The Community Engagement Plan for Starr Hill was initially designed around three questions determined to be critical to future development:

  1. How can the final concept plan help clarify and address the needs (social, economic, cultural) of the existing Starr Hill community?

  2. In what ways can the final concept plan help to create more equitable development within Starr Hill for the African-American community?

  3. What are the specific opportunities for any development activity in Starr Hill to serve the broader social equity needs of the greater Charlottesville community?

To ensure active outreach and engagement, the process emphasized multiple methods of reaching and involving key communities into the Starr Hill conversation at appropriate times. More than 200 residents were directly engaged in the process through a series of efforts, including:

  • Hiring a small team of Community Outreach Workers/Community Organizers within the local Charlottesville community to support the overall engagement process.

  • Conducting individual interviews and surveys with residents and business owners in Starr Hill.

  • Facilitating in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with key community stakeholders, including adjacent neighborhood resident associations and Starr Hill business owners, as well as key members of the African-American business community, local community and nonprofit organizations, City and County departments, housing authorities, area developers, workforce development programs, and larger area employers.

  • Introducing a preliminary Neighborhood Vision and Guiding Principles at a community session at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center synthesized from community input.

  • Gathering feedback and additional perspective through a series of small group reviews of elements of this document in draft form.