A log of Charlottesville City Council Meetings 2008-2015. Transported from the City of Charlottesville website as a project of Smart Cville, http://www.smartcville.com.


HELD ON Monday, January 7, 2013, AT 5:30 p.m. IN THE Second Floor Conference
Closed session as provided by Section 2.2-3712 of the Virginia Code
Council met in special session on this date with the following members present:
Mr. Norris, Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin.
On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Mr. Norris, Council voted, (Ayes: Mr.
Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith; Noes: None; Absent at time of vote: Ms.
Szakos), to meet in closed session for (1) Discussion and consideration of prospective
candidates for appointment to City boards and commissions, as authorized by Va. Code
sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (1); and, (2) The annual performance evaluations of the City Manager
and the Clerk of City Council, as authorized by Va. Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (1).
On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Ms. Galvin, Council certified by the
following vote (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin, Mr. Norris; Noes: None; Absent
at time of vote: Ms. Szakos), that to the best of each Council Member's knowledge, only
public business matters lawfully exempted from the open meeting requirements of the
Virginia Freedom of Information Act and identified in the motion convening the closed
session were heard, discussed or considered in the closed session.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – January 7, 2013
Council met in regular session on this date with the following members present:
Mr. Norris, Ms. Galvin, Mr. Huja, Ms. Smith, and Ms. Szakos.
Ms. Galvin announced that the Comprehensive Plan Update is available for
review. The document may be reviewed at www.charlottesville.org/plancville, or call
NDS at 970-3182 for more information.
Ms. Galvin announced that the requirements for the GED will be increasing
substantially in January 2014. Testing standards and fees will increase. Contact Ms.
Susan Erno at the Adult Learning Center for more information on these changes.
Ms. Szakos announced that City Hall will be closed Friday, January 18 and
Monday, January 21. All other services will operate normally. The next Council
meeting will be held Tuesday, January 22.
Ms. Szakos announced a community celebration for Martin Luther King at 5:00
p.m. on Sunday, January 13 at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church. Also, the “Our
Town Charlottesville” meeting series will begin again on Thursday, January 10 at 6:00
p.m. at the Tonsler Park Community Center. For more information, call 970-3333.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Szakos, Council voted to add a
position to the Strategic Investment Area steering committee. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms.
Smith, Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin; Noes: None.)
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Galvin, the following appointments
were made to Boards and Commissions: to the SIA, Charles Lewis; to the Board of
Architectural Review, Laura Knott. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Smith, Mr. Huja, Ms.
Szakos, Ms. Galvin; Noes: None.)
Ms. Smith announced the City’s tree collection, starting January 14.
She also announced the Jefferson School City Center grand opening on Saturday,
January 19. There will be an open house starting at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Huja announced Charlottesville Area Transit has been awarded the LEED
Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Mr. Scott Hendrix was present
to accept the award.
Mr. John Heyden, 1429 Westwood Rd., said the Human Rights Commission is a
waste of money and another unneeded social program. This program will only work to
find problems where there are none in order to justify its existence.
Mr. Jim Snead, 500 Park St., said he is representing First Presbyterian Church,
and thinks that because of the constitutional issues of taxation of a nonprofit, the
Stormwater Utility fee is being used as justification to avoid complying with the law.
Mr. Marco Brown, Homeless, said he wants the panhandling ordinance to be fair.
Mr. Kenneth Jackson, Rice, Virginia, said discrimination is alive and well in
Charlottesville. He listed five unsolved murders and three missing people and said most
of them are Black, which indicates a problem.
Mr. James Pritchett, Homeless, said he has been panhandling for almost two
years, and his sign is his only source of income. He cannot find a job. Please do not pass
a law against panhandling.
Mr. Nick Wispelway, 735 Northwood Ave., said he and his wife moved to
Charlottesville because it was a safe place and a real community with diversity.
However, their home was broken into last Friday, and similar incidents have been on the
rise in the North Downtown neighborhood. He said he does not have a problem with
panhandling, but it makes others feel unsafe. Please provide more emphasis on public
safety and consider solutions.
Ms. Nancy Carpenter, 727 Denali Way, said she joined a Facebook page called
Charlottesville Downtown Reclamation Project to see what solutions the group was
devising, but she was kicked off the page. There is a lack of civil discourse. She asked
how someone can save enough money to buy a house when they cannot afford to pay rent
where they are currently living. She asked the City to work to provide housing options
for all members of the population.
Ms. Ellie Thomas, 460 Stagecoach Rd., with the Virginia Cooperative Extension
and Master Gardener Program, thanked Council for their funding and updated them on
events for spring 2013.
