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, June 6, 2011, AT 6:30 p.m. IN THE Second Floor Conference
Closed session as provided by Section 2.2-3712 of the Virginia Code
Council met in regular session on this date with the following members present:
Mr. Norris, Ms. Edwards, Dr. Brown, Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos.
Mr. Norris announced the Charlottesville Community Band Festival on July 2nd.
Mr. Steve Layman, Mr. John Laprade and Mr. Charles Torian were present to speak
about the event.
Mr. Norris announced the “My Backyard Vacation” program. Go to
www.mybackyardvacation.com for more information. He invited Mr. Joe Rice to present
the PSA he created to promote the program.
Mr. Norris also announced the seminar “Seeing Green: Savvy Solutions for your
Business and Your Community”, which will take place Thursday, June 23rd from 9:00
a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at CitySpace. The seminar is open to local residents and business
owners. Free parking is available.
Mr. Huja announced “Movies in the Park” at Washington Park on June 17th. The
event will begin with free swimming from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., with an 8pm showing
of “Despicable Me”. Also, Mr. Huja encouraged citizens to share their ideas with the
Celebrate 250 Committee. Go to the website at www.celebrate250.com to contribute.
Dr. Brown announced the “Look 3” Festival of the Photo. He invited the director
of the festival, Mr. Andrew Owen to speak about the event. Visit www.look3.org for
more information and samples of work from the festival.
Ms. Szakos announced that the City received a AAA bond rating for the year,
which is the highest rating, from both major rating agencies. This means the City will
pay approximately $500,000 to $1 million less in interest rates. Council congratulated
staff for achieving this goal.
Ms. Edwards announced the 11th Annual Community Juneteenth Celebration,
June 16th – 18th. For more information, contact Maxine Holland at 295-6632 or email
Tamyra Turner at tturner@pvcc.edu.
Mr. Norris added a discussion on next steps and timeline for Meadowcreek
Parkway to “Other Business”. Mr. Huja also added discussion on the Best Buy
interchange at 29 North.
Mr. Paul Long, 1410 Grady Ave., requested an additional CAT bus route to the
new Martha Jefferson hospital location on Pantops. He said many buses should run every
20 minutes instead of every hour. He asked for new bus routes to the airport and the jail.
He also asked for extended service on nights, Sundays and holidays.
Ms. Joanna Salidis, 129 Goodman St., said the online petition for dredging first to
increase water supply has reached 720 signatures. Visit www.cvillewater.info to sign the
petition. She read comments from the online petition in support of dredging.
Mr. Scott Beyer, 2556 Summit Ridge Trail, spoke regarding the Critical Slopes
ordinance. Further regulating City land produces the unintended consequence of
reducing the amount of buildable land in the City that is zoned residential, which will
further reduce affordable housing options. This will cause continued suburban sprawl.
Mr. Rich Collins, 108 Welson Ct., said there is a federal court suit pending
regarding McIntire Park that challenges the legality of whether the FHA has illegally
segmented a road. The schedule is going forward as expeditiously as possible, and this is
the first time a hearing has been able to be obtained. Because of the MRE segments
contract, construction could begin on a segment of the road that could be declared illegal
but destroyed before the case has been heard. Please give the Coalition to Preserve
McIntire Park time for this court hearing to be heard before allowing action on this
Ms. Carole Thorpe, 1318 Oak Tree Ln., Chairwomen of the Jefferson Area Tea
Party, said she is speaking on behalf of their members regarding the issue of sustainable
development and livable communities. She said the politics of sustainability is a scheme
to demonize mankind and convince people they need to give up their liberties. The
principle idea of sustainability is to manage population, which should not be controlled
by local government. She asked Council to reject the HUD grant and reject membership
Mr. Jack Marshall, 3570 Brinnington Rd., President of Advocates for a
Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP), said he was here to denounce the claims of
the Jefferson Area Tea Party. The notion of sustainability simply means leaving future
generations a livable environment.
