realcrozetva Readers’ Forum – 10-11-2006

I am extremely saddened by the proposed redevelopment of our beloved Crozet town center. Crozet Station (the name for the new buildings) is an effort to make Crozet “upscale”, which can be translated as “more expensive”.

These buildings have been acceptable for years. Why must the old buildings now be replaced with new, characterless buildings that will cause the owners of the property to increase rents? Without a doubt, we will lose our wonderful small businesses, such as Maupin’s Video, that will probably not be able to afford the higher rents that must come following new construction, new (read higher) assessments,and higher tax bills.

Crozet is being surrounded and overrun by huge developments. But that does not mean that the very heart of Crozet has to lose its identity. I hope that long-time and even new residents who appreciate the old-time feel of our Crozet center will speak out against this redevelopment plan. As Commissioner Bill Edgerton said, “There’s lots of charm in those buildings.” Charm is a meaningful quality that is quickly being lost in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.

I hope the owners of this property will reconsider this project. Life is not simply about possessing more money; a happy life is interconnected with the quality of one’s surroundings.

Crozet is special in that it has the feel of a simpler time. Let’s not reduce it to another carbon copy of modern development with only some murals in a parking lot to remind us of what once was.

Marlene A. Condon (Author, The Nature-friendly Garden, Stackpole Books, 2006)
Nature Writer, Photographer, Speaker
Crozet, VA 22932-2204
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editor’s note:This redevelopment was noted here on 31 May of this year. As much as I like the small-town aspect of these buildings, if they are not structurally sound and not economically feasible to shore up for the future, perhaps it is time to address their deficiencies. The new development will certainly be different, but it doesn’t have to be worse than what we currently have. Charm is a subjective thing; done properly I expect that the new buildings could have their charm charm, yet still pay a certain homage to the previous buildings.

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2 Replies to “realcrozetva Readers’ Forum – 10-11-2006”

  1. I am extremely excited by the proposed redevelopment of our beloved Crozet town center. Crozet Station (the name for the new buildings) is an effort to make Crozet “upscale”, which can be translated as “more compatible with the needs of community residents”.
    These buildings have been deteriorating for years. The old buildings should now be replaced with new architecturally compelling buildings that will cause the owners of the property to provide spaces for a variety of uses including commercial/retail and residential. Without a doubt, we will gain wonderful small businesses and services that recognize the needs of the Crozet community.
    Crozet is being enhanced by the new residents who bring a variety of new interests and experiences to the community. There is no need to fear that the very heart of Crozet will lose its identity. I hope that all residents who appreciate the Crozet center and recognize the need to revitalize the downtown center as consistent with the Crozet Master Plan will speak out to support the owners’ plans for development of their private property. Charm is not only found in ramshackle buildings designed years ago for the fruit wholesale market. These buildings were never intended for the type of uses needed now, and it is apparent that the re-patching to accommodate the new uses has not been successful.
    I hope the owners of this property will continue moving forward with their plans for this project. Life is not simply about clinging to the past; a happy life includes having the vision and courage to accept change.
    Crozet is special in that it has been through several “boom” periods. We are in the midst of an exciting time of growth in Crozet. Welcome.

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