Let’s begin with a Patreon-fueled shout-out!Fall is here, and with it, more moderate temperatures. While your HVAC takes a break, now is the perfect time to prepare for the cooler months. Your local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!On today’s program:A review of economic development efforts in Albemarle County Jaunt owes the state of Virginia nearly a million for false ridership numbersCharlottesville’s Home to Hope program gains national recognition A closed-door group of planners gets several interesting presentations related to climate adaptation Let’s begin with a quick look at COVID cases in Virginia coming out of the weekend. The seven-day average of new cases has dropped to 1,545 as of this morning, with 943 reported by the Virginia Department of Health. The percent positivity has fallen to 6.3 percent. That figure was 8.8 percent on October 1. The Blue Ridge Health District reports another 50 cases and the percent positivity is 5.7 percent. The district will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday on COVID vaccinations for children between the age of 5 and 11. Approvals are pending. (Facebook link)Employees at the University of Virginia will be required to be vaccinated by December 8. That’s according to a Cavalier Daily article. Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis set an email to staff Thursday notifying the requirement is necessary to comply with federal regulations. The article states UVa’s vaccination rate was 95 percent as of Thursday. Home to Hope honoredAn international group that promotes excellence in local government has honored a new Charlottesville program created to help formerly incarcerated people return to society. The International City/County Management Association honored the Home to Hope Program, which was proposed by Mayor Nikuyah Walker in 2018 to provide support to a vulnerable demographic.Four full-time employees serve as peer navigators to help people find employment, housing, and reliable transportation. According to a write-up in the ICMA’s latest newsletter, the program has served 389 individuals.“Of the 389 enrollees, only seven have returned to custody, and only three of those were actively involved in the program,” reads the article on page 34 of the newsletter. “That represents a recidivism rate of 1.8 percent, well below the 38 percent across the region.” The honor is part of ICMA’s Program Excellence awards under the Community Sustainability section. (read more)LUEPC meetingA routine closed-door meeting of key planning officials in Albemarle, Charlottesville, and University of Virginia was held last week on October 15. The Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee (LUEPC) had four presentations on items related to climate adaptation.Paul Zmick, Director of Energy and Utilities at UVA, gave a presentation on the school’s efforts to develop a strategy for thermal energy use. That’s one way UVA hopes to become fossil-free by the year 2050. A recent study evaluated dozens of potential ways to reduce reliance on old technology. Some strategies are recommended to be dropped from further analysis such as solar thermal, biomass, and deep geothermal. (presentation)Lance Stewart, the county’s director of facilities and environmental services, gave a presentation on the recent publication of the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. That tool will be the primary way Albemarle measures its programs toward emissions reduction goals. The next milestone is to reach 45 percent of 2008 levels by 2030. (presentation)“Emissions estimated to have decreased by nearly 10% between 2008 and 2018,” reads one slide in the presentation. “To achieve the County’s 2030 target, we need to reduce emissions by 39 percent from 2018.”The presentation also states that the effectiveness of the Albemarle’s Climate Action Plan won’t be known until after the 2022 inventory is published in 2024. Bill Mawyer of the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority briefed LUEPC on a program to recover methane gas that is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process. The Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant generates 32 million cubic feet of methane each year that is captured as biogas and used internally in plant operations to produce biosolids which are shipped to Waverly, Virginia for eventual use as fertilizers. (presentation)Albemarle County’s Bill Fritz gave a presentation on “Large Scale Solar opportunities being studied and deployed for Albemarle County.” That is the only of the fourth that was not posted to the LUEPC website. Jaunt audit The transit agency Jaunt owes the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation nearly a million dollars due to alleged misreporting of ridership figures by former CEO Brad Sheffield. Sheffield resigned last November after the Jaunt Board requested his departure. The Daily Progress first reported from an October 6 letter from DRPT officials regarding a review of Jaunt’s financial report for fiscal year 2020.“The findings of this review are troubling and indicate a pattern of misinformation and inaccurate reporting by JAUNT leadership that resulted in the over-allocation of state and federal resources to Jaunt from FY19 to FY22,” reads the letter from DRPT director Jennifer Mitchell.In 2019, DRPT moved to a system where funding was based on performance. The audit compared reported numbers to Jaunt’s scheduling software and found that overall ridership was overstated by 19 percent in FY19. The total amount overpaid to Jaunt was $968,640 and allocations for the current fiscal year will be reduced. The DRPT has also canceled the capital purchase of 23 vehicles. The DRPT will also require Jaunt to provide a new transit development plan. Read Allison Wrabel’s story in the Daily Progress for more context. *In today’s second subscriber supported Public Service Announcement, one person wants you to know about another community litter cleanup event in Albemarle, this time on October 30 in the southern part of the county. The latest Love Albemarle event will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at sites in Esmont, Keene, Scottsville, and North Garden. Around fifty people showed up for a similar event in Esmont this past spring, and organizers want to double that amount. Organizer Ed Brooks is seeking to get children involved, so if you’re a parent or guardian and want to spend the morning cleaning up road-side litter, register today! *For the rest of the show today, we take a look back at highlights from the Albemarle Board of Supervisors from the last week. Let’s start with an update on Project Enable, the county’s strategic plan for economic development. The Albemarle Economic Development Authority administers grant and bond programs that seek to encourage businesses to expand in Albemarle or to locate their operations there. On October 19, 2021, the seven-member EDA Board of Directors formally authorized their role in a performance agreement for the firm Bonumose to open a demonstration facility in the former State Farm Building. That came at a joint meeting with the six elected members of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. Doug Walker is the Deputy County Executive. “These two bodies work in collaboration with each other,” Walker said. “They are considering the same projects, the same agreements, and they do them in concert with each other.” Many of these discussions are held in closed session, as a provision in Virginia’s open meeting rules allows for the public to be excluded from conversations where “Discussion concerning a prospective business or industry or the expansion of an existing business or industry where no previous announcement has been made of the business' or industry's interest in locating or expanding its facilities in the community.” (Virginia code)These packages are often given code names and Walker said the following represent exceed $136 million in private investment which then enters the local economy. “Turtle. Daffodil. Macintosh. Proton. Patriot. Bronco. 49ers,” Walker said. “Those projects are actually Woolen Mills, WillowTree, Potter’s Craft Cider. Afton Scientific. Barnes’ Lumber. Castle Hill Gaming. Albemarle Business Campus.”Walker said those projects have resulted in nearly 600 new jobs in Albemarle. Another key performance agreement is one with Habitat for Humanity for the provision of affordable housing units at Southwood, as well as one with Pinnacle Construction for the Brookdale apartment complex off of Old Lynchburg Road. “And then there are other active pending projects that we can’t talk about by name but we can talk about by code,” Walker said. “Project Gadget, Project Puma, Project Baja, just illustrating that the work continues.” The EDA also works to help build infrastructure to help industrial sites more accessible and attractive. The University of Virginia Foundation’s North Fork Research Park is considered a Tier 4 site by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Recently the Foundation paid to extend Lewis and Clark Drive to Airport Road in order to provide an additional entrance. (go look!) “It’s the county’s only tier 4 site so the Foundation provided more than $6 million toward that infrastructure improvement,” said J.T. Newberry in the Economic Development Office. Newberry said the economic development office is working with the Foundation to elevate the North Fork park to a Tier 5 site. He also said the firm Kimley-Horn will provide a long-awaited study for the county as part of the Comprehensive Plan update. “A long desired piece of information for us is an inventory of our commercial and industrial properties,” Newberry said. Watch the rest of the video to see the whole presentation on the Board of Supervisors’ website. (watch)Supervisors also met on Wednesday, October 20, for a full meeting. At the very beginning, Chair Ned Gallaway said he recently attended a meeting earlier this month welcoming more than 250 families from Afghanistan to the area. The International Rescue Committee is seeking assistance from the community. “Things like if you’re a landlord or somebody that has housing or space available, to contact the IRC, the International Rescue Committee to help,” Gallaway said. “Employers in the area, helping these folks find employment. And then obviously just assisting with the transition, just navigating simple things like how to get around the community can be daunting coming out of a very stressful and traumatic experience for these folks.” Visit the Welcoming Greater Charlottesville page to learn more about how you can help. Special announcement of a continuing promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown MallAdditionally, Ting will match your Substack subscription to support Town Crier Productions, the company that produces this newsletter and other community offerings. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today’s first subscriber supported Public Service Announcement, one person wants you to know about another community litter cleanup event in Albemarle, this time on October 30 in the southern part of the county. The latest Love Albemarle event will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at sites in Esmont, Keene, Scottsville, and North Garden. Around fifty people showed up for a similar event in Esmont this past spring, and organizers want to double that amount. Organizer Ed Brooks is seeking to get children involved, so if you’re a parent or guardian and want to spend the morning cleaning up road-side litter, register today! On this edition of the program:A host of development updates in Albemarle County, including a mixed-use development in the Broadway BlueprintThe Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association releases its annual awardsEmmet Street at Ivy Road to be closed for nearly two weeks for stormwater projectChris Greene Lake reopens to dogs after a month’s closureA suspicious item is found at Charlottesville’s federal courtFire crews and police officers responded last night to reports of a suspicious item at the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in downtown Charlottesville, but the item was determined by the Virginia State Police to be of no threat. The area was closed from 6:45 p.m. to around 8:30 p.m. according to a release from the city’s communications office.The incident comes just three days before a trial gets underway in the federal cases against multiple organizers involved in the August 12 Unite the Right rally. The lawsuit was filed four years ago and seeks damages based on an 1871 civil rights law as well as a prevention of future rallies. Defendants include Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, and Christopher Cantwell, among others. The trial begins Monday morning. (read more in the University of Michigan’s Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse)The water at Chris Greene Lake Park has been reopened to dogs and people. Albemarle issued an advisory in late September after tests reported elevated levels of harmful algae. There have been two consecutive tests which have indicated water quality has returned to normal levels. A release announcing the reopening went out Friday afternoon. Emmet Street will be fully closed between Ivy Road and Rothery Road for nearly two weeks between November 1 and November 12. Traffic will be detoured along Massie Road and Copeley Road. According to a release, the roadway will be shut to allow for installation of a large stormwater utility structure across Emmet Street. Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and transit-riders are warned of potential delays. “Please expect traffic backups along the detour route and if possible, utilize Rt 250 or other city streets to bypass the area,” reads the release. “Pedestrians will be detoured through the UVA site along the parking garage service road.” The school superintendent in Nelson County has announced she will step down next June 30. The Lynchburg News Advance reports that Martha Eagle has plans to retire after a 32-year career in the Nelson school system. Nelson County has 1,520 students and more than 300 employees. (read the article)The Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association has released its awards for 2021 at a hybrid conference in Roanoke. Senator Lynwood Lewis (D-6) received the Cardinal Award for his role as a legislator, singling out key pieces of legislation that were signed into law in the from the past year.SB1350: Requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to incorporate resiliency into project selection processSB1374: Establishes a carbon sequestration task force which must report before 2022 General Assembly SB1389: Requires landowners whose properties are prone to flooding to report that risk to potential buyersSB1404: Adjustments to the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund to clarify intent to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous reduction Fairfax County won the Commonwealth Plan of the year for its Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project, which cut the length of those regulations in half.“The new streamlined ordinance is half the size of the previous Ordinance from 1978, which was accomplished through elimination of repetition and use of easy-to-understand language, graphics, and figures,” reads the award’s write-up.The city of Norfolk won three awards for three projects. OpenNorfolk is an initiative that helped businesses connect with customers during the pandemic. Norfolk also created a Missing Middle Pattern Book to explain how additional density could be achieved in single-family neighborhoods. The Norfolk Thrive plan presents a vision for how to extend urban development in the coastal city from the Harbor Park ballpark to Norfolk State University. The latter won the APA’s Resilient Virginia Community of the Year. Other awards include:Williamsburg Planning Director Carolyn Murphy won the Outstanding Service AwardThe Edge District between York County, James City County, and the City of Williamsburg won the Holzheimer Economic Development Award Frederick County won the Commonwealth Connectors Award and planner John Bishop won the Outstanding Service Award for the Crossover Boulevard project, which is a new four-lane roadway in WinchesterIn today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out is for the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Campaign, an initiative that wants you to grow native plants in yards, farms, public spaces and gardens in the northern Piedmont. The leaves have started to fall as autumn set in, and as they do, this is a good time to begin planning for the spring. Native plants provide habitat, food sources for wildlife, ecosystem resiliency in the face of climate change, and clean water. Start at the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Facebook page and tell them Lonnie Murray sent you!Time now for a round up of various developments in Albemarle County. Developer Alan Cadgene has filed plans with Albemarle County for a mixed-use development to be built on a 1.36 acre property just to the northwest of the redeveloped Woolen Mills factory. The proposal is for a 2,500 square foot manufacturing buildings with 13 dwelling units. The project is being submitted by-right. “[That] means that if the proposed plans meet the minimum requirements of the county’s zoning, site plan, or subdivision ordinances, they must be approved,” reads the public notification for the project.The county’s Comprehensive Plan designates the land as Neighborhood Density Residential which calls for between three and six units per acre. According to the project application, the residential density on the site be 9.55 units per acre. An existing structure on the property would remain. This is within the scope of the county’s Broadway Blueprint planning area. That’s being run by the county’s Economic Development Office. Elsewhere in the county, plans have been filed for 250 units along Rio Road near Four Seasons. Andy Reitelbach is a senior planner with the county. “So the application is called the Heritage on Rio,” Retelbach said.The property is within the jurisdiction of the Places29-Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee, which had a community meeting on a rezoning application for the project on October 18. “Sometimes the current zoning and the future land use designation do not always line up so that is one reason why a property owner may choose to request a rezoning of their property,” Reitelbach said. In this case, the request is to go from R-6 zoning to a customized zone known as a Planned Residential Development. That would allow up to 35 units per acre as well as some commercial uses. The buildings have not been designed, according to attorney Valerie Long with the firm Williams Mullen. The Architectural Review Board will also weigh in on the project as Rio Road is an entrance corridor. “The project is proposing that 15 percent of the rezoned units will be affordable to those making up to 80 percent of the area median income,” Long said. By-right there could be 50 units on the property, so that translates to 15 percent of 200, or 30 units. The Places29-North Community Advisory Committee met on October 14 and one topic was an update on the Brookhill development south of Forest Lakes and north of Polo Grounds Road. Cameron Langille is another planner in Albemarle. (watch the meeting)“Brookhill was rezoned by the Board of Supervisors in 2016,” Langille said. “Brookhill totals 277.5 acres so it is a pretty large project. It’s going to be developed in multiple phases and the rezoning referred to each of those phases as blocks.”Brookhill is a mixed-use development that must have at least 552 residential units and a maximum of 1,550 units. These include apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes. Langille said the developer could have constructed many more under the Comprehensive Plan but opted to go at a lower density. Final approval so far has been granted for 535 total dwelling unitsBlock 1 is the center of the development. “There’s going to be also a public park and a plaza gathering area, and that is going to be the primary focal point for non-residential uses in this project,” Langille said. Some blocks have been approved and constructed, while others are working their way through the review process. Block 8A consists of a 179-bed assisted living facility which is nearing opening. Block 1A and Block 8B consist of multifamily units that look like townhomes but contain more units. A site plan had been submitted for a hockey rink in the town center. “That plan got to the final site plan stage which is basically the last thing they have to do application wise before they get final approval,” Langille said. “We were reviewing that back in 2018 and from what the developer has told me it’s not going to be build in that block any longer. They are still working with the folks who are looking to do that ice rink and they are potentially going to relocate it a little further north on the north side of the town center area.”Allison Wrabel of the Daily Progress reported in February 2020 that the park had been delayed. A group called Friends of the Charlottesville Ice Park had been fundraising for the project. The website for the group has expired. Special announcement of a continuing promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown MallAdditionally, Ting will match your Substack subscription to support Town Crier Productions, the company that produces this newsletter and other community offerings. