Week Ahead for October 10, 2022: Car wash on Fifth Street in Charlottesville; Rezoning requested for Lake Anna Resort in Louisa; Albemarle PC to review 195-foot cell tower at Walnut Creek Park

Monday is a holiday, so the week starts with Tuesday. As with any week without a working Monday, that causes a very busy Tuesday. There’s a lot happening this week and here are some highlights of a week where most of the action is outside Charlottesville.

  • Another car wash is planned in Charlottesville but a special use permit is required. The Planning Commission will have a joint work session on Tuesday.
  • The Nelson County Board of Supervisors will consider changes to the ordinance banning allowing dogs off-leash and will also have a public hearing for a 12-unit senior living facility on Route 151.
  • On Thursday, Louisa’s Planning Commission will review the potential of establishing an entrance corridor overlay district for Zion Crossroads, and will have a public hearing for a rezoning for a resort on Lake Anna with 96 units and a 130-room hotel.
  • Greene County Supervisors will welcome back Brenda Garton as interim County Administrator.
  • Albemarle’s Planning Commission will review a special use permit for a 195-foot tall cell tower at Walnut Creek Park. (this item was postponed soon after publication)
  • Fluvanna County’s Planning Commission will get an update on the Comprehensive Plan update underway there.

My gratitude continues for the Piedmont Environmental Council and their sponsorship of this newsletter and the hours of research that go into it each week. There are just under three months to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Nelson County to consider changes to off-leash dog ordinance, 12-unit senior living facility 

The five-member Nelson County Board of Supervisors will meet at 2 p.m. for the afternoon session and 7 p.m. for the evening session. Both meetings are in the General District Courtroom in Lovingston. (agenda)

There are three presentations to begin the meetings. The first is from the Virginia Department of Transportation. The second is from the Monticello Area Community Action Agency on their Pathways to Prosperity report. The third is from the school superintendent. 

In new and unfinished business, Supervisors will get an update on the Gladstone Depot Project as well as a Mutual Aid Agreement with Other Localities. On the latter, Amherst County will provide services related to building inspection and erosion and sediment control. 

The Commonwealth Transportation Board recently approved a $586,966 Transportation Alternatives Program for the depot project, which involves relocating the structure. 

“It is important to emphasize that the CTB policy for TAP funds requires that the project reach construction within four years of awarding the first TA funds,” reads a letter from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s local assistance division. 

The Depot will showcase the history of river and rail transportation in the region operated by the Friends of the Gladstone Depot. 

Other TAP grants in VDOT’s Lynchburg District are the first phase of a river walk in Farmville, sidewalks at an industrial park in Lynchburg, phase two of sidewalks on Kemper Road in Danville, and improvements for pedestrian safety on Piney Forest Road in Danville. 

Then reports from the various officials. 

In the evening session, there are two public hearings. One is for a special use permit for a proposed senior living facility on Rockfish Valley Road (Route 151). All of the existing structures on the property will be removed to make way for two six-unit buildings. The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend approval. 

The second is for changes to the ordinance banning dogs from running off leash to eliminate written warnings and to make a first offense punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Conceptual site plan for The Delander at Nelson (Credit: HG Design Studio)

Greene County Supervisors to welcome back Garton as interim administrator

The five-member Greene County Board of Supervisors will meet at 5:30 p.m. in closed session followed by an open session at 6:30 p.m. They meet at the county administration building in Stanardsville. (meeting info)

A major item on the consent agenda is the ratification of a contract for interim County Administrator Brenda Garton. Garton served in the position in 2018 and 2019 before Mark B. Taylor was hired. Taylor has now left the county for a new job as school superintendent in Spotsylvania County and Garton is back while a new search continues. Garton will be paid $11,000 a month (employment agreement)

There is one public hearing to amend the FY22 budget related to bonds for the creation of the water and sewer department. Supervisors will also select on of their own to be on a steering committee for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District’s Regional Transit Governance Study.

Fairly slow meeting for Greene.  

Charlottesville PC to review permit for car wash

Charlottesville’s Planning Commission meets at 5 p.m. for the informal pre-meeting at which business is often discussed, followed by the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. These meetings are held in CitySpace and attendance is limited. Members of the public can access the meeting remotely and can make public comments virtually. (meeting info) (agenda) (packet)

There’s a joint public hearing with the City Council for a gas station with a car wash on 5th Street SW at the intersection with Harris Road. This means if you want to have an official comment on the record, this is the one at which you need to appear. The project needs a special use permit and would replace a bank building. 

