Tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m., an advisory committee appointed to help Albemarle County shape its capital improvement program budget for the next fiscal year will hold its first meeting. Last week, the seven-member Planning Commission got an overview including a reminder that last year was very different. (watch the meeting)
“Last year when we were putting together the FY22 budget, there was no [capital improvement program],” said Andy Bowman, the chief of budget in the Finance and Budget office. “The county was in the middle of the pandemic and there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and really at that time it was decided instead of focusing on a long-range picture, to focus on the impacts of the pandemic and what might be able to be unpaused from a number of projects that were paused at the start of the pandemic.”
The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will hold a closed meeting today to discuss a personnel matter.
Last week, the appointed body held a work session on a report the CRHA must turn in to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kathleen Glenn-Matthews is the deputy director of the CRHA. (FY20-FY21 adopted plan) (FY21-22 draft plan) (FY22-23 draft plan)
“The public housing authority PHA plan is a pretty comprehensive guide to all of our agency’s policies and programs,” said Glenn-Matthews. “We spent a lot of time on our goals.”
Work continues to prepare the next round of applications for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale funding process. Chuck Proctor is a planner with VDOT’s Culpeper District and he’s assisting Albemarle and the MPO come up with potential submissions.
“Most of them are bike-ped related, a lot of them are multimodal projects like Avon Street, 5th Street, the 29-250 bypass,” Proctor said, speaking at a technical committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization on Tuesday.
Other projects that could be submitted include the intersection of Old Trail and Crozet Avenue, a recommendation from the ongoing North 29 corridor study, projects on Pantops, as well as various intersections of U.S. 250 east of Pantops.
Albemarle County staff have begun work on the update of the Comprehensive Plan with a public kick-off expected sometime in January. A major aspect of the current plan is a growth management policy which designates specific areas for density. This plan was last updated in 2015 and since then Supervisors have adopted several other policies, such as the Housing Albemarle plan.
“To accommodate this growth, the County will need to add approximately 11,750 new units to our housing stock over the next 20 years,” reads Objective 1 of the plan, which was adopted by Supervisors in July. “The county must support the development of an additional 2,719 units to fully accommodate projected household growth through 2040.”
A rezoning of 12 wooded acres in Charlottesville’s Fry’s Spring neighborhood moved one step closer to approval last night. The seven-member Planning Commission recommended approval of a project that goes by the name 240 Stribling that would see 170 units.
On September 14, the developer asked for a deferral of a decision following a public hearing. City Planner Matt Alfele has this recap.
“During the public hearing, the Planning Commission heard from 16 members of the public,” Alfele said. “Most speakers raised concern about the safety of Stribling Avenue and how additional dwelling units on the subject property would be detrimental to public safety.”
The Thomas Jefferson Planning District will mark its 50th anniversary next year. But what does the agency do? Every month I take a listen and write up a rundown for Charlottesville Community Engagement. Here’s the one from November 4, 2021.
The TJPDC’s public entity’s creation stemmed out of reform in Virginia. David Blount is the deputy director of the TJPDC and he explained the passage of the Regional Cooperation Act in 1968. (state code)
“[Planning District Commissions] and the framework for them is laid out in state code,” Blount said. “It’s encouraging and facilitating not only that local government cooperation, but also providing that link between the state and localities for addressing issues on a regional basis.”
Albemarle County has formally begun the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution on November 3 that kicks off a multiphase process and public engagement plan for the first round. But let’s get a reminder on what this is from planner Tori Kanellopoulos.
“The Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document for the county and is a twenty year plan which includes housing, transportation, land use, economic development, natural and historic resources,” Kannellopoulos said.
The plan influences everything from the Capital Improvement program to decisions on land use such as rezoning. Supervisors last adopted a plan six years ago.
The Louisa Board of Supervisors also got an update on progress to build a waterline from the James River to Zion Crossroads. Louisa and Fluvanna are both members of the James River Water Authority, an entity that exists for the purpose.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have to grant a permit for the project and the James River Water Authority was about to submit one that included an intake at the site of Rassawek, an important site in the history of the Monacan Indian Nation. Justin Curtis is with Aqualaw, a firm hired to prepare and submit the permit.
The City of Charlottesville has held a public meeting for the next phase of redevelopment at the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Carrie Rainey is an urban planner in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services.
“What we’re looking at right now is a final site for what is currently a by-right project to build a new apartment building with structured parking at 715 Sixth Street SE,” Rainey said.
Riverbend Development is working with the CRHA on this project, continuing a partnership that has also been involved with Crescent Halls and the two phases at South First Street. CRHA has a new redevelopment coordinator in Brandon Collins, formerly with the Public Housing Association of Residents.
Food Equity discussion
Representatives of the nonprofit group Cultivate Charlottesville appeared before City Council on November to present the results of the city’s Food Equity Initiative. Cultivate Charlottesville has been the recipient of city funding for the past three years and seek additional money for years to come. They also want two percent of the meals tax to go a new Food Equity Fund.
“We believe that food is a human right and we operate from that perspective that everyone, all Charlottesville residents, deserve access to fresh produce and high quality food,” said co-executive director Richard Morris.