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today’s first Patreon-fueled shout-out, are you interested in picking up some new fibrous friends? On Saturday, the Jefferson Madison Regional Library invites you to Gordon Avenue for a front porch plant swap. Bring a healthy plant or a cutting on October 23 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and exchange it for another in an event that also includes a selection of plant-related library resources, including plant care cards with QR codes to help your new friend develop deep roots. That’s the Front Porch Plant Swap at the Gordon Avenue branch of the library. Visit jmrl.org to learn more. On today’s show:A company that wants to take a shot at a male contraceptive gets a shot of fundingBoosters are authorized for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson VaccineRegional updates from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission including information about broadband expansion Ground is broken for the School of Data Science at the University of Virginia It’s been a few days since a newsletter, so let’s catch up first on today’s COVID numbers. The September surge is now in the past with new case numbers continuing to decline in Virginia. The seven-day average is currently 1,688 new cases a day. Compare that to 3,486 a day as registered on September 22. The seven day percent positivity has declined to 6.5 percent. In the Blue Ridge Health District there are another 50 new cases reported today. The percent positivity is 5.5 percent. Though numbers are currently on a downward trend, that may not remain the case. “We’re all hopeful that we’re on the back side of this Delta wave right now,” said Dr. Costi Sifri, director of hospital epidemiology at the University of Virginia. “I think we also do recognize that we’re heading into colder drier times right now and that we’re going into to respiratory virus season, the so-called cold and flu season, and cold, flu, and maybe COVID season.”Dr. Sifri said people need to continue to keep their guard up against community spread by continuing to wear masks, to wash hands, and all of the preventative measures that have been recommended over the course of the pandemic. This week, the Centers for Disease Control cleared the way for booster shots of the Modern and the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The Moderna third dose is for people over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions.“For Moderna it’s similar to the Pfizer dose, it would be a third dose,” Dr. Sifri said. “For both the Pfizer and the Moderna, the booster eligibility is six months after the completion of your primary series, that initial two dose series. There is a difference in the dose for the booster dose for the Moderna vaccine. It’s a half dose compared to what was used for the primary series.”The Johnson and Johnson booster is a second dose that Dr. Sifri said will be available for anyone over the age of 18, regardless of underlying health conditions. “I can tell you here at UVA and I’m sure at the Blue Ridge Health District as well and local pharmacies, we are gearing up to provide those vaccines through local resources,” Dr. Sifri said. A Charlottesville-based company that wants to bring a male contraceptive to market recently announced the securing of $10.7 million in new capital financing. Contraline will use the funding to begin a human trial of ADAM™ , a hydrogel implant. “The ADAM hydrogel is injected into the vas deferens through a quick and minimally invasive outpatient procedure, where it’s designed to block the flow of sperm,” reads a press release making the announcement. The trial will take place in Melbourne, Australia and has been sanctioned by the Human Research Ethics Committee there. The press releases states this is the first human trial for a male contraceptive in a couple of decades. (Hat tip to the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council!)Ground has been broken for construction of the new School of Data Science at the University of Virginia. According to UVA Today, officials marked the occasion with a ceremony Thursday. The new building is within the 14 acre Emmet / Ivy corridor, which will also include a hotel and conference center as well as other uses that have not yet been announced. The school is being funded in part through a $120 million gift to UVA from the Quantitative Foundation and Merrill and Jaffrey Woodriff. Charlottesville 350 is the local chapter of a national organization that seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Charlottesville 350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. To learn more about their most active campaigns, including a petition drive to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cville350This week, Governor Ralph Northam’s press office sent out a message announcing that Virginia’s government and the private sector have teamed up on over $2 billion in investments in broadband. The goal is to have the state on track to have universal broadband access by 2024. The work is coordinated through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, or VATI. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission has made one of 57 applications from across Virginia for $943 million in available funding in the latest round of VATI funding, Those applications will leverage $1.15 billion in private funding. The program is run by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. “These applications are all posted online so other services providers are able to see those applications to see what the projected service areas to be covered are and if they believe that they already have service or provide the opportunity for service in a particular area, then they can indicate they want to challenge the application or that portion of the application,” said David Blount, deputy director and legislative liaison at the TJPDC. Challenges are due October 24. The TJPDC’s application is part of the Regional Internet Service Expansion project, or RISE. The private aspect is Firefly Fiber Broadband, Dominion, and several electric cooperatives. The public aspect includes thirteen counties as far south as Campbell County south of Lynchburg. (read the application)TJPDC’s request is for $85.9 million for a $307.8 million project. Localities have put up $35.3 million in local matching funds. “The application proposes putting 4,300 miles of fiber either in the air or underground passing over 40,000 total locations,” Blount said. Blount said TJPDC’s role would be to administer the project. He made his comments at the October 4, 2021 meeting of the TJPDC’s Board of Commissioners. At the same meeting, Dale Herring of the Greene Board of Supervisors reported that short-term rentals are no longer allowed in that county’s residential districts. “Unfortunately or fortunately depending on which side of the fence you are on, that was voted down after about three years,” Herring said. “It turned out that a lot of investors were beginning to buy properties in R-1 zoning and that definitely created an issue for the homeowners in those areas.” The TJPDC meetings always include a roundtable where representatives from the different localities are able to give updates on what’s happening. Tommy Barlow is on the Louisa County Board of Supervisors. “It looks like to me that every meeting we are dealing with mid-year appropriations that weren’t expected such as Sheriff’s Department raises to keep up with other counties,” Barlow said. “We just lost our deputy county administrator so we’re looking to hire another one.”Employment was also on the mind of Albemarle Supervisor Donna Price, who said a thorough review of compensation will soon get underway. “We are facing loss of some critical people primarily because of compensation packages from other governmental entities that are extremely difficult for us to match,” Price said. “I would just as one Supervisor speaking anticipate that we’re going to have to put some more money into our labor expenses in the county in order to avoid losing some of our better people.” Tony O’Brien is on the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors. He agreed that the cost of paying people to do government work is increasing.“Because Louisa raised their pay rate for the Sheriff’s office, Fluvanna had to follow in turn, too,” O’Brien said. “Obviously Sheriff’s compensation and deputy’s compensation is an issue for many many counties as recruitment is increasingly difficult.” O’Brien suggested a regional compensation study be conducted. As part of her report, TJPDC Executive Director Christine Jacobs reminded the board that City Council has extended its local COVID emergency due to a high number of cases. “How that affects us here is that we will continue to hold our public bodies, partnerships, and commissions virtually to ensure that we are keeping it as safe as possible for people,” Jacobs said. The chair of the TJPDC is Jesse Rutherford of Nelson County. Rutherford said Nelson is considering a recreation center and a business park, among other things. He also had this news. “I’m excited to announce Lovingston is getting its brewery here soon after our vote on Tuesday,” Rutherford said. According to the Lynchburg News Advance, supervisors voted unanimously on October 12 for a special use permit for the Outback Brew House to operate at the site of a former church on U.S. 29. Rutherford told the News Advance that this may begin to alleviate pressure on Route 151, which has seen multiple alcohol related businesses spring up over the years. Outback Brew House will be a microbrewery. Special announcement! Today’s the third day of a new promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown Mall This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
President David J. Canepa San Mateo County Board of Supervisors made the following statement today after the San Francisco Republican Party announced it will host a fundraiser with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene at an undisclosed location in north San Mateo County Nov. 6 to circumvent San Francisco's proof of vaccination requirement for indoor dining and events. Greene is an outspoken opponent of COVID vaccines and mask requirements. “This is sneaky, sad and shameful and I think the local GOP should consider shutting this event down as it may turn into a safety issue as it is sure to draw progressive-minded protestors who will want to shout her down,” Canepa said. “Greene spreads misinformation and lies about COVID which we have declared a public health crisis in San Mateo County.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Bill Handel on the energy crunch hitting global recovery as winter approaches, and the economic rebound is still waiting for workers. Wayne Resnick and Jennifer Jones Lee join Bill for the Late Edition of Handel on the News. The trio talks about news topics that include: The White House has detailed plans to vaccinate 28 million 5-11-year-olds, a school in Florida says vaccinated students must stay home for 30 days after each shot citing a false claim that they'll infect others, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors have ordered an independent audit of Mark Ridley-Thomas' bribery charges.
On the latest episode of Chesterfield Behind the Mic, we talk to Chairman Jim Holland of the county's Board of Supervisors, about a host of projects in the Dale District that will be coming online soon, starting with the mixed-use development at Courthouse Landing, then the renovation of the old school and the transformation into the Beulah Recreation Center, and about the recently-approved additional sites for early voting at five area libraries. Credits: Director/Promotions: Vernon Freeman Executive Producer: Susan S. Pollard Co-Executive Producer: Teresa Bonifas Producer/Writer/Host: Brad Franklin Director of Photography: Matt Boyce Video Editing: Martin Stith Graphics: Debbie Wrenn Promotions and Media: J' Elias O'Neal and Liz Hart Music: Hip Hop This by Seven Pounds Inspiring Electronic Rock by Alex Grohl Guest: James “Jim” Holland, Chairman, Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors (Dale District) Filmed in-house by the Department of Communications and Media Chesterfield.gov/podcast Follow us on social media! On Facebook, like our page: Chesterfield Behind the Mic. On Twitter, you can find us at @ChesterfieldVa and on Instagram it's @ChesterfieldVirginia. And you can also watch the podcast on WCCT TV Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m. as well as on weekends at noon on Comcast Channel 98 and Verizon Channel 28.
Being [at Work] offers a daily dose of leadership focused on helping you, the leader. During challenging times we need all of the encouragement we can get. Sometimes there's simply no playbook and we just need to do the best we can. Sometimes the best we can is being reminded of the gifts and insight you already have within. Now, if you're in the midst of a challenging time, our goal at HRD Advisory Group is to help remind and encourage you no matter the situation you're in. Be sure to subscribe and get your daily dose. Resources: HRD Advisory Group: https://hrdadvisorygroup.com/ Being [at Work]: https://hrdadvisorygroup.com/podcasts/
In the first of three Patreon-fueled shout-outs:Fall is here, and with it, more moderate temperatures. While your HVAC takes a break, now is the perfect time to prepare for the cooler months. Your local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!On today’s show:A quick update on campaign finance in Albemarle and CharlottesvilleCharlottesville City Council gets an update on sidewalks at Stribling AvenueMore funding is available for Virginia school systems to begin to replace their bus fleets with cleaner vehiclesLet’s begin with a quick COVID update and the continuing downward trend. The Virginia Department of Health reports 1,617 new cases today, and the seven-day average for new cases has dropped to 1,983. On October 1, those numbers were 2,552 and 2,780 respectively. Since October 1, there have been 732 deaths reported. The percent positivity has dropped to 6.8 percent, down from 9.1 on September 30. In the Blue Ridge Health District, there are 66 new cases reported today, This afternoon, the district announced changes to COVID tests they offer. Specifically, you can now register for a PCR test on the BRHD website. Antibody tests are not available for this service, which takes place at various places. (link)*The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has announced $10 million in grant funding for school systems to use to purchase replacements for diesel school buses. The money comes from Virginia’s share of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, a result of that company’s lying about the emissions ratings of their vehicles. In August, the DEQ announced the award of $10 million to 19 school districts, allowing for the replacement of 83 buses including two in Albemarle.This time around, localities can apply for either $300,000 for each electric bus and its charging infrastructure, as well as $15,000 for every propane bus. DEQ will hold webinars on October 26 and November 4. Applications are due February 1. Campaign finance reports for SeptemberThe latest deadline for campaign finance reports from candidates in Virginia were due Friday, and the results are in. None of Albemarle County’s three candidates for three seats the Board of Supervisors raised no funds between September 1 and September 30. All three races are uncontested, including newcomer Jim Andrews for the Samuel Miller District. The two Democrats in the Charlottesville continued to raise funds. According to data pulled together by the Virginia Public Access Project, Brian Pinkston raised an additional $20,589 in September with 26 contributions of over $100 including $2,500 from the Realtors Political Action Committee of Virginia. Pinkston spent $23,437 in September and had $14,399 on hand as the month concluded. Pinkston has raised $109,280, a record amount for a City Council campaign. (details on VPAP)Juandiego Wade raised an additional $14,636 in September, including a $4,500 check from the Realtors Political Action Committee of Virginia. That was among 29 contributions over $100. Wade spent $8,019 in the period and had a balance of $15,201 at the end of the month. Wade has raised a total of $96,400. (details on VPAP)Independent Yas Washington raised $100, spent $100, and ended the month with no money on hand. (details on VPAP)Campaign finance reports are also required for School Board candidates. There are five candidates seeking three seats in Charlottesville. Let’s start with the three newcomers. Christa Bennett began September with $2,575.79, raised $60 in new funds, spent $611.67, and ended the reporting period with $2,024.12. (report)Emily Dooley began the period with $9,112,60, raised $2,375 in new funds, spent $903.40, and finished the month with $10,584.20. (report)Dom Morse started September with $5,342.32 in the bank, raised $1,783.35, spent $3,519.60, and concluded the reporting period with $3,606.07 in the bank. (report)Now the two incumbents. Leah Puryear had no campaign funds at hand on September 1, but raised $1,375 during the period. Her campaign spent $821.46 and had $553.54 on September 30. (report)Lisa Larson-Torres had $3,345.47 on hand at the beginning of the month, raised $50, spent $1,099.86, and had a balance of $2,295.61. Three of Albemarle’s magisterial districts have School Board races this year, and the at-large seat is not one of them. Unlike the Board of Supervisors, there are seven seats for the School Board. In the Rio District, Kristin Callsen is running unopposed. In the Jack Jouett District, Kate Acuff is running unopposed.In the Samuel Miller District, Graham Paige is running unopposed on the ballot, but there is a write-in candidate. Randy Zackrisson began September with $9,349.81 on hand and raised $5,587.72 and spent $2,462.87 to end the month with $12,474.66 on hand. (report)Paige began September with $1,721.69 and raised $5,984 but spent no funds during the month. That left him with $7,705.69 on hand as October began. The next campaign finance reports are due on October 25 for the reporting period between October 1 and October 21. You’re listening to Charlottesville Community Engagement. Time now for two more Patreon-fueled shout-outs. One person wants you to know "We keep each other safe. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance."And in another one, one brand new Patreon supporter wants you to go out and read a local news story written by a local journalist. Whether it be the Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, C-Ville Weekly, NBC29, CBS19, the community depends on a network of people writing about the community. Go learn about this place today!Charlottesville City Council held a work session yesterday on how to cover the costs of sidewalk improvements for Stribling Avenue to support a 170 unit development on about 12 acres of undeveloped land. James Freas is the director of the city’s Neighborhood Development Services department. “So, as many as you know, there’s a [Planned Unit Development] proposed for 240 Stribling Avenue,” Freas said. “The proposed project includes a mix of apartments, townhouses, two-family units.”Freas said Southern Development will proffer 15 percent of the units to be affordable or for-sale to 60 percent of the area median income. That means rent or the mortgage would be capped at 30 percent of those household’s monthly budget. “A critical issue and consideration of whether to rezone this property or not is the status of the sidewalk of Stribling Avenue itself,” Freas said. “Stribling Avenue does not currently have any sidewalks on it. It sees a fair amount of traffic and is a relatively narrow street as it exists today.”Southern Development has also offered to pay up to $2 million to cover the costs of building the sidewalk and worked with the economic development office to come up with an agreement on how to be paid back through using the incremental tax revenue that would be generated by the increased value of the property after development. In September, city engineer Jack Dawson said the cost estimate would be slightly higher. The work session was intended to provide an analysis of the estimate, but not a finalized estimate for many reasons. (Dawson’s analysis)“This has not gone through community engagement and stakeholder meetings which can add significantly to a project as you may be aware,” Dawson said. “And then projects of this type are not insignificant undertakings nor are they cookie cutter in design typology or execution. A sidewalk is not just a sidewalk.”Dawson described how additional right of way would need to be purchased by the city, how the drainage system would need to be built, and how many on-street parking spaces and trees would need to be removed. All of that adds up. “The original cost amount was $1.2 million with a 25 percent contingency of $1.5 million,” Dawson said. “And then after I did the analysis, I adjusted all of those things and it went to $2.4 million almost with a 20 percent contingency bringing it to $2.8 million.”The scope of the project does not include upgrades to Stribling’s intersection with Jefferson Park Avenue Extended. Upgrading the pedestrian crossing there would be a separate project that Dawson said is being undertaken by the city using existing funds. Vice Mayor Sena Magill asked if Stribling could be turned into a one-way road that would connect back to Fontaine Avenue along land in Albemarle County. Dawson said that would be tough and expensive. Outgoing City Manager Chip Boyles did not attend the virtual Council meeting, so it was up to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders to sum up the button line.“Where we are is that we’re looking at the moment an $850,000 gap based on what the proffer that we have received is and what we have come up with our estimate,” Sanders said. “We have 170 units that are being proposed by the developer with 15 percent, so 25 units being offered up for rental for 10 years and ownership for 30 years at 60 percent of AMI.”Sanders asked Council if that investment would be worth it to achieve that level of affordability.“Because of the stresses that we face with the decisions that we have to make regarding schools and all of the various priorities that we have, that’s a tall order of coming up with that $850,000,” Sanders said. Councilor Michael Payne was not sure the return on investment was worth it. “It seems realistically like that $850,000 just is not really feasible in terms of being ahead of other priorities,” Payne said. Payne said investing in Piedmont Housing and other entities would be a better use of funds. Councilor Lloyd Snook said he favored the use of incremental tax financing for projects, but also said the $850,000 was too much for the city to cover at this time. The rezoning application will return to the Planning Commission at a later date. Special announcement! Today’s the third day of a new promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown Mall This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
How much would you guess the air over San Francisco City Hall is worth? The answer is a lot, as the Board of Supervisors are set to vote on selling permits to develop it. For more, KCBS Radio news anchors Dan Mitchinson and Holly Quan spoke with KCBS Radio Insider Phil Matier. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jo Ann Barefoot, a former regulator and now CEO of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, discusses her efforts to help banking regulators contend with the rapid tech evolution in the financial services sector. She discusses why she's optimistic that tech can help banks and their supervisors better manage risks, assist the underbanked, and combat long-term challenges like climate change.
