Category Archives: Uncategorized

Albemarle EDA briefed on 2022 plans, Lewis and Clark Loan 

There will be no change in leadership on Albemarle’s Economic Development Authority. Donald Long will remain the chair, George Ray will stay the vice chair, and David Shreve gets to keep being treasurer.

The group met virtually yesterday and heard from Economic Development Director Roger Johnson about what his office will be up to this year. In the first part of the year, COVID remains a threat to business as usual and Johnson said help will be available from economic development. 

“We would expect there would continue to be COVID prophylactics, particularly when you think about some of the things that we have done historically,”  Johnson said. “It includes things like the LIFT grant, microloan programs, Safe Places and Safe Spaces.”

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New look for tourism website

The quasi-government entity charged with marketing the region to tourists has updated their website. The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau launched an refreshed version last week of visitcharlottesville.org. The designer is a firm called Tempest as we learn in a press release.

“In addition to better serving visitors and industry partners, the new website will also reduce costs for the CACVB, in anticipation of a significant budget decrease projected for Fiscal Year 2023,” reads the release. “The reduction in budget for the upcoming fiscal year is a direct result of decreased transient occupancy tax collection from local lodging properties, due to the impacts of COVID-19.” 

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RFP for Charlottesville managerial services due tomorrow

The window closes tomorrow at 4 p.m. for firms who are interested in assisting the city of Charlottesville with interim management services until a new top official is appointed. The RFP issued on December 3 requires a firm to provide someone with at least ten years of municipal management experience to run the city on an interim basis. Two addendums to the proposal were made Friday. (read the proposal)

This process is not without precedent in Virginia. The Town of Amherst hired the Berkley Group in 2017 to hire a former Pulaski County administrator to serve as interim manager. Peter Huber served for five months as part of the Berkley Group’s Executive Transition Assistance program.  Huber is now serving in a similar position in Alleghany County according to his LinkedIn profile. According to Berkley’s website, they’ve provided this service in dozens of Virginia localities, from the town of Abingdon to the town of Windsor. 


Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 13, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Places29-Hydraulic group gets first look at Greystar’s Old Ivy Residences project

A proposed rezoning requested by Greystar Development for about 36 acres of land off of Old Ivy Road will be slightly smaller than the 525 units requested in the first application, but it will still be fairly substantial. 

“Our current plan is to have about 490 units,” said Valerie Long, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “We’re still under 20 dwelling units per acre so well within the range that’s permitted. 

The Places29-Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee got a first look at the Old Ivy Residences project, which is currently not scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission. (watch the meeting)

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Council selects Marc Woolley as the latest interim City Manager

Charlottesville City Council has introduced Marc Woolley as the next interim city manager. Woolley recently resigned as Business Administrator in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania. The city has U.S. Census 2020 population of 50,099. Deputy City Manager Ashley Marshall and Sam Sanders will remain in place. 

“Together with the assistance of staff, Sam, Ashley, and Council, I will be focusing on some key issues currently before Charlottesville,” Woolley said. “Mainly the budget and the completion of the Comprehensive Plan.” 

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Bonumose to set up Hershey research plant at former State Farm HQ

An Albemarle County start-up that seeks to create an artificial sweetener for the mass market will set up shop at the former regional headquarters of the State Farm insurance company.

Governor Ralph Northam was on hand to announce that the firm Bonumose will partner with the Hershey Company to research and develop reduced or zero sugar chocolate.

“This is a $28 million investment that Bonumose is putting forth in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Northam said. 

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RCA grades health of the Rivanna River

If our collective efforts to guard the health of the Rivanna River were graded, we’re doing about average. The Rivanna Conservation Alliance has presented their first Rivanna River Report Card by sifting through five years of data from the 50 monitoring sites they have throughout the watershed to look for the presence of E. coli bacteria. 

“A stream’s biological health is measured by catching, identifying, and counting the different small organisms that live in it,” reads the report card. 

The RCA has been monitoring water quality since 2003 when part of it was known as StreamWatch. Monitoring sites closer to developed areas tend to register as poor or fair. 

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Studying the expansion of transit in Albemarle County

Charlottesville Area Transit is in the midst of studying how it might increase its service into northern Albemarle County. The northernmost stop for CAT has for many years been at the Wal-Mart on U.S. 29.

(This article was originally part of the August 11, 2021 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. Sign up today!)

At the same time, Albemarle County and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission are doing the exact same work as part of a study partially funded by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. 

Boris Palchik is a transit planning project manager with Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning, a firm hired to help conduct the work. The other consultant is Michael Baker International. Palchik ran a meeting on July 26 that sought to get initial feedback for the study.

“It’s really a feasibility study and implementation plan for expanding transit service in both population and employment centers in Albemarle County,” Palchik said. 

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No property tax rate increase in Charlottesville this year; staff suggests one is likely next year

Council also held its first public hearing on City Manager Chip Boyles’ recommended $190.7 million budget for Fiscal Year 22. Before that, Boyles said revenue projections for next year are up slightly.

“This amount is being recommended to increase by $1,260,307 to a total of $191,950,146, still less than a one percent change,” Boyles said. 

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Albemarle design panel reviews Fontaine Avenue Corridor

The next time you walk, bike, or drive along Fontaine Avenue in Albemarle County, think about possible futures. Much of the land is owned by the University of Virginia or its real estate foundation. The road itself is one of Albemarle’s Entrance Corridors, and as such is under design guidelines of the Architectural Review Board

“The majority of the land is either owned or controlled by the University,” said Fred Missel, director of design and development at the University of Virginia Foundation. “Some land, primarily Foxhaven Farm, Morey Creek, Observatory Hill, are all being held for long-term needs of the University. 

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