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, November 19, 2012, AT 6:00 p.m. IN THE Second Floor
Conference Room.
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 Ms. Szakos, Council voted, (Ayes: Mr.
Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Mr. Norris, Ms. Galvin; Noes: None), to meet in closed
session consultation with legal counsel for (1) Consultation with legal counsel and
briefings by staff members pertaining to actual litigation between the City and the
developer of the Stonefield project, where such consultation in an open meeting would
adversely affect the negotiating posture of the City, as authorized by Virginia Code sec.
2.2-3711 (A) (7); (2) Consultation with legal counsel regarding the negotiation of the
terms and condition of a cost sharing agreement with the Albemarle County Service
Authority for a new sanitary sewer interceptor and pump station at the wastewater
treatment plant site, as authorized by Virginia Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (7); and, (3)
Discussion of the acquisition of real property located on Kenwood Lane; on Avon Court
and Hartman Mill Road; and on Old Monticello Road south of Interstate 64, all for public
park purposes, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the
bargaining position of the City, as authorized by Va. Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (3); and,
(4) Discussion and consideration of prospective candidates for appointment to City
boards and commissions, as authorized by Va. Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (1).
On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Ms. Szakos, Council certified by the
following vote (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin; Noes:
None), 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 – November 19, 2012
Council met in regular session on this date with the following members present:
Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith, and Mr. Norris.
Ms. Galvin announced the City of Charlottesville Gas Division was recently
presented with two national awards for their marketing efforts. Ms. Irene Peterson was
present to accept the awards on behalf of Charlottesville Gas.
Ms. Szakos read a proclamation in honor of the arts. Mr. George Miller,
President of the Board for Piedmont Council on the Arts (PCA), and Ms. Sarah Lawson,
PCA’s Executive Director, were present to accept the proclamation.
Mr. Norris recognized the Charlottesville Police Department for receiving their
Re-Accreditation Certificate for the third year. Mr. Gary Dillon, Program Director, and
Sheriff Brian Roberts of Brunswick County, Vice-Chair of the Virginia Law Enforcement
Professional Standards Commission, presented the certificate to Chief Longo.
Ms. Smith announced the Grace Tinsley Scholarship Bash at the Elk’s Club
Lodge, Darden Towe Park on Saturday, January 26.
Mr. Huja announced the Neighborhood Leadership Institute application deadline
is December 29. Go to www.charlottesville.org, or call Ebony Walden at 970-3182 for
more information.
Ms. Christine Kastan and her colleague from the Virginia Cooperative Extension
described their programs and the work they have been doing.
Mr. John Hayden, Westwood Rd., said he does not think a mall coordinator is
necessary, especially at the cost of $80,000. He said he is tired of helping those who will
not help themselves. He asked Council to return the budget surplus to the tax payers or
increase officer pay.
Ms. Nancy Carpenter, 727 Denali Way, said there is continued gentrification of
the Downtown Mall. People are more concerned with the transformation of space than
the transformation of lives. We should not call people names. Affordable and safe
housing is fundamental to communities, and the City and the County need to work
together to provide low income housing for our citizens.
Ms. Lynn Wilder, Albemarle county resident, homeless community activist, said
people like Mr. Hayden make disparaging comments about the homeless, and they do not
understand their situation. Banning vulgarity is a free speech issue. There are not
adequate resources for people who are mentally troubled.
Mr. Jeffrey Fogel, 215 Spruce St., said he frequently walks the Downtown Mall
and does not observe rude, disruptive behavior. The ordinance prohibiting solicitation is
only enforced with a certain group of people. He said everyone should be involved in the
Mr. George Benford, 608 Rainier Rd., invited everyone to the Holiday Parade on
Saturday, December 1, which will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Pavilion and run the length of
the Mall. He thanked Council for their support for the 250 Gala events last weekend.
Ms. Bailey Hampton, 505 Elliot Ave., spoke against the proposed Downtown
Mall enhancements.
Ms. Donna Desabo spoke against the proposed Downtown Mall enhancements.
Ms. Nina Francis Burke, 817 Henry Ave., said she opposes the mall enhancement
proposals and views them as a violation of human rights.
Ms. Coleen Seizeuan, 713 Hinton Ave., spoke against the proposed Downtown
Mall enhancements.
Ms. Natasha Turner, 112 West Market St., said she is homeless. She said people
are only heard when they talk loudly.
Ms. Smith thanked the Virginia Cooperative Extension for speaking to Council
and educating them about what they do.
