Biscuit Run Changes

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

November 14, 2006

Biscuit Run is a plan that has caught the eye of many Albemarle County residents who worry development is taking over. That take over they say will increase traffic on roads like Avon Street Extended and diminish their quality of life.

"This development offers more development at the wrong time," said resident Jerry McCormick Ray.

Over 70 people crowded into the Albemarle County Office Building off Fifth Street hoping to hear sweeping changes to the Biscuit Run proposal. The original plan featured a maximum of 4,9000 homes. After consideration, the developer has since cut that number by almost 30 percent.

"(This is) a new plan that we think is sensitive to the input that we have gotten from the community, from other planners, and from the Commission through these various workshops we've had," said Attorney Steve Blaine, representing the developer Forest Lodge, LLC.

The proposed 3,500 home development would feature several parks, a school site, and 150,000 square feet of retail space. However, many are worried about the environmental impacts on the 920 acre site.

"You don't want to sacrifice the growth areas just to preserve the rural areas. It's a delicate balance in there," said Jeff Werner from the Piedmont Environmental Council.

"For the City of Charlottesville, the quality of life for our residents is not what you would ask of your neighbors to endure on the street on which you live," said Charlottesville resident Gene Chase.

Several city residents voiced concerns about the possible traffic impact to their neighborhood. It's an impact that area leaders are weighing.

"There will be a lot of conversation and coordination between the two entities as we move forward but ultimately it will be the County's decision," said Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Caitlin.

That decision is not expected for several months. A traffic impact study was completed before the changes to the plan. The study is now being revised and will be discussed at a December 19 work session.

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