Mr. Lucius Bracey, 724 Northwood Ave., said public safety is an important issue
facing our community. His neighborhood is seeing an increase in crime, and the City
cannot ignore the problem. It is not getting the attention it deserves.
Mr. Robert Smith, Belmont resident, said he agrees with Mr. Hayden’s remarks.
He has heard folks have been attacked by groups in the streets, and safety issues are not
getting the attention they deserve. He said he does not like panhandlers.
Ms. Baily Hampton, 505 Elliot Ave., said she is tired of racist comments. She
said if it were not for the homeless population, she would not feel safe on the downtown
mall. She was robbed at gunpoint and did not report it to the police because she did not
want to add to the problem of racial profiling. She said liberal politics caters to people
who have money over people who do not. She said she is underemployed and cannot
continue to live in Charlottesville if things do not change.
Ms. Smith thanked Ms. Thomas for coming to speak about the Virginia
Cooperative Extension.
Ms. Szakos said it is a horrifying feeling to have someone breaking into your
home, and she hopes the police can find out who is doing this in Mr. Wispelway’s
neighborhood. She said you can go to the City’s webpage and see where crime incidents
are occurring by neighborhood. She said the City is not considering banning panhandling
on the Downtown Mall.
Ms. Galvin said she believes issues on the Downtown Mall pose a problem for
enough of our citizens that we need to take it seriously. She requested a work session on
the matter. We need input from the public and examples of how other communities have
dealt with this issue. She asked if we can a full list of missing and unsolved people from
the Police Chief and examine it along racial and ethnic lines.
Ms. Szakos said she feels that work sessions are for items that are not getting
attention or need more direction from Council, and the Downtown Mall is something that
is getting ample attention from Council and staff.
Mr. Norris said he agrees with Ms. Galvin about the need for a work session. It is
important to structure it properly. This needs to be a broader community conversation.
He thanked Ms. Hampton for her comments and for naming what is happening. He
thanked Ms. Carpenter for calling attention to affordable housing. We have invested
millions of dollars, but most of what we have invested has been to preserve what we have
now. We need to work to expand the stock.
On motion by Ms. Szakos , seconded by Ms. Galvin, the following consent
agenda items were approved: (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Norris, Ms. Galvin, Ms.
Smith; Noes: None.)
a. Minutes for December 17
b. APPROPRIATION: Reimbursement for Expenses Related to His Holiness the
14th Dalai Lama’s Visit to the City - $4,538.13
(2nd reading)
c. APPROPRIATION: Reimbursement for Attendance to the International Code
Conference $1,927.01 (carried)
d. APPROPRIATION: Reimbursement to City for American Planning Association
Web Training Sessions –$960 (carried)
e. APPROPRIATION: Bank On Greater Charlottesville Funding from the Coalition
of Economic Opportunity, C/O the Legal Aid Justice Center
- $20,500 (carried)
f. RESOLUTION: 715 Nalle Street Infill Special Use Permit Amendment
g. RESOLUTION: Transfer of Funds for Stormwater Camera System - $38,508
h. RESOLUTION: Transfer of Capital Budget Funds - Construction of a
Stormwater Retrofit Project in Azalea Park - $100,000
i. RESOLUTION: Authorization for Region Ten to Apply for a Line of Credit
j. ORDINANCE: Amendment to Definition of Energy Efficient Buildings
(2nd reading)
k. ORDINANCE: Abandonment of Gas Easement on Whitewood Road,
Albemarle County (2nd reading)
Mayor Huja presented to the citizens of Charlottesville on the state of the City,
outlining what has happened in 2012 and what is to come in 2013. He delivered his
report according to the City Council 2025 Vision.
Ms. Sherri Iachetta presented to Council on the polling place change relocation
for the Carver Precinct back to the Carver Recreation Center, which was under
renovation in 2011 and 2012.
On motion by Mr. Huja, the public hearing was opened. Having no speakers, the
public hearing was closed.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the ordinance carried.
Ms. Kathy McHugh presented to Council. Staff recommends retaining the
property as a rental. Ms. Szakos asked if the tenant downstairs moves out, and LEAP
rents the space, whether it would be for housing or office space. Ms. McHugh said it
would be used for office space.
On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Ms. Szakos, both resolutions regarding the
lease at 608 Ridge Street passed unanimously. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Smith, Mr. Huja,
Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin; Noes: None.)
Mr. Robert Johnson presented to Council. He reviewed Region Ten’s
accomplishments over the past year and gave an update on grants in progress. He
thanked Council for their support of Nunley House, which has been integral to reducing
enrollment at their state facilities. He asked for Council’s financial support in this time of
reduced state funding. Medicaid expansion will be a game changer for them.
