Category Archives: Waterways

Council to consider funds for market study of land slated for apartments

The Charlottesville City Council meets tonight for a very full meeting. Check out yesterday’s Week Ahead for all of the details, but one item on the consent agenda is worth giving some attention.

Council will be asked to spend $3,800 to hire a firm to conduct an appraisal of three parcels of land along the Rivanna River off of East High Street for which a private developer has filed filed for 245 apartment units. 

“The appraisal will include sufficient information to understand the basis for the provided value taking into account market value for undeveloped land, the allowed uses of the property under zoning, and the costs associated with the necessary improvements to the property in order for it to be developable,” reads the staff report. 

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Council to sign off on Planning Commission recommendation for waiver for 45-unit Fry’s Spring development

Tonight, the Charlottesville City Council will have an item on their consent agenda for approval. Stanley Martin Homes needs a critical slopes waiver to build 45 single-family homes on land in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood between Monte Vista Avenue and Azelia Drive. 

“These provisions are intended to direct building locations to terrain more suitable to development and to discourage development on critical slopes,” reads the definition in the city’s zoning code. 

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New site plan filed for 245 units off of East High Street

Consultants hired by Seven Development have submitted a second plan for a project to build 245 apartment units off of East High Street on a property within the floodplain. City staff issued a preliminary denial in October

An attorney hired by the firm has also weighed in on a memo stating the modified plan should comply with city regulations. 

“We contend that the updated preliminary site plan application dated December 7, 2022 complies with all applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance,” wrote Valerie Long with the firm Williams Mullen. (read the memo)

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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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