville’s elected officials met with the appointed Charlottesville Planning Commission to give feedback on a set of proposals to slow down traffic on Fifth Street Extended. 

Several groups have called upon to Council to take action to increase safety conditions on the roadway following a string of fatal crashes in 2020. 

“Our consultant team and staff have been working for the last couple of months to expedite a design plan to improve transportation safety,” said James Freas, the city’s director of Neighborhood Development Services. 

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Second passenger train may begin operating this July

It has been nearly a dozen years since Amtrak running daily service through Charlottesville and we are perhaps months away from when a long-awaited second train will begin work. This week, the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority’s Board of Directors met and got an update from executive director D.J. Stadtler, who said a deal with Norfolk Southern has to be closed. He expects that to happen next month or early in July.  (meeting material)

“It’s only when that close takes place that we can start the new service,” Stadtler said. “There are three trains waiting for that close. One is the new Roanoke train which would be the second-round trip. One is the [third] Newport News train that was paused due to COVID/Amtrak staffing issues. And then the third one is the new Norfolk train.”

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Council approves action plan for federal HOME and CDBG funds

City Council has approved an action plan for federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the next fiscal year. Staff had suggested making some changes to the process in order to meet HUD’s guidelines, but some groups pushed back on some of those proposals. (read the staff report)

“Staff will no longer request that the task force be changed to staff advisory,” said Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders. “Instead we’re going to focus on identifying income eligible participants to ensure that the diverse voice is always available.” 

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City Council holds public hearing on trail connection for 250 Bypass pathway

A new partnership has formed between the City of Charlottesville and an entity that secures open space easements in Virginia, and that will slightly increase the cost of land transactions. 

“We have a property owner that we’ve been negotiating with and we have a granting agency in the Virginia Outdoors Foundation that’s providing the funding which has already been appropriated,” said Chris Gensic, a planner in the Parks and Recreation Department. 

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Albemarle Supervisors discuss incentives for housing plan

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors continued a conversation earlier this month about how to incentivize developers to build units to be sold below market value. The six-member Board last discussed the matter in February and pushed back on the idea of creating an overlay district in the county’s zoning ordinance. (previous coverage)

“The main question today that we would like some feedback on after listening to the information that’s provided is [whether] an affordable dwelling unit program something the Board would be interested in and staff reviewing?” asked Stacy Pethia, the county’s Housing Policy Manager. (view her presentation)

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Divided Planning Commission approves seven-story building on Jefferson Park Avenue 

A divided Charlottesville Planning Commission voted 4-3 on May 10 to recommend that City Council approve a special use permit for additional height and density for a seven-story U-shaped building at 2005 Jefferson Park Avenue.  They’ve also recommended reducing parking requirements by 22 percent over what would otherwise be required.

“The [special use permit] is required to accommodate a development being proposed for 119-units of multifamily dwellings within one building with underground parking,” said city planner Matt Alfele. 

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Charlottesville zoning info slightly delayed 

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. 

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