Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Va Climatologist Michaels resigns year after ouster attempt

Charlottesville, Va.— What a difference a year makes.

Last August local blogger Waldo Jaquith and outgoing city councilor Kevin Lynch led a McCarthy-style campaign to have Patrick Michaels fired because Michaels' expert opinion on global warming differed from theirs. But they couldn't say that. So their grounds to have him removed was appearance of a conflict of interest. Michaels' position cannot be refuted. Hence the smear tactics and emotional reasoning.

That was not a proud chapter in Charlottesville’s history. So you’ll rarely see mention of this story, except by those few who stood up for intellectual freedom and prevailed.

Below are excerpts from a year ago.

UVa climatologist sparks controversy”, By Carlos Santos, Media General News Service, The Daily Progress, August 2, 2006

The state climatologist's office was run by the federal government in Blacksburg until it was discontinued in 1973. UVa revived the office in 1977, when [Bruce P.] Hayden was appointed by Gov. John Dalton to be the acting state climatologist until Michaels was recruited for the job.

Global Warming Rhetoric Heats up in Charlottesville August 2, 2006

Jaquith's response:

Jack, the person who posted that is Blair. He’s the sketchy, unshaven, wild-eyed guy who used to stand outside of Council chambers after meetings and push copies of his mimeographed conspiracy theory sheet, “The Witness Report,” accusing Councilors of working with the Illuminati to take away private property rights to give them to the space aliens.

He’s also the guy who tried to get the Republican nomination for the House of Delegates a few years ago, to the shame and horror of local Republicans. It turned out he was too incompetent to even file the paperwork, though that didn’t keep him from, bizarrely, trying to get the nomination anyhow.

I imagine he’s upset that he didn’t spot this particular conspiracy theory first such that he could include Masons and Mitch Van Yahres into an otherwise-reasonable accusation. It’s tough being crazy, I guess.

Hawkins' response:

Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t see anywhere a mention of global warming or anything weather related or scientific. Oh, did you mention, I also kill puppies and eat babies while I’m not playing devil’s advocate. I’ve never called Mitch a bad name. I simply pointed out his record (the only bad thing I could find) and acknowledged that he believed in his heart what he was doing was and is the right thing to do, results be damned. I realize many people prefer candidates to be unopposed when they run for elected office. What we have here is a clash of cultures, and hatred of one toward the other. Guess which one.

McCarthy crusade to purge diverse views on global warming at UVa August 11, 2006

The effort to rid the academic community of differing conclusions on global warming have this summer been spearheaded by Charlottesville City Councilor Kevin Lynch and blogger Waldo Jaquith. Here's their argument.

The state climatologist has no credibility because he solicits and receives private funding from electric companies for some of his research. Under this rule, all scientists who are paid to do scientific work lack credibility.

Letter to governor to keep Michaels as state climatologist
August 12, 2006

Dear Governor,

I ask that you keep Patrick Michaels as the state climatologist. Michaels was appointed by Governor John Dalton in 1980. Michaels has much experience and institutional memory. He has observed Virginia's climate with his own eyes for decades.

Michaels is an independent thinker and has the integrity and character to stand by his conclusions. I hope you will see through the arguments for his dismissal.

Va Education Secretary: UVa has oversight of state climatologist
August 17, 2006

Dear Mr. Hawkins:

Governor Timothy M. Kaine has asked me to thank you for and respond to your electronic mail message regarding your concern of Virginia’s climatologist.

Please be advised that the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Secretary of Education have no authority or jurisdiction over the issue discussed within your correspondence.

Blair Hawkins endorses George Allen October 8, 2006

Dear George Loper,

It seems to be the year of smear. First, blogger Waldo Jaquith and Charlottesville Councilor Kevin Lynch smeared UVa state climatologist Patrick Michaels by suggesting Michaels' research on global warming is dishonest (biased) because Michaels is funded in small part by a Colorado electric company. In so doing, Jaquith and Lynch smeared all researchers who accept funds for research.

And now, UVa political professor Larry Sabato has spread rumors on national television (Sep. 24, MSNBC with Chris Matthews) that Senator George Allen has been heard to say the N-word in past years. I heard the replay on WINA's "Charlottesville Right Now" with Coy Barefoot last week. Two listeners called in to the show and condemned Sabato for his slander.

You know you're living in an Orwellian universe when the controversy involves a word protected by the First Amendment and also forbidden from utterance.

Former climatologist will pursue research work: Climatologist out after 28 years
By Bob Gibson, September 26, 2007, The Daily Progress

Patrick J. Michaels' role as state climatologist at the University of Virginia came to a quiet end this summer, UVa officials and Michaels acknowledged Tuesday.

"He has officially resigned as state climatologist," said Joseph C. Zieman, chairman of UVa's Department of Environmental Sciences, where Michaels has worked since 1979.

