Claire Ogilvie indicted for attacking Del. Toscano’s wife

Claire Ogilvie, who last February attacked Nancy Tramontin in her home, has been indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of breaking and entering while armed, abduction, and malicious wounding.

Ms. Tramontin and her husband, House Minority Leader David Toscano, befriended the defendant in 2010 when they all participated in the UVA Semester at Sea program and Ms. Ogilvie tutored their son. The friendship continued when Ms. Ogilvie later moved to Charlottesville. But by 2012, according to Ms. Tramontin, Ms. Ogilvie had developed an “unsettling” interest in the family and so they ended their friendship.

In February of 2014, Ms. Ogilvie entered the Toscano home and Ms. Tramontin “was struck by her female assailant in the head several times but never lost consciousness,” according to contemporary reports.

Ms. Ogilvie has remained in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail without bond since her arrest hours after the attack. Her next court date is set for September 17 in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

Planning Commission Votes Against Rezoning Fry’s Spring

By a vote of 3-1 on Tuesday, the Charlottesville Planning Commission recommended not downzoning portions of Fry’s Spring and adjoining neighborhoods from R-2 to R-1, Sean Tubbs reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. A change in zoning would mean that no new duplexes or attached homes could be built in the affected areas.

The Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association brought the request to the Commission and representatives spoke forcefully about not wanting their neighborhood to become high-density, citing comparisons to all the new multi-story housing on JPA. However, opponents appeared to outnumber proponents (full disclosure: I own property in the zone that could still be impacted) and many people spoke of the need to expand affordable housing, or related personal stories of being able to afford their homes only because they also had rental space on the property. As the meeting went on, there were also intimations of racism, gentrification, anti-capitalism, and, being Charlottesville, calls to the spirit of Thomas Jefferson.

Good GoPro alternative, check this camera.

In the end, Commission Chairman Dan Rosensweig said that he could not find justification in the City Comprehensive Plan for this sort of change and a majority recommended to City Council that they not implement the change. City Council is expected to take up the question in September.

Fast-Tracking Development Along 29

The Route 29 Project Delivery Advisory Panel—representing local governments, businesses, land owners and other stakeholders overseeing more than $200M worth of development along route 29 in Albemarle and Charlottesville—is looking at ways to fast-track the “Best Buy ramp” (an additional lane leading from U.S. 29 onto the westbound U.S. 250 bypass) even as members of the panel have complained to Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne that they were not being listened to by the group facilitator.

Wider Sidewalks, More Bike Lanes Proposed for West Main

NBC29 reports on upcoming changes to West Main which would expand sidewalks, eliminate some parking spaces, and leave room for a dedicated bicycle lane. Local merchants, especially restaurants, like the idea of increased pedestrian traffic and being able to seat more customers outside. In typical fashion, the comments section is mainly about what terrible people bicycle riders are.

Ask Not For Whom Rob Bell Tolls

In 2009, Del. Rob Bell introduced legislation to take $3M in school funding from Charlottesville and give it to Albemarle County. This was seen as a safe political move by Bell even as it stirred up residual ill feelings between some in the city and the county over the revenue sharing agreement.

Showing that elections have consequences, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports that the current Albemarle Board of Supervisors will not ask the General Assembly this year to reallocate $3M from the city to the county schools. The budget amendment always failed anyway, so let us hope that we have now seen the end of this feckless gesture.

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This is a community news blog about Charlottesville, VA, started in March 2001. It's run by Waldo Jaquith. It has nothing to do with C-Ville Weekly, the newspaper. Feel free to submit a story.