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Charlottesville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a population of 44,471.[1] [2]

The city is home to the University of Virginia which provides another 9,000 part-time residents. Incorporated in 1762,[3] Charlottesville is located on 10.4 square miles of land and is completely surrounded by Albemarle County. Charlottesville is also the County seat, though it is an independent city with a separate government.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the two jurisdictions as one of 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the nation. Its 2005 population of 188,016 ranked 212th in the nation.[4] The MSA also includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson Counties.


Charlottesville was chartered in 1762 to serve as the new county seat of Albemarle County along the Three Notch'd Road from Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley.[5] The town got its name from Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.[6] Charlottesville was incorporated as a town on January 19, 1801,[7] and became an independent city in 1888.

Evolution of development patterns

The 50 acres of the originial village were laid out under a gridded town pattern. A two acre public square to the north of the grid was set aside for a courthouse and would become Court Square[8] Early development was limited because of the distance from a navigable river. The presence of several hills meant that different neighborhood developed independently of each other. Thomas Jefferson purposely distanced his 'Academical Village (the University of Virginia) away from the town center. Commercial activity to serve the university took place on what would become known as the Corner.

By the late 19th century, the city was rapidly expanding. Much of this growth was absorbed by the development of the 551-acre Belle Mont Estate into what would become the Belmont-Carlton neighborhood. [9] Workers were attracted to industrial sites such as Frank Ix & Sons. However, the rise of streetcars and then affordable automobiles as the 20th century progressed allowed for workers to have more choices about where they lived. [10]


Charlottesville's city government is run by a City Manager who is supervised by a five member City Council. One of the councilors is selected as Mayor for a two-year term. The current mayor is Satyendra Huja.

City Council

Main article: City Council

Councilors are elected every other November to four-year terms. The 2015 election is scheduled for November 3, 2015.

The seats currently held by Councilors Satyendra Huja, Kathy Galvin and Dede Smith will be on the ballot.


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Board and Commissions

Joint government organizations


The City Manager Maurice Jones, who oversees a city staff with over 930 full-time equivalents spread across several departments. [citation needed]

Other staff include:

Government association memberships

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Charlottesville's government is a member of Virginia First Cities.


Main article: List of Charlottesville Neighborhoods

Charlottesville is home to several neighborhoods, both formally defined by the planning department, and informally defined within the community.


The Department of Public Works buys water from the RWSA and the Utility Billing Office charges residents directly.

From 2010 to February 2013, the city built 4.8 miles of new sidewalk.[11]

Legal Agreements

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Charlottesville's government is bound by legal agreements with other area governments and some notable private enterprises:


Main article: List of superlative awards

Charlottesville is repeatedly listed among "best places to live" rankings in many publications.

Authors Bert Sperling and Peter Sander selected Charlottesville as the best place to live in the United States for the year 2004 in their book Cities Ranked and Rated.[12] The Arbor Day Foundation named Charlottesville a Tree City USA in 2007.[13]

Tourist attractions

Tourism is a significant part of the Charlottesville economy, with about two million tourists visiting the area every year.[14]

Major attractions include:


  1. Web. Albemarle population tops 100K for first time, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, January 30, 2012, retrieved January 31, 2012.
  2. Web. Analyzing area's growth will be key for future planning, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, February 5, 2011, retrieved February 9, 2011.
  3. Barrick, Ric. City's 250th Anniversary of Incorporation. Rep. Charlottesville, 2010. Web. 19 May 2010. <>.
  4. Web. Bearfacts, Charlottesville, VA, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, retrieved 24 Jan 2010.
  5. Barrick, Ric. City's 250th Anniversary of Incorporation. Rep. Charlottesville, 2010. Web. 19 May 2010. <>.
  6. Rainville, Lynn. "LoCoHistory » Blog Archive » The Earl and the Queen." LoCoHistory. 3 Feb. 2007. Web. 21 July 2010. <>.
  7. Web. This Day in Charlottesville History, City of Charlottesville, retrieved March 14, 2012.
  8. Web. Charlottesville Urban Design and Affordable Housing, Kenneth A. Schwarz, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. Web. Belmont - A History of a Neighborhood, James H. Buck Jr., Paper for James Kinard's Local History course, May 1980, retrieved July 28, 2014.
  10. Web. City of Charlottesville Strategic Investment Area Plan, Cunningham Quill, Cunningham Quill, December 13, 2013, retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. E-mail. Angela Tucker, City of Charlottesville, Neighborhood Development Services. "quantification of sidewalks." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. February 14, 2013.
  12. Web. Getting Oriented: Charlottesville Facts, University of Virginia School of Law, retrieved 9 July 2013.
  13. Web. City to enlist aid of 'tree advocates', Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, October 27, 2010, retrieved October 28, 2010.
  14. Web. Better Quality of Life: Thriving Tourism, City of Charlottesville, retrieved 9 July 2013.

External links