Michaels, 57, negotiated a retirement package with UVa officials and will remain as a part-time research professor on leave, Zieman said.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

50-year Water Plan for 76% more population: Ragged at same phase as Buck Mountain

Charlottesville, Va. – Since the drought of 2002, the community has chosen to build a third dam at Ragged Mountain, at the end of Fontaine Avenue on the southwest side of town, near US29 and Interstate 64.

In the beginning, there were 32 proposals, narrowed down to 4 options. Raising the South Rivanna dam 4 feet, piping water from the James River directly to your faucet, and dredging the reservoirs were possibilities. But the new dam at Ragged Mountain would raise the pool elevation 45 feet and quadruple the capacity of this dam. The older dams, 1885 and 1908, would be breached and submerged.

But the drainage basin is not big enough to fill this new reservoir. So water would be piped into it. The option of using water from the James was considered and rejected in favor of a pipeline to the South Rivanna. Buck Mountain Creek flows into the South Rivanna river and into the reservoir.

Although Buck Mountain reservoir near Free Union was never built, its waters will fill the expanded Ragged Mountain. Buck Mountain and its feeder streams will also be conserved as part of the mitigation plan on land seized 1983 by RWSA.

Is it possible the new Ragged Mountain dam will not be approved by regulators? That historical drama played out Thursday Sep. 13 at old Lane High School auditorium with about 50 people in attendance.

Executive director Tom Frederick started his presentation by saying he wants to focus on the future.

During the public comment, one speaker asked why the agency’s website had no historical information, not even things that were posted only a year ago. Does the agency need more web storage space? Or is this information routinely taken down to keep the public uninformed?

Sure enough, The 13-page contract for Rivanna to acquire 15 acres on Franklin Street at Moore's Creek for wetland mitigation, which I linked to Nov. 2, 2006, returns “file not found.”

Another person wanted to know why the website doesn’t have basic statistics available such as, how much water capacity we have. After some wrangling, that information was given.

460 -- Ragged Mountain, (MG = million gallons)
360 -- Sugar Hollow
750 – South Fork Rivanna

Total capacity = 1,570 MG or 1.57 Billion

The daily demand averaged over one year is 10.6 MGD (million gallons per day). Divide the capacity by the daily rate to find days of supply when reservoir is full. The actual supply is greater because streams flow into the reservoir.

Ragged Mountain – 43 days
Sugar Hollow – 33 days
South Rivanna – 70 days

146 days or 20 weeks of water at average demand.

Multiply this number by percent of capacity to estimate days of supply. For example, when RWSA declared a Drought Watch in July, they said reserves were 93%. (0.93)(146 days) = 135 days if no rain falls and daily demand remains the yearly average. We’re now in the mildest drought ever to trigger water restrictions.

In 2055 there will be 2,700 MG and projected 18.7 MGD of demand. 2,700/18.7=144 days of supply. If we build the new dam now and demand remains unchanged, days of supply would be closer to 254 days or 36 weeks. As demand grows, the ability to weather a severe drought decreases.

Another question raised: what future population does the plan take as an assumption? 18.7/10.6=176%, or 76% more demand. Jennifer Whitaker of RWSA staff explained there are four different methods to project population. They each have different parameters such as conservation, commercial, industrial use, water saving infrastructure, in-stream flow, sedimentation, etc. So there’s no simple answer to a simple question.

The 50-year water plan assumes 76% increase in demand, or roughly 3 more people for every 4 who live here now, other things being equal.

Others asked why there has been no dredging over the life of the Rivanna agency. One person said he reported to the authority 10 years ago that there were large tree stumps in the upstream shallow part of South Rivanna reservoir. Today that is now an island due to siltation.

Another asked why the Sugar Hollow was not cleaned out in 2002. That would have been a perfect time to dredge with bulldozers the debris Hurricane Fran washed into the reservoir Sep. 1996.

One person brought up the parkland issue, flooding the trails surrounding the present Ragged reservoir. The director has said the parkland is reservoir land and the trails will be expanded at higher elevation. This is a case where gaining parkland is represented as losing parkland to expand public land and increase tax burden on remaining landowners.

At first it seemed like the consensus was to build the complete dam and pipeline now, which would bring the greatest drought protection. But as more people spoke, it seemed cost was a greater concern. By phasing the project, future growth would pay for the infrastructure. And city residents wanted the county to pay more since most of the growth is in the county.

Don Wagner of the Albemarle County Service Authority since 1984 spoke at the end of public comment and cleared up some misconceptions. RWSA is funded by rate payers, water customers, not by taxes. Any bond to pay for the dam would be paid by water customers, including future customers. The county already pays a higher rate than the city and may pay an even higher proportion in future agreements. UVA buys water from the city, but their rates are fixed in a long-term contract.

