Hiking 'hood? No-plow street now loses parking

news-roysplace-maurieNo one told Maurie Sutton her street would be no parking when she bought a lot there in 2007.

The neighborhood already reeling from getting declared a no plow zone in December just got another unhappy surprise when residents learned that they can no longer park at the end of their cul-de-sac. Now, some residents of this south-of-downtown neighborhood say they don't know where they'll park.

"I have a roommate, a 23-year-old nurse who works nights," says resident Maurie Sutton. "She's going to have to walk through a neighborhood that isn't safe."

And safety isn't the only concern at Roy's Place, a recent 18-lot development at the intersection of Rougemont Avenue and Hartmans Mill Road.

"My 88-year-old grandmother is coming," says Sutton. "She can't walk up the hill."

The City, however, contends that unless it enforces the ban, another safety situation looms: insufficient room for emergency vehicles.

"That loop road is just wide enough for fire access," says city planner Brian Haluska, "so any on-street parking restricts fire trucks. The fire marshal will not permit anything to do that."

Resident Michael Lichtenstein says he doesn't recall any mention of such restrictions in the sales documents.

"I'm an attorney," says Lichtenstein. "Something like that would have jumped out at me."

But Haluska says the development's site plan, approved in 2005, always stipulated just eight parking spaces on the straightaway leading into the neighborhood–- no spaces on the loop around which most of the 16 existing residences stand.

"That's the way the plan was approved," says Haluska, "and that's the way it needs to be implemented."

Residents, one of whom is a Hook staffer,  were in an uproar in late December when their plowing requests to the City after a nearly two-foot-deep snowfall were rebuffed. City officials claimed that no plowing would occur because the developer had never finished the sidewalks and other infrastructure. The developer denied the allegation; but in February, for the next major snowfall, he brought in his own snow-moving crews.

It turns out the City's copy of the site plan went missing for over a year, and that the City's warnings about the unfinished items were sent to the wrong address.

"It was made to look like my errors," says the developer Bobby Banks, who notes that the correct address was on his original application.

"Yeah, it was a mistake," says City planning director Jim Tolbert. "That doesn't relieve him of his responsibility."

Banks says he'll begin installing no-parking signs around the curve by the end of March. That means that any guests or second cars–- as each residence has a single-vehicle-driveway–- must scramble for one of the eight spaces on the straightaway.

"Not everybody has two cars," points out planning chief Tolbert. "If their realtor didn't tell them that, I'd be perturbed."

Courtney Modecki is feeling plenty perturbed. "If I'd known all this," she says, "I probably wouldn't buy here."

Sutton is even more emphatic. "I would never, ever have bought a lot here if I'd known."


all I know is that there is one sexy momma up in Roys Place!

CC, Roy's Place is most certainly a PUD.

It does seem to be.

Go the city assessor's website http://realestate.charlottesville.org/LandRover.asp and type in "102 Roys Place."And for Willoughby, which uniquely spans the city and the county, http://www.realcentralva.com/idx/mls-474568-918_royer_dr_charlottesville... Search for "planned" and "Willoughby."

They ought to make their dissatisfaction with parking allotments clear to the Planning Commission.

Looks to me they could clear up the parking/fire truck issue by having the developer come back and get rid of the green grass covered circle in the center of the road which is creating the driving hazard.


So they should ignore one law but enforce another after the fact? What a gem of rational thought you are. No, the city shouldn't have plowed the streets until it was properly adopted, because they would have been open to more lawsuits.

The city provides fire service to both public and private property in the city, the county and UVA. It has also been know to help out in other surrounding counties.

Fight the power!!!

I believe Willoughby subdivsion is consider a successful PUD.

Can anyone direct me to a successful PUD? the foundational idea of cluster-development is good, the preservation of green, but in practice... the green part has more been dollars in the pocket of the tax-man.
oh, what is the development-community?

New development is not synonymous with PUD. Is there any indication that Roy's Place is a PUD? Willoughby?

There are many more problematic PUDs than successful ones. Since these "oops" moments are continuing to occur, perhaps a moratorium on any new PUDs would be a good idea.

It was a bad idea to sign off on a plan with inadequate parking. It's doubtful that the real estate agents marketing the homes were upfront about the parking situation either. The residents are paying the price.