Fitzgerald Barnes of The Louisa County Board of Supervisors joined me live on The I Love CVille Show! The I Love CVille Show airs live before a worldwide audience Monday – Friday from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm on The I Love CVille Network.
The Henrico Board of Supervisors takes action to enforce improvements to one Henrico apartment community; Henrico Police make an arrest in two sexual assault cases near Freeman High School and in a murder near Richmond Raceway; the Henrico Education Association plans a push for collective bargaining.Support the show (http://www.henricocitizen.com/contribute)
Follow-up: Milford made my news list @1:54 U.S. District Judge blocks Texas's de facto abortion ban. @7:36 News: There's a malaria vaccine. Called “Mosquirix,” @9:07 Politics: Russia has a new law that prohibits any reporting about the country's space activities @11:11 Janice McGeachin, issued executive orders regarding vaccine mandates @13:39 Conspiracies: Board of Supervisors meetings so full of COVID misinformation a panel of doctors is forming for the sole purpose of debunking it. @17:43 Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Crazytown) is spreading the conspiracy theory @18:23 Lindsay Graham Ian's customer story @19:45 Anti-vaxxers seize team of nurses trying to administer vaccines @25:50 State Rep. Ken Weyler says vaccines contain a “living organism with tentacles” @27:12 Well, he's stepping down from his position Jared's follow-up on fake birds @32:20 WP Conspiracy Quiz @34:25 Coronavirus: TX: Christopher Charles Perez, sentenced to 15 months in prison @45:12 TN Medical Examiners will revoke licenses of doctors spreading misinformation @46:35 Final Stories: NASA's DART
A green light for GreenCity; Henrico's Board of Supervisors approves plans for a mixed-use development in Innsbrook and acquires land for a widening project along Three Chopt Road; a rental inspection program is approved for an Eastern Henrico apartment complex that has experienced a high number of violations and complaints; nominations are now open for the Richmond History Makers and Community Update program.Support the show (http://www.henricocitizen.com/contribute)
Conversations around beer often focus on what to drink: I had this great beer the other day. Here's something you might like, or a brewery worth supporting. Fewer conversations focus on what not to drink. But that's exactly what happened on a spring day in 1974, between a Teamsters union leader named Allen Baird and a gay leftist activist named Howard Wallace. Wallace ran into Baird outside a supermarket in the Castro, San Francisco's queer neighborhood, and they started talking about Coors beer, which at the time was one of the most sought-after brands in the Western United States. But they weren't talking about drinking it—on the contrary, Baird was there to protest it. The two were taking part in one of American history's longest conversations about what not to buy. More than that, the unlikely alliance they formed would rejuvenate an iconic consumer movement that joined organized labor with civil rights groups of all stripes. These were the Coors boycotts of the late 20th century, and they were a big deal. Confined neither to Coors' hometown of Golden, Colorado nor San Francisco, the boycotts were a nationwide phenomenon that swept from the brewery's gates through California, Montana, Utah, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, and many more places in between. Officially, the boycotts lasted over 30 years, from 1957 through 1987. And for some, they never ended. Reverberations and reminders of the boycott's legacy endure even to the present day. That's because the boycott merged the motivations of underrepresented community groups, labor unions, and leftist organizations, transcending single issues to become a shared cause. For everyone involved, it was about much more than just beer. Note: During this episode, we inaccurately refer to LGBTQIA+ rights activist Harvey Milk as the first openly gay person elected to Congress. Instead, Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California's history, when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in early 1978. He was assassinated later that year while serving in that role. We apologize for the error.
Time for a new Patreon-fueled shout-out:Charlottesville 350 is the local chapter of a national organization that seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Charlottesville 350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. To learn more about their most active campaigns, including a petition drive to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cville350On today’s show:The Charlottesville City Council and the Planning Commission spend two hours asking questions about the Comprehensive Plan in advance of tonight’s public hearingAlbemarle’s Board of Supervisors gets an update on transportation projectsA new tenant signs on for a new office building in downtown CharlottesvilleThe summer and September COVID surge in Virginia continues to wane, but community spread continues. The seven-day percent positive rate has dropped to 7.8 percent and the seven-day average is 2,443. In the Blue Ridge Health District, there are 205 new cases reported and the percent positive rate is 5.8 percent. There have been eight more fatalities reported since October 4. The Blue Ridge Health District will have a town hall on October 13 and one of the topics will be vaccination in pregnant people. Register in advance. Today is the last day to register to vote in the November 2 election, which is three weeks from today. Local registrars will take in-person registrations through 5 p.m. Registrations submitted via mail must be postmarked with today’s date in order to be accepted. You can also register online up until 11:59 p.m. You will need an ID issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in order to register in that fashion. (Department of Elections online portal)The last day to request a mail-in ballot is October 22. The last day to vote early in-person is October 30. Charlottesville’s Office of Voter Registration will have additional hours on October 23 and October 30. There are several makeshift memorials to people who died in crashes on 5th Street Extended in Charlottesville. Yesterday, a city-sanctioned memorial to Quintus Brooks was unveiled with a family ceremony. Brooks died on October 1, 2020 and yesterday would have been his birthday. “A new application process is being launched for roadside memorials at the site of deaths resulting from automobile, bicycle or pedestrian accidents that occur on public streets within the City of Charlottesville,” said city Communications Director Brian Wheeler in an email announcing the event. Charlottesville has hired a Nevada firm to provide pest control services in two prominent locations. In September, the city sent out a request for proposals for a firm to provide pest suppression for the 135,000 square feet of the Downtown Mall and the 30,000 square feet of the Corner. “The Contractor will be responsible to provide a program to control rodents such as, but not limited to, rats, mice, squirrels, snakes, all insects (roaches, flies, bees, ants – including fire ants, cockroaches, moths, crickets, silverfish, all spiders, termites),” reads the proposal.Pestmaster Services has been awarded the contract. These areas include outdoor dining spaces, including locations where tables are set up near tree wells. Another tenant has been announced for the new 3-Twenty-3 building in downtown Charlottesville. General Atomics Commonwealth Computer Research will lease just under 50,000 square feet in the building.“With projects ranging from optimizing the world’s largest container port to predicting future asymmetric warfare events, CCRi has no shortage of experience in diverse client expectations,” reads a description of the company on their website. The 3-Twenty-3 building is being developed by Insite Properties and marketed by Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. A press release describes the building as a five-story office building on top of a four-story, 200 space parking garage. There’s about 27,000 square feet left to be leased in the 120,000 square foot structure, according to leasing agent John Pritzlaff. McGuireWoods and Manchester Capital are already in their spaces, and Williams Mullen is starting building out now. Tonight, the seven-member Charlottesville Planning Commission and the five-member Charlottesville City Council will hold a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan, the second task performed by Rhodeside & Harwell as part of the Cville Plans Together initiative. That includes a Future Land Use Map which increases residential density across most of the city. Yesterday, the elected body and the appointed body spent two hours asking questions about the plan. Councilor Lloyd Snook went first. “A common criticism which I personally believe to be based on ignorance… is that the Future Land Use Map and the suggestions of higher density have not taken into account either… the effect of the University of Virginia, the effect of the student population, and the distorting effect on the poverty data for the student population,” Snook said. Jennifer Koch with Rhodeside & Harwell said her team began their work based of a housing needs assessment conducted in 2018 by the Form-Based Code Institute and Partners for Economic Solutions. (download)“There was a fairly robust discussion in that document about how students may or may not play into various impacts on affordability in the city,” Koch said. “The other way we are looking to include considerations for students in this plan is in looking at potential intensity near UVA, for example Jefferson Park Avenue, Fontaine Avenue area. We’ve included additional intensity in those areas and we’ve included a discussion of potential intensity in those areas as we move through zoning.”The first step in the Cville Plans Together initiative was adoption of an affordable housing plan. The next step after adoption of the Comprehensive Plan will be a rewrite of the zoning code. The University of Virginia is working on an initiative to identify space on land it or its real estate foundation owns to build up to 1,500 below-market units. In September, a top official at UVA told the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership that the work is slightly behind schedule. (UVA housing initiative website)Other topics at the two-hour meeting included assumptions about population growth and the links between increased density and affordability requirements. Watch the whole thing in advance of tonight’s hearing, which begins at 6 p.m. (watch)And time for another Patreon-fueled shout-out:Fall is here, and with it, more moderate temperatures. While your HVAC takes a break, now is the perfect time to prepare for the cooler months. Your local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!At their meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will get an update on the Rio Corridor Study, an effort to reshape the public realm along Rio Road on stretches of the roadway in Albemarle’s Places29-Rio growth area. Opponents of recent rezoning applications in the area cited transportation concerns for why the Board of Supervisors should vote against more intense residential density. But last week, they got an update on other transportation projects from Kevin McDermott, a planning manager in Albemarle. Though the applications aren’t due until next summer, work is underway for the next round of Smart Scale projects. (Albemarle transportation report)Right now the top candidates that the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization might submit are: A roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic Road Avon Street Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements between Druid Avenue and Avon Street park and ride5th Street Extended multimodal improvements between the future (and funded) 5th Street Trail Hub to Harris RoadRivanna River Bike and Pedestrian bridge from South Pantops Boulevard to the Woolen Mills area Right now the possible candidates Albemarle County might submit in the 5th Smart Scale round are: Avon Street Extended multimodal improvements from Mill Creek to Peregory Lane 5th Street Extended bicycle and pedestrian improvements between Albemarle Business Campus and the Southwood community U.S. 250 corridor improvements between Peter Jefferson Place and Hansen Road U.S. 250 / Route 22 / Milton Drive intersection improvements Belvedere Boulevard / Rio Road improvements Hillsdale Drive extension and realignment from Mall Drive to Rio Road U.S. 250 West interchange with U.S. 29 / 250 bypassU.S. 250 West and Crozet Avenue intersection improvements Albemarle has recently turned in an application for VDOT Revenue-Sharing Funds for Eastern Avenue South, a project that has been in Crozet Master Plan since it was adopted. “That goes from the Westhall area, across Lickinghole Creek, to Cory Farms, and connects to U.S. 250,” McDermott said. In most cases, it takes several years for transportation projects to go from project approval to construction. A project to upgrade the intersection of U.S. 250 and Virginia Route 20 at Pantops was funded in 2018. “They are currently in design for that and we will hopefully be seeing some construction out there in about two years or so,” McDermott said. Another VDOT revenue-sharing project is to extend Berkmar Drive to Lewis and Clark Drive, which would complete a north-south roadway parallel to U.S. 29 from Fashion Square Mall to the University of Virginia’ North Fork Research Park. “We’ve got a lot of economic development going on up there, a lot of new development also,” McDermott said. “This would also provide that parallel facility to U.S. 29 so it can take some of that traffic off of 29 and remove it from some of those intersections that are experiencing some delays like Airport Road and U.S. 250.”McDermott said construction of that project is expected for 2025. Supervisor Donna Price of the Scottsville District noted the length of the report as well as its detail.“I really appreciate the way you explain some of these so that it differentiates between a study and a proposal,” Price said. “We get a lot of communications from people in the community that are to the effect of ‘I can’t believe you’re even considering’ [a project],” Price said. “But when you’re looking at transportation, if you don’t look at the various options, then you’re really going in with a narrow-minded approach. We appreciate your wide approach of looking at all of the different possibilities before narrowing down what really appears to be the best course of action.”Special announcement! Today’s the first day of a new promo with Ting! Are you interested in fast internet? Visit this site and enter your address to see if you can get service through Ting. If you decide to proceed to make the switch, you’ll get:Free installationSecond month of Ting service for freeA $75 gift card to the Downtown Mall This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today's 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 jmrlfriends.org for more information.On today’s show:Locals weigh in on how redistricting would treat Albemarle when new legislative districts are approvedAlbemarle County’s Board of Supervisors get an update on the Comprehensive PlanInvestment firm takes majority stake in Apex Clean EnergyJaunt hires Tulsa’s top transit officialA company called the Ares Management Corporation has acquired a majority stake in the Charlottesville-based Apex Clean Energy, according to a release on Business Wire. “The transaction will provide Apex with additional equity growth capital as it seeks to transition to a pure-play renewable energy independent power producer (IPP),” reads the release. Apex has over $9 billion in utility-scale energy projects across the country. Ares has already been an investor on projects such as the construction of the largest single-phase, single-site wind facility in the country. “Through origination, construction, and operation of utility-scale wind, solar, and storage facilities, distributed energy resources, and green fuel technologies, Apex is expanding the renewable frontier across North America,” reads the description of Apex Clean Energy in the release. The same management team will remain in place. The company has over 300 employees. Construction continues on their new headquarters in downtown Charlottesville. Jaunt has hired the head of the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority to be its next chief executive officer. Ted Rieck will start work on December 6 and interim CEO Karen Davis will continue on as chief operating officer. In Tulsa, Rieck oversees a public transit fleet that serves five communities and has a $23 million budget. According to the agenda for the most recent meeting of the authority’s seven-member board, Rieck has faced many of the same challenges facing transit agencies in our area such as a shortage of people willing to be drivers as well as COVID testing employees. According to the minutes of the August meeting, Rieck had announced his retirement from Tulsa to the board. (September meeting packet)This is of course Try Transit Month and this morning there was a stakeholder meeting for the Regional Transit Vision plan under way. I’ll have more on that in a future installment of the program. But all of the local transportation providers have banded together to produce a series of videos about how you can discover transit. The first one is called Calling In. Take a look and if you share it, use the hashtag #busorbust on Twitter when you share it with all of your friends. (watch)Remembering MiddleditchWhen the Albemarle Supervisors met on Wednesday, Supervisor Ann Mallek noted the passing of Leigh Middleditch, a lawyer with a long history in Charlottesville affairs, at the age of 92.“People of his and my parents’ generation worked in so many different ways to build community here,” Mallek said. “He was always focused on collaboration and finding solutions with people of all comers, all ages, all neighborhoods, all locations.” Mallek said that Middleditch organized an effort to improve transportation funding in the area in the mid-2000’s. “He also founded the Planning and Coordination Council to bring city, county, and UVA together to find solutions to local problems from the water supply plan to roadway to all sorts of things that are local group is dealing with today,” Mallek said. The Planning and Coordination Council was disbanded in 2019 in favor of a closed-door body known as the Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee. There was an update on their efforts on the Board of Supervisors’ consent agenda. (LUEPC update)Supervisor Liz Palmer noted Middleditch was actively engaged in efforts to make this year’s redistricting less partisan than in years past under the OneVirginia2021 initiative.