Mr. Scott Bandy, 1639 Cherry Ave., said the water supply plan should have been
put before the people in a referendum. He thanked Council for their action on the
pumping station. He asked Council not to back-peddle on their support of the Woolen
Mills neighborhood.
Mr. James Halfaday, 2423 Sunset Rd., thanked the Councilors who voted no on
the temporary Belmont Bridge fence. He said the City could have spent money on more
important things, like protecting residents against sexual offenders or funding salaries for
police officers.
Ms. Colette Hall, 101 Robertson Ln., asked why the Parks and Recreation
Advisory Board is asking for authorization on plans for East McIntire Park before the
case has been settled in court.
Ms. Rebecca Quinn, 104 4th St., said RWSA staff expected to have the HDR RFP
for dredging ready by late June. Getting an RFP prepared is a significant step, but
Council must stay in the game to keep the ball rolling on dredging. She requested the
City be involved in finalizing the RFP before it is published. Do not let Rivanna dismiss
maintaining South Fork Reservoir. Ensure dredging is part of the cost share and land use
agreement, and assure there will be a committee with citizen representatives to review the
RFP and proposals.
Ms. Dede Smith, 2652 Jefferson Park Cir., distributed information on utility rates.
She said Charlottesville is an outlier in water rates according to a study by University of
Virginia students. We need to think of a way to bring this down in the future.
Ms. Laura Covert, 1809 E. Market St., said she received the dam inundation letter
from RWSA, which informed her that she is in the new dam inundation zone. This
brings up a number of questions for her that were unanswered by the letter. The letter
directs residents to a map that is not posted online. She asked who would require RWSA
to maintain the proposed new earthen dam, and whether they are going to wait until they
are required to maintain it before they do so. She wants to be reassured by someone other
than RWSA that this will happen. She requested a public hearing on this issue on behalf
of her neighbors to answer the questions this letter poses.
Mr. Huja agreed with Mr. Long about the public transit system. The City does
study the transit system to see if they can do a better job, and we will continue to work on
this in the future.
Ms. Szakos said Mr. Long made an important point about making transportation
available to the new Martha Jefferson Hospital location, but we should not subtract from
current services to do so. She said it concerned her that Ms. Thorpe interpreted the word
“sustainable” to mean a number of scary things, and she does not believe that
sustainability can be interpreted as evil. We have a lot to learn from other parts of the
world, and she said she is eager to see what comes from the planning process. To Mr.
Bandy, the current water system plan was neither rash nor without abundant public input.
She said she agreed with Ms. Quinn and liked the idea of including citizen
representatives to maintain accountability as part of the process. Dredging is a part of
deferred maintenance that we should continue doing. She said the letter Ms. Covert
received was startling, and she looks forward to learning exactly what the plans are for
residents in the inundation zone.
Dr. Brown responded to Ms. Thorpe and said there are many checks and balances
with representatives from a variety of community organizations. Sustainability is not an
attempt of the government to make a change, but for the community to decrease their
footprint on the environment. He questioned where does the Tea Party’s sense of dread
comes from and believes it is misplaced. He thanked Mr. Beyer for his comments.
Urban density is part of sustainability and curtails sprawl. In response to Mr. Collins, he
questioned why Council is being asked to push for an injunction when that is the court’s
responsibility. He said dredging and building a dam are not equal choices. Dredging
fully produces about a fifth as much water as building a new dam can. The issue returns
to the question of how much water we need.
Mr. Norris thanked Mr. Beyer for raising important points. Whereas the Planning
Commission has legal authority on some points, Council is obligated to consider a variety
of factors surrounding certain recommendations, and we will do just that. He thanked
Ms. Quinn and endorsed the idea of having citizen representatives on a committee. He
said the public forum Ms. Colvert suggested would be helpful. The public should have
an opportunity to comment and question on the flood inundation letter. He said Council
welcomes the input of the Jefferson Area Tea Party, and they make some valid
observations and critiques about policies in this country related to spending and debt.
However, he said he was very disappointed it its embrace of extreme conspiracy theories.
