Real Estate Weekly | 7.3.24

Page 1

Annie Gould Gallery

Zoning in Density opponents argue in court that city didn’t follow state rules

Will opponents of Charlottesville’s new zoning code get a court trial to argue against recent rules?

That answer will not be known for at least several months following a 90-minute hearing last week on a motion from the city for Circuit Court Judge Worrell to dismiss the case.

Charlottesville City Council adopted a Development Code last December that allows more homes to be built on all properties within city limits. At the lowest level, parcels that used to be restricted to one unit can now have at least three.

On January 16, a group of residents filed a suit arguing their property values would be harmed by the additional density and alleging that the city did not perform a rigorous study of its effects on transportation infrastructure as required by Virginia law.

“The city failed to do what the General Assembly told them to do,” said Michael Derdeyn, a Flora Pettit attorney hired by the group, at the hearing. “The process was flawed.”

Derdeyn says a court trial would allow evidence to be submitted to prove the city did not send enough information to the Virginia Department of Transportation on the impacts that additional density might have.

The city responded that the opponents sought to use the courts to achieve what they could not do through the legislative process.

“The new zoning ordinance (NZO) identified a significant problem, which was a lack of affordable housing,” said Greg Haley of the law firm representing the city, Gentry Locke.

Haley said the new zoning was adopted as part of the Cville Plans Together process, which includes Council’s adoption of an affordable housing plan in March 2021 as well as a new Comprehensive Plan in November

2021. He said the zoning puts into practice values the council sought to adopt.

“It allows multifamily units in all zoning districts,” Haley said.

A major priority for Council was to distribute housing production across the city, but the study showed that the actual process would be “inherently incremental” and not rapid, Haley said. An inclusionary zoning analysis in the summer of 2023 estimated that 1,300 new units could be built over three years.

“You have conclusions from staff that the infrastructure is sufficient,” Haley said. A trial would not be warranted because the legislative body offered multiple forums for disagreements to be aired.

Derdeyn said the city’s rate of change analysis only looked at residential neighborhoods and did not study the potential impact on existing mixed-use corridors, where residential density is now unlimited with no maximum cap.

“They didn’t analyze the other parcels,” Derdeyn said. “They looked at part of the puzzle. They didn’t even look at the whole city.”

This is the second time Worrell has presided over a hearing involving these same issues. In August 2022, he dismissed three of four counts in a previous suit to overturn the Comprehensive Plan. At the time, he ruled the plaintiffs could not bring the case forward because they could not demonstrate any harm had been done to them through adoption of the plan.

Derdeyn said that harm is now demonstrated and the case should go to trial.

“Your honor said we had to wait until the zoning,” Derdeyn said. “The ordinance passed and now we are here.”

After a 90-minute hearing, Worrell made no decision and invited both attorneys to submit closing arguments. He plans to follow up with a written opinion.

“Suffice it to say, it’s an interesting

ment,” Judge Worrell said.

The zoning map adopted by Council in December 2023 sets up a future with more housing, but the plaintiffs in the case (three of whom are on Rugby Road or Rugby Avenue) argue the city should have done more study on the impacts of the additional density.


Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 15 miles south of Charlottesville, is this rare 572-acre historic estate whose design is reputed to be the only remaining private residence attributed to Thomas Jefferson. $15,000,000 Court Nexsen, 646.660.0700


27 acre estate, mountaintop retreat with 11,400 sf., 8-BR, 6.5-BA residence with many outside terraces, decks and unsurpassed panoramic mountain views! 10 miles to famed Omni Homestead Resort, 2 miles to the airport. Jim Faulconer, 434.981.0076 or Will Faulconer, 434.987.9455


In Ivy! Architect designed, light filled Contemporary with 1st floor master suite, chef’s kitchen, FR, 3 additional BR, study, LR, DR, terrace level guest quarters, 2-car garage, pool and multiple terraces. Western school district. MLS#653127 $1,595,000 Tim Michel, 434.960.1124 or Will Faulconer, 434.987.9455


42 acre tract on Wesley Chapel Road with the right to be divided into two 21 acre parcels. Big views with clearing towards the Blue Ridge. Stream frontage on Burruss Branch. Old logging road recently cleared for easy access. MLS#647055

$799,000 Tim Michel, 434.960.1124


Exquisite brick home on 88 acres less than 5 miles from city limits. Residence is in excellent condition, 7-BR and 11,000+ sf. The property is a mix of pastures & woods with long frontage on the Rivanna River, & miles of trails. MLS#652353 $5,200,00 Jim Faulconer, 434.981.0076 or Will Faulconer, 434.987.9455


436+ acres in Southern Albemarle! 4 division rights; complete privacy; lush, gently rolling terrain; long road frontage; stream; 3-acre lake; 125-135 acres of open land; mature hardwood forests. Under conservation easement. MLS#651411 $2,985,000 Charlotte Dammann, 433.981.1250


Meticulously renovated National Historic Register home, blending modern amenities with remarkable charm. Five-bedroom with tall ceilings, hardwood floors, stained glass windows, and trim. Quartz kitchen, magnificent primary suite, terrace apartment. MLS#653080 $1,295,000 Court Nexsen, 646.660.0700


Discover Keswick Estate, a gated community near Keswick Hall, offering a 2.10± acre building site harmonizing country life and resort living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Create your dream home close to golf, dining, tennis, and more. MLS#650785 $515,000 Court Nexsen, 646.660.0700


A country French estate on 24 acres 6 miles from the University of Virginia. Timeless charm and modern luxury with soaring ceilings, spacious primary suite, home office, wine cellar, guest quarters, and private pond. MLS#652608

$3,995,000 Court Nexsen, 646.660.0700


Recently renovated contemporary home in soughtafter Bellair neighborhood! With 4-BR, 3.5-BA, and a vaulted great room, this residence offers superb construction. Enjoy stunning views from the screened porch. MLS#652438 $2,875,000 Jim Faulconer, 434.981.0076 or Will Faulconer, 434.987.9455


Nestled amidst the rolling hills of western Albemarle, this 76 acre parcel offers compelling views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, diverse terrain, and multiple estate-caliber building sites. 2 miles from Batesville Market, 15 miles from Charlottesville. Not under conservation easement. MLS#652337 $1,150,000 Court Nexsen, 646.660.0700


1-BR, 1-BA condo located just steps away from the Downtown Mall. Boasting pristine condition this unit features a gourmet eat-in kitchen, private balcony and more! Exceptional Downtown living. MLS#651308 $457,000 Jim Faulconer, 434.981.0076 or Will Faulconer, 434.987.9455

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.