Planning Commission Denies Rezoning Request from Belmont Developers

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A developing company hoping to rezone its lot in the Belmont neighborhood is going to have to wait a little longer before the project can get updated.

On Tuesday, July 10, the Charlottesville Planning Commission denied two requests.

Shimp Engineering was hoping to rezone the property and increase density on site, but some commissioners and neighbors had concerns.

Developers working on the project at 1206 Carlton Avenue want to build six two-bedroom unit apartments.

Right now, it's zoned as R2, or family residential. The applicant wants to rezone it as R3, or multi-family, to allow more units to be built.

Shimp was also asking the commission to approve a special-use permit that would allow the company to increase density on the property.

The six units would have seven parking spaces on-site, and then on-street parking would be used for overflow.

Neighbors and commissioners did not like that idea.

"People on those streets that live in those homes and have been living in those homes - in some cases since the 50s when they were built - have no off-street parking, they park on the street,” says Lisa Green, who’s on the planning commission. “So to put that overload, I think is narrow-minded and I don't think we do good planning."

With parking already limited, neighbors are worried about access to convenient spots when population density is increased.

“If you have anybody visiting or a party or whatever, all these cars are going to be going somewhere and I don't know where they are going to go," says Charlie Neer, who lives near the project site.

If the rezone eventually gets approved, the applicant says he would designate one of the six units as an affordable housing unit and he wouldn’t build higher than 35 feet tall.

This request also got denied back in March.

The applicant, Justin Shimp, says he is disappointed with the planning commission's decision. He plans to bring this request to City Council in the future.

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