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Lawsuit Laid on City Council by Little High Neighborhood Association

Posted: Updated: Jul 05, 2018 04:32 PM
Kate Bennis, president of the Little High Neighborhood Association, speaks at a press conference. Kate Bennis, president of the Little High Neighborhood Association, speaks at a press conference.
Members of the LHNA hold signs at the press conference. Members of the LHNA hold signs at the press conference.
A sign held at the LHNA press conference directed at the Charlottesville City Council. A sign held at the LHNA press conference directed at the Charlottesville City Council.
Members of the LHNA hold signs at the press conference. Members of the LHNA hold signs at the press conference.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Charlottesville’s City Council is facing a lawsuit from the Little High Neighborhood Association. The neighborhood association says council’s process in approving a special use permit for a new development at 1011 East Jefferson Street last year was deeply flawed.

In October 2016, the planning commission voted against a special use permit for the development at 1011 East Jefferson Street. The developer made a few changes, which quadrupled the density of the building and took the permit directly to council, where it was approved one year ago by a 3-2 vote.

Thursday, people who live in the neighborhood held a press conference announcing their lawsuit at the site where the more than 100 apartments will be developed. This development would double the size of the neighborhood without making improvements to traffic and infrastructure.

The neighborhood association says City Council broke Virginia code by granting substantial changes for the special use permit and by changing the rules of public hearings during its meeting on the development last July.

“We’re hoping that this lawsuit will actually bring attention and focus to something that every neighborhood is experiencing and push us forward in a positive way, towards a better vision for the city,” said LHNA president Kate Bennis.

Neighbors are also upset that the developer will not be required to build affordable housing units on site. Since the development does not include plans for any mixed use buildings, people say the development will divide the neighborhood.

City Council was reached out to for comment but is not commenting on the lawsuit at this time.

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