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December 15, 2011

Supervisors deny Redfields expansion

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has denied a rezoning request to expand the Redfields development on land just outside the county’s designated growth area.

“When you weigh all the factors here, this should not be approved,” said Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker.

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Map from the developer depicting the many phases of Redfields. The area requested for rezoning is in the southwest corner

The board voted unanimously to uphold a September recommendation by the Planning Commission against the expansion because they said it would be against the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

The rezoning request was made by developer Gaylon Beights, who sought to build 126 homes on a portion of a 58-acre site.

Beights’ attorney argued the Comprehensive Plan does not have to be changed in order to accommodate the rezoning. The land is zoned as Planned Residential Development – Open Space.

“It was clear in the application plan as far back as 1991 that the intention was to develop it in the future and that’s why it was designated as open space, subject to [rezoning],” said Stephen Blaine, with the firm LeClair Ryan.

Continue reading "Supervisors deny Redfields expansion " »

December 14, 2011

State approves permit changes for water supply’s new earthen dam

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RICHMOND — The Virginia State Water Control Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to support changes to a permit needed for the Charlottesville-Albemarle community water supply plan.

The action is a major victory for supporters of the plan to build a new earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain reservoir. Opponents said they were not surprised by the outcome, but that they would take their concerns next to federal officials.

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W. Shelton Miles (second from right), Chairman, Virginia State Water Control Board

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality staff made a presentation to the board that was followed by a public hearing. More than 20 residents and officials from the Charlottesville area were in attendance, and 16 people spoke to the board.

“I feel gratified that the board has carefully considered the comments that were made today,” said Thomas L. Frederick Jr., executive director of the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority. “They continue to concur with the idea that this is the least environmentally damaging and practicable alternative, that this does comply with the regulations, and that this project should move forward to secure the future of our community.”



Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20111214-VA-SWCB

W. Shelton Miles, the water control board chairman, said he thought the DEQ staff “covered all the pertinent issues.”

“I hope the city, county and the Albemarle County Service Authority are now all ready to move forward with their citizens,” Miles said.

Continue reading "State approves permit changes for water supply’s new earthen dam" »

Live audio streaming of Albemarle Board of Supervisors December 14, 2011 meeting

 

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Charlottesville Tomorrow will be streaming a live audio broadcast of the Wednesday, December 14th meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  

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


Broadcast starts at 3:00 pm, 2011


Stream videos at Ustream

Resignations add to supervisors’ list of seats to fill

DailyProgressBy Kurt Walters
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, December 13, 2011

The resignation of William Daggett, vice chairman of Albemarle County’s Architecture Review Board, has added one more item to the docket of board and commission nominations the county Board of Supervisors will take up in January at the first meeting of the year.

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William Daggett at a July 2011 ARB meeting on the Stonefield development's Regal Cinema

Daggett, who was first appointed to the ARB in 2007, said that an unexpected increase in the amount of travel required for his architecture job with Daggett + Grigg was responsible for his decision.

“It’s fair that they [the ARB] have folks who can be there,” said Daggett in an interview. “My business is taking me away.”

His travel schedule, which he predicted would continue, meant that Daggett had to miss a majority of meetings between late July and December, which he termed a “burden” to the rest of the five-member board in his resignation letter.

The county is currently accepting applications for a replacement to serve the duration of Daggett’s term, which ends in November 2012. Daggett’s seat, like all members of the ARB, is at-large, representing the entire county.

County staff said that the list of applicants would be made public Dec. 30 and that supervisors would make a selection at their first meeting of the new year, on Jan 4.

Continue reading "Resignations add to supervisors’ list of seats to fill" »

City panel recommends approval of critical slopes revision

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 

The Charlottesville Planning Commission voted 5-2 Tuesday to recommend approval of a revision to the city’s critical slopes ordinance.

“This is a good [amendment] because it clarifies the ordinance beyond what we have now,” said Planning Commission chairwoman Genevieve Keller.

The commission has been reviewing the critical-slopes ordinance for nearly two years. The goal has been to make the process for getting a waiver more understandable to the public, city staff and commission.

The current definition of a critical slope is one with a grade of 25 percent or more. Under the amended ordinance, additional criteria have been added.

“Those criteria are that any slope greater than 25 percent and has a horizontal run of 20 feet or a square footage of 6,000 or greater,” said Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of neighborhood development services. “Or that the slope is within 200 feet of a waterway.”

Continue reading "City panel recommends approval of critical slopes revision" »

December 12, 2011

Citizens jump into the master planning process for McIntire Park

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Monday, December 12, 2011

Evening meetings approaching the winter holidays can be a difficult time for any group to engage the public. However, when it comes to the future of the eastern portion of Charlottesville’s McIntire Park, the turnout at Monday’s planning workshop suggests there is tremendous interest, no matter the season.

