Charlotttesville-Albemarle conflict continues

For those who are relocating to or unfamilar the area, the County of Albemarle surrounds the City of Charlottesville. (for a bit of background) The entities share a lot of things, due to to their symbiotic relationship, but conflicts no doubt arise. For a prime example, visit Charlottesville Tomorrow for today’s example:

…  asked the City to close Old Lynchburg road immediately as a way to improve the position of the (Albemarle County) Board of Supervisors in their negotiations on Biscuit Run (a proposed 3,500 unit development) as well as to spark acceptance by County residents for additional road interconnections from neighborhoods like Redfields to Route 29.  He argued that only if County residents were literally running into a wall at the City line would they then accept the bitter pill of a political decision by the Supervisors to build alternate paths around the City and through some County neighborhoods.

It’s interesting to hear councilors complaining about how roads are needed when many of them have been fighting the Meadowcreek Parkway, one of the most-needed roads, for years. People want roads; the localities have neither the money nor the will to build them.
The City has closed connector roads before, but not yet to such a major artery as Old Lynchburg Road. Dig in, folks. This should be interesting.

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16 Comments

  1. TrvlnMn February 6, 2007 at 11:58

    I think the City should close the road at the County line. I agree with Mr. Pfaltz.

    …only if County residents were literally running into a wall at the City line would they then accept the bitter pill of a political decision by the Supervisors to build alternate paths around the City and through some County neighborhoods.

    It’s time to start playing hardball with developers who’ve been getting a free ride at taxpayer expense for too long (inadequate proffers for infrastructure).

    It’s interesting to hear councilors complaining about how roads are needed when many of them have been fighting the Meadowcreek Parkway, one of the most-needed roads, for years.

    I don’t think the county has exactly held up it’s end of the deal either. So who should blink first?

  2. Jim Duncan February 6, 2007 at 16:11

    I didn’t intend to let the Supervisors off the hook; they have been negligent as well, but perhaps not quite so much as the City.

  3. UVA08 February 6, 2007 at 21:13

    This county vs. city thing is getting old. I think city residents are wrong to request this. We are a community and we rely on each other for several things. Most people from outside the area can’t tell you where Charlottesville ends and where Albemarle begins. These city residents are starting up something that could spiral out of control. As the county urbanizes and jobs locate there the city will not be as much of a focal point for the area.(The University is technically in Albemarle BTW) What’s next? Are we going to start tolling city residents who use Rio? Hydraulic? 29 North? 250 East? I am sure all of those roads would be less crowded on the weekends if city residents weren’t using them to get to shopping centers in the county.

  4. Arthur February 6, 2007 at 23:02

    “The University is technically in Albemarle”?

    I’m not sure how it matters, but what do you mean?

  5. UVA08 February 6, 2007 at 23:39

    UVA is technically in Albemarle County not Charlottesville City. I was bringing it up to show that as a community we are interconnected and rely on one another for for resources. I think by asking the city to close down the road they are acting as if the county is a nuisance.

  6. Jim Duncan February 7, 2007 at 10:19

    Every time this comes up, I wonder whether it’s time to revisit reversion – whereby the City and County would merge. One would think that both entitiies would see the merits and value of being, and speaking as, one voice.

    Rather than constantly fighting each other, they would be a more powerful force together.

    The fact that the bulk of the University is in the County of Albemarle is important, as the City’s claim to UVA is primarily one of marketing, (see http://www.pursuecharlottesville.com) rather than reality.

    The idea of charging City residents to use Rio, Emmet, etc. is interesting, though. πŸ™‚

  7. Arthur February 7, 2007 at 10:23

    When the University wants to build something that is within the city limits I thought they brough it before the city government. When they do something in the county I thought they brought it before the county government. They don’t pay property tax to anyone and they don’t seem to be subject to the ordinary zoning restrictions, but I had never heard that the entire university was an island of county in the middle of the city. I am not trying to knock the interdependence point. I am genuinely curious what it means that the University is technically in Albemarle and not the city. Is it subject to regulation from the county and not the city? Where could I learn more about this curious arrangement?

  8. TrvlnMn February 7, 2007 at 12:35

    The fact that the bulk of the University is in the County of Albemarle is important, as the City’s claim to UVA is primarily one of marketing,…

    Alright, before everyone goes rewriting history, what part of Albemarle County taxed land did UVA take? (excluding that parcel somewhere on 29 north) Especially what part of that land constitutes “the bulk of the University”?