“The proposed Car Wash will have a main building fronting on 5Th Street SW with parking, pay stations, vacuums, a dumpster, and an ingress/egress from Harris Road. Offsite improvements include pedestrian markings across the entrance to Willoughby Square Shopping Center,” reads the staff report. 

There are a few items on the consent agenda worth noting. 

  • There’s a major subdivision request for land on Preston Avenue that’s zoned R-2. This would be for eight single-family homes and one duplex on about 0.85 acres.
  • There’s a final site plan for Lyndhall Apartments at 64 University Way. This would be a 16-unit apartment building. A special use permit was approved by Council on May 3, 2021. 
Site location for the proposed car wash (Credit: City of Charlottesville) 

Albemarle County PC to hold hearing for 195-foot tall cell tower in Walnut Creek Park

The seven-member Albemarle Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. in Lane Auditorium, but there is a virtual option to participate in public hearings. There are three of them. (meeting info) (agenda)

In the first, Commissioner will consider a special use permit for Verizon Wireless to install a 195-foot cell tower on county-owned property at Walnut Creek. Staff is recommending approval, though acknowledging the visibility from the park. Some might conclude that is not consistent with the county’s policy on the siting of wireless facilities, a policy from 2000 that many on the Board of Supervisors have sought to update. 

“Much of the tower’s visibility is from within the Walnut Creek Park property,” reads the staff report. “While Staff believes that the character of the park itself may be impacted by a tower

that is visible from within the park. From most of all other parcels surrounding the park property,

the proposed tower is either not visible or has limited visibility.” 

The tower is under 200 feet, so lights are not required at the top. 

A photo simulation of the proposer tower (Credit: Dewberry Engineering / Verizon Wireless) 

The second public hearing is for the expansion and upgrades of a substation owned and operated by the Appalachian Electric Power Company. This requires a special use permit because the substation will now span a second property. (staff report)

In the third public hearing, Crown Orchard Company seeks a special use permit for farm worker housing and a dining hall.  There would be space for up to 50 workers and an on-site manager. The company dates back to 1912 and is a family business.

“All this longevity, enjoyment and agricultural production cannot continue to grow and survive to provide this fruit and enjoyment to Albemarle County residents and others without migrant housing,” reads the project narrative

Fluvanna County to celebrate Planning Month with an update on Comprehensive Plan

The Fluvanna County Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m for a work session followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m. They meet in the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center in Fork Union. (meeting agenda) (meeting packet) (work session packet)

The work session focuses on the capital improvement program for FY24 through FY28. In all there are 33 requests from county departments. This will be a preview before Commissioners will be asked to rank priorities at the November 9 meeting. 

The regular meeting has one public hearing for a request for a property to withdraw from the North 240 Agricultural and Forestal District. 

Then there’s an update on the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and presentations from the Historic Preservation Group and the Rural Preservation Advisory Group. There’s no material about this in advance of the meeting, but the September 13 minutes state that there are two major themes emerging from the plan review. Fluvanna County residents want to keep its rural character, but want more development at Fork Union and Zion Crossroads. 

In other meetings: 

  • Charlottesville’s Economic Development Authority meets virtually at 4 p.m. On the agenda is a lease for 112 West Main Street on the Downtown Mall and a request to support an ENVISION grant. Other business includes discussion of an AFID grant for the BEACON project as well as results from Cville Match. (meeting info)
  • The Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation Board meets at 4:30 p.m. There’s no location listed nor an agenda. (meeting info)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

There are only two meetings today, so we’re just going to go with a bullet point list. 

