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.

Carlton Views

phase IV
Work continues on multiple fronts on the Carlton Avenue PUD in East Belmont Carlton on the old 4.855 acre HT Ferron site. When complete the site will have a total of 154 affordable units. The development is happening in phases.
PACE
Phase 1 was the PACE center. Medical care, dental, medications, transportation, physical therapy, and social support. All-inclusive care that helps loved ones stay independent and in their own home. All-inclusive Healthcare. Currently they are closed.
Phase II was Carlton Views I. 48 Units I think. All affordable, all leased up…
Phase III, Carlton Views II is currently under construction.
Not sure regarding how many units. 48? 54? Will check. All affordable…
Phase IV, Carlton Views III will sit on the eastern-most edge of the lot. This piece of concrete is currently being busted up and removed to make way for the 3rd building of 48/54? affordable units. Will check
xxxxxxx. Place holder here. The quality of “open space” provided to residents remains to be seen.

broken promise?

Developer of Carlton Views III is hoping that the Planning Commission will allow a departure from their proffer: Proffer 3(f) states: “The Landowners shall retain the existing tree canopy on the east side of the Subject property, adjacent to Franklin Street, within an area designated as open space for the PUD.” To date the City has shown low expectations regarding this developer’s work product. (If you’d like to know more DM me, Planning Commission will decide last thing tonight)

the stage

Charlottesville matters
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.— W.Shakespeare

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.