WELCOME

  • Charlottesville Tomorrow
    News Center

    The articles on this blog were published during 2005-2012. All of this content has been moved to our new website at www.cvilletomorrow.org
    © 2005-12 Charlottesville Tomorrow
    Our photos have some rights reserved.

Categories

February 09, 2012

Fifth and Avon Center moving forward

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs and Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, February 9, 2012

A proposed retail and commercial center that has been dormant since it was approved in early 2008 could soon be moving forward.

“The 5th and Avon retail center will spur economic development and create 1,200 to 1,500 jobs for residents of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and surrounding areas,” said Alan Taylor, vice president of River Bend Management in an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

The land has remained undeveloped since the Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning in March 2008. Nearly 87 acres of land was changed from light industrial to planned commercial zoning for the project.

Conceptual drawings submitted as part of the rezoning process depicted space for at least two large retail establishments.

“While we cannot discuss specific retailers at this time, we can say we expect to introduce exciting new retailers to the Charlottesville market,” Taylor said.

Continue reading "Fifth and Avon Center moving forward" »

May 05, 2011

Boyd seeks end to Albemarle’s ‘Cool Counties’ initiative and questions joint planning project

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, May 5, 2011

A member of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has called for the county to rescind its membership in a U.N.-backed global organization that advises cities and counties on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are being infiltrated in local government by an agenda that is set by this international organization,” said Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd. “I think it is time that we as a government took back that control.”

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110504-ICLEI

Boyd made a motion Wednesday for the county to cut ties with a group formerly known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI. Over 1,220 local governments have joined the group, including the city of Charlottesville, which in 2003 changed its name to ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability.

Albemarle joined the organization shortly after adopting the Cool Counties initiative in December 2007. That action set a non-binding goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. ICLEI provides its members with software that compiles data so progress towards the goals can be tracked.

Boyd’s motion called for the county to end its participation in the initiative, which has also been adopted by Arlington and Fairfax counties.

“Cool Counties is the real problem here,” Boyd said. “It’s now becoming evident that this initiative was just an extension of the United Nations initiative Agenda 21 which is administered by [ICLEI].”

The motion was seconded by Supervisor Rodney S. Thomas, but Supervisor Dennis Rooker said the initiative was a voluntary effort by the county to encourage the community to reduce carbon emissions.

“In my mind, that’s a good thing,” Rooker said. “This whole thing about international control and one government is in my mind completely ridiculous.”

Rooker pointed out that he has never received a phone call or a letter from anyone from ICLEI lobbying for a particular vote.

Boyd responded by saying ICLEI representatives have been present at conferences attended by staff.

20110504-boyd
Supervisors Rodney Thomas and Ken Boyd

“My concern now is that this is the camel’s nose under the tent,” Boyd said. “It’s even beyond that. I think it’s now a cancer that is infiltrating our local government here.”

At a budget work session in March, Boyd sought to eliminate the $1,200 line item representing the annual cost of the ICLEI membership.  As the only supervisor who was strongly opposed at the time, the funding was ultimately retained in the FY 2012 budget.

Gil Meneses, communications director for ICLEI’s United States branch, said his group does not lobby any of its members.

“We support their local initiatives to become more energy efficient, which saves local governments energy costs and money,” Meneses said in an email.

Meneses added that ICLEI has nothing to do with the Cool Counties initiatives, though many of its members have signed on.

Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center said the county’s efforts to promote sustainable development date back before the signing of Agenda 21.

“Albemarle County has been planning for fiscally and environmentally responsible ways to manage its growth [in] its comprehensive plans as far back as the 1970s,” Butler said. He pointed to the decision to set aside designated growth areas as well as the downzoning of rural land to discourage development.

Boyd withdrew his motion after Rooker asked for it to be placed on a future agenda so staff could answer questions about whether they’ve been influenced by ICLEI.  County Executive Thomas Foley said a work session would be scheduled for June.

Boyd also asked that the board spend time at the work session to discuss the role being played by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission in the ongoing review of the county’s update of its comprehensive plan. The TJPDC received a $999,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of its “Sustainable Communities” initiative.

