February 28, 2013
People who live in the Belmont and Carlton neighborhoods got the chance to raise questions and concerns with Charlottesville City Council and staff at a town hall-style meeting at Clark Elementary Thursday night.
It was the second event of the 2013 "Our Town Charlottesville" series, set up to give neighborhoods a chance to discuss issues impacting their areas.
Some residents shared their frustration with the process for replacing the Belmont Bridge. One Belmont resident argued the process has not been transparent.
"I think I'm hearing loud and clear that it's pretty uniform -- people in the neighborhood feel like the process was flawed and I know the staff has heard that and are working on improving the process and can hopefully get to a better place on that issue very soon," said Charlottesville City Council member Dave Norris.
Jim Tolbert, director of they city's Neighborhood Development Services, gave an update on the project and said two concepts are still being reviewed -- replacing the bridge or going under the train tracks. He said the city will continue to take comments on the project through the end of March.
Belmont resident Broocks Willich shared a concern that she says she is losing sleep over. Willich says more needs to be done to control the loud music coming from vehicles and into area homes.
"The walls vibrate. The windows vibrate. And you can be awakened at three in the morning, five in the morning, six in the morning. It happens all hours of the day and night," said Willich.
There are already measures in place to handle noise violations, but council and law enforcement suggested more could be done to help carry them through.
Traffic calming, increasing police controls and community gardens were also discussed.
Residents say, while changes won't take place overnight, the face-to-face time with city leaders is a step in the right direction.
"I felt like they were here with open ears," said Willich.
The next "Our Town Charlottesville" meeting will take place at the end of March and focus on the Fry's Spring and Johnson Village neighborhoods.