Ms. Galvin thanked those who expressed themselves in a civil and professional
manner. She said she agreed with Mr. Hayden’s comment that police officers should be
able to afford to live in the City.
Ms. Smith thanked Mr. Benford for all he has done for the City’s 250th
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Smith, the following consent agenda
items were approved: (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Norris, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith;
Noes: None.)
a. Minutes for November 5
b. APPROPRIATION: State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Grant for
2012-H4398-VA-AP for $15,314 (2nd reading)
c. APPROPRIATION: Reimbursement from Piedmont Council of the Arts for
Celebrate 250! - $3,110 (2nd reading)
d. APPROPRIATION: 2012 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
- $28,386 (carried)
e. APPROPRIATION: Federal Realty Sponsorship Agreement – Police Patrols at
Barracks Road Shopping Center - $30,000 (carried)
f. APPROPRIATION: Charlottesville Area Transit Project – Landscape Performance
Bond Release - $13,621.86 (carried)
g. APPROPRIATION: Appropriation of FY 2013 Transit Grants $30,153 (CIP),
$219,728 (Operating grants), and $513,713 (JAUNT) (carried)
h. APPROPRIATION: Emergency Shelter Program Grant - $212,444 (carried)
i. APPROPRIATION: 2013 Department of Motor Vehicles Virginia Highway Safety
Grant - $18,975 (carried)
j. APPROPRIATION: Reimbursement to City for COMCAST Celebrate 250!
Donation - $5,000 (carried)
k. RESOLUTION: Revenue Sharing Program Application for Bridge
Rehabilitation - $500,000
l. RESOLUTION: Addition of BAR Member to PLACE Committee
Mr. Wray reviewed the year-end adjustment results to Council.
On motion by Mr. Huja, the public hearing was opened.
Ms. Colette Hall, 101 Robertson Ln., said the Council is voting great sums of
money on the consent agenda. Pay off bonds, give the money back to tax payers, or put it
in the CIP budget. Tax payers will not accept a raise in real estate taxes with surpluses.
Having no further speakers, the public hearing was closed.
Mr. Norris said it ends up being cost-prohibitive to return money to taxpayers.
Ms. Galvin said there is an on-going surplus averaging about $4.5 million a year,
and Council needs to begin to understand why that is.
In response to an inquiry from Ms. Szakos, Mr. Wray said staff does not advise
Council to appropriate surplus money for ongoing operations.
Ms. Szakos said she would like to see the Dialogue on Race category to be more
broadly described as “Race Initiatives”. Mr. Huja and Ms. Galvin agreed.
Ms. Smith asked the City Attorney to be sure our policies and ordinances are
gender-neutral the next time they conduct a code clean-up. She said it is possible to
return surpluses to the population through utilities.
Ms. Galvin asked for further clarification on how surplus monies could be
appropriated. Mr. Jones said if there is something that is operating on an on-going basis,
surplus monies may not be appropriated. Ms. Szakos said we may want to discuss adding
to the Council priority fund for the following year.
Ms. Smith moved the ordinance. Ms. Szakos offered a second with an
amendment adding $50,000 to the Council Priorities fund from the year-end
appropriation for work force initiatives. Ms. Smith accepted the amendment, and the
motion carried.
Mr. Brown presented to Council. In 1990 the City was granted a permanent
easement for the installation of natural gas lines on Charter Oaks Drive in the Dunlora
Subdivision in Albemarle County on East Rio Road. The easement crosses property
owned by Rock Creek Properties LLC, and they have asked the City to abandon that
portion of the easement because it was never used for the installation of natural gas lines.
The Gas Division has no objection to the abandonment of the easement. A new easement
will be obtained to serve the new subdivision, Dunlora Forest, with natural gas.
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. Smith, the ordinance carried.
Mr. Daly presented to Council.
Ms. Smith asked if there is anything that addresses what the caretakers are
expected to do. Mr. Daly said that is not currently written into the agreement.
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.
Mr. Jones presented to Council on the measures the City has taken to address
some of the behavior issues that have been experienced on the Downtown Mall. The
North Downtown Resident’s Association (NRDA) presented the City with a report. The
staff recommendations are meant to serve as a response to the NDRA’s report. Staff is
examining the human services side of the problem and enforcement issues.
Mr. Jones discussed the Street Outreach Coordinator, which staff has researched.
Staff proposed that the City fund a pilot Street Outreach Coordinator position to work
with Social Services, Region Ten and other groups to help those who are struggling with
unmet needs. One-time funding would be $50,000-$60,000, and staff will evaluate the
position one year from now to see if it has had its intended effect.
