North Pointe Development Under Study

Yet another major development on 29 North is under consideration, this one named “North Pointe,” located near Forest Lakes. The plans call for 900 apartments, townhouses and homes, plus a shopping center, and a hotel. The Board of Supervisors has sent the proposal to the planning commission for their consideration. WINA has the story. See the recent discussion about Hollymead Town Center to see what ground has been covered in this ongoing discussion. 05/08 Update: David Dadurka has a more extensive story in today’s Progress.

65 thoughts on “North Pointe Development Under Study”

  1. What is with these stupid, stupid, half-literate names that developers come up with? Why would you put an ‘e’ on ‘point?’ Perhaps among this educated community there will arise a vigilante band of rogue English majors with cans of red spray paint.

    As if there weren’t enough other negative elements of the hideous, suburban crap that developers build. Now we have to deal with suburban abuse of the English language. At least it isn’t a self contradicting term, like ‘Cedar Meadows.’ Or ‘Pine Bluffs,’ the like of which is generally named for the distinguishing environmental feature scheduled for a bulldozing.

  2. It’s OK, mine sucked — I couldn’t find any good text to link to it from, so I just picked some arbitrary text. :)

  3. The kind of people who would want to live in the kind of place that this will invariably look like are probably not really Charlottesville types. At best, our community is a handy ‘Thomas Jefferson historical theme park’ for them. I think that they should go ahead and build this development about 150 miles North of here where it belongs. Keep that crap out of Albemarle.

    We are a living community- not a theme park and not a product.

    Out of town developers, be warned. Many of us here are really, really, pissed off at you. You’re trying to take too much, too fast.

    This is a democracy, and we outnumber you. If these elected leaders won’t stop your projects, we’ll elect new ones who will. Keep this up and we will fight every step you take, tooth and nail. Or, you can accept that a community has the right to self-determination and look for creative, friendly kinds of development which you can pursue that will not infuriate us. It’s not too late.

  4. If you really felt that way you’d dynamite your apartment building.

    I don’t see anyone razing our shopping centers and hotels. I instead see them giving them money on a regular basis. If we hate them so much, why do we pay?

    Apartment buildings don’t blow themselves up. Get cracking.

  5. No, you don’t understand. It’s a classical dance community. The central focus of the development is a stage, where people can come together to celebrate by dancing. En pointe? Mais, oui.

  6. "The kind of people who would want to live in the kind of place that this will invariably look like are probably not really Charlottesville types. At best, our community is a handy ‘Thomas Jefferson historical theme park’ for them. I think that they should go ahead and build this development about 150 miles North of here where it belongs. Keep that crap out of Albemarle."

    That statement sounds very elistest *spelling*. Your rational is that anyone who would live there isn’t a ‘real’ Charlottesvilleian.

    "This is a democracy, and we outnumber you. If these elected leaders won’t stop your projects, we’ll elect new ones who will. Keep this up and we will fight every step you take, tooth and nail. Or, you can accept that a community has the right to self-determination and look for creative, friendly kinds of development which you can pursue that will not infuriate us. It’s not too late."

    I agree with you 100% Guest (if that is your real name). However don’t cry over split milk if the people who are PROdevelopment outnumber you in the voting booth.

  7. I think when we can call ourselves Northen VA. Naw seriously, we will never in a million years become that. Unless the US decides to make Charlottesville the nation capital.

    I then wonder where the new white house would be at.

  8. I am just curious where this development is exactly on 29N. How close is it the Hollymead Town Center?

  9. The spelling is only half the problem – Must we now say "pointe" speaking through our nose with a subtle hint of a "w"’ when referring to the new complex.

    "Ye Gods and little fishes" as my mother was fond of saying – what are we coming to?

  10. More people want development than you think. We’ll see in the end.

    Well, yeah, but they don’t live here yet, so they can’t vote on such issues. ;)

  11. For some reason, there is a core group of people in this area that think Albemarle and Charlottesville is just for them. Communities are dynamic, and you don’t have the right to insist that nothing change because it’s currently just how YOU like it.

    I moved here 8 years ago. Is that long enough? When does my opinion count? When it agrees with yours, "Guest"?

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to pave the entire County. But all this whining about "Zero Growth" is crap. Get over yourselves. Growing smartly is better than no growth. My old hometown in Maine had zero growth for years. Then they had "negative growth." Now, unemployment is high, there are no jobs, and everyone is poor. But hey, there are plenty of trees to hug.

