Week Ahead for August 9, 2021: Community meetings for two Piedmont Housing projects; Nelson BOS to consider funding to reopen Nelson Heritage Community Center

This one is shorter than usual, but not because there are not meetings! This is not a slow week, but I’m keen to get it posted so I can celebrate my birthday with some friends.

I am taking tomorrow off and want to get on with the festivities. There are 19 items in today’s installment, and I have a lot more to go through for future editions of Charlottesville Community Engagement. I do not take it lightly when I say I felt a calling to get back to doing this work when I made the leap of faith to be an independent journalist again. Nothing makes me more easy than taking time off!

As always, thanks to the Piedmont Environmental Council for their sponsorship of this research and its weekly publication. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Two meetings today.

The Albemarle Fire EMS Executive Committee meets at 4:30 p.m. virtually. They have several items of unfinished business to contend with, including a program to provide incentives to new volunteers and an update on the Stony Point Volunteer Fire Company. According to the minutes of the June meeting, the County Executive’s office sent a letter to the company this spring “requesting that they agree to certain stipulations before taking delivery of a new tanker.” 

Under new business, there’s a discussion of “volunteer precepting” and I will admit that I had to look up the word. (meeting info)

The Village of Rivanna Community Advisory Committee (VORCAC) meets virtually at 7 p.m. One of the items they will discuss is the Planning Commission’s public hearing on July 20. That’s when that body voted 4-2 to recommend approval of the Breezy Hill development, a project that has been reduced in intensity at least twice to gain support. Read Allison Wrabel’s story in the Daily Progress. The VORCAC will also discuss the future of the master plan for this designated growth area. (meeting info)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors meets in person in Lovingston at 2 p.m. There’s a lot of business on the agenda ranging from an update on the regional body that may be created to administer new cigarette taxes to a funding request from the Millennium Group. (agenda packet of 196 pages)

  • Localities that want to participate in the Regional Cigarette Tax Board will adopt ordinances this fall. A memorandum of agreement will need to be set up between the board and the Virginia Department of Taxation on the stamping process. Collections would begin in January 2022. 

  • Supervisors will consider a resolution to participate in the Regional Internet Service Expansion project between Firefly Broadband, Dominion Energy, and the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. The county’s Economic Development Authority is putting up $1.125 million toward the effort. 

  • Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company wants to rename a portion of Mosby’s Run to Crandall Run in order to commemorate their late founder. They’ll pay $177.35 to cover the costs of replacing two signs. Another set of landowners wants to rename their street to Afton Braes Drive. 

  • Wintergreen Adaptive Sports at Wintergreen Resorts wants to install a pump-out waste tank to build the capacity of a planned addition to an existing building. 

  • The Virginia Department of Transportation will consider removing a quarter mile road from the public road network. They’re also seeking approval of a memorandum of agreement involving demolition and replacement of a bridge that’s within the Oak Ridge / Mansion Historic District. (view a map of the district)

  • The Millennium Group wants to convert the Nelson County Memorial High School in Arrington into a community center and heritage site. The school was the African-American high school for the county until being shut down for that purpose in the mid 70’s. The gymnasium was closed in 2008 after significant water damage. The Millennium Group is raising funds to repair the roof and fix the walls to allow the site to be used once again. They’re seeking a $52,500 commitment from the county. 

The Nelson Board of Supervisors will meet again at 7 p.m. for three public hearings. One is for a banquet hall on agricultural property at 8761 Irish Road, another is for a campground in Montebello, and the final one relates to the county code on taxation and the Board of Equalization. 

Community Meeting for two Piedmont Housing Alliance projects on Park Street

The Piedmont Housing Alliance is seeking two applications to rezone two properties on Park Street in the city of Charlottesville for below-market housing projects. The nonprofit entity is working with Park Street Christian Church on a proposal to build 50 units for seniors behind existing church buildings. 