Mr. Eddie Banks spoke to Council and said Region Ten saved his life.
Ms. Szakos said she appreciated the report. Medicaid expansion is not a sure
thing, and it is an incredible opportunity for us to bring our federal tax dollars home. She
urged citizens to call their legislators and encourage them to expand Medicaid.
Mr. Tolbert presented to Council. Staff is asking Council to appropriate
$250,000, to be used by CRHA for redevelopment purposes as deemed appropriate. Staff
recommends that the $400,000 previously allocated to the Charlottesville Redevelopment
and Housing Authority (CRHA) be reallocated to AHIP Emergency Repair ($100,000)
and Habitat Belmont Cottages ($300,000). Staff also recommends that the $400,000
allocated to AHIP Emergency Repair and the Habitat Belmont Cottages be recommitted/allocated
to CRHA and the CDC from FY 2014 CHF dollars if such funds are
adopted and available.
Ms. Smith asked for clarification on how the $300,000 leverages additional funds.
Mr. Tolbert said the Habitat project is raising $2.9 million, and they have a gap. If we
can fill that gap, they will begin work on the project. Ms. Smith said if we are giving City
taxpayer money to Habitat, we should know that it is benefitting City residents. Ms.
Szakos said if we are paying for 10% of this project, we can bet that 10% of the residents
will be City residents. Regardless of where they live now, they will become City
residents when they move into these homes. Mr. Tolbert said Habitat reported that of the
last 17 houses built, 12 are occupied by former City residents. Mr. Tolbert noted that
Habitat cannot legally require residents to be City residents. Ms. Smith said it is
important to attend to the preservation of our existing affordable housing stock. She said
she believes $300,000 is too much money.
Ms. Galvin said she would like to know when the CDC and the CRHA have
sorted out the future of the CDC, and she would like to see a plan for how the $250,000
will be used. She said transitional housing is very important, and Habitat provides this.
Mr. Norris said Ms. Smith brings up an important point, and he reiterated that
Council would like to see Habitat work to encourage City residents to occupy their
On motion by Mr. Huja, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the motion passed. (Ayes: Mr.
Norris, Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin; Noes: Ms. Smith.)
Ms. Riddervold presented to Council and said this project has been the result of
work done by Public Works, Neighborhood Development Services, Parks and
Recreation, and the City Manager’s Office. She reviewed the history of the stormwater
program and the stormwater utility fee. She overviewed the proposed program fees and
mechanisms for implementation.
Ms. Jean Haggerty, project manager with AMEC Environment and Infrastructure,
presented to Council. She reviewed the decision making process for devising a fee
structure and discussing what the fees would pay for, the public process, and the work of
the advisory committee. The advisory committee decided to bond a lot of improvements
to keep capital costs low. They also discussed a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to
provide regular oversight and examine how to take a more regional approach to
stormwater over the long term.
Ms. Riddervold reported on community engagement efforts. A 13-member
advisory committee representing a cross-section of interests in the community was
engaged to review and provide feedback on utility recommendations. A dedicated utility
proposal webpage was re-activated at www.charlottesville.org/stormwater. FAQs are
available as well as a link to a web-based GIS tool that provides parcel-specific
information about impervious surfaces, the number of associated billing units, and a
potential annual fee range. Two focus group meetings were held in late November, and
two drop-in informational open house sessions were also held in November at CitySpace.
Implementation of a utility fee requires adoption of a City ordinance. There will
be two readings of the ordinance and opportunity for comment at a public hearing on the
proposal. A public hearing is scheduled for January 22, 2013.
Mr. Huja said this is a very important policy decision, and he prefers there be a
Council work session before making a decision. Ms. Smith said she generally favors this
plan. She asked Ms. Haggerty if the new EPA ruling on stormwater would affect the
Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Ms. Haggerty said it would not. Ms. Smith asked if raising
bonds would affect our ceiling. Ms. Haggerty said this has been discussed with the
City’s Finance staff, and there would be no significant effect.
Ms. Szakos asked if this would mean taxes on gas would decrease. Ms.
Riddervold said it would simply mean that there would be no more gas dollars going
towards stormwater.
Ms. Smith asked if the properties that are exempted by law include the schools.
Ms. Riddervold said the fee will be waived for City of Charlottesville properties,
Albemarle County properties, and a few others. However, three of the nine school
properties are owned by the School Board and are therefore subject to the utility fee.