1744 Albemarle County, county seat Scottsville
1762 Town of Charlottesville, new county seat
1865 Jefferson School
1885 First Ragged Mountain dam, real estate tax goes from 60 to 90 cents
1888 Charlottesville becomes city
1908 Second Ragged Mountain dam
1924 Sugar Hollow dam
1966 South Rivanna dam
1972 Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority created
1977 First mandatory water restrictions
1983 Buck Mountain Reservoir never built
2001 Threat of restrictions Nov. but reservoir fills without rain
2002 Second mandatory water conservation
2006 Drought Watch declared, canceled after June heavy rains
2007 Third mandatory water conservation. Third Ragged Mountain dam and mitigation plan await approval
2011 New dam safety rules
2055 Time for another dam

"Council approves Ragged Mountain option: Water for another 50 years", June 6, 2006. Includes RWSA report to Council on Feb 9, 2005. Timeline of South Rivanna reservoir.

Drought Watch: Lawn watering only at night, reservoirs full, half normal rainfall, June 19, 2006

"Drought Watch: here we go again", June 22, 2006

"Rivanna uncomfortable using Buck Mountain land for Ragged Mountain plan", November 2, 2006. The agency's signature eminent domain scandal.

Ragged Mountain southwest, Rivanna northeast
Blue= I-64, yellow= 250 bypass, green= 29North
Red= western bypass VDOT right-of-way
B= Birdwood, W= Walmart, U= University Hall
2 possible routes for pipeline shown

Proposed Buck Mountain Reservoir, outline of RWSA-owned land, and Ragged Mountain wetland mitigation

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Land for Vinegar Hill condo tower once owned by John West and Madam Marguiretta

1960 Vinegar Hill, Mooney Oldsmobile(A)

Charlottesville, Va.—On Sep. 4 City Council indicated they will approve at their Sep. 17 meeting a rezoning of Mooney Oldsmobile / RSC construction rental for a second condo tower on top of Vinegar Hill. The property is at the intersection of four zones. The rezoning will extend the Downtown corridor and replace the north West Main corridor zoning. The Mooney dealership was built 1957 and converted to offices 1963.

The developer agreed to donate $300,000 for redevelopment of properties owned by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Rumors are that it’s for redevelopment of Westhaven public housing built 1964 in conjunction with Vinegar Hill clearance. But the funds could go to build on consolidated parcels vacant since they were seized decades ago, such as the Levy Avenue city employee parking lot the authority rents to the city for $1 a year.

The property at 301 West Main has been in the Mooney family since 1951, only three months after the death of Marguiretta de Crescioli, the most infamous businesswoman in local history. Deeds from 1951 and earlier refer to this site as 307 West Main, and also known as 313-317 West Main.

The madam’s sole heir Clarence William Andrew sold it for $15,500 to Frank L. Herndon on Apr. 2, 1951 (Deed Book 156 Page 470). This deed declares John West as a previous owner of the lot. Andrew must have thought that piece of history was important enough to preserve.

Herndon flipped the property the same day at the same price to "Russell D. Mooney and Marvin S. Mooney, husband and wife" (Deed Book 156 Page 471).

The property was one of the first recorded when the town became an independent city. It was "devised" to Robert Scott Jr. by will dated 31 July 1888, Will Book 1 Page 12.

His widow, Alice, sold the lot "with brick residence thereon" to George R. Ferguson for $6,000 Jul. 21, 1915 (Deed Book 27 Page 382).

Ferguson sold it to Charles E. Coles for $10,500 Jun. 1, 1924 (Deed Book 47 Page 400).

When Coles passed away, the property went to court in an apparent inheritance dispute. Court order dated Jun 3, 1946, "in a certain chancery [equity] cause then pending in said court under the style of Alberta Coles Johnson v. Beulah Coles Hayes et. al." (Deed Book 127 Page 155 Jul 22, 1946). The commissioners appointed by the court to handle the deed were C. Venable Minor and C. Armonde Paxson.

Hayes sold the property to Marguiretta less than a year later for $10,000 (Deed Book 155 Page 233, Feb. 27, 1947). Marguiretta died testate Jan. 7, 1951, her will dated Oct 16, 1946, probated Mar. 1, 1951 and spread in Will Book 6 Page 474.

John West must have owned this property before 1888. Those deeds are recorded in the county’s records. This report traces the deeds at the city’s courthouse.

The city’s first public housing project Westhaven is named after John West, a black real estate speculator/developer who owned much of Vinegar Hill following the Civil War.

Photo taken Aug. 25, 2003. Charlottesville Warehouse Corporation/Norcross spanning the 400 and 500 blocks of South Street East was built in 1924. This view of site of brothel now obscured by condos built 2004 on land seized and non-blighted properties demolished 1972. Virginia’s eminent domain reforms of 2007 seek to prevent similar injustices in the future.