They’re also working with the Monticello Area Community Action Alliance (MACAA) to rezone that agency’s property at 1025 Park Street for 65 below market units, 20 market rate townhomes, and 4,700 square feet of commercial space to allow MACAA to continue to operate on the site. There are community meetings for both rezoning proposals on August 10 at 5:30 p.m. either virtually on Zoom or in-person at the Charlottesville High School library. Masks are required. In both rezonings, the request is for Planned Unit Development. The concept plans for both were created by BRW Architects. (register for Zoom)

Charlottesville City Council denied a previous rezoning for the MACAA property in November 2017 that would have seen construction of a 141-unit assisted living facility on the site. (Read a Charlottesville Tomorrow story from then)

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Police Citizens Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. (meeting info)

  • The Albemarle Department of Social Services Advisory Board meets at 3:30 p.m. (meeting info)

  • It’s a light agenda for the Charlottesville Planning Commission which meets at 5:30 p.m. There are no public hearings. They will get a review of the schedule for the Cville Plans Together initiative and a presentation on the Rivanna River Corridor Plan. The PC will have two work sessions later this month, so there’s plenty of time to hang out with these folks. (meeting info)

  • The Greene County Board of Supervisors meets in person with the open session beginning at 6:30 p.m. On the agenda is an update from Parks and Recreation, a public hearing for a tourist lodging permit in the Greene Mountain Lake subdivision, and a decision on the rezoning request from the Fried Companies to rezone  (agenda)

  • The Fluvanna County Planning Commission meets in person at the Fluvanna County Library beginning at 7 p.m. (agenda) (Fluvanna YouTube page)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Four meetings today. Four paragraphs arranged in bulleted points.  

  • The James River Water Authority meets at 9 a.m. at Fluvanna County Library. Work continues on an alternate site for an intake and pump station for the future water supply for Zion Crossroads. (agenda)

  • After nearly a dozen years of planning and study, the construction phase of the Belmont Bridge Replacement is underway with utility relocation and construction of a new parking lot. Curious about how the project will affect travel through the eastern downtown area? The city will hold a virtual information meeting on the Belmont Bridge beginning at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

  • Charlottesville’s current capital improvement plan assumes the property tax rate will be increased by ten cents in order to cover the costs of affordable housing, school reconfiguration, and other projects. There’s also talk about increasing the eligibility of the various tax abatement programs to protect homeowners with low incomes. A subcommittee of the Housing Advisory Committee will meet virtually at noon to discuss the topic, and here are those materials. They’ll also talk about a possible way to track how the city will implement the Affordable Housing plan adopted by Council in March. Here is a link to a draft spreadsheet.  (meeting info)

  • The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m. The main event is a presentation from the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority on various projects underway and in  the future. After that there will be an update on the Crozet Master Plan. (meeting info)

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Louisa County Planning Commission meets in person at 7 p.m. They’ll have two public hearings and a discussion of amending the land development regulations as they pertain to towing yards. (agenda packet)

In the first public hearing, they will consider allowing the conditions agreed by the Louisa Industrial Development Authority for the the Cooke Industrial Park. They need to be updated to allow for a conditional use permit to be applied for a utility-scale solar facility. 

In the second, they will consider a rezoning request from Commercial 2 to Industrial I-2 to allow for an enzyme bio-tech company to expand future manufacturing opportunities. The company is Microzyme of Charlottesville. 

“The owner has operated a local business on the property for 30 years,” reads the narrative. “The business, Bio-Cat, is a custom blender and distributor of enzymes for the food, dietary supplement, and agriculture industry.” 

The narrative continues that Bio-Cat is working with the Kerry Group and needs “increased production of a human-grade probiotic.”

There are 56 employees currently and the narrative states another 21 would be added. 

In other meetings:

  • The Albemarle Board of Equalization meets at 1 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)

  • The Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority meets at 4:45 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)

  • The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meets at 5:30 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)

  • The Places29 North Community Advisory Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. There’s no agenda available at publication time. (meeting info)

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Charlottesville Historic Resources Committee meets at 11 a.m. On the agenda is continued discussion of the engagement strategy for the Descendant Community for Court Square/Slave Auction Block Site, a new downtown walking tour, and signage for the future Vinegar Hill Park. (meeting info)