Category Archives: Land Use – Charlottesville

Charlottesville Planning Commissioners seek Council action on safer streets on school routes

As of today, there are 39 days left until the first day of school in the City of Charlottesville. Yesterday, the school system held a Transportation Talk and Walk Session to discuss a recent alert from Superintendent Royal Gurley that the bus driver shortage has worsened and walk zones will be expanded. 

This past Tuesday, the city Planning Commission was briefed on a request from one of its members that city government take steps to make routes to school. They got an update from Missy Creasy, Charlottesville’s assistant director of the Neighborhood Development Services office (NDS).

“The city has a pretty robust program that they’re putting together to address how they are addressing the shortage at this point in time and some pretty innovative things on there,” Creasy said.

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NDS Director gives an update on Charlottesville’s Comprehensive Plan

It’s a hot summer for big land use plans. Charlottesville is in the third phase of its Cville Plans Together initiative which has already seen adoption of an Affordable Housing Plan as well as an updated Comprehensive Plan that gives more development rights to mostly every residential lot in the City.

How those development rights will turn into future buildings will depend on the update of the city’s zoning code that is now underway. In June, the city released a Zoning Diagnostics and Approach report.

“Basically, a slate of ideas for how we can modify our zoning to implement the Comprehensive Plan that you all and Council adopted last November,” said Neighborhood Development Services Director James Freas to the Charlottesville Planning Commission last night. 

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University Gardens slated for demolition

An apartment complex on U.S. 29 built in 1948 and owned by the University of Virginia since the early 1960’s will be torn down rather than renovated.

“The University Gardens buildings have reached the end of their useful life and UVA Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has determined the best course of action is demolition since maintenance and operating expenses have escalated to a level where continued operation is no longer economically viable,” reads a fact-sheet for the development.

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Charlottesville Board of Equalization declined all but one assessment appeals

It has now been seven weeks and two day since the Charlottesville Board of Equalization met on May 17 to hear appeals from property owners of their 2022 real estate tax assessments. Eleven were scheduled but one withdrew. The Board affirmed the property assessments in all ten of the cases that were heard. (read the minutes)

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Regional Housing Partnership endorses Piedmont Housing Alliance’s application to build affordable housing at two UVA sites

The Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership is a function of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and consists of elected officials, representatives from nonprofits, and developers. Last year they developed the Planning for Affordability report intended to suggest strategies for each of the six localities to create more below-market housing opportunities. (read that plan)

On Wednesday, the group convened for one purpose. For background, the University of Virginia and its real estate foundation are offering land through a ground lease at three sites in the community for a partner to construct affordable housing. They issued a request for qualifications in June to develop sites on Fontaine Avenue and Wertland Street. (agenda packet)

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Charlottesville schools preparing for “worse” situation for bus drivers this fall

There are 54 days until Charlottesville City Schools begin for the next academic year. The school system is seeking assistance and input on alternative methods of getting students to school as an ongoing transportation crisis continues. 

“As we look to fall 2022, our school bus challenges appear to be worse, not better,” reads a website set up to provide information in advance.

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Piedmont Housing Alliance gets $2 million in additional federal funding 

The U.S. Treasury Department has awarded $2 million to the Piedmont Housing Alliance through its Community Development Financial Institutions fund. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine made the announcement in late June. The funding comes specifically from the Treasury Department’s Capital Magnet Fund

In a release, Piedmont Housing Alliance said the funding would provide gap funding for the second phase of Friendship Court as well as the 206 apartments the agency is building at Southwood to satisfy the terms of funding Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville received from the Albemarle County and the Albemarle Economic Development Authority.

“High development and construction costs, high land and acquisition costs, and limited subsidy resources translate to significant funding gaps for affordable housing developments,” reads the release. “Without adequate subsidies, it is virtually impossible to build affordable housing.”

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Charlottesville Council briefed on city-owned property

Council denies conveyance of one parcel; Councilor Magill seeks policy on conveyance of paper streets

The city of Charlottesville owns 170 pieces of property and another 18 in conjunction with Albemarle County. Does it need all that land and space? That was one of the undercurrents of a discussion and briefing Council had at a work session on June 21. 

“The approximate acreage of city-owned properties within the city is 798 acres and over 2,800 acres of city-owned properties located within [Albemarle] County,” said Brenda Kelley, the city’s redevelopment manager based in the Office of Community Solutions. 

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Around 200 people turn up at Pavilion to get details on the city’s zoning process

When the Cville Plans Together Initiative began in early 2020, there were plans to engage people at a series of meetings while the work of crafting an affordable housing plan and the Comprehensive Plan update was conducted. However, the pandemic forced all of that public engagement work to go online. 

Council adopted the Affordable Housing Plan in March 2021 and the Comprehensive Plan last November. Both call for additional residential density across the city and an update of the zoning code is the next step. 

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