He said he is involved directly in ICLEA, and they are far from the shadowy international
organization that some in the local Tea Party make them out to be. Organizations like
ICLEA are actually promoting some core conservative values.
Ms. Edwards said it was good hearing from Mr. Long, Ms. Salidis, Mr. Beyer,
and Mr. Collins. She echoed that she would like to see staff address Ms. Colvert’s
concerns. She also said she received a letter from the kindergarteners of Clark
Elementary School, and she read it aloud. She invited Ms. Cindy Cartwright, a teacher
from Clark and Johnson Elementary Schools. Classes drafted a letter requesting a new
sign prohibiting dogs in school areas. They also submitted an illustrated suggestion for a
new sign.
Mr. Huja said he supports the childrens’ efforts. He also said the city and county
should be working together on sustainability.
Ms. Edwards asked staff what next steps will be on the dog issue Ms.
Cartwright’s class brought forward. Mr. Jones said staff has begun work on addressing
the issue and will follow up with Council and the schools. Ms. Edwards thanked the
students at Clark for initiating this project.
Mr. Norris offered clarification on item j, the 14 and Under Helmet Ordinance.
The ordinance is limited to children 14 and under because the Commonwealth of Virginia
does not allow the City to require helmets for citizens over age 14.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Mr. Huja, the following consent agenda
items were approved: (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Ms. Edwards, Dr. Brown, Mr. Norris, Ms.
Szakos; Noes: None.)
a. Minutes of May 16
b. APPROPRIATION: $187,500 – Market Street Parking Garage - Replacement
of PARC Equipment (2nd reading)
c. APPROPRIATION: $23,000 – 2010 State Homeland Security Program Grant
(Hazmat) (2nd reading)
d. APPROPRIATION: $119,000 – Grant – Azalea Park Storm Water Wetland
Project (carried)
e. APPROPRIATION: $386,000 – Charlottesville High School Solar Power
System – Appropriation of Grant Funds and Local Cash
Match (carried)
f. APPROPRIATION: Approval and Appropriation of CDBG & HOME funds
for FY 2011-2012 (carried)
g. APPROPRIATION: $751,016 – Amendments to FY 2012 Adopted City
Schools General Fund and Grant & Other Governmental
Funds Budget (carried)
h. APPROPRIATION: $3,000 – Player for Life Grant from the US Gold
Association (carried)
i. RESOLUTION: Transfer of Funds to CATEC-VDOT Land Take Funds -
j. ORDINANCE: 14 and Under Helmet Ordinance (2nd reading)
k. ORDINANCE: Street Closure – Closing of a portion of Seminole Court
l. ORDINANCE: Zoning Text Amendment – Assisted Living Facilities
m. ORDINANCE: Sunrise Park PUD (carried)
n. ORDINANCE: Homeowner Tax Relief Grant (2011) (carried)
Mr. Tolbert gave Council an overview of the topic. Terms of the lease remain the
same as in the past.
The public hearing was opened.
Having no speakers, the public hearing was closed.
On motion by Mr. Huja, seconded by Ms. Edwards, the resolution passed
unanimously. (Ayes: Dr. Brown, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Huja; Noes:
Mr. Daly presented to Council. He discussed changes since the May 2008 plan.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board approved Option 1, which would retain the
softball fields.
Mr. Huja said he thinks we should follow the recommendation of the Advisory
Dr. Brown said most people who use the softball fields are not City residents, and
they are almost entirely used by adults. Rectangular fields are used more by children. He
prefers this be converted to a rectangular field.
Ms. Szakos said if we did not have clear evidence that our greater community has
a shortage of both rectangular and diamond fields, she would feel differently, but to take
away from one group that does not have enough fields and give it to another group who
does not have enough fields does not seem fair.
Ms. Edwards said she remains opposed to the YMCA being in the park in the first
place, and Option 1 is simply the lesser of two evils. She believes there is a growing
interest in softball, but she wonders which would be best for children of our community,
and who would be best served. She asked for a sincere effort to do outreach in
underserved neighborhoods.