20111212-McIntirePark-Hess_
Tim Hess, a new Charlottesville resident and landscape architect,
reports on his table's park plan

About 100 people met with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department representatives to begin the process of narrowing down the options for the park’s new master plan. The “planning charette” had participants break into 11 groups to discuss and illustrate their ideas on an outline map.

“We are going to see what the community thinks about potential land uses in the park,” said Brian Daly, Parks & Rec director. “I am excited about tonight. We have had a lot comments and it’s the community’s decision about how this land will get used.”

In October 10 organizations and numerous residents representing bikers, hikers, skateboarders, golfers, botanical garden fans and others made their pitch for the future of the part of McIntire Park lying east of the railroad tracks.

The area is currently home to a nine-hole golf course, a wading pool and the McIntire Skate Park. The park’s Dogwood Vietnam Memorial is expected to remain in its current location. The Meadow Creek Parkway, and its interchange with the U.S. 250 Bypass, are also planned for this area of the park.

Continue reading "Citizens jump into the master planning process for McIntire Park" »

December 11, 2011

Meadows residents seek protection from Stonefield traffic

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, December 11, 2011

Residents of Charlottesville’s Meadows neighborhood have expressed concern that their streets may be overwhelmed by traffic generated by the Stonefield commercial center currently under construction in Albemarle County.

“We’ve got a lot of concerns about people being tempted to avoid all of the traffic congestion,” said James Chang, president of the Meadows Neighborhood Association. “We all know that Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29 is not the best intersection to try to get through.”

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Signage and a "pork-chop" barrier are two of the tools city staff will use to try to keep traffic down in the Meadows neighborhood once Stonefield is built (Photo: Sabrina Schaeffer/The Daily Progress)

Chang made his comments at City Council’s final neighborhood meeting of 2011 on Thursday. The events are designed to give residents a chance to ask questions of councilors and city staff in an informal setting.

The Meadows neighborhood is located in northwestern Charlottesville.

“We have always kind of felt like an orphan neighborhood,” Chang said. “We’re in between Georgetown Road, Hydraulic Road, U.S. 29 and Barracks Road.”Edens & Avant, the developer of Stonefield, expects to hold a grand opening for the first phase of the project in November 2012. That will include a movie theater, several restaurants and a Trader Joe’s grocery store.

One of the main entrances for Stonefield will be located directly across from Cedar Hill Road, a major thoroughfare in the Meadows neighborhood.

Continue reading "Meadows residents seek protection from Stonefield traffic " »

December 10, 2011

Low bid for new earthen dam comes in at $21.5 million

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority has received nine bids for the construction of an earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir. The lowest bid came from Thalle Construction Co., based in Hilsborough, N.C., for $21,528,750.50 million.

The low bid falls within the range of recent cost estimates for the construction of the first phase of the dam, which would raise the reservoir pool by 30 feet. The highest bid was for almost $28.5 million.

The RWSA board of directors could award a contract at its next meeting on Dec. 28. However, construction of the dam still requires the blessing of state and federal officials and a cost-sharing arrangement between the city of Charlottesville and the Albemarle County Service Authority.

Continue reading "Low bid for new earthen dam comes in at $21.5 million" »

December 08, 2011

Consultant to explore whether Albemarle regulations preclude 4G service

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has voted to pay a consultant to determine if the county’s existing policy on cell towers will impede implementation of the next generation of wireless communications services. 

“We’re being told by [those] who represent carriers interested in providing 4G [service] that in order to do it effectively they need to have a tower that’s ten feet higher than currently permitted,” Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker said. “Those are the kinds of things I think we want to get an outside view on.” 

Supervisors voted to spend up to $12,000 from their reserve fund to pay the firm Kreines & Kreines to prepare a study for what changes might be necessary to make it easier for firms to locate new towers. The same firm authored the county’s current policy, which was adopted in December 2000. 

The policy places visibility as the number one criteria for whether a tower location is approved. 

“Staff believes the industry and the public do want wireless service in all parts of the county without sacrificing those unique features of Albemarle County which make it a special place,” said Bill Fritz, the county’s chief of current development. 

Continue reading "Consultant to explore whether Albemarle regulations preclude 4G service" »

December 07, 2011

Live audio streaming of Albemarle Board of Supervisors December 7, 2011 meeting

 

Donate_white Can you help with a small gift to keep this broadcast ad-free

Charlottesville Tomorrow will be streaming a live audio broadcast of the Wednesday, December 7, 2011 meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  

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


Broadcast starts at 9:00 am on December 7, 2011


Stream videos at Ustream