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We’ve reached the midpoint of a tumultuous year. There is a brief pulse of activity this week before the 4th of July holiday begins. As we mark the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, this is a good time to reflect on where we want to go into the future.
Monday, June 29
The Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board (CRB) was created after the summer of 2017 to “provide objective and independent civilian-led oversight of the Charlottesville Police Department in an effort to enhance transparency and trust, to promote fair and effective policing, and to protect the civil and constitutional rights of the people of the City of Charlottesville.”
The work of the group got off to a troubled start with disputes over the Board’s scope. With a seventh and final member appointed by Council earlier this spring, the CRB meets for the first time during the pandemic and after a string of protests against police brutality. The event will be held virtually and begins at 1:00 p.m. The main item on the agenda is a discussion of the job description for the board’s future executive director. (agenda) (Zoom registration)
In recent years, it was revealed that an Albemarle County structure thought to be former home of America’s fifth president turned to be a guest house. That has not stopped scholarship at Highland, a plantation James Monroe owned from 1793 to 1825. Tonight at 6:30, executive director Sara Bonn-Jarper and a member of Highland’s Descendant Advisory Panel will be part of a panel discussion on how to “represent a multivocal history” while Expanding the Narrative at Highland. (event information)
Tuesday, June 30
Localities all across Virginia are putting the final touches on projects to submit to the Virginia Department of Transportation for funding. The Smart Scale process is now in its fourth round and one of Charlottesville’s four candidates is being challenged by surrounding neighborhoods. The $6.1 million Preston Avenue and Grady Avenue Intersection Improvement was submitted for funding in the third round back in 2018, but did not qualify for funding. Now city staff has opted to proceed again. A worksheet provided to the public for a May 14 information session stated there are “no known concerns at this time.”
However, a petition organized by leaders of 10th & Page, Rose Hill and Rugby neighborhoods calls the proposed design “inherently flawed” and is calling for a full design of the entire corridor before proceeding. A virtual meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. for the public to find out more. (petition)
The city’s three other Smart Scale applications for this fourth round are the third phase of the West Main Streetscape ($7.9 million), the second phase of the Emmet Street Streetscape ($4.5 million), and multimodal improvements on Ridge Street between West Main Street and Cherry Avenue ($5 million).
Charlottesville City Council meets at a work session at 1 p.m to discuss the Vibrant Communities Fund. In 2019, Council opted out of a joint process with Albemarle County to fund nonprofit and other community agencies. (register)
Wednesday, July 1
The biggest meeting of this week is that of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. The most reported item will be a discussion of Civil War Monuments and Memorials. Supervisors will consider scheduling a public hearing on “whether to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover” such memorials on county property. This is the first day in which it is possible for Virginia localities to move forward with such requests due to General Assembly legislation that allows for war monuments to be disturbed or interfered. (staff report) (full agenda)
Albemarle also will discuss the county’s allocation of CARES Act funding, which includes review of a May 12 letter from Virginia Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne. (letter) Planners will present updates on the Rio29 Form Based Code and the Crozet Master Plan. There will also be a transportation report from both VDOT and Albemarle County. In the evening there are public hearings on budget appropriations, signs at a new car dealership on U.S. 29, and an amendment to a rezoning for the Field School’s new location. A fourth public hearing is for a Crozet daycare that seeks to expand the number of children who can attend.
Thursday, July 2
Friday, July 3
Field Representative – Albemarle, Charlottesville and Greene
The Piedmont Environmental Council
Past blog posts:
- Weekly Update – June 23, 2020
- Weekly Update – June 1, 2020
- Weekly Update – May 18, 2020
- Weekly Update – May 4, 2020
- Weekly Update – April 27, 2020
- Weekly Update – April 20, 2020
- Weekly Update – April 13, 2020
- Weekly Update – April 6, 2020
- Weekly Update – March 30, 2020
- Weekly Update – March 23, 2020