BOS Approves a Costco for Stonefield

The Board of Supervisors has given the Stonefield shopping center permission to add a Costco, Sean Tubbs wrote for Charlottesville Tomorrow on Thursday. Ken Boyd and Petie Craddock were the dissenters in the vote. Permission was required because the developer, South Carolina-based Edens, needed to change the already approved layout of the roads to accommodate the 155,000 square foot building, and because they’d need to relocate a plaza and eliminate a café in favor of an “enhanced pedestrian corridor,” which I assume is a euphemism for a sidewalk. With these two waivers, that’s a total of seventeen waivers that the county has granted Edens for Stonefield.

As Dave McNair writes in The Hook, all of this is precisely the opposite of what Edens promoted Stonefield as. Back when they were calling this “Albemarle Place,” Edens pitched the development as a mixed-use, new urbanist, anti-shopping-center, complete with renderings that showed something like the Downtown Mall, transplanted to 29 North. (They even labelled one road in the development as “New Main Street,” stomach-turningly.) They’re still touting it as “neighborhood style [sic] development” on their website, despite the addition of Costco.

Those puzzled by Ken Boyd’s dissenting vote might look at this bit of McNair’s article:

“There is somewhat of a campaign of misinformation against the Stonefield application for minor plan variations and it appears to me to be being waged by other developers,” claims Rooker, whose district Stonefield occupies.

“In my opinion,” he adds, “this developer is being singled out for much harsher treatment because of a campaign of opposition from other developers and at least one board member who is carrying their water.”

Say what?

Rooker’s is not the only allegation of a board member carrying water for a developer, but none of his fellow supervisors had responded to such claims by press time.

9/16 Update: I originally wrote that Edens is based in North Carolina. They’re actually based in South Carolina.

19 Responses to “BOS Approves a Costco for Stonefield”


  • Why do shallow, self-absorbed whiners think they deserve a voice in what government does, or what developers are willing to risk huge investments in? Not just here; McNair as well. Peanut gallery yappers give the general public a bad name.

  • Well, look at how much time and money they forced the city to piss away on the Belmont Bridge. How many years later…studies later….time wasted for the external peeps to note that the at grade will never happen, the tunnel would cost 27Million of City money and the bridge as proposed would cost VDOT 18 million.

    Belmont wants a big wonderful artisan bridge, start handing out the collection basket at MAS.

  • Why do shallow, self-absorbed whiners think they deserve a voice in what government does

    Why do citizens in a democracy believe that they should have a say in what their government does? You’re not seriously asking that question, are you?

  • Well, I will. I’m a ‘stake-holder’. In more things than I care to count. The problem is that I appear to be the same size ‘stake-holder’ whether my stakes are large or small.

    It’s like the damn news: show the extreme right, show the extreme left, and call it balanced.

    IT ISN’T!!! Sometimes, believe it or not, the moderate right actually takes the field with, you know, reason. And sometimes the extreme left takes the filed with, you know, reason.

    But too many news organizations are done after extremes from both sides, as being ‘balanced’, and then segue to a segment on, now usually, the reality-show-du-jour on one of their affiliates — of which there are far too many.

    All voices don’t have equal weight because all voices don’t have equal reason behind them.

    Yes. We have to ask that question.

  • There say is their vote, and statement at a public meeting. The issue remains that everyone who pipes up, no matter how ill advised, feels that what they say is the solution and the world need grind to a halt…

    How much time and effort have we spent on this Belmont bridge issue, only to come back to the basic starting point.

    Some guy with no idea what he is doing gets a “solution” for a tunnel… without actually drawing a road path that is actually realistic or workable.

    This wishful, egocentric thinking that is Cville…who thinks the railroad will approve an at grade crossing at a 15K traffic spot. Get a grip.

    How much later and how much money has been spent to figure out that MMM and the City had it right at the start?

    The self absorbed whiners think they deserve more than their vote. You dont like what your government is doing, vote them out. Simple.

  • Little votes and meetings? The article is about one big developer annoying the local big developers and interests. Whether they didn’t grease the right wheels, actually acted badly, tried to rip-off Pepsi & the landowners there & city, or vice versa, I just wonder why two supes would vote no and make a public stand about it. Yes let’s all vote and be polite.

