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Supervisors Approve the Albemarle County North Pointe Community
Reported by Henry Graff
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
 


Wednesday night, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted on the much debated proposal- one that would mean more lights, more lanes of traffic and more lawns in northern Albemarle County.

It took three and a half hours for the Albemarle County Supervisors to come to a vote.

Chairman of the Board, Dennis Rooker, said it's their job to make decisions about what is best for the citizens. He and Sally Thomas voted against North Pointe, but four supervisors thought otherwise.

After six years of planning, and a four-to-two vote, the rural stretch of land along Route 29 in northern Albemarle County will be transformed into almost 900 new homes, a site for both a new school and library, and 664,000 square feet of retail space.

Tim Hulbert, with the Regional Chamber of Commerce, stated, "The North Pointe community project brings millions of dollars in new private investment. Four million in local and school taxes."

It was standing room only at the Albemarle County Supervisors meeting as many wanted to see the North Pointe plan approved, but there were just as many hoping the vote would go south. Cynthia, who lives in area, said, "I see all these people wearing these vote yes on the project pins and I don't recognize any of them from my neighborhood."

There have been some issues with the proposal including concerns about the impact the development would have on local roads. Potentially an additional 30,000 trips per day along Route 29 in Northern Albemarle County.

Piedmont Environmental Council member, Jeff Werner, stated, "I see absolutely nothing that addresses the permanent protection of the open space particularly along the river bank."

But there is also an environmental concern, residents want to ensure that the Rivanna River, which runs near the site, won't be polluted by sediment run-off.  

Carlton Ray, an ecologist and resident, questioned. "Did Hollymeade's storms and flooding teach us nothing?" He is citing the mudslide along Route 29 that happened as the Hollymeade Town Center was under construction. He hopes that won't happen here, but believes it probably will.

No word on when North Pointe developers will break ground on the site.