Samantha Baars

Samantha Baars


Carolyn McGee, who owns The Inn at 400 West High, says there should be a level playing field for rules and regulations for all homestays. Photo by Eze Amos

Homestay hullabaloo: State legislation could bring big change locally

While only about one-third of more than 500 homestays operating in town are compliant with local rules and regulations, the city’s commissioner of revenue, Todd Divers, says proposed state legislation is slowing the process of tracking down offenders and demanding they pay up. The limited residential lodging act introduced by Virginia Delegate Chris Peace, R-97th, […]

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a yet-to-be-named, 10-story boutique hotel on West Main Street. Rendering courtesy of CAAR City Centers

Heartbreak hotel: An unwanted vision of West Main?

C-VILLE took an in-depth look at the 3,700 hotel rooms for rent in Charlottesville and Albemarle in May, but with the August 29 announcement of a $26 million loan secured for another hotel on West Main Street, those looking for a place to stay in town can now count on another 150 chances to do […]

Paul Reynolds has tracked the speed of more than 700,000 vehicles on Locust Avenue since the beginning of the year. They’re not slowing down. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Slow burn: New traffic project doesn’t calm all concerns

Last month, the city announced the initiation of a traffic calming project on Locust Avenue, where locals have been concerned about the influx of cars whizzing up and down the street for some time. But a resident who has persistently tracked the traffic himself says the project has had “no apparent benefit.” After a 12-year-old […]

A photo of Martese Johnson on the night of his bloody arrest went viral. Photo by Bryan Beaubrun

Martese Johnson’s case will likely move forward

The UVA graduate who was taken to the ground by ABC agents outside of Trinity Irish Pub in March 2015 appeared in a Roanoke federal court August 26 for a motions hearing in which the agents’ attorneys, once again, asked for the case against them to be thrown out. “Though he has not yet formally […]

In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. Mugshot courtesy of Albemarle Police

Thomas Eagleson sentenced to seven months for unlawful filming

In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. “This is a bit of a unique circumstance because these people were not strangers to each other,” defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana said in Charlottesville […]

Tony LaBua, who owns Chaps Ice Cream on the Downtown Mall, says further restrictions should be imposed on street vendors to help level the playing field. Photo by Eze Amos

Street heat: Downtown storefront owner battles vendors

In a progressive town like Charlottesville, the owner of a 31-year-old business on the Downtown Mall says it’s time that equivalent rules and regulations are imposed on downtown storefronts and street vendors alike. His request comes in the form of a petition. “We’re a fast city, man,” says Tony LaBua, the owner of Chaps Ice […]

Because of complications with paperwork, Bryan Silva's sentencing was rescheduled for October 18.
Photo: Charlottesville Police

Bryan Silva’s sentencing delayed

  Bryan Silva appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court August 17 for sentencing on charges related to a January 3 SWAT standoff, in which the 25-year-old Facebook celebrity barricaded himself inside his Jefferson Park Avenue home for several hours while posting videos of the incident on his social media pages for his thousands of fans to […]

After Dominion's rebuild in Rockbridge County, this is the view from Kristopher Baumann's front yard. Courtesy of Kristopher Baumann

Point of view: Power line rebuild draws discord

City and county residents heavily criticized Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to rebuild area transmission lines at a recent public hearing, and a Rockbridge County man, who has filed suit against the power company after a similar rebuild in his area, says locals’ concerns are justified. “They marred one of the most beautiful valleys in the […]

David Shames' family held out until he was 14 to give him a cell phone, but he started lobbying for one at age 9. Photo: Ryan jones

Screen time: Should your kid have a cell phone?

Whether you’ve allowed your kids to have their own mobile device or you’re still deciding if you should, they’ve probably already asked for one. At least that’s what Allyson Shames says her oldest son, David, started doing before she finally caved. “He was making us Keynote presentations, justifying why he felt he needed one by […]

A gas pipeline marker in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. Courtesy of Aaron Ruby

2,200 miles: Interstate natural gas pipelines already here

Locally, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has amassed intense opposition since Dominion Energy formally announced its project plans in September 2014. What some challengers may not know, however, is that more than 2,000 miles of pipelines have sliced through Virginia for several decades, sparking little to no debate. “I think the fact that most people are […]

In typical cohousing fashion, homes face a pedestrian area and cars are relegated to the neighborhood’s periphery. Courtesy of Peter Lazar

Living room: Community housing makes a comeback in Crozet

Choosing to live in cohousing may be a difficult decision for some, but for Charlottesville residents James and Rebecca Gammon, signing on to be future residents of Emerson Commons in Crozet was a no-brainer. “It makes life easier for everybody,” Rebecca says. She and her husband are currently raising their 21-month-old son, Connor, in their […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy hosted a July 26 black male town hall summit to present a three-tiered plan of action about how African-American males can create change. Photo by Eze Amos

Bellamy calls on local black males

“I’m not a nigger, I’m not a nigga, I’m a king,” Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy said at a July 26 black male town hall summit he initiated on behalf of the local African-American population. “When I see all of you, I see kings.” Following the homicide of 23-year-old Denzel Morton, a black man who was shot […]

A proposed citywide culling could help manage the deer population. File photo

‘Medieval solution:’ Resistance emerges to plans for potential deer culling

  Calling the potential deer culling in Charlottesville a “Trumpian solution to a practically nonexistent problem,” one city resident says policymakers should consider non-lethal alternatives before condoning a city-sponsored killing. “We all live in Charlottesville because we appreciate the natural world and what it adds to our human life,” Holly Court resident Laura Jones wrote […]