“If staff wants to bring things to us that they think are wrong or legal changes that need to be made, that’s fine,” Boyd said. “But any other changes we make to our comprehensive plan should come from this board, and not from the TJPDC.”

At recent meetings, the board has received regular criticism of the ICLEI membership from Jefferson Area Tea Party member Charles Battig.  Battig also has called on the public to question the role of TJPDC in the county’s planning efforts.  

“This unelected organization has stated its intention to apply its own version of sustainability benchmarks against all activities of the public, and have its vision of citizen behavioral change and social justice objectives codified in the County Comprehensive Plan,” Battig wrote in a statement provided to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

“We have nothing to do with ICLEI or Cool Counties,” said Steven Williams, the executive director of the TJPDC. “I don’t even know where the idea came from that we were related to them.”

Williams said Albemarle taxpayers would benefit from the county’s participation in the grant.

“This grant is bringing resources to Albemarle County for their comprehensive plan update that would not have been available otherwise, at no cost to the county,” Williams said. “They’re getting $122,000 in staff work without spending a dime.”

Williams added that the Board of Supervisors has the ultimate authority to approve the comprehensive plan.

 

June 22, 2010

Avon Street corridor to get “fresh eyes” from national planning think-tank

By Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

20100622-Avon-Corridor
The ULI study may give hints as to how to coordinate a new  Belmont Bridge with several parcels set for redevelopment near downtown
An international non-profit organization that promotes compact land use practices is set to study possibilities for redeveloping Charlottesville’s Avon Street corridor. City Council approved a resolution Monday allowing staff to negotiate with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) on a spring 2011 study that could cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

“We think we can use [the ULI study] to get some good ideas about bike-pedestrian connections from Belmont to the downtown,” said Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of neighborhood development services. 

Officials with the ULI’s Richmond office recently contacted Tolbert to find out if they required any technical assistance on any upcoming redevelopment projects.

Tolbert said the Avon Street corridor was chosen for the ULI study instead because of several factors. The Belmont Bridge replacement project is being designed. The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is set to purchase a parcel of land at the corner of Avon and Levy.  The recent demolition of the former Charlottesville Lumber/Better Living Mill building leaves a major parcel of land ripe for redevelopment.

Mayor Dave Norris encouraged Tolbert direct the ULI team to consider how Friendship Court and other properties near Avon Street could be tied in as they are considered for redevelopment. 

“That’s not technically Belmont or Avon Street  but it’s part of the whole pattern of development,” Norris said.

Tolbert agreed Friendship Court could become part of the study, which will be conducted over the course of two days next spring. The ULI experts will then deliver a written report within two months of their visit.

Tolbert said he and his staff first considered a study of Cherry Avenue. That corridor
was zoned for mixed use development when the city’s zoning ordinance was rewritten in 2003 to promote higher density.

“We decided we could do better work in house and do it quicker,” Tolbert said. He added he will bring a proposal before the Planning Commission before the end of the summer.

One councilor, Holly Edwards, said she looked forward to the City’s study of the corridor.

“[Cherry Avenue] has been neglected for too long,” Edwards said.

March 13, 2008

County approves major retail development between Fifth & Avon

20080312boswide

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to approve a new retail development south of the City of Charlottesville. The Fifth and Avon Center will bring 470,000 square feet of retail space just south of the City of Charlottesville, in a configuration that will include at least two “big-box” retail stores, as well as a five-story parking structure to serve the site. The property is being developed by Hunter Craig in collaboration with investors who include Coran Capshaw.

Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo


Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 2008080312-BOS-5thAvon.mp3

Siteplan In addition to the site, the County will get a new road called the Bent Creek Parkway that will connect Avon Street with Fifth Street on a route that runs the northern perimeter of the new development along Moores Creek. However, part of the road will traverse an old landfill site.

The approval came despite proffers that were dated March 10, two days before the advertised public hearing. According to its own policy, the Board is supposed to receive final proffers nine days before the public hearing to give both staff and the public the opportunity to review them. However, state law allows for proffers to be updated up until the time when a public hearing is called.

