The Albemarle Planning Commission will meet July 14, 6:00 PM at 401 McIntire Road in the auditorium to consider TowneBank’s request to remove the protective zoning on portions of Franklin Hill.
This is an ongoing process which the Woolen Mills has been participating in since meeting #1, April 3, 2015.
Please consider attending the meeting.
At the joint Planning Commission work session June 23rd 2015 four neighbors spoke in support of landscape, people and adjacent neighborhoods. We asked that the least possible harm be wrought in the process of developing this site.
We spoke at the County PC meeting on this last month and just wanted to quickly speak tonight to convey the concerns that may be most relevant to the City PC. We’re not opposed to any and all development on this site. It’s just clear to us that, based on its proximity to the floodplain of Moores Creek, development needs to adapt to the terrain on this site rather than adapting the terrain to the development.
Moores Creek is one of the most impaired waterways in the City and County, if not THE most impaired waterway. It’s impaired because it fails to adequately support aquatic life, and it largely owes that condition to erosion from stormwater runoff from development in its watershed. Further, Moores Creek drains directly to a stretch of the Rivanna that’s impaired for the same reason.
We supported the County’s recent ordinance amendments that divided all steep slopes in the County’s growth areas into two categories – one that receives more protection and one that receives less. But of all sites, this location clearly ranks to us as one where disturbance of slopes should be minimized, and the preserved slopes designation should be maintained.
Rather than seek a rezoning that would undo the protection for a significant portion of the slopes on this site and set a precedent that encourages similar requests, we would much rather see other options pursued that involve disturbing only a minimal amount of slopes needed to provide access to site. That’s allowed by special use permit in the County, and that seems like a much more reasonable approach for this property.–Morgan Bultler, SELC 6/23/15
Commissioners: I challenge you to consider the gifts of the landscape, cultural heritage and built environment in the immediate area of Franklin Hill. The adjacencies include Monticello, the Rivanna River, a burgeoning City & County bike and pedestrian trail system, a hardwood wetland, Moores Creek, a Monacan Village, the Woolen Mills cross-jurisdictional historic district, the PACE Center and its associated housing, and the mixed income community of Sunrise Court. Think of these gifts through the lens of the Livability Project whose primary objective, I quote:
“Charlottesville and Albemarle County support neighborhoods and places that allow residents to live, work, and play near their homes, and where attention to the character of new development and redevelopment enhances quality of life.”
You, we, have an economic, fiscal, and social equity interest in seeing this unique, walkable place, thrive. We can, through careful planning, pursue place-keeping, we can act as conservators, striving to retain the characteristics that bring 440,000 visitors to Monticello each year, striving to protect the mix of nature and culture which make us dyed-in-the-wool residents of Piedmont Virginia and make our place a destination for visitors and new residents. We must turn toward the Rivanna. We must consider how planning actions affect the quality of our River as a natural and a recreational resource and how our actions affect the Chesapeake Bay. There is a lot riding on your recommendation.
The Franklin Hill site: Is it large enough to be beautiful and industrial at the same time. Who says industry has to be ugly? Design matters. Yes, it is large enough. With your stewardship you can move us toward point one of the 1998 Sustainability accords:
“Encourage and maintain strong ties between the Region’s urban and rural areas, fostering healthy economic, environmental, social, and political interactions.”
or point five:
“Promote clustering in residential areas and the integration of business, industry, recreation, residential, and open space.”
Reread the Livability Project goals. Maximum use of the Franklin Hill site for the applicant via removal of the preserved slope overlay is not listed, balance is called out, collaborating on the preservation and enhancement of green neighborhoods, healthy waterways, multimodal transportation, distinctive destinations, historic character and resources, urban tree canopy, working with neighborhoods, housing opportunities for aging, these things are called out. Livability is a Balance. Quoting from the Land-Use section of the Livability Project Goals- the localities are charged with:
“Establishing policies that provide for consideration of development effects on the neighboring locality and shared community resources.”
Work well together tonight.–Bill Emory