“He also was instrumental in the Virginia 2021 redistricting revisions and getting that going,” Palmer said. In a bit, we’ll hear more about redistricting. Read more on Middleditch’s legacy in any one of these articles:In Memoriam: Leigh Middleditch ’57, Sorensen Institute Founder Who Worked To End Gerrymandering in Virginia, UVA Law From the newsroom: We say goodbye to civic leader and Charlottesville Tomorrow board member Leigh Middleditch, Jr., Charlottesville TomorrowMiddleditch, activist who fomented change in state and region, died at 92Comprehensive Plan updateIn yesterday’s newsletter, we heard about the beginnings of fire engine service from a fire station on Pantops at station 16. I had hoped to get a quote in from someone at the Board of Supervisors meeting when this was announced, and here it is from Supervisor Chair Ned Gallaway. “Having a full fire engine along with an ambulance stationed at Pantops, which is our second busiest area in the county not only helps the immediate area of Pantops, but this impacts our entire system,” Gallaway said. “So now that other places that are just as busy as areas don’t have to get pulled out and over to [Pantops], they can serve as the secondary or the backup to Station 16.” For decades, Albemarle County has planned for growth and investments such as the Pantops public safety station by concentrating residential development into designated areas. That’s codified in the county’s Comprehensive Plan which was last adopted in July 2015. Michaela Accardi is a senior planner with Albemarle County. “The Comprehensive Plan or the comp plan establishes Albemarle’s long-range vision that guides growth, development, and change for the next 20 years,” Accardi said. “The Comprehensive Plan serves as the basis for land use development regulations and decisions, such as rezoning and special use permits, capital improvements, new county programs and the distribution of county budget dollars to programs and agencies.”Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors directed the next plan review to take place at the same time changes are made to the county’s zoning ordinance. Accardi said the Comprehensive Plan needs to be updated to reflect new initiatives and policies adopted by the county, many of which are summarized in a strategic plan adopted by the Board in 2018. (download the presentation)“The Board’s strategic plan includes climate action planning, economic development, infrastructure planning, revitalizing aging neighborhoods, and expanding broadband,” Accardi said. Economic development is codified in the Project ENABLE plan. The Climate Action Plan was adopted last October. Housing Albemarle was adopted this past July. Now, the Comprehensive Plan has to be updated to reflect this general direction for the county. “Finally, to further the county’s commitment to providing the highest level of public service and enhancing the quality of life for all its residents, the county’s Office of Equity and Inclusion was created in 2018,” Accardi said. Accardi said staff hopes to take from best practices in planning to integrate all of these into a new plan. One cited is Minneapolis 2040.“Which reviewed the city’s land uses to identify opportunities for a mixture of housing types and levels of affordability,” Accardi said. Others include Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth and Memphis 3.0. The latter has the tag line “In our third century, Memphis will build up, not out.” Phased approached to zoning reviewRachel Falkenstein, a planning manager with Albemarle, said the zoning review will take place over many phases with adoption of several steps at a time. “Phase 1 will be focused on simplification and clarity of a few topics such as use classification and setbacks and work on this phase has already begun,” Falkenstein said. “Phase 2 of the zoning update will be intended to focus on resource preservation topics such as dark skies, tree preservation, and historic preservation.”Phase 3 would look at street standards in commercial and industrial zoning districts and Phase 4 will update residential and mixed-use zoning districts. Most of the presentation dealt with the scope of the Comprehensive Plan update. The first phase will take a look at the central cornerstone of the plan for decades. “Phase 1 is called Growth Management Policy and Plan Framework and the goal of this phase is to review, evaluate, and if needed update the growth management policy through the lens of equity, climate action, and county capacity projections,” Falkenstein said. Work is underway on this phase. The second phase will look at what other topics should be highlighted in the plan and a review of the existing plan. Phase 3 will see the creation of action steps for implementation. “In Phase 3 we also intend to detail out each of our topics and determine how the topic goals should be implemented and we’ll identify metrics for each of our topics so that we can track progress moving forward,” Falkenstein said. Phase 4 will bring the draft document together. Falkenstein said the goal is to have an updated document ready for adoption in the middle of 2024. More details will return to the Board at their first meeting in November when the Board will have a work session on how community engagement for the plan review will take place.Supervisor Diantha McKeel supported the approach.“I do like the targeted look at specifics rather than try to do a broad Comprehensive Plan all at one time,” McKeel said. “I think this is absolutely the way to go.” Supervisor Liz Palmer sought more specifics for what specific changes needed to be reviewed in the zoning ordinance as part of this process. Falkenstein had this answer.“Our zoning map does not match our comp plan land use map in a lot of places and that’s an additional step we could take to prioritize,” Falkenstein said. In another public service announcement, want to take a tour of Secret Charlottesville? On October 15, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society will lead a tour based on author Marijean Oldham’s new book Secret Charlottesville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. The tour begins at 7 p.m. and is free, though donations are welcome. The book is available at New Dominion Bookshop. Email the ACHS to reserve your spot. Locals weigh in on redistrictingThe Virginia Redistricting Commission next meets tomorrow after a week of public hearings in which participants were asked to weigh in on two different maps for both the 40 seats in the Virginia Senate as well as the 100 seat House of Delegates. The 16-member commission was able to reach consensus between different versions produced by Democratic and Republican consultants. Yesterday, it was the Charlottesville area’s turn to weigh in on the different maps. Here’s Commissioner Sam Kumar of Alexandria, who chaired yesterday’s public hearing. “The most recent House of Delegates maps are A7 and B6,” Kumar said. “The most recent Senate maps are A5 and B4.” You can take a look at the maps here to follow along. Under the A7 Statewide map for the House of Delega tes drawn by the Republican consultant, Albemarle County is split into three legislative districts. Northern Albemarle would be in the 74th District along with all of Greene and some of Orange County. Charlottesville would be in the 75th District along with much of Ivy in Albemarle County. Southern Albemarle would be in the 76th District along with all of Amherst and Nelson counties. (A7 map comment page)Under the B6 Statewide Map for the House of Delegates drawn by the Democratic consultant, Albemarle is in two districts. Charlottesville would be in the 80th district with central-eastern Albemarle. All of Albemarle County would be in the 81st District along with a portion of eastern Augusta County. (B6 map comment page)Former Charlottesville Mayor Kay Slaughter went first during the public comment period to object to how Albemarle County was treated under both plans. “The Republican plan divides it into three districts,” Slaughter said. “The Democratic plan makes it one district which crosses the Blue Ridge to August County, and while Augusta County and Albemarle County may share these beautiful mountains they are not a community of interest. Neither does Albemarle share interest with the Lynchburg area an hour to the south.”Slaughter urged the Commission to redraw the maps to include parts of Nelson, Fluvanna, or Greene because they are all are part of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. Currently, Albemarle’s House delegation is split into four legislative districts. Albemarle County resident Michael Rodemeyer asked for a less fractured map.“My plea to you is pretty simple,” Rodemeyer said. “Keep Albemarle County together. Taken together, Albemarle County and Charlottesville almost make up enough of population for two House of Delegate districts. We only need about another 12,000 to 13,000 people for there to be a complete district.” Tim Hickey ran as a Democrat in the 59th district in 2019. He urged the Commission to support a major theme in map B6. “Map B6 keeps Albemarle County as unified as possible by keeping us into two districts,” Hickey said. “Not three, not four, but two, and that needs to be non-negotiable.” Hickey suggested that Albemarle be included with Nelson rather than Augusta, but that Amherst has nothing to do with either despite the presence of U.S. 29. “I have spent a lot of time on that stretch of road,” Hickey said. “People in Amherst largely use it to go back and forth to Lynchburg and people in Nelson largely use it to go back and forth to Charlottesville. When I was campaigning, people south of Nelson County, the voters, would routinely ask me if I were in the right place. They would say ‘we’re not in the same district as people in southern Albemarle.”Edgar Lara of the group Sin Barreras said he could see a Congressional district that included Albemarle and Augusta County. His family has lived in the Waynesboro era for over twenty years and he lives in Albemarle. “My community is primarily one of immigrants or children of immigrants with us speaking Spanish as our first language and working the same types of jobs, we have a similar culture and experience many of the same challenges in our communities of Virginia,” Lara said. Pete Costigan of Ruckersville also said that Augusta and Albemarle don’t share enough interests to be in the same district. “Greene County residents have more common interest with Albemarle County than they do with either Page or Rockingham,” Costigan said. “Specifically, Greene County residents largely drive to Albemarle for shopping or medical care.”Under the A5 statewide map for the Senate drawn by the Republican consultant, Albemarle and Charlottesville would be within the 31st District along with Nelson, Fluvanna, and Buckingham counties. (A5 Senate map)The B4 statewide map drawn by the Democratic consultant is similar, but the 31st District would include Greene rather than Nelson. (B4 Senate map)The Virginia Redistricting Commission meets tomorrow at beginning at 9 a.m. Visit virginiaredistricting.org to learn more. (view maps and plans)Thanks for reading! If you’d like to support the work, please consider a subscription through Substack, a contribution through Patreon, or send it on to someone else you think might be interested. Everyone gets a personalized thank you, as every new subscriber or patron makes me work that much harder. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today’s subscriber-supported Public Service Announcement:The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards continues to offer classes and events this fall and winter to increase your awareness of our wooden neighbors and to prepare for the future. On October 19, there’s a free class on the Selection, Planting, and Care of Trees from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (register) In early November, there is a three part class on Winter Invasive Plant Identification and Treatment. Information on all the classes and the group can be found at www.charlottesvilleareatreestewards.org. On today’s show:Updates on regional transportation studies and issues from the Regional Transit PartnershipA 250-unit apartment complex is in the works along Rio Road in Albemarle CountyMaterials are available for the October 12 Cville Plans Together hearingCharlottesville has been awarded $153,000 in RGGI money for flood mitigation along Moores CreekThe percent positivity for COVID-19 has further dropped to 8.3 percent, but the number of new cases reported increased by 3,919. Another 50 new deaths were reported over night for a cumulative total of 12,999 since the pandemic began. There are another 100 cases reported in the Blue Ridge Health District today. Plans have been submitted in Albemarle County for a 250-unit apartment complex on Rio Road. According to the application for a rezoning prepared by Collins Engineering, the Heritage on Rio would consist of seven buildings and a clubhouse on 8.23 acres of land. The properties are all zoned R-6 and the application is for a rezoning to Planned Residential Development (PRD). There are currently four single family homes that would be removed to make way for the development. “At just over half a mile from the Route 29/ Rio Road intersection, the proposed community would be within walking distance to many conveniences, including the numerous retail shops and offices in the Berkmar Crossing commercial area, several grocery stores, the Northside Library, and the large number of destinations surrounding the Rio/ 29 Intersection, including CVS Drugstore, Fashion Square Mall, Rio Hill Shopping Center, and Albemarle Square Shopping Center,” reads the application. The developer is G W Real Estate Partners. The project will also have to go before the county’s Architectural Review Board because Rio Road is an entrance corridor. Materials are now available for the October 12 public hearing for the Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan, one of three tasks the firm Rhodeside & Harwell is conducting for the city as part of the Cville Plans Together initiative. The City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint hearing on October 12, but now they’ll also hold a two hour discussion on the plan update the day before from noon to 2 p.m. The draft Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map are available for review now. The document is 118 pages long and this is the first time the entire draft has been put together with its eleven chapters and several appendices. Take a look at the materials here. The professionalization of fire and EMS calls in Albemarle County reached a new stage Monday when the Ivy and Pantops stations began 24-hour service and two other milestones were met.“An ambulance moved to the East Rivanna station to implement cross-staffing, and a daytime fire engine went into service at the Pantops station on Mondays,” wrote Abbey Stumpf, Albemarle’s public safety information officer, in a press release this morning. The Pantops fire engine will be the first to operate out of a station that was built on land donated to the county earlier this century. For the past 18 months, Albemarle has been implementing an initiative to hire more personnel funded in part through a $1.9 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as investments approved by the Board of Supervisors. In all, Albemarle has hired 22 public safety workers in the past 18 months. Earlier this year, Virginia joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state program that places caps on the amount of carbon emissions for many industries. If companies exceed their limits, they have to purchase credits. Revenues go to state governments for programs such as the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund, which is to receive 45 percent of the RGGI funds. So far, Virginia has received $142 million over three auctions. Charlottesville will receive $153,500 from the fund to pay for a plan to prepare the Moores Creek Watershed for the floodings. That’s part of $7.8 million in grants announced yesterday by Governor Ralph Northam. The funds are distributed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, an agency that is also working on a master plan for coastal resilience in Virginia. Most of the funding is going to localities either on the coast or much closer. However, Charlottesville is not the westernmost recipient. The city of Winchester will receive $65,040 for a resilience plan and Buchanan County will receive $387,500 for “plans and capacity building” and that’s enough money for them to hire a consultant. Charlottesville will use the money to create a two-dimensional hydraulic model for the Moores Creek watershed within city limits. Andrea Henry, the city’s water resources protection administrator. "2D modeling has the ability to identify drainage issues for our inlets, pipes, ditches, and streams across the entire City using the same methodology and analyses for a variety of storm scenarios," said Henry. "We can use the results of this model to predict when our streets, sidewalks, homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure will be susceptible to flooding with the types of storms we see now and may see in the future due to our changing climate."Speaking of the draft Comprehensive Plan, water resources protection is covered in Goal 3 of Chapter 7, Environment, Climate, and Food Equity. “Charlottesville will be an environmental leader, with healthy air, water, and ecosystems, as well as ample, high-quality, and accessible open space and natural areas, and a preserved and enhanced tree canopy,” reads the community vision statement for the chapter. “The Rivanna River and other waterbodies will be celebrated and protected, and environmentally-sound community access will be enhanced.”Read the rest of the recipients here. You’re listening to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In today’s second Substack-fueled shout-out, Code for Charlottesville is seeking volunteers with tech, data, design, and research skills to work on community service projects. Founded in September 2019, Code for Charlottesville has worked on projects with the Legal Aid Justice Center, the Charlottesville Fire Department, and the Charlottesville Office of Human Rights. Visit codeforcville.org to learn about those projects. We are now six days into Try Transit Month, an effort to encourage people to consider using fixed-route or on-demand service to get around the community. It has now been 13 days since the Jefferson Area Regional Transit Partnership met on September 23 Since October 2017, the advisory body run by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District has served as a clearinghouse for different providers. Karen Davis is the interim director of Jaunt and she stated one of the biggest challenges facing all bus fleets. “The driver shortage continues,” Davis said. “Jaunt is going to move to match [University Transit Service] and [Charlottesville Area Transit’s] recruiting and retaining bonus programs to try to entice more people into the door.Jim Foley, the director of pupil transportation for Albemarle County, could not give an update at the meeting because he was driving a school bus. Becca White, the director of Parking and Transportation at UVA, said ridership is rebounding following the pandemic. “We are up to about 8,000 riders a day on our system,” White said. “Three thousand of those are employees and the rest are students.”That’s down from pre-COVID levels of around 12,000 to 15,000 a day while school was in session.“During the height of COVID it was 3,000 to 4,000 passengers a day.” White said. One of the steps UTS has taken to make efficient use of their drivers has been to eliminate bus trips on McCormick Road through the heart of Grounds during the day. White said that might be one reason numbers have not rebounded as high. “We need to concentrate our transit trips from the end points in given the limited resources that we have,” White said. The free trolley-style bus operated by Charlottesville Area Transit has returned to McCormick Road. CAT has been fare-free since the beginning of the pandemic. CAT Director Garland Williams said he is hoping to keep it that way by applying for a Transit Ridership Incentive Program grant. “We applied for the TRIPS grant program with the state to keep CAT zero-fare for an additional three years,” Williams said.Williams said the planned route changes will not take place until January due to the driver shortage. Under the new alignment, Route 11 will go to the Center at Belvedere and there have been requests to make that change sooner. Williams said that would present problems. “If we were to make the adjustment to the Center now prior to making all of the adjustments, we would run the risk of individuals who are using the 11 missing their connections because it does take longer to get to the Center and get back,” Williams said. Williams said the timing will be correct when the changes are made. On September 1, the Afton Express began operation from Staunton to Charlottesville with a month of fare-free ridership. The service is operated by Brite, the transit service in the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro They’re now charging $3 each way. For the first three weeks, the service only carried about a dozen to 18 passengers each day, according to RideShare manager Sara Pennington.