Date Archives July 2011

HR 2413 – “Safe and Sound”: The Bill to Reform Fannie and Freddie?

We’ll see.

H.R. 2413, supported by the NAR, is billed as:

To establish a sustainable Federal Secondary Market Facility for Residential Mortgages that is financed by private capital, to terminate the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and repeal the charter Acts of such enterprises, and for other purposes.

I’m trying to make sense of the bill today

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What, Pray Tell, IS the Character of the Area Surrounding the Shops at Stonefield?

What, Pray Tell, is the Character of the Area Surrounding the Shops at Stonefield?

Just curious.

Albemarle’s Architectural Review Board is in a bit of an unenviable position, but let’s be serious.

The Shops at Stonefield are going to be big, likely going to be ugly, will probably look like almost any other big box development in the US, and will represent a huge step towards homogeneity in Charlottesville/Albemarle.

The ARB guidelines state (PDF):

Compatibility with the character of the Entrance Corridor:

5. It is also an important objective of the Guidelines to establish a pattern of compatible architectural characteristics throughout the Entrance Corridor in order to achieve unity and coherence. Building designs should demonstrate sensitivity to other nearby structures within the Entrance Corridor. Where a designated corridor is substantially developed, these Guidelines require striking a careful balance between harmonizing new development with the existing character of the corridor and achieving compatibility with the significant historic sites in the area.

Maybe they’re operating under guidelines different than the ones I was able to find.

So, what exactly is the character? I looked at the existing “entrance corridor”:

Seminole Square mall – Cheeseburger in Paradise, the Express Car Wash, Chili’s, strip with Sprint and the UPS Store, on the east side of 29, Burger King, and lots of parking lots. Stonefield is replacing the old Blockbuster and 7-11, and lots of trees and natural landscape. If the ARB truly wanted to be consistent, the Shops at Stonefield would have to emulate trees.

Note that a labeled look from above shows the existing character of the 29 corridor.

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This Is Why you Visit Neighborhoods at All Hours of the Day (Before you Buy!)

Over multiple days, over weekends if possible, investigate, observe, educate yourself about your potential new home.

You’re not buying your home just on the Tuesday afternoon between 3 and 3:30 when the neighbors are at work. You’re not buying your home just on the Friday morning from 9 to 1 when the home inspection is done. And you’re not buying your new home just for the thirty minutes when we’re doing the final walkthrough on the morning of closing.

You’re buying your home every day of the week, month and year.

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