The staff report lists several changes that have been made to the proffers in response to the Board’s work session on January 16, as well as other information requested

  • The developer has guaranteed the shopping center will be built as one phase, though the site plan would include creation of pad sites for later use
  • Developer commits to using green roofing for at least 25% of project as well as rainfall harvesting
  • To allay concerns about the County being liable for any ruptures from the old landfill, the property owner will retain ownership of the section of the Bent Creek Parkway that crosses over the landfill – a permanent easement will be granted
  • The Department of Environmental Quality has approved the developer’s work plan for how to ensure the landfill does not rupture during construction or after
  • Developer proffered that Bent Cark Parkway must be complete before certificate of occupancy can be granted
  • County Transportation Planner Juandiego Wade issued a statement that the Bent Creek Parkway would not contribute to additional congestion at I-64 and Fifth Street, and would ease congestion at some intersections on Route 20. However, Wade’s report also mentions that VDOT will conduct a detailed study on the future capacity of the I-64/5th Street interchange “when their workload permits.”

However, staff recommended denial of the plan despite these changes, pending resolution of several issues. First, there were a series of technical errors that prevents the proffers from being legally acceptable. County Attorney Larry Davis said the March 10 revisions corrected those mistakes. Cilimberg said the revisions did not address staff’s outstanding concerns.

Those remaining concerns included:

  • Whether the Architectural Review Board would retain control over certain aspects of the plan, including approval of any illuminated signs
  • Because occupancy permits will depend on the completion of the Bent Creek Parkway, City engineering staff must sign off on road signals and transportation improvements, such as its intersection with Fifth Street. However, if for some reason the City misses certain deadlines for responding to developer correspondence on these improvements, proffers to fund their construction would not be guaranteed. Staff also questions who would be responsible for right of way acquisition
  • If site plan needs to be changed to meet County’s stream ordinances, further rezoning may be needed

Before Chairman Ken Boyd (Rivanna) opened the public hearing, Supervisor Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett) asked if the public hearing would need to be delayed if a new proffer was suggested by developer in response to staff concerns. That prompted some discussion of whether the people who had signed up to speak should be heard, if the Board was forced to delay the public hearing to satisfy its policy. Boyd invited Stephen Blaine of LeClair Ryan, counsel for the developer, up to the podium to discuss staff concerns before the public hearing was called.

Blaine waived the traditional presentation, and instead used his time to address the concerns. He told Slutzky that the proffers require the landfill mitigation work to be conducted according to the DEQ work plan. He added that the development would meet or exceed the requirements of the ARB, and that the ARB would have to approve each sign. 

Eight people spoke during the public hearing. The first six all reside in the southern end of the County, and welcome the chance to have a grocery store and home improvement store closer to their home.

Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center said his organization has been following the development closely, and could not recommend it unless the big box stores were required to be two-story. He added the development would increase traffic, and that the developer should be required to contribute to a fund to pay for improvements elsewhere in the road network. Butler also said he was troubled by the Board’s practice of allowing proffers to be altered up until the public hearing is called.

Jeff Werner of the Piedmont Environmental Council said the project would end up impacting the County due
to increased traffic, and could hurt the City as well.

“It’s frustrating as a City resident to watch Albemarle County just sort of slowly change the perimeter of the beautiful City of Charlottesville into a sort of Anywhere USA Big Box,” Werner said, lamenting what he perceives as the region’s transformation into Northern Virginia.

After the public hearing, Supervisor Lindsay Dorrier (Scottsville) said he supported the project because it would mean more money would be spent in Albemarle County, rather than Augusta County. One speaker during the public hearing had mentioned her neighbor travels to Waynesboro rather than shopping along Route 29 in Albemarle.

Slutzky said he did not think the project would generate traffic, but instead would transfer traffic away from Route 29 by giving residents of southern Albemarle more choices. He praised the developer for proffering green roofing technologies, which was not required.  “a particularly high quality project,” he said.

Rooker said the project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and took issue with Werner’s characterization of the project.

“If you drive around Route 3 in Fredericksburg, you’re not going to see anything like this project, which is surrounded by a significant green buffer, is very sensitive to the streams, incorporates trails, has a good pedestrian plan within the project,” Rooker said. He added that the site could allow multi-story buildings.

