600 West Main apartments expansion approved

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville City Council approving a special use permit Monday allowing the 600 West Main apartments project to be a little bigger, but questions were raised about where people living there will park.

The 600 West Main apartments will be expanding into where the University Tire and Auto Center is now.

The approval was four to one with Mayor Nikuyah Walker being the no vote.

The council had some conditions for Heirloom, the developers of the apartments. Councilors motioned for parking to only be on-site, and to maximize the parking to be as much as possible even past what is required per unit. L.J. Lopez, an agent for Heirloom, agreed.

"That is our intent to do it on-site and maximize that parking even if it is in excess of what the formula is,” said Lopez. “We would not arbitrarily reduce that below or build less as a result if we could maximize it on site."

The final parking requirement isn't known yet. Heirloom originally estimated about 53. The zoning ordinance will require a certain amount and then Heirloom will try to go past that if they can.

Councilor Wes Bellamy brought up his concern about what it could mean if only one parking space is allowed per unit.

"Essentially by default, you're only going to be able to have one car if you live here,” said Bellamy. “So if you have a mother or family of four and they potentially need two cars this is not going to be a housing option for them."

The expansion will be 120 units per acre with retail on the bottom floor.

Another condition of the expansion is that the builders keep an eye out for First Baptist Church, which is in a historic building down the street from the apartments and construction. If any damage happens to the church as a result of the construction, then they will repair it.

Nearby business owners said other than parking, they think more apartments closer to them will mean more customers and will be great news.

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