“We’re still looking to creep those numbers up but is still nice and early,” Pennington said. Pennington also discussed what the regional services are doing for Try Transit month. One thing is the usage of the hash tag ion Twitter #Busorbust.Albemarle County and the TJPDC are continuing work on a transit expansion study. The latest milestone is publication of a market and service analysis FourSquare ITP and Michael Baker International. (market and service analysis)“Ripe for service expansion, the US-29 corridor is the second busiest transit corridor in the region,” reads an overview of the study areas. “The Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2015, outlines goals for increasing the supply of affordable housing for households with incomes between zero percent and 80 percent of area median income, through rezoning and incentives to developers.” The study also covers Pantops and Monticello. There will be a stakeholder meeting on October 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a public meeting on October 21st from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Those will be going over the new alternatives or the draft alternatives that they are working on for each of the study areas,” said Lucinda Shannon, the TJPDC’s transportation manager. The TJPDC is also conducting a regional transit vision study. There’s a stakeholder meeting for that tomorrow at 9 a.m. The meeting can be watched live on their YouTube page. (watch)“And that’s going to be asking people to identify community goals around Charlottesville and what the community values and what they want to see,” Shannon said. You can also offer your views as part of a survey that’s on the project website. Before we go, let’s look at the draft Comprehensive Plan one more time. Transit is embedded in many chapters of the plan, including the land use chapter. But take a look at Chapter 6 and goals 5 and goals 6. Williams’ attempts to help CAT become fare-free are specifically embedded in Strategy 13.2:“Ensure that transit is financially accessible to all residents and those who work in the city, including low-income populations, the elderly, and those with disabilities.” This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Scott Stevens, County Administrator for James City County, is our guest on the podcast this week. We talk about Board of Supervisors meetings, the proposed Regional Indoor Sports Complex, 2021 redistricting and more. Check it out and let us know what you think!
In August, the U.S. Census Bureau released the data necessary for state and local governments to redraw the political-district maps that will be in place for the next 10 years. While state lawmakers wrangle new district lines into place for the state's 99 Assembly seats, 33 Senate seats and eight congressional districts, counties map out their own districts. Door County appointed an ad hoc committee that worked with county staff to get the job done, and the Door County Board of Supervisors approved those once-in-a-decade maps last week for the county's 21 county supervisory districts. The number of districts has remained the same, but the configurations have changed – some significantly. Andrew Kleidon is joined by Debra Fitzgerald for a civics lesson on what these maps do, how they are drawn, and what special considerations are placed upon them to ensure equal and fair representation for voters.
Jordan Miles, Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, and Leah Puryear, Current Charlottesville City School Board Member, joined me live on The I Love CVille Show! The I Love CVille Show airs live before a worldwide audience Monday – Friday from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm on The I Love CVille Network.
Jason does a full news show breaking down: how Amazon monitors drivers with AI cameras (01:54), Tesla's new driver score (22:05), OZY Media's continued fallout (32:45), and new proposed changes for homeowners in coastal zones (42:08). Plus, Jason explains his new program OpenScouting.com
Jason does a full news show breaking down: how Amazon monitors drivers with AI cameras (01:54), Tesla's new driver score (22:05), OZY Media's continued fallout (32:45), and new proposed changes for homeowners in coastal zones (42:08). Plus, Jason explains his new program OpenScouting.com
On today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out:Fall is here but some days of summer heat may be in the days to come. Either way, tour local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!On today’s program:The Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership updates its members on grants for eviction prevention and affordable unit constructionPlanning continues for a train station in Christiansburg at the future terminus of Amtrak’s Northeast Regional serviceThe city’s newest indoor pool will remain closed for the rest of the yearSeptember ends with a downward trend away from the COVID surge that’s overtaken Virginia and much of the country. Today the seven-day percent positivity is down to 8.9 today, down from 10.3 on September 1. The seven-day average for new cases has decreased to 2,828. There have been 889 fatalities reported in Virginia since September 1. The Blue Ridge Health District reports another 89 cases today and the seven-day percent positivity has dropped to 6.8 percent. Charlottesville’s Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center will remain closed through the end of the year. Since opening in 2010, the facility has been plagued with ventilation problems and work is finishing up on a renovation project with a $2.2 million cost. “Our goal is to provide a safe, healthy, and inviting aquatic environment for the community and a safe work environment for our staff,” said Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders in a press release that went out on September 27. Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center had been expected to close for repairs in the spring of 2020, but the pandemic shut down all Parks and Recreation facilities. When they began to gradually reopen this year, staffing shortages kept Onesty Pool in Meade Park closed for the entire summer. Smith is now expected to open on January 3. Work continues to build a train station in the New River Valley to be ready when the Amtrak Northeast Regional Service is expanded to that location in 2025. On Monday, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors got a briefing on Monday about progress to form an authority to finance and construct the station. The New River Valley Regional Commission is hoping to create that body by the end of the year. In May, Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation allowing the formation of the authority. The group will work off efforts to bring passenger rail back to Christiansburg, including a ridership study from 2015 that projects a ridership of 40,000 a year. (read the study)According to a presentation to the seven-member Montgomery BOS, the MPO Policy Board for that area has selected a site near the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Now the authority will work to convince localities in the region to chip in to the debt services to cover the cost of the station, estimated to cost $4.25 million. An Italian company that specializes in cured meats will set up its first operation in the United States in Rockingham County, according to an economic development announcement from Governor Ralph Northam. Veronesi Holding S.p.A. expects to provide about 150 jobs over the next four years in the county’s Innovation Village research and technology park. “The company plans to explore the possibility of working with smaller Virginia farms for its American production needs,” reads a press release about a $3.8 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. Veronesi Holding had over €3.1 billion in sales in 2020 and 9,000 employees. The company can get benefits through the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone grant program, and tax credits through the Majority Business Facility Job program. In today’s second Substack-supported public service announcement: The Charlottesville Jazz Society at cvillejazz.org is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of all that jazz, and there’s no time like now to find a time to get out and watch people love to play. The Charlottesville Jazz Society keeps a running list of what’s coming up at cvillejazz.org. As the newly confirmed executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, one of Christine Jacob’s first jobs will be to secure the financial footing of a regional advisory body created a few years ago to encourage production of more residential units in the region.“Composed of an overarching consortium of housing interests, the Partnership enhances regional coordination and effectiveness to address the housing needs of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District’s region, with a focus on housing production, diversity, accessibility, cost, location, design, and increasing stability for the region’s residents,” reads the website for the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership. One of their products so far is a regional housing plan called Planning for Affordability which includes strategies for each of the six localities. Charlottesville’s chapter echoes the Affordable Housing Plan adopted by Council in March of this year.(download the regional plan). At the partnership’s meeting on September 22, Jacobs told the partnership’s board members that a sustainable budget is required going forward. The FY22 budget has been reduced from $95,000 to $65,000. (watch the meeting on YouTube)“Originally what we had was that the TJPDC would contribute from its per capital regional fund $25,000 and we would be asking an immediate one-time ask from our local governments but pro-rated per capita,” Jacobs said. “We would be asking of you all partners within the CVRHP to contribute and then also seeking grants and scholarships.” Jacobs said asking local governments for funding out of the budget cycle is unusual so the idea of asking for funding was dropped. “It is assuming that we will run a very lean FY22 year focusing the majority of our energy and staff time on strategic planning,” Jacobs said. However, this is the beginning of the FY23 budget cycle for most localities, so this is a good time to make a request for ongoing funding. Jacobs is aiming for a $72,000 budget for the year that runs July 1, 2022 though June 30, 2023. Staff with the partnership are finalizing their work on implementing a $20,000 planning grant to help prevent or reduce evictions. Ian Baxter is the staff member for the regional housing partnership.“That’s the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot planning grant, it’s kind of a mouthful,” Baxter said. “What we’re doing with now is we’ve contracted services from the UVA Equity Center to create a comprehensive eviction database to sort of determine where evictions are happening and which property companies are evicting the most people or bringing the most judgements or cases.”Baxter said the TJPDC will apply for a follow-up grant to implement some of the recommendations. In the meantime, some of the work involves the city of Charlottesville.“We’re working with the city of Charlottesville who are donating some staff time to do some focus groups with tenants, landlords, and judges here in the region and really thinking about what some of the best practices are in terms of reducing eviction in our region,” Baxter said. Implementation could include stabilization services, rental assistance, financial counseling, or other ways to keep people in the homes they are renting. Another grant the regional housing partnership will administer is direct funding from Virginia Housing for actual construction of units. “We ended up receiving $2 million to develop at least 20 units of affordable housing by June 2023,” Baxter said. Baxter said the process for how the choices will be made is still being developed and a draft will be circulated by the end of October. There were other updates at the partnership including one from Thomas Haro, the executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. He said that while there are at least some more permanent shelters due to his agency’s use of the Red Carpet Inn in Premier Circle, there are not enough as winter approaches.“We’re trying to figure out how to get additional shelter capacity this winter,” Haro said. “So focusing on that with some community partners and trying to figure out the best way to bring that through.” As the partnership prepares a strategic plan, Haro said he would like to see language to ask developers to consider building units in new developments for homeless individuals. “There are ways to incorporate units specifically designated for people experiencing homelessness, particularly chronic homelessness,” Haro said. “There are ways to make it really sustainable. It works. The data is really supportive if you have supportive services in the picture. But without really specially holding aside those units for people experiencing homeless, it is difficult for people to get into units.”Albemarle Supervisor Diantha McKeel said she sees an opportunity in the strategic plan.“If we could think about how we might better communicate and educate the public about affordable housing and what it really means or what it is,” McKeel said. Jessie Ferguson of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors agreed with McKeel and said it is time to stop demonizing those on government or philanthropic support.“It’s your neighbor, it’s the guy at the grocery store, it’s your police officer, actually,” Ferguson said. ”People don’t realize how personal this is.”Ferguson he hopes Nelson County will allow more residential units to be built by-right.An update on UVA’s housing initiativeThe University of Virginia continues to work toward its goal of working with a private developer to build up to 1,500 affordable units on land that either UVA or the UVA Foundations. The company Northern Urban Real Estate Ventures has been hired to come up with a plan through their community engagement efforts. Colette Sheehy is UVA’s Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations. “We continue to work with our consultant and try to offer some educational videos for the public,” Sheehy said. “There are two of them up on our website currently.”The titles of these videos are Zoning and Matter of Right Development and The Development Process and Financing Overview. There will be more videos in the series and can be seen here. Sheehy shared one piece of feedback the consultant has received so far from members of the community. “It’s important to them that we consider the economic opportunity that a project like this would offer to the community and therefore try to use local businesses and local contractors to the degree that that’s possible,” Sheehy said.Sheehy said the idea had been to circulate a list of potential sites by the end of September, but they are not quite ready to do so. More on that in future installments of the show. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
In today’s first Patreon-fueled shout-out is for the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Campaign, an initiative that wants you to grow native plants in yards, farms, public spaces and gardens in the northern Piedmont. Native plants provide habitat, food sources for wildlife, ecosystem resiliency in the face of climate change, and clean water. It’s not too early to think about next spring! Start at the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Facebook page and tell them Lonnie Murray sent you!On today’s program:A rezoning in Fry’s Spring for 170 units hinges on how to pay for a sidewalk on a road that would be more traveled The Weldon Cooper Center compares its population estimates to the Census countA quick lesson redistricting in VirginiaThe Foxfield Fall Races will benefit Habitat for Humanity this year and for the next fourOn this upcoming Sunday, Foxfield Races will hold their annual fall Family Day events at the tracks on Barracks Road west of Charlottesville. This year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville will be the nonprofit group that will receive a portion of the proceeds as part of a five-year partnership. The races are held on land under conservation easement. “We are focused on preserving open space to enable the broad diverse Charlottesville community to use Foxfield,” said Foxfield Executive Director Kelsey Cox in a Habitat press release. “We are overjoyed to create a long-term partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville and look forward to welcoming new and returning attendees on race day to further support this partnership with Habitat.”Mark Lorenzoni of the Ragged Mountain Running and Walking Shop penned an article in the September 25 Daily Progress that provides a lot of background and perspective as we wait for the 43rd annual fall races at Foxfield. Visit the Foxfield website at foxfieldraces.com for details and to purchase ticketsThe Virginia Redistricting Commission met again this morning. They’ve been meeting this month to finalize a map for the 100-seat House of Delegates and the 40-seat Virginia Senate. The sixteen members consisting of eight legislators and eight citizens must finalize their maps this Saturday in time to meet one of several deadlines in the Virginia code. The Commission’s work began as soon as the U.S. Census Bureau released population counts from 2020. Further meetings are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, with the public hearings beginning on Monday. Coverage of what will be in those maps will come up in a future edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. The Commission must submit maps to the General Assembly by October 10. Virginia Code also specifies nine criteria for Congressional and legislative districts. You can register to speak at the public hearings at the redistricting website. It’s now been almost two months since the U.S. Census Bureau released the official population count for the country. That’s given the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia the time to make some observations about how the results compare to the annual estimates and regular projections their demographers make. “Our projections were higher than the actual counts in 66 localities, and lower for 67 cities and counties, indicating well-balanced results,” writes Shonel Sen in the latest edition of the Stat Chat blog that Weldon Cooper produces. The article explains the methodology used to calculate estimates and projections. Thirteen localities were in excess of a margin of error of five percent, including Charlottesville at 8.9 percent. Weldon Cooper’s 2020 estimate for Charlottesville was 49,447, but the Census count was 46,553. (2020 Weldon Cooper estimates) (Charlottesville Census quickfacts)An explanation in the footnotes of the blog post states that many college towns are perhaps undercounted due to students leaving the area at the start of the pandemic. Weldon Cooper’s 2020 estimate for Harrisonburg was 54,049, whereas the Census was 51,813. The Census Bureau’s 2019 estimate for Harrisonburg had been higher at 53,016, and 47,266 for Charlottesville. For more information, go back to the August 21, 2021 edition of this newsletter for an interview with Hamilton Lombard of the Weldon Cooper Center. (link)A quick Patreon-shout out before we continue.A concerned Charlottesville parent wants to make sure the community participates in the Middle School Reconfiguration process that is currently underway. After years of discussion, concrete plans are being put forward. You can learn more and contribute at the City of Charlottesville Schools/VMDOs information page" at charlottesvilleschools.org/facilities. (For my latest story on the topic, go back to the September 16, 2021 edition of this newsletter.)If the population projections put out by the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia are to be believed, the area will continue to grow for many decades. The act of planning as well as the art of land development both take place in response to anticipated needs for places to live, seats in classrooms, and ways for people to get around. In many cases, it takes a legislative decision by elected officials to approve larger residential complexes. “I personally live in an area where many apartment units have gone up and they fill quickly,” said Ned Gallaway, the chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The question is whether the infrastructure is there to support the density.” On September 15, 2021, the Board of Supervisors voted 5-1 to approve a rezoning off of U.S. 29 for 332 units on property where the county’s Comprehensive Plan has long anticipated growth and along a stretch of U.S. 29 where a $61.3 million road project was completed in October 2017. The firm RST Development agreed to restrict 75 percent of the units to households below a certain income percentage. “We talk a lot about how we are an inclusive and welcoming place to live and this is an opportunity to create a place for people to live that have not been able to live in our community,” said Supervisor Diantha McKeel.