Great Eastern Management and the County of Albemarle hosted a town hall meeting to discuss with residents the proposed 264 acre North Pointe Community that would be built just north of Forest Lakes. The meeting was called in order to answer questions from the public and provide images and maps of what the site would look like. The turnout at Hollymead Elementary numbered almost 200 people.
Feedback from the public comments revealed that community members have mixed opinions on the project. A few people spoke up that North Pointe is the type of planned community we need and praised the developer for supplying much needed housing to Albemarle County. Chuck Rotgin of Great Eastern echoed that sentiment by saying North Pointe satisfies both a market need and the vision set out in the county’s Comprehensive Plan. In addition, he suggested that the proffers from North Pointe will contribute immediately to pressing area issues. These include sites for a new elementary school and public library, affordable housing units and cash for affordable housing in the county, fixing road hazards, and funding assistance to a new sewage treatment facility. In all, Rotgin claims the value of the proffers would equal $20 million. The County, however, considers many of these items less as proffers and more as necessary infrastructure to support the development. The development is expected to have a positive fiscal impact on Albemarle in the range of $0.6 million ( Albemarle County 2002) to $2.9 million ( Great Eastern 2006) annually.
Those more skeptical of the project, some holding anti-North Pointe flyers, took up concern with the impact on adjacent neighborhoods and traffic issues. Great Eastern is touting North Pointe with its 530,000 sq. ft of commercial space as a regional shopping destination that would draw customers from Charlottesville, Ruckersville, and nearby counties as far away as Culpeper and Rockingham. As a result, Great Eastern has intentions of adding 8,000 ft of a third lane along US-29 northbound and southbound at different stages of the project. There would also be a short section of widening on Proffit Road and a traffic circle between North Pointe and Forest Lakes. Further needs for improvements to Proffit Road, while warranted, are not financially possible according to Supervisor Ken Boyd. In addition to traffic from shoppers, North Pointe will bring more cars from its planned 893 residential units. One-third of those units will be single detached homes, one-third apartments, and one-third condominiums and duplexes. There will be multiple price points for the different housing options. North Pointe has plans to construct new homes during its first phase of development, but the primary focus of the initial development is on the commercial section.
The Board of Supervisors has held three worksessions in 2006 on this rezoning request and is currently waiting on additional feedback from Great Eastern Management before scheduling another worksession or public hearing.
Click here to view all North Pointe postings from Charlottesville Tomorrow.
[Note: Andrew Owen is an intern at Charlottesville Tomorrow and he attended the meeting and prepared this summary. Brian Wheeler ]