Cville Plans Together provides updates on Charlottesville City zoning rewrite

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Over the summer, ‘CVILLE Plans Together’ gathered input about what people want to see changed when it comes to zoning in the city.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Charlottesville City Council and the planning commission held a joint work session to discuss the findings.

‘CVILLE Plans together’ came to the meeting with one key question.

“Are we generally on the right track as far as adopting zoning that’ll advance us in the implementation of our comprehensive plan and affordable housing plan?” Director of Neighborhood Development James Freas said.

Affordable housing, parking minimums, and lot sizes are three major topics being discussed. A link to the presentation can be found here.

“One of the really important ideas is that across the board, no matter what one’s perspective is on the details of this work, there was widespread support for the idea that we need more affordable housing and more housing options here in the city,” Freas said.

Currently there is no uniform affordable housing minimum requirement in Charlottesville. With this zoning rewrite, 10% of all developments above ten units would have to fall under affordable housing.

“Those units must be effectively indistinguishable from the other units within the project. We’re proposing this for the entirety of the city,” Freas said.

Inclusionary Zoning Recommendations by Cville Plans Togehter
Inclusionary Zoning Recommendations by Cville Plans Togehter(Cville Plans Together)

The zoning rewrite is also looking at requirements for parking.

“It really is a management challenge. If you count the overall spaces, you know, etc., and you could magically move people around, we probably have enough spaces altogether. It’s just that at certain times of day, or when certain activities happen, we have challenges that are associated with it,” Lee Einsweiler, an expert in zoning, said.

There was no official vote, and instead commissioners had time to voice their opinions.

“I’m also fully in support of market driven parking requirements, eliminating parking requirements. I’m not really under any illusion that people are going to stop putting as much parking as they can fit into their buildings. But, you know, I think everyone agrees that we want to move towards being a city where more people get around without a car,” Charlottesville Planning Commissioner Rory Stolzenberg said.

There was also discussion of reducing the minimum size for a lot or eliminating it entirely.

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