At yesterday’s meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, County leaders asked County Executive Bob Tucker to

schedule a future work session to evaluate the rate of residential and commercial growth filling the County development pipeline

.  Supervisors expressed interest in receiving more information on the potential of phasing developments in the designated growth areas such that new housing and commercial developments would be built on a time release schedule. One way this might work would be to have a developer with a large rezoning request to proffer a time-release of the residential units.  Another approach discussed is to deny rezoning requests.

Before this meeting, phasing had only been discussed as a strategy in the rural areas to slow development.  Interestingly, this lengthy discussion came after a review of a small rezoning request in Crozet that was being deferred at the applicant’s request.  Supervisors recounted how the public feedback from Crozet and the large amount of approved housing units now in the pipeline all around Albemarle had influenced their interest in hearing about phasing options.

Crozet resident Mary Rice speaks to Board of Supervisors

Charlottesville Tomorrow has created two recordings from this meeting.



is the entire discussion of the Liberty Hall rezoning request from developer Vito Cetta of Weatherhill Homes.  The



contains just the discussion by the Supervisors that led to the request for a work session on phasing of development in the growth areas


Listen to podcast #1



item, 17MB):

Download 20060315-BOS-FullItem.mp3

Listen to podcast #2

: See

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Publications Center

(The condensed version here is a smaller file with just the discussion that followed the public hearing)

Summary of discussion on

Podcast #2

    1:02 — Dennis Rooker begins discussion of Liberty Hall rezoning request.

    2:55 — Dennis Rooker raises questions of staff following up on public comments from Morgan Butler of the Southern Environmental Law Center. Mr. Butler had asked about staff’s methods for determining maximum density as allowed for in the Crozet Master Plan.

    8:44 — David Slutzky, Sally Thomas and Lindsay Dorrier discuss the commercial/office and residential mix of uses on the site.

    12:49 — Dennis Rooker indicates that he believes this is the wrong time to approve a development at the upper range of the densities called for in the Master Plan that will initially be a cul-de-sac development on Route 250 on the fringe of Crozet. He echoes his vote against Mr. Cetta’s Wickham Pond project indicating he views Mr. Cetta as a good developer bringing forward good projects, but it is just the wrong time for it to be approved.

    14:27 — David Wyant suggests Board needs to better understand the rate of development for commercial vs. residential development.  He references the

    Crozet petition

    and the range of

    population estimates

    .  Mr. Wyant suggests staff might come back with some recommendations as to what other communities are doing to address development mixes and rates.

    15:52 — County Executive Bob Tucker says staff have given some thought to discussing the development rate in the designated growth areas with the development community.  He suggests it would be good for the public and Board to have a better understanding of rates and phasing issues.

    17:28 — David Slutzky indicates he is very concerned about the rates of development in the growth areas related to the necessary infrastructure requirements.  He relates a potential slow down of growth in the growth areas to a potential increase of growth in the rural areas.  He urges Board to take a strong position on slowing growth in the rural areas and that this relationship has to be carefully examined.

    19:08 — Wayne Cilimberg discusses how staff is guided by the comprehensive plan and master plans, but that staff has little guidance as to “how much, where, first.”  He states staff doesn’t have guidance as to how the development inventory should be phased and what locations it should go first.  He reminds the Board that staff raised these concerns with both Hollymead Town Center and North Pointe.

    21:44 — Dennis Rooker reflects on the large inventory of housing units approved.  He suggests to the Board that, with this significant inventory, the Board needs to be very thoughtful with future rezonings.

    24:20 — Lindsay Dorrier questions whether the Board should be having this discussion if the application for Liberty Hall is being deferred.  He asks if this is fair to the applicant and the public and states that the developer is doing exactly what the County has asked him to do with respect to a plan compatible with the neighborhood model and the master plan.

    24:10 — David Wyant describes the challenges of “building a community in Crozet” and how to address the division created by the railroad tracks.  He raises a concern about downtown Crozet being at risk.  He doesn’t want to see it dry up like downtown Charlottesville did when Fashion Square was built outside town (i.e. “retail absorption” and the zero-sum game for the community with sales from one area increasing at the expense of losses in another area).

    30:05 — David Slutzky describes the connection between rural area and growth area approaches being considered by the Board.

    32:12 — Sally Thomas describes how 11 units (what would be possible by-right) would also be a disaster for the County’s planning goals.  Ms. Thomas argues that the County has to have a more compact development pattern in the growth areas to avoid sprawl to the rural areas and the resulting traffic congestion.  She indicates that she would like to have the Board talk about phasing in the growth areas.

    36:30 — Dennis Rooker indicates to staff that the majority of the Board clearly wants to have a work session to discuss the pace of growth and phasing issues for development in the growth areas.

Brian Wheeler