Week Ahead for November 1, 2021: Council to get food security update; Site plan meeting for next public housing redevelopment project

And now we find ourselves in the last two month of the year, when meetings will slow down for the last two weeks of both November and December. The election results will set the tone for the rest of the year, as anticipation begins for what kind of year 2022 will be. Election Week also often coincides with a slower week, with Electoral Boards having the busiest of times. That’s the case over the next several days.

There are no meetings in Greene County or Nelson County this week. 

Thanks as always to the Piedmont Environmental Council for their support of this research. In two months, they’ll begin their 50th anniversary. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Charlottesville City Council will hold their second meeting without someone serving as City Manager. Chip Boyles resigned last month and has taken a new job running the George Washington Regional Commission in Fredericksburg. This meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and the agenda is light. November 15 will be the first reading of the Comprehensive Plan, which makes that agenda a heavy one. (meeting info

There are only two items of business on the regular agenda. One is a first reading of an ordinance to vacate a small portion of right of way on Seminole Court related to utility relocation along Hillsdale Drive. (report)

The second is a report on the Charlottesville Food Equity Initiative which “brings together public, private, and non-profit partners working in unique and complementary ways to build a healthy and just community food system for all Charlottesville residents.” Council first created the initiative in 2018 and this report covers the period from October 2020 to this past September. There’s also a request for continued annual funding of $155,000 a year as well as two percent of the meals tax for a Food Equity Fund. (report)

On the consent agenda:

  • Council will approve meeting procedures for the Police Civilian Review Board. Only a placeholder is in the packet. View last week’s work session with Council and the PCRB to learn more. (watch)
  • Council will hold second reading of an allocation of $175,965 for the Charlottesville Fire Department of funds collected by the State Corporation Commission from the insurance industry. (report)
  • Council will hold second reading of a resolution appropriating $2.452 million in American Rescue Funds being distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds can be used for a variety of uses and are available to be spent by September 2030. (report)
  • Council will second reading of appropriations of $1.193 million in American Rescue Plan Act finds for a variety of purposes. These include $400,000 to up fit office space in the Market Street Parking Garage. (report)
  • Council will hold first reading of an appropriation of $50,000 from the Virginia Department of Education’s Special Nutrition to Program for an afterschool program run by the Parks and Recreation Department. (report)
  • Council will hold first reading of an appropriation of $39,000 for the Safe Routes to School program. (report)
Budget for the Food Equity Initiative (report)

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Architectural Review Board usually meets on the first Monday of the month, but today they do not have enough business for a meeting. 
  • The Louisa Board of Supervisors meets in open session beginning at 6 p.m. They’ll say goodbye to Assistant County Administrator Jeff Ferrell with a resolution. They’ll get a presentation on the work of the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center as well as a status update on the James River Water Project. (October 2019 FAQ from James River Water Authority)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Tuesday is Election Day, and it’s an unspoken tradition to not hold top-level meetings on a day that now marks the end of a 45-day Election Season. 

The Charlottesville Electoral Board will begin their canvass of the election at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Annex. (meeting info)

However, there is at least one meeting. The Charlottesville Tree Commission will convene virtually at 5 p.m. They will discuss the Cville ReLeaf initiative and the draft annual report to City Council. They’ll also have a discussion of the search for a new Parks and Recreation Director and some members’ participation in the interview process. (meeting info)

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Site plan for next public housing redevelopment project

The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority continues to plan for new construction. Work is underway to build at Sixth Street Southeast.

“The site plan is for 39 multi-family residential units,” reads the meeting information page. 

“The plan shows one multifamily building with internal garage parking and outdoor recreational space.”

An approved site plan is a requirement to apply for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to help finance the project. The application deadline with the Virginia Housing Development Authority is in March. (more info on LIHTC)

When constructed, the structure will be owned and operated by a new entity while the CRHA will retain ownership of the land. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also must approve the demolition and disposition of new units. 

“HUD is not in agreement that we can place Public Housing from a different project onto a site that will face demolition of [its] own public housing and utilize [tenant protection vouchers],” reads a redevelopment report written by new CRHA Redevelopment Coordinator Brandon Collins. (read the report)

Fluvanna meeting

The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors will have a regular meeting in person beginning at 5 p.m. This gives a chance to discuss what’s going on from the perspective of that community. (meeting packet)

In the first item of interest, David Blount of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission will present Supervisors with a draft legislative agenda for the 2022 General Assembly. The top priorities are “support for recovering communities”, “budgets and funding,” and “broadband.” 