Marguerita Ville

Marguiretta de Crescioli. The Madam of Fifth Street.

"Businesswoman of unprecedented proportions. Operated her illicit but well-respected brothel for nearly 27 years before the raid of 1949 caused her to restrict her transactions.

"’Down across the railroad tracks was Marguiretta’s brothel,’ says Cliva Harris, now in his 70s. As a young man, Harris delivered furniture to Marguiretta for M.C. Thomas, and vividly remembers the opulence of the Fifth Street residence.

"Marguiretta was extremely well schooled. Rich and diverse education: music, languages, etiquette and generosity.

"Most exclusive of clientele: the wealthy, a former state governor, judges and, of course, students. One person says that so many students were known to frequent the place that it became known as ‘University Union.’

"Marguiretta died at the University of Virginia Hospital barely a year after the raid, on January 7, 1951. She left her estate—estimated value $200,000—to Clarence Andrews. He put the house (8-room with porches and balcony) on the market for $40,000 and eventually sold it for $11,000.

"Marguiretta’s exquisite furnishings [fell] to the auctioneer’s gavel, bringing a mere $6,000, a fraction of their appraised value of more than $100,000. And most of these pieces stayed right here in the community, furnishing some of the most elite homes in the area.

"It wasn’t until the wrecker’s ball hit the red-brick Jeffersonian structure in 1972 that Marguiretta’s substantial stash of money was found buried in the walls.
"Harris and his wife carted away 1,900 bricks and built a fireplace in their Rio Road home, capturing a small part of history."

—Excerpts from "Marguiretta’s: Charlottesville’s Legendary House of Ill Repute." Kathleen Phalen. Albemarle Archives: Famous, Infamous and Unforgettable People and Events that Shaped Central Virginia. Carden Jennings Publishing, 1997.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Proffer on Vinegar Hill to fund redevelopment of seized properties

301 West Main, built 1957 as Mooney Oldsmobile Showroom with service bays in basement level

315 West Main, buit 1936

Lewis and Clark stautue, Midway Manor to right, Lewis and Clark condo tower to left

Greyhound bus station across from RSC, formerly Trailways

Charlottesville, Va.- There will be a public hearing 7 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall Council Chambers regarding the proffers needed to allow a developer to ignore zoning laws in the redevelopment of Mooney Oldsmobile / RSC construction rental into a 9-story mixed used condo complex. This articles follows up on "Proffer bribes on Vinegar Hill to fund urban renewal", Aug. 22.

City Council Agenda for Sep. 4, 2007

Agenda Date: September 4, 2007
Action Required: Approval of a Rezoning Petition (A Public Hearing by City Council)
Presenter: Ebony Walden, Neighborhood Planner
Staff Contacts: Ebony Walden, Neighborhood Planner & Jim Tolbert, NDS Director
Title: Ridge/Main/McIntire Rezoning (301 W Main Street)


The applicant, Bob Englander of the Cathford Group is petitioning on behalf of property owner Mooney West Main Street LLC to rezone 301 & 315 West Main Street and adjacent property located on 4th street from West Main North Corridor to Downtown Corridor. This rezoning would allow for additional height and density of 87 dwelling units per acre and a 101 feet building height on this property. The current zoning allows 4 stories and 21 dwelling units per acre.

The applicant proposes to build a 9 story mixed-use building (3-story façade on Main and McIntire, stepped back to a 6 story residential tower) with approximately 18,000 square feet of retail space and structured parking on the lower level. This development would likely yield 79 condo units, 4 retail establishments and 180+ parking spaces.

The applicant initially submitted preliminary proffers to limit the access points to 4th Street and McIntire Road, provide streetscape improvements adjacent to the ROW, two affordable units and to condition the rezoning on sufficient sewer capacity. Before the August 14th public hearing the petitioner changed the affordable housing proffer to a $200,000 donation to PHA and clarified that they would implement the streetscape improvements in the West Main Streetscape plan adopted in 2004. The access and sewer capacity proffers were rejected by the Planning Commission during the August 14th meeting. This application was recommended for denial by the planning commission on August 14, 2007 (4-2).

The applicant recently submitted revised final proffers dated August 21, 2007 (attached) to provide streetscape improvements outlined in the West Main Streetscape plan, $300,000 to Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority for public housing redevelopment and a traffic study and pedestrian analysis at the Ridge/McIntire intersection to be conducted during the site plan process. These modifications to the applicant’s proffer statement require an additional public hearing by City Council.


