I appreciate your efforts to address displacement pressure, it is a great challenge.
People need safe places.
I think of the decades of back and forth with the Council and the Commission over the disposition of a handful of lots on Market Street and you all are contemplating catalytic changes to thousands of lots.
I hope you are as wise as Solomon. I pray that your recommendation to Council doesn’t have as many unanticipated/untoward effects on our City as the arrival of the automobile.
As you strive to do good strive also to limit the damage.
The City is a sensitive living thing.
The implementation of the draft zoning ordinance will further decrease the City’s shrinking tree canopy. How low can the canopy percentage go? The code writers say we can’t ask developers for more than 20% canopy coverage, the State’s maximum requirement.
But developers and landlords can be incentivized,
the code’s green-scape zones and setbacks can be adjusted
and we can ask our City Councilors to join us in this goal.
Look at the money. The City takes in 100 million in real estate tax, the city spends one thousandth of that planting trees.
We talk the green City talk, let’s start walking the walk.
Trees and density can coexist, you just act. Plant a $10 tree in the ground, care for it, and step back.
In 1975 the City had a plan to plant a multitude of trees in the commons, in the right of way. In the Woolen Mills 90 trees would line East Market Street from Firefly to the Rivanna. Shade, walkability, habitat, carbon sequestration, oxygen production, stormwater control! Of the 90 trees, one has been planted at 1606 E Market.
Square that lack of follow through with the Standards and Design Manual chapter 9.6.4 which reads
“Trees must be installed along all rights-of-way regardless of location of overhead or underground utilities.”
Ask the City to plant the commons and to support designs that incorporate nature in housing plans.
I am a small scale, affordable housing provider going for 100% canopy.
We can get this done.
In the words of Wangari Muta Maathai:
“We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment.”
“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.”
Quercus michauxii- in its final Autumn the progenitor swamp chestnut oak had a prolific mast year, it created and released thousands of acorns, too many for the squirrels and bluejays to carry away. Several hundred of the acorns sprouted and made it to yearling status. Deer grazed many of the saplings out of existence. These three remain, the largest individuals in a thicket of QUMI.