    Last time I looked Emmet St. South of Hydraulic, JPA, Alderman, Maury, and West Main were all within “city limits”. And the owners of residential property in those areas abutting the university paid property taxes to the City of Charlottesville and not the County of Albemarle.* Which would mean that it was the city of charlottesville that took the tax hit when UVA claimed the land it uses in those areas- not albemarle.

    * = The only place where that might not have been the case is Edgemont Road and the part of McCormick Rd where they connect. (that would be West of Alderman – if Emmet runs north and south).

    The problem as I see it, is that it appears that the county is unwilling or unable to deal with developers and obtain a fair contribution from them for the amount of infrastructure burden their new developments put on the Community, especially in comparison to the amount of profit they will be making. Instead they choose to make it the responsibility of existing residents to take up the $lack for the developers and new residents (by way of tax increases). Because existing residents are less likely to be able to fight back.

    And Old Lynchburg Road in that neighborhood (north of 64) was never meant to be a main thoroughfare.

  9. Jim Duncan February 7, 2007 at 13:21

    So I exaggerated a little bit to make a point. πŸ™‚ (ok, a lot)

    The problem as I see it is that, try as they might, neither the County nor the City is autonomous, no matter how much they try. They depend on each other and have various overlapping services that seem to work quite well together. By constantly working against each other they are less inclined to work together. And that is one of the most frustrating parts.

    Imagine if they worked together.

  10. UVA08 February 7, 2007 at 17:05

    TrvlnMn I have something for you to try. Go buy something in the cafeteria at the “New” Hospital and then go to the one in the “Old” Hospital. See if there is any difference in food taxes.

    Also, you ever wonder why the census bereau always has a problem calculating the population of Charlottesville and Albemarle? Go here: http://www.scb.state.va.us/policy/tables/2001_provisional_popestimates.pdf and read footnote 2. And go here and scroll about 3/4th down where it talks about UVA students lving on-grounds not being counted in the city census http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle.asp?ID=24803&pid=1351

    Arthur… I think overall you are right. UVA is basically a seperate entity from both localities.

  11. TrvlnMn February 7, 2007 at 18:39

    UVA08,

    The land that was purchased for the South Lawn Extension doesn’t become Albemarle County because of it’s purchase by UVA.

    I don’t know why there would be a “food tax” rate difference between the two cafeterias. I would think that UVA wouldn’t collect food taxes for either municipality, but would instead only be subject to the state rate. However I’m confident that the Albemarle/City of Charlottesville line does not run down the middle of JPA.

    As a state agency, when the University purchases property it ceases to be on the tax rolls of either municipality, but existing boundary lines do not change. While the University and the land it owns is an entity unto itself (kinda like D.C.), land which is owned by the University in the city is still land that is “in the city.” If it were to be sold by the state and again return to private ownership (yeah I know – fat chance of that ever happening) it would be subject to property tax according to where it’s located.

    Jim, I agree both should be working together. Where our opinions seem to diverge is when we get to “what that would look like.” πŸ™‚

  12. UVA08 February 7, 2007 at 21:56

    Trvlnmn… This discussion has gotten far off topic. However before I go on just know that for government purposes UVA(main grounds) is Albemarle hence the census including on-grounds residents in Albemarle’s census count. Go to your Google Earth program and search Charlottesville. If you look at the boundaries of the city you will notice that the line runs towards the center of the city on the western side to cut out a piece of land to remain in Albemarle. That land is UVA. Now of course as UVA expands they are doing it into Charlottesville. Overall, though, I think the best way to describe UVA is as a separate area.

    Back to the original intent of my post, I was simply trying to show that as a community we rely on one another and this divisive jurisdiction boundary politics has got to stop. Albemarle residents need Charlottesville for jobs, arts, and amenities. Charlottesville needs Albemarle for shopping, workforce, and jobs as well.

  13. bill emory February 8, 2007 at 08:29

    “but not yet to such a major artery as Old Lynchburg Road.”

    Sunset Avenue used to function in much the same way as old Lynchburg Road. The City closed it at Moore’s Creek.

  14. jm February 11, 2007 at 19:12

    Just a few weeks ago I found that Sunset Ave doesn’t cross Moore’s creek. My map shows it as crossing but it was clearly disconected at some time.

    Frankly, that was a mistake. Part of the traffic on Old Lynchburg is to go around what would have been on Sunset. The city needs more connections, not fewer connections.

  15. UVA08 February 11, 2007 at 22:54

    jm… the “problem” is that Sunset would have connected the city with the county. In other words, its OK for them to use our roads and contribute to county traffic when they want to shop but its not ok for county resident to use theirs when they need to get to work. Kind of hypocritical dont you think?

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