CCAC Recap 4-14-14 – Growth, no growth, misinformation and high hopes

CCAC 4-14-14 – a three hour meeting, filled with tons of good information. Click through, scroll to the end of the tweets summary and get somewhat informed. I collected 152 tweets with the hashtag for this CCAC meeting, #CCAC0414, and submit them with only a couple comments:

– Thanks to the CCAC members for their volunteering.

– Thanks to the members of the public for attending. Please go next time, too.

– Update on the Barnes Lumberyard was interesting.

– The discussion on the brewery was frustrating.

– The Crozet Master Plan needs to be a guide; it was completed in a different world, a different economy, a different time.

– Growth is coming to Crozet; if the Crozet community doesn’t start to say “yes” to encourage some growth downtown, we aren’t likely to have the luxury to pick and choose when the time comes.

– It’s time for Crozet and Albemarle County to define what businesses they want. You can say no only so many times before businesses will stop asking.

– Retail and cute stores are neat and we all like them, but they’re generally low-paying and don’t offer the ladder career opportunities (like, say, a brewery or other large employer would).– I have an awful lot of opinions that don’t make it in “print;” curious? Let’s have coffee. Or beer. :)

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  • Edward Strauss

    From reading this some thoughts:
    Committees are the most ineffective way of doing anything.
    Wanting to have a conversation means I do not want to do it.
    It is hard to tell people where and how to invest their money. Business
    people do not have to cater to the crowd. They can simply take their
    business elsewhere. Look at what left Crozet already and what chose not to come here.
    As long as there is no authority that actually represents the people of Crozet this will continue.The shopping center up on Rt. 250 and Old Trail are examples of management teams that can get involved in B2B discussions and make things happen. People in Crozet are at a profound disadvantage in their present mode. Incorporation would help. At least when an elected group says “NO” they can at least feel confident that they were chosen by the people to make this decision. As far a Crozet goes, lack of leadership is the problem.

    • Turd Ferguson

      Ed is that really you?!?!!??! Some good points to be sure.
      The CCAC has long come across as “representing the voice of the people of Crozet”. And they certainly don’t. I sure as hell don’t want the self-inflated NIMBY egos to make the call on whether or not 300+ jobs come to Crozet because their Mayberry mentality has them fixated on the proximity to the schools. Hopefully the County still has their loss of Blue Mountain to Nelson fresh in their minds. Not all developers are the bogeyman either. I don’t think many people understand that Crozet has the serious potential to *evolve* in a positive and vibrant way. The brewery is just one, albeit major, example. They’re looking to open up their entire east coast brewing facility in Crozet. Every state on the east coast is going to have some place willing to bend over backwards to land that. But “the voice” of Crozet is willing to pass that up? Maybe we can get all up in arms over a few more gas stations over the next 10 years and be satisfied with 10 cash register positions they bring in.

      • Kim Connolly

        Please come to the next CCAC meeting. It was great to see more people attending. The CCAC was very interested in the brewery and the jobs it could bring, but the concern was 1) the proposed lot is zoned residential and 2) it would involved 2 trucks per hour coming and going and that is an issue at that location. Plus the brewery would require a water line that currently ends over a mile away.

        • Edward Strauss

          The proposed Brewery is not in Crozet. All concerns should go to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.The only elected governing body that we have. I have to ask, how many vehicles an hour does track housing bring? And, how many
          decent paying jobs?? Losing tract housing for
          meaningful jobs makes sense to me. And, the reason there currently is no water and sewer is that it is outside the boundaries of the Crozet growth
          district. It is more relevant to Yancey Mills and
          Hillsboro. Something is very wrong here…

          • http://www.realcentralva.com/ Jim Duncan

            There was never a proposal for a brewery. There was a proposal to possibly have a conversation about a proposal for a brewery.

            As to your geography lesson, I’ve stopped arguing that point with you.

          • Edward Strauss

            And that conversation should be with elected officials. No lesson needed, I’ll stick with State highway signs and maps. I do not see the benefit to anyone to believe something that just is not true.
            I guess that is why some people prefer the area to
            stay unincorporated. You can say anything you want and never be really wrong. A proposal to possibly have a conversation about a proposal
            for a brewery.That is the language of deflection.
            Those are the words you use to deny.People
            are already having a conversation. Too late.