The Planning Commission had lengthy discussion regarding this application. The access and sewer capacity proffers did not meet the definition of proffers and were not accepted. The commissioners agreed that a Downtown Corridor zoning designation would best suit this property, this corner needed a signature building and that this was an impressive project that would benefit the city. They wanted clarity on which streetscape improvements would be implemented and how wide sidewalks would be on the north side of Main and who would own them. The applicant clarified that he would install sidewalks well over 12’ on this portion of W Main and streetscapes improvements would include those outlined in the West Main Streetscape plan. The city would own the portion of the sidewalk in the ROW, a portion would be reserved for a public easement and the developers would own the rest.

The other major points of discussion centered on sewer capacity and the affordable housing proffers. Though there are not current problems in this sewer line, the impact of this development on the sewer line was uncertain. The applicant submitted analysis from his engineer to state that there was capacity, but the planning commission wanted more concrete verification. Confirmation on this issue would require a sewer study. The applicant suggested that the sewage flow for this project be split between the 8” line on McIntire and the 10” line on 4th and that would provide more than enough capacity. Therefore, Neighborhood Development Services found that sewer capacity is not an issue in this rezoning application.

Several commissioners thought that 2.5 percent of affordable housing in this project (the equivalent of 2 units) or $200,000 to affordable housing to be donated to PHA (a proffer change submitted at the August 14th pre-meeting) was not acceptable. Commissioners suggested 15% as their affordable housing goal for new projects. The applicant’s final statement proffers $300,000 to be paid to CHRA for the redevelopment of public housing in the City of Charlottesville.

The traffic impact of this development also came up and improvements were discussed. Some commissioners thought a traffic study should be done before the site plan process. The applicants final revised proffer statement dated August 21, 2007 indicates the inclusion of a “traffic study and analysis of the pedestrian needs at the Ridge/McIntire intersection.

Special attention will be paid to pedestrian connection to the Downtown
Mall.” Commissioners also thought LEED certification would be a good addition to the project. The applicant confirmed that this project would have LEED components, but did not offer that as a proffer.

One member of the public representing the West Main Restaurant requested that the Planning Commission recommend approval to City Council.


An applicant can add to, expand, clarify or modify the proffers acted upon by the planning commission prior to the city council meeting at which the application and proffers will be considered. The applicant has modified the proffers acted upon by the planning commission and has submitted the modifications that are outlined in this document (final proffer statement attached). Council shall take one (1) of the following actions:

1) Council may decline to consider the modifications, and may proceed to consider the rezoning application and final proffer statement, as acted upon by the planning commission;

2) Council may continue the application to a subsequent meeting date, in which case council shall conduct an additional public hearing on the application (including the final proffer statement and all proposed modifications thereof), following advertisement and notice as required by law; or

3) Council may refer the modified application to the planning commission for review and recommendation, upon an additional public hearing of the modification (including the final proffer statement and all proposed modifications thereof), following advertisement and notice as required by law. Council shall re-refer the modified application to the planning commission if the proposed modification is to delete any substantive provision from any proffer that was reviewed and acted upon by the commission.

Staff recommends option 2. This application has been advertised (as required by law) for a public hearing at the September 4th, 2007 City Council meeting. Therefore Council can consider this rezoning application including the final proffer statement and all proposed modifications on September 4th. Ordinances require 2 readings by City Council; therefore this application can be approved or denied at the September 17th meeting.

Budgetary Impact

No budgetary impact is associated with approval of this application.

Staff Recommendation

This intersection has conditions that are distinctly different from the rest of the West Main Corridor and should be treated as such. A Downtown zoning district designation would better suit this property and would be in keeping with the mixture of uses and intensity. This is a quality development that will benefit the city in a variety of ways and make this corner a powerful gateway and pedestrian friendly environment. The applicant has sufficiently responded to the concerns of the Commissioners through the amendment of proffers for this project. Any utility upgrades and traffic improvements will be addressed in site plan process. Staff recommends approval of this rezoning application and acceptance of the proffers

-providing streetscape improvements outlined in the West Main Open Space Concept and Streetscape Schematics Plan dated November of 2004,
-the provision of $300,000 to CHRA for public housing redevelopment and
-completing a traffic study and pedestrian needs analysis at the Ridge/McIntire intersection during the site plan process.

Planning Commission Recommendation

The Planning Commission considered this application in a joint public hearing held on August 14, 2007. Their specific action was as follows: “Mr. Farrugio moved to recommend denial of the application to rezone Tax Map 32, parcels 197, 198 and 199 from West Main North Corridor to Downtown Corridor for the following reasons: this application does not serve the interests of the general public welfare and good zoning practice.”

Mr. Mitchell seconded the motion. The Planning Commission recommended (4-2) to City Council to deny this rezoning application.


