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.

Charlottesville City Council Meeting

COUNCIL CHAMBERS – February 21, 2012
Council met in regular session on this date with the following members present:
Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith, Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, and Ms. Szakos.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Ms. Smith read a proclamation in honor of African American History Month.
Ms. Szakos announced The Big Read kick-off, featuring the novel Bless Me,
Ultima, on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 p.m. at the Free Speech Wall on the
Downtown Mall. She read a proclamation for the event. The Jefferson School Cultural
Center is having an exhibit Wednesday, February 29th at First Baptist Church, Main
Street, at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Norris encouraged residents to apply for open boards and commissions.
Please apply online at www.charlottesville.org, or contact the Clerk for an application.
The deadline is March 15th
.
Ms. Galvin announced a scholarship is available through the Brown v. Board of
Education scholarship committee, established for individuals enrolled between 1954-
1964 in public schools in Virginia. For more information and the application, go to
dls.state.va.us/brown.htm.
Mr. Jones said dates for upcoming budget meetings and work sessions are
available on the City website.
Mr. Huja said he attended a celebration for Carl “Chubby” Proffitt and presented
him a proclamation declaring February 20th, 2012, as Chubby Proffitt Day.
Mr. Steven Meeks and Mr. Mark Beliles updated Council and citizens on
upcoming Celebrate 250! events and exhibits. Signature events include the Festival of
History, a Big Birthday Bash, and a gala.
Mr. Tolbert announced the Planning Awards for 2012, given by the Planning
Commission to recognize quality development in the community. For Outstanding
Neighborhood Effort: Woolen Mills. For Outstanding Plan of Development: Burnett
Commons II: “The Woods”. For Citizen Planner of the Year: Neil Williamson. The
Herman Key Jr., Access to the Disabled Award: the Building Goodness Foundation. The
Eldon Fields Wood Design Professional of the Year: Fred Wolf. The Neighborhood of
the Year: Venable Neighborhood. Outstanding Sustainable Development: Latitude 38.
NDS Staff Member of the Year: Missy Creasy, Planning Manager.
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MATTERS BY THE PUBLIC
Mr. Giuseppe Finazzo, owner of Sal’s Pizza, said his patio space has been
reduced year after year. He said he should get the space that was given to him a long
time ago since he has been on the Downtown Mall the longest. He said he has been
discriminated against.
Dr. Pritam S. Chowdhry, Greenbriar, said laws do not change people. He said
there are more than two races in this town.
Ms. Laura Donahue, VA State Director for the Humane Society of the US,
encouraged Council to implement humane and non-lethal strategies with any deer
management plan. She said education and awareness should be tools to remedy car
collisions. There are options for controlling ticks, not deer. Garden landscaping
techniques can be deployed to discourage deer from causing damage. She said staff
biologists would be delighted to work with the City.
Mr. Jordan McNeish, 1800 Jefferson Park Ave., said war resolutions passed by
City Council should include the war on drugs. The war on drugs has been particularly
tough on minorities.
Ms. Stacey Norris, employed in the City, asked Council to fully understand what
the deer situation is in the City and employ non-lethal solutions if they are necessary.
Mr. Brian Wimer, 704 Belmont Ave., thanked Council for their support for the
Belmont Bridge project. The public chose a design that did away with the bridge all
together. The bridge is here because of trains. The trains carry coal, which is
disappearing. The design addressed urban issues that are important. He asked Council to
consider a grant application.
Ms. Julia Williams, 751 Belmont Ave., thanked staff and Council on their work
on infrastructure projects, including the Belmont Bridge project. She said she supports a
proposal to seek an Our Town grant. We cannot lose this information; it is too valuable.
Mr. Galen Staengl, 129 Goodman St., echoed thanks for Council’s support for the
Belmont Bridge design competition, which has generated a lot of ideas and discussions.
He encouraged Council to submit for the grant for more funding and bring that juncture
in the City alive.