I really have to wonder why this cul-de-sac is being singled out lately for so much harassment. Is it the city's way of getting back at Bobby Banks perhaps? There's other cul-de-sacs in the city that have the same problems. You couldn't get the smallest fire truck the city has through Locust Lane Court because of the parking situation. You can hardly get a large SUV through. The same is almost true of St Charles Court. Almost all of the residents on both Locust Lane Court and St Charles Court have 2 and 3 cars per residence.

Yeah, this cul-de-sac is being singled out for harassment, IMHO! Nothing new for the public officials in this "All American City".

It looks from the picture posted that there's enough room between houses to add driveway access to their backyards, should be enough room back there to park another car or two? Even if an individual property doesnt have enough room, the city has a five foot side yard set-back, two adjacent homeowners can deed the five feet along the edge of their property to each other as access easments, then each can reach the back of their property via that 10 feet for the purpose of parking.

Deleted by moderator.

look at it this way - there will be plenty of room for the snow plows to navigate around the cul de sac once all your cars are parked two blocks away!

I don't think they can avoid the parking restrictions by keeping the street private. The site plan says no parking on the cul de sac, and so the City could pull their Certificates of Occupancy if the neighborhood refuses to abide by the fire marshal's decision.

Gas Bag, no it isn't being singled out for harassment. The plan was done and approved, based on certain guidelines of the time. I lived in an area where we had a street long adopted by the city, and it became a nice hangout for kids. There really was only room for parking on one side of the street and a single car could barely get through.

Guess what? I had the fire marshall take a look and viola, parking on one side of the street now.

Was our area getting harassed? No.

These people can always keep their street to themselves, and take care of it, and have all their parking.

Yeah, I get really mad at the city, but its refreshing to see them actually stick a developer to the terms, instead of letting them all blather excuses, like the Pavilion did, and alter the plan.

I want to be a hook staffer.

The fire marshal is one bad dude! second to the judge's office above the cops!

Sux to live in Charlottesville

I would also advocate for a street name change. Oh, you live at Roy's Place? No, I live at my place.

The city was wrong not to plow but they are right to enforce the no parking due to fire safety.

QUOTE - ââ?¬Å?Yeah, it was a mistake,” says City planning director Jim Tolbert. ââ?¬Å?That doesn’t relieve him of his responsibility.”

Jim, whose responsibility is the enormous traffic circle your city works installed in the middle of the intersection of 2nd St NE, Park Plaza, and Parkway? Thanks to its location and the silly oversize of it, the intersection is now off-limits to fire engines, city busses, school busses, and moving vans.

And of course someone living in the neighborhood intentionally leaves a car parked at the narrowest point in the circle, so as to create as much hazard as possible for the US Mail, UPS, FEDEX, etc.

Would it surprise anyone if it turned out that both the car and the loudest voice yapping for "traffic calming" belong to the same person? Wouldn't surprise me.

You and the fire chief seem to have no problem allowing parking in that circle, even after you reduced the roadway to narrower than developer Bobbie Banks made his!

Are you going to do anything about that, Jim? Like ban parking around the intersection circle? Or are you afraid to mess with the North Downtown Association?

Gas Bag, Locust Lane is a private street so the residents can do as they (or the HOA) wish with parking. The residents of St. Charles Court are likely in for a shock when the no parking signs go up on their street prior to it being accepted by the city. As I have said before, do the research and know what you are buying.

Rush, I will agree there's a lot of confusion (in my mind at leastg) about whether St Charles Court, Locust Lane and Locust Lane Court have been accepted by the city yet. The only reason they're even on my radar screen is because my daughter wants to buy a house on St Charles Court for some ungodly reason. I allow her to look at what's for sale occasionaly, but there's no way I, my wife, amd my daughter could ever move to and live there. We have 6 vehicles in this family right now. Could be 7 very shortly. I wouldn't inflict that misery upon the residents already living there. The neighbors would probably muder me in my sleep! :)

Respectfully, you seem to know more than I do. Who picks up the trash on all 3 streets each week? Who plows the snow on all 3 streets? And what fire department would respond on all 3 streets? Whether any of them are private streets, do the same traffic hazards in access not exist when and if the city fire trucks need to get in there quickly?

It seems to me like the Fire Marshal's same rules would or should apply to even privately owned streets.

ps - the city collects taxes on all the property located on the above 3 named streets. This is just like Roy's Place, maybe they shouldn't be collecting taxes if they are not going to plow snow, collect trash and provide fire services.

And yes, I know the trash collection is a sub-contractor now. But people still have to purchase the trash stickers from the City of Charlottesville, an additional "taxation" we didn't have 10 years ago.