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January 13, 2011

New Kohl’s store still on schedule after Hollymead proffer amendment

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 By Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has paved the way for Kohl’s to open at Hollymead Town Center by agreeing to give developer Wendell Wood more time to build a connector road.

The area circled in red depicts the stretch of Meeting Street that needed to have been completed until supervisors accepted the amendment

“Currently Kohl’s cannot get a certificate of occupancy until [Meeting Street] is built,” said Wayne Cilimberg, chief planner, just prior to the board’s vote Wednesday. A sign near the newly constructed store states that the store will open in March.

However, the board did not accept a second request that would have reduced the amount Wood must pay over 10 years to pay for transit operations in the area as soon as a bus route is established.

Meeting Street is a north-south connector road slated to connect, eventually, to Berkmar Drive Extended. The timetable for that road’s construction depends on whether Wood is successful in having land south of Hollymead Town Center brought into the county’s designated growth area, which will be decided when the board takes up the Places29 Master Plan later this year.

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Under the amended proffer, Wood simply needs to reserve and dedicate the land for Meeting Street at this time but can construct it later.

“We believe that what you’re merely doing is enabling a timing mechanism that was simply not thought about when the original proffers were done,” said Ron Higgins, zoning administrator. “We don’t want to eliminate the obligation. We want to phase it.”

Senior planner Judith Wiegand said county staff does not feel that Meeting Street is necessary at this time.

“The county is concerned that if the whole segment is constructed … you basically would be constructing a road to nowhere,” Wiegand said.

At least a portion of Meeting Street has to be complete for an adjacent movie theater to receive a certificate of occupancy. That project is also being developed by Wood.

Wood had made a second request to reduce the amount of funding he must contribute to public transit to serve the development. The original proffer required him to spend an annual $50,000 for 10 years, but only after bus lines were extended to the property.


“I would like to have some type of relief,” Wood said. He added that many of his surrounding neighbors do not have such an obligation, which puts him at a competitive disadvantage.

The Planning Commission recommended Tuesday that Woods’ obligation for transit be cut in half, and added a sunset date of 2018.

“I would be more inclined under the current circumstances to end up with a proffer that actually gets paid,” Commissioner Linda Porterfield said.

However, Supervisor Ann H. Mallek said she could not support the reduction.

“This was a contract made with the citizens,” Mallek said.

A majority of supervisors refused to reduce the transit funding.

Because of the urgency associated with keeping the Kohl’s opening on schedule, Wood agreed to drop his request to have the transit proffer amended, but said he would bring it back before the board later.
Wood said he expects the store to open on March 6.


  • 02:00 - Staff report from senior planner Judith Wiegand
  • 11:00 - Wiegand describes similar proffers related to transit in other county locations
  • 23:00 - Presentation by developer Wendell Wood
  • 36:10 - Public hearing comment from Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum
  • 37:48 - Public hearing comment from Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center
  • 40:30 - Public hearing comment from Kirk Bowers
  • 42:00 - Comment from VDOT engineer Joel DeNunzio
  • 42:30 - Discussion of the road's dedication
  • 47:00 - Ron Higgins answers question about road dedication t
  • 53:30 - Discussion of the proffer on transit obligations
  • 01:04:00 - Wood describes how much he has currently invested in infrastructure for Hollymead Town Center
  • 01:18:20 - Commissioner Cal Morris makes a motion followed by vote
  • 01:20:00 - Staff report for Board of Supervisors from Director of Planning Wayne Cilimberg
  • 01:27:15 - Director of Community Development Mark Graham explains the proffer for roads
  • 01:37:00 - Discussion of the transit proffer
  • 01:48:00 - Board recesses while staff adjusts proffers with Wendell Wood
  • 01:49:00 - Board reconvenes after several minutes of discussion
  • 01:50:30 - Wood expresses displeasure during public hearing
  • 02:02:00 - Public hearing comment from Jeffry Werner of the Piedmont Environmental Council
  • 02:05:00 - Public hearing comment from Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center


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