Planning Commission approves Southwood rezoning

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Albemarle County Planning Commission voted yes to rezone and redevelop Southwood Mobile Home Park.

Dozens of people from the community and in support of the project spoke up during a public hearing Tuesday on the project, explaining why it needs to happen.

The commission voted in favor of the project with only one no vote from Pam Riley.

Habitat for Humanity is asking to rezone the area to transform the mobile home park into updated mixed-income housing and commercial spaces.

The rezoning will allow Habitat to build upwards, allowing more units per acre.

All of the current residents would be provided with new homes.

Southwood residents like Alfredo Martinez told the commission why they want this project proposal to come to life. Martinez spoke Spanish and had Molly McCumber from Habitat for Humanity translate his speech.

"In this world, there are so many rich people, and people with some money and people with a little bit of money and poor people,” said Martinez. “And we all have the right to have dignified housing to live in."

Garrett Trent, from Habitat for Humanity, said they are excited to be partnered with the residents of Southwood in designing the new development.

"We have a resident design team,” said Trent, “who have poured over 2,000 hours just to be able to present these plans and to start moving towards their future for their community."

The request to rezone and redevelop the property will now move forward. The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will cast the next vote.

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