“It is part of our primary development area, and when you’re looking at the development area, it is the area where there should be a larger concentration of lower-cost and more affordable housing,” said Supervisor Donna Price. A similar conversation took place in Charlottesville the night before on September 14, 2021. That’s when the Charlottesville Planning Commission held a joint public hearing with City Council on a rezoning at 240 Stribling Avenue in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood.Southern Development seeks a rezoning to Planned Unit Development to build up to 170 units on about 12 acres of wooded land. That came after a directive at an earlier work session for the firm to increase the units in the development.“The Planning Commission told us very clearly that you wanted to see something less dense and more suburban,” said Charlie Armstrong, vice president at Southern Development. Last year, the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association voted on a resolution to support the rezoning if sidewalks and other infrastructure on Stribling could be built to handle the additional traffic. The current Comprehensive Plan designates the land as low density residential, which is one reason a sidewalk there has not been prioritized in the city’s limited Capital Improvement Program budget. Southern Development’s proposal would set aside 15 percent of those units for either rental or homeownership to households making below 60 percent of the area median income. They also worked with the city’s economic development team to come up with a financing structure to pay for the roadway improvements on Stribling. However, this novel approach points to a potential disconnect in the process.Armstrong negotiated an agreement with the city’s Office of Economic Development to where Southern Development would make a $2 million loan for the city to build those improvements. The city would then pay Southern Development back over a period of years out of the increased property taxes that it will receive. “I do want to be clear that this agreement is not part of the rezoning request but it does impact the area nearby and certainly of interest to many in the neighborhood,” said Economic Development director Chris Engel. "In its simplest form this agreement that the developer provides up to $2 million in funds to construct the needed improvements in a timeframe that is likely contemporaneous with the PUD development.” The cost estimate provided by Southern Development for the upgrades is around $1.6 million. City Engineer Jack Dawson only saw the agreement or the two days before the hearing and said that amount would not be enough because it did not contemplate the full extent of work required. “My concern is that probably that estime is a little light, to probably very light,” said Jack Dawson. “It isn’t just a sidewalk. It’s essentially a streetscape because when you touch a road you need to bring it up to code.” Code requires a 20 foot right of way which Dawson said would likely require the taking of private property for curb and gutter drainage, which would add to the cost. Dawson cited an internal estimate created within City Hall of $2.9 million. However, Armstrong bristled at the cost estimate provided by Dawson.“That’s not a number that I’ve ever seen published or have ever heard and we’ve been talking with the city and been in this review process with the city for months and years so I would have hoped that might have come up,” Armstrong said. Under the terms of the agreement, the city would have to pay anything in excess of $2 million but finding those funds will be difficult. Earlier this month, Council opted to transfer funding allocated for the West Main Streetscape to the $75 million reconfiguration of Buford Middle School. Budget staff said when added to the existing capital improvement program, reconfiguration will require a 15 cent tax increase next year, or less depending on how the 2022 property assessments come in. “Right now, every penny we are going to have in capital funds until we figure out something else every penny is going to get allocated for school reconfiguration,” said City Councilor Lloyd Snook. The co-president of the FSNA appreciated the work that went into the agreement but said it was not yet enough to satisfy his concerns. “There is a potential to find a solution here but there is a big but,” said Jason Halbert. “It’s about safety on that street and the JPA intersection.”Halbert said the agreement had not been fully reviewed by the appropriate staff. He asked for the project to be delayed while the details of the agreement are worked out. Commissioner Hosea Mitchell said he liked the project over all but agreed it might not be ready.“I think it could use a little more baking,” Mitchell said. “There would be value in sitting with the engineers and the economic development people and working out the details and logistics so that we know exactly what it would like before we’re going to move on it.”Another commissioner suggested the city has to do a better job of communicating better internally about coming up with innovative ways to support density. “It’s endlessly frustrating to me the degree of dysfunction within the city where the economic development is negotiating this agreement and isn’t even telling [the city engineer] about it literally two days ago,” said Commissioner Rory Stolzenberg. The issue comes at a time when new city management is just finding its feet. Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders has been on the job less than two months, and new planning director James Freas has been in his job for less than two weeks. At the same time, the city is debating a new Comprehensive Plan. The current draft encourages more density across the city. “There’s no way to support this project without having a firm grasp of how we’re going to provide these infrastructure improvements to the neighborhood,” said Councilor Heather Hill. But which comes first? The rezoning or the infrastructure? And whose cost estimate is to be believed? Southern Development’s $1.6 million, or $2.9 million from the city engineer? City attorney Lisa Robertson had this advice. “Leadership needs to put their heads together and talk about what’s realistic in terms of whether or not from inside City Hall a number can be developed that builds upon the work that Mr. Armstrong’s team has done, or clarifies it,” Robertson said. “Another function that really needs to be updated is the process by which we develop the city’s capital improvement program.”Robertson said the CIP cannot be a wish list of aspirational projects. More developed projects with more concrete estimates would provide more certainty. At the hearing, the question was whether an updated performance agreement could be completed to further scope out the project. Armstrong asked for an indefinite deferral while the agreement is worked out. What’s happened in the past two weeks?“The City is continuing to discuss the project with the developer while looking to confirm the cost estimate for the sidewalk project,” wrote Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville’s Communications Director. Before you go, a plug for a campaign forum I’m co-hosting with the Free Enterprise Forum. Here’s the media advisory:On Thursday September 30 the, three candidates for Charlottesville City Council will appear in person to answer questions posed by Town Crier Productions President Sean Tubbs and Free Enterprise Forum President Neil Williamson in a candidate forum sponsored by The Hillsdale Conference Center. The event will also be live streamed via Zoom webinar. Register here!WHO: Candidates: Brian Pinkston, Juandiego Wade, Yas WashingtonModerators: Sean Tubbs, President, Town Crier ProductionsNeil Williamson, President, Free Enterprise ForumWHAT: Candidates will explore their vision for the city including their views on the Future Land Use Map (FLUM), proposed tax increases, affordable housing, equity issues, organizational issues, and Economic Development. WHEN: Thursday, September 30 th 7:00 pmWHERE: Hillsdale Conference Center Ballroom, 550 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901. MASKS REQUIRED – SOCIAL DISTANCING ENFORCED. WHY: Election Day 2021 is now. Early voting has already begun. Learn where the candidates stand before casting your ballot. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Here's your morning news: L.A. Board of Supervisors votes to extend moratorium on commercial evictions; L.A. County's 100,000 workers must vaccinated by Friday; Mental health sees decline in county jails; L.A. City Council designates former site of Korean United Methodist Church a historic cultural monument; Top utility regulator to step down. Support the show: https://support.laist.com/laistnav
In today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out:WTJU 91.1 FM is a different sort of radio station. It's dedicated to sharing the transcendent experience of music while raising funds from listeners across the world. From October 4th through 10th, WTJU airs its annual Jazz Marathon. Tune in for a deep dive into everything from bebop to blues. WTJU's Volunteer DJs will play the spectrum jazz – from Billie Holiday to Cannonball Adderly to Pharaoh Sanders. Plus live, local jazz performances throughout the week. Visit the Jazz Marathon schedule now to plot your listening schedule!On today’s show:Catching up with Charlottesville City Council with info on the police chief search, a lease for a garden in McIntire Park, and moreA major convenience store franchise is pursuing a fourth store in Charlottesville’s urban areaAn update on the pandemic from Governor Ralph NorthamSince the last newsletter on September 23, 2021, COVID’s late summer surge in Virginia is showing signs of slowing down. The seven day average of new cases has decreased down to 3,003 and the seven-day percent positivity is down to 9.1 percent. That figure was 9.7 five days ago. In the Blue Ridge Health District, there have been 392 cases reported today since the last newsletter and and another four fatalities. The seven-day percent positivity is 7.2. Governor Ralph Northam held his first pandemic press briefing in some time yesterday and said this trend is encouraging.“In the past few days, case numbers have started to move down and hospitalization numbers are leveling off and that is a hopeful sign,” Northam said. “But the numbers are still way too high.”Northam reminded Virginians that at one point at the beginning of the summer, there was a day with less than a hundred new cases. As of today, 60.1 percent of Virginians are fully vaccinated and 71.5 percent of the adult population is now fully vaccinated. “The data show that nearly everyone who is getting COVID is unvaccinated,” Northam said. “I want to repeat that. Nearly everyone who is getting COVID is unvaccinated.”You can check the data here. The Delta variant began widespread transmission in early June and Northam said the current surge could have been avoided if people had gotten their shot or shots. He said the cost of hospital care for this summer’s surge is $5 billion and rising. Northam said at this point, there is little he can do to urge people who refuse to get the vaccine, but he brought up his personal experience contracting COVID.“Believe me, you don’t want to get it,” Northam said. “My case was back in September, and a year later I still can’t smell anything or taste anything and now the COVID variant that’s going around is a lot worse than the one in September.”You can watch all of Northam’s briefing on YouTube. He has updated on booster shots and more. (watch)Albemarle County will soon begin a search to find a new county attorney. Greg Kamptner has been in the position for nearly six and a half years and will retire next year, according to materials for Wednesday’s closed door meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Kamptner began working for the county in 1995 and became deputy county attorney in 2007. If you’re interested in land use law in Albemarle and Virginia, Kamptner literally wrote the handbook. (Land Use Law Handbook)A site plan has filed for a Wawa gas station within the city of Charlottesville on 5th Street Extended. If approved and constructed it would be either the third or fourth franchise within the urban area around Charlottesville. Plans have also been filed for a Wawa at the corner of Route 29 and Greenbrier , just over the line in Albemarle. The property in Charlottesville is currently a Hardee’s restaurant. A virtual site plan conference is scheduled for October 20. Materials for that meeting sent to neighborhood associations do not identify the 5,300 square foot gas station as a Wawa, but the agenda for the September 14, 2021 Planning Commission identifies Wawa as the subject of a future consideration by the Entrance Corridor Review Board. That will be the only legislative approval required for the project as the property is zoned for Highway Mixed Use Corridor. In today's 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 jmrlfriends.org for more information.To celebrate my high school reunion this weekend, I took a few days off last week. That means there will be a lot of segments this week about a lot of different meetings I missed. There’s a lot to get through so we’re all caught up. Let’s go back first to the City Council meeting from September 20, 2021. City Manager Chip Boyles brought up an op-ed column he wrote for the Daily Progress regarding his decision at the beginning of this month to fire former Police Chief RaShall Brackney.“While standing firm on the decision I did make, the fact is I could have handled the decision quite differently,” Boyles said. “I could have and should have engaged Council and my leadership team in more deliberating and on my intended actions so that I not only had their input but also had a broader perspective of the community’s response.”Boyles said he could not talk about all of the reasons for the firing at this time due to confidentiality but did say he did meet with representatives of the Police Benevolent Association about their survey. He said the August 20 press release that went out unsigned was approved by him, and that the briefly retired Major Jim Mooney will serve as assistant chief only until an interim police chief is hired. “Procedures are in place to create a committee for both the interim police chief search and to fill the permanent police chief position,” Boyles said.That will consist of one City Councilor, representatives from the city manager’s office, the Police Civilian Review Board, the Human Rights Commission, and three other members of the public. Later, Council voted 4-1 on a resolution to approve the report for how the city spent its Community Development Block Grant and HOME funding for fiscal year 2020 which ran from July 1, 2020 to June 30 of this year. Mayor Nikuyah Walker voted against what’s known as the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). (staff report)“The CDBG and the entitlement portion of what’s in here, I think there are some things we could do differently,” Walker said. “And I have questions that I have expressed the entire time I’ve been here about the HOME funds are used and whether the citizens are receiving the best services possible.”After that, Council held the first reading of entering into a ground lease with the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont, a nonprofit that has been working with the city to use a portion of land in the northeast corner of McIntire Park.“Documentation previously approved at the Council level goes back to September of 2012 with a master plan of McIntire Park,” said City Manager Boyles. “There have been conceptual designs, resolutions for agreement, a [memorandum of understanding] with the McIntire Botanical Garden, and then most recently in 2017 a final site plan approval for McIntire Park.”Under the terms of the MOU, the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont would cover the costs of any buildings or structures in the site. Under the terms of the lease, they would have to begin construction within five years of it being signed. “This would be a landlord/tenant lease and not a partnership with the botanical garden,” Boyles said. “The city is not asked to contribute any financial resources to this other than once complete, Parks and Recreation would be asked to maintain the parking lots and the sidewalks of the parking area.” The project will include a stream restoration and a pedestrian trail through the area. The proposed ground lease will be updated to provide more clarity on this item before the second reading and public hearing on Council’s October 4 meeting. There will be no cost to visit the park but there will be a fee to reserve function space. (9/20 edition of the ground lease)Next, the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) briefed Council on the way several public housing construction projects are being financed. But, we’re going to hold off on that one for today until a future installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement. This week I’m hoping to get one out each day so I can get caught up with what I’ve missed. I hope my writing continues to be of benefit to you. Please send it on to someone else you think might be interested! This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
Bob Babyok, Chairman of Louisa County Board of Supervisors, and Chris Fairchild, a Fluvanna County Board of Supervisor candidate, joined Keith Smith and me on “Real Talk: An Insider's Guide To Real Estate In Central Virginia” powered by The YES Team Realtors and Yonna Smith! “Real Talk” airs every Tuesday and Friday from 10:15 am – 11 am on The I Love CVille Network! “Real Talk” is presented by Roy Wheeler Realty Co., Charlottesville Settlement Company, LLC, Pearl Certification, Intrastate Inc., Scott Morris – Home Loans, Dairy Market and Shenandoah Joe.