    I think that it’s total BS that certain bozos on this board think that people who don’t agree with their vision of zero growth should move. No, why don’t YOU move, punk? This "I have everything I want so no one else gets anything" is childish and simply helps support the growing opinion that this area is populated with a bunch of liberal, holier than thou, snobs who somehow think their UVA degree in underwater basketweaving makes their opinion more worthwhile, and that the rest of us just don’t "get it."

    Well, whatever. I want a damn Target store. Why? because I need to buy things sometimes. Having one piddly-a** Walmart that is packed solid with people all the time, serving 100,000 people in the greater Albemarle area, is ridiculous.

    But, I take great pleasure in the fact that Target, SuperWalMart, Best Buy, etc are indeed coming. Maybe not this year. Perhaps not the next. But nothing you do will stop the forces of progress.

    If I stay here I KNOW I will eventually get my way. If YOU stay you are destined to be disappointed. For whom does is make more sense to move? Do you need help packing?

    Or, you could contribute to the growth process and help the community grow in an intelligent, attractive, and thoughtful manner.

    I know nothing about this particular development, but I am not overly fond of strip malls with dinky little stores that are only open while I am at work from 8-5 each day (imagine that.) Give my my Target and Best Buy and we’ll call it even, and I’ll spend my money locally here rather than Short Pump and Fredericksburg.

    Enough said. I am counting down the days until I can shop at Target and Best Buy. It’s inevitable. And, it’s great to be on the winning team.

  12. Guess again.

    It’s inevitable.

    In the end, the money always wins.

    "Zero Growth" is a selfish, short sighted stance that is doomed to fail miserably if it’s ever a reality.

  13. You must be thinking of some other country. In the United States, people get to make their own decisions about what their communities will be like. You know, democracy and all.

  14. Actually, I’m not sure what you mean by "we" when you talk about outnumbering anybody. Even here on cvillenews.com, in the current (unscientific, of course) poll asking about Albemarle development, almost 70% of respondants think that development should either continue unchallenged, grow cautiously, or grow within limits. By all accounts I’m familiar with (mostly anecdotal, mind you), it would seem that this ratio is fairly consistent with what Albemarle residents are thinking.

    These elected leaders won’t stop the projects because the people who elected them, for the most part, seem to agree with that stance. We want more jobs, and we want increased tax revenues that don’t involve raising our taxes. Yes, there is definitely a quality-of-life tradeoff. Thus far, to the people who elect the county’s leaders, it’s being received as a reasonable trade.

    You don’t agree, and that’s fine, but I’m afraid you just don’t constitute a majority in this case. The community DOES have a right to self-determination, which is being played out by the fact that the elected leaders are doing more or less what the elecorate has asked them to do.

  15. “Zero Growth” is a selfish, short sighted stance that is doomed to fail miserably if it’s ever a reality.

    Say…do you work with the Catholic church? ;)

  16. Who is advocating zero growth? It’s not a black and white set of options.

    We can have high-density, mixed use growth focused around existing urban areas. We can have pleasant, interesting architecture that doesn’t look like every other ugly suburban neighborhood replete with pointless gables and brick fronts. Our mountain views do not have to be filled with beige condos and sprawling parking lots.

    Clearly, people in Charlottesville and Albemarle are having children and those children grow up and need homes of their own. It is possible to grow carefully and deliberately in a way that preserves our area’s unique character without turning it into a ‘theme park’ and without forcing out our less wealthy neighbors.

  17. and the surrounding area. Do you understand what I mean? Some of us really really care about this place and don’t want to see it turn into Fredericksburg. We love the landscapes, and the private businesses, and it doesn’t make us "tree huggers." This place still has some real pastoral beauty (witness the drive into town from Scottsville in the spring, for instance, or the drive out 53 towards Ash Lawn). We worry about 29 North because we know it won’t stop there. Huge communities are being built just south of town on 20, and you’d better believe someone is going to start bitching about having a box store out there because they don’t want to drive that 15 minutes to a shopping center in town. Yet have you ever heard the Scottsville community whine and moan so loud as they do on the other side of town? No. And they only have a piddly IGA and Swissway. Oh yeah, and a Dollar General. They’re remarkably quiet because they understand what semi-rural living is all about. Having a Target within easy driving distance doesn’t compare to having beautiful landscapes to enjoy. *That* is the quality of life that we’re trying to preserve. Targets are a dime a dozen in other areas. Places like this aren’t, and they’re worth preserving. It doesn’t mean no growth. It just means smart growth that involves a hefty measure of urban (note the word) renewal. That’s a growth plan that everyone can live with.

