Joseph Heller and Albemarle’s ARB Map

By. Neil Williamson, President

See the source image

Adapted from comments to the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board April 15, 2019

Over a year ago (January 2018), we learned that over a third of Albemarle’s twenty-one entrance corridors are illegal.  At first we were encouraged when a Resolution of Intent to remove the impacted roadways appeared on the Board of Supervisors consent agenda, this positive energy was very brief as the item was removed from the agenda and never heard from again.

We were upset to learn that the Board of Supervisors, who has the checkbook, has not prioritized fixing the fixing the illegal entrance corridors choosing instead to “not enforce” the regulations.

This is where Albemarle’s Entrance Corridor map comes in. The map, originally drafted in 2006 continues to appear on the website despite the fact that the county is not enforcing over a third of the roads depicted on the map as entrance corridors.

This is where Joseph Heller comes in.  The Cambridge dictionary defines a Catch 22:


  • To be fair and transparent to applicants, the county website should accurately depict the entrance corridors as they are being enforced
  • but to be true and transparent to the law the map must depict the entrance corridors as they exist in code.

This makes the members of the Albemarle Architectural Review Board (and ARB staff) to be the sympathetic tragic figures in this epic drama.  However the real losers are applicants who literally have no idea if they fall under the jurisdiction of the ARB.

Today, the Free Enterprise Forum is asking the ARB, as an advisory body to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, to adopt a resolution requesting a code revision to properly inform the code (and the public) of what is and is not an entrance corridor.  Based on your guidelines and charter, this is well within your purview.

We humbly request you act to fix this Catch-22 for the benefit of our entire community.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.

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