A person who lives on property on Stribling Avenue has filed suit against the Charlottesville City Council seeking declaratory judgment that the rezoning of 240 Stribling Avenue in April was illegal. (read the complaint)
“During the Planning Commission and Council meetings, the large amount of tax revenue to be gained from increasing the density was discussed as the primary reason for backing this ordinance,” reads paragraph eight of the suit, which was filed on May 18 and served to the city a day later.
Consultants hired by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to craft a vision for how public transportation might work better in the Charlottesville area will present more details next Thursday.
The firm AECOM is the lead consultant with Jarrett Walker and Associates serving as a subcontractor. The study may recommend the eventualtransition to a unified regional transit authority. (meeting info)
“There will be a 90 minute presentation from the consultants to go over what we’ve done so far, survey the results of the first round of public engagement, and then also what they found for the vision for the community,” said Lucinda Shannon, a transportation planner for the TJPDC.
As Charlottesville continues to change under the impact of a new Comprehensive Plan that encourages more residential density, there are still some examples of projects that could build to higher density under existing zoning.
One such example comes up tomorrow at a site plan review conference that will be held virtually at 10 a.m. by the city’s Neighborhood Development Services Department. (meeting info)
An entity with the name Belmont & Carlton Holdings LLC owns 16 parcels in the area, with one of them being a 2.58 acre parcel purchased in February 2006 upon which an automotive repair use has been on the property for many years. All of the land is zoned Neighborhood Commercial Center, which is the reason there are commercial uses in what some refer to as downtown Belmont.
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.
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.
If you have an interest in advising Charlottesville City Council on land use decisions, and have time to devote to the effort, you may get your chance.
“There are spots on the Planning Commission that are coming open this summer,” said Missy Creasy, the Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services. “And right now we are in the window for applications.”
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.
The biological war between the Emerald Ash Borer and ash trees is still being waged, but it’s very much in the favor of the invasive species. That’s been confirmed by the city’s new urban forester, Steve Gaines.
“The beetle larvae tunnel under the bark, and damage nutrient and water flow throughout the tree – basically girdling the tree,” Gaines said in email Friday afternoon. “Once infested, the trees usually die within 2-5 years after initial infection.”
A major Virginia real estate company that specializes in commercial space has published its latest report on the Charlottesville market. Cushman Wakefield | Thalhimer begins with an overall assessment of the economy.
“After experiencing its highest unemployment rate on record of 10.2 percent in April 2020, Charlottesville employment has rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels of more than 116,000,” reads the top of the retail report.
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.