Next, there will be a resolution to request that the Virginia Department of Transportation reclassify Route 53 and a portion of Route 250 from “major collector” to “minor arterial.” 

“These two corridors are both seeing an increase in development and they are major connections between the urbanized areas found in Albemarle and Fluvanna County,” reads the staff report by Community Development Director Douglas Miles. 

The change could increase eligibility for funding and would allow increased access management to restrict new driveways and entrances. 

Fluvanna is also in the midst of redrawing its magisterial districts and a committee has come up with five different maps. Two would retain the current five districts, another would create six, and two others would divide Fluvanna into seven. A public hearing will be held on December 1, 2021. 

Other items include an update from Jaunt, a review of services the Jefferson Area Board for Aging offers to Fluvanna, and a resolution on warning people of travel to China due to the practice of harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.

A slide from Blount’s presentation on legislative priorities 

Albemarle to begin Comp Plan process, will honor Monacan Indian Nation 

The Albemarle Supervisors begin their regular meeting at 1 p.m. They’ll have a proclamation recognizing Native American Heritage Month and specifically the Monacan Nation. (meeting agenda)

“By the 1740s, most Monacan people were pushed westward away from Albemarle by advancing colonial settlers and were instead forced to relocate in Amherst County, but the Monacans maintained connections to their ancestral landscape and visited their burial mounds in Albemarle County, with one such visit recorded by Thomas Jefferson in 1755,” reads the proclamation, which also acknowledges the passage of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited the recording of Native identity on birth certificates. 

The Monacans were recognized by the Virginia government in 1989 and the Federal government in 2018. The proclamation recognizes the Monacan Nation for “their perseverance and commitment to their community in the face of centuries of systemic oppression, and for their generosity in educating us about their long and memorable history so we all know a more comprehensive history of our County.”

In regular business, Supervisors will consider a special exception for a homestay in the Crozet requesting a third bedroom. They also want to waive the owner-occupancy requirement. 

After that there will be a resolution of intent to officially launch the Comprehensive Plan process in Albemarle. The work will be conducted in several phases and will coincide with targeted changes to the zoning code. As part of the packet, there is a four-page engagement plan for the first phase. 

The schedule for the first phase of the Comprehensive Plan process

Next, Supervisors will review their legislative program for the 2022 General Assembly. This is the same document as the Fluvanna and Louisa Boards will review this week. 

The public hearing portion of the meeting begins at 6 p.m. 

  • The Field School seeks to amend an existing special use permit to remove a deadline for when construction of their new facility on Barracks Road must begin. (report)
  • The Community Power Group seeks a special use permit to operate solar panels on top of the Ivy Landfill. (report)
  • Claudius Crozet Park seeks to amend an existing special use permit to build a fitness center and indoor pool. The Planning Commission recommended approval on September 28. (report)

In other meetings:

  • The Charlottesville Electoral Board will continue their canvas at 9 a.m. at the City Hall Annex (meeting info)
A conceptual plan for the solar panels at the Ivy Landfill

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Invasive update

The Spotted Lanternfly threatens a variety of crops in Virginia and education campaigns are underway to inform people. The invasive insect can affect peaches, grapes, hops, and other plants. The Albemarle Natural Heritage Committee will get an update at their meeting which begins at 5:30 p.m.  (meeting info)

In other meetings: 

  • The Charlottesville Electoral Board will meet to continue the canvass of election results if needed. (meeting info)
  • Albemarle County will hold a pre-proposal conference for firms that would like to assist with the Comprehensive Plan update. This begins at 11 a.m. (meeting info)
  • Charlottesville’s Human Rights Community Engagement Committee meets virtually at 1 p.m. (meeting info)
  • Charlottesville’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets virtually at 5 p.m. (meeting info)
  • The Thomas Jefferson Planning District’s Board of Commissioners meets virtually at 7 p.m. (agenda)Learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly at the Virginia Cooperative Extension page on the matter (link)

Friday, November 5, 2021

The Charlottesville Electoral Board meets again to continue the canvass if necessary. (meeting info)

This post was contributed by Sean Tubbs. Sean is a journalist working to build a new information and news outlet centered around Charlottesville and Virginia. In 2020, he launched a daily newscast and newsletter and also created a semi-regular podcast on the pandemic.

Support for Sean’s “Week Ahead” update comes from The Piedmont Environmental Council.