Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bolsheviks on the Rivanna

Greatest quote ever, from a letter to the editor in this week's C-Ville Weekly:

It seems that whenever Norris and the other socialists on City Council take a break from passing anti-war resolutions, visiting sister cities in Europe and conducting other U.S. State Department-like activity from Charlottesville City Hall, they attempt to stifle the growth of the city's economy. Way to go guys. Lenin would be proud. -- Jon McKay, Albemarle County

That's awesome. Thanks for the chuckle, Mr. McKay!


The Road Runner said...

LOL. I never thought of you as a socialist, though it might make sense... Working for a better living environment, promoting the general welfare, trying to end war and riding bikes instead of driving cars. Wait, that sounds just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator!

So, does that make Arnold a socialist, too?

Hey, how 'bout a link to the whole article?

Lonnie said...

That's probably no where near as extreme as the comments on a blog recently where the author compares RCS unfavorably with the Taliban for breaching the Woolen Mills Dam.

DaveNorris said...

Chris -- here's the full link: http://c-ville.com/index.php?cat=141404064423910&ShowArticle_ID=11431609071064340

Essentially what happened is that a developer wanted to build 80 (luxury) condo units on a piece of land that was zoned for 20, and had asked the City to rezone the parcel -- which requires a special use permit. The author of this letter apparently does not understand that special use permits almost always involve some kind of conditions, or "proffers", through which a municipality and a developer negotiate how to mitigate the impacts of the higher density (in this case, MUCH higher density) on the surrounding neighborhood. To make a long story short, one of the proffers that this developer himself volunteered was a $200,000 contribution for affordable housing, to help offset the fact that these 80 high-end condos are going to drive up property values and and thus hasten the gentrification of that neighborhood, to the point where the average worker can't afford to live there anymore. Our City's Planning Commission (which apparently is also a hotbed of Leninism) felt this $200,000 was insufficient and it's one of the reasons they recommended denial of his rezoning request. He appealed the denial to Council, we encouraged him to up the ante on a couple of things (going from $200,000 to $300,000 on the housing proffer, for instance), he was happy to do so, he got what he wanted, we got we wanted, everyone's satisfied -- except some guy in Albemarle County named Jon McKay who thinks we're all socialists for not allowing developers to do whatever they want in the City of Charlottesville. I personally think we're overbuilding high-end condos in Charlottesville, so I would have preferred more of a mix in this particular development, but we at least now have $300,000 to help develop some truly affordable housing in that same corridor of the City.

And Lonnie, I did see that piece by Roger Voisinet and all I can say is...you're right, I got off easy!!

The Road Runner said...

Ha ha! That was pretty funny! I guess people just don't realize that you were following the legalities of the situation... While it's true that developers don't have to develop in C-ville, this one obviously did. Since both parties got what they wanted, how could it be extortion?

And that's coming from my conservative point of view.

Living well outside your community, the whole dam thing reminds me of property owners everywhere that don't want to share their scenic views and private access when located next to a public-access natural feature (in this case a river).

Beach-front property owners in Volusia county, Florida have tried to restrict access to sections of the beach with limited success using nesting endangered sea turtles as an excuse to prevent people from enjoying that local natural resource. Similarly, I think this individual's real problem has very little to do with ecology but more with the private enjoyment of his little piece of riverside.