    The annual payment from the county to the city, wonder if it amounts to more than the net tax/services the county gets from that corner. Imagine not only a Chicago-style second city over the tracks downtown, but the city annexing the Stonefield corner in trade for ending the payment the county dislikes. The city can direct a new urbanist style. Or keep it Costco, which must have the big empty landownders hopping mad. End of thought experiment.

    My guess is the same people who sued over the storm water, the city and the big empty Giant shopping center, think the Costco should go there, at Giant next to the new road. That would give the city the sales tax. Or the developers with available real estate further north are mad.

    And I doubt Edens money made its way to the “no” supes.

  • *South*-Carolina-based Edens

  • Eh, Costco is alright, and treats their employees well. Besides, its not like the intersection of 29 and Hydraulic can get any uglier. Anybody that thought anything built on that strip of 29 would be “quaint and neighborhood-y” is seriously deluded. If you want to see an actual quaint little neighborhood get the prison shower treatment, check out the development they are calling the “Belmont Steps” (belmontsteps.com) and the raft of PR bull that goes along with. And don’t even get me started on the raging architectural cyst that is “City Walk”.

    Politicians and developers obfuscating and misrepresenting? Fetch my fainting couch.

    So it goes.

  • “All voices don’t have equal weight because all voices don’t have equal reason behind them.

    Yes. We have to ask that question.”

    Could it be….. that’s how or what is….. suppose to be….. our federal government….. was founded….. and constitutionally….. more toward:…..the expectation of….. our right to free access….. rather than ….. unequivocal assurances….. for every and any….. conceivable equity?

    Tell me Barbara, you’re not suggesting we also proceed by disposing with the word of all law either, huh?
    Yes Waldo, we have to ask the question and beat the preponderance beyond a reasonably deceased Mister Ed.

    “How much later and how much money has been spent to figure out that MMM and the City had it right at the start?”

    Oooo, b—- slap to the ever slightest (city, mind danpri’s plaudit) big spenders fumbling to try trust but verify. The Belmont Bridge shall ipso facto haunt the city’s bent new urbanists ad infinitum. However, that’s quite a yarn suggesting the city might have been BOTH RIGHT AND AT THE START.

    Albemarle and Stonefield (to dogpile my own reserved opinion upon the heap of self-absorbed whiners) still looks comparatively thrifty, contrast to how the city attends in dealing with some of its own matters. As for the anti-Costco petition, that is as much a piece of work as the anti-sprawlists attempting to get such their way.

    Dissimilar to the county danpri, the city’s self-absorbed (for some stretch) have persistently been voting, where their vote is getting the whiners what they (not think deserve but) deem entitled to deserve. Technically, yes this vote is predictable and invariably compounded by the “at-large” played city’s election process. Thank you (facetiously implied) Charlottesville: for diminishing the one-shot vote strategy, obsessed inefficient comprehensive planning, and scamming the principle of “one person – one vote” into just another unrecognizable aspect of mere social engineering and endless community organized categorizing.

    “The city can direct a new urbanist style.”

    Where’s the idea they haven’t up until now? Really colfer, more of what we keep imposing and ought to do less without. Urbanism directed from city hall on the inside – looking out, trying to truncate flight from Charlomarle and instead aggravating the direct opposite? Rabbit season, duck season, duck season and shoot now!

  • F.S: Just saying it would be interesting if the city was in charge of Stonefield instead of the county. The other three corners at that intersection are city.

    The city bought a new urbanist plan from the Philly-based planners back in the day… for Emmet Street. Streetcars down the middle from UVa to Bodos, apartments over stores right on the sidewalk, parking behind the buildings, etc.

    It is all a bit cliche, since now military bases and urban colleges contract with private developers to do the same thing, but it’s heck of a lot better than legacy suburban development. It really has little to do with actual downtown Charlottesville. Just outside downtown though, Preston Ave., East Market, etc., would be likely venues for that kind of rezone.

