By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The

Charlottesville Planning Commission

has endorsed changes to the city’s mixed  use zoning districts, but will save “substantive” amendments until review of the comprehensive plan begins next year.

“I know there’s been some frustration on the part of some commissioners that we set out to deal with  mixed used corridors and mixed use zones, and what we’ve done is a lot of house-keeping,” said Chairman

Jason Pearson

during a public hearing on Tuesday.


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In 2003, the city adopted a zoning code that allowed for districts and corridors where residential and commercial uses could be located near each other. The objective is to encourage dynamic streets that are pedestrian friendly. In some cases, dwelling units co-exist with stores and other businesses.

There are 14 mixed use districts in Charlottesville, ranging from Downtown Extended to Cherry Avenue Corridor. This also includes the Neighborhood Commercial Corridor, which is the designation for Belmont’s restaurant zone as well as commercial area at the corner of Jefferson Park Avenue and Maury Avenue.

City planner Nick Rogers said it is good practice to review land uses on a periodic basis. Earlier this year, the commission approved changes to the matrices that govern

residential

and commercial districts.

Commissioner

Dan Rosensweig

said it was especially important for the commission to be thorough in their review of the mixed use zoning.

“The mixed use corridors are really critically important and strategic zones in our city and I think we want a high intensity of use there,” Rosensweig said. He added that he wanted to see more commercial uses allowed in certain corridors in order to boost economic vitality.

Several commissioners called for a work session to further discuss the issue in advance of the comprehensive plan review. In order to prepare, Pearson asked commissioners to tell staff what issues they have with the current mixed used zones.

“Repeatedly we have said we’d like to have more discussion of how the mixed use corridors work, how well they work, what their intention is, and whether they all collectively have a common strategic purpose with respect to the objectives of the city,” Pearson said.

The mixed use zoning matrix amendments will go before the city council later this year. Here is a brief summary of some of the changes:

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