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.
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 five-member Greene County Board of Supervisors have a change of venue for their first meeting of April. They’ll meet at William Monroe High School in the Performing Arts Center with a hybrid option for anyone who wants to participate remotely. The closed session begins at 5:30 p.m. before opening up at 6:30 p.m. (meeting info)
On the agenda are two public hearings. In one of them, a developer is seeking a special use permit to allow for a major tourism destination on nearly 100 acres of agricultural land on Mutton Hollow Road. Specifically they want the Sojourner Glamping site have 144 units, a restaurant, a pool, a spa, and a meeting facility, according to the staff report.
The members of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission have indicated support for two separate planning efforts for more pathways in the region. Both Albemarle County and Greene County are seeking federal funds to build new infrastructure.
“The grant would fund a shared bike pedestrian path from the city of Charlottesville to Crozet likely along U.S. 250,” said Jessica Hersh-Ballering, a transportation planner with Albemarle County. “From there it would continue west all the way to the Blue Ridge Tunnel in Nelson County.”
Meetings of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission always end with a roundtable discussion of what is happening in the six localities that make up the regional body. On February 10, 2022, there were lots of reports about housing initiatives across the area.
The TJPDC will work with a nonprofit partner to help prevent evictions through a pilot program with funding from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. (DHCD)
“It’s $250,000 for Charlottesville and Albemarle County,” said executive director Christine Jacobs. “That grant actually will have a subrecipient and that will be Piedmont Housing Alliance and that will allow them to hire an eviction prevention case manager as well as a landlord outreach manager which was what we requested in the grant application.”
The housing market in the Charlottesville area continued to increase in price with constrained inventory, though there are signs of cooling. Sales were down five percent but sales prices were up six percent according to an analysis published this morning by the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.
“There were 436 active listings across the CAAR footprint at the end of the fourth quarter, which is 33 percent fewer listings than this time last year,” reads the report.
Weldon Cooper releases population estimates
The communities that make up the Thomas Jefferson Planning District have grown by an average of 12.8 percent since the 2010 Census according to the latest population estimates from the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia. This time around they are making an adjustment based on what they see as an undercount in the 2020 U.S. Census.
“Localities with relatively large college populations, including some Virginia localities, were often undercounted in the April 1st, 2020 Census Count,” reads a disclaimer on the website. “We have benchmarked the 2020 and 2021 population estimates on the Weldon Cooper Center estimates instead of the 2020 Census count for localities with populations that are comprised of over 20 percent college students.”
The Greene County Board of Supervisors has voted to formally request Madison County and Orange County to release Greene County from the Rapidan Service Authority. All three counties are members of the RSA, and there is a disagreement about whether to proceed with a new reservoir to serve Greene. Last summer, the RSA blocked the use of facility fees paid by Greene ratepayers to pay for the project, which has a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
County Administrator Mark B. Taylor explained at a special meeting Monday night that the RSA is now willing to let Greene go, but there is a process.
“The RSA Board last week [urged] that week that we come back to the Board of Supervisors and ask for a resolution to be passed to reinitiate or reactivate our request to withdraw from the Rapidan Service Authority,” Taylor said. “Greene County is at a situation of wanting and needing to withdraw or depart by whatever means from the Rapidan Service Authority.
The Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership met earlier this month and got updates on various initiatives underway. One of them involves helping outlying communities write policies for ensuring the existence of housing affordable to people with lower incomes. Christine Jacobs is the interim director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.
“We are creating a draft Comprehensive Plan chapter for each of the jurisdictions within the planning district commission,” Jacobs said. “The City of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.”
For many of us, the pandemic has meant working from home. When this time ends, many of us may be looking for a different way to get to and from our workplace. On March 4, the person who runs a service that seeks to get people out of their cars told members of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission about her work. Sara Pennington explained Rideshare.
“We are a program that was established actually in 1980 at Jaunt through the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to provide carpool and vanpool matching services and support,” Pennington said. “The program later moved to the TJPDC and then in 2009 we expanded our coverage to include the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission so we kind of work in conjunction with our folks across the mountain.”