Week Ahead for August 3, 2020 (Alb/Cville/Greene)

Welcome to the Week Ahead newsletter for August 3, 2020. This continuing service from the Piedmont Environmental Council is intended to help you know what’s coming up in land use in Albemarle, Charlottesville and Greene.  

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Albemarle Architectural Review Board meets virtually at 1 p.m. for a meeting with four regular items for review. These are for a new commercial building on U.S. 29 adjacent to Fashion Square Mall, a renovation of a commercial building at 2145 Ivy Road, Malloy Ford’s planned new building on U.S. 29, and the renovation of another dealership on Pantops. (meeting information)

The owners of a shopping center near Forest Lakes on U.S. 29 are seeking a rezoning to allow for an expansion onto property not currently developed. The Albemarle Community Development will hold the required information meeting for the application. The property was rezoned from residential in 1989 and the current project seeks to increase the maximum building size allowed to 110,000 square feet. Currently a maximum of 71,800 is allowed and there is only 14,778 square feet left. (rezoning narrative)

“This rezoning application seeks to increase the allowable square footage on this property and to amend the application to allow for something that is different from suburban strip mall design,” reads the narrative for the proposal. The Albemarle Comprehensive Plan designated the land as “urban mixed-use community center.” (meeting access information)

The virtual meeting begins at 6 p.m. The land is within the coverage area of the Places29-North Community Advisory Committee.

City Council convenes at 6:30 p.m. for a meeting that only has three items following the consent agenda. Their previous meeting on July 20 adjourned the following morning around 2:30 a.m. (full packet)

The main item on the agenda is an appropriation of $15,263,257.41 for the Belmont Bridge replacement, a project that has been in the planning stages for at least ten years. Since 2005, the city of Charlottesville has administered the design, right of way acquisition and construction of projects for which the Virginia Department of Transportation would otherwise be responsible. The entire Belmont Bridge project now has a cost of $31.1 million, and $13 million of that is expected from the city. That includes a $5 million payment in the current year’s capital improvement program (CIP), $2.5 million in next year’s CIP and $4.8 million in other funds the city has saved for the project.

The city is currently in negotiations to purchase additional right of way for the replacement.

“Final design has been reviewed by City Staff as well as the Virginia Department of Transportation and comments are being addressed,” reads the staff report by Jeanette Janiczek, the city’s program manager for the Urban Construction Initiative. That’s the program through which the city takes the responsibility from VDOT.

“Final Construction Documents, including revised final plans addressing comments, is under development with a planned advertisement date of Fall 2020,” Janiczek wrote.

Following that item, the CEO of Jaunt will present Council with an update on his agency’s pilot project to deliver on-demand transit within the region. Brad Sheffield presented that information to the Board of Supervisors on July 15. Before both of those items, Council will take up a rezoning that would allow a carwash on the U.S. bypass to expand. (staff report)

There are many items on the consent agenda:

  • The second and final reading for the Flint Hill rezoning will be voted on
  • Council will officially adopt an ordinance making Juneteenth a city holiday
  • Council will accept $243,276 in funding for the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (staff report)
  • Council will accept $250,000 grant from the from the Emma Lazarus Campaign on Cities to provide emergency financial assistance to community members of Charlottesville and Albemarle County that are ineligible for federal stimulus relief (staff report)
  • Council will hold first reading on a $95,000 grant to cover the costs of planning and administration for the Safe Routes to School program (staff report)
  • Council will hold first reading on $246,699 in additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding related to the federal CARES relief for the coronavirus. Of that amount, $98,679.60 is for the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) to provide 24 grants. Another $49,661.78 will go to help the Thomas Jefferson Health District pay for COVID-19 testing, and another $49,017.82 will go to TJACH for their COVID-19 Homeless Prevention Response. The rest goes to administration and planning. (staff report)
  • The registrar’s office will receive $64,229 in CARES funding to offset additional costs related to the 2020 presidential election (staff report)
  • Council will approve a plan to rename 7th Street N.E., From East Market Street to East Jefferson Street as Black Lives Matter avenue. The item was discussed at the July 20 meeting (staff report)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Albemarle Board of Zoning Appeals will meet to consider an appeal from the Yancey Lumber Corporation. The Board of Supervisors has already ruled one some of these items and will finish up work on this Wednesday. The BZA meets at 2 p.m. (meeting information)

The Albemarle Planning Commission Commission meets at 6 p.m. with two items on the agenda. The first is a public hearing on changes to the ordinance that regulates how fill dirt can be placed on land in the county. There have been several complaints related to truckload after truckload using rural roads to carry fill dirt and construction debris. (staff report)

After that, Brad Sheffield will take his on-demand campaign to the Albemarle PC.

“We believe that this concept will grow and evolve to meet needs we have not yet identified today, ultimately connecting people all over our region to where they want to go, when they want to get there,” Sheffield wrote in a cover letter for the presentation. (meeting info)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 2 p.m. and not the regular time of 1 p.m. Their first item of business is to finish up a special exception for the Yancey Lumber Corporation seeking expanded hours and to bring their mill near Crozet into compliance. Supervisors took some actions on these items on July 15, 2020 but did not complete the item. (staff report)

There are four public hearings in the evening session beginning at 6 p.m. The first is related to the budget and the second concerns the changing of two polling places in the county.

In the third, Verizon is seeking the Board’s permission to build a 116.7 foot tall cell tower at the intersection of Wild Turkey Lane and Route 250 West. The county’s wireless policy requires a public hearing before the Board this location is within 200 feet of a Scenic Byway. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval in June. (staff report)

In the fourth, a developer seeking a rezoning for 32.52 acres at the northern edge of Albemarle’s Places29 designated growth area from rural areas (RA) to Planned Residential Development (PRD) for a maximum of 100 residential units. They also are requesting to disturb critical slopes for stormwater management and access purposes. The Planning Commission first heard the item on March 10 and voted 5-1 to recommend approval on May 19. (staff report)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors will hold a special public hearing on the future of the Court Square monuments related to the Confederacy. Virginia law changed on July 1 allowing localities to determine the fate of such war memorials.

“According to state code, after the public hearing, the Board may vote on whether to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover the monument or memorial,” reads the staff report.

At 7 p.m. the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission will meet for a virtual meeting. One item on the agenda is the Rent and Mortgage Relief program the TJPDC is administering on behalf of the Virginia Department of Housing and Urban Development. Another is the framework for the Regional Broadband Partnership (RBP), an effort the TJPDC has taken on in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The primary objective of the RBP is to be a united voice to inform and advocate for all stakeholders through leadership, knowledge sharing and common understanding of the current and future needs of high-speed broadband internet services in the region,” reads the objective statement in the meeting packet.

Friday, August 7, 2020

So far we don’t have any meetings scheduled. What have we missed?


Sean Tubbs
Field Representative – Albemarle, Charlottesville and Greene
The Piedmont Environmental Council

Past blog posts: