February 3, 2014
Charlottesville is moving forward with redeveloping an area off Downtown.
City council passed a resolution adding a strategic investment area to the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.
Ridge Street, Elliott Avenue, and Avon roughly border this area south of Downtown, though it also includes the old Martha Jefferson hospital site. It contains several public housing areas.
The project aims to rebuild public housing and promote mixed income housing, create walkable, connected streets, and provide other resources and, in doing so, attract businesses.
Some were concerned mixed income housing meant public housing residents would lose their homes.
"Where are they gonna go? Will they be displaced? Whose responsibility to make sure they're not?" someone asked during the public comment.
"One of the biggest correlations of downward mobility or staying at poverty is when you're in a racially, economically isolated community," said Councilor Kathy Galvin, citing a recent study.
this is the challenge: creating wonderful, beautiful, healthy environments for everybody.
"We're looking at [this area] and saying, that's a healthy neighborhood, why isn't it possible for poor people, poor children, to have high quality environments, too? And that we are committed to making it affordable," said Galvin.
Council passed the resolution four to one. Bob Fenwick voted against