there goes the neighborhood

LHS Red Devil cafeteria
slide presenting a fraction of the 1000’s of acres of habitat to be destroyed for solar “farms” on the Northern Neck of Virginia.

“We must recognize the serious nature of the industrial solar farm threat and strongly urge that our local planning commissions and boards of supervisors reject proposals for solar farms in zoning districts that are intended to preserve farmland and forestland​.” Essex County Conservation Alliance

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?

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.

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/

    Non-conforming use

    South elevation
    1307 East Market. The City’s website gives the date of this building’s construction as 1920.
    West elevation
    It has been there for many years.
    Once upon a time it was open for breakfast. For the past 15 years Jinx Kern opened it for lunch.
    Once upon a time it was open for breakfast. For the past 15 years Jinx Kern opened it for lunch.
    TV Corner
    It was a storied place, a repository of 20th Century cultural ephemera and excellent barbeque.
    gone
    The building was knocked down in May. (photo by neighbor Greg Gelburd)

    Five men

    MCWWTP
    Coleman, Davis, Michie, Scribner and Weinberg. Who were these five men? 55 years ago Council didn’t entertain “matters from the public” or make announcements about Women’s Equality Day. This Monday in January ’58 Councilors were considering legislation that would open the gates to a flood of Federal money that would wash away one neighborhood and blanket a second with stank.
    How were those decisions made?
    Historians- write our small town’s zoning history!

    RESOLVED THAT JAMES E BOWEN JR., CITY MANAGER OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA BE AND HE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO EXECUTE ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE SAID APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL GRANT FOR SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS
    UNDER U. S. C. 466 ET SEQ. IT BEING THE AGREEMENT OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE THAT IF A FEDERAL GRANT FOR THE PROJECT IS MADE PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (33 U. S. C. 466 ET SEQ.), THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE WILL PAY THE REMAINING COST OF THE APPROVED PROJECT; AND THAT THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE WILL PROVIDE PROPER AND EFFICIENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APPROVED PROJECT AFTER COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF.
    MR. DAVID J. WOOD JR. ADDRESSED THE COUNCIL AND PRESENTED THE WORKABLE PROGRAM FOR URBAN RENEWAL AS PREPARED BY HARLAND BARTHOLOMEW AND ASSOCIATES. ON MOTION BY MR. WEINBERG, SECONDED BY MR. MICHIE, THE MAYOR WAS AUTHORIZED TO EXECUTE THE LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL TO THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY.
    –Charlottesville City Council Minutes, January 6, 1958