Friday, August 15, 2008

McIntire Road Extended Easement Update

As a follow-up to my previous posting, I provide below the listing of all easements proposed by VDOT necessary to construct McIntire Road Extended. The data below are taken from the "Preliminary Right of Way Data Sheet" that is Sheet 1C of the plan sheets for the project. These data reflect data as of three months ago, and apparently some small changes in the amount of temporary easement is necessary for a more recent design update - triggering the need for city council to reconsider the granting of the specific easements to VDOT at the Aug. 18, 2008 council meeting.

The McIntire Road Extended project uses parts of two land parcels - both owned by the City of Charlottesville. One parcel (parcel 001) is land in McIntire Park that is located in the City of Charlottesville and contains 145 acres. The other (parcel 004) is land in McIntire Park that is located in Albemarle County but south of Melbourne Road and contains 3.5 acres.

The agenda material claims that only temporary easements need be transferred to VDOT, but the Preliminary Right of Way Data Sheet contains the following number of acres of easement in each parcel listed by type of easement. I believe the Utility category lists permanent easements, but these easements are to utility companys and not to VDOT. It is not clear to me when and how these easements are granted.

--------------- Easement Type ----------
Parcel Permanent Permanent
Number Roadway Drainage Utility Tempory

001 1.73 2.80 2.79 14.88
004 0.864 0.029 0.998 1.88

Total 2.6 2.8 3.8 16.8

If these data are current, they indicate that only 16.8 of the approximately 26.0 acres that are to be put under easement will actually be temporary easements with 9.2 acres being granted to either VDOT or utility companies as permanent easements.

And, as mentioned in my last posting, the Constitution of Virginia apparently requires that council needs at least four votes to reach the necessary super-majority for granting these permanent easements in McIntire Park.

The entire process of proposing to use only easements (whether temporary or permanent) is not the usual path taken by VDOT. My understanding is that VDOT typically acquires title to the land necessary for the construction of a road, and then after completing the project returns all of the land VDOT does not require for maintaining the road to the municipality. The McIntire Road Extended project may well be the only VDOT project that is following this process.

If you are interested in what is going on here, I recommend you bring your concerns to council on Monday Aug. 18 and present your thoughts at the public hearing scheduled early in the meeting. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm and the public hearing will likely begin about 30 minutes after the start of the meeting.

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