About NDRA

From South Street and the Downtown Mall to the 250 Bypass, and from McIntire and Birdwood Road in the west to Kelly Avenue in the east, North Downtown is located in the heart of Charlottesville.

The North Downtown Residents Association is our neighborhood’s voice in matters of community and neighborhood concern, uniting the thoughts and concerns of many into one voice that speaks for the neighborhood as a whole. We need your ideas, your suggestions, your help, and we welcome your support.

Unless we make our opinions known on issues of common concern, neighborhood interests can easily be ignored or simply taken for granted. The NDRA serves as a clearinghouse for information, a forum for discussion of neighborhood issues and a vehicle for making our concerns known to those who make decisions. Join us and make your voice heard.

Current Neighborhood Issues

May 13, 2019

North Downtown Neighborhood Annual Wine & Cheese - May 30th

This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 30th 6-8pm (rain or shine) at 606 Lyons Court. Wine and other refreshments will be provided, however we welcome you to bring an appetizer to share!

Posted by Heather Hill

May 13, 2019

Public Talks Hosted by The Charlottesville Museum for History & Culture

Home of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Since 1940
The following are free public lectures scheduled for this month of May. No tickets or reservations are ever required, though seating is limited.
For more information on programs and events visit https://cvillecenter.org/

MONDAY MAY 13, 7pm in CitySpace.
Phyllis Leffler: The Jewish Community of Charlottesville, Before and After August 2017
Author and Historian Phyllis Leffler will talk about the history of Central Virginia’s Jewish community, including the earliest Jewish families and merchants, like David Isaacs and Nancy West who helped to make Main Street the epicenter of commercial life in the region. She looks at the founding of the Synagogue; the civic and economic roles of Jewish leaders; the coming of Eastern European Jews in the 20th century; and so powerfully connects the dots between that history and the tragic events of August 2017 in Charlottesville.

FRIDAY MAY 17, 7pm in CitySpace
Alan Taylor: Early Education in the American Republic
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor will discuss his forthcoming new book about the history of public education in the early American Republic, what those evolving experiences at places like The College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia say about the American experience and identity. 

FRIDAY MAY 24, 7pm in CitySpace
Jeffrey Hantman: The Monacan Millennium
Author, Anthropologist and Archaeologist Jeffrey Hantman will discuss his new book, The Monacan Millennium: A Collaborative Archaeology and History of a Virginia Indian People. Hantman is the leading scholar about the history and archaeology of the Monacan people and their ancestors, who called Central Virginia home for many thousands of years before European settlement in the early 18th century.
MONDAY MAY 27, 7pm in CitySpace
Mary E. Lyons: The Making of the Blue Ridge Tunnel: Irish Immigration and Enslaved Labor
Author and historian Mary Lyons will discuss her many years of unparalled research about the construction of the rail lines across Virginia in the mid-1800s, the building of the historic Blue Ridge Tunnel, and in particular the Irish immigrants and enslaved laborers who made that all possible.
Friday MAY 31, 7pm in City Hall.
Dr. Preston Reynolds: Eugenics at UVA, Addressing a Legacy of Health Disparities through Restorative Justice
Physician, author and medical historian Preston Reynolds will discuss the little-known history of eugenics at the University of Virginia and its impact on racial disparities that we still deal with in our health system.

Posted by Heather Hill

March 30, 2018

Subscribing to Charlottesville’s “City Notes”

Interested in getting an additional source for information in North Downtown and/or beyond?  Consider subscribing to “City Notes”. You can select to receive information on various interests, including but not limited to specific neighborhoods. Visit http://www.charlottesville.org/citynotes to learn more as well as subscribe.

Posted by Heather Hill

August 28, 2017

Community-Centered Urban Sensing Project in North Downtown

Students and researchers from the UVA School of Architecture are working with the City of Charlottesville to develop better data and maps on nighttime light, noise, and pollution in North Downtown, to inform community members when considering street, public space, and development choices.  The team will present the project, called Community-Centered Urban Sensing, at our next NDRA Board meeting on August 31.  Please come and give them feedback on the project, what kind of issues you see in the community, and what kinds of data and information you think would be helpful in advocating for a livable neighborhood.  In the meantime, be aware that a team will be out collecting preliminary data on nighttime lighting.  It will be after dark, but they’ll be working in teams and wearing safety vests. Questions?  Raise them at our meeting or contact Professor Andrew Mondschein via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by Heather Hill

May 23, 2016

Tips to Deter Crime Activity

While we consider North Downtown a safe place to live, our neighborhood is not immune to car or home break-ins.  If you or someone you know has been a victim or becomes a victim of a crime, please report it, regardless of how small.  The non-emergency number (434.977.9041) or the city police website (http://www.charlottesville,org/police) are available options for reporting if you choose not to call 911. If you are a victim of a home invasion, call 911 immediately.  The following are a few tips that have been shared in the past but worth a reminder:

1. Lock your vehicle and your home.
2. Remove your valuables from the car.
3. Never leave anything of value in your car in plain sight.
4. Leave your exterior house lights on,  if you don’t have motion detector lights.
5. If you see or hear anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police to investigate.

