September 13, 2021: Pantops, 5th/Avon groups get development updates; TJPDC preparing solid waste plan
A look back before the Week Ahead begins
Today's Patreon-fueled shout-out is for the Rivanna Conservation Alliance. What are you doing on September 25? That's the day when RCA staff and volunteers will spend the day at the second annual Rivanna River Round-Up, a community watershed clean-up event. Last year, nearly a hundred people helped remove sixty large bags of trash from waterways that feed into the Rivanna as well as over 120 discarded tires. The Rivanna Conservation Alliance will also accept specific areas that you might want to clean as part of the Round-Up. More information as well as registration can be found at rivannariver.org.
In today’s show:
Development updates from Pantops and the 5th and Avon Community Advisory Committees
A look at the Thomas Jefferson Solid Waste Report
A quick round-up of timely information
The seven-day average for new COVID cases is now 3,452 according to data collected by the Virginia Department of Health and the percent positivity rate is now 10.9 percent. In the Blue Ridge Health District, there are 81 new cases reported today. Since September 8, there have been three more fatalities reported in the district. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors will get an update from the Blue Ridge Health District late Wednesday afternoon. They sent out an information email on Friday night.
“Since September 4, 713 people have tested positive for COVID in our district,” the newsletter read. “Ninety-six percent of all of these cases are the highly contagious Delta variant.”
As of September 4, the Virginia Department of Health reports that 4.89 million Virginians were fully vaccinated on that day.
“Of these people, 0.4 percent have developed COVID-19, 0.0017 percent have been hospitalized, and 0.0038 percent have died,” reads the VDH’s website that breaks down cases by vaccination status.
A motorcyclist struck a pedestrian walking on U.S. Route 250 near Hansen Road earlier this morning, killing the person on the site. The person operating the motorcycle was taken to the University of Virginia hospital. Albemarle police sent out a release with the information this afternoon, but have not yet released the identity of the pedestrian. There have been six fatalities on public roadways in Albemarle this year.
The Charlottesville Police Department has arrested an Albemarle County man in conjunction with an altercation and a shots fired incident on West Main Street. According to a release, an officer witnessed a “verbal disorder” in the 1000 block of West Main Street. Two men were in an argument, and one of them shot into the windshield of the car the other was in. Roy Willard Gray has been charged with malicious wounding.
The Pantops Community Advisory Committee got an update on development projects within their jurisdiction at their meeting on August 23. Let’s go through them real quick. There’s a new car wash building coming to the Pantops Shopping Center, according to Principal Planner Rachel Falkenstein. (watch the video)
“It’s about a 1,000 square feet and it’s at the rear of the shopping center near where the Little Caesars used to be,” Falkenstein said.
A Hampton Inn on State Farm Boulevard is also under site plan review and is awaiting further information from the developer, meaning there is no timeline for when construction might begin.
“A lot of that is really on the applicant and the developer and as soon as they can get their final easements recorded we can approve it but that can take weeks or months,” Falkenstein said. “It just depends on how motivated or how much of a hurry they are in, or how long it takes the signatures they need on those easements.”
The former Malloy Ford dealership will be replaced with another automotive showroom with a new 4,000 square foot service building on the site.
“Still don’t know who the end user is going to be but it indicates it will continue to be an automotive dealer,” Falkenstein said.
There’s another site plan in the initial stages for a new 1,500 square foot automotive service facility in the southwest corner of the Pantops Corner development.
“And that’s where the Wa Wa and the Holiday Inn express and the storage facility development are on the north side of U.S. 250,” Falkenstein said.
There is also an initial site plan in the works for the South Pantops Townhomes on a property that had previously had a project called the Vistas at South Pantops which was withdrawn.
“And this project is proposing 40 single-family attached townhomes which would be density of about three units per acre,” Falkenstein said.
There’s also a proposed hotel in an undeveloped part of the Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center that would require a rezoning. A community meeting was held for this project this past January.
“The applicant in this has since gone through two reviews with staff and the last review was completed in May,” Falkenstein said. “There were still some outstanding questions and comments from the reviewers and it sounds like it’s the reviewers’ understanding that the applicant does intend to submit for a third review. At this time we don’t have any public hearings scheduled with the Planning Commission.”
The Pantops CAC has requested that the application come back to them as part of the review of the third plan, but there is no obligation for them to do so.
One member of the CAC asked if there was any way to attract a hardware store to Pantops. Falkenstein said she would be on the look-out.
In today's second subscriber-fueled public service announcement: Lovers of used books rejoice! The Friends of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library will resume the tradition of their annual Fall Book Sale this October 2nd through October 10 at a new location! The Friends of the Library sale will take place at Albemarle Square Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Half-price days on October 9 and October 10. Questions? Visit for more information.
