Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Proffer bribes on Vinegar Hill to fund urban renewal

“One evil to pay for another evil” – Jane Foy on WINA referring to the controversial abusive driver fees.

click for larger image
Mooney Oldsmobile left (still standing) and Vinegar Hill 1960

Charlottesville, Va. – City Council will hear from the public Sep. 4 on how much a developer must to pay Council to exempt the plan from zoning laws regarding heights and densities in the West Main Corridor.

The notice in the Aug. 21 Daily Progress gives 301 and 315 West Main Street as the address of the 1.09-acre lot with 228 feet of frontage along West Main at the corner of McIntire. The city’s online real estate webpage returns “No records found for your selection criteria.” But the page is working for other streets.

Proffers include streetscape improvements, “providing funds to the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) for redevelopment of CRHA owned property(s),” and a study of pedestrian access to the Downtown Mall, according to Missy Creasy, planning manager for the city.

CRHA was established 1954. On March 11, 1960, the city council received an application by the CRHA under amendment 14A: Title 36 VA Code 1950.1. Thus began the city’s first of many urban renewal projects. There are 13 public housing complexes scattered around the city. That’s 13 urban renewal projects. That number doesn’t include other redevelopments such as Vinegar Hill itself.

The location of the latest redevelopment is further identified on City Real Property Tax Map #32 as parcels 197, 198, and 199. The notice doesn't specify CRHA properties to be redeveloped.

The site is across the street from the Trailways/Greyhound bus station. At the southeast corner of this intersection was Midway School, the city's high school 1893-1940, torn down in the '70s and the original site of City Market. The Lewis and Clark statue and condo tower are also at this intersection along with the Omni Hotel.

The public hearing will be Tuesday Septemer 4, 2007, at 7:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers.


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