Costco cometh, Belmont Bridge options weighed, and early voting: News briefs

Participants in the 2012 Belmont Bridge design competition examine plans. File photo. Participants in the 2012 Belmont Bridge design competition examine plans. File photo.

Check daily and pick up a copy of the paper Tuesday for the latest Charlottesville and Albemarle news briefs and stories.

Plans for Stonefield Costco move forward

Developers of The Shops at Stonefield are one step closer to bringing Charlottesville its first Costco.

In a 4-2 vote last week, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved a request to realign building and street plans in order to accommodate the 155,000-
square-foot store.

According to Charlottesville Tomorrow, some developers spoke up to oppose the idea, arguing that it should require a rezoning. Supervisors Ken Boyd and William “Petie” Craddock voted against the plan, and said a store like Costco doesn’t belong in Stonefield. But according to county planners, because the area was depicted for “major retail,” the developer can build one big box store by-right under the development code.

Still in the works is a plan to operate a gas station at the store, which would require rezoning.

Underpass alternative for Belmont Bridge evaluated 

A recent report from a construction consulting firm says that replacing the Belmont Bridge with an underpass directing traffic below the CSX railroad would cost nearly twice as much as building another bridge, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

A 2012 redesign competition for the crossing produced a winning concept that eliminated the bridge altogether, replacing it with an at-grade railroad crossing that was ultimately deemed unfeasible. The city put forward the underpass option as an alternative, but some were critical of the estimated $30 million price tag staff initially affixed to the project. In February, the city hired construction management firm Barton Malow to offer a new comparison.

According to the company’s report, a bridge would cost around $15 million—about as much as the Virginia Department of Transportation has allotted for the project—while an underpass would cost $27.3 million. City Council was scheduled to review the report at its regular meeting this week.

Absentee voting to begin Friday

Statewide elections are still months away, but those who plan to vote early can do so starting Friday, September 20. Absentee ballot applications, available online at, must be received by 5pm October 29, and the ballots themselves must be received by 7pm on election day.

Those not yet registered to vote in Virginia have until 5pm on October 15 to do so.—C-VILLE writers