A few days earlier on January 19, the 5th and Avon Community Advisory Committee held their month. They also got an update on projects under review from planner Victoria Kanellopoulos. A major mixed-use project at the intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and Fifth Street Extended is called the Albemarle Business Campus. (watch the meeting on YouTube)
“This was approved with a rezoning to Neighborhood Model District so mixed-use, and it’s kind of split into two main sections by [a] part of Old Lynchburg Road,” Kanellopoulos said. “It’s across from the County Office Building at 5th Street.”
Included in the project is a 130,000 square foot self-storage facility and restaurant. There’s also a site plan for 128 apartment units across five three-story buildings.
Another recent rezoning was for over five dozen homes at Galaxie Farm between Route 20 and Avon Street Extended. This was to the Planned Residential District.
“So the rezoning allows up to 65 units which is what they are proposing,” Kanellopoulos said.
Also nearby is Avon Park 2 next to Avon Park along Avon Street Extended.
“That will be 28 townhouses and then the two existing hours [will] remain,” Kanellopoulos said.
On Wednesday, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will get a preview of the Southwood redevelopment that was organized by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville. Supervisors approved the rezoning in August 2019.
“There are several site plans under review,” Kanellopoulos said. “The site plans are in the phase 1 rezoning area adjacent to the existing Southwood neighborhood.”
Habitat is working with the Piedmont Housing Alliance, Southern Development, and Atlantic Builders to construct the 335 units in the first phase.
Kanellopoulos also had an update on the Granger property, a 69-acre property south of the Fontaine Research Park. Earlier this year, Riverbend Development submitted a subdivision request to create 73 lots for single-family homes on the property, utilizing existing zoning.
“The preliminary plat was denied,” Kanellopoulos said. “That doesn’t mean it can’t actually happen or won’t get built.” (read the August 6, 2021 disapproval letter)
In this case, reviewers across all levels of county staff still have a lot of outlying questions before they can sign off. These include the Virginia Department of Transportation. fire and rescue, stormwater, and other issues.
The Southern and Western Urban Neighborhoods Master Plan calls for a Sunset-Fontaine Connector road, but there are no active plans for it to go forward due to high costs and the likelihood of the Granger property developing by-right. (read the SWUN master plan)
One CAC member observed that there were a lot of developments in the area.
“We’re reaching sort of a tipping point here that our neighborhoods in this part of the county, the northern part of the county, the western part of the country are all very popular destinations for people and people with families,” Storm said.
Storm said school capacity is an issue with trailers being built at Mountain View Elementary to accommodate overcrowding. He predicted tough decisions ahead about how to pay for the capital projects.
“There may have to be a look at what the tax rate is if we’re going to really provide the services,” Storm said.
Supervisor Donna Price told the CAC she felt consideration of an increase in the tax rate is on the table.
“We do have a lot of things that we want to get done and as a rapidly developing county, we’re not a rural county, we’re not Nelson County,” Price said. “The Scottsville District has almost as many people as Nelson County in its entirety.”
In the second quarter of 2021, 45 percent of the building permits issued in Albemarle were in the Scottsville district. When you look at the certificates of occupancy, the White Hall District led the way with 36 percent of the 156 units cleared to be lived in, with 28 percent in Scottsville.
To conclude today’s meeting, a quick item from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission from September 2, 2021. We’re closer to today’s date, at least!
In any case, one of the items was a review of a draft Solid Waste Report that the TJPDC will send to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in October. Shirese Franklin is a planner with TJPDC. (review the Solid Waste Plan)
“The solid waste and recycling plan for our region consists of Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna and Greene,” Franklin said.
Nelson County works with the planning district commission around Lynchburg and Louisa County manages and maintains their own municipal landfill. Solid waste planning units have to submit a plan every five years.
“The plan aims to address regional collaboration and how the region reduces, resuses, and recycles,” Franklin said. “We also within this plan want to encourage education around those things.”
Every year, the TJPDC submits a recycling rate report to the DEQ.
“We have to make sure that we are over 25 percent in our recycling rate,” Franklin said. “This year we haven’t received our final result from the DEQ. When I sent it, I believe we are at 43 [percent], but it depends on what they give in the final say of what we actually are.”
Interested in specific parts of the plan? Section 2.5 deals with “markets for the reuse and recycling of materials. Section 3 reviews all of the landfills in the community that are now closed. Section 4.1 projects how much waste is expected to be generated by 2045. Section 4.4 explains how that recycling rate is calculated.
Franklin said she needed to add additional data to the plan before it will be completed. The TJDPC will take another look in October.