Charlottesville city councilors approve plans for new downtown parking deck

Charlottesville city councilors approve plans for new downtown parking deck

CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - Charlottesville city councilors are taking the next step in putting a new parking garage downtown. However, some community members are concerned about what happens to the businesses that are currently located where that garage is slated to go.

This decision is part of a deal to keep Albemarle County's court system downtown. Counselors say the new garage will also help the city as it prepares to fix up aging garages like the one here on East Market Street.

The new structure would stretch from 7th to 9th Street, where the Lucky 7 store and Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant now sit. Funding for the project is already appropriated as part of the capital improvement budget.

On Monday night, some community members expressed concern about the cost of the site, but councilor Kathy Galvin says the garage is an important piece in the city's relationship with Albemarle County. “To operationalize an agreement to keep those courts downtown to preserve access to justice for all people of all income levels but it also will be critically important for us to keep in mind that it's a fundamental component of the trust between the city and county governments."

The garage will provide 90 parking spaces to accommodate the county's court system staying downtown. The localities plan to have a joint general district court complex at the Levy Building.

Construction is expected to take about 18 months. Guadalajara and Lucky 7 will stay here on East Market Street until October 2021 when both business leases are up.

Charlottesville City Council is putting the brakes on a proposed mixed-use development along West Market Street.

On Monday night, councilors voted three-to-two to defer making a decision on a special use permit that would allow a developer to build a mixed-use commercial and residential complex on the current site of the Artful Lodger, the Livery Stable, and other businesses.

The developers will have to take the plans back to the city’s planning commission.

The city of Charlottesville is considering ways to improve equity among employees. On Monday night, city councilors voted to move about $197,000 from the fiscal year 2020 budget to fund staff who will create the city’s office of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Earlier in the year, the city manager’s advisory committee on organizational equity recommended the city create the office which would include a data analyst and community engagement coordinator.

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