Mr. Norris agreed with Mr. Huja and Ms. Szakos. We should be working
collaboratively to find additional field space for all users. Option 2 would be an
extremely costly proposition, at a minimum of $1 million.
Mr. Huja said Council approved turf fields for high school, which helps with the
On motion by Mr. Huja, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the motion passed. (Ayes: Ms.
Edwards, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Mr. Huja; Noes: Dr. Brown.)
Mr. Daly presented to Council. There have been a significant number of citizen
groups who want to begin planning on the east side of the park. As required by the
process, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommended to Council that we
begin a process for planning the eastern side of the park. A draft schedule is included in
Council’s materials. The first public meeting in a series of meetings will be held in the
middle of July.
Mr. Norris clarified that staff is not asking Council to approve a master plan, but
rather to approve beginning the process. Mr. Daly confirmed this. Mr. Norris asked if he
saw value in conducting a master plan even if there is a court injunction on the parkway
months from now. Mr. Daly said yes. Of all the parks in our system, this is the largest
piece of land that is used the least. The community deserves a master plan for this park.
It is not a design, but rather a decision about land use.
Dr. Brown asked how staff anticipates that the City would handle the key question
of the current use of the park as a golf course, which takes up almost all the space, versus
a purposed community use, such as a botanical garden, which also takes up a big area.
Mr. Daly said the outcome will likely be a balance between the uses. There may be a
consensus, but the process is designed to discuss all options. Staff will walk through a
presentation at the first meeting discussing options, restraints, etc. He explained the
process following the first meeting, including a series of public meetings. Dr. Brown
asked if the First Tee program is dependent on park space. Mr. Daly said that currently
McIntire Park makes a large difference for First Tee and helps them meet their program
goals. Dr. Brown asked how many First Tee participants are City residents. Mr. Daly
said 25-30%. Dr. Brown said we need to engage larger part of the community on using
that space. Mr. Norris clarified that McIntire is supplemental to Meadowcreek. Mr. Daly
confirmed this.
Mr. Huja asked if Meadowcreek can accommodate First Tee. Mr. Daly said it
would be a challenge.
Ms. Edwards said this process should be public and agreed with Ms. Colette Hall
that the process should be mindful of the pending court case. Ms. Szakos agreed and said
as it is currently scheduled, there should be time in the process for the court case to play
Dr. Brown said staff may want to engage a professional consultant at some stage.
Mr. Daly said after the first couple of meetings, we will see where we stand and will
engage a local architecture firm to assist in graphic renderings.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Mr. Huja, the resolution to initiate
planning was approved. (Ayes: Dr. Brown, Mr. Norris; Mr. Huja, Ms. Szakos; Noes: Ms.
Mr. Wray presented to Council. He reviewed the presentation given at the May
16th meeting, the proposed rate increases for water and sewer, and the decrease for gas
rates. The ACSA not had increases over the last few years because they have three
reserve accounts, and they have used those reserves to buy down rates. Their rates would
be up 17% for the average customer if they had not used reserves.
Ms. Szakos asked Mr. Wray to comment on the chart Ms. Dede Smith provided to
Council comparing water rates across various cities.
Ms. Edwards said she is concerned that we need to raise fees at all, especially
with calls Council has received over the past three to five years. The inability to pay
utility bills is a big reason people struggle, even when they move into Section 8 housing.
Mr. Wray said we have budgeted relief funds for this purpose.
Mr. Norris said he agreed with Ms. Edwards. He has no problem with using the
Rate Stabilization fund to offset the cost, but he said he is concerned with what is
happening with rates and how we can upgrade our sewer system without having to raise
rates. Mr. Norris requested three separate votes on the three rates. He said he supports
gas and sewer rates, but he does not support water rate.
Ms. Szakos said we need to support what Council has agreed to do by voting for
sufficient water rates.
Dr. Brown said he does not support splitting the vote into three parts.