Ms. Melinda Baumann, 947 Locust Ln., in Locust Grove neighborhood, said her
home backs up to Penn Park. She enjoys deer in her yard and is horrified that Council is
considering lethal solutions. We should all coexist with the deer.
Mr. Kyle Benson, 1408 Holly Rd., said he is speaking on behalf of the Citizens of
Charlottesville for the Decriminalization of Marijuana. It is far less harmful than alcohol
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and costs the state millions of dollars for prosecution and incarceration enforcing
prohibition. He passed signatures to the mayor supporting a referendum on the issue.
Mr. Jim Rounseueu, 1113 Monticello Rd., said he has been involved in numerous
meetings regarding the Belmont Bridge competition and is here to support pursuing the
grant. There is little risk to the City, and it is imperative that we do this correctly.
Proceeding with the contract the City has for the bridge is pulling the trigger too quickly.
A study will leave a better lasting legacy.
Mr. Brevy Cannon, 710 Ridge St., said taking design competition ideas to the
next step of fleshed out designs that can be implemented is the real gap. He asked
Council to support the grant application. The deadline is March 1st, and this is an annual
grant. There is no downside.
COUNCIL RESPONSES TO MATTERS BY THE PUBLIC
Ms. Szakos asked staff to advise Council as to what is possible for Mr. Finazzo’s
request. She said to Dr. Chowdhry, the Human Rights Commission is intended to
address many types of discrimination, not just one race. She said to Ms. Donahue,
Council has discovered that it is actually illegal in Virginia for cities to use non-lethal
contraceptives. She asked if the humane society could tackle that issue state-wide. She
said she has some sympathy for the issue of decriminalizing marijuana, and agrees that
the health issues are not as severe. The same Dillon rule that keeps the City from using
birth control on deer will keep us from adopting a local ordinance on marijuana, but she
wants to research the possibilities. She requested adding the bridge discussion to Other
Business.
Ms. Galvin thanked everyone for speaking and seconded Ms. Szakos’ request
regarding Mr. Finazzo. She also thanked Dr. Chowdhry for his comments. She said the
first step for the war on drugs is to reconsider the severity of sentencing. It is not
necessary now, and it has backfired. It is more of an addiction problem and should be
treated as such. She said she is interested in examining what we as a locality can do to
support state level initiatives to revisit our sentencing. She was excited by how many
people have emerged in support of urban design in the bridge project. There is a lot going
on at the same time, between a school competition, a public competition, and now a
grant. Council should tease this out in more detail for the public later on. We are as a
City very committed to that gateway and the area near several of our public housing sites,
which are in walking distance.
Ms. Smith said she would like to know our options for the decriminalization of
marijuana, which is a vitally important issue, given how much it is destroying lives by
sending people to jail. She said she would like to know more about the Belmont Bridge
grant and agreed that it should be discussed further during Other Business. She thanked
members of the community who have supported the process.
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Mr. Norris said you have to do a cost benefit analysis for each drug as policy
makers. It is not black and white. He said he has yet to see a compelling argument for
how the risks of making marijuana legal outweigh any potential negative impacts of
marijuana. A plurality of the American people agrees that it should be legalized. The
City does not have the authority to decriminalize marijuana, but that does not stop us
from at least taking a public stand as to what we would like the state to do. He said he
agreed with Ms. Galvin that it is an addiction issue, and we should support local drug
entities.
Mr. Huja said education for deer management issues is good. He is also
interested in design aspects of the bridge, and Council will discuss it further during Other
Business.
CONSENT AGENDA
Ms. Szakos asked Mr. Tolbert for clarification on the Nunley Street townhouses.
Two houses on the end were originally intended to be transitional housing, and now they
are not. She asked if there was a plan for making transitional housing available if and
when needed. Mr. Tolbert said we have several other projects where there is the
opportunity to do the same thing.
