City residents file lawsuit, claim new zoning ordinance is invalid
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A group of Charlottesville residents has sued the city over the recently adopted zoning ordinance update.
The Charlottesville City Council unanimously adopted the new ordinance in December.
The process to update the ordinance had taken several years, while officials worked to see how the city could accommodate a denser population and open up avenues for growth and development.
Several of the changes in the updated ordinance affect residential districts, allowing multiple units to be built on single properties by-right.
Members of the council say the objective of the update is to promote economic mobility and create more affordable housing for middle-class residents.
The lawsuit claims the city did not follow statutory requirements, such as conducting studies on the impact of the “upzoning” on the city’s infrastructure for transportation, schools, water, sewer and public services.
Because of this, the lawsuit says the new ordinance, and the city’s entire Comprehensive Plan, are invalid.
Specifically, it cites the city’s failure to comply with statutory requirements for transportation planning that say the city had to submit the proposed plan to the Virginia Department of Transportation for review.
The lawsuit also says the city has not included any transportation infrastructure improvements that would support increased population density that could result from the changes to residential zoning.
Additionally, it says that VDOT notified the city that it needed to submit a comprehensive plan change to the state department for review in December 2022, but the city did not submit the plan.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday.