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UVa Foundation wants to add up to 1,400 homes in North Fork | local government

The University of Virginia Foundation wants to add a massive new mixed-use development with up to 1,400 homes to its North Fork Industrial Park property in Albemarle County, but concerns over the infrastructure of the water could stop it in its tracks.

The foundation is requesting a rezoning of 172 acres of its roughly 540 acres from the Planned Development Industrial Park to Model Neighborhood Development, to allow for residential, commercial and retail uses.

But the proposal still has to go through the county process, and the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority has expressed concerns about the size and timing of the project.

“The problem with this particular rezoning is that it is a large number [of homes] without a fixed schedule,” said Jennifer Whitaker, Director of Engineering and Maintenance for RWSA. “There is a maximum capacity number that we cannot serve.”

A consultant to the foundation completed a master plan and study of North Fork in 2017, which recommended that retail stores and a hotel as well as residences be added to the park.

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“We believe this residence addition will do exactly what we hope it will – it will propel us to a new level where we can continue to grow and create great jobs in our community,” said Deborah van Eersel, administrative director. and Director of Marketing for the UVa Foundation.

Van Eersel made his comments during a community meeting for the project earlier this month.

In a letter submitted by RWSA in January, Victoria Fort, a senior civil engineer with the utility, said any significant increase in water demand could mean that “several major projects, including the transfer system from the South Rivanna Reservoir to the reservoir Ragged Mountain”. accelerated.

A water pipe from South Fork Rivanna Reservoir to Ragged Mountain Reservoir is part of the long-term community water supply plan that was adopted in 2008 by the RWSA. Charlottesville and Albemarle County governing bodies formally adopted the plan in 2012.

The pipeline will replace the 100-year-old water main that currently supplies water to Ragged Mountain Reservoir from Sugar Hollow Reservoir.

Construction of the water pipeline is currently expected to begin in fiscal year 2027. The estimated cost of the project is $80 million, in 2017 dollars.

According to several different online inflation calculators, the price is now closer to $92 million.

Fort said a recent urban water demand study considered some growth in and around the North Fork, but this rezoning proposal “far exceeds the expected growth in this area.”

“The study estimated 42,000 [gallons per day] additional North Fork Research Park demand through 2030, and an additional 172,000 through 2070,” she said in the letter. “This proposal has the potential to add over 500,000 gallons per day of incremental demand to the North Zone.”

Whitaker said RWSA has met with the foundation to discuss those issues, including, if this rezoning is approved, how quickly it expects the development to be built.

“There is a growth plan for this northern area, but significant rezoning at the end of the system increases the need to bring some of it online more quickly or at a moderate pace,” she said. “So depending on the speed of development, it will determine how quickly we need to complete projects in order to meet demand.”

The southern portion of the North Fork property near Airport Road is the focus of the proposed zoning changes. The proposed new zoning district, Neighborhood Model Development, “has the most variety of uses of any district we have,” Bill Fritz said.

Zoning allows owners and developers to set a custom development code for the property, where developers can craft district-specific regulations and decide what uses are allowed in each area or block of the property.

In the development code submitted by the foundation, it calls for eight types of residential uses and 36 non-residential uses to be permitted per right on the 172 acres in all blocks.






In the development code submitted by the University of Virginia Foundation for North Fork, it calls for eight types of residential uses and 36 non-residential uses to be permitted as of right on the 172 acres in all blocks.


Permitted non-residential uses include offices, restaurants, retail, private schools, data centers, hospitals, parking structures and cell towers. Residential use types include attached and detached single family homes, apartments, condominiums, transportation units and accessory apartments.

“We have a very wide range [of residential types proposed] because we don’t know exactly how fast it will work, how much interest there will be,” said Valerie Long, a Williams Mullen attorney who represents the foundation. “But we have specified that there will be at least 200 homes and no more than 1,400. These will probably be built over many years.

At least 15% of homes built must be affordable to those earning 80% or less of the region’s median income. The area’s median income is currently $93,700 per household, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The county passed a new housing policy last year that would require more affordable housing at lower prices, but those requirements are being delayed until the county decides on developer incentives.

North Fork is one of three properties where the university plans to create 1,000 to 1,500 affordable housing units over the next decade, but the details, such as target income levels and the type of units that will be available, have not yet been announced.

The foundation also wants to continue to allow a maximum of 3.7 million square feet of nonresidential across North Fork, which is allowed under current zoning, Long said.







North Fork Complete Concept Plan

A concept plan for the proposed rezoning of the North Fork Research Park to add housing, retail and business.


The total area of ​​green space and open space throughout the North Fork will not be less than 200 acres, according to the submitted development code.

In Albemarle’s Places Master Plan29, which is part of the County’s overall plan, most of the property is shown on the future land use map as office/research and development/flex/light industry, which designates them as primary uses. Retail, commercial, light manufacturing, residential, open space and institutional uses are designated as secondary uses.

Large portions of the property are also shown on the future land use map as open space. Part of the property near Airport Road is part of “The Uptown Center”, which according to the master plan could be “a vibrant new urban center similar to a traditional downtown and intended to meet the needs of many people in a relatively small area.

The foundation includes the possibility of a hotel and/or a conference center in the upper zone, which is also mentioned in the master plan of Places29.

Public hearings before the planning commission and the supervisory board have not yet been scheduled.