Category Archives: Land Use – Albemarle

UVA building report on Fontaine, Center for Politics: Does Area B still exist?

The rest of today’s newsletter uses the March 14 meeting of the Charlottesville Planning Commission as its primary source material. There’s a lot to go through.

The Commission got an update from Bill Palmer, their non-voting representative from the Office of the University of Virginia Architect. The terms of the 1986 three-party agreement on planning state that this position is to exist. (read the document)

“We have a number of large projects going on,” Palmer said.

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Property transactions in Albemarle: Inaugural Edition – January 3 through January 11, 2023

After two years of tracking property transactions in Charlottesville, I’m pleased to finally present the same service for Albemarle County. I have been meaning to do this for a while and this is the first installment. Paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement got a first look a few weeks ago.

Unlike the Charlottesville list, this will be a more regular edition published when I can get around to it. I will post as many as I can as I try to figure out more about what’s happening.

This is not a complete list of transactions but tracks everything deemed as “value” I’m doing this to see how close the 2023 assessments are coming in compared to sales prices. The market has slowed down after years of being fairly hot. Now, we wait and see what happens. 

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Albemarle begins work this week on Biscuit Run park

Fifteen years ago, the hottest development story in Albemarle County was what would be built at Biscuit Run, an 828-acre tract of land in the growth area that was rezoned in September 2007 for a large mixed-use neighborhood.

Then the Great Recession hit, and the developer sold the property to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2009 for it to become a state park. While a master plan was created by the Virginia Department of Conservation in 2013, funding from the state did not immediately materialize. 

In January 2018, Albemarle County entered into a lease with DCR to operate the land as a regional park to be funded locally and not by the state. This week, work will finally begin to get the first phase of the project moving.

“To prepare for the construction of these park improvements and amenities, Albemarle County will begin clearing approximately 7 ½ acres of land on Wednesday, March 8, 2023,” reads a press release that went out last week. “This work is expected to be completed by Saturday, April 1, 2023.”

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Albemarle Supervisors agree to test out a car-free Free Bridge Lane

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has endorsed a plan to convert a roadway along the Rivanna River into a car-free zone called for in the Pantops Master Plan. 

“Free Bridge Lane is a low-volume, unstriped local street that extends for approximately for half a mile from Darden-Towe Park at the northern end to U.S. 250 at the Southern end,” said Jessica Hersh-Ballering, a transportation planner with Albemarle County. 

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UVa Buildings and Grounds Committee reviews new buildings at Fontaine Research Center

The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors is meeting this week for one of their quarterly meetings. Members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee were shown design concepts for several future developments. 

“The first three concept site design guidelines coming to you for your approval are at Fontaine Park and in support of the Manning Institute for Biotechnology,” said Alice Raucher, the University of Virginia Architect. 

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Albemarle Supervisors approve 525 units on Old Ivy Road

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has approved a rezoning to allow 525 units to be constructed on undeveloped land off of Old Ivy Road, despite concerns from neighbors that the project would overwhelm the transportation network. The Virginia Department of Transportation is undertaking a “pipeline” study of the U.S. 250 corridor west of Charlottesville that will identify potential projects to address congestion.

Some parts of the 35 acre property had already been rezoning to the higher intensity categories of R-10 and R-15, but some of the property is zoned for single-family residential. Much of the property is designated as urban density residential.

“That is the highest density residential future land use classification that we have in any of the master plans,” said county planner Cameron Langille. “It basically allows for any residential dwelling unit type to be developed at densities between 6 and 34 units per acre.” 

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Albemarle Supervisors briefed on grant program to incentivize creation of below-market units

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors adopted a plan called Housing Albemarle in July 2021 that is intended to increase the number of housing units in the county. That came with a goal of requiring a minimum of 20 percent of new units to qualify as “affordable.” That’s up from 15 percent in the current policy which applies to units that need rezonings or special use permits. 

“At that time, the Board delayed full implementation of the policy until a package of the developer incentives could be identified and approved that would support developer efforts to meet the new goals of that policy,” said Stacy Pethia, the county’s housing policy manager. 

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Nonprofits have been asked to work on UVA housing projects

The University of Virginia has asked a total of five entities to respond to requests for proposals to develop two sites for housing units that will be rented or sold to households with qualified incomes. 

“After careful evaluation of each respondent on the criteria outlined in the [Request for Qualifications], which included qualifications and experience, project approach, and financial/transaction approach, the review committee recommended inviting three teams be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for each of the two initial sites,” reads the website for the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships.

The two sites are a two-acre site on Wertland Street. The other is a 12-acre site on Mimosa Drive known currently as Piedmont that is off of Fontaine Avenue. 

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Crossroads Tavern and Inn expansion to go before Albemarle PC

PC also to review rezoning on Avon Street Extended

The Albemarle County Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. in Lane Auditorium in the county’s office building at 401 McIntire Road. They are still down a member with a vacancy in the Rio District. (meeting info)

There are two public hearings. The first is for a rezoning at 1906 Avon Street for 3.643 acres from R-1 to R-15. 

“A maximum of 38 dwelling units is proposed, with a mixture of single-family attached and multi-family structures, at a gross and net density of approximately 11 units/acre,” reads the staff report.

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Council to consider funds for market study of land slated for apartments

The Charlottesville City Council meets tonight for a very full meeting. Check out yesterday’s Week Ahead for all of the details, but one item on the consent agenda is worth giving some attention.

Council will be asked to spend $3,800 to hire a firm to conduct an appraisal of three parcels of land along the Rivanna River off of East High Street for which a private developer has filed filed for 245 apartment units. 

“The appraisal will include sufficient information to understand the basis for the provided value taking into account market value for undeveloped land, the allowed uses of the property under zoning, and the costs associated with the necessary improvements to the property in order for it to be developable,” reads the staff report. 

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