The perils of zoning rear their heads in Fry’s Springs.
The Charlottesville City Council has agreed to consider a request from the Fryâ€™s Spring Neighborhood Association to study rezoning of three streets.
â€œEssentially, they are asking for the properties on Stribling, Crestmont and Shamrock to be downzoned,â€ said Jim Tolbert, director of the cityâ€™s Neighborhood Development Services.
Specifically, the neighborhood association has been asking for the city to change the zoning on all properties classified as R-2 to R-1S. Properties in R-2 can have up to two families, whereas R-1S allows only one. Accessory apartments could still exist, but only if the property owner lives on site.
In all, there are 213 properties in the Fryâ€™s Spring neighborhood with R-2 zoning.
This is an interesting development, so to speak. On one hand, what’s the harm in having the conversation about downzoning (besides staff time and resources)? The harm is that by contemplating downzoning, the City is discussing changing the property rights of owners.
R-2 and R-1S zoning presumably provide affordable housing options, and by eliminating this zoning the City would presumably be eliminating some affordable housing options … but with all the apartments coming to West Main Street, maybe the City is ok with this.
Curious – do off-site owners have lesser rights than owner-occupants?
“Councilor Dede Smith, a Fryâ€™s Spring resident, said that half of those owners do not live in Charlottesville.”
If you’re curious to see the City of Charlottesville’s zoning map, start here (the West Main study that’s there is interesting, too).