We have the latest from our Changing Charlottesville project later in this newsletter. But first, here's a quick word from our new reporter, Anastasiia Carrier. (We're very excited she's here!)

Hello! I'm the new Health and Public Safety reporter. I started just a couple weeks ago, and you'll be hearing more from me very soon. But right now I need to bring you a quick update about the proposal to bring police officers back into schools that Charlottesville City School Board voted on last night.

People dressed in red stand in a open room in front of a bank of windows holding signs that read, "Spend $ on Mental Health Supports Instead."

Last night’s Board meeting was quite an experience — teachers with signs, staff members, concerned parents, students, and community members all called for the Board not to bring back police officers to City Schools under a new name “youth resource officers.” The pushback was successful, and the Board voted to postpone the decision until the March 27, 2025 meeting, giving the district a full year to weigh its options and consult the community.

Keep an eye out for a follow-up report where I will let you in on all the details.

Anastasiia Carrier,
Health and public safety reporter

A man waters grass with a hose in a residential neighborhood. A child is riding a bike on the street nearby.
Credit: Andrew Shurtleff/Dexter Auction

Home prices are rising fast, and the Ridge Street neighborhood known for its historic Victorian homes is changing its look — again

We bring you this week the latest installment of our Changing Charlottesville series. This one is about the Ridge Street Neighborhood — one of the only areas in town where free Black families could own property before the Civil War.

From those beginnings, the southern end of this long and narrow neighborhood that stretches from downtown to the Albemarle County, became “one of the city’s most fashionable African American neighborhoods,” according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. It remained for many decades one of the only neighborhoods in the city where Black people were allowed to own land. And by the mid-1950s, the entirety of Ridge Street was a predominantly Black neighborhood. That's changing.

Unfortunately, the data we have about the Ridge Street neighborhood is not as reliable as it is for other neighborhoods in this series. Reporter Erin O'Hare explains why in the article. But what we do know is that the neighborhood’s racial and ethnic makeup is shifting. Ridge Street was a majority Black neighborhood in 2013. It is now majority white.

The housing is also changing. Hartmans Mill Road, which is located in the very heart of the Ridge Street neighborhood, is a microcosm of many of the changes the neighborhood has seen in recent years. It’s a mix of homes, of varying styles and sizes, built in just about every era from the late 1800s to today. It’s also a mix of families of varying ages.

This article and data dashboard are part of Changing Charlottesville, our series that explores how each Charlottesville neighborhood formed and has changed over time.

Here’s an introduction to the whole project:

Credit: Andrew Shurtleff Photography, LLC/Dexter Auction

A decade of data tells a story of how Charlottesville’s neighborhoods are changing

So far, we’ve covered Fry’s Spring, Fifeville, Belmont, Jefferson Park Avenue, Johnson Village, Locust Grove, The Meadows, Ridge Street and Starr Hill. We hope these pieces show you something you might not have known about where you live, and that you will share them with neighbors and friends. Don’t see your neighborhood? Don’t fear, it’s coming. If your neighborhood hasn't been covered and you'd like to talk with Erin about it, let her know: eohare [AT] dexterauction [DOT] org.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Jessie Higgins, managing editor

Credit: Jessie Higgins/Dexter Auction
Credit: Angilee Shah/Dexter Auction
Credit: Mike Kropf / Dexter Auction

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I'm Dexter Auction's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at [email protected]! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a [email protected].