  • The James River Water Authority will meet at 9 a.m. at the Fluvanna County Public Library for a public information meeting. There will be a status update on the overall project to build a water line between the James River and Zion Crossroads to allow for more dense growth in both Fluvanna County and Louisa County. That update is not available in the meeting packet
  • The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets in-person at 7 p.m. in the Crozet Library meeting room. This is a planning session to talk about future meetings. One possible topic is the controversy regarding a stream that will be disturbed as part of the Montclair development. I’ve been meaning to write about that for a while. If other reporters want background, I would be more than happy to share as I have not been able to get to this story. (agenda) (meeting info)

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Louisa County PC to hold public hearing on switch to civil penalties for land use violations

The Louisa County Planning Commission will have a long range planning session at 5 p.m. followed by a regular meeting. (long range session packet) (regular packet)

There are two items on the work session agenda. The first relates to civil penalties for land use violation and will also be the subject of a public hearing at the regular meeting. 

“Code compliance is essential to community wellbeing and prosperity,” writes Community Development Director Joshua Gillespie. “In many cases, the outcome of violations abated and nuisances removed is often more desirable than the successful prosecution through court of criminal charges against an offender.”

The second item is discussion of gateways and corridors related to an update of the Comprehensive Plan. Currently Louisa does not have entrance corridors similar to the ones in neighboring Albemarle and Goochland. 

“Louisa County has been planning jointly with Fluvanna County, the Thomas Jefferson Planning

District Commission (TJPDC) and the Virginia Department of Transportation for the corridors and gateways to the communities located in Zion Crossroads,” reads the staff report. 

One example used in the packet is the town of Hilton Head, South Carolina in Beaufort County. 

A slide from the Zion Crossroads Gateway Plan (Credit: TJPDC)

The second public hearing is for a rezoning for a planned unit development called Lake Anna Resort on 15.277 acres along Route 208 This includes a request to allow buildings up to 80 feet tall. A previous attempt to rezone this land to PUD was denied in 2014, and a site plan was filed and approved for a commercial development that was never built.  The land is adjacent to property in Spotsylvania County. 

“The proposed Planned Unit Development includes a condominium building, hotel, restaurant/bar, marina services, and accessory structures,” reads the staff report. “The planned condominium building is comprised of 96 residential dwelling units with a maximum planned development density of 10 dwelling units per acre of 152 residential dwelling unit for the 15.277-acre assemblage.”

There is an extensive Q&A about the project from a recent community meeting. Staff recommends approval. 

Location map for the proposed Lake Anna resort 

Places29-North group to hold two community meetings

The transition back to in-person meetings in Albemarle County is well underway. But, tonight’s meeting of the Places29-North Community Advisory Committee is the first time community meetings have been held in-person for some time. These are required reviews where the public can get a first look at land use proposals. 

Tonight there are two. One is for a special use permit for Maple Grove Day Care at Maple Grove Christian Church. All of the materials for that application are in this directory

“There is a large and rapidly growing need for day care services in our area and MGCC wants to help meet that need by opening and operating a high-quality Christian day care center,” reads their narrative. “This day care center is very close to the Route 29 development zone, near to businesses and adjacent to single and multifamily residences.”

The second is for an expansion of Dominion Energy’s Hollymead Substation. This is the directory for that application

The Places29-North CAC will meet Forest Lakes North Pool House Meeting Room at 1824 Pavilion Circle. 

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Board will meet at 4 p.m. in Room 235 at the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road. At publication time, the agenda posted is the September meeting. (meeting info)
  • The Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority meets at 4:45 p.m. in Room 241 at COB-McIntire. (meeting info)
  • The Charlottesville Police Oversight Board meets virtually at 6:30 p.m. There’s no agenda for the meeting. (meeting info)

Friday, October 14, 2022

Charlottesville Historic Resources Committee will meet virtually at 11 a.m. For the first time in many months, there is an item on the agenda that is not “Downtown Walking Tour Map Work Session” and not “Engagement of the Descendant Community for Court Square/Slave Auction Block site.” Those are on the agenda, but there’s also an item for “Marker at Herman Key Recreation Center.” (meeting info)

Saturday, October 15, 2022

No meetings today. It’s a Saturday. What civic things are on offer? I’m fairly certain I will be writing next week’s Fifth District Community Engagement newsletter. Please check that if you have not done so already. It’s like this newsletter, but takes a look at the entire 5th District in Virginia.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

A rare item for Sunday!

Nelson County’s Comprehensive Plan review continues with a “input results forum” at the Nelson Center at 8445 Thomas Nelson HIghway in Lovingston. This was postponed from late September. The documents are not available at press time but bookmark this page to get them when they are posted. 

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.