  18. I agree with you except on a couple of points:

    * Scottsville *is* starting to make noise. There’s a bunch of people (what proportion is yet to be determined) that want business over quality-of-life. We shall see how it plays out over the next decade.

    * I would like to see some creative and smart thinking in terms of growth and its ancillary consequences (such as shopping) on the South Side. There’s no reason we couldn’t have our cake and eat it too if only there was some truly free thinking happening. Whenever the standard way of doing things is not the way *you* do things, there’s a golden opportunity laying around waiting to be grabbed. An example: only in the U.S. can a consumer be loaned free money every month for nearly 7 weeks at a time and be paid for it. Has anyone guessed it? Using a Discover credit card (and I have plenty others that yield similar goodies) for every transaction imaginable and paying off the balance every month will net you not only a free loan but also plenty of cash back. One year, I got over $1,000 and I never pay a single cent in interest charges. How is this possible? BECAUSE most people cannot even fathom having a credit card and not using it to buy things now that they’ll earn (they hope) later. So credit card issuers have this loophole to sell but no one uses.

    We have a loophole right here right now in and around Charlottesville. We have plenty of folks who prefer pastoral views over shopping malls. And we have plenty of folks with money and many (unusually for Virginia) democrats that know there’s more to life than kissing the feet of corporate officers. But the opportunity is quickly closing because growth is happening without truly creative thinking. There’s some, but it’s not BOLD enoough. And since globalization is creeping up on us, there are more and more “pro-growth no matter what” people having a say-so. Witness the posters here on cvillenews.com. Soon, it may be too late!

  19. What the city needs to do is start annexing land from Albemarle again so it can reclaim some of those taxes that will inevitably be lost to the exanding suburbs (it is common for growing ‘burbs to suck the life out of inner-city’s and urban cores, leaving a big "donut hole"). Charlottesville should also start annexing because they are more sensibly-minded when it comes to growth, and led by Maurice Cox who knows what he’s talking about as far as smart growth, it would bring smart(er) design to the Rte. 29 area.

  20. Hm, interesting. You say the City is more sensibly-minded when it comes to growth, but how do you know? What potential for growth exists within the City? Do you see the City government annexing Fashion Square, Albemarle Square, and Shopper’s World, then bulldozing them to make way for parkland? If the City annexes anything, it will be to increase the tax base, not kill it.

    Seems to me I recall not long ago the City falling all over itself in hopes of landing one of those big ugly dreaded oh-my-God! big box retailers, Best Buy. If that’s what you mean by Maurice Cox’s smart growth knowledge, then God help us all. If there were a piece of land in the City big enough for Target, the City Council would line up to take turns kissing corporate ass to make that happen.

    Your argument makes no sense. Your premise is that, well, since the County has grown to include all this business, the City should suck it in and then the County can grow outward even further to replace the stolen tax dollars. You imply that if the City were to annex, say, 29 North, that would somehow breathe life into the urban core. That’s nonsense.

    You can be damn sure that Albemarle County will do absolutely everything within its power to prevent any future annexation, and with a strongly Republican legislature it’s not likely any annexation is going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Unless I’m mistaken, the City has been accepting bribes from the county for many years to prevent such a thing, so I don’t think it would be possible at this point anyway. In either case, hopefully, there will soon be a new state law preventing annexation, or at least limiting it.

  21. Hey… I’m just throwing ideas out there….

    (And the potential for growth in the city is skyward, not lateral, ie. taller buildings, less sprawl, something the county should be thinking about).

  22. "But, I take great pleasure in the fact that Target, SuperWalMart, Best Buy, etc are indeed coming. Maybe not this year. Perhaps not the next. But nothing you do will stop the forces of progress"

    Well Ok – Can`t fault your "free country" speech which you probably fought for ?? which I guess includes the right to call someome "punk" if they disagree with you.

    But "progress" … Well I may disagree with that .

  23. Or we could have a 5 story Target, which would be your aesthetic/architectural ideal.

  24. "Clearly, people in Charlottesville and Albemarle are having children……."

    Aha ! You have put your post squarely on the problem. Birth control, and lots of it, is the answer!

  25. Cul-de-sacs (Etymology: French, “bottom of the bag”) have preponderant use with the appearance of residential subdivisions. They allow developers to cram more homes into a smaller space with less infrastructural overhead (water mains, electrical, communications). The problem is that each neighbor has for view other neighbors’ back yards. This was okay when folks cared and cherished a close relationship with neighbors, but with the ‘advent’ of lesser ethical, moral and civility standards, high transient rates, and the superimposition of cheap, high-powered electronics and omni-present motorized yard and leisure equipment, the cul-de-sac model is mal-adapted to the goal of quality of life.

