Developer Asking Planning Commission to Rezone Carlton Ave. Property

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Site on Carlton Avenue for a proposed apartment building Site on Carlton Avenue for a proposed apartment building
Zoning notice sign on Carlton Avenue property Zoning notice sign on Carlton Avenue property
Justin Shimp Justin Shimp

A developer is preparing to ask Charlottesville’s City Planning Commission to rezone property on Carlton Avenue to build a six-unit apartment.

If approved, the complex could help alleviate some of the city's affordable housing crisis.

Shimp Engineering asked the commission to rezone the property back in March, but the request was denied. Now, the company says it will dedicate one of the six units as affordable and the other five as market rate.

The lot at 1206 Carlton Avenue is currently zoned as R2 Family Residential, and Shimp Engineering is trying to get that changed to R3 Multi-Family Residential, which changes the allowed density from 21 units per acre to 23.

Justin Shimp says he's not looking to exceed the city's set height restrictions. He adds the building will resemble the other six-unit apartments in the area.

Prior to 2003, the property was zoned for a higher density, which Shimp argues is one reason the city is experiencing a housing crisis now.

"What we've found is there is a pattern of restricting development or downzoning, reducing densities over the past 10 or 15 years, and I think that's a way what's contributed to our housing problem now is a decade of tying to limit density and now we suddenly find we don't have anywhere for people to live. It's a problem," said Shimp.

Designating one out of six units as affordable out of six puts the apartment over the city's goal of 15 percent affordable units per building.

People who live nearby on Carlton Avenue have actually spoken in favor of the planned apartment building.

The City Planning Commission is expected to vote on whether or not to approve the request at its meeting Tuesday, July 10.