The last few days on RealCrozetVA Facebook

It’s been busy on the RealCrozetVA facebook page. As a reminder, I don’t post everything here that I post there, as some of the stuff there isn’t blog-worthy, if you will.


You know what this library needs? A rooftop bar. #crozet

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If you’re curious, all the facebook posts here are able to be seen in this category; one of the main reasons I write here about the FB posts is because FB is basically un-searchable, and I hate that.


What are People Looking for in a Neighborhood? Community


One of the most common things identified by my buyer clients that they are seeking is “a sense of community.” Over the years I’ve asked for Crozetians to describe their neighborhoods, once in 2011 and again in 2013; Western Ridge frequently comes up as a neighborhood with a tremendous community.

Disclosure: I’m a real estate agent; I represent buyers and sellers … in this instance, I’m representing sellers. And I’m holding an open house on Sunday, 19 October .

My clients in Western Ridge sent me one of their neighborhood emails for their neighborhood’s Fall Festival, including a costume parade, activities and games, and a magician to close out the event.

I’m not going to post the whole email here, as it has neighbors’ names, and is a decidedly neighborhood event. But … if you’d like to see it in its entirety, I’m holding an open house on Sunday from 1-3 on Lake Tree Lane in Western Ridge. A lot of people in Crozet know that Western Ridge is a great neighborhood with a slew of community events. I don’t live there, but I have several clients and friends in the neighborhood who echo that sentiment. I asked my clients to tell me a bit more about a couple of their neighborhood events:

It’s one of several family events we hold every year.

Early November brings our Oktoberfest meant for adults-complete with a band, local brews, and German fare!

In late November “Western Ridge Chili Cook Off” brings competitive foodies out with their best chili and table displays, while the rest of us bring sides and eat and drink beer, wine, sodas. Chili Fest is for kids and adults. Western Ridge put in a large stone fire pit two years ago and is a popular spot during these events to sit and enjoy the fire or make S’Mores.?

Last month in my monthly note, I wrote about Community:

And we proceeded to have a great conversation for the next hour. (I attribute part of this because I chose to stand rather than sit for the hour). Quite a few folks answered my question, “How do you define/assess community?” One of my favorites was this:

Not sure, but I think it has something to do with a feeling of welcomeness and inclusion to participate in the local goings-on, socially, politically, and philanthropically. Some days, that just boils down to seeing folks you know at the city market.

I think that’s awesome.

A lot of my buyer clients want to know how engaged a neighborhood is, how connected the neighbors are, in large part because they want to be part of something. One of the more common ways is to try to get a copy of the homeowners association meeting minutes and see what they’re discussing.

One of my favorite stories/results of this type of investigation was years ago when my buyers read through a certain neighborhood’s meeting minutes and discovered that a homeowner complained at a meeting that she had not been invited to a party at one of her neighbors’ houses when others had been. My clients didn’t buy in that neighborhood, in large part not because the lady had not been invited to a party, but because they spent time at an HOA meeting discussing it!

Neighborhood Facebook and Nextdoor groups are becoming the new records of neighborhoods. I think it’s entirely reasonable to request – maybe even as part of the offer – the previous three or six months of discussions. In addition to walking through the neighborhood with a kid or a dog, this could be the best way to learn in an unvarnished way about a neighborhood. What do you think? What if the moderator/administrator says no? Would allowing an outsider be a violation of the intrinsic privacy (there’s no privacy on the internet!) of the group/neighborhood?

If you’re even more curious about the Western Ridge neighborhood, there’s a video of the neighborhood after the break.

… I think I might do more of these such posts. Interested?
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Why does the Siren at the Crozet Fire Department Go Off?

1) I’m glad the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department is there for us. (you can donate here)

2) The siren. When it goes off, I tend to ask them what it’s for, because I know others are curious/concerned.

3) Follow @CrozetFire on Twitter.

4) Yesterday’s siren:

Crozet Community Orchestra 2014-2015 Season Opens

via email:

The Crozet Community Orchestra 2014-2015 season re-opened on Sept 10, 2014. This is a greatly expanded orchestra, since its debut concert in Dec 2013, now with strings, winds, brass and percussion instruments.

Our first concert of the season will be held on November 16, 2014, Sunday, at 6:00 pm at Crozet Baptist Church, 5804 St. George Ave. The program will include several movements from the opera, Carmen, by Georges Bizet, with guest pedal harpist, Virginia Schweninger. Vaughn Williams’, English Folk Suite arranged for orchestra, is also being performed under the musical direction of Philip Clark.

The CCO has openings for strings, winds and brass players. We are specifically looking for another bassoonist and an assistant percussionist for the current concert cycle. Musicians age 14 to adults of all ages are welcome – amateurs, retirees, students, professionals. No auditions are required.
If you are interested in playing with the CCO, volunteering or being added to our email list for occasional updates, please contact:

Denise Murray, CCO Founder and President of the Board of Directors: / 434-097-5517

For donations, the mailing address for the Crozet Community Orchestra is: P. O. Box 762, Crozet VA 22932.

The CCO is an IRS designated 501c3 tax exempt charitable organization.
Thank you so very much for your support.

ReStore N Station For Sale

I got an email yesterday from announcing that ReStore N Station, the new gas station that caused a Crozet community battle, is for sale. For $4 million, the land and two additional lots could be yours.

 Update: Rachel Ryan with the Newsplex has more information.

Jeff and Michelle Sprouse own the property and told CBS19 they are negotiating with the person operating the gas station and store to purchase it.

Update 2:  Rachel Ryan has an update to the story … read the whole thing.



NB. I’m a real estate agent. I’m writing this post from a “news” perspective, but thought it better to disclose than not.

Streetscape Update – 9 October 2014

Via email –

The following progress was made this week:

• Approximately 7½ of the 12 total number of crosswalks are installed.
• Several crosswalk base slabs were poured too high. The contractor demolished and replaced a portion of these at 3 locations and will complete the rest of the repairs at no additional cost to the County.
• All shrubs and ground cover were installed throughout. Roughly ½ of the mulching is complete.

The following items are scheduled through the end of the project:

• Crosswalk paver installation will be completed next week, barring weather delays.
• Final mulching should be completed in the next day or two. Shrubs south of Tabor will be installed next week. These two items will conclude landscaping activities.
• Final striping is scheduled to occur tomorrow. Any striping not completed will be rescheduled in the next two weeks.
• Substantial completion is officially November 18th but is expected to occur during the month of October.

For more information on the Crozet Streetscape project, visit

Crozet's community blog