    In plain terms, it is preferable to either build up or build out (possible where acreage is plentiful). Developers don’t like either because costs of opportunity go up; instead, they prefer lower entrance investments. There are solutions to make everyone happy, but these require “thinking out of the box” and out from in the bottom of the bag. Ah ha!

  26. These fat developments are inflicting arteriosclerosis on Route 29. The Bypass will have to be revived and redesigned, starting even further north, ravaging even more rural land. One wonders whether appointing a developer to chair the Rivanna Water and Sewer authority was not a mistake: all the developers now see a window of opportunity in Albemarle.

  27. The developers assert that a community which is not growing is dying. While this may rankle, consider your neighbors: architects, engineers, lawyers, to say nothing of plumbers electricians drywallers etc., who depend on growth for their livelihood. The economy of a place like Albemarle County gets distorted when those who live on their stock portfolios shut off further growth. The rest of us who have to make a living depend on growth in one way or another, directly or indirectly. The best we can do is make it intelligent growth.

    This development is not intelligent. Let’s elect some intelligent officials and have better land management.

  28. So what is the intelligent growth? Closing our eyes and wishing everyone would go away who actuallys proposes growth. You can on forgoting about the people who are not developers who want this growth.

    That oversight from the anti-growth side buffles me.

  29. The Bypass will have to be revived and redesigned, starting even further north, ravaging even more rural land.

    I haven’t seen this adequately discussed, but you’ve identified a real problem. Remember that the 250 Bypass is called a “bypass” because it was originally created to bypass Charlottesville. Now, of course, it’s an intracity corridor, with no value for the purpose of bypassing city traffic. This is because the urban ring has sprawled outward, thanks to unrestricted growth.

    So why is the location of this new bypass any better? Is there any control being put in place to ensure that this really will bypass the city? Without any growth controls, is there any reason to suspect that it won’t sprawl out further in a decade or two, making the bypass an intracity corridor like 250?

  30. I always like hearing the opposition’s view of growth. It seems like they worry that it will never stop until we physical reach Fredicksburg. I wouldn’t be surpise to hear people back in the day complaining about growth getting out of hand when they decided to build beyond Barracks Road.

    It reminds me of the Borg from Star Trek.

  31. "This was okay when folks cared and cherished a close relationship with neighbors, but with the ‘advent’ of lesser ethical, moral and civility standards, high transient rates"

    Really? I thought Clinton fixed all that.

  32. I didn’t realize that Clinton participated on such a personal level with multiple generations of child-rearing. But then, it’s so much easier to blame presidents than parents for failing to teaching children manners, isn’t it?

  33. "It seems like they worry that it will never stop until we physically reach Fredicksburg."

    That is a valid concern (whether you like it or not). We’re only one county away, technically (Orange, Louisa, take your pick). But kudos to you for actually listening. That’s something that a lot of people don’t bother with, and it’s nice to see some pro-growth folks take opposing viewpoints seriously.

  34. I always like hearing the opposition’s view of growth. It seems like they worry that it will never stop until we physical reach Fredicksburg. I wouldn’t be surpise to hear people back in the day complaining about growth getting out of hand when they decided to build beyond Barracks Road.

    I’m sorry, I’m confused. Do you disagree that the bypass would be less useful if we grew a few miles past the point where the bypass went around the city? Or do you not believe that growth (and thus the installation of more stoplights with shorter cycles, etc.) will continue north of Wal-Mart? I don’t understand.

  35. You can on forgoting about the people who are not developers who want this growth. That oversight from the anti-growth side buffles me.

    You have ignored the previous poster’s list of people: “architects, engineers, lawyers, to say nothing of plumbers electricians drywallers etc., who depend on growth for their livelihood” These are not developers.

  36. We probably agree on that issue insofar as lack of parental guidance ( hard to guide when the parents are ignorant of manners, civility , etc.) I dont know when we dropped the ball on that one but it strikes me as the baby boomer generation probably takes the prize but I can`t say that with accuracy.

    I was speaking more to the morality of Clinton who in one fell swoop made oral sexual satisfaction a non-sexual act (at least to our kids)!

  37. I was speaking more to the morality of Clinton who in one fell swoop made oral sexual satisfaction a non-sexual act (at least to our kids)!

    Uh…no. See, the act of having oral sex does not indicate to an entire nation of children that it is acceptable. It is the act of attempting to ensure that the entire country knows that somebody had oral sex in the most public manner possible that indicates to an entire nation of children that it is acceptable. Let’s not confuse the two.

