Foxes Oppose Henhouse Guard

A group of business owners along 29 N. are protesting the still-under-development Places 29 plan, Jeremy Borden wrote in the Daily Progress earlier this week. The purpose of Places 29 is to figure out what the 29 corridor should look like, because the current process will leave us with sprawl clear to Culpeper and bumper-to-bumper traffic before long. The North Charlottesville Business Council has boldly proposed, instead, absolutely nothing.

Rivanna Supervisor Ken Boyd’s district includes a bunch of 29 N., and he makes clear in the article that he’s with the businesses here. That highlights the coming clash, between now and November, between Boyd and planning commission chair Marcia Joseph, the Democratic candidate running against Boyd. Surely Boyd is angling for high-dollar campaign contributions from developers who oppose any sort of restrictions, given that Joseph has made clear through her work on the planning commission that she supports smart growth. Thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow’s collaboration with the Virginia Public Access Project, it’ll be easy for everybody to see where each candidate’s money is coming from, as with all candidates in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

9 Responses to “Foxes Oppose Henhouse Guard”


  • Fascinating. Clearly, if these business owners are this upset, something is wrong. Let me see if I can break down the issues:

    1. There is no clear plan to minimize construction problems for existing business.
    2. Some businesses will need to relocate to accommodate planned roads.
    3. Through traffic is prioritized over local traffic.

    Lee Catlin’s comments suggest that these issues have not been addressed because the text of the plan is not released. So I suppose it is difficult to know whether these issues are addressed at all or adequately.

    Personally, I think these are reasonable concerns and would like to see them addressed. It may be premature to claim the entire process is broken, however.

    Is the original letter available?

  • the question I have is, did the business community have adequate input into the Master Planning process? If so, was it the consensus of those who participated in the Master Planning process to take the plan in its current direction and now, since they couldn’t change the plan from within the process, the business community is complaining. From what I heard at the board meeting, the consultant for the plan stated he had tried on multiple occasions to meet with the business community to explain the plan without success. It would seem the problem with the plan is the transportation part of it is predicated on grade separated interchanges. I believe once this was decided the plan, at least from the business community was DOA. The discussion of the board on this subject was very interesting, with Sally Thomas seeming to accuse Mr. Boyd of using this issue to try and keep the Western Bypass alive. If Brian Wheeler puts the discussion on the CvilleTomorrow web site, it’s worth a listen.

    What we did with the Crozet Master Plan was to have both a steering committee as well as a separate business committee. We felt this was important so it was the community driving the plan and not the planners. This worked well until the plan got to the board and we found out the planning staff had changed the plan without telling us and the things went down hill from there. I thought it was interesting that at the board meeting Mr. Boyd pointed to the petition from Forest Lakes residents regarding connectivity as an indicator the Master Plan was a failure. In Crozet we presented a petition with well over 1,000 signatures complaining about our Master Plan and Mr. Boyd was deaf as a stone.

  • I still don’t understand the business opposition to grade separated interchanges. My research suggests it’s the only design improvement that would offer a temporary improvement to congestion on 29 (other than light timing, which we already have). Congestion pricing would be the only improvement offering a permanent benefit to congestion through market rationing. Is it a concern about visibility for businesses? If so, I imagine some creative signage could correct that.

  • The discussion of the board on this subject was very interesting, with Sally Thomas seeming to accuse Mr. Boyd of using this issue to try and keep the Western Bypass alive. If Brian Wheeler puts the discussion on the CvilleTomorrow web site, it’s worth a listen.

    Brian has posted that discussion.

    Hey, Lyle: you’re really putting that schoolin’ you’re getting in urban planning to work here. :) It’s good!

  • Heh, this is me procrastinating. At least it’s pseudo-productive.

  • Hasn’t cville been through this before? Isn’t this why there are 6-10 lanes on Rt. 29, instead of a bypass? (Didn’t there used to be 2 lanes on 29?) Visibility, accessibility, and capturing passing traffic; Isn’t this what these businesses are about?

  • 2centDonor,

    I agree and worse, all that is really going to happen in the end is they will add mores lanes to Rt 29 north. In another 10 years it will be 6 lanes all the way to Madison, no median strip, and still congested.

    The western bypass is dead, it wouldn’t have solved anything and would’ve drained the area road budgets. An eastern bypass won’t happen.

    However development will keep coming and more houses, malls, and traffic lights will be sprinkled up and down Rt 29 until its an hour and a half drive from the “Four Seasons Monticello” subdivision in Greene to Cville.

  • It don’t believe tht you know what Ms. Joseph believes in since she really hasn’t said what she would do or not do. So Waldo you are projecting, you might end up being right but today it’s just an assumption.

    Also take issue that Albelmarle doesn’t use smart growth now, when you look at the definitions of smart growth

  • It don’t believe tht you know what Ms. Joseph believes in since she really hasn’t said what she would do or not do. So Waldo you are projecting, you might end up being right but today it’s just an assumption.

    Actually, I called her and talked to her.

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