    I assumed the Belmont Bridge rethink was just a student art project, but I guess the city was actually serious. Those ideas were jokes, it needs to be blocks long and have underground Atlanta under it. Works because Water Street is already the low spot. The Mall is level with Monticello Street, more or less.

  • The English language is really taking a beating in this thread. Is no one able to write coherently anymore? I can’t for the life of me figure out what “Frankly Pseudo” or “Colfer” are even trying to say.

  • The latest from Colfer (which was posted while I was writing) is actually readable. Thanks!

    I agree that both proposals for the Belmont bridge were jokes. It’s kind of embarrassing to live in a town where my elected officials are too stupid to recognize that.

    All that bridge needs is to be repaired. Steel doesn’t just wear out. If it did, then we would have buildings collapsing all around. Countless bridges all over the world are doing just fine despite being hundreds of years older. The main difference is that the fates of those bridges aren’t controlled by fools with hard-ons to blow some Federal money.

  • Boss of me, thank you. I’m reading through the comments, thinking I must be missing some big piece of information, or perhaps part of the article was removed, or maybe someone’s comment was deleted. Then I realize that all of these people just need to take a nap.

    Anyone hoping to read some reasoned commentary on the BOS approval of a COSTCO at Stonefield better look elsewhere.

  • Thank you for that correction about Edens’ location, Bill—I’ve corrected the post.

  • “Anyone hoping to read some reasoned commentary on the BOS approval of a COSTCO at Stonefield better look elsewhere.

    Well Just, there won’t be The Hook for it for too much longer”

  • Doesn’t anyone have more specific speculations about what Mr. Rooker is insinuating?? Please point out the obvious to me!!

  • I believe that Dennis Rooker has carried more water for Edens then I have seen him do for any other development in decades of Albemarle politics. He has bent over backward to accommodate this development in every way. One usually finds Rooker railing against every other development. It’s actually kind of shocking to watch.

    His current accusation is as craven as anything I have seen him do since the bypass discussion. The bypass I understood, given that his house was directly in the roads path but this Edens infatuation makes no sense from his history or any metric of his previous actions.

    If was allowed to ask him one question it would be this “once you are no longer on the BOS will you have any direct or indirect dealings with Edens as their legal or any other type of representative for which you will be compensated?” I can’t explain his behavior any other way.

  • perlogik, for you it’s simply impossible to believe that Rooker thinks the Stonefield development, including the Costco, is good for the area and the bypass is bad for the area? You seem to reduce his behavior on both of the issues to “he MUST be driven by a personal stake in the issue.” Do you believe that’s true of every elected leader we have? I mean, if I were on that board, I would vote the way he’s voting on the by-pass, and I *don’t* have property in the path of it–I think it’s a bad design. I would vote for the Stonefield development because I think developing within the already-developed area is better than building in the rural area and mowing down more undeveloped areas. But I’m not personally profiting from a relationship with Edens. How come Dennis Rooker has to be personally profiting from his votes?

  • I have never seen Rooker so totally bought into any development with full blinders on-ever. I don’t believe personal interest drives everyone but considering how insistent Rooker has been in the past on getting proffers and holding developers feet to the fire it is certainly a possibility at Stonefield. I certainly have no idea other than how Rooker can profit after he is out of office (which would not be illegal if Edens employs Rooker in 2014 after he is out of office)

    You miss the point on the bypass vs. Stonefield- everyone can understand why Rooker fought it for decades with his brusk and sometimes abusive behavior to others about it. If I played you the audio of the Costco hearing and I asked you who the hard core dems were and who were the pro business republicans and you had no knowledge of who was who before everyone would think that Rooker was in the tank for Edens and a hard core republican. Until you have listened to this it may be hard to understand what I’m talking about.

    http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/Forms_Center/Departments/Board_of_Supervisors/Forms/Podcast/2013_Podcasts/2013-09-11_Stonefield_Special_Exception_Variations.mp3

    Claire there may be another explanation for Rooker’s political death bed conversion to fully embrace Albemarle County’s largest retail building ever next to Albemarle busiest interception but I don’t know it or claim that my guess is the only or best explanation. It’s just the best one I could come up with.

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