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Developers Look to Construct Mixed-Use Complex in Belmont Amid Public Concerns

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Belmont neighbors voiced concerns at a meeting on June 11 Belmont neighbors voiced concerns at a meeting on June 11
Plans for the proposed mixed-use complex Plans for the proposed mixed-use complex
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Some people who live in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville are raising concerns about a proposed mix-used complex.

Some of their worries include how the development could impact the environment, and what it would mean for the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood.

On Monday, June 11, the Belmont-Carlton Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting. Some neighbors who live near the site for that proposed mixed-use building say it could mean more traffic, among other issues.

The Belmont neighborhood in Charlottesville is known by many for its charm and history.

“It’s such a terrific neighborhood, and there is a lot of walking and connections that people make, so to have four high-rise buildings coming up - it just destroys that," says Deb Jackson, a former member of the Belmont-Carlton Neighborhood Association Board.

Riverbend Development’s proposed complex would add a four-story mixed-use building, along with four four-story apartment buildings to the 1000 block of Carlton Avenue.

“It's kind of out of scale with the neighborhood,” says Eugenio Schettini, an architect who lives in Belmont. “All the structures around there are two-to-three stories, three stories at the most, and they are mostly residential low-scale so it’s a big building.”

On Monday, the association held its monthly meeting where some raised concerns about how the plans could affect the environment.

“There are waterways that come through there, it connects with the Rivanna River,” says Jackson.

Part of the site would lie near the restaurant Mas Tapas, which is an area where some people are already concerned about traffic.

“Of course developers want to increase density, for the income,” says Kat Maier, who owns property adjacent to the proposed project. “But we just really can't imagine already a thousand extra cars, right across from Mas [Tapas], one-way streets, it’s just unthinkable."

Overall, people think there is a better way to develop this section of Charlottesville.

“I actually have a pipe dream that that land would be where an elementary school would be, because Clark is already at capacity and then Clark School could get turned into condominiums,” says Jackson.

“How can they keep it two stories, three stories, they have done denser buildings, keeping green,” says Maier. “So there's a ton of ways that they can improve this design."

Riverbend Development did not respond to a request for comment.

Riverbend must resubmit an updated plan by July 9, or request an extension for this plan. Right now, the city has no other development submissions for this spot in Belmont.

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