Arden Place wins connections, controversy

The Woodbrook neighborhood is not happy. Their community association has launched a letter-writing campaign to protest the Albemarle County Supervisors' approval of the proposed 212-unit Arden Place apartment complex. On November 4, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow, the developers of the near Rio Road complex won a gated vehicular connection to Carmike Cinemas–- and, therefore, to Route 29 North–- as well as a pedestrian connection to adjacent Woodbrook, and thus the controversy. The pedestrian trail comes over the objections of the Albemarle Planning Commission (and of the neighbor who worries about "riff-raff.")


I don't think these people will find much sympathy for their cause once Thomas and Snow take office in December. On the Coy Barefoot show they both expressed the view that growth, both commercial and residential, should be packed in the urban ring, and I'll bet there will be more of these connections in the future. The tension will come when services that are needed to support this growth have to be paid for, particularly if the growth is mainly residential, as it is in this project. I have never been convinced that growth pays for itself, as developers in the county are quick to say. At least not with the current deal developers have worked out to avoid paying for the infrastructure that is needed for this increase in population.

Fascinating to see how the Repubs, on the BOS, will handle budget cutting, and all the services that the urban ring, which they say they want to see grow, will need: schools, roads, fire, police, just to name a few, without raising taxes.

I thought Arden Place was supposed to be luxury apartments? Why are you talking about riff-raff and their kids invading woodbrook? People who live in luxury apartments are usually young professionals without children. Woodbrook is an aging family suburb. I think the future residents of Arden Place should be concerned about a foot path bringing the Woodbrook riff-raff to their fitness center, pool, cappuccino bar, etc.

Sad but true, the connection to Arden Place will probably bring more crime to the Woodbrook neighborhood. This recently happened at at new neighborhood in the city which was connected by a foot path to a less well to do neighborhood. The problem is the kids, whose parents for whatever reason leave them unsupervised, and in this society, wanting what other richer kids have, and they don't. Stealing becomes a logical equalizer, fueled by nonstop TV advertising, and absent parental role models, to teach them otherwise. What these kids need to balance the lack of adequate parenting: pre-school programs, after school programs, mentoring, pre-professional training, and for some mental health and substance abuse programs, are all being scaled back or cut all together. We will all see an uptick of crime in our community if these are the services we chose to cut and at the same time we eliminate the size of our police force. Bad idea !

I think a whole lot of this is paranoia. As a prime example you have neighborhoods like Glenmore, which are gated to prevent "riff-raff". some years ago there was a bunch of robberies at Glenmore and everyone assume some local riff-raff somehow got in from outside through security. Turns out, it was some kids *inside* Glenmore that did it.

When I was young many kids in Woodbrook walked to school. I can't tell you how nice it was us as kids to have that. I think other neighborhoods deserve the kind of walkability that we took for granted. Sure, crime rates may go up a litle with more interconnections, but guess what? Then people have vested interest in fighting crime wherever it occurs, not just in their own neighborhood. Besides, building walled in communities only promotes a false sense of security. IMHO, that's far more dangerous.

I'm not against the connection, just pointing out that cutting services to youth and decreasing the police force is a bad idea if safety is a concern for the community, no matter where you live, but especially for the urban ring of the county and city. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity, where people live in closer proximity the crime rate is higher. The crime rate is also higher among the less affluent for obvious reasons. Mental illness and substance abuse are major contributors to crime and services to those populations are the ones the state and county are cutting.

Perhaps Gasbag could fall asleep in his van between the two areas. The should prevent anything female and attractive walking through.

As far as I can tell, the only person hyping the riff-raff element of this story is Hawes Spencer (by repeatedly referencing a single comment on a neighborhood blog).

Do the neighborhood's legitimate concerns about one day becoming a cut through between 29N and Rio run counter to the Hook's editorial philosophies on growth? Or is Hawes afraid that people won't read unless he pushes the sensational angle?


I don't read into the mention of riff-raff a value judgment from the reporting, but it is an issue, as it has become in the City neighborhood where crime dramatically increased as a result of the foot path traffic this summer.