Thomas said she lost the battle with her fellow Supervisors when the County changed the Comprehensive Plan designation for the property in 2004 to allow for this use. “So, having lost it, I think I’m about to vote for my first big box, because I think the transit provisions, the pedestrian, the bike network, the other environmental  aspects. Have we pushed as hard as we could? Could we have gotten something even more special? We’ll never know, but this is certainly the best that we’ve seen and I’m excited that it’s going to set a good standard.”

TIMELINE FOR PODCAST

  • 1:04 - Staff report from Wayne Cilimberg, detailing the changes in the plan since the January 16 work session
  • 11:43 - Cilimberg reviews staff recommendation
  • 13:01 - Supervisor Slutzky expresses concern that he has not seen a copy of the work plan to secure the landfill
  • 15:09 - Supervisor Thomas asks questions about the "tree-islands" staff is recommending be placed between every ten spaces in the surface parking lot, as well as questions on pedestrian-friendliness of the development
  • 16:41 - Supervisor Rooker asks how public hearing will be affected if a new proffer is suggested by developer in response to staff concerns
  • 18:34 - Supervisor Rooker asks a question about an ARB requirement to have a 50 foot buffer zone between I-64 and the property to hide the development from view
  • 20:04 - Supervisor Mallek asks about staff concern regarding stream buffer ordinance and the potential for required work outside the property
  • 21:29 - Stephen Blaine of LeClair Ryan addresses staff concerns
  • 28:36 - Thomas asks Blaine for clarification on issue of illuminated signs
  • 34:16 - Thomas asks for definition of "extensive" roofing
  • 35:25 - Slutzky asks his colleagues if they are satisfied with Blaine's responses
  • 37:31 - Thomas asks how traffic at 5th Street and I-64 interchange will be affected
  • 40:04 - County resident Hugh Underwood speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 42:01 - County resident Lorraine Renella speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 43:09 - County resident Rebecca White speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 45:13 - Downtown Mall business owner and City resident Jacob Martin speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 47:03 - County resident Sam Towler speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 48:11 - Willoughby resident David Storm speaks at public hearing in favor
  • 50:46 - Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center speaks against the big box element of the development
  • 53:46 - Jeff Werner of Piedmont Environmental Council cautions against traffic increases
  • 56:08 - Public hearing closes and Supervisors discuss, followed by motions to approve

Sean Tubbs

January 18, 2008

Fifth and Avon Center developers receive more feedback; Slutzky raises landfill concerns

Before a project to develop a new retail center south of the City of Charlottesville  can go forward, members of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors want the developer to make a few more assurances. Chief among them: a guarantee that a road being built to connect the project to Avon Street Extended won't disturb a landfill buried beneath.

Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20080116-BOS-5thAvonWorkSession.mp3

20080116plan
Source: Street Sense

New Era Properties LLC and Avon Holdings LLC are seeking a rezoning of almost 87 acres from Light Industrial and Rural Area to Planned Development Shopping Center (PDSC). That will allow up to almost half a million square feet (476,355) of commercial space, to be distributed across two big box stores and several smaller stores. No specific tenants have yet been confirmed.  A special use permit has also been filed for the construction of one or more parking garages.

The Cox Company is serving as the consulting engineer, and the applicant is being represented by LeClair Ryan.  The Bond Company is serving as the main architectural firm. The property is located just north of the junction of Interstate 64 and Fifth Street Extended, with Moore's Creek serving as the northern boundary.  Part of the property is located on an abandoned landfill.

The Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning on a 6-1 vote in July 2007. The Board of Supervisors seemed pleased with changes that have been made since  a previous  work session on November 7, 2007. Since then, the development team has:

  • Adjusted the location of parking structures and reduced their size relative to the commercial buildings, and depicted them on the conceptual plan. Frontage buildings are now shown on the internal streets.
  • Shown a connection to the Willoughby subdivision on the conceptual plans
  • Relocated the proposed Bent Creek Parkway (which connects 5th Street Extended to Avon Street) to avoid a section of landfill, and agreed to maintain it as a private road until environmental assessments show that the landfill it does not pose a threat.

