There are eleven public hearings scheduled before the Charlottesville Planning Commission at
their meeting on Tuesday night
. That will translate into another long night for the Commission, the various applicants, as well as the public. On July 22, 2008, the Planning Commission adjourned at 2:30 AM after considering
the preliminary site plan for the new Whole Foods grocery store
planned for Hydraulic Road.
The final public hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 11:00 PM, could have a far-reaching impact on Charlottesville’s future. Staff will present a series of changes that will lower the amount of dwelling units available by-right in the City’s downtown and West Main Corridors. However, in most cases, the number of potential units that could be built under an SUP will be raised. For example, in the Downtown District, the by-right density allowed would be dropped from 87 dwelling units per acre (DUA) to 43. However, the amount allowed under a special use permit would be raised from 200 DUA to 240 DUA.
“By requiring a special use permit for increased densities, this will create a more open process for the community and at the same time will allow conditional approvals that can mitigate some of the negative impacts,” wrote Neighborhood Development Services Director Jim Tolbert in a staff report.
Earlier this year, the
City Council passed a zoning text amendment
which altered the limits for building heights in Downtown and along the West Main Corridor. At that time, consideration of the density changes was postponed until this meeting.
Planning Manager Missy Creasy said public hearings are scheduled according to when applications are submitted.
“We have a limited time to schedule them based on the code,” Creasy wrote in an e-mail to Charlottesville Tomorrow. “It happened that many items were submitted during this timeframe.” She said September’s regular meeting will be a return to “a more normal schedule.”