Staff Report, Supporting Documentation and Final Proffer Statement

More Background

City of Charlottesville, Board of Architectural Review, October 18, 2005, Minutes

Fred Wolf, Vice Chair Joe Atkins, Chair
Wade Tremblay
Preston Coiner
Amy Gardner Also Present:
Lynne Heetderks Mary Joy Scala
Syd Knight
Bill Lucy
Kate Swenson
Mr. Wolf convened the meeting at 5:02 p.m.

D. Certificate of Appropriateness Application

BAR 05-10-05
315 and 313-317 West Main Street
Tax Map 32 Parcel 198 and 197
Demolish two buildings
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Applicant
Mooney West Main Street, LLC, Owner

Ms. Scala gave the staff report. Staff had consulted the criteria in the Standards and Guidelines for Demolitions. Real estate records show the properties having been built in 1936 and 1957. Based on all the criteria and Standards, 315 West Main was altered enough and is not distinguished enough that it could be demolished. She stated 313-317 should not be demolished. Staff recommended 313-317 be incorporated into a redevelopment plan.

Mr. Kurt Cooper with Kimley-Horn stated the owner's grandfather built the building in 1938. He stated they concur that the corner building was built in 1957. Significant remodeling had been done over the years.

Mr. Russell Mooney stated the corner building, which he called the showroom, was built in 1957. Mr. Mooney also stated the buildings were not numbered correctly; 315 West Main Street was the older building. He stated 313-317 was actually considered to be 301 West Main. Mr. Mooney stated the older building was called the shop building. An addition was put on the rear of the shop building in 1947. In 1951, two bays were added to the west as well as a parts room to the rear. The front of the building was changed in 1961. He stated the building was in very bad condition with cracks in the wall from the expansion and contraction of the footings. To build the building back to what it was originally would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr. Wolf called for questions from the public and then the Board.

Mr. Tremblay reiterated for clarification that the building was expanded to the rear and then to the west and that a variety of changes were made to windows and doors during the '50s and '60s. Mr. Mooney concurred.

Mr. Tremblay stated it was a building that had been in transition since its construction.

Mr. Wolf called for comments from the public and then the Board.

Mr. Coiner stated his disappointment that the application did not make arguments for all the points of demolition. Mr. Coiner stated a structural report would help him in making a decision.

Mr. Tremblay stated addressing the various aspects of demolition would have helped.

Mr. Lucy did not believe either building was a contributing structure. Mr. Lucy was unaware the Downtown District boundary went that far and felt it should not. He felt the layout of the building was inappropriate to the way the street should develop. He stated the building did not meet any of the criteria for the way Downtown functions and it was not appropriate.

Ms. Heetderks disagreed with Mr. Lucy. She felt the building was in keeping with West Main. She did want to see a structural report.

Mr. Knight agreed that it did not make sense that this was considered part of the Downtown District. However, the shop building was part of West Main and was in character with the historic automotive 1950s character of that strip. Mr. Knight felt there was an appropriate and possible adaptive reuse of the structure. He also expressed a desire to see a structural report for the shop building.

Mr. Wolf concurred with Mr. Knight. He also wanted to see a structural report.

Mr. Tremblay asked if they could put forth a motion on the showroom and have further discussion on the shop building. Mr. Wolf concurred.

Mr. Tremblay moved that they approve the demolition of the showroom building, known in this application as 315 West Main Street, noting that it is of such recent vintage that it does not meet the criteria of the historic structure and is appropriate for removal. Mr. Knight seconded the motion and asked that they clarify that 315 is the way it is listed in the application and that was the way it was discussed. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Tremblay suggested the applicant withdraw the second part of the application to give them flexibility on timing to choose whatever course of action they choose to pursue whether that be developing the engineering report or considering other options. The applicant requested deferral of the second portion of the application. Ms. Swenson felt more attention to ways to think about the project in the application would be appropriate. She wanted not only something that would speak to the structural analysis but also something that would speak to the other Guidelines for Demolition. Ms. Heetderks and Mr. Coiner concurred with Ms. Swenson that there are many criteria to consider beyond the building being in bad shape.

City of Charlottesville, Board of Architectural Review, November 15, 2005, Minutes

D. Certificate of Appropriateness Application

(Deferred from October 18, 2005)
BAR 05-10-05
315 and 313-317 West Main Street
Tax Map 32 Parcel 198 and 197
Demolish two buildings
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Applicant
Mooney West Main Street, LLC, Owner

Ms. Scala gave the staff report. At the October meeting, the Board voted 8-0 to allow demolition of the corner building and then the applicant requested deferral of the demolition request for the building on the left. Since that meeting, the applicant has submitted a structural report. The building was built in 1938 with additions in 1947 and 1951. The structural report concludes that the building is in poor condition and its findings support the proposed demolition.

Mr. Russell Mooney was present. He stated his representative, Mr. Eddie Bane, was unable to attend; Mr. Bane had prepared the structural report.

