There’s a lot happening in Albemarle County, and not everything rises to the level of a full news story. So, here’s a quick update on three things happening in land use in Albemarle:
- The Trading Post gas station and convenience store at 3017 Monacan Trail has applied for a certificate of appropriateness for a new fuel canopy as well as new signage. Currently the store is now branded by a major company but the new sign will mark this as a BP station. (ARB202200097)
- A property owner in the White Hall District is seeking a special use permit to bring an existing 73-unit manufactured home park on a nearly 15 acre parcel, and to add another 14 units. (SP202200029)
- The developer of Riverside Village on Stony Point Road seeks to amend an application plan and code of development for a prior rezoning to reduce the minimum amount of commercial required from 8,000 square feet. That space is currently vacant and the developer wants to convert the space to residential. (ZMA202200010)
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.”
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.
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.
Housing sales have been down for five consecutive quarters in the region covered by the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. The group released their quarterly report today.
“There were 1,206 home sales in the CAAR region during the third quarter of 2022,” reads page 2 of the report. “This is 192 fewer sales than this time last year, which is a 14 percent drop.”
A Chicago-based developer appeared before the Albemarle Planning Commission last week and heard something not often said within the county.
“Make this the model project so that others can see we have high density areas where we need which will help us with other areas that we want to preserve,” said Luis Carrazana, the at-large member of the Planning Commission.
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.
It has been nearly 12 years since the Commonwealth of Virginia purchased nearly 800 acres in Albemarle County’s growth area for the purposes of creating a state park. The land had been slated for the Biscuit Run mixed-use development, but the previous developer found a buyer in then-Governor Tim Kaine.
It has been nearly five years since the Commonwealth of Virginia entered into a ground lease with Albemarle for the county to program the 1,200 acre park, an agreement signed by then Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2018.
McAuliffe had requested a $42 million bond package during the 2016 General Assembly but that did not make it through to passage. That would have paid for at least some of a master plan to program the park.
Virginia law assigns a locality’s Planning Commission the primary responsibility for creating and maintaining a Comprehensive Plan, but many communities hire consultants to help with the heavy lifting.
Charlottesville hired Rhodeside & Harwell to complete the city’s plan after the Planning Commission got bogged down after two years. Nelson County has hired the Berkley Group to review their Comprehensive Plan.
Albemarle’s current Comprehensive Plan update is being managed by staff with assistance from the firm EPR. The Planning Commission got a check-in at their meeting on September 27, 2022 that served as their most extensive conversation on the plan review in a couple of months. They had previously been briefed in late July on several options to proceed with alterations to the growth management plan. (See also: Albemarle Planning Commission reviews seven options for growth management)
“Throughout the AC44 process, we’re using two main lenses to guide our work which are equity and climate action,” said Tori Kanellopoulos, an Albemarle County planner.
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors made clear an hour before midnight night that the rezoning of a second phase of the redevelopment of the Southwood Mobile Home Park will eventually be granted, but there were some remaining questions when the item came closer to a vote
“I don’t think any of us want to delay things but also none of us want to rush through and not have it done,” said Supervisor Donna Price.