There are two ordinance changes staff believes would curb some of the anti-social
behavior exhibited downtown. One is to prohibit directly lying down or sitting on the
Mall within ten feet of a building. The other proposed ordinance change would include a
prohibition on sleeping on the Mall. These proposals have been made keeping individual
rights in mind.
Mobile kiosks for police and ambassadors and a pilot interdiction program are
among staff’s recommendations. Cameras are also an option that may be explored if
Council desires, but staff does not recommend it.
Mr. Jim Neale, 100 West High St., Chairman of the NDRA Committee who
authored the report on the Downtown Mall, clarified for Council at Mr. Norris’ request
that the report has not been released to the public.
Ms. Szakos said she does not think the report is truly reflective of what is
happening on the downtown mall.
Mr. Huja said the report should be made public before Council makes a decision.
Ms. Galvin thanked the NDRA for their report, and she said it was a truly
collaborative approach. The problem on the downtown mall is not a homeless problem.
The street outreach coordinator, law enforcement, and behavioral conditions are
important pieces in addressing the issues. She said with ambassadors and sharpening our
ordinances, she does not see the need for cameras. Mall upkeep should be a priority, and
we should focus on maintenance.
Ms. Szakos said the Ambassadors would not be adjunct members of the police
department. Mr. Jones clarified that the ambassadors would be trained by Parks and
Recreation and the Visitor’s Bureau. She said she has a problem with the ordinance
against sitting on the downtown mall, but she said the ban on lying down may be a good
idea. She asked staff to focus on affordable housing and not prohibiting behavior.
Mr. Huja said he does not support a Street Outreach Coordinator position, but he
does support the two recommended ordinances. He said we should offer additional
seating, although there should not be sleeping. We need to maintain the Mall in good
condition and be sure repairs are consistent with the overall look. He also said he
supports kiosks.
Ms. Smith said she likes the idea of an outreach coordinator, overseen by the
Department of Social Services. More importantly, we need a comprehensive referral
network. She said she likes the Ambassadors, as the Mall is a magnet for visitors of all
backgrounds, and it is important for people to feel welcome. She would like to see an
ordinance that you cannot throw your cigarette butts on the mall. She supported the
Mr. Norris said Mr. Jones’ memo to Council did not fully portray the breadth of
the problem. He found it alarming that the survey showed people feel unsafe coming
downtown because of harassment and other poor behaviors. The focus has to be on
behaviors, not on people or classes. Council has to balance public interests. Ordinances
must be consistently enforced, or they should be thrown out. More proactive street
outreach is a good idea, but this does not have to be a full-time staff position. This could
be done through a grant in coordination with existing community services. The Haven is
working to provide a comprehensive referral network. He said the proposed ordinances
are overkill, and there are already ordinances in place preventing walkways from being
obstructed. Mr. Norris asked Mr. Brown to research what the police department feels are
inadequacies in the current ordinances that prevent them from enforcing charges
regarding abusive behavior and speech. Mr. Brown said he will speak with Chief Longo
to get a better perspective on this. Mr. Norris said there are people who panhandle on the
downtown mall who are not homeless and asked if we could regulate commercial
panhandling. He asked that police be sure to know the rules regarding solicitation. He
said he supports the interdiction work that is underway. He asked staff to increase
enforcement against littering, including cigarette butts. An ongoing dialogue group
should include representatives from all communities and encourage constructive
dialogue. Shopkeepers should be able to control the area immediately in front of their
Ms. Galvin said we should reintroduce seating around Central Place, because lack
of it is killing that area as a public space. As we are seeing how the ambassador’s
program unfolds, we should return that amenity. She said we could use street
coordinators as a way to hire the reentry population.
Mr. Huja said Council seems supportive of the proposed ordinance changes,
increased seating on the Mall, and an outreach coordinator position funded by a grant.
Mr. Jones said staff is researching benches and examining where to locate them.
Staff will return to Council with draft ordinances for their consideration. Staff will do a
Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant, which agencies can apply for.
Mr. Huja asked the NDRA report to be publically posted on the City’s website.
Ms. Leslie Middleton, Executive Director of the Rivanna River Basin
Commission (RRBC), presented a snapshot report of the status of the Rivanna River
watershed. She provided general information on the Rivanna watershed; the status of the
health of the watershed; land use related to healthy waters; and current actions and
Mr. Tolbert presented to Council. Staff finds that the topographical layout of the
lot and the possibility that constructing the sidewalk could create a burden on an adjacent
property owner as sufficient grounds to waive the sidewalk requirement for this property.
