Week Ahead for October 11, 2021: Charlottesville to hold public hearing on city’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map

Elections are underway in Virginia with early voting through October 29. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday. This week’s newsletter includes information on three candidate forums for some of the contested races in the area. 

The biggest topic this week is the Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan with one discussion and one public hearing. Fluvanna County will also get a presentation on its Comprehensive Plan update. There is so much to write about and I hope to cover as many of these items as I can. 

As always, thanks to the Piedmont Environmental Council for their support for this newsletter and the research that goes into it each week. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

The end is near for the second leg of the Cville Plans Together initiative. Rhodeside & Harwell has completed work on an Affordable Housing Plan that Council approved in March. This summer, thousands in the community have weighed in on the Future Land Use Map, an important component of the Comprehensive Plan. Now, there is a draft of the entire plan available for review. 

The Charlottesville Planning Commission is hoping to have the Comprehensive Plan approved by the end of the year and there’s a joint public hearing with the City Council on Tuesday night.

Before that, the seven members of the Planning Commission and the five City Councilors will have a two-hour discussion beginning at noon. The two last discussed the plan at a September 21, 2021 work session.  (watch) (register)

Included in the materials for the meeting is a four-page table with responses to specific proposals to amend the plan made at the September 21 meeting. These include requests to reduce intensity in some areas as well as clarifications on affordability provisions. One discussion point has the title “Concept of allowing an additional unit if the existing structure is maintained.”

“We propose to allow an additional base unit in General Residential areas outside of Sensitive Areas if the existing structure is maintained,” reads the response. “This would mean up to four market rate [units], not up to 3, after which more would be possible through a bonus system, to be determined in the zoning process.”

Unfamiliar with what all of this means? Review previous coverage from this year:

A slide from the four-page response table (read the document)

Community meeting for Reclaimed Hope camp

There will be a virtual community meeting at 6 p.m. for a special use permit for a day camp abd boarding camp for special needs children and their families off of U.S. 29 several miles south of Charlottesville. (meeting info) (materials)

“The purpose of the camp is to alleviate the burden of caregiving and give margin for mental, physical, and emotional health gains for both child and parent,” reads the project narrative. “The camp will serve to offer parents a break from the rigors of caregiving and will allow children with varying intellectual, developmental, and physical needs the ability to come enjoy a camp experience with safety and inclusion.”

In one other meeting:

  • The Virginia Redistricting Commission is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. Their meeting on Friday ended with a walk-out. Saturday’s edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement summarized the meeting in audio and words. Take a look or a listen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Charlottesville EDA to reauthorize Friendship Court agreement

The Board of the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority will meet at 4 p.m. One of the items on their agenda is a reauthorization of the performance agreement with Piedmont Housing Alliance for the redevelopment of Friendship Court. City Council approved the agreement in October 2020 which covers the first phase of the four-phase project. 

“To help facilitate the financing of the project, Piedmont Housing has requested that the city consider an agreement that will share the incremental increase in real estate tax revenue generated by the investment,” reads the staff report for that meeting. “With a commitment from the city to contribute the future revenue stream (as a grant), Piedmont Housing will borrow on this with a private lender to create the cash needed to begin the project.”

According to the staff report, the agreement has to be renewed each year. The project has been delayed and this will be a good opportunity to learn where things stand. The five-year capital improvement program budget has designated $15.894 million in city taxpayer funds for the four phases of redevelopment. (meeting info)

Public hearing to be held for Cville Plans Together

As mentioned in Monday’s entry, the Planning Commission and City Council have their joint hearing on the Comprehensive Plan at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

“The Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan is an important component of the City’s overall policy

framework, serving to express a vision and set goals for the future development of the City,” reads a memo from the Department of Neighborhood Development services. “The Cville Plans Together 2021 update to this plan has come at a critical time as the community has prioritized addressing concerns around equity and the availability of affordable housing.”

Staff is recommending approval of the draft plan. This is the only item on the agenda. The Planning Commission will have a special meeting on Thursday, October 21 to handle other business. 

A slide from the materials for the public hearing on the Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan (download the slides)

Full agenda for Nelson County Board of Supervisors

The Nelson Board of Supervisors meets at 2 p.m. for an afternoon session and an evening session at 7 p.m. (agenda packet)

In the afternoon, there will be an update on legislative redistricting in Virginia and a report from the Virginia Department of Transportation. There will also be a presentation on a feasibility study for the Agriculture Center Project being planned with Amherst County. 