KJZZ's Friday NewsCap revisits some of the biggest stories of the week. Julie Erfle of Erfle Uncuffed and former congressional candidate Christine Jones joined The Show to talk about the draft report of the so-called Arizona audit, the resignation of a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and more.
In today’s Patreon-fueled shout-out: Fall is just around the corner, but the summer heat is sticking around a bit longer. Your local energy nonprofit, LEAP, wants you and yours to keep comfortable all year round! LEAP offers FREE home weatherization to income- and age-qualifying residents, so, if you’re age 60 or older, or have an annual household income of less than $74,950, you may qualify for a free energy assessment and home energy improvements such as insulation and air sealing. Sign up today to lower your energy bills, increase comfort, and reduce energy waste at home!On today’s show: The Albemarle Board of Supervisors gets an update on Habitat’s redevelopment of SouthwoodThe Blue Ridge Health District holds a town hall on the continuing pandemicSeveral new historic markers are on the docket today at the Virginia Department of HIstoric ResourcesAll of Virginia’s 132 school divisions are now open in person, according to a press release from Governor Ralph Northam. First Lady Pamela Northam just concluded a statewide tour of schools and the release includes a link to COVID-19 safety resources for parents and students. Most schools systems continue to list the number of COVID cases, including Amherst County, which was closed for part of September due to a high positivity rate.Today the Virginia Department of Health reports another 3,767 new cases and 54 new fatalities. The percent positivity has decreased to 9.7 percent. There are another 128 new cases reported in the Blue Ridge Health District and an additional COVID death. Last night, the Blue Ridge Health District held a town hall to talk about continuing resources in the days of Delta. “As we all know, it’s much more transmissible than previous variants than what we’ve experienced with COVID,” said Ryan MacKay, director of policy and planning for the district. “It’s also sort of coincided with the expiration of a lot of the mandates that had been in place for masks, distancing, limiting numbers at social gatherings, so we’ve had this combination.”MacKay said health officials meet with schools each week to minimize risk as much as possible. That involves case investigations to understand how further transmissions may have occurred. MacKay said this is also the time of year when there are other ailments that are very similar to COVID. “As we enter flu-season and we enter into what traditionally is more disease-spreading in congregate settings such as in schools, it’s going to make that a little bit more difficult,” MacKay said. “So the reason we’re asking schools and pediatricians to really work with families to really identify what is causing the illness. It’s critical because that minimizes the risk of spread and makes sure we can keep children where they need to be which is in classrooms and schools.” That means that children with any symptoms should stay home until COVID is ruled out. If the diagnosis is positive, 14 days of quarantine with no school activity or interaction with anyone. The Blue Ridge Health District is currently offering third-dose boosters to those who qualify.“Third doses for people who are immunocompromised began on August 13,” said Dr. Denise Bonds, director of the Blue Ridge Health District. “You don’t have to bring in any proof. You can self-declare and the best person to speak with is your primary care physician who can help you make that determination that you need that third dose.” Around the same time as the town hall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for anyone over the age of 65 and well as those at high-risk of severe COVID. (press release)There is not yet a recommendation for those who got the Johnson and Johnson shots. More as we continue. Several proposed historic markers in the area are being considered today by the Board of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources at their meeting at Montpelier. One would recognize a 1950 court case that forced the University of Virginia to admit a Black man who had been denied a space because of his skin color. A three-judge panel heard the Swanson V. University of Virginia case in the former federal court on Market building that now houses the Central Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. That’s where the marker will stand. Another is at Jackson Burley High School on Rose Hill Drive. The building opened in 1951 to unify several Black high schools across the area. “The 26-classroom building reflected an effort to provide “separate but equal” facilities in an era when lawsuits frequently challenged poor conditions in Black schools,” reads the proposed text. “The 1956 football team was undefeated and unscored on.”Jackson P. Burley High School was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places last year. The DHR Board will also consider a marker for Dr. W. W. Yen, the first international national to attend the University of Virginia. The Chinese national graduated in 1900 and went on to a career as a diplomat. His nomination is part of a contest held as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Read the full nominations here. You’re reading Charlottesville Community Engagement. Time for two quick Patreon-shout-outs. One person wants you to know "We keep each other safe. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance."And in another one, one brand new Patreon supporter wants you to go out and read a local news story written by a local journalist. Whether it be the Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, C-Ville Weekly, NBC29, CBS19, the community depends on a network of people writing about the community. Go learn about this place today!This summer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has been updating various committees in Albemarle on their efforts to redevelop the Southwood Mobile Home Park as a mixed-use community. The Board of Supervisors approved the first phase of a rezoning in August 2019, and they got an update at their meeting on September 15. There are a lot of details, and if you want all of them, I recommend watching the full presentation. (watch)But here is a summary beginning with planner Megan Nedostup with the basic info. “Habitat acquired the property in 2007,” Nedostup said. “1,500 residents live there in 341 mobiles homes.”Supervisors adopted a resolution to work with Habitat on redevelopment in 2016 and an action plan in 2018 that included financial contributions from the county. “Involved with that approval we appropriated $675,000 to Southwood to assist with the rezoning application,” Nedostup said. “In 2019 the performance agreement was approved. $1.5 million for construction of 75 affordable units. $300,000 for 80 or Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). And $1.4 million over ten years in tax rebates.”The rezoning approved a total of 458 housing units on undeveloped land along Old Lynchburg Road. Site plans are coming in for each of the 12 blocks in this stage of the development. Piedmont Housing Alliance is building the LIHTC units and aim to exceed the total by constructing 121 apartments in three buildings. Nedostup said Habitat has met one milestone of the performance agreement and has received $100,000 for planning work. Another $300,000 payment for securing the LIHTC credits is being processed. “Milestone 1C included $200,000 when Habitat demonstrates it has secured funding for 57 affordable units and that one is in process,” Nedostup said. Other milestones are also in the process of being met. Outside of the performance agreement, Albemarle County also partnered with Habitat on a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). In his presentation, Habitat CEO Dan Rosenweig showed a fly-through video of what the development will look like when it comes together. The idea has been to build a new community along new roadways. “We worked closely with Atlantic Builders to design a new product typology so that this streetscape created a really great walk from deeper into the neighborhood toward the neighborhood downtown,” Rosensweig said. “[These are] townhomes that are two stories in the front and then they take advantage of the grade to be three stories behind so what it appears are townhomes that are really human scale.”Rosensweig reminded the Board that the Planning Commission had had concerns about whether there would be enough affordable units in the first phase. “There was concern among Planning Commissioners about the ultimate amount of affordable housing in phase one and whether that would be enough housing to take care of the residents who exist at Southwood now as we move phase by phase but also to create new affordable housing in the region,” Rosensweig said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job with 335 total units in phase one with 207 of them affordable,” Rosensweig said. “Habitat is going to build 86 of them. That’s going to be almost exclusively homeownership but there are some residents who will not LIHTC and who will not want to purchase a home, so we’ve committed to making some deeply affordable rentals available interspersed in the neighborhood as well.”Rosensweig said he estimated about 100 families will be rehoused as part of the first phase. Unfortunately, some families have had to be moved on a temporary basis due to poor environmental conditions that he said Habitat has inherited from the previous owner.“Instead of one or two mobile homes hooked up to a septic tank there were ten, and so those leach fields are extending into the areas of construction so out of an abundance of caution and safety for residents we are in the process of moving the first 25 families from the area immediately adjacent to the construction site to the other side of the mobile home park in trailers where there are served by sewer,” Rosensweig said. There are about fifty more families that will need to be rehoused due to the next phase of construction. Rosensweig said a rehousing task force has been formed to identify solutions. There are other environmental issues. “There’s also a remediation task force that has formed to deal with some of the things that were a little bit hard to dig,” Rosensweig said. “For example, the mobile home park has been on electric for many years but originally there was an oil tank installed under every trailer. As we started to move them, we expected one in ten to leak. If they were decent material to start with, they wouldn’t leak. But all ten of the first ones that we dug up leaked, which suggests to us that all 341 are going to be removed.” Rosensweig said Habitat has worked with Albemarle and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to remove the damaged sections of soil where it has been encountered. “It’s kind of like cutting out a tumor,” Rosensweig said. “You remove the bad stuff and also dirt around it, stockpile it, and remove it. The site is pristine now but it has cost a lot more than we expected.” Rosensweig said the Board of Supervisors can expect to see the next phase of the rezoning. Habitat will ask to extend the rules for the existing zoning and its code of development across the whole park. “More like a zoning amendment than a rezoning,” Rosensweig said. The goal is to submit the application by mid-October. Supervisor Liz Palmer has been on the Board since 2014 and wanted to make sure all of the steps of the performance agreement are tracked. “I’m wondering going forward on future projects how we compare what we’re getting for the amount of money that we’re putting in because these numbers are hard to keep track of overtime.”Stacy Pethia, the county’s housing coordinator, said it is too early to be able to break down a cost-per-unit, but that will be available as the projects go through the many variables involved in a construction project.“The cost as we’ve learned over the past year continues to significantly change and has a significant impact on the project,” Pethia said. Rosenweig had an exact figure for the roughly $4 million in Albemarle’s investment.“That works out to about $19,000 a unit,” Rosensweig said. “The cost for each of our homes on average is probably looking because of COVID price spikes in the mid $200K’s and so your funding represents a little less than ten percent of each of the units.” This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
The Stafford County, Virginia Board of Supervisors have barred the teaching of CRT and The 1619 Project. They also voted unanimously on the issue of students choosing their preferred pronouns...they said NO! Join guest host Jeff Katz as he tackles this story and more with guests PJ Morrissey, Congressman Ralph Norman, Jason Miller, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and retired FBI agent Jimmy Gagliano! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Bob welcomes back El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who has been challenging some unusual decisions from The San Diego Board of Supervisors. Click on your podcasting platform below to subscribe to The Bob Siegel Show: Apple | Google | Spotify | TuneIn | Amazon | iHeartRadio | Blubrry | Deezer | Android | RSS Feed Subscribe by email and get Bob's show delivered directly to your inbox!
