Category Archives: Waterways

Charlottesville receives funding to buy land along Moores Creek

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation has awarded nearly $15 million in grants across the Commonwealth to help preserve land from development. That includes $175,000 for Charlottesville to purchase 8.6 acres of land in Albemarle County along Moores Creek. That falls under the “Open Spaces and Parks” category of the program. 

The money can be used to purchase property, acquire conservation easements, or some other method of preserving land. In this case, Charlottesville will use the funding to buy land currently used by the International Rescue Committee for an urban farming project. That use would continue.

“This property is a priority for developing the Moores Creek Greenway as it allows a shared use path and the [Rivanna Trail] to stay on the same side of Moores Creek as the trail upstream and means we don’t absolutely have to build a bridge, which could cost as much or more than the land itself,” said parks planner Chris Gensic in response to a question. 

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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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Virginia Supreme Court rules in favor of utility charge for carbon reduction

The State Corporation Commission acted lawfully when it approved a request from the Virginia Electric and Power Company to add a surcharge to utility bills to cover the costs of purchasing carbon allowances in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions. That’s according to an opinion yesterday by the Virginia Supreme Court. 

“Though highly complex in its details, the [Carbon Dioxide] Budget Trading Program relies on a basic economic thesis: CO2 emissions can be reduced over time by making those responsible for them pay for the right to emit,” reads the opinion by Justice D. Arthur Kelsey

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Project to build 245 units at East High Street detailed at site plan conference

It is fairly common for planned developments in the community to become controversial. A plan to build 245 units in three apartment buildings in the floodplain along East High Street is attracting a lot of opposition, including a filing on October 4 with the Federal Emergency Management Agency challenging a recent flood map amendment. 

Charlottesville’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services hosted a site plan review conference on October 5 to give members of the public the chance to have their say, even if the project is allowed under the city’s rules. 

“Our team is excited about the opportunity to create a high-quality, multifamily residence at this strategic location in Charlottesville,” said Gray Poole, a partner with the Selwyn Property Group of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

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Charlottesville Planning Commission might get to review 0 East High project

The Commission also got several updates on projects within the city. One of them is the 245 units planned for land along the Rivanna RIver within the floodplain. One of the meetings from the past I hope to document in more detail is the site plan conference for what’s known at the moment at 0 East High Street. 

Missy Creasy, Deputy Director of the Neighborhood Development Services Department, wanted the Planning Commission to know what is going on. 

“The applicant has submitted a by-right site plan so this site plan is in their opinion adhering to the regulations that are allowable in the code,” Creasy said. 

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Solar policy subject of Rivanna River conference

Do you or someone you know have an interest in the connections between how land is used and the water quality of rivers and streams? Tomorrow, an entity called the Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) is putting on its seventh annual conference. 

“The purpose of this conference really is to promote the environmental stewardship and equity of the basin and the region as we transition into more renewable energy sources,” said Isabella O’Brien, environmental planner at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. “As well as to provide a forum for local governments, staff, and the public as well to learn more about this growing topic of solar.” 

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Plans filed for 245 units along Rivanna River on land in floodplain

An entity called Seven Development LLC has filed a site plan with the City of Charlottesville to build 245 apartment units on nearly seven acres of land near the Rivanna River within land within the floodplain. 

No rezoning or special use permit is required and the site plan drawn up by Shimp Engineering does not show any critical slopes that will be disturbed. That means Charlottesville must approve the project if the developer can demonstrate they have met all of the technical requirements. 

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Two streams in Charlottesville are subject of bacterial concern

Two waterways within the city of Charlottesville have “persistently elevated bacteria levels” according to data collected by the Rivanna Conservation Alliance and shared with the city’s water resources staff. 

“Urban streams often have some water quality impairment due to the developed nature of the lands that drain into them,” reads an information release from the city of Charlottesville. 

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Spinymussel returns to James River

A small invertebrate that scientifically goes by the name James River Spineymussel  has not been seen alive in the waterway its named for since the late 1960s. 

“We’re pretty confident that they’re extirpated from the main stem river and even if they’re still out there, they’re probably at such low levels that they’re not really biologically like they should,” said Brian Watson, a top biologist for freshwater mussels at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

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New water and sewer director in Greene

Greene County is preparing for anticipated population growth by expanding its urban water supply. Now the locality has hired its first ever water and sewer director. 

“Mr. Greg Lunsford… will oversee the development of a team to operate Greene County Water and Sewer Department as Greene transitions out of the Rapidan Service Authority,” reads an announcement posted to the county’s Facebook page

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