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Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

It’s finally here! Charlottesville has released its draft zoning map. As dry as that sounds, this small document has the potential to dramatically change the look, feel — and livability — of this city for decades to come.

The goal of this new zoning map from the start has been to increase the city’s housing density by increasing the number of units builders are allowed to put on individual lots — basically everywhere in the city. Charlottesville’s population is growing and this could enable more people to live in the city, according to the Cville Plans Together team, the group of consultants, Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services staff, and community members who are creating the new ordinance.

A map of a city is pictured with different areas colored in shades of yellow, orange, purple and teal.
Credit: Screenshot from Cville Plans Together

Charlottesville’s draft zoning map is out — and the city wants to know what you think of it

This map shows the proposed zoning code on each parcel of land in Charlottesville. But it’s still a draft and officials expect it will change based on community feedback. So, if this is something you care about, take a look at the map. And, if you notice an issue — let them know!

There are multiple ways you can do that. Neighborhoods reporter Erin O’Hare listed them out in this story, along with a description of what you’ll see in the map.

A woman in a blue dress sits at a desk covered in records with recording equipment. She smiles at the camera with her arms outstretched, gesturing toward her records.
Credit: Courtesy of Zoe Krylova

What does a neighborhoods reporter do, anyway?

Speaking of Erin, if you’d like to know more about what she does, she appeared in The Journalist Salute Podcast earlier this month. That podcast was created in 2020 to recast how people see journalists. “I wanted to show that these groups are real and important and that it’s really important that we know and respect who they are and what they do,” said host Mark Simon.

These are the names that could replace Johnson and Burnley-Moran elementary schools

In other news, the Charlottesville City Schools Naming of Facilities Committee decided that Burnley-Moran and Johnson elementary schools should have new names. They even have options that the School Board might vote on as early as March. For Burnley-Moran they suggest either Blue Mountain or Rivanna. For Johnson, Forest Hills or Cherry Avenue.

The committee sought community input before making the decision, and the school division said most of the people they communicated with were in favor of new names. But, more than that, the committee said they want City Schools to move away from names that “commemorate an era of segregated education that no longer reflects the division’s values.”

The three namesakes for these two schools were all City School leaders during segregation.  James G. Johnson was a superintendent for nearly 40 years during segregation. During his first 20 years, Black Charlottesville students didn’t have a high school.

Carrie Burnley and Sarepta Moran were the first women to become principals of Charlottesville schools, also during segregation. They were both active members of the Daughters of the Confederacy. You can learn a bit more about these three individuals in this story.

A flyer reads, "Black Love Symposium & Soirée.

Finally, if you’re looking for something to do for Valentine’s Day this weekend, our Charlottesville Inclusive Media partner, Vinegar Hill Magazine, is among the sponsors of Black Love: Symposium & Soireé. It’s Saturday night at The Center at Belvedere, and it will include talks about relationships, self care and the community. There will also be a fashion show, dancing and food.

“When we say Black love, that’s not just necessarily romantic. It is all facets of Black love, so community, advocacy, self love, just loving and appreciating your own body. Brotherhood sisterhood,” said Khalilah Jones, the event’s organizer. “That even can encompass being an ally. It is open to those who feel like they have a vested interest in Black culture.”

Tickets are free, or by donation if you are able. Here’s a playlist from Vinegar Hill to get you in the mood.

Hope you have a great weekend, however you spend it!

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

Our Sponsors

Jessie Higgins

I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org.