Ms. Szakos said the online GIS viewer provides citizens with an estimate of what
they would pay if this fee is enacted, and it was very helpful. She asked if assessments
could be appealed based on discrepancies. Ms. Riddervold said they would have a
mechanism for this. Ms. Szakos clarified that the bonds would pay for infrastructure
work spanning ten years, but we would pay for it for 20 years, increasing the length of
time but decreasing the amount we would have to pay. Ms. Szakos asked if a hardship
clause would be permitted. Mr. Brown said due to the nature of enabling legislation, if
Council wishes to enact hardship clauses, they should do so in a separate ordinance.
Ms. Galvin said she is impressed with the process. She asked if the utility fee
could carry a sunset clause. Ms. Haggerty said the rates could go down, and rates should
be reexamined every three years to determine appropriate rate levels. Ms. Galvin asked
about cost sharing, and Ms. Haggerty said their studies show that this has been done
successfully in other similar situations. Ms. Galvin asked if the committee made
decisions based on consensus. Ms. Riddervold said that was the case.
Mr. Huja said he is concerned that we have not discussed financing, and he would
like to hold a work session. Ms. Szakos said if we slow down the process at this point,
we will not have a decision in time to adopt it into the budget.
Mr. Norris asked for examples of what rates would be for larger property owners
or commercial property owners. Ms. Riddervold said it would be from $6,000 - $13,000 a
year. She said all properties are being treated the same, regardless of their use. Mr. Norris
said this is not true because there are exemptions. Ms. Riddervold said legislation
requires us to waive the fee for those exempt properties.
Ms. Smith asked Mr. Brown if there is any legal implication to imposing a new
fee that looks like a tax. Mr. Brown said in a case involving Chesapeake, the Attorney
General opined that this is a service fee, not a tax. Ms. Smith said she agreed that
financing was complicated and should be discussed further.
Ms. Galvin asked Mr. Jones if we can schedule a work session so that we do not
lose time in terms of our current budget cycle. Mr. Jones said if there is flexibility, we
may be able to schedule one. Ms. Galvin said it would be helpful to see a model
Mr. Norris said this will be perceived as a tax increase to the average citizen. He
said if we are going to increase funding, there are better uses for the money. We should
use the same approach we have used with energy conservation, setting out a more
aggressive repair schedule and incentive-based approaches to paying for this
infrastructure. Just because the state has said we can implement this new tax does not
mean we should.
Ms. Galvin said this could provide an incentive for people to improve their
properties, redevelop our corridors, and accelerate development. Taking care of
infrastructure is a very basic function of government.
Ms. Szakos said she does not see the point of asking committees to dedicate
unpaid time to important processes if we are going to ignore their advice.
Mr. Norris said there are a lot of property owners who will not see this coming.
He said we should be sure there is aggressive communication about the public hearing.
He said he is not convinced we need a fee to accomplish our stormwater goals.
Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin, and Ms. Smith agreed that Council will have a public
hearing at the next Council meeting, using the higher rate amount in the public hearing
Ms. Tierra Howard, Section 3 Coordinator for the City, presented to Council. She
highlighted the goals and accomplishments of the Section 3 program and discussed
current and future initiatives. Goals include hiring low and very low-income workers,
award contracts to Section 3 businesses, and provide additional economic opportunities
as stipulated. Ms. Howard described the Section 3 Steering Committee, which was
established last year, the newly created Standard Operating Procedures, and the work she
has done with community building.
Mr. Norris asked Ms. Howard if there is a role helping connect businesses with
other outside opportunities. Ms. Howard said they are working on implementing
structures that will allow businesses to be competitive in the local contracting workforce.
Ms. Galvin said Section 3 creates exciting possibilities, and staff needs to think
about the scale of their projects. This is a phenomenal opportunity that can benefit from a
larger framework.
Ms. Smith asked if there is equal opportunity for women to obtain construction
jobs. Ms. Howard said there is. Section 3 also generates administrative opportunities.
Ms. Szakos said Council hoped the HUD regulation would enjoy a broader
definition, and she thanked Ms. Howard for pushing on this point.
Ms. Pat Lloyd, Ridge Street neighborhood, said she attended a public meeting on
the stormwater utility fee. She said we need to remember that some people would be
affected by even a nominal increase in their finances. She said most of her neighbors do
not know this is impending.
Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge St., said an incentive program is a great idea, but
it should be oriented toward future costs, not old costs. This is a great opportunity for
Council to direct budget surplus money to pay for maintenance backlog.
Mr. Scott Bandy, 1639 Cherry Ave., asked if a drought would affect the
stormwater utility rates.
Ms. Szakos said the rates would not go down in case of a drought.
The meeting was adjourned.
Clerk of Council

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