Ms. Szakos said she wanted to be sure there was a chance for public input for the
CDBG process. Mr. Tolbert said it was advertised for a public hearing, and there has
been involvement by the public, especially those who live near the project.
Ms. Galvin said she supported the proposal the Housing Committee made as part
of the comprehensive plan update regarding Community Housing Partners, which
stressed the importance of not concentrating poverty. She asked if this was examined
comprehensively when Blue Ridge Commons was in the process of undergoing major
revitalization. Mr. Tolbert said it was. The development was entirely affordable housing,
which needs to remain that way because of restrictions, but there are conversations about
opportunities for surrounding properties. Mr. Norris noted that the new funding stream
will allow for a greater mix of incomes than is currently in place at Blue Ridge
Commons.
On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the following consent agenda
items were approved: (Ayes: Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith, Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos;
Noes: None.)
a. Minutes of Jan 17,
Feb 3 and Feb 6
b. APPROPRIATION: Charlottesville Police Department Foundation Donation - $4,232.37
(2nd reading)
c. APPROPRIATION: Amendments to FY 2012 City Schools Budget - $122,950 (carried)
d. RESOLUTION: Energy Efficiency and Renewables Loan Program Grant - $500,000
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e. RESOLUTION: McIntire Bldg. Exterior Renovation Project –Transfer of $100,000
f. RESOLUTION: Allocation of Cville Housing Funds for TJ Community Land Trust -
$5,700
g. RESOLUTION: Acceptance of Coleman Court
h. RESOLUTION: CDBG Annual Action Plan Amendment
i. RESOLUTION: Housing Advisory Committee Membership
j. RESOLUTION: Nunley Street Townhouses
k. RESOLUTION: Support of Community Housing Partners – Low Income Housing
Tax Credit Application
l. RESOLUTION: Funding Support for Charlottesville Honor Ride - $480
PUBLIC HEARING / ORDINANCE: CONVEYANCE OF RIGHT OF WAY AT
CHURCH STREET (carried)
Mr. Brown presented to Council. This is a request by the owners of 710 Belmont
Avenue, which came from a recent discovery that a free standing garage at the edge of
their property actually extends into the right of way. The request has been reviewed by
the appropriate City departments. It is up to Council’s discretion whether to charge for
the property, which was estimated to be valued at $2,000.
The public hearing was opened. Having no speakers, the public hearing was
closed.
Ms. Szakos asked how this home was sold with the encroachment. Mr. Huja said
this is not an uncommon problem. Mr. Brown said some garages and sheds in older
neighborhoods were built without exact attention to property lines.
Mr. Tommy Brannock, the realtor for the property, said the current owners did not
build the shed.
Ms. Smith said Council should work to apply even treatment to issues of this
nature.
Mr. Huja reminded Council that they may ask for compensation for the assessed
value. Mr. Norris asked about title insurance. Mr. Brown said the purchasers were
unable to obtain title insurance. He also said there has not been a consistent approach to
this sort of issue by past Councils.
Mr. Huja said he was in favor of charging fair market value for the conveyance.
Ms. Szakos clarified that the value of the property will not change with the addition. Mr.
Norris and Ms. Szakos said they were in favor of giving the land without charge. Ms.
Smith said this opens Council up to making greater decisions of this kind later on. It
makes sense for the owners to compensate the City.
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On motion by Ms. Smith, seconded by Ms. Galvin, the ordinance carried, with the
addition of a $2,000 charge for the land.
Ms. Galvin asked staff to examine a policy for making this more consistent over
time.
REPORT: DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Mr. Tolbert presented to Council on a potential deer management program.
Vehicle collisions, Lyme disease, landscape and garden damage, declining deer herd
health due to overpopulation, and public safety are among potential issues that stem from
deer overpopulation. Some options include landscape management, trapping and
euthanasia, bow hunting, sharpshooting, and contraception, all of which come with
issues. Mr. Tolbert summarized the various ways in which surrounding areas have
addressed deer overpopulation, with varying success. If Council believes there is a
problem and wants to consider action, staff recommends scheduling a work session for a
more in-depth discussion and a public hearing, then staff would assemble an action plan.
Above all else, Council should look at developing an education program. Mr. Jones said
Council should also have community meetings about the issue in addition to the public
hearing.
Ms. Smith thanked citizens for contacting Council about this issue. We have
received a lot of good information. It is extremely difficult to effectively reduce a deer
population. We do not have the data to determine whether we really have a problem. We
should not manage with any lethal methods, but with education. She brought the “Have A
Heart Spray Away Water Repellent Sprinkler”, which has a detector and will spray water
when deer or other animals pass by it. She said she is opposed to any physical reduction
of our deer population.
Mr. Norris agreed with much of what Ms. Smith said, as well as her conclusions.
We should devise proactive, nonlethal ways of addressing the issue in neighborhoods that
are affected by it.
Ms. Galvin said one particular email from Mr. Gallagher who has worked with
the Wildlife Management Committee at Lake Monticello gave some good guidelines
based on research from Cornell. She agreed with using education and a City wide survey
to identify neighborhoods where this is a key problem. We should act though, because a
delay may cause more problems.
Ms. Szakos said she read about a new method of sterilizing the bucks and
returning them to the community, which does not have the rebound effect some
population control methods have. She said Council should prepare this for next year’s
legislative session to see if we can make this available to us. Some intervention may be a
good thing, because getting hit by a car is one of the least humane ways for deer to die.
She asked if it is possible to get a deer count and supported conducting a survey of the
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community based on neighborhoods. Public works and police should keep track of the
deer they pick up and the deer that cause accidents. She said she is not supportive of
shooting deer, but we need to know if this is an issue we need to respond to before we
can devise a solution.
Mr. Huja said he personally enjoys the deer. It is a serious issue to some people,
but he does not believe there is a problem. He supported a survey to determine if there is
a problem. He also supported education and said he was totally opposed to any lethal
method.
Ms. Smith said surveys of deer populations are very difficult to do accurately.
Deer do not respect boundaries between City and County. Also, populations are
seasonal. We should proceed carefully with what we promise.
Ms. Galvin supported preparing this for next year’s legislative package. Mr.
Norris said we should take the Humane Society up on their offer of services.
REPORT: DIALOGUE ON RACE
Ms. Gertrude Ivory, Co-Chair, and Ms. Elizabeth Breeden, Secretary, presented to
Council. They summarized the Dialogue on Race’s recent activity, upcoming events and
scheduled collaborations. Ms. Ivory reported that after examining the work that has been
done since 2009, the Steering Committee requests that Council consider the following
recommendations for the future of the Dialogue on Race: continue to endorse and support
the work of the Dialogue on Race for the 2012-2013 fiscal year; support studying the
creation of a commission to investigate and address discrimination issues in
Charlottesville; and equally consider the Dialogue on Race while considering the creation
of any permanent or institutionalized group that would be responsible for the well-being
of the citizens of Charlottesville regarding racial equity and justice.
Ms. Smith thanked the Dialogue on Race for their work. She asked if they are
coordinating with the History Festival. Ms. Green said the Dialogue on Race is
coordinating with Celebrate 250! on several events. Ms. Smith said Council may task the
commission to develop a social impact assessment for how we are spending our money
and how they affect others. The commission could be the eyes and ears for whether we
are being just in our own local government.
Mr. Norris said inequities and unequal treatment in the juvenile justice system is
an issue he does not want to fall through the cracks. Ms. Green said this creates an
opportunity for collaboration with other groups, although the commission does not have a
specific action team for this issue. Mr. Jones said we have had discussions about this
issue, and staff will have more information for Council within the next month.
