Rachel's Haven


In August, the City Council unanimously voted to rezone 750 Hinton Ave. from residential to neighborhood commercial so Hinton Avenue Methodist Church could create a 15-unit apartment building known as Rachel’s Haven.

A controversial apartment complex that would include housing for people with disabilities will face its final challenge next week.

Charlottesville City Council will hold a public hearing and first reading of a rezoning request for 750 Hinton Ave. at its meeting Monday.

Hinton Avenue Methodist Church wants to rezone its 0.76-acre parcel from residential to neighborhood commercial corridor to create a 15-unit apartment building known as Rachel’s Haven.

The project takes its name from the late wife of the church’s pastor, the Rev. Robert Lewis. Rachel Lewis, who died in 2016 from breast cancer, ministered to people with developmental disabilities.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposal earlier this month.

Many neighbors have expressed concern over the proposal to city officials and online, citing the zoning changes and possible future commercial uses for the property. Those neighbors have emphasized that their concerns are not with housing for people with developmental disabilities, only with the zoning implications and their potential impact on the neighborhood.

The complex, which would sit alongside the church in the Belmont neighborhood, would have four to six units set aside as independent housing for people with developmental disabilities, according to the church.

The remaining units would be available for rent by the general public.

The units designated for those with developmental disabilities are not included as part of the conditions, or proffers, of the rezoning. However, the proffer statement says at least four units would be available as affordable housing at 80% of the area’s median income.

When the proposal was initially submitted, some neighbors were upset that commercial uses would be allowed in the new zoning designation.

The revised project that the Planning Commission backed eliminates all nonresidential uses other than for an educational or daycare facility associated with the church.


The council will also hold a public hearing on a rezoning, critical slope waiver and right-of-way realignment for a proposed townhome development on an undeveloped 10-acre parcel near 5th Street Station.

Belmont Station LLC, owned by Charlie Armstrong, is requesting a rezoning of the partially constructed subdivision from residential to planned development. The property could become host to up to 50 townhouses.

The subdivision is behind Jackson-Via Elementary School off Longwood Drive. The triangular property is bordered by Longwood Drive, Shasta Court, Moseley Drive and Moores Creek.

As part of the conditions offered with the rezoning, Armstrong would donate 3 acres for a city park and construct 10 affordable housing units.

The Planning Commission recommended that council approve the request with several additional conditions, including improved stormwater management practices.

Climate change

In other business, the council will consider adopting a new goal for reducing its greenhouse gas output.

In 2017, the city voted to join the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of mayors and city officials committed to curbing climate change.

Staff members are proposing that the city adopt a goal of 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 and total elimination of emissions by 2050.

The city doesn’t have a plan for how it will achieve those goals, according to a staff report.

City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 605 E. Main St.

City hall reporter

Nolan Stout is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact him at (434) 978-7274, nstout@dailyprogress.com, or @nstoutDP on Twitter and Facebook.

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