In the evening, there are four public hearings on land use applications, including a brewery at 7995 Thomas Nelson Highway. 

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Police Citizens Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. On the agenda is a presentation of the new public safety system in Albemarle County Public Schools from Dr. Jesse Turner, the director of student services. (meeting info)
  • The Nelson County Broadband Authority meets at 1 p.m. at the General District Courtroom in Lovingston. On the agenda is a report on Firefly Fiber on the Regional Internet Service Expansion. That report is available in the packet. (meeting packet)
  • Charlottesville City Council is set to go into closed session at 3 p.m. for “urgent personnel matter(s).” I’m past the point of even wanting to speculate what might happen.  (meeting info)
  • The Albemarle Broadband Authority will have a work session on network outages beginning at 5 p.m. (meeting info)
  • The Fluvanna County Planning Commission meets in person at 6:00 p.m. for a work session that will then become the regular meeting. On the agenda is a public hearing for a 3 megawatt utility-scale solar facility SunTribe wants to build on 36 acres. There will also be a presentation on the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The meeting will be held at the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center in Fork Union. (meeting packet)
  • The Greene County Board of Supervisors will meet at 6:30 p.m. in person. (meeting agenda)
The 3 megawatt solar field would be on 36 acres

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Albemarle Supervisors to review strategic plan, Rio Corridor Study

This month, Albemarle is holding two work sessions in addition to one regular meeting. As the budget cycle nears, staff will check in with the strategic plan. There are nine major goals which are used to justify capital expenditures ranging from climate protection to broadband expansion. No materials are available in advance, but if you’re interested in what the report may look like there is a report from November 2020

There will also be an update on the Rio Road Corridor Study which had an extensive public input period in September. 

“This project moves us to create conversations with you to understand the different ways you use (or wish to use) and experience the Rio Corridor,” reads the project website. “This information enables us to collaboratively create and implement solutions that not only meet your current needs but have a lasting positive impact on our community.”

Crozet CAC seeks topics

Now that the Crozet Master Plan is on its way to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration on October 20, there’s time for the Crozet Community Advisory Committee to spend on other topics. At their meeting tonight at 7 p.m., chair Allie Pesch is seeking input from members about what the group should focus on in the next few months. (meeting info)

Legislative candidates offer views

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia will hold a forum at 1:30 p.m. for the various candidates for the House of Delegates in the area. This meeting will be held virtually due to the pandemic. Registration in advance is required. (register)

Participating are: 

In other meetings:

  • The James River Water Authority will meet at 9 a.m. in the Morris Room of the Fluvanna County Administration Building in Palmyra. (agenda)

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Charlottesville School Board candidate forum

There are five candidates on the ballot for three seats on the Charlottesville School Board this election. Two parent organizations will hold a virtual candidate forum beginning at 6:30 p.m. that will be facilitate by Daniel Fairley, the city’s Youth Opportunity Coordinator. The organizations are the Black Parents Association and the Charlottesville City School’s Joint PTOQuestions can be submitted here

The candidates are: 

Nelson County candidate forum

There are three seats open on the Nelson County Board of Supervisors this election and two of the races are contested. The Nelson County Homebuilders Association and the Nelson County Chamber of Commerce will host a forum at the Rockfish Valley Community Center at 7 p.m.

In the Central District, challenger Pamela Brice is on the ballot against incumbent Ernie Reed. In the North District, challenger Mary S. Cunningham is facing incumbent Tommy Harvey. East District Supervisor Jesse Ferguson will also appear at the forum. Read more at the Lynchburg News-Advance

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority will meet virtually at 4:45 p.m. to discuss a possible donation of an easement. (meeting info)
  • The Charlottesville Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)
  • The Louisa County Planning Commission will have a work session on towing yards at a meeting which begins at 6 p.m. (meeting info)
  • The Charlottesville Human Rights Commission’s Accessibility Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)
  • The Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board meets at 6:30 p.m.  There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)
  • The Places29-North Community Advisory Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)
  • The Charlottesville Human Rights Commission’s Accessibility Committee meets at 7 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)

Friday, October 15, 2021

There are no meetings today. Or, have I missed one? What else might I have neglected to post this week? Do let me know.

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.