Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Final Draft" of Places29 Master Plan Available to the Public, and Hollymead Open House Today.

There's no local, state or federal money for infrastructure, but they can dream, can't they?  Currently, Albemarle is so strapped for cash that its turning to interns to fill the employment gap.   And the County has so little money that the "Master Plan" uses crucial economic data that hasn't been updated from 2005.

Chapter 3, Existing Conditions and Future Trends:  "[T]he Charlottesville Metro Area’s unemployment rate was among the lowest in the country. Only 3 percent of the Metro Area’s labor force was out of work."

Currently, Cville unemployment is at a 20 year high, about double what the Master Plan says. The DIA/NGIC jobs that are projected late 2010 and beyond are already spoken for. From where will other jobs--not minimum wage positions--come from?

The "Master Plan" skips the past four years of available real estate sales.  It recognizes these facts: "Over the last five years (2000-2005), Charlottesville Metro Area housing prices have escalated by 71.78 percent. Over the same period, the median household income in the Charlottesville Metro Area increased by only 13.9 percent." [emphasis ours]

The "Master Plan"
ignores the glut of new and existing houses available for sale, and projects have been canceled or put on hold, or buildout delayed for years (Belvedere). The County should look into the projections of the Virginia Housing Development Authority to get a more accurate vision of where residential real estate may be headed. A look at past sales from 2005-2009 is in order as well. 

However, it's not like jobs and housing are going to bounce back any time soon.  While Places29 is long-term, the "new normal" needs to be addressed.
Current demographic info through August 2009 for Albemarle County, Virginia is available here--as prepared by the State of North Carolina.

Citizens can bring any errors they find in the downloadable Places29 Master Plan, to the attention of Albemarle County's Department of Community Development at the following "open house," today:

September 10, 2009, 4:30-6:30 p.m. - Hollymead Fire Station Community Room

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