Mr. Steve Barber, project engineer, stated many conditions with the potential to be unsafe had been noted. He stated it would cost more to rehabilitate the structure than it would to demolish.

Mr. Atkins called for questions from the public. There were none. Mr. Atkins then called for questions from the Board.

Ms. Heetderks sought clarification that the building had been in the same family since it was built. Mr. Mooney concurred. He explained the corner building had been rented out but the other building had not been rented for the last ten years.

Ms. Swenson wanted to know about the last major repair to the building. Mr. Mooney stated the last repair was in 1963 when it was changed from an automobile showroom to office space.

Ms. Swenson asked if the north addition could be separated from the building. Mr. Barber stated all or any part of the building could be demolished, but the unsafe conditions were throughout the entire building.

Mr. Atkins called for comments from the public and then the Board.

Ms. Heetderks was distressed about what appeared to be demolition by neglect. The property has been owned by the family since it was built and has been ignored in terms of maintenance. She felt this building was an infrequent example due to some of the detailing. She felt it had potential.

Mr. Tremblay stated that, as the building had evolved, its ability to earn or return had diminished or largely evaporated. He stated a lot of the uniqueness had disappeared. He expressed support for demolition.

Mr. Lucy had been surprised to find this was in the Downtown District. He had researched the property and had discovered it was in the district due to its location based on the zoning ordinance and not due to any characteristics of the structure.

Mr. Coiner stated he had been waiting several years for someone to come up with an adaptive reuse of the building. Prior to receiving the structural report, he had been prepared to deny demolition.

Ms. Heetderks stated the structural report was one of 14 criteria to be considered. She stated the report did not seem to say the building was beyond repair; it just said it could cost more to repair than to replace.
Mr. Wolf found the report compelling. He also stated he did not find the characteristics of the building to be particularly special.

Mr. Knight did not find the building to be a good enough of the architectural style.
Ms. Swenson, citing the adaptive reuse of the Belmont building, expressed concern about the proposed demolition.

Mr. Atkins felt the building had many negatives in the criteria for demolition.

Ms. Heetderks, having considered the standards set forth within the City Code including the City Design Guidelines for Demolitions, moved to deny the request for demolition at 313-317 West Main finding it does not satisfy the BAR's criteria -- she noted the demolition of 315 West Main had been approved at the October meeting -- this motion is made considering specifically that the building represents a unique example of the automotive culture of West Main and one of the few areas remaining from the Vinegar Hill Neighborhood. Ms. Swenson seconded the motion. Mr. Atkins called the question. The motion failed.

Mr. Tremblay, having considered the standards set forth within the City Code including the City Design Guidelines for Demolitions about which they had spoken extensively, moved to approve the request for demolition of 315 West Main Street, earlier described as Tax Map 32 Parcel 197, finding that it does satisfy the BAR's criteria to allow demolition. Mr. Wolf seconded the motion. Mr. Atkins called the question. The motion carried, 7-2.

Mr. Lucy left the meeting at 6:15 p.m. to attend the CPC meeting.

City of Charlottesville, Board of Architectural Review, November 28, 2006, Minutes

G. Certificate of Appropriateness Application

BAR 06-04-05
310 West Main Street
Tax Map 32 Parcels 197, 1998, 199
The Rebkee Co., Owner/Carter & Burgess, Applicant
CVS Mixed-Use Project

Ms. Scala gave the staff report. This is the third design for this site. Preliminary discussions were held in April and July. The applicant is requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for a proposed design for a CVS drugstore at the corner of Ridge Street-McIntire Road and West Main Street. The proposed 13,000 square foot building appears two-story, but is a single story drug store with a 1,924 square foot mezzanine proposed. The stepped roof is mainly flat, with two end gable projections and a corner tower. The proposed building materials are mainly brick veneer with fiberglass reinforced polymer pilasters and trim, a cast stone base, asphalt shingled roof, striped fabric awnings, aluminum storefront windows with translucent glass or with solid panels, and decorative metal panels and canopy. A site design concept plan has been submitted. Vehicles access the rear surface parking area and drive-through window from Ridge Street-McIntire Road or Fourth Street entrances, and may exit only via Fourth. Wider brick sidewalks with street trees are proposed along both frontages, leading to a single corner entrance. Along Ridge-McIntire a cast stone retaining wall borders the sidewalk street. This is a very important corner in downtown Charlottesville, and this site deserves a significant building. Building to the property line, massing and height of the entire building are important, as well as how this large building is articulated in a way that reflects the significant architecture in downtown Charlottesville and West Main Street. Traditional Charlottesville materials, such as brick and cast stone, are appropriate in this location. The metal panels and canopy are appropriate. The unpainted fiberglass columns and trim are not appropriate. None of the windows appear to be functional; fake windows are not appropriate, nor is the use of glass that is not clear. The two-story glass panels that cut into the frieze are not appropriate. Blank walls along street frontages are not appropriate. The seventy-foot gap in building to the west of the drugstore is not appropriate. More details are needed for the building elevations, including door and window details. The site plan lacks topography and detail. There are not enough details on the loading/trash area or on the masonry wall along the west property line. Lighting, signage and colors also need discussion. The applicant has made some positive changes, but the submittal still does not respond to major concerns discussed at the last meeting. The applicant does not want to consider this submittal as a preliminary. The BAR may partially approve the concept and massing if the Board determines that it meets the guidelines and is appropriate to the setting. The BAR may wish to offer additional comments or recommendations for future submittals. The BAR could ask for changes and defer for one month, or could deny the application.

