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July 15, 2012

Meet Your Government: Summer Frederick

 Meet your government: Summer Frederick 20120626-Frederick_Summer

Project Manager, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission

Where were you born (and raised, if different)?

I was born in Lake Forest, IL, and raised in Annandale, VA

When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?

I moved here July of 1997 to finish my undergraduate degree at UVA

What neighborhood do you live in now?

Belmont!

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

Parents and extended family scattered near and far.

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I started college at West Virginia Wesleyan College, left after two-and-a-half years, took a good bit of a break from higher education, then returned and graduated from UVA.

Twice - 1999 BA, and 2005 MUEP

What were you doing before coming to the TJPDC?

I worked for Albemarle County as a Senior Planner of Current Development. The "Current Development" division no longer exists. The Community Development Department has changed so now all long range planning and development review is under the "Planning Services" division.

Your job title is Project Manager for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission - what, in your own words, would you say you do?

I keep the Livable Communities Project moving forward, making sure all the various pieces and parts are working together as they should.

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Summer Frederick" »

June 28, 2012

City and county seek common goals for joint planning

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler & Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Planning staff and officials in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County will spend this summer identifying joint goals to include in their respective comprehensive plan updates.

Earlier this year, officials identified seven shared priorities: historic preservation, entrance corridors, environment, housing, economy, transportation and land use. In separate meetings Tuesday, each planning commission began identifying specific opportunities for the first three of those topics.

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Summer Frederick, Project Manager, TJPDC

Summer Frederick, a project manager with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, spoke to the Albemarle Planning Commission after giving a similar briefing in the city.

“What we are looking for is for you to discuss these topics and come up with … specific opportunities to work with the city to come up with joint goals,” said Frederick.

The TJPDC is working with the city, county and the University of Virginia as part of a three-year $1 million federal grant awarded in 2010 for what is known as the Livable Communities Planning Project. One goal is to facilitate the comprehensive plan updates that guide local government planning decisions.

Albemarle Commissioner Bruce Dotson noted the results of a community survey from a previous comprehensive plan update.

“The thing that I remember from that … was how many residents of the city said that what they liked about the area were things that are located in the county, and vice versa, how many county residents liked things located in the city,” Dotson said. “The ultimate success in preserving the rural area is when urban people value it, and vice versa.”

Continue reading "City and county seek common goals for joint planning" »

June 21, 2012

Your community, your voice - Fill out the TJPDC questionnaire

 

20120621-TJPDC-surveyAs Charlottesville Tomorrow reported in a story earlier this month, a survey is being circulated by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission seeking feedback on community priorities. 

The survey is available at http://1-community.org (look for blue button top right) and responses are due by July 2.

It is now available as an interactive Adobe PDF which allows online submissions.

The city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County are working in concert with TJPDC and the University of Virginia to coordinate updates of their comprehensive plans.  The TJPDC received a three-year $1 million federal grant in 2010 grant for what is known as the Livable Communities Planning Project.

June 14, 2012

Albemarle says shorter can be better when it comes to comprehensive plans

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, June 14, 2012

As a planner in Albemarle County for the past 15 years, Elaine Echols is one of the most knowledgeable officials guiding the locality’s update of its comprehensive plan. While changes happen each year, a major rewrite hasn’t happened since 1996, shortly before Echols started her job.

However, the plan she was handed as a new employee fit in a single three-ring binder. Today, she can only show community groups photos of the comprehensive plan. That’s because it’s too cumbersome to carry around.

20120613-Alb-CompPlan
Elements of Albemarle County's Comprehensive Plan in June 2012
Credit: Elaine Echols

“I took this picture yesterday, and I’m not sure it’s inclusive of everything, but this is our comprehensive plan,” Echols said Wednesday to a meeting of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. “You can see why it needs to be reduced in bulk.”

“We have master plans, a biodiversity report and recommendations, open space plans … the neighborhood model and historic preservation,” Echols observed of the stacks of material. “We’ve got a lot of plans where the substance doesn’t need to go but the form needs to be changed.”

Albemarle is reaching out to various stakeholders to get them involved in the effort. A similar process is under way in Charlottesville and both localities are working in concert with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. The TJPDC received a three-year $1 million federal grant in 2010 grant for what is known as the Livable Communities Planning Project.

Tom Olivier is the chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. He followed up Echols’ presentation from the perspective of a long time environmental advocate in the community. He said he agreed having a more accessible plan was a “completely reasonable goal.”

“A plan should not be highly specific,” Olivier said. “It ceases to be a plan if it is so detailed that people can’t find the principles readily.

“At the same time, when text is reduced, it’s very easy for nuances and small bits of text which nonetheless involve key commitments, to get changed or eliminated,” Olivier warned. “We need for citizens with knowledge and commitment to be involved and look at the drafts as they are brought before the Planning Commission.”

Continue reading "Albemarle says shorter can be better when it comes to comprehensive plans" »

June 10, 2012

City leaders contemplate future neighborhoods

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, June 10, 2012

At a joint planning meeting last week, members of Charlottesville’s City Council and Planning Commission found themselves tasked with a staff-designed planning exercise. With the group spread out among three tables, poster-sized black-and-white city maps beckoned colored pencils.

20120607-Haluska
Brian Haluska, Neighborhood Planner, City of Charlottesville
View all past stories related to the
Livable Communities Planning Project

City planners Brian Haluska and Missy Creasy asked the officials to color their maps to match existing conditions delineating green space, employment centers, high-density residential, entertainment venues, civic centers and transportation connections. Staff added one caveat — they had to do it from memory.

“If you have any papers, put them under your chair,” said Creasy, sounding more like a schoolteacher preparing her class for a quiz. “If I see that you are looking at any of your papers, then I am going to take your papers. We are going with a clean slate for this evening.”

“We’re just asking everyone to go down the list and fill in the city … the way you see it now,” Haluska said. “You can also do potential [uses] if you wish.”

Some tables started with green pencils to outline parks; others marked up existing business zones in red. All wrestled with whether to document today’s conditions versus a city of the future.

“We wore off the entire lead of our green pencil,” said Councilor Kristin Szakos. “We were more interested in parks that don’t exist yet.”

“We also recognized that the University [of Virginia] and the hospital are major employment centers,” said architect Kurt Keesecker, a member of the Planning Commission. “So we tried to look at how we could bring more multi-family residential or high-density residential to the fringes of those areas.”

Continue reading "City leaders contemplate future neighborhoods" »

April 21, 2012

Soundboard 4-20-2012 - Charlottesville's news straight from the source

Soundboard

Soundboard: Charlottesville's news straight from the source

A collaborative local news radio program by WTJU 91.1 FM, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and C-Ville Weekly.

Each Friday from 4-5 PM, tune in to hear area journalists and guests discuss local news, culture, and community issues in the Charlottesville area. Whether we're talking about city politics, scientific innovations, or the local music scene, you'll get to hear in-depth discussion about stories that matter.

Soundboard is co-hosted by WTJU's Lewis Reining and Charlottesville Tomorrow's Jennifer Marley.

Podcasts may be downloaded from this website, via RSS, and via Charlottesville Tomorrow on iTunes.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120420-Soundboard

The April 20 show features contributors Graelyn Brashear & Laura Ingles (from C-Ville Weekly) and Brian Wheeler, Sean Tubbs & Courtney Beale (Charlottesville Tomorrow) discussing: 

  • a new hotel on West Main
  • an update on the city and county comprehensive plans
  • guest Todd Warner on the treatment of minorities in the juvenile justice system
  • an update on the re-development of the Martha Jefferson Hospital site in Charlottesville
  • the new lawsuit regarding the water plan
  • guest Andrew Ferguson a science fiction-loving UVA grad student working to find and preserve writings of an obscure science fiction writer, R.A. Lafferty

Soundboard is produced by Susan Gravatt and Nathan Moore. We hope you enjoy it, and we look forward to your feedback!

 
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December 02, 2011

Regional planners continue outreach series

DailyProgressBy Kurt Walters
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, December 2, 2011

Planners from Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District welcomed comments from the public during a workshop Thursday on the city and county’s goals for housing and economic development.

20111201-TJPDC

The event, held at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library on Market Street, was the third in a series of six outreach forums as part of the TJPDC’s $1 million federal “livability” grant to help coordinate the city and county’s comprehensive plan reviews.

Attendees voiced appreciation at the chance to give input to the planners, but echoed a worry heard at previous workshops that the outreach effort might not be reaching a representative cross-section of the community. County resident and Rivanna Village advisory board member Paula Pagonakis said the crowd looked fairly homogenous and professional.

“Are we reaching multiple levels of citizens with these forums?” Pagonakis asked. “I certainly would like see opportunities for [different] people to participate.”

Susan Stimart, the county’s economic development facilitator, noted Albemarle’s focus on “career ladder jobs” which can offer opportunities for internal advancement and wage growth, citing technology jobs as one example. Both city and county governments prioritize attracting hi-tech and other highly educated jobs, hoping to capitalize on the University of Virginia’s presence in the community.

Continue reading "Regional planners continue outreach series" »

November 01, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation

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.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, THIRD IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comHow should the city, county and the University of Virginia work together to enhance our community’s unique character and economic vitality?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

The county, the city and the university have a long history of collaborative discussions and actions.  We have a very different scenario from many regional communities in the commonwealth where the cities and counties don’t even try to work together.  These efforts, in such a diverse community, will inevitably lead to differences of opinion, but we deserve kudos for continuing the discussion.

I represented the board for several years on the county, city and UVA joint [Planning and Coordination Council] (PACC) committee and I have participated in countless discussions with both the city and the university.  These efforts have led to many collaborative ventures, including [the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center] (CATEC), and the Ivy Creek School, courts and jail authority, mass transportation, water, sewer, and solid waste, recycling, and may other joint ventures.  I expect we will continue to move in the same direction.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) – Challenger

Again, this is like an absolute great question.  It’s one that really resonates me … I don’t need a passport to come into the city.  We’re one place.  You know, I don’t understand these artificial constructs we’ve put up between us because they are inhibiting our progress.  And the same thing with UVA. 

… UVA is often an afterthought.  … [There are] millions and millions of dollars of procurement that the University of Virginia does and of course they go out to low bidders, but you know there’s a great opportunity for us to all sit down together with them and say, “Well, you know, let’s see what we could provide locally.” … maybe the city and the county we could work together in true economic development form and try to figure out how to give these our companies a chance to have like a little tax break or something so that they can compete and start to grow that business … the county can’t do that alone.

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation" »

City Council candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation

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, THIRD IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comHow should the city, county and the University of Virginia work together to enhance our community’s unique character and economic vitality?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

That’s been a bone of contention with some folks. County and city relations, I chalk that up to the fact that the city in a way conducts itself as if though were the county, and the county conducts itself as though it were the city. Look at the urban ring there. Commercial development. People moving out to the county. The city has lost a lot of residents, people that have moved from the city into the county. You go where the jobs are. The jobs happen to be mostly in the county. Not that we don’t have them in the city, certainly we do.

And of course, the University of Virginia. Let’s drag that into this. Certainly there is room for improvement. We could talk to each more. Not that we don’t already. But as Bob Fenwick said, as a city, we have a problem of talking things to death. The people want action. Whether that’s in the next few minutes or over a period of time. Certainly I am willing to extend the hand of cordialness and consideration to the university, to the county, to work on things together.

One of the things that is close to me that also involves the county is the Sunset-Fontaine Connector. The improvements are going to be in the county, but that improvement is going to dramatically affect the city. The residents along Old Lynchburg Road, that segment of Jefferson Park Avenue. They will be impacted when that  connector is ever completed and done. Perhaps once it is done, and certainly that’s one of the things I would be most interested in the county with, and of course, the university, because we have the Fontaine Avenue Research Park over there, of accomplishing. That impact would be that Jefferson Park Avenue, [Old] Lynchburg Road, could return to the status of a slower paced neighborhood street, not the cut-through as it is and has been currently used as. Let’s move on.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

… I think everyone knows that things between the county and the city have not been great for quite some time.  I am looking forward to at some point getting beyond the [Meadow Creek] Parkway and the water supply plan, and in to really seeing what the county and the city have in common … We can cooperate a lot on a regional transit plan, or a regional transit authority, if there’s interest in the county for that.  I think in the long term we really need to make a list of priorities for the city when it comes to the county and determine which of those are really worth taking a stand for and what is somewhat negotiable …

Continue reading "City Council candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation" »

October 01, 2011

Livable communities project gets public input

DailyProgressBy Kurt Walters
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Saturday, October 1, 2011

 

20110929-livability
Attendees were asked to make suggestions to how the city and county comprehensive goals should be phrased

The Many Plans, One Community Livability Project kicked off its community input series this week with the first of six workshops seeking public suggestions for the update of Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s comprehensive plans.

“We take all of these comments and they’ll all be transcribed [into a] usable format for elected and appointed officials,” said Summer Frederick, manager of the livable communities project for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.

The Thursday night workshop, which focused on environmental topics, was one component of a nearly $1 million regional planning grant awarded to the TJPDC by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grant kicked off a project allowing the TJPDC to help coordinate updates of the two communities’ comprehensive plans, as well as the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Long-Range Transportation Plan. A livability implementation plan will also be created for the Charlottesville area.

Charlottesville planner Missy Creasy said that the city hopes to receive new ideas and hear whether there are any holes in its current Comprehensive Plan, adding that the process could identify areas of common interest where the city and county can cooperate, as well as areas of disagreement.

Frederick said that while collaboration is a large part of the livable communities project, all the end decisions will be made independently by the city, county, the University of Virginia and the MPO.

“It’s ultimately up to [each] elected board because they are separate and unique localities,” she said.

Thursday’s workshop asked attendees to submit comments on current city, county and UVa goals and action items in environmental categories ranging from sustainable development to trails and greenways. Attitudes amongst members of the public ranged from excitement at the opportunity to offer input to cynicism that the goals would truly be followed.

“Their plans look very good, but when it comes to spending money, it often goes to the wrong places,” said John Cruickshank of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. “I’d like a change in the whole movement of our community.”

Frederick said that the HUD grant has led to new levels of coordination between local jurisdictions, highlighting combined maps of the city and county for trails, parks and water resources, which she said had never been done before.

“That’s a really important part of this grant — to be able to have all the information in one place,” Frederick said.

Woolen Mills resident Bill Emory said the unified map allowed him new insights into how best to add to the community’s shared assets, pointing out the Rivanna River south of Pen and Darden Towe parks.

“My main thing is this incredible resource. [Here’s] this fabulous spot for a linear park [along the river],” Emory said.

Scottsville resident Edward Strickler was happy to add comments representing the concerns of southern Albemarle, but worried about how representative the process could be of lower-income residents, who he said might not be able to make it to planning workshops.

“A lot of the people that aren’t here are among the most vulnerable,” Strickler said.

Comments are also being accepted online at the project’s website, 1-community.org.

The next workshop, focusing on land use and transportation, will take place Oct. 27.