Monday, June 12, 2006

cultural landscape

Dear Friends of the Woolen Mills, June 12, 2006

Tuesday evening, 6:30PM, June 13, the Charlottesville Planning Commission meets in City Council chambers. Item #1, the consideration of an up zoning petition by developers for the backyard of the Warren S. Graves House, 1610 Woolen Mills Road.

Warren Graves worked for the Charlottesville Woolen Mills from 1880 to 1930. In 1930, he was 71 years old, supervisor of the carding department. He worked twelve hours a day, six days per week earning $7.00 per day.

Graves? house sits on ?Woolen Mills lot #1? so named when the western portion of the Mill Village was subdivided in 1885.

For more information regarding history of the western portion of the Mill Village visit:

The Mill Village extends 6/10ths of a mile along Woolen Mills Road (a.k.a. the Rivanna Turnpike, Three Notched Road or East Market Street) from the intersection of Moore?s Creek and the Rivanna River to 1504 Woolen Mills Road. When the Charlottesville Woolen Mills ceased operation in November of 1962 the neighborhood?s cultural landscape was largely intact.

December 31, 1962, two months after the Mill closed its doors, the City annexed the Mill Village. R2 zoning was imposed on the entire neighborhood (including the graveyard which is still zoned R2!). Additionally, manufacturing zoning was applied to the backyards of houses from 1504 to 1606 Woolen Mills Road.

Since 1982, the Woolen Mills Neighborhood Association has asked that the City switch the ignition off on this zoning bulldozer, to appropriately zone historic areas. Progress has been made, but as this rezoning petition before the Planning Commission highlights, the fabric of history remains under threat.

One of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources?s priorities cited on page 5 of their Guidelines book is:

Address areas where historic resources are threatened.Survey projects for areas or resources threatened by development or neglect are considered high priority.

The neighborhood is in process with the VADHR and the City regarding surveys but that fact hasn?t dissuaded developers from petitioning for a zoning change to allow the construction of seven dwelling units on an 8/10th acre lot in ?supervisor row? of the Mill Village.

Please consider attending the CPC meeting and signaling, with your presence, that you value the cultural and physical character, the built environment, of this historic village at the foot of Monticello.

Please help!

Bill Emory

P.S. If you are unable to attend please send an e-mail to the Planning Commissioners via Ron Higgins referencing ZM?06-3-4: A petition to rezone from R-1S Residential to Planned Unit Development (PUD), with proffers, the property at the east side of Franklin Street.

Mr. Higgins e-mail is



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