Mr. Russell Mooney, a lifelong resident of the area, is the owner of the property. He stated he did not want to use this as a residential property. He also did not want to rent the property to boutiques. He wanted a single tenant. West Main Street needed something that would bring traffic to it.

Mr. Rob Hargett, of The Rebkee Company, stated his company was the statewide developer for CVS. There was no national prototype for CVS. He stated they were making an effort to get this project done in a way that is satisfactory to the Board.

The project architect, who did not identify himself for the record, expressed his belief that this third application meets the submittal requirements in terms of level of detail. This third proposal is a combination of the previous proposals. He stated he did not like the wall and would prefer a curb cut to provide access to the service courtyard. However, City Planners and Zoning Administrators do not want a curb cut at that location.

Mr. Wolf called for questions from the public. There being none, he called for questions from the Board.

Ms. Heetderks asked if the applicants had read the Guidelines regarding materials. The architect replied in the affirmative. She asked if he was aware he was in pretty clear violation of: 3.15, Materials, 1, 5, and 9; 3.11, Windows, 1, 5, and 8; 3.13, Street level design, 1; 3.8, Scale, 1; 2.7, Site, (C)8 and (C)10. She asked if he was aware that he was not close to meeting any of those Guidelines. The applicant reiterated they were aware of the Guidelines. He stated several Commissioners had suggested the Guidelines were just that and were not a requirement.

Ms. Gardner wanted to know if creating a fill that allows the tractor trailers to come in was what necessitated a 12 foot wall. The applicant stated the wall was to screen the activity.

Mr. Wolf called for comments from the public and then the Board.

Ms. Heetderks stated they had spent an immense amount of time on this project and she did not know when they had had an applicant who was less responsive to basic elements in the Guidelines. Ms. Heetderks cited 3.11, Windows, 8: Avoid designing false windows in new construction, as one example of several Guidelines. The Guidelines on Materials make it clear you aren't to use fiberglass, but there was fiberglass all over the place. She did not see any alternative but to move to deny based on the Guidelines she previously mentioned.

Mr. Hogg stated the arrival of these national chain drugstores in historic districts has been a problem for a lot of historic district commissions. A fundamental quality of a retail building in an historic district is display windows, not translucent glass.

Mr. Osteen stated he had no problem with CVS on the site, it just needed more activity on the street. The site is zoned Mixed Use and this proposal is for one use. It is zoned two-stories minimum and this is a one-story building.

Mr. Knight stated this technically meets the City requirement according to the City Attorney. [See also January 16, 2007 minutes for clarification.] However, it still must meet the Guidelines. He stated the applicant was meeting the letter of the law but not the spirit or intent. This design tries to impose itself on the site rather then adapting to the site.

Mr. Wolf felt the project was being designed from the inside out. He stated the Board was charged with promoting what was best and coherent for the street.

Ms. Gardner having considered the standards set forth within the City Code including the City Design Guidelines for New Construction, moved to find that the proposed building and site plan do not satisfy the BAR's criteria and are not compatible with this property and other properties in this district, and that the BAR denies the application based on the Standards and Guidelines that were aired during the discussion, notable, Site Plan, Massing, Scale and Materials. Mr. Knight seconded the motion. Mr. Wolf called vote by affirmation. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Wolf called for a brief recess, whereupon the meeting stood recessed at 8:16 p.m.

Mr. Wolf reconvened the meeting at 8:36 p.m.

“City CVS design shot down: BAR doesn't like big box on West Main corner”, BY WILL GOLDSMITH, Issue #18.49 :: 12/05/2006 - 12/11/2006

“Tower plan could alter downtown”, By Seth Rosen , August 13, 2007, The Daily Progress

"ONARCHITECTURE- Squeeze play: Planners stymie West Main developer", Published August 23, 2007 in issue 0634 of the HooK. By DAVE MCNAIR

"Proffer bribes on Vinegar Hill to fund urban renewal", by Blair Hawkins, Aug. 22, 2007