Week Ahead

Week Ahead for February 3, 2020

Good morning, and welcome to another quick look forward at what’s happening at local meetings in Albemarle, Charlottesville and beyond. February gets off to a quick start and here’s what we know so far. As always, please let us know what we might have missed. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Charlottesville City Council begins its first meeting of the month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The agenda for tonight covers both land use and social justice issues. 

The first public hearing deals with the $5.8 million surplus left at the end of fiscal year 2019, which ended last June. Council first discussed this at their last meeting on January 21, and made some adjustments at the budget retreat on January 23. Still in the resolution is $1.25 million for a compensation study as well as $700,000 in additional money for the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund. (staff report)

Council will then take up the form based code for a portion of the Strategic Investment Area. In January, the Planning Commission had their public hearing and sent the plan on with several concerns. This is the first of two readings by Council, so a final decision won’t be made at this meeting. (staff report

After a discussion about the signs at the Dairy Central development, Council will take up the report on disproportionate minority contact in the adult criminal justice system. The firm MGT Consulting Group has completed a report on the topic for both Charlottesville and Albemarle County. (staff report)

There are lots of interesting items on the Council consent agenda, which is voted on as one big block at the beginning of the meeting. 

  • Council will vote on a letter of support for the proposed Afton Express Transit Service which would connect Staunton and Charlottesville via a bus route. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission is applying for a state grant for a three-year demonstration of the service. (staff report)
  • PACEM, the organization that houses the homeless during cold winter nights, has asked for $20,000 in funds from the city’s Human Service Funds to cover additional transportation costs. (staff report)
  • Council will approve a sublease agreement to operate the City Market in 2020 on the privately-owned surface parking lot at 100 Water Street. The cost to the city is $99,750 from April to December. Developer Keith Woodard has leased the space from the Charlottesville Parking Center for several years in anticipation of the West 2nd development that has now been abandoned. (staff report)

***

The Louisa Board of Supervisors meets in open session at 6:00 p.m. in the county meeting room. There are no major rezonings on the agenda, but the Board will vote on a proposal to allow representatives of groups to speak for up to five minutes at public hearings. The idea meets all four of the Board’s Strategic Initiatives. Supervisors will also get an update on long-term transportation priorities for Louisa. All 12 of them are intersection improvements. (agenda)

***

The Albemarle Architectural Review Board meets at 1:00 p.m. in Room 241 of the county’s office building on McIntire Road. In the first item, they will review a proposal for a cell tower on U.S. 250 near Crozet. In the second, they’ll hold a work session on the new Malloy Ford. (agenda

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 6:00 p.m. in Lane Auditoriums and has two public hearings, each of which touch upon the county’s growth management policies. In the first, Tiger Fuel is seeking a special use permit to build a gas station, convenience store and restaurant on Black Cat Road at exit 129 on Interstate 64. The property is outside of the county’s development area and is not on public water and sewer. (staff report

In the second, the owners of a 3.6 area property on Stony Point Road on Pantops are seeking a rezoning from residential to commercial so they can open up daycare facility for up to 124 children. While in the development area, the Pantops Master Plan designates part of the land to be Urban Density Residential and the rest as Parks and Green System. Our Neighborhood Child Development Center needs a new home by the summer because their existing site on Ivy Road has been sold. (staff report)

***

The Albemarle Board of Zoning Appeals meets at 2:00 p.m. in Lane Auditorium. On the agenda is a rehearing of a case involving a law office that operates out of a couple’s home in the Rivanna District. (agenda)

The Charlottesville Tree Commission meets at 5:00 p.m. for a two-hour meeting that has 55 minutes scheduled for a discussion of “goals, objectives and committee structures.” According to the city website, the panel is to “serve strictly in an advisory role” to “protect and improve the urban forest.” After that, Commissioners will discuss the Community Forestry Management Plan for 142 acres of new parkland adjacent to the Ragged Mountain Natural Area. Other topics include a future canopy study, an update on the Capital Improvement Program and an item on “upcoming projects that impact trees.” 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has a relatively light meeting to start the month, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Lane Auditorium. (full agenda)   

Housing coordinator Stacy Pethia will give an update on the formation of a new county policy on affordability. Last April, a needs assessment conducted by the the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) found that more than 10,000 Albemarle families struggle with the cost of housing. A stakeholder committee has been meeting since October and a draft policy will be the subject of a joint work session with the Planning Commission in April. (staff report)

The rest of the regular agenda will feature an update on the Bright Stars pre-school program, a report from the Department of Social Services, and a report on the three-month autonomous shuttle program in Crozet operated by Perrone Robotics last year. The county funded the AVNU project through the Economic Development Authority in partnership with Jaunt. 

“During the course of the pilot, safety of operations was paramount,” reads the report. “There were no accidents or unsafe incidents throughout the pilot program.” (report) (funding agreement)

The consent agenda features several items of note:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Since 1972, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission has been in operation to connect and coordinate regional government services. Many agencies in the area got their start as TJPDC programs, such as Jaunt, Jefferson Area Board for Aging, and the Piedmont Housing Alliance. TJPDC staff work on land use, transportation, housing, solid waste, and many other areas of interest to Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson.  