In this episode Keta & Dani of the East Oakland Collective and I talk about the changes they're creating in Oakland to increase accessibility. We all know there's no damn reason for communities of color to be under-resourced other than whyteness doing what it does! And Dani let us know that no community, even if it's underdeveloped, ever goes unmapped or unplanned. So what can we do about houselessness, transportation, and making sure our communities thrive? How can we be the ones to stand up for our cities to increase access? Bc let's face it, we've always known WE gotta take care of US.! How can we create what we want to see and get the resources for it? Listen, learn, and get involved! ABOUT WEEZE Louiza Doran, known and referred to as Weeze, is a cis-het Amazigh* female-identifying human who uses she/her/they/them pronouns. She's known as a coach, podcast host, advocate, agent of change, strategist, and educator (to name a few) but is ultimately a compassionate provocateur that is out to help folks uncover their path of possibility. ABOUT KETA & DANI Marquita “Keta” Price (she/her/Goddess), aka “The Hood Planner,” is a third-generation East Oakland native serving as the Director of Urban and Regional Planning for The East Oakland Collective. Keta's formal passion for urbanism came about during recreational research on how gentrification has impacted low-income Black “hoods” across the nation. As director, Keta is the lead on several East Oakland neighborhood & transportation planning projects, participates in the development of local urban and regional planning, and holds the city of Oakland accountable to equitable zoning and land use in East Oakland. Her early activism and care for community is rooted at Merritt College, where she served as the Vice President of The Black Student Union, President of the Kem(istry) Club, President of the Associated Students of Merritt College (ASMC), and served as a Student Trustee of the Peralta Community College School District. Keta's initial goals were to restore the intellect and militancy of Merritt's student government. Seeded by Chairman Bobby Seale and other former Black Panthers, ASMC focused on leveraging the institution's resources to address the socioeconomic issues from the flatlands prohibiting students from thriving academically. Keta's political and social goals pulled her away from studying chemistry to deeply exploring how societies, communities, and cities are planned, designed and constructed. As a chemistry major, Keta received an achievement award for the completion of The Center for Educational Partnerships NIH-UCB internship. During this project Keta synthesized pro-fluorophores used for live-cell RNA imaging. Keta also received recognition and commendation from the California Legislature Assembly and State of California Senate and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for her student advocacy work with the Tobacco-less Club at Merritt College. Keta has an Associates of Science in Mathematics and Natural Science. When the opportunity presents itself, Keta plans to further her education in Urban Studies, Data Analysis and Design. Danielle "Dani" Dynes is a dedicated community planner who was born in East Oakland and raised in West Oakland. As a planner, she focuses on the present needs of residents and while creating strategies to deal with the challenges of the future. She works to bring more resources and infrastructure to Oakland and ensure we have safer, healthier, and well-connected communities moving forward. Danielle has a B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from San Francisco State University. She has previously worked at the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) in their Planning and Project Development section. Several of Danielle's projects at OakDOT prioritized equitable and culturally relevant change in the East Oakland community. She facilitated events around the 90th Avenue Scraper Bike Way and conducted community outreach for the East Oakland Mobility Action Plan. She also helped manage Sustainable Transportation Planning grants while interning at the California Department of Transportation. Before she studied planning Danielle taught website design and visual communication to students in Oakland and Richmond. In 2016 she was honored as a Youth Development Fellow by Coro, a civic leadership training organization. In her leisure, Danielle enjoys photography, crafting, hiking, and gardening. IN THIS EPISODE, WE TALK ABOUT How EOC's founder, Candace Elder, said hell nah to the ways her community was deteriorating due to gentrification and decided to address issues like pollution + houselessness. The fuckery with folks seeing systemic challenges and thinking it's random or beyond our control, but it's not! We knowwww this! Why disparities and underdeveloped communities even exist, when communities are always mapped out and planned. How the white flight outta of East Oakland and left the whole area for dead!. There's no designated funding to give to communities to plan their own communities surprise surprise, so a lot of that grunt work falls on nonprofits, grassroots people, and individuals to fill that gap. How a lack of economics, transportation, and accessibility affects communities + what we can do to help! CALL TO ACTION Support the East Oakland Mobility Action Plan. Get involved with the Mobility 4 All program, their new clean mobility fellows, and an upcoming project funded by the STEP Grant to explore the feasibility of implementing a zero-emission bus shuttle to bridge access to nearby local/regional park-The Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eq-twyoJeB5ipLs7kbAWjF0Kgq210WRO/view?usp=sharing FOLLOW WEEZE TO STAY ENGAGED Website: https://www.accordingtoweeze.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/accordingtoweeze Podia: https://accordingtoweeze.podia.com/weeze FOLLOW KETA & DANI TO STAY ENGAGED Website: https://www.eastoaklandcollective.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eastoaklandcollective/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/eoakcollective Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eoakcollective
Plans for Fairfax Peak, an indoor skiing and entertainment venue were submitted to Fairfax County in late 2018. Happening this weekend an open house event is being held in advance of public hearings and a review by the Board of Supervisors. If approved, the indoor skiing facility would host a 1,700 foot indoor ski slope, the longest in North America. Farmer's Almanac predicts a “flip-flop” winter for the DC area, meaning it will be mild then a snow storm then mild again. Starting October 1, riders in the District will be required to lock their rental scooters to a bike rack, a sign or a bike/scooter corral. Champion Yodeler DC Oktoberfest Residency. Manuela Horn, a contestant on AGT in 2009 and "Queen of Oktoberfest" is making her first DC appearance. She gave us some tips on how to Yodel and how to celebrate Oktoberfest. Horn has fifteen shows coming up at Hook Hall in NE. Nominate your favorite Northern Virginia teacher today for Tommy and Kelly's annual teacher tour. Links: Farmer's Almanac: Farmer's Almanac Caps Promo Calendar: Caps Promo Calendar Hook Hall Yodel OktoberFest: Hook Hall Yodel OktoberFest Teacher Tour: Teacher Tour From Real.Fun.DC. “The Tommy and Kelly Show” is produced in Washington, DC providing news, culture, playful conversation, positive energy, and a dose of morning fun any time. Download the Real.Fun.DC. APP to check out our wide array of programming app.RealFunDC.com Follow Kelly Collis Twitter: @CityShopGirl
Imagine the world where the global space race never ended. For All Mankind is a thrilling “what if” take on history from Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) spotlights the high stakes lives of NASA astronauts and their families. Jay Redd is a VFX Supervisor on For All Mankind whose extensive resume also includes titles like Contact, Men in Black 3 and Monster House. Todd Sheridan Perry is an On-Set Supervisor on the show with a diverse background in video games, film and television. He's worked on titles like Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to Final Destination 5, The Immortals, Total Recall, Resident Evil 5 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Todd has also worked as a CG Supervisor on Marvel's Doctor Strange which was nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar. On this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews VFX Supervisor Jay Redd and the On-Set Supervisor Todd Sheridan Perry about their work on For All Mankind, making smart decisions on set, balancing between artistry and tech skills, VFX in film versus television and the future of virtual production. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/317/.
Bill Gates describes the agreement between the State Senate and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Will the Board see the election audit report before the general public? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s first Patreon-fueled shout-out is for the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Campaign, an initiative that wants you to grow native plants in yards, farms, public spaces and gardens in the northern Piedmont. Native plants provide habitat, food sources for wildlife, ecosystem resiliency in the face of climate change, and clean water. Start at the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives Facebook page and tell them Lonnie Murray sent you! In today’s show: Several odds and ends from the Charlottesville Planning Commission meeting The Virginia Film Festival will return to movie screens in Charlottesville this OctoberYour input is requested on thoughts and concerns about future natural disastersWe begin today again with today’s COVID numbers. Today the Virginia Department of Health reports another 4,066 cases today. The number of COVID deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Virginia is now at 12,170. Since September 1, there have been 309 reported, with 52 reported today. That does not mean all of those fatalities happened within a 24-hour period, as that number is tallied as death certificates are reported to the VDH. When natural disasters strike, governments across the region often cooperate with each other to lend a hand in the emergency response and recovery efforts. Before they strike, there is a federally-mandated document intended to provide direction on how to prepare to lessen their impacts.“The purpose of the Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is to prepare for natural disasters before they occur, thus reducing loss of life, property damage, and disruption of commerce,” reads the current plan, which was put together by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.The last plan was adopted in 2018 and it is time to put together the next one as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The TJPDC wants your input in the form of a survey which is now open. Participants are asked if they’ve ever experienced a natural disaster and if so, what the specific impact was. You’ll also be asked what hazards you are concerned about, ranging from dam failure to winter weather. (take the survey) The Virginia Film Festival will return to in-person events this October when the long-running series returns for action. Last year the event pivoted to drive-in and virtual screenings, but will return to the Violet Crown, the Culbreth Theatre, and the Paramount Theater. “The Festival will also continue its very popular Drive-In Movies series at the beautiful Morven Farm in Eastern Albemarle County.” said festival director Jody Kielbasa in a release. “As always, the Festival will work to create the safest environment possible for its audiences, requiring masks at all indoor venues.”The festival will run from October 27 to October 31, and the full program will be announced on September 28. Tickets will go on sale on September 30. A major highlight this year will be the screening of an episode of Dopesick, an upcoming series on Hulu about the nation’s opioid epidemic. The series is based on the work of former Roanoke Times journalist Beth Macy and the event at the Paramount will be presented in partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book. For more information, visit virginiafilmfestival.org.Albemarle Supervisor Ann Mallek is one of 16 elected officials from around the United States to be appointed to an advisory panel of the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan made appointments to the Local Government Advisory Committee and its Small Community Advisory Subcommittee, and Mallek will serve on the latter. “From tackling climate change to advancing environmental justice, we need local partners at the table to address our most pressing environmental challenges,” Regan said in an August 25 press release. Kwasi Fraser, the Mayor of Purcellville in Loudoun County, is the only other Virginian appointed to either of the two groups. Speaking of appointments, last week Governor Ralph Northam appointed several Charlottesville residents to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development. They are:Rich Allevi, Vice President of Development, Sun Tribe SolarJohn Bahouth Jr., Executive Vice President, Apex Clean EnergyTierney T. Fairchild, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Resilience EducationAntonio Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jobs for Virginia GraduatesThe Virginia Board of Workforce Development will meet next week for a special briefing. The board’s executive is Jane Dittmar, a former member of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. You’re reading Charlottesville Community Engagement. Time for two quick Patreon-shout-outs. One person wants you to know "We keep each other safe. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance."And in another one, one brand new Patreon supporter wants you to go out and read a local news story written by a local journalist. Whether it be the Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, C-Ville Weekly, NBC29, CBS19, the community depends on a network of people writing about the community. Go learn about this place today!For the rest of the show today, highlights from last night’s City Planning Commission meeting. I want to state up front that this newsletter does not feature the meeting’s main event, which was a public hearing for 240 Stribling in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood. That conversation that focused on a novel method of funding infrastructure improvements to support additional vehicular and human-powered traffic. I’m going to focus on that in an upcoming newsletter, but I want to get one concept on your mind. Let’s get some legal guidance from City Attorney Lisa Robertson about that mythical beast known as a “proffer.” For large developments that require a rezoning or a special use permit, you may also see the applicant offer cash or specific improvements as a required condition if their desired land use change is accepted. “Proffers are really to deal with impacts generated by the development itself and to provide cash for infrastructure that’s more directly sort of connected to or necessitated by the development,” Robertson said during the Commission’s pre-meeting. “In this situation as evidenced by the fact that the Stribling Avenue need for sidewalks has already been documented for a number of years in the city’s master plans and [Capital Improvement Program].”Southern Development is the applicant behind 240 Stribling had wanted to make its willingness to fund some of the infrastructure improvements in a proffer, but Robertson asked to pursue the matter in a different way because proffers are not two-way agreements. What happened with that? We’ll come back to that tomorrow. Highlights from the meetingAt the top of the actual meeting, the Commission elected Lyle Solla-Yates to serve as the body’s Chair. Solla-Yates was appointed to the seven-person body in March 2018 and succeeds Hosea Mitchell, who will remain on the commission. “Thank you very much Chair Mitchell for your two years of excellent service and for this honor and attempting to follow you,” Solla-Yates said. “Remarkable opportunity.”Next, Commissioners gave various reports on the various committees they are on. This is a good way to find out quickly a lot of things that are going on. Commissioner Mitchell said he and Commissioner Jody Lahendro with city Parks and Recreation officials reviewing a major problem in McIntire Park.“The drainage in McIntire Park is also creating a violation of the Department of Environmental Quality, their standards,” Mitchell said. “That is going to be a top priority and that’s going to be about $350,000 that we will be asking Council to approve but this is a must-do. We are in violation if we don’t fix that.” Mitchell said repairs to bring the outdoor Onesty Pool back next summer will cost about $400,000. There’s a lot of erosion and standing water at Oakwood Cemetery that will cost about $52,000.“And the last must-do thing is a comprehensive master plan,” Mitchell said. “We haven’t had anything like that in a number of years and our future is going to be relentless for Parks and Rec if we don’t do that and that’s going to be about $150,000.”Mitchell said the Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center is not expected to open now until late fall. Smith has been plagued with air quality problems since it opened in 2010. The facility shut down for several weeks in 2015 to install new exhaust pipes and has been closed since the spring of 2020 for at least $2.25 million in repairs. At least, that’s what Council approved as a capital improvement program budget line item in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. In any case, Mitchell also announced that Todd Brown will be leaving his position as director of the city parks and recreation department to take a position in Fredericksburg. Bill Palmer, the University of Virginia’s liaison on the Charlottesville Planning Commission, reminded the Commission that UVA is working on an update of its Grounds Framework Plan. Palmer did not have much specific information but the closed-door Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee got a briefing at their meeting on July 23. “The Plan will be underway from Summer 2021 to Fall 2022 and includes a robust engagement process with the University and regional community,” reads a presentation made to LUEPC. The Grounds Framework Plan is intended to guide planning and development over the next 20 years with an emphasis on sustainability, resiliency, and equity. Some guidance in the presentation is to “capitalize on the potential of existing and new facilities” and “holistically consider Grounds as an integrated campus of mixed-use buildings and green spaces.”The firm Urban Strategies has been hired to conduct the work, which will build on smaller plans developed in the past several years ranging from the 2015 Brandon Avenue Master Plan to the 2019 Emmet Ivy Task Force report. UVa is also undertaking an affordable housing initiative to build up to 1,500 units on land that either UVA or its real estate foundation controls. The community also got a first look at Jim Freas, the new director of the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services. “Today is my second day so still finding my feet and learning my way around the building,” Freas said on Tuesday. Freas comes to the position from a similar one in Natick, Massachusetts. Natick consists of over 16 square miles in Middlesex County and has a population of 37,000 according to the U.S. Census. Thank you again for reading today. Want one of those shout-outs? Consider becoming a Patreon supporter. For $25 a month, you get four shout-outs spread across the various programs. That price will increase in the near future. Questions? Drop me a line! This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
The warming climate means intense heat will begin to limit when and how long people can work outside. Meanwhile, after a lengthy and at times contentious public hearing, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to declare San Diego County a "champion of reproductive freedom." Plus, handling mental health issues in the workplace.
A recap of the Henrico Board of Supervisors meeting; Henrico Schools officials honor County Manager John Vithoulkas; COVID-19 cases rise again; the county reports its second rabies case of 2021; changes to some GRTC routes in Henrico; a measles outbreak potentially affecting this region; a rematch in the 73rd House of Delegates district; details about our new "Faces of Henrico Business" feature.(Today's Henrico News Minute is brought to you by Henrico County CSB Prevention Services.)Support the show (http://www.henricocitizen.com/contribute)
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 CommitteesA look at the Thomas Jefferson Solid Waste ReportA 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. This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe
From the San Diego Country Board of Supervisors, a very disappointing vote took place this week with far reaching implications! Click on your podcasting platform below to subscribe to The Bob Siegel Show: Apple | Google | Spotify | TuneIn | Amazon | iHeartRadio | Blubrry | Deezer | Android | RSS Feed Subscribe by email and get Bob's show delivered directly to your inbox!
Quentin Kopp had such a long and influential career as a member of the Board of Supervisors, a state senator and a judge that the I-380 freeway is named after him. He's still going strong at 93, and on this episode of the TotalSF podcast, he's paid a visit by hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight, who have received plenty of Kopp's angry letters. Fifth & Mission is bringing you this episode of our sibling podcast as a Labor Day special. Subscribe to TotalSF: chronicle.com/totalsfpod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week, San Diego Unified — the largest school district in the region — opened up for in-person classes. Also back this week is our Parent's Guide to San Diego Schools. It's a tool we furnish every year to help parents make informed decisions for their kids' education. In this episode we preview an uncertain school year and highlight the biggest stories from the guide. Check out the guide at vosd.org/schools And the drama keeps coming for the county Board of Supervisors. This week, there was tension involving the locally beloved Bitchin' Sauce and a vote to declare misinformation a public health crisis. See our podcast on the local company here: voiceofsandiego.org/topics/economy/i-made-it-in-san-diego-the-battle-behind-a-familys-secret-sauce Support the Parent's Guide and all our work at vosd.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
San Francisco avoided a heavy toll from covid-19, but may feel the virus's impact longer than other places. The city's economy is stuttering as tech workers stay home. Emigration, crime, and poorly-run schools need fixing, just as a series of recall elections are causing political instability. Why is the home of innovation so poorly governed?Matt Haney of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gives us a tour of the Tenderloin district. We find out how a famous hippy handbook influenced the internet's anti-politics. And speak to Josh Spivak, author of Recall Elections: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom.John Prideaux hosts with Alexandra Suich Bass and Jon Fasman.For access to The Economist's print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/USpod See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
San Francisco avoided a heavy toll from covid-19, but may feel the virus's impact longer than other places. The city's economy is stuttering as tech workers stay home. Emigration, crime, and poorly-run schools need fixing, just as a series of recall elections are causing political instability. Why is the home of innovation so poorly governed?Matt Haney of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gives us a tour of the Tenderloin district. We find out how a famous hippy handbook influenced the internet's anti-politics. And speak to Josh Spivak, author of Recall Elections: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom.John Prideaux hosts with Alexandra Suich Bass and Jon Fasman.For access to The Economist's print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/USpod See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.