The plans are still at the conceptual phase, because the development will be tailored to suit anchor tenants, who have so far not yet been announced.  But, the plans are far enough along  for staff to recommend the project move forward because it conforms to the Neighborhood Model concept.  At the beginning of their work session on January 16 meeting , the five Board members present raised further concerns they wanted to see addressed. Chairman Ken Boyd (Rivanna) was absent.

20080116blaine
Stephen Blaine

Stephen Blaine, an attorney for LeClair Ryan, said the development team has been responsive to feedback from the previous work session, and would continue to do so.

“I believe our proffers have been additive ever since we began this,” Blaine said.

SUPERVISORS RAISE FURTHER CONCERNS

Supervisor Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett) had questions about how much traffic would be generated by the retail center. The numbers were not presented to the Board at this meeting. Rooker said he believed previous staff reports had estimated the number at 12 to 15 thousand trips per day.

Wayne Cilimberg, the County's Director of Planning and Development, said VDOT has accepted the Cox Company's estimate of 13,240 trips per day, a number that influenced the proffered transportation improvements. Rooker said he was concerned that the interchange of I-64 and Fifth Street Extended could be overwhelmed.  He wanted more analysis of how much the east-west connector road, known as the Bent Creek Parkway, would alleviate that congestion.  The road, which will entirely be paid for by the developers, is estimated to cost between $5 and $6 million.  Additionally, the Biscuit Run development contains proffers to expand the interchange, but not to widen the bridge that crosses over I-64.

Blaine says there has not been any increase in density since VDOT examined the applicant’s numbers. He added that the applicant has agreed to contribute to the City's traffic signal synchronization program because of the additional lights on Fifth Steet Extended and Avon Street.

Supervisor Sally Thomas (Samuel Miller) brought up the question of interconnectivity to neighborhoods South of I-64, and wanted to know more about how transit would tie into the development.  Cilimberg said the existing proffers contain specification for transit stops within the center, as well as extensive pedestrian connections. Thomas also wanted to know if the development would be able to make use of rainwater. 

Supervisor David Slutzky (Rio) said he was still concerned about the Bent Creek Parkway because it travels across the landfill.  County Attorney Larry Davis said the road would be private until such time as potential liability issues are worked out, but the proffer language needed to be “massaged” to clarify.
Slutzky re-emphasized his concern.

“If the landfill proves to be more natty than we'd all hoped, and the clean-up takes forever,  and the area of clean-up is extensive enough that it no longer is even realistic enough to build the private connection, are we approving a project that's going to be populated with tenants and lots of traffic and there's only going to be one way in and out?”

“We're not going to start this road project until we've presented our plan to [the Department of Environmental Quality],” Blaine said.  DEQ feedback led to the repositioning of the road.

Slutzky was concerned that would not go far enough to ensure the landfill would not present a danger in the future.

“We don't know actually know precisely what's in there and precisely where it goes until you're digging at it,” Slutzky said.  He wanted the final application plan to set up a contingency plan in case the landfill does prove to be more onerous.

Davis said occupancy of the buildings would be contingent on the construction of the parkway, so that
issue will need to be resolved sooner rather than later.

ADJUSTMENTS TO LAYOUT SINCE LAST WORK SESSION

After the November work session, the Bond Company hired the Bethesda-based firm Street Sense to  make adjustments to the plan to allow for a mixture of retail types, as well as to integrate pedestrian and transit elements.

20080116eisen
Jon Eisen

“We felt like there were some missing lifestyle components to the southern part of the county that we felt would be well suited on a site of this nature,” said Street Sense's Jon Eisen. Feedback from the work session led his firm to break the plan into two components. The north section features smaller shops, and the south will feature room for two anchor stores. There are now roundabouts controlling vehicular access on the periphery, and the interior streets are being arranged in a block system.

“We tried to address creating more of a main street type of lifestyle environment,” he said. “We also want to create an environment where you can have clustering of uses around public open spaces so that you have the ability to capture people, like if there was a clustering of restaurants and you created an outdoor cafe environment that was married up to some other tenant types.” Eisen said the pedestrian trails on the periphery of the property could also accommodate bikes.

But Eisen said the exact configuration for the center would not be known until tenants have been finalized.  “Until you know something, it's hard to lock something down,” he said. He also said that the plan would be built in such a way to reduce light pollution.

