Category Archives: Land Use – Charlottesville

Charlottesville to reopen public hearing for Comprehensive Plan

Those with criticisms of Charlottesville’s new Comprehensive Plan will have another opportunity to go on the record about the long range planning document, as will those who are in support. But a joint public hearing scheduled for December 13, 2022 is largely a formality related to a legal challenge. 

“On that same day, following the public hearing, it is the intention of the City that the Planning Commission will vote on the proposed action,” reads a legal notice in the November 29, 2022 Daily Progress. “(City Council’s vote would take place at a later City Council meeting agenda, following receipt of the Commission’s recommendation.)” 

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UVA Foundation acquires another Ivy Road property and 45 other October 2022 transactions

Welcome to another summary list of property transactions in Charlottesville. I have been doing these monthly lists for almost two years as a way of better understanding the city I’ve been documenting for a long while now. I still have a lot to learn.

I started this after I wrote a series of article about a rezoning request on Booker Street in the city’s Rose Hill neighborhood that required research into land use records. I kept it up, and thought this was work people might be interested in. 

Since resuming writing about land use applications and policy in 2020, one of the main stories has been the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan update which resulted in a new document adopted in November 2021. The central theme of the update is to increase the amount of residential units across the entire city, especially in single-family neighborhoods. You can find all of my stories on this in the Land Use – Charlottesville section of Information Charlottesville.

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City responds to 2005 JPA suit

The City of Charlottesville has responded to a lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court seeking the voidance of a special use permit granted by City Council in mid-September. Around a dozen neighbors of 2005 Jefferson Park Avenue filed a motion a month later. 

Charlottesville City Attorney Lisa Robertson has filed a motion for demurrer to throw out the suit claiming that none of the plaintiffs have standing to bring the case. 

“The Complaint fails to allege facts demonstrating particularized harm from the City’s zoning decision to any of the Plaintiffs,” reads the demurrer. (read the city’s response)

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Jefferson Scholars buys property slated for 64 apartments near UVA

An entity associated with the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has spent $4.3 million to buy six properties near Scott Stadium that had been planned for construction of a 64 unit apartment complex on 1.59 acres. 

Maury Holdings LLC paid 253.8 percent over the 2022 assessment to buy the properties, five of which are undeveloped. A historic structure built in 1911 is on the fifth. 

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is located across the street about a tenth of the mile from the site. Directly across Maury Avenue from this site is the Cavalier Court Apartment complex that was built in 1963. 

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Charlottesville convening Committee to plan for Mall celebration, maintenance

In just under two weeks, the city of Charlottesville will hold another Grand Illumination at the Charlottesville Pavilion to say hello to a new holiday tree. This will take place in a space that is now the eastern anchor of a former city street, and thousands will be there. 

Perhaps some of the attendees will be doing research into the future of the Downtown Mall, an initiative that dates back to the late 1950’s. The first section opened in 1976 and there’s a lot of history from before and after. But what about the future? 

“The City Manager is forming a Downtown Mall Committee for the purpose of discussing and vetting ideas for the future management and operations of the mall,” reads a press release. “The intent of this committee is to be a representative public forum for the discussion of the challenges and potential solutions for the Downtown Mall.” 

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Charlottesville Council discusses gun violence; many governance details in written report

The Charlottesville City Council had a full meeting on Monday, and one I’m finally able to get to after taking a couple of days off from a deadline. We start the coverage with the consent agenda, which included an extension of the contract for the Robert Bobb Group for the services of Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. According to a staff report, that will give enough time for a new police chief to be hired as well as for Council to adopt a strategic plan. Then there’s also the matter of the budget. 

No one spoke during the opportunity to comment about the contract extension. 

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Lawsuit filed against Charlottesville City Council for 2005 JPA permit

Over a dozen Charlottesville residents have filed suit against Charlottesville City Council and the city of Charlottesville against the September 19 approval of a special use permit for a multifamily structure at 2005 Jefferson Park Avenue.  (read the complaint)

“City Council’s authorization of the SUPs permits the construction of a building that will diminish the quality of life of all the Observatory Avenue and Washington Avenue plaintiffs in ways not shared by the general public and compromises their health, safety, and general welfare in a variety of ways,” reads paragraph 27.

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CAAR: Sales continue to slow; Prices continue to climb

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.”

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Charlottesville denies preliminary site plan for 245 units in floodplain

Applicant has until January 24, 2023 to respond with revisions

The Charlottesville office that approves land use decisions within city limits has denied an initial site plan to build 245 apartment units on about seven acres of land along the Rivanna River.

“City staff have made a good faith effort to identify all deficiencies within this submission,” reads an October 26, 2022 letter to Shimp Engineering. “

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Medium Intensity density on General Residential land?

Should areas designated as General Residential be eligible to be considered Medium Intensity Residential if all of the units will be guaranteed to be below-market? That was one question asked of City Council and the Planning Commission at a work session on September 27, 2022.

The Charlottesville Low Income Housing Coalition sought support for this position with a petition signed by 203 people out of a concern that the Inclusionary Zoning provisions suggested did not go far enough. 

“You are talking about potentially allowing middle density into General Residential density,” said Phillip Kash of the real estate firm HRA Advisors. “That’s a significantly larger and density property.”

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