It’s a busy week, and even as we publish this, we know there’s more to add! The hot temperatures haven’t slowed anything down when it comes to government meetings.
Monday, July 20
The two regular items on the Architectural Review Board’s meeting both deal with commercial properties on U.S. 29. Schewel’s Furniture at 2030 Seminole Trail is seeking a new sign, and there’s an initial site development plan for a new building nearby for a Sleep Number store. The latter is the first phase of new construction on a parcel adjacent to Fashion Square Mall. The ARB will also continue review of changes to the plans for Spring Hill Village, a townhouse community on Avon Street Extended being built by Stanley Martin Homes. That project also is before the Albemarle County Planning Commission on Tuesday.
Court Square is one of the most controversial public spaces in our community. In recent years, Albemarle County decided to renovate the historic courthouse and cooperate with Charlottesville on a new joint General District Court. City Council has voted to remove a Confederate statue in parkland adjacent to the county, and Albemarle Supervisors will hold a public hearing on August 5 on what to do with the statue on its land.
In the latest in a series of community conversations, Albemarle County will host a panel discussion on “the meaning and importance of Court Square as a public space.”
- Elgin Cleckley, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Education, and Health at UVA
- Justin Reid, Director of Community Initiatives, Virginia Humanities
- Dr. Kirt Von Daacke, Assistant Dean, Associate Professor of History UVA
- Betsy Baten, Museum Educator and Interpreter, Monticello
- Dr. Andrea Douglas, Executive Director Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, moderator
Albemarle will hold two virtual meetings on two land use applications within the territory covered by the Places29-North Community Advisory Committee. One is a special use permit for a veterinary clinic at 1758 Worth Crossing and the other is a quite a bit more substantial. RST Development of Virginia Beach is seeking a rezoning of 19.5 acres of land at the intersection of Route 29 and Ashwood Boulevard. The plan is build up to 370 units on land that is currently occupied by the Ridgewood Mobile Home park as well as a motel. RST purchased the motel site for $1.76 million and the trailer park for $4.24 million last October. (site plan) (register for meeting)
Charlottesville City Council has a very packed meeting that covers so much ground. Will this meeting go into Tuesday?
In the first regular item, Council will be asked to give a resolution of support for the four proposals the city will submit to the Virginia Department of Transportation for the fourth Smart Scale round. These are the third phase of the West Main Streetscape ($7.9 million), Ridge Street Multimodal Improvements ($5 million), Preston Avenue / Grady Avenue Intersection Improvements ($6.1 million), and Emmet Street Multimodal Phase Two ($4.5 million). (staff report)
On a related note, Council will be asked to endorse the plans for the Emmet Street project that was approved by VDOT in the first Smart Scale round. If approved, this will begin the process to acquire property for the project which will add bike lanes on both sides of the road between Ivy Road and Arlington Boulevard. (staff report)
Council will take action on several items related to the proposed Flint Hill community in Fry’s Spring that is being put forward by Southern Development. One June 9, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning from R-1S to Planned Unit Development, a critical slopes waiver, and the vacation of a public street. (staff report)
There are two requests to amend city code. One would ban the “possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components or combinations in certain public spaces.” The General Assembly passed enabling legislation to allow such prohibitions earlier this year. In the other, the city would make June 19 an official holiday to mark Juneteenth. Another item on the agenda would request legislation to give more subpoena powers to police civilian review boards. (resolution)
Council will also officially appropriate $2.259 million in funds for nonprofit and outside agencies. This funding was not adopted as part of the revised FY21 budget and Council discussed applications at a work session on June 30. (staff report)
There’s also a lot on the consent agenda worth reviewing, with three items related to COVID-19 relief.
- The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless and other partners have received $243,276 from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to help cover the cost of emergency shelter operation expenses (staff report)
- The city also received an additional $7,099 from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board “to support alternative housing options for people that test positive for the disease at testing initiatives” (staff report)
- The Department of Human Services and the Albemarle County of Equity and Inclusion has received a $250,000 grant from the Emma Lazarus Campaign on Cities for emergency financial assistance for city and county residents “that are ineligible for federal stimulus relief.” (staff report)
- City Council will agree to refund Silverchair $90,342.49 in tax refunds for the past three years (staff report)
- Council will adopt a resolution “Opposing Charlottesville Police Department Receiving Military-Style Training And Acquiring Weaponry From The U.S. Military” (staff report)
- Council will adopt a resolution expressing support for legislation that will declare racism as a public health crisis. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus has established that as a priority for new legislation to be considered in the upcoming August 18 special session. (staff report)
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The Albemarle Economic Development Authority meets at 4 p.m. for a virtual meeting. There will be a presentation on the CvilleBioHub from executive director Nikki Hastings, an update on business relief funding through the CARES Act, and a resolution to transfer grant money to WillowTree related to their move to the redeveloped Woolen Mills. There will also be a review of the Albemarle Community Survey. There will also be a discussion of new conflict of interest requirements for the EDA. (agenda)
There are two public hearings on the agenda for the Albemarle County Planning Commission. In the first, a change in the zoning ordinance is being reviewed to allow landscape contractors to operate within the rural area. Supervisors adopted a resolution directing staff to study the issue, which was the subject of a Board of Zoning Appeals matter in June 2019. (staff report)
In the second, Stanley Martin is seeking changes to the proffers for Spring Hill Village, a planned 100-unit community off of Avon Street Extended. They are seeking changes to the transportation improvements agreed upon at the rezoning in the fall of 2014. (staff report)
The Charlottesville’s Board of Architectural Review meets at 5:30 p.m. (agenda)
The expansion of Greene County’s water supply plan appeared to be heading toward construction but an action taken Thursday by a regional body with jurisdiction over the matter calls that future into question. According to the Greene County Record, the Rapidan Service Authority voted 4-2 to “assume leadership” of the process to determine the future of the water supply plan mandated by Virginia law. They also effectively overturned a decision last week by the Greene County Board of Supervisors to increase facility fees to help pay for the project. Facility fees are monthly surcharges intended to pay for capital expenses such as creation of the White Run Reservoir, which has a cost estimate of between $45 million and $60 million. The five-member Greene BOS will hold a special emergency meeting at 6:30 p.m. to receive information about the project. (agenda)
The Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Committee (MPO-Tech) meets virtually at 10 a.m. One item on the agenda is a review of publicity documents intended to explain what MPO’s are. If you’re interested in transportation in our community, and getting involved, this is a good place to start. (agenda)
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
The Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board (MPO) meets at 4 p.m. The two Charlottesville City Councilors and two Albemarle Supervisors will review the area’s Smart Scale submissions. They will also discuss an update to the federally-required Public Participation Plan, consider support for the INVEST in America Act and the Long Bridge Act,
The Charlottesville Housing Advisory Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 12 p.m. (agenda)
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Shortly before the pandemic began, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to approve a rezoning for 999 East Rio Road to allow for 28 units at 999 East Rio Road. During the pandemic, they were set to deadlock 3-3 on a proposal for a rezoning for the 27 acre Parkway Place project for 328 units at the intersection of the John Warner Parkway and East Rio Road.
With that backdrop, all three Places29 Committees will the entiPlaces29-Rio Community Advisory Committee is set to meet at a virtual gathering at 6 p.m. (access information)