On the subject of sustainability, Eisen said Street Sense has a lot of experience developing centers with green roofs, subterranean cisterns for rainwater harvesting, and other mitigation techniques. Slutzky said he wanted a lot of what Eisen described to be written in the proffers, and suggested that some hard requirements be codified in the proffers, in case the property is sold to another owner in the future.

On the subject of two stories, Eisen doubted that Albemarle County has the density to attract a large tenant that would be willing to rent a two-story large facility. “This  market just doesn't have the volume and the density to warrant a lot of second story single tenants,” Eisen said. He did say it might be possible to have one tenant on each floor if that type of construction went forward.

Supervisor Ann Mallek (White Hall) asked if construction on the project would be phased. Eisen said the goal was to build the entire project at once.

“You have to build, in a way, a believable environment if you're going to convince the market that this place is authentic,” he said. But Rooker suggested the addition of a proffer to ensure that all the developer has promised would be built.

“My worst nightmare here is that we end up with two big boxes and that's it, and a parking area,” Rooker said.

That prompted Chris Pine of the Bond Company to point out that the project's backers, who include Coran Capshaw, are locally based and want to build an environmentally sustainable project the community will be proud of.

“We are not casual visitors to this concept,” Pine said. “We're committed to it, and we're comfortable proffering the things that we talked about,” but added they would need to do some work to make sure they could deliver on everything they promised. He also said the project could only work economically if it were fully built out, due to the scope of the transportation improvements and the engineering work.

SEWER CONCERNS

Supervisor Thomas also raised the issue of water and sewer, pointing out that several developments in the County are on hold pending additional sewer capacity.

“We are learning that we should ask stiff questions about sewer and water capacity to the projects, so even though that's not completely or even slightly under our control, I'd still like to be reassured that there is the water and sewer capacity.”

Frank Cox told the board he was certainly hoping the capacity would be there. “We assume that's one of the reason we're paying taxes,” Cox said, only to have Thomas point out that the area's water and sewer facilities are not funded by taxes. 

Mark Graham, the County's Director of Community Development, said the center would be built on the same trunk line that will serve the Biscuit Run area.

“We still do not have results of an interceptor study, and so we don't know the capacity,” Graham said. He added that the developer will need to obtain confirmation from the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority that there will be enough capacity before building permits can be given. He said Cox has had to contend with this requirement with other developments.

 

20080116bosfullshot2

NEXT STEPS

A final application will need to be delivered to the County, and a public hearing can be scheduled 23 days after that. The development team had hoped to have that hearing in February, but Wayne Cilimberg said there would not be enough time to review the new proffers before then.

Blaine said his team would make several changes to the proffers after careful consideration. They include:

  • More detailed information on how the Bent Creek Parkway might alleviate congestion at the I-64 interchange.
  • A guarantee that the Center will be built in one phase, though some pad sites could be developed for later use
  • Specific targets for environmental mitigation techniques such as green roofs
  • Add language to proffers to address Supervisor Slutzky's landfill concern
  • Add language to transit subsidy proffer to reflect inflation
  • Change pedestrian access plan to add bike accessibility

Sean Tubbs

July 24, 2006

Major retail development for 5th St and Avon

Avoncenter200607a As reported in last Saturday's Daily Progress, Albemarle County is reviewing a rezoning application for the property between 5th Street and Avon Street just over the border from the City of Charlottesville.  The project, named "5th Street -- Avon Center" on the rezoning application, proposes almost 400,000 sq.ft. of commercial buildings as follows:

  • Grocery store - 84,500 sq.ft.
  • Two restaurants
  • Home improvement store - 138,000 sq.ft.
  • Major retail store - 105,000 sq.ft.
  • Three small retail stores totaling 35,800 sq.ft.

The site plan shown in the rezoning application (click image for larger version) also shows a connector road between 5th Street and Avon Street.  Avon Street has no interchange on I-64.  Another 7.85 acres is designated for future offices, some of which would be on top of the City's old trash dump along Moore's Creek.  These offices would add another 51,292 to 68,389 sq.ft. of commercial buildings.

No public meetings have been scheduled for this project which is likely to start its review in a work session with the Albemarle County Planning Commission.

Brian Wheeler