Staff recommended approval for the waiver.
Ms. Szakos asked if there is an existing sidewalk across the street. Mr. Tolbert
said there are no sidewalks nearby. Ms. Galvin clarified that we added sidewalk fund
contributions to our legislative agenda. Ms. Szakos said she would not support approval
of the waiver if it did not create drainage problems for the next door neighbors.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Mr. Norris, the waiver was approved
unanimously. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Huja, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith; Noes:
Mr. Willy Thompson presented to Council. Installation of a sidewalk would
require removal of a large maple tree. There is a continuous sidewalk on the south side
of King St., and the completion of a continuous sidewalk network on the subject
property’s side is unlikely. Also, there are a number of natural and manmade
impediments, including the modification of a large drainage structure, which makes
future completion of the sidewalk difficult. Staff recommended approval of the waiver.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the waiver was approved
unanimously. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Huja, Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith; Noes:
Ms. McHugh presented to Council. The HAP, funded through AHIP, provides
funding for both emergency and homeowner repairs for low income people in both the
City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The program is designed to keep people
in their homes.
Ms. Jennifer Jacobs, Executive Director at AHIP, presented a picture show to
Council of the people and homes the HAP has provided assistance for. She thanked
LEAP and City staff for their supportive partnerships.
Ms. Szakos asked what other funding sources they have. Ms. Jacobs said they do
fundraising for private dollars, and they also bring in a lot of volunteer effort, about
$700,000 worth over the last few years.
Ms. Szakos thanked Ms. Jacobs for AHIP’s life-saving work. Ms. Smith said by
rehabilitating homes in our City, it preserves history and heritage within families.
Keeping children in their homes is very important.
Mr. Norris said housing and stability is a major factor in foster care, and Council
looks forward to supporting AHIP.
Ms. Galvin said tying the program’s success into other factors, such as academic
achievement, will provide revitalization.
Mr. Huja said he appreciates their partnership with LEAP.
Ms. Bailey Hampton, 505 Elliot Ave., said Council should keep their Vision
Statement in mind when making decisions about the Downtown Mall. People who sleep
on the mall have nowhere else to go.
Mr. Jeff Fogel, 215 Spruce St., said Council should not have discussed this
tonight armed with a report that no one else had access to. Council should give money to
the homeless to administer their own report. The mall needs more seating, not less.
Ms. Coleen Seizeuan, 713 Hinton Ave., said it is safer to sleep on the mall than in
the woods. She also said social services should be more navigable.
Ms. Lynn Wilder, Albemarle county resident, said Council does not understand
what services are available to people who are on the street. There are very few services
actually available. If people are not allowed to sleep on the Mall, there is nowhere else
for them to go.
Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge St., said he was disappointed that Council
approved sidewalk waivers tonight. There are sidewalks being constructed south of
Blenheim Rd. on Avon St., and the City should follow the same guidelines they put upon
developers when sidewalks are installed, particularly adding street trees when sidewalks
are installed.
Ms. Nancy Carpenter, 727 Denali Way, said not everyone can handle PACEM
and the high activity level you experience when you go there for a night. Safe, affordable
housing is important.
Mr. James Quinn, City resident, said a discussion on the report that was not made
public was a mistake, and it should be made public as soon as possible. He has some
ideas about connecting clients with services, and he would like to meet with Councilors.
Mr. Norris said he agrees that we need more affordable housing. He said staff has
been meeting regarding potential modifications to our manual on sidewalks and greenery.
He asked Mr. Jones to follow up with Ms. Poncy. Mr. Huja seconded Mr. Norris’s
Ms. Galvin said the PLACE Design Task Force has formed subcommittees
looking at West Main Street, community engagement, the strategic investment area,
which will include Avon Street, and creating a green infrastructure plan for the City.
They will present to Council within the next three to six months.
Ms. Szakos agreed with Ms. Wilder that services are not as accessible as they
should be. She said everyone should contact the governor to make sure Medicaid is
expanded. Also mental health parity is another issue. Contact Congress about tax equity
to make sure the Federal budget does not get balanced on the backs of the poor.
Ms. Smith said she would like a report on what social services are currently
Ms. Galvin said the Director of Economic Development will give a presentation
on December 3, to include a brief overview of how to empower people and move them
out of poverty.
The meeting was adjourned.
Clerk of Council

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