On motion by Dr. Brown, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the motion carried to the next
Ms. Heather Kellams presented to Council. Currently, 243 youth have been
interviewed for the program. Funding will provide for 190 youth positions in the
program this summer. Staff hopes to expand the program to 250 participants next
summer. There are up to 200 spaces open for youth, with an additional 55 sites since last
year. The program runs from June 27th until August 5th.
Mr. Huja asked for an update on Council’s request to start a bank account for each
youth participant so they can learn to manage their money. Ms. Kellams said the
program has started this process. Banks have also participated in satellite banking, where
banks come to the school to set up accounts for students on-site.
Ms. Kellams shared a video with Council on the CAYIP.
Mr. Norris asked Mr. Tolbert to explain next steps on the McIntire Extended
project to Council. Mr. Tolbert said VDOT officials obtained a permit for the
interchange project, and the McIntire project was extended as of Friday. Work on the
project is expected to begin within two weeks.
Mr. Norris asked him to comment on Mr. Rich Collins’ concerns. Mr. Brown
said a scheduling order has been entered by the judge, which sets the parameters for how
the case will play out from here. It does not establish a definite date for when the ruling
will come. If everything goes as scheduled, it is reasonable to expect a decision before
the end of this year.
Mr. Norris asked Mr. Tolbert how much work would be completed by the end of
this year, in terms of the immediate future of this project. Mr. Tolbert said they will start
on the Melbourne side of the project, and earth moving and tree removal will begin
Dr. Brown asked why a legal injunction has not been served. Mr. Brown said
Council did not approve a previous resolution because the project would have had time to
seek a preliminary injunction.
Mr. Rich Collins said that because it was a federal suit, plaintiffs had to wait for
federal action before they could take action. Mr. Brown said there had to be a
determination from federal highways prior to filing suit.
Mr. Huja said we have been talking about this parkway for 45 years. We have
gone through all the processes, and there is no reason to stop now.
Ms. Szakos said she supports moving forward because we gave a chance for this
lawsuit to be filed and a preliminary injunction to be sought, and we do not need Council
to do this for the court.
Dr. Brown said he agrees with Ms. Szakos.
Ms. Edwards said we have waited 45 years, and she does not see the harm in
waiting another six months. Mr. Norris said he believes it is worth it to wait, but
consensus among Council is to move forward.
Mr. Huja met last week with the City Attorney and VDOT and determined that
bikes and pedestrians would be permitted to use the county portion of the McIntire Road
project. Access will start in July.
The Best Buy Ramp/250 Interchange project is supported by both city and county
funds. VDOT may be able to find money to complete this project using state funds.
There is a request for staff to ask VDOT to find the funds on their own and get the project
going as soon as possible. Staff will include a condition that the City will be permitted
substantial involvement in the design process.
Mr. Tolbert said at any point, staff can cancel the project if it does not suit the
City’s needs, but we would have to reimburse money spent on design.
On motion by Mr. Huja, seconded by Dr. Brown, a motion to write a letter to
VDOT requesting funding passed. (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Dr. Brown, Ms. Edwards, Mr.
Norris, Ms. Szakos; Noes: None.)
Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge St., said Council has experienced many of the
issues of infrastructure development that is essential to have before you in making
decisions. A judge would also have to have this substantial amount of information before
he is able to make an injunction. The FHA is not providing the administrative record to
the courts until June 30th. It is unreasonable to expect that plaintiffs could obtain an
injunction without this information.
Mr. James Halfaday, 2423 Sunset Rd., said Ms. Szakos is not putting residents
first when she suggested taking low construction costs into consideration when deciding
whether to move forward on certain projects.
Ms. Colette Hall, 101 Robertson Ln., said when you think of the MRE and the
county’s portion, there was an agreement between VDOT and the City several years ago
that the entire Meadowcreek Parkway from Rio Rd. East to the 250 Bypass would not be
opened until the three pieces of it were completed. The agreement should be honored.
The meeting was adjourned.

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