By Courtney Beale
Saturday, March 31, 2012
A workshop this week brought together local planners and the public to discuss updates to the comprehensive plans for the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission sought feedback on historic and scenic resources. It also heard about the importance of rural viewsheds and the desire to protect historic sites not tied to Thomas Jefferson.
Attendees of Thursday’s workshop stressed the importance of balancing private property rights with preservation.
“It’s a thorny issue,” said John Pfaltz, a member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transportation Plan citizen advisory committee. “Everything that is old is not historic; everything that is old should not be preserved. How do you decide?”
Amanda Burbage, a TJPDC planner who works on the Many Plans, One Community project, named tax incentives and education for homeowners as possible resources.
“I think the goals [of the city and county comprehensive plans] already try to balance protecting private property rights through things like encouragement of historic preservation instead of restriction,” Burbage said.
Members of the Crozet community were also present to ensure that Crozet’s historic and scenic goals were included in the update.
“This is a timely topic for us because we want to designate the downtown Crozet area as a historic district through the state process,” said Tim Tolson, president of the Crozet Community Association.