  38. In fact just about all of us depend on growth. Ken Ball has said that his antiques business flourishes because of the McMansions springing up around here. Old money already has old furniture; the money that buys antiques comes from and with, growth. What would happen to Waldo’s business if everybody already had a website? That is in fact the case when no new businesses come to an area.

    If you want to see a genuine no-growth place, take a trip through West Virginia. Abandoned farmhouses rotting by the road because they can’t sell the land at any price. No jobs, no stores, no restaurants, nothing. Empty towns, vacant storefronts.

    In sum: growth has to happen. It can be ungoverned growth like a weed or tended and managed like a flower. But without it, there is only dry and empty nothingness.

  39. So you’re saying ‘resistance is futile’ and we should be assimilated [by the (sub)burg]?

    You wouldn’t happen to be a spearhead for a retail giant, would ya?

  40. With all of the talk about development in the County, is there a rumor out there about City-based Home Depot going in at the corner of Hydraulic Road and 250 Bypass, on or near the Dominion VA Power yard?

  41. LOL,

    No sir, I am just a person living in this area who might *gasp* benefit finically from growth on 29N.

    I think people want businesses to grow inward to Charlottesville. The only problem is that growth is going outward. If you were a smart business man, you would look for places where the rent is cheap and the traffic is high. I am sorry but the Downtown Mall or other places closer isn’t ideal for some people living in this area again *gasp*.

  42. No sir, I am just a person living in this area who might *gasp* benefit finically from growth on 29N.

    I knew it. I could tell from reading you the bottom line is the dollar. I won’t argue that property values often increase when in proximity to shopping and all (not right on it, as those poor folks get devaluated).

    All’s I can say is money is not everything. I know that’s cliché, but it is true. In my book, ‘quality-of-Life’ weighs heavier than convenience and somewhat higher resale values.

    And, of course, there is what I’ve been proposing, where everyone wins. But that won’t happen, I’m sure, since it supposes city and county planners are capable of free-thought.

  43. In sum: growth has to happen. It can be ungoverned growth like a weed or tended and managed like a flower. But without it, there is only dry and empty nothingness.

    What you say is most often true. However, it depends on the primary source of revenue. In WV, their offering just isn’t in keeping with demand. Their’s was not ‘no-growth’, but decline. For instance, if you’re a shoe-repair shop and you’re handling all you can and you charge a profitable amount per workorder, there may be no growth yet there’s sustainability. However, if you’re competing with new Chinese-made shoes that cost less new than your repair-job, you’re likely to go out of business.

    In Charlottesville (and surrounding area), I’d say growth is an OPPORTUNITY at this time. But, just as you’ve said, growth should be orchestrated. A Peony is a beautiful and vigourously growing plant. However, the flower is so top heavy that without a little help from a tutor-stand, it often perishes laying on the ground.

  44. Well, funny thing is that I heard a rumor that Kroger (NOT K*MART!!!!!) was thinking about closing their shop and even moving next to the Omni.

    It would make sense to put a Home Depot there and not a Target.

  45. Well,

    I would agree with you however ‘quality of Life’ doesn’t pay the bills.

    sorry

  46. Yeah, but it keeps you out of "burn-out" and potential psychiatry. Think about it that way: it may keep you healthier and lower your medical bills!!!

  47. I like the idea of a Home Depot going down there for 2 reasons. 1, there are plenty of grocery stores there anyway, and there’s plenty of space down there. 2, it would have to lead to a reworking of the intersection at K-Mart, which could lead to better life in the K-Mart Shopping Center also, which would be really nice (just the place to be re-worked into a Target and a 29 Vinegar Hillish theater, maybe?

  48. Yeah, but Target was just an example. The K-Mart shopping center is the most obvious example of a place that could use some help. It’s parking area is terrible, which is no one’s fault but K-Marts. I’ve supported K-Mart heavily as an alternative to Wal-Mart, but I must say I’m beginning to lose sympathy for them. There are simple and inexpesive ways that they could improve the store, but they just don’t do it. For instance, how hard would it be to repaint the parking spaces into a better layout? They could also change the in and out of their store entrance to actually make sense. The center also suffers from being an unofficial entrance to Seminole Square. If this were acknowledged in the redesign, they could have a better functioning intersection with improved traffic flow. These things are what made the Home Depot suggestion so intriguing, because the area would need to be reworked so that people can comfortable drive out of the Kroger area with large loads.

    Man, K-Mart sucks, just holding everyone back.

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