Ms. Szakos said the report added to concerns she has had. The work of the
commission is critical to our community, but she is concerned that while it started off as a
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way to generate talk and conversation in order to generate ideas and action teams,
sometimes the solutions are outpacing the commission. The report itself is disjointed and
casual, and the website is outdated. She wants to see the work of the commission
continue, but not necessarily exactly the way it has been. The City deserves a
professional organization, especially if we have to wait for the formation of a
commission. We should demand a lot of the commission if we continue it. Some of the
action teams are continuing despite lack of support. She said she wants more energy at
City Hall for the Dialogue on Race.
Ms. Galvin said she drew a chart that shows how comprehensive and complex the
Dialogue on Race is as an organization, but she is not sure the commission can see the
organization, and it might help to think in terms of an organizational tree. You can see
that every workgroup has produced substantial work. You can see overlaps and where
things can be reinforced or are no longer necessary. We should have a final report of
what the commission has done for the last two to three years and propose that it be more
accurate in its accounting with public monies and how much this has cost. Think ahead
strategically and give Council some implementation strategies for the future so that when
we conclude the Human Rights Commission study, we also have a document that gives
us tangible results. She said it is commendable how much the commission followed the
original document that described the study circles. She suggested there could be
collaboration surrounding the TJPED study, marrying the goals of the Dialogue,
Economic Development and Council priorities of eliminating poverty through gainful
employment.
Mr. Huja commended the Commission in trying to address some of the issues.
New members on the steering committee will add new energy. He requested a
reorganization of the steering committee and Dialogue on Race leadership so we can
move forward. He said he supports the process and the action teams, but it needs to be
better coordinated.
REPORT: CHESAPEAKE BAY TMDL WATERSHED IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
Ms. Riddervold presented Council with an update on the Chesapeake Bay Total
Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). She outlined the process to date and the timeline for the
second phase of the watershed implementation plan. There were serious concerns with
proposed implementation scenarios. The state gave localities the opportunity to come up
with their own scenario, but there are a lot of unknowns. If locally devised scenarios were
not accepted, baseline requirements would be implemented. The submittal was
responsive, conservative, demonstrated an understanding of the issues and involvement in
the process, and conveyed a track record of proactive programs and policies. Staff hopes
to provide flexibility moving forward without inappropriate financial or programmatic
commitments. This was an incredible opportunity to enhance the data we have. Ms.
Riddervold reviewed the internal evaluation assessment, including near and long-term
goals.
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Ms. Smith asked if nitrogen phosphorus sediment is being measured. Ms.
Riddervold said it is, but not all measurements are comparable. Ms. Smith asked if the
City gets credit for what has happened in the last three years. Ms. Riddervold said we do
not know yet; inputs are currently being aggregated at the state level. Ms. Szakos asked
if the City was being penalized for doing a lot of things before 2009, which was set as the
baseline. Ms. Riddervold said we do not yet know. If we can accept there is a starting
point, we can focus on what we can do to move forward from that starting point.
Ms. Galvin said in order to obtain SUP permits to allow for increased density, an
approved strategy must be implemented on site. She asked if implementation would
result in the suburbanization of our city to achieve the storm management we want, since
one site on one of our corridors is like a postage stamp. This clearly contradicts smart
growth management. Ms. Riddervold said what we are being asked to put together is
paralleling what is already happening on the state level in the stormwater management
realm, so those regulations have been undergoing revision for the last two to three years,
with some adjustments having been made for exactly this reason.
Council thanked Ms. Riddervold and staff for the presentation.
REPORT: SPCA UPDATE
Ms. Susanne Kogut presented to Council. The SPCA provides pound services to
the community on behalf of the City as required by Virginia state law, and also provides
additional services to the community. Charlottesville is a leader in saving animals. Ms.
Kogut overviewed the successful foster program for 2011, improved adoption rates since
2004, successful spay neuter programs, improved medical care, and humane education.
Mr. Norris said if there is anything Council can do to help with state legislation,
let us know. Council thanked Ms. Kogut for her presentation.
OTHER BUSINESS – SAL’S CAFÉ
Mr. Tolbert reported that some cafes on the mall have more than the allowable
maximum square footage of café space. Historically measurements have been inaccurate.
He explained the history of café redistribution, and in 2011 Council voted to reestablish
that 800 square feet is maximum allowable square footage for a café. Any group with
over 800 square feet could maintain what they had, but if sold to another operator, the
space would be reduced according to a formula. He explained the process for distribution
of café space and recent fire lane changes.
Ms. Galvin asked what kind of notice was given to business owners when fire
lanes were widened. Mr. Tolbert said there was an engaged community process
involving downtown property and business owners. Ms. Smith asked if there was a
physical limitation to how big café spaces can be, or if the restrictions are based on
10
regulations. Mr. Tolbert said there are a number of factors that impact where café spaces
can go, including trees, fire lanes, and honoring public spaces.
Mr. Huja confirmed that the City is returning a portion of money to Sal’s for
overcharging them due to an inaccurate measurement of their café space.
Ms. Galvin said we have to follow our ordinance, but we need to make it clear
when there are changes to our physical space on the downtown mall. Ms. Galvin asked if
all cafes lost space. Mr. Tolbert said the vast majority lost space.
Ms. Szakos said she does not like hearing staff getting yelled at. Aside from that,
there is a statute of limitations for what we can do, and she is not inclined to change the
limitations.
Mr. Norris said a lot has happened in the intervening years. We should examine
the present situation, and determine what we can do going forward to correct this for
future restaurant owners.
Ms. Smith said she does not understand the rules of the ordinance, and her heart
goes out to Mr. Finazzo because he has been through a lot of changes on the mall. She
said she does not have the background knowledge to know how to handle this, but
believes it is important to be fair.
Mr. Huja said he agreed with his colleagues. Mr. Norris asked if the Siips space
can be moved. Mr. Tolbert said it is as far as it can go because of the water fountain and
the CVS. Council thanked Mr. Finazzo for coming.
OTHER BUSINESS – BELMONT BRIDGE GRANT APPLICATION
Mr. Jones said there has been a lot of excitement surrounding this project and the
partnership that has been formed with the Architecture School, and we want to see this
work continue. We have had several conversations about submitting for the NEA grant,
but there are obstacles for submitting for this year. We have not properly thought out the
project’s connection to the arts, as stipulated by the grant. Studying corridor development
has not happened. Timing for submitting the grant was also an issue.
Mr. Huja said initially when we talked about this, the question was what are we
going to get for this grant, and it was not clear in our minds that we should pursue the
grant simply because it was there. Ms. Galvin said there was also confusion as to who
would write the grant. A review committee has been put together that is looking at the
results of the Belmont Bridge competition at the same time that we were trying to put
together a group to look at the NEA grant.
Mr. Norris invited Mr. Maurice Cox to speak on the process. Mr. Cox said the
purpose of the grant is to help discover what we are looking for and provides a vehicle to
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think through the process. A public/private partnership is required, and the public entity
must be committed to the design process. The University has committed to writing the
grant. Mr. Norris asked Mr. Cox to remind Council of his connection with the NEA. Mr.
Cox said he was the design director at the NEA for three years and helped the Chairman
conceive of this grant program specifically for transformative projects in urban areas. He
co-authored the guidelines and knows them intimately. He is willing to help write a
highly competitive grant.
Ms. Smith asked if the arts and culture theme restricts us from how we design the
corridor. Mr. Cox said it is meant to look at the role of arts and culture as the primary
catalyst for redevelopment. Our entire downtown area can be viewed as an arts and
culture center. The bridge itself can be considered a work of art to put it within the
parameters for the grant.
Ms. Galvin asked about partners. Mr. Jones said we have reached out to PCA as a
potential partner. You also need a 501(c)(3) as part of the partnership as well.
Mr. Huja said the need for a plan is there, but he is not sure this is the right way to
go about it. He prefers using local money and our own money for this. Ms. Smith asked
Mr. Cox if he thought we needed to ask for the full $150,000 amount. Ms. Szakos said it
may be problematic getting commitment from local donors.
Mr. Norris said he is struggling to find a downside. Ms. Szakos asked who is
devising the ideas that will go into the grant. Mr. Cox said we could designate someone
from Council and someone from staff to be points of contact for the grant writers.
Mr. Tolbert said the bridge design process should be put on hold if we apply for
the grant. Ms. Szakos asked if this meant we would be giving up state money. Ms.
Galvin said Council should examine how much money we are willing to put into a
planning effort on this sort of thing. She asked that it be put on a future agenda for
discussion. She said we can do design now and not wait for the grant if we are willing to
commit the money. Mr. Norris said he does not see this as mutually exclusive.
Mr. Norris moved that Council approve moving forward with the grant and
appoint Ms. Galvin as the Council point person. Ms. Smith seconded the motion. Ms.
Galvin said this is a huge undertaking and wished it had been worked through a month
ago. She asked what the implications were for breaking our contract. Ms. Szakos offered
the amendment that we allocate $150,000 for the planning process and start it
immediately, but not apply for the grant. Mr. Norris rejected her amendment. Mr. Jones
said funding could come from already allocated funds to Levy and Crescent Hall. Ms.
Szakos withdrew her amendment and said she did not want to allocate money until it was
properly discussed on an upcoming agenda. A vote on Mr. Norris’ motion was called
and did not pass. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Smith; Noes: Ms. Szakos, Ms. Galvin, Mr.
Huja.)
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MATTERS BY THE PUBLIC
Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge St., said he was disappointed Council passed on
the NEA grant opportunity. He said Council should want to have arts and cultural input
in all the infrastructural projects that are moving forward in the City. He does not see the
downside of looking into a project and trying to maximize the available opportunities in
our community to build a bridge between Belmont and the downtown mall cultural
centers.
Mr. Scott Bandy, 639 Cherry Ave., said responsible hunters in surrounding areas
have contributed venison to area food banks.
Mr. Brevy Cannon, 710 Ridge St., said the NEA grant is designed to be much
more flexible. It helps a municipality come to a decision when one has not yet been
made. It is a shame to walk away from a match when you are willing to spend the money
anyway. Worst case scenario, you give the grant back if you cannot spend the money.
Mr. Craig Jackson, 631 Blenheim Ave., and president of Belmont Carlton
Neighborhood Association, said he has been involved with the bridge conversation. The
competition has produced some mind blowing ideas, and this is a great opportunity to
improve the urban fabric. He is glad to hear continued conversation, which is required to
move forward. He appreciated hearing that there will be a commitment to the bridge
design process either way.
Ms. Julia Williams, 751 Belmont Ave., said she sympathizes that Council feels
rushed, but they have answers. This grant provides a lot of flexibility. This is doubling
money we are already willing to commit. UVA is going to do the heavy lifting in this
grant writing. There is no downside to submitting the application. Council should take
advantage of the people here who can help answer questions.
Mr. Mark Kavit, 400 Altamont St., said you have a team that can write the grant
and put it together without much effort on the part of Council. He asked Council to
reopen this issue tonight.
Mr. Brian Wimer, 704 Belmont, said the goal is to make this bridge beautiful.
Everything applies to this grant, because art is subjective. It is about how art inspires.
This will not lock you down, but will open opportunities.
COUNCIL RESPONSE
Ms. Szakos said we could have made a decision on the NEA grant if it had been
put before Council two weeks ago.
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Ms. Galvin said her reservation is about representation, not just of Council and
Belmont, but also of Ridge Street.
Mr. Norris said that is the purpose of this grant.
Mr. Cox said the main issue is a commitment to a thoughtful process, and
progress has been made.
The meeting was adjourned.
President Clerk

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