The Charlottesville City Council has cleared the way for the construction of three single-family homes in the Belmont neighborhood. In a 4-0 vote Monday, councilors approved an infill special-use permit and rezoning for two parcels on a combined 0.2 acres on Lyman Street.
Once the proposed site of a small apartment building, the vacant lots now are planned to be the site of three-story contemporary homes of about 2,280 square feet that also could include 700-square-foot accessory dwelling units in the basements.
One parcel once was a portion of the Belmont Lofts condominium’s property and the other once belonged to CSX railroad. The properties have been zoned up to R-2 residential zoning, and the infill special-use permit relaxes rules on small lot sizes, reduced setbacks and minimum required road frontage.
Bruce Wardell in 2013 first tried to have the properties rezoned to downtown extended, a designation that would have allowed for buildings between 35 and 101 feet in height. Due to the side of the lot, Wardell said then that a building at the maximum height allowance would not have been possible. After facing criticism from nearby residents, he withdrew the proposal and returned in 2014 with a plan that would have allowed no more than six dwelling units. City Council rejected that request.
After a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission and City Council in March 12, Commissioner Rory Stolzenberg was the lone vote against the special-use permit because the current plan led to homes that are likely to have a high price point, a lower density than possible on the property and no contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund.
The project does not require a contribution because the gross floor area of the homes is smaller than the square footage of the combined lots. The land is 8,612 square feet, and the homes will be a combined 8,546 square feet.
No public hearing was held at the City Council level because there was a quorum of councilors at the Planning Commission meeting. Additionally, the first reading of such items usually comes after a presentation to the council, but these were in the April 1 consent agenda. Mayor Nikuyah Walker said during Monday’s meeting that the second and final reading outside of the consent agenda of was a correction of that.
Councilor Mike Signer was not in attendance Monday due to a family matter.
Want more like this? Get the latest headlines and follow up coverage directly to your inbox. Our newsletter is free, has no advertisements, and you can unsubscribe at any time.