New group announced for reformatted Chamber program

For many years, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce has operated a program to bring together people who have an interest in building community in Central Virginia. The pandemic put Leadership Charlottesville on hold, and now the initiative has been rebranded the Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville.

“After a rigorous review process, our selection committee is thrilled to announce an inaugural cohort that reflects our goals of individual excellence as well as diversity of geography, industry, race, gender, age and more,” said Elizabeth Cromwell, President & CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce in a press release. 

Read more

Tourism kiosk opens on Charlottesville Downtown Mall

An entrepreneur who seeks to promote the Charlottesville area as a destination and who operates several tourist lodging spaces and has announced the opening of a new storefront on the Downtown Mall to help visitors find out what to do. M. Travis Wilburn spoke Friday at the opening of Charlottesville Insider, a kiosk in the 100 block of East Main Street. 

“In 2017 we all know what happened here shortly over five years ago and I watched tourism completely fall apart,” Wilburn said to a crowd of several dozen people. 

Read more

Charlottesville building officials in place

Charlottesville finally has a Building Code Official in place after the position was vacant for two years. Chuck Miller started work on the job on August 29 adding extra capacity to an ailing department. 

This spring and summer, the city of Charlottesville has struggled to process building permits leading many developers to seek third-party inspectors to do the work. Sanders said the city has informed those that had to go that route that they will be paid back for their trouble.

“Because of our inability to perform, we will be reimbursing them of their charge so they will be able to submit their receipt that shows that they paid that bill and we will cover that expense for them as a sign of good faith on our part that we’re trying to do better and get better at the management of our responsibilities,” Sanders said.  

Read more

Albemarle, Charlottesville officials meet

There are many governmental connections between the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, which are two totally separate entities under Virginia law. One is a revenue-sharing agreement adopted in 1982 that has led to Albemarle contributing a share of its property tax revenue with Charlottesville in order to stave off annexation. There’s also a shared water and sewer authority, a jail authority, and other regional bodies. 

Last week, top officials from both communities got together to get to know each other after extensive turnover in city leadership.

“The two deputy city managers with Jeff Richardson, county executive, and his deputies, at a half-day retreat last Friday,” said Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. “We share a lot and we have a lot of common issues and problems that we’re working on.”

Read more

Council appoints former Councilor Bellamy and another to CRHA Board

The Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority finally has seven members again. Last night, Charlottesville City Council appointed former City Councilor Wes Bellamy and Airea Garland to the body which oversees operations of an agency that has seen much activity in recent years.

This will be the second time Bellamy will serve on the CRHA Board. He was Council’s representative on the body for his term from 2016 to 2019. During that period, the CRHA began receiving additional funding, including $900,000 a year to distribute additional housing vouchers to help subsidize rents.

Read more

Final day to comment on city’s approach to the zoning process

Today is the final day to submit an online comment on the latest round of public input for the current step of the Cville Plans Together initiative. People can comment on the Zoning Diagnostic and Approach Report either in English or in Spanish

The report states basic themes that will be included in a new zoning code that is being written to implement the spirit of the Affordable Housing Plan adopted in March 2021 and the Comprehensive Plan adopted in November 2021. The goal is to make it easier for developers to build more housing by allowing more residential density. 

Last week, the steering committee for the Cville Plans Together initiative met and got an update on where things are. That group last met in March and learned the details of an Inclusionary Zoning program intended to encourage, incentivize, or require more new units to be rented or sold below-market to those who can demonstrate lower incomes. 

“Over the course of the last couple of months we’ve been collecting comments and questions about this report,” said James Freas, the city’s director of Neighborhood Development Services. 

Read more

Scottsville PC to hold first reading on rezoning to redevelop former tire factory

A company called Echelon Resources wants to convert a portion of a former tire factory in Scottsville to apartments as their latest effort to redevelop a historic property. 

“The redevelopment of such sites reinvigorate the surrounding neighborhoods, and doing so transforms what were once financial negatives to become healthy financial contributors to their communities,” reads the application for a rezoning and a special use permit. 

Read more

CRHA purchases two duplexes on Coleman Street

The entity that operates the city’s public housing sites has acquired its first new property in many years. The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has paid $675,000 for two parcels on Coleman Street.

“They’re two duplex, brick duplex units, currently renting for between $650 and $850 a month,” said John Sales, the CRHA’s executive director. “They are two bedroom, one bath units, so they are already affordable units.” 

Read more

MPO supports request to amend Hydraulic Road / U.S. 29 projects

The final project in what’s known as Route29 Solutions is making its way through the last steps of the planning process. Last week, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board got an update on the status for a future project that includes five separate components at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Hydraulic Road. 

“We’ve kind of gotten to a situation right now where we’re over budget based on updated estimates and some of the things that we’ve looked at it,” said Sean Nelson, the administrator of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District. 

Read more

VMDO working against inflation as design for Buford expansion continues and estimates increase

Work continues on plans to renovate and expand Buford Middle School in Charlottesville to accommodate the city’s sixth graders as part of the first phase of a major reconfiguration. The School Board got an update on the project Thursday night. 

In April, Charlottesville City Council adopted a budget for FY23 that includes $2.5 million toward reconfiguration with $66.3 million in funds projected for FY24. That gave enough of a greenlight for the project to move forward. 

“After the City Council approved the project and moved forward, we worked out the next phase and started working about May 1,” said Wyck Knox, a project manager with VMDO.  (review the presentation)

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »