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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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April 19, 2012

Council chooses Habitat/Southern to site near Oakwood Cemetery

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Charlottesville City Council is poised to select Habitat for Humanity and Southern Development to develop 3.5 acres near the city’s Oakwood Cemetery.
 
“If this is done right, we can send a message about the development principles we want,” Councilor Kathy Galvin said.
 
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A conceptual drawing of the Habitat/Southern plan. Elliot Avenue is on the right hand side of the image (Source: City of Charlottesville)
The land is undeveloped because the city has used the site as a landfill.
 
“It has been used as a site to receive construction debris for a number of years,” said Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of neighborhood development services. “We’ve had soil borings done and there is at least 20 feet of [debris].”
 
The city held a design charette in early 2011 to solicit ideas on how to develop the property, which is a 10-minute walk from downtown.
 
“The consensus of that discussion was that the future development should be of a scale that related to existing development, should respect the cemetery, but should be at a density appropriate for a prime downtown walkable location,” Tolbert said.

Continue reading "Council chooses Habitat/Southern to site near Oakwood Cemetery" »

April 18, 2012

Marriot Residence Inn site plan now under review

DailyProgressBy Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The city of Charlottesville is now reviewing the preliminary site plan for the construction of a new Marriott Residence Inn proposed for the corner of Ridge McIntire and West Main Street.

20120418-WestMainSitePlan2The public voiced few worries about the building’s design during a meeting on Wednesday.

“There have been some concerns regarding the height,” said Willy Thompson, a city neighborhood planner, in an interview.

Thompson stated that the architects have proposed that the building be 70 feet tall, which is the city’s exact limit allowed by-right for the building’s height. 

“If they want to go higher than 70 feet, they would need a special use permit,” Thompson said.

Yet when the plans for the eight-story hotel were first made public, several citizens expressed concerns. The Marriot Residence Inn will be built on a site that is currently home to CityClay, Random Row Books, Cat Thrasher Photography, SweetHaus Cupcakes and other local businesses. 

Continue reading "Marriot Residence Inn site plan now under review" »

April 11, 2012

Planners get first look at 204-unit city-county neighborhood

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The site of a former wastewater treatment plant near Pen Park is under consideration for the construction of 204 homes in both Albemarle County and Charlottesville.
 
“First and foremost in our approach to residential development is the creation of a neighborhood,” said L.J. Lopez of Milestone Partners, the developer of the proposed Lochlyn Hill. “We want to create a sense of place and a sense of community.” 
 
Lochlyn-hills
Source: Milestone Partners
Lopez briefed the Charlottesville Planning Commission on Tuesday on preliminary plans for Lochlyn Hill, which will require a rezoning of 25.6 acres in the city to “planned unit development.”
 
Development on 11 acres in Albemarle would be by-right. The development would consist of single-family homes, cottages and townhomes.
 
The Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority sold the Meadowcreek Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1996 to Meadowcreek LLC for residential development. Lopez said the property has gone through environmental remediation following the plant’s closure.
 
Lopez said development would occur over many years through several phases. A large village green would be located in the center of the development and 15 percent of the units would be designated as affordable.
 
“Our objective is to partner with existing nonprofits in our area that have expertise and are closer in touch with the affordable housing buyer,” Lopez said.

Continue reading "Planners get first look at 204-unit city-county neighborhood" »

April 06, 2012

Soundboard 4-6-2012 - 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 20120406-Soundboard 

The April 6 show features contributors Giles Morris, Graelyn Brashear & Laura Ingles (from C-Ville Weekly) and Courtney Beale (Charlottesville Tomorrow) discussing: 

  • Charlottesville’s budget
  • Chloramines in the water supply
  • the Landmark Hotel’s upcoming bankruptcy auction
  • UVA’s Digital Career Fair
  • the impact of the Virginia Retirement System’s mandate for local government
  • guest Ryan Deramus (Randow Row) on the Bread and Puppet Theater
  • and guest Megan Marlatt on a collaborative urban art project

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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March 30, 2012

Community gets engaged on West Main's past, present and future

 

On Thursday night at Charlottesville Tomorrow's monthly News n' Brews, about 70 community members packed into Zinc to talk about the evolution of the West Main Street area.

Curious about who owns property there?  So were we...

Here's how we captured the conversation...


February 27, 2012

New hotel planned for corner at West Main & Ridge McIntire

DailyProgressBy Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Monday, February 27, 2012

The corner of West Main Street and Ridge McIntire has been the location of several speculative development proposals, including condominiums and a CVS drugstore. Now developers are preparing to submit plans to the city of Charlottesville for an eight-story Marriott Residence Inn.

315WMainSt3
The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review met last week for a preliminary discussion about the plans.

BAR members shared concerns about how redesigning this area may impact the atmosphere of the neighborhood. Chairman Syd Knight noted, “[this corner] is the lifeblood of Charlottesville … and anything we can do to reinforce that is going to be beneficial.”

Current business owners at the site said they chose the Random Row Warehouse area to begin their businesses because of the cultural amenities.

“I feel like my business is wedded to West Main Street … I love the feel,” said Cat Thrasher, owner of Cat Thrasher Photography, in an interview. “It’s very different from the Downtown Mall. It’s got a lot of soul.”

“I looked at this location as a great incubator for my business,” said Tara Koenig, owner of Sweethaus Cupcakes and Candy. “If I can stay in the West Main Street area, I know the [pedestrian activity] will be good for [Sweethaus].”

Continue reading "New hotel planned for corner at West Main & Ridge McIntire" »

February 16, 2012

EcoMOD project expanding efforts to build energy efficient affordable housing

DailyProgressBy Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, February 16, 2012

A University of Virginia architecture professor who specializes in modular housing briefed the James River Green Building Council Tuesday on his work to bring down the cost of constructing energy efficient homes.

“The people who are at the lower end of the income level are the ones who need the most help in reducing their energy inefficiency, and yet they are also the ones who can least afford the services,” said John Quale, director of the ecoMOD research project.

Since 2004, ecoMOD has partnered with affordable housing organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Piedmont Housing Alliance to show that environmental awareness in construction and renovation does not need to be limited to high-end remodels and expensive new developments. Quale said each experience has translated into new insights for both ecoMOD and its partners.

Their collaborations have resulted in the construction of a single-family home on Elliott Avenue, renovations to historic homes on Ridge and 5th streets and a two-unit condominium in Fifeville, as well as projects in Mississippi and Jamaica.

Continue reading "EcoMOD project expanding efforts to build energy efficient affordable housing" »

February 14, 2012

City Planning Commission recommends approval for 300-unit apartment complex

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The developers of a 300-unit apartment complex to be built near the Barracks Road Shopping Center received the blessing of the Charlottesville Planning Commission on Tuesday.

20120214-arlington-massing

A 3D visualization depicting the massing of the proposed 300-unit complex

“I’m very supportive of this project and housing 500 graduate students in this vicinity,” said Genevieve Keller, the commission’s chairwoman.

Peak Campus Development of Georgia is the developer of the complex, which will be located at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Millmont Drive.

The complex will be built in two phases and will include a parking garage with 480 spaces for vehicles and secure storage for 86 bikes.

To make way for the project, several structures will be demolished, resulting in the displacement of the Jefferson Trail Behavioral System and a Region Ten office in the first phase.

Offices rented by the Virginia Department of Psychology will continue to be occupied until August 2014, at which time the project’s second phase will begin.

Continue reading "City Planning Commission recommends approval for 300-unit apartment complex" »

February 07, 2012

Council briefed on McIntire Park planning, SRO facility

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Charlottesville City Council has not yet weighed in on one question to be answered during the master planning process for the eastern half of McIntire Park.

Should the park continue to have a golf course?

“At some point, we have to make that decision, and I think we might be getting to that point,” Councilor Dede Smith said on Monday after receiving an update on the plan’s progress.

The council’s approval of a plan for the park is not expected until later this year. That will be after both the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Planning Commission have made their recommendations.

Continue reading "Council briefed on McIntire Park planning, SRO facility " »