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.
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.