Apex Energy-SouthernDevelopment-McDonough v Quercus

tree lined street
Garrett Street in Charlottesville, between Ridge Street and Avon, has excellent “green infrastructure”. It is a canopy street. Trees provide shade and shelter, and lower temperatures in the summer.

green city ideology
In 2006 the Charlottesville City Council adopted a 2025 Vision. Item five of the eight point vision was “A Green City”

voting on street elements
The City adopted a plan in 2016 to guide the morphology of its streets. Citizens were involved in the development of the plan. People like canopy trees. Shade is a necessity in a southern city if you intend to walk in the summertime.

Plan 6010 student
The Garrett Street trees have been celebrated over the years.

In the last decade development pressure has focused on this corridor. But still, in the time of COVID-19, a number of the trees remain. (construction workers maintaining distance).

Garret Street stumps
This past week, seven Garrett Street corridor Pin Oaks were dispatched. 10-15,000 square feet of shade gone. Over a million leaves, gone. Carbon sequestration gone.
Apex Energy is building an eight storey energy efficient structure to the south of the stumps . The landscape plan for Apex’s new corporate headquarters shows these noble oaks being replaced by pagoda dogwoods, a flowering plant, a small deciduous shrub that grows to twenty feet, with a trunk up to six inches in diameter. Token trees.

The proposed plantings will not provide the environmental services that these trees brought to our City. This canopy street destruction is deeply discouraging.

screenshot from search for 2025 vision
According to talk on the street, the Apex building is being designed by William McDonough + Partners, two thoughtful companies…
Sometimes green is not green.

home port

Watermen have been oystering from the Callis jetty in Town Creek since 1957. Earlier this year the jetty sold. The idea was, the new owner might could provide the watermen a place to work from, continuing a 60+ year tradition. Hasn’t happened yet. Watermen have been told, at least for now, to move on.

barges and dumpster
The watercraft currently tied up at Callis’ jetty are largely utilitarian. Barges. Can you distinguish them from their land cousin, the dumpster?

Missing the watermen.

Loser

The LanCoVa Supervisors voted unanimously to grant a special exception for an industrial use (marine construction) in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I am dumbstruck, in search of a land use guru who can explain how this action was anything other than arbitrary and capricious given the existing Lancaster County zoning code.