Franklin Hill

preserved slope

Tuesday April 9 at 6:00 PM the Albemarle Planning Commission will hear a request to remove protective zoning from a forested hillside in the east Belmont Carlton neighborhood. The request comes on behalf of Elemental Ecotech, the owner of the property, who see the island of green at the perimeter of their recently denuded site as an impediment to their development efforts.
The applicant has an approved site plan for the bare dirt area showing 3.32 acres of impervious surface (12 buildings + sidewalks, roads and parking). The trees at the perimeter of the lot have survived because they are on hillsides protected by the Albemarle County’s preserved slopes overlay (Albemarle County Code 30.7)

2016 aerial, before site grading began

County staff have previously determined that the property can be developed with the protective zoning overlay in place, but staff is now recommending the approval of the zoning change.
Why do we care?
Development will occur on this site, but it must be done as thoughtfully as possible.
Ask Albemarle to be sensitive to global warming, stormwater runoff, natural habitat and native flora and fauna.
Ask Albemarle to preserve our cultural and natural assets, those things we love about our home, Piedmont Virginia.

parks and greenways
Southern and Western Urban Neighborhoods Master Plan. The arrow points towards a crescent shape, next to the purple, which contains the preserved steep slope.

This part of Central Virginia is magical. The forested hillside in question is less than a mile from Monticello, less than a mile from the point where the Rivanna River flows through the Southwest Mountains.
There is much to be gained by smart, thoughtful considerate guidance provided to future development by Albemarle County officials. Careful planning here represents a further step toward regional cooperation, everybody wins. (Franklin Street is the boundary between City and County).

the hill has existed for millenia

Please!
Consider writing the Albemarle County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors:
PlanningCommission@albemarle.org
bos@albemarle.org
Ask them:

  • to leave the hillside and trees alone.
  • to be careful when developing next to the flood plain, next to an impaired stream
  • to be respectful of the quality of life for neighbors
  • don’t want this

    Consider attending and speaking at the public hearing, County Office Building, 401 McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902. 6:00PM April 9.
    p.s. This is the 2nd time there has been a request to remove slopes on this parcel.
    The first time was in 2015. http://woolenmillsneighborhood.org/blog/wmna-board-franklin-hill-letter/

    Corridor Plan

    Last Friday the Rivanna River Basin Commission held a conference for Community leaders, local government officials, developers, builders, financial investors, conservation and environmental organization personnel, and the public-at-large.
    The idea is to educate and encourage the leadership and the electorate so we pursue
    “Develop(ing) a Corridor Plan to guide decision making related to preservation and use of the Rivanna River.”

    From the county side:
    Three of the Supervisors were on hand (A.Mallek, L. Palmer, N. Dill) + one planning commissioner (T. Keller)
    From the City side
    no Councilors or Planning Commissioners.
    Disappointing!

    Second phase of drafting Rivanna River Corridor Plan begins–Charlottesville Tomorrow–Emily Hays

    red clay

    Circus grounds
    We had heavy rain in the Rivanna watershed May30-31. I’d like to time travel, see such a rain event when the Monacan People were in charge of land-use locally. Would the river rise to the same degree? Would it carry the same sediment load?
    Charlottesville has a 4.2 mile waterfront but it is not easy to access. The one official access point in the City limits, Riverview Park, was closed this morning around 8:00AM.
    Riverview Park, photo before closure by Robin Hanes

    Associated water bodies back up as well, this is Moores Creek next to the Charlottesville Woolen Mill.

    Cosners
    A river in flood is possessed with a lot of energy. Be careful out there!