utility scale solar factories

LanCoVa Courthouse

I attended a Lancaster County Planning Commission meeting September 16. One of the items of business was edits to the draft Chapter 6 of the LanCoVa Comprehensive Plan.

The Commissioners voted to strike what I considered to be good and necessary language from their Comp Plan.

Why did I consider the language important? Take the time to watch this video from WTVR.

Comprehensive plans should support the residents and the environment of an area, not the rich and powerful.

Cville Plans Together

west view Carlton Avenue 2003
March 1 City Council endorsed the affordable housing plan, the lead piece of the three part Cville Plans Together effort. The three easy pieces, the housing plan, a rewritten “Comprehensive” plan and a rewritten zoning ordinance. Who will make the money from this effort? Who will loose?
Carlton Views III under construction
The 4.86 acre H.T.Ferron plant, once zoned for manufacturing, is now zoned for PUD. No one agrees what PUD is. That is what is so wonderful about PUD. You see what you want to see. Possibly we’ll rezone the entire city PUD?

Rassawek today

Point of Fork
People are busy. In the fog of current events bad things are happening. Help stop this one, James River Water Authority’s attempt to push the Monacan people out of history…

The Army Corps is seeking public comments until midnight tonight, Sunday June 7, 2020

Please write to the Corps and tell them you do not support this project and ask them to choose an alternative pipeline terminus that does not destroy Rassawek.
Email your comments to:

Include your name and address;
State opposition to JRWA’s permit application, it is not in the public interest.
State that Rassawek should be preserved as an important part of national, Virginia, and tribal history.
Request a public hearing on the permit application.
Request that the Corps prepare an environmental impact statement because of the intensity of the proposed impacts to Rassawek; and
Send a copy of your comments to:

To learn more, visit:

Save Rassawek

If you are too busy to write, sign the petition:

Preservation Virginia listed Rassawek on their “2020 VIRGINIA’S MOST ENDANGERED HISTORIC PLACES” report saying:

Rassawek, the historic capital and sacred site of the Monacan Indian Nation, located at the confluence of the Rivanna and James River in Fluvanna County, is in danger of destruction by a water intake system proposed by the James River Water Authority.

Rassawek contains significant archaeological deposits and potentially likely burials, and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Virginia. The Monacan Indian Nation as well as many organizations have voiced their opposition; however, the permitting process for the water project is moving forward.

About the proposed water station, Chief Branham of the Monacan Indian Nation stated, “Rassawek was the place to which all other Monacan towns throughout our expansive former territory in Virginia and North Carolina came to pay tribute, perform ceremonies, and share the joys of family and fellowship. Our capital city was a contemporary of Jamestown, but much larger and more complex, and it lasted as a community far longer. It remains for us a sacred place of great cultural significance, and it is for all Americans a place a historical significance. Surely, the many Monacan ancestors buried at Rassawek deserve to remain in peace. If the Monacan people ever decide their site may be excavated, it should be done carefully and collaboratively over decades, as has been done at Jamestown and Werowocomoco – not destroyed with salvage archaeology.”

On alternatives to the water station, Chief Branham stated, “The project proponents have been compelled by the federal government to identify a dozen routes as an alternative to their current plan, but they persist in pursuing the one that would destroy the heart of Rassawek. The Monacan Nation has expressed public support for exploration of one of those routes, in particular, because we believe it has the greatest chance of delivering water to that community without sacrificing irreplaceable history and disturbing burials on sacred ground. We will work with all parties to advance investigation of this alternative.
Those who say one cannot have both development and preservation offer a false choice.”

While Preservation Virginia does not oppose Louisa and Fluvanna Counties’ needs for a new water source, alternative locations exist for the water intake project. Preservation Virginia encourages the James River Water Authority to locate the pump station at a different site that suits local water needs and does not destroy this significant and sacred place.

In a state that prides itself on preserving history, Native American heritage has too often been overlooked, and in some cases, deliberately destroyed. This legacy of neglect makes it even more crucial to preserve Rassawek.

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.
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)