A few stories of note this week of interest. Bolding is mine; please read the stories in their entireties.
Albemarle officials discuss effects of county’s growth – Alison Wrabel at DP
According to the Weldon Center Cooper for Public Service at the University of Virginia, the county’s population estimate as of July 1 is 107,697, an 8.8 percent increase since 2010.
“While it’s growing, it’s actually changing,” Burton said. “It’s becoming more racially diverse than it has in years prior and decades prior. At the same time that it’s growing and becoming more diverse, our population is actually aging.”
The population doesn’t have as many people in the 25- to 54-year-old range as it once did, he said.
“Those are some key points of your workforce, and we are actually trending behind the national trends and we’re even trending behind the state trends,” he said.
The number of attached housing units, such as townhouses or duplexes, in Albemarle has jumped in 2017 to about 5,000 units, compared with only a few hundred in 1990.
West2nd smackdown: Council rejects permit despite meeting city requirements – Mary Jane Gore at C-Ville
That Woodard offered to build affordable units on Harris Street instead of contributing to the Affordable Housing Fund, as most developers do, is unusual. And he said he’d exceed the city’s requirement of 16 units kept below market rate for 4.7 years. When councilors said they wanted a longer term, he said he’d make eight units affordable for 10 years.
Bellamy badgered him to up the number of affordable units. “Why couldn’t all 16 units be affordable for 20 years?” asked Bellamy.
“The project still has to be financially feasible,” explained Woodard, eliciting a big sigh from Bellamy.
Woodard pointed out that he could have put the amount required—$316,000—into the Affordable Housing Fund, “which maybe we should have stuck with that,” and that keeping eight units affordable for 10 years was already challenging at an estimated cost of $474,000.
Bellamy said he was perplexed that Woodard said it wouldn’t be financially feasible “when some would say you’ve made a lot of money in this city and because you’ve already made so much money maybe you can give some back.” That was greeted by whoops from some attendees.
Growing pains: Crozet roads can’t keep up with new developments – Lisa Provence at C-Ville
A fire along Old Three Notch’d Road caused a rush hour roadblock February 1 on one of Crozet’s main thoroughfares: Three Notch’d Road, aka Route 240. Instead of being able to drive to downtown Crozet, drivers had to make a U-turn, return to U.S. 250 and make a right, then another right onto Crozet Avenue/Route 240, only to be part of a massive backup at the light and four-way stop near the railway trestle at Crozet Square.
High-density growth area Crozet surely has the homes, but roadways have lagged behind. Will 2018 be the year several road projects begin in earnest?
Albemarle anticipating slightly less development activity in 2018 – Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
As Albemarle officials prepare for another budget season, the man responsible for overseeing land use matters in county government said he expects less development activity this year.
“In talking with the Urban Land Institute — they’re seeing some of this as a national trend,” said Mark Graham, director of the county’s community development department.
“I do seem to see we’re off the peak of the demands we saw in the last year,” he added.
Graham updated the Board of Supervisors this week on the operations of his department, which is tasked in part with processing land use applications and building permits. He said it is hard to estimate exactly how much time that will take his staff in any given year.
“We don’t determine how many [applications] we’re going to receive,” Graham said. “The market does that, so, we’re somewhat flexible as far as where we are putting our efforts.”
For instance, 2016 was a record year for the number of building permits approved, with more than 800 new residential units. More than $300 million worth of construction activity took place that year. 2017 saw similar numbers.
Councilor shows support for Dewberry as votes cast shadow on downtown projects – Chris Suarez at DP
After the Charlottesville City Council showed last year that it was interested in moving ahead with two major developments downtown, two recent votes have rankled some officials and developers who are concerned that the city is abandoning potential tax revenue and jobs.
Though the votes dealt blows to the projects, an effort might now be afoot to resurrect at least one of them.
Good story by @Suarez_CM this morning about the Landmark to the recession in downtown Charlottesville.
What would be the cost to repurpose it as proposed? pic.twitter.com/vPkcOZ3eVX
— Jim Duncan (@JimDuncan) February 11, 2018
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