The TJPDC’s work is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors that meets on the first Thursday of each month. Tonight is the first meeting for City Councilor Michael Payne, Albemarle Supervisors Ned Gallaway and Donna Price, and Louisa Supervisor Eric Purcell. The meeting is held at 407 Water Street in downtown Charlottesville beginning at 7:00 p.m. (full packet)

***

The Crozet Master Plan revision continues at 6:30 p.m. with another workshop at Western Albemarle High School. This time the “Character and Land Use” event will discuss neighborhoods and housing. (plan website)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Not quite a government meeting, but we welcome the new U.S. citizens who will be sworn in at a Naturalization Ceremony at the U.S. District Courthouse at 255 West Main Street, beginning at 11:00 a.m. 





Land Use - Albemarle, Land Use - Charlottesville, Week Ahead

Week Ahead for May 6

Welcome to a weekly look at meetings coming up in our community.  As with everything on this secret blog, this is an experiment and not considered official.

Monday:

A busy week kicks off with a series of meetings.

Albemarle’s Architectural Review Board is charged with ensuring new buildings are consistent with the county’s design expectations. On Monday, the five member body will consider a new AutoZone at the corner of U.S. 29 and Westfield Road, as well the expansion of an office building on U.S. 250 west of Crozet. We are watching the latter closely as the building is just outside of the county’s development area. Take a look at the full agenda here.

In Culpeper, Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine will host a public meeting on the state’s six-year improvement program. That fund is one of many sources of revenues for road, bridge, rail, bicycle, pedestrian and public transportation projects in the state. I’m going to take the opportunity to speak with planners about keeping the rural character of several roads in northeastern Albemarle. The meeting begins at 4:00 p.m. in VDOT’s office in Culpeper. Before the meeting, I’m going to participate in a litter clean-up with the Secretary.

Charlottesville City Council has an ambitious meeting agenda with items ranging from an update on the city’s climate action plan to a review of the West Main Streetscape Plan. There will also be proclamations for both Bike Month as well Kids to Parks Day, which is coming up on May 18. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers and can be viewed live through Facebook, the city’s website or Cable Channel 10.

Finally on this busy day, Albemarle will begin a series of events called Climate Mondays as part of the work toward the development of the county’s Climate Action Plan. The first event will discuss energy efficiency and renewable energy in residential buildings, which represents 27 percent of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at room 235 in the County Office Building on McIntire Road.

Tuesday

If you’re interested in transportation projects in Albemarle, have I got a meeting for you.

The Planning Commission will be briefed on two major plans coordinated by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. The first will be a presentation on the Long-Range Transportation Plan, a document that must be updated every five years to tell federal officials what projects are desired by the community. Want to know what this means? Give me a call and I’ll help you understand how it all works.

The second will be a public hearing on the 2019 Jefferson Area Bike and Pedestrian Plan, a document that is a “focused list of regionally-significant bicycle and pedestrian projects that enhance connectivity to residential and economic centers.” Thanks to a grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, my colleague Peter Krebs has been working to develop public support for the plan. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Albemarle County Office Building.

Wednesday

Crozet is gearing up for an update of the master plan that guides future development. The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet at the Field School at 7:00 p.m. for their monthly which will set up the plan’s review. In particular, county planner Andrew Knuppel will brief citizens on what staff’s approach will be to the review. After that, the group will discuss the status of Eastern Avenue, a north-south road that has been called for since the Crozet Master Plan was first adopted in December 2014. I plan to be there and look forward to the discussion.

Thursday

Charlottesville’s PLACE Design Task Force was created in 2012 to advise City Council on urban placemaking. Since then, the group has weighed in on the Belmont Bridge, the West Main Streetscape and other key projects that affect the city. At this meeting, they will discuss the future of planning in the city. Shortly before the city hired Tarron Richardson as its next manager, Council authorized creation of a new position to oversee long range planning.

At the same time, review of Charlottesville’s Comprehensive Plan was put on on hold earlier this year. In early February, Council agreed to spend around $900,000 to hire the new position and to hire a new consultant to complete both the Comprehensive Plan and to begin a rewrite of the zoning ordinance. I am hopeful that I will get an update from staff at the PLACE meeting on Friday, which begins at noon in the Neighborhood Development Services Conference room in Charlottesville City Hall.

Friday (and Saturday)

There is nothing on the agenda, as far as I know, for Friday. This isn’t unusual. But I’ll be working with Peter Krebs to prepare for the Rivanna River Fest. Our friends at the Rivanna Conservation Alliance are holding this event on Saturday, May 11, to bring people downtown to enjoy the waterway that serves as the border between Albemarle and Charlottesville.

Events Include:

  • Underwater Photography at Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center
    Join the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center for a workshop on underwater photography with our cameras. Children and adults can participate. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Your hands will get wet, but your legs don’t have to! Available times: 10 AM and 11:30 AM. Workshop lasts approximately an hour. $5 per person. To register, please email lewisandclark@lewisandclarkvirginia.org
  • Music & Fun at Rivanna River Company

  • Join us for a River celebration at the Rivanna River Company!
  • There will be live music by the Rivanna Roustabouts and Red and the Romantics!
  • Food vendors include: Mexican Tacos, 106 Street Food, and Blue Ridge Creamery
  • Kids Activities: Face-painting, monitoring demonstrations, and more!
  • Shuttles will run from parking at Darden Towe Park (where the morning activities will be held) to the Rivanna River Company from 12:00 – 5:00 pm.

We can’t wait to see you on the river!