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November 17, 2011

Dredging supporters optimistic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will consider new information on water plan

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, November 17, 2011
UPDATED 9:39 AM

The 50-year community water supply plan for Charlottesville-Albemarle has the support of the majority of local officials today. The recent elections, which will change the makeup of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council come January, indicate that support should persist in 2012.

However, no plan for a new earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir can move forward without the blessing of state and federal officials and a cost-sharing arrangement between the two localities.

This week, Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan released a letter sent to the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal regulators the group has lobbied to suspend or revoke previously approved permits so a new water plan can be developed.

“Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan has for years questioned many of the assumptions on which the dam and pipeline project are based,” said the group’s Rebecca Quinn. “The evidence is now clear with new studies, one on water demand and another on dredging, that every assumption has been invalidated. We do believe a re-evaluation is warranted.”

Continue reading "Dredging supporters optimistic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will consider new information on water plan " »

County planners support location for Sunset-Fontaine Connector

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Albemarle Planning Commission agreed Tuesday that the developer of the Granger property is proceeding in the right direction as it plots out a portion of the proposed Sunset-Fontaine Connector.

“The consensus is that the alignment is fine,” said Duane Zobrist, chairman of the commission.

Stribling Holdings LLC is developing a plan to build 79 single family homes on the property using the land’s existing residential zoning.

“While the Comprehensive Plan does recommend that this property be developed as an office-service [center], the applicant has chosen to submit a by-right development,” said senior planner Megan Yaniglos.

However, the applicant is willing to build the portion of the connector that would travel along its land. This section of the road would travel from Sunset Avenue Extended and would connect with the existing Stribling Avenue Extended, terminating at a one-lane railroad underpass. Plans show bike lanes on either side and a sidewalk on the western side.

The University of Virginia Foundation reserved land for the road on the other side of the tracks as part of a 2010 rezoning that allowed for the expansion of the Fontaine Research Park. However, there are currently no plans to move forward for that expansion.

Continue reading "County planners support location for Sunset-Fontaine Connector " »

November 16, 2011

County planners recommend approval of road for new development at Clifton Lake

 

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has recommended that the developers of a new 30-unit subdivision near the Clifton Inn be given permission to fill in the flood plain in order to strengthen an existing pond dam.

2011116-Clifton-Lake-Map

Country Inns Extraordinaire Inc. sought a special use permit for the fill, which will allow them to build a road across the top of the dam that creates Clifton Lake to satisfy one of the requirements of a 1978 rezoning that allowed for the residential development.

That rezoning required the developer to provide for a second entrance to alleviate traffic pressure on Shadwell Road, which currently serves the Shadwell Estates neighborhood with an entrance onto a congested U.S. 250.

Without the requirement, all traffic from the development would have had to use Shadwell Road. The developer has spent many years trying to come up with a solution.

The new road across the dam would allow the developer to connect the new subdivision to North Milton Road via Randolph Mill Lane.

“This is fulfilling that requirement of the board for the rezoning,” said county engineer Glen Brooks. “It’s a road we’ve anticipated for the county for a long time.”

Continue reading "County planners recommend approval of road for new development at Clifton Lake" »

November 15, 2011

Granger property to be developed by-right; connector road part of plans

 

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A key undeveloped parcel adjacent to the University of Virginia’s Fontaine Research Park will be built upon at a much lower density than what was called for in Albemarle County’s comprehensive plan

Granger-image
Source: Albemarle County (Click to enlarge)

Stribling Holdings LLC has opted to not seek a rezoning for the development of the 69.4-acre Granger property. That process would have allowed the county to negotiate with the developer to pay for new infrastructure in exchange for the rezoning. 

“It is a by-right development, so we can’t require them to propose a rezoning even though that’s what the comprehensive plan calls for,” said county planner Megan Yaniglos. 

A 2004 planning document known as the Area B study called for “a new neighborhood center on the Granger property, with small scale mixed-use.” 

The company will instead use the existing residential zoning to build 74 single-family units on the land, which is immediately south of Fontaine Research Park. 

Continue reading "Granger property to be developed by-right; connector road part of plans" »

November 13, 2011

Electric cars made in America, driven in Charlottesville

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, November 13, 2011

It’s not every day that a nationally recognized business and political leader comes to town to announce he is going to manufacture a new American car.

A battery powered electric car.

MyCar-2x400
The all electric MyCar.  Photo provided by GreenTech Automotive

The offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs is a story about which we are all familiar. Some argue that America should focus increasingly on innovation and intellectual property. Then find cheap foreign labor to manufacture the products we invent, and that American consumers desire.

Terence R. McAuliffe, a candidate in Virginia’s 2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has turned that equation around. He bought technology invented in China, and he’s opening the factory in America.

McAuliffe says he wants electric automobiles to be both affordable and built by U.S. workers, especially workers in economically depressed areas.

“We have some great electric cars out there, but they are expensive,” McAuliffe said in an interview. “I want the masses to be able to buy our car.”

