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The Latest Campaign News…

Let’s Get the Rules Right on Main Street

1. What’s the problem? West Main Street is within an Architectural Control District (ACD.) That means in addition to following the zoning ordinance, all new development must meet design guidelines and be reviewed by the Board of Architectural Review (BAR.) Despite these added safeguards however, the Flats is seen by many as being out of step with the character of Charlottesville. According to the March 2015 Existing Conditions Report by the City’s West Main Street consultant, Rhodeside Harwell, “Many of these developments along the corridor have been perceived by the public as too big, too tall, lacking in open spaces and character, and not compatible with adjacent streets and neighborhoods.” What I’ve heard on the street confirms this observation. Many people flat-out don't like the Flats … [Read More...]

Governing = Tough Choices: Budget & Taxes

Since February I have worked to forge a compromise between 2 councilors opposed to any tax and 2 councilors who supported a 1% meals tax increase to close a $2.1 million budget gap. In the process I sought to answer two questions: can we diversify the tax so as to distribute the fiscal burden; and can we cut expenditures from the operating budget in order to reduce the budget gap. That’s why I put the 0.5% meals tax combined with a lodging tax on the table. That’s why in March I worked to close the budget gap by reducing operating expenditures without hurting our schools, police and triple AAA bond rating. Some of my proposals included: no new staff in the departments of Neighborhood Development Services, Public Works or Parks & Recreation; funding 6 new police officers instead of … [Read More...]