Retired Charlottesville fire chief Charles Werner, a longtime drone hobbyist, became interested in using them for search and rescue purposes after seeing them used to look for missing person Hannah Graham in 2014. Photo: Eze Amos

They’re here: Search and rescue drone registered in the county

Flying drones is no longer just for hobbyists in Albemarle. Earlier this month, the county was gifted a DJI Phantom 3—its first unmanned aircraft system for search and rescue purposes. David King, who donated the drone, is a founder of King Family Vineyards, a longtime pilot and attorney, and a current search and rescue team […]

Lonnie Wood, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority’s interim executive director, says components number four and five on the map are the “main culprits” for the stink. Courtesy of RWSA

Stopping the stink: Last phase of RWSA odor control project kicks off

The smell of sewage has wafted through the east side of Charlottesville for decades, driving out some residents, nauseating the ones who have stayed and even leaching into the surgical suites at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, according to complaints by the hospital’s director at a Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority board meeting in 2014. But […]

Gregory Swanson’s lawsuit against UVA’s rector and Board of Visitors in 1950 helped pave the way for Brown v. Board of Education, which eventually declared laws requiring blacks and whites to attend separate schools unconstitutional. Courtesy of Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library/University of Virginia

‘Poetic justice:’ First black UVA student celebrated

In the midst of a national controversy surrounding racial inequality and civil rights, members of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association unveiled a 150-pound bronze marker July 12 to commemorate the first African-American student ever admitted to the University of Virginia. When Danville native Gregory Hayes Swanson, a 26-year-old practicing lawyer, applied for admission to UVA’s School […]

The biggest chunk of the bond referendum—$15.2 million—will pay for a second-story addition and modernization of Woodbrook Elementary School. Staff photo

Can county officials remain unbiased for referendum vote?

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 July 6 to hold a $35 million bond referendum for school improvements in November, and some locals think county officials will not be able to educate the public about the new ballot item without advocating for it. Virginia Code allows local governments to clarify a referendum, but […]

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline could run through these Nelson County mountains. Photo: Jack Looney

Closer to home: Could pipeline run through Albemarle?

In May, members of a Wintergreen nonprofit organization submitted four requests to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reroute the Atlantic Coast Pipeline out of their town. One of their ideas? Run it through Albemarle County, instead. The 600-mile, 42-inch natural gas line is currently proposed to slice through the outskirts of the Wintergreen community […]

Ernest “Bubba” Beasley digs a hole with a hand auger at Turk Mountain Vineyards to test the soil. Photo by Earnest Beasley

Good grapes: Geologist dishes the dirt on local vineyards

There is more to pouring the perfect glass of cabernet franc than one may think—it starts not with the grape, but with the soil in which it grew. One local expert and his team, who are not afraid to get their hands dirty, will soon receive international acclaim for work that revolutionized industry-wide fertilizer recommendations […]

After noise complaints, folks at Allied Concrete Company have agreed to quiet down. File photo

The silence of the beepers

In March, C-VILLE reported on neighbors’ longtime concern about industrial noise coming from Allied Concrete Company—established on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood in 1945. North Downtowners near the concrete company’s Harris Street location complained about not being able to sleep through utility vehicles’ shrill-sounding backup beepers. “We are very sensitive to the fact that […]

A photo taken from a neighbor’s back deck June 11 shows standing water in the construction site’s retention pond. Courtesy of Mary Huey

Mosquito madness? The buzz on construction site infestations

As the Zika virus spreads, a homeowner in a city neighborhood says her last utility bill included a list of tips to reduce mosquito-attracting water on her property. Across the street from her, however, workers at a residential construction site have dug a retention pond that might be filled with just that. “It seems ironic […]

Keswick Vineyards owner Al Schornberg says a one-acre vineyard is only a $20,000 expenditure and compares it to the millions invested in growing grapes at Keswick. He hopes to see stricter restrictions. Photo by Martyn Kyle

War on weddings: Looming legislation troubles local businesses

Some professionals in the wedding business see Albemarle County’s attempts to further regulate events at farm wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries as a blatant attack on a burgeoning industry—and they’re not sure why. Amid crowd murmurs that the county is working toward finding “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” senior planner Mandy Burbage […]

Robert Tracci 
Photo by Jen Fariello

Protecting the elderly

Elder abuse isn’t always physical, says Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci, who describes a case that recently came through his office. An at-home care provider hired an employee who stole more than $20,000 worth of valuables from an elderly client. The employee sold the family heirlooms to a pawn shop and melted some down for […]

After turning himself in for the violation, a representative from the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail says he is not currently incarcerated. Mugshot courtesy of the Charlottesville Police Department

Local social media celebrity arrested again

Bryan Silva, the Vine and Facebook star notorious for broadcasting his January SWAT standoff on Jefferson Park Avenue to thousands of followers, has been arrested on a capias advising that he failed to comply with the Offender Aid and Restoration program. Around 1pm on June 14, Charlottesville police spokesperson Steve Upman says Silva turned himself […]

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces will meet for their first session June 16. Rammelkamp Foto

Blue Ribbon commissioners identified

Nine members appointed to serve on Mayor Mike Signer’s Blue Ribbon Commission—created to make a recommendation to City Council on how to treat race, memorials and public spaces after a major controversy regarding the General Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park—now have about half a year and $10,000 to make it happen. “I think […]