Posted by Heather Hill

July 25, 2015

A Few Tips from a Patrol Officer When Walking Alone, Leaving Home Unoccupied

While we work to get additional information on some recent incidents in and around the neighborhood, wanted to share some helpful tips from one of the patrol officers for those that walk to/from the downtown area during evening hours: 
• Highly recommended walking in groups
• Keep your head up (no texting/looking at phone or in bags) and swivel to assess surroundings
• If you see someone approaching or across the street, make eye contact (this ensures they are aware that you have seen their face)
• Continually evaluate surroundings
• Carry a light with you

Given some recent break-ins, a few considerations (some of which may be obvious but worth double checking) include:
• Ensure all doors and windows are locked
• Leave some lights on, including front door (perhaps on timers)
• Notify nearby neighbors of your travel plans so they have heightened awareness of unusual activity

Posted by Heather Hill

January 30, 2015

Use of Pesticides & Safer Chemical Management Policies

NDRA has been discussing the use of lawn and garden pesticides in Charlottesville and recently sent a letter to the City Council asking them to adopt safer chemical management policies that will reduce the use of all types of pesticides in city parks, school yards, and other public property. Our Board would also like to encourage local residents to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in their homes, lawns, and gardens. Below is a list of safer alternatives that can be used to effectively control unwanted pests. To learn more about safer methods for controlling weeds, invasive plants, insects, rodents, etc. please contact John Cruickshank at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 434 973-0373

Safer alternatives for the control of:
- Weeds and invasive plants: Burnout II, Scythe, corn gluten meal, heat weeding machines (Red Dragon), hand pull
- Poison Ivy: San Gabriel’s Poison Ivy, Scythe, heat weeding machines (Red Dragon), hand pull with caution
- Insects: mixture of boric acid and jelly, sealing and caulking entry areas
- Rodents: mouse and rat traps, sealing and caulking entry areas, house cat
- Disinfecting: hydrogen peroxide & vinegar in spray bottles are effective disinfectants
- General Cleaning: Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, Ecover Cream Scrub, Whole Foods Market All Purpose Cleaner (EWG.org has many more examples)

Posted by Heather Hill

December 17, 2013

NDRA Facebook Page

The North Downtown Residents Association now has a Facebook page. “Like” us at

You have been asking about communication within the neighborhood and a lot of residents do not want their email address public. This way, you can casually communicate and only those interested in signing up (“like”) will see your posting. We will be making our page more robust in 2014 and look forward to having your follow us as well as contribute! 

We strongly recommend that you sign up under the RSS logo for “email updates” of NDRA and City postings on this website’s Home Page.  http://www.northdowntown.org
This website is how we communicate with the neighborhood as the official face and voice of NDRA.

Posted by Colette Hall

November 7, 2013

NDRA/ND Membership

We welcome you to NDRA (North Downtown Residents Association), to strengthen your voice in City matters and to encourage your input into what NDRA says and does on behalf of our neighborhood. We ask that you become/renew your membership by either making a payment using PayPal at the “Join NDRA” in the upper right-hand column of the webpage http://www.northdowntown.org or send a $20 check (per household) to PO Box 1739, Charlottesville, 22902. Please include you email address on the check.

Thank you for supporting your neighborhood association.

Posted by Colette Hall

March 24, 2013

Crimes in North Downtown and Public Safety

Sign-up and receive email when crimes are committed in the North Downtown area at http://www.Charlottesville.org  under Departments (Police).
On the “Police” home page in big red letters at the top click on “Crimeview” and apply.

You should start receiving email that lists the crimes within your area (Sign up for 1 mile radius.)

Personal property crimes appear to be on the increase. We have asked you to report it. If you choose not to call 911, you can call the police non-emergency number or report it on-line. (See below.)

He [Chief Longo] asks that we help by reporting the incidents: “It is important that all of these incidents get reported. Citizens can either call the non-emergency number at 434-977-9041, or go on line to our website http://www.charlottesville,org/police and report incidents on-line.”

PLEASE, please report any crime to city police, no matter how small.

1. Police can establish crime patterns
2. Increase patrol where crime increases
3. Crime statistics data
4. Support Chief Logo’s request for increase funding

Council allocates funds for festivals, but not public safety needs.

On the City’s Annual Survey, “Public Safety” is always one of the top three. The funding is not commensurate with the need.

Posted by Colette Hall