Continue reading "Electric cars made in America, driven in Charlottesville" »

November 10, 2011

VDOT delays addendum for Western Bypass RFP; Federal government postpones further right-of-way acquisition

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Companies developing bids to both design and build the Western Bypass of U.S. 29 will have to wait a little longer to learn what new items the Virginia Department of Transportation will require in their proposals. 

A request for proposals was advertised in late September and an addendum that incorporates input from the public was to have been issued on Tuesday. 

“The addendum [to the RFP] has been delayed while VDOT reviews the resolutions received this week from Albemarle County,” said Lou Hatter, spokesman for the agency’s Culpeper District. 

A task force convened by Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker generated more than two dozen requests for how the road should be designed to reduce the impact along the 6.2-mile route and its two interchanges. 

“I’m pleased that they are delaying it because it indicates they are seriously considering the requests we made,” Rooker said. 

Continue reading "VDOT delays addendum for Western Bypass RFP; Federal government postpones further right-of-way acquisition" »

November 09, 2011

Live audio streaming of Albemarle Board of Supervisors November 9, 2011 meeting

 

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Charlottesville Tomorrow will be streaming a live audio broadcast of the November 9, 2011 work session of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. 

Click here to view agenda materials from Albemarle County's website.


Broadcast starts at 4:00 pm


Stream videos at Ustream

November 08, 2011

Council removes option for Woolen Mills pump station

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Charlottesville City Council has directed its representatives on the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority to vote against an option that would site and expand a new regional pump station at the station’s current location in the city’s Riverview Park.

“This is what I asked them to do back in April and I’m glad they’ve finally done it,” said Victoria Dunham, president of the Woolen Mills Neighborhood Association.

The RWSA has been evaluating three options to replace the Rivanna pump station, which currently does not have enough capacity to handle wastewater after heavy rainfall.The agency entered into a consent decree with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requiring it to select one of the options by Dec. 31.

“The goal is to control sanitary sewer overflows, which is a very important environmental goal,” said Thomas L. Frederick Jr., executive director of the RWSA.

Continue reading "Council removes option for Woolen Mills pump station" »

November 07, 2011

City Council candidates on the Meadowcreek Parkway

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com
image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, EIGHTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comIf the federal lawsuit opposing the construction of the grade-separated interchange for the Meadow Creek Parkway is unsuccessful, will you support completion of the parkway?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

This has been a no-win topic on either side, whether you are for or against the parkway. I come down on the side that I support completion of the parkway and that’s going to earn the bane of a lot of people that don’t want that parkway going through Mr. McIntire’s legacy.

Let me pose this. There are so many ways to look at this.  Yes. McIntire Park is one hell of a legacy. I don’t see the parkway detracting from Mr. McIntire’s legacy. If we want to talk about a most notable figure in this city’s history,  how he viewed things and what he would like to remembered for and his legacy, I mean, it could be hinted that well, why not bring the World’s Fair to the City of Charlottesville? It all goes to that turn of the century mentality of city beautification. What is in the eye of the beholder?

If the grade-separated interchange for Meadow Creek Parkway is unsuccessful, well, what do we want to do? Do we want to run it through there and put up a stop light like we’ve done with so many interchanges along that beautiful main street U.S 29 road from Hydraulic on out to Hollymead? Come on, common sense people, common sense.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

I won’t, though it’s hard to say after the lawsuit what any next step in having the road be done would be.  Now if there is a majority on council that wants a new approach when it comes to the road, I think we can make that happen and I would be in favor of making that happen. 

Continue reading "City Council candidates on the Meadowcreek Parkway" »

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their qualifications

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

 Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, EIGHTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comPlease describe your past experience that qualifies you to be on Albemarle Board of Supervisors?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

I am a 30-year resident of Albemarle County and a husband, father, and grandfather.  All four of my children were educated in Albemarle County Public Schools, and I have been active in this community for all of those 30-years as a neighborhood leader, a youth coach, an education advocate, parent council member, PTO president, and on community service boards. 

I was elected in the Rivanna district as a representative on the school board and spent four years in that position.  For the last eight years I’ve been a member of the board of supervisors.  My formal education includes both a BBA and an MBA.  I spent 23-years as a corporate executive in the banking business before starting my own small financial planning company 20-years ago. 

These local, life, education, business and civic experiences are what position me to be the most qualified person to continue representing the Rivanna district.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) – Challenger

…I started in business with a friend, but then I ultimately ended up at the IBM corporation….I picked it because it was an ethical company.  I picked it because it was one of the first companies that had a woman vice-president, that was the first companies that … that embraced … hiring black employees before there were rules that you had to.  They did domestic partner benefits before it was trendy to do so.  They really did believe in respect for the individual in those kind of things… I had about 29 careers while I worked at IBM.  I learned that there was really no limits.  I could almost do and be who I wanted to be and it was – there was really it was a merit-based system, I was held accountable for results, and I was recognized for results.  The last…decade of my career with IBM I had responsibility for large, global organizations. …

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their qualifications" »