Supervisors approve development between Route 20 and Rivanna River

A plan to build a mixed-use development between Route 20 and the Rivanna River got the nod from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

Gordonsville Realty Investments obtained a rezoning of acres  from single-family residential to neighborhood model. The developers will be able to build between 31 and 69 housing units and up to 46,000 square feet of commercial space on the property fronting Route 20 south of Darden Towe Park.

“I would like to see this be the beginning of the riverside development that we and the city would like to see,” said Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd.

County staff recommended approval of the rezoning, but had one dispute over the value of acres in the flood zone that will be dedicated to the county as part of the project.

The applicant asked for $330,000 in credit against the cash proffer requirement, but the county is only willing to offer the assessed value of $16,160, said county planner Claudette Grant.

However, staff applied the supervisors’ recent direction that credit could be given for the number of residential units that could have been built by-right. That resulted in the developer not needing to pay cash proffers for the rezoning.

“Those 16 units would offset the amount of credit that’s in dispute for the land coordination,” said county attorney Larry Davis.

The project would include a link to the county’s Old Mills Trail, which earned praise.

“I think this is the very first [development] that I’ve seen in the last six years that actually pays attention to the river,” said Supervisor Ann H. Mallek .

However, one supervisor was concerned that development next to the river could potentially be damaging to the environment.

“The down side of river development is additional runoff into the river and I want to make certain staff is comfortable that those potential detriments are being significantly mitigated,” said Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker .

County engineer Glenn Brooks said he is satisfied with the plan’s stormwater management system.

No one opposed the rezoning at the public hearing.


In other news, a developer seeking permission to build 56 units at the intersection of Barracks and Georgetown roads will wait until December for a vote on the necessary rezoning.

Vito Cetta has asked the county to rezone acres  from single-family residential to neighborhood model so he could build the new units. However, that could exacerbate an existing drainage issue that will affect homes in the Canterbury Hills neighborhood.

Cetta has agreed to pay for a portion of the maintenance of a drainage channel and codified that promise in a proffer. However, county staff members were concerned it was not enforceable.

“There’s a concern we could be put in a position of refereeing between the developer and the Canterbury Hills Neighborhood Association,” said Wayne Cilimberg , the county’s director of planning.

Cetta agreed to “do whatever it takes” to address the county’s concerns. However, he had to defer a vote because the proffers will need to be re-advertised with new language.

Supervisors indicated they would support the project. No one spoke against the project at the first public hearing.

Costco gas station

Additionally, the developer of Stonefield received approval from the board to allow Costco to operate a fuel station at its proposed location on the northern side of the retail center.

Supervisors Boyd and Rodney S. Thomas voted against the rezoning out of a concern it would add to traffic problems on U.S. 29.