          • http://www.realcentralva.com/ Jim Duncan

            That’s not deflection, that’s an accurate description. There was never (as far as I know) a proposal for a brewery, but a proposal to talk about whether to actively seek it out.

            Our loss by being closed-minded and anti-business.

          • Edward Strauss

            Ok, Our current BOS member is guilty of the deflection.She should of invited the brewery and Old Trail to make their pitch to the Supervisors, not give it to the people she knew would bury it. The scale of our loss under this committee system is
            beyond what most could imagine…

  • Rob Gutkowski

    very good assessment of the meeting, I am sorry I could not make it there. Thanks for covering down.

    Edward is correct, Crozet has already grown to the point where it needs more representation as a whole town, it seems like the master plan has allowed the residential growth to happen in Crozet, without the business growth to employ people living in Crozet beyond service sector/retail.

    I agree that we must recognize that change and growth is inevitable, and manage that change to best advantage, or risk becoming a mere bedroom community and “weekend

    spot” for people living in C-ville.

    If the young people graduating from WAHS and elsewhere in the county see no chance of both employment and housing in Crozet, they will move away, and the town idea dies in favor of developments with no common center, all the worker in the family commuting to where the jobs are, in C-ville, or even in Waynesboro which is seeing a rise in start ups.

    The point about rents is key, especially as we have an industrial site at the old ACME site that will be ready next year, aggressive recruiting of likely businesses needs to happen now, work also needs to be done with the county so the businesses won’t be discouraged by needless bureaucracy and stonewalling by those who want to keep employers out, now that they’ve made their money.

  • Kelly Shifflett

    always appreciate how we can stay informed thanks to the “tweet cast” of meetings. this one sounds like a doozie! must sheepishly admit, I planned to attend but was at Starr Hill – wow what a space! certainly a good place for more discussion of the CCAC mtg – and all other things of a Crozet nature ????

  • Transplant

    “If I were a business after this meeting I’d be disinclined to come to Crozet,” but this is not isolated to Crozet. AC has a bad rep across the state with regard to economic development, and according to 24/7 WallSt, the C’ville area is the 9th worst performing economy in the US. I don’t see it recovering anytime soon due to the anti-business / anti-development attitudes. If UVA can’t fill their Research Park with good jobs, how is Crozet going to attract the kinds of businesses it seems people want? After 30 years and can’t even build a freakin’ road (Western BP), believe me when I say in my travels that I have yet to find a business that takes AC seriously anymore. The University and AgroTourism are it for now, until younger blood is elected into leadership positions.

    Niitek just laid off a bunch in the Park, and more layoffs coming with Federal $ reductions (C’ville and AC economies survive primarily from government largess.) The Feds off 29 now refer to this area as a “career cul-de-sac,” and many colleagues are in the middle of job searches back north (keep an eye on the Green County real estate market…) My wife and I will be relocating out of the area as well due to the lack of viable careers that don’t include nametags and hair nets. Good jobs with real salaries are only a few hours away. Unless you have family $ or work at the University, the reality is there is very little here. And the pitchforks come out over the brewery proposal???

  • Tom Loach

    One of the tweets asked a question about how Crozet should evolve, which seemed strange since all you need to do is to look at the master plan for the answer. Yes, the master plan is the guide to development for the growth area of Crozet and was set up to plan for the eventual build out of Crozet. The master plan put all concerned, resident, land owner, developer and government on an equal playing field and provided a level of certainty that all could depend on when making land use decisions. The master plan gets reviewed every 5 years and has already been through several iterations, each approved after multiple public meetings before the CCAC, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. There have been several changes made to the plan when the changes proposed, while not consistent with the plan, did have the advise and consent of the community. Examples of those changes were the change in zoning for the Watkins Landscaping company on Route 250 and The Lodge at Old Trail. There was also a larger more recent change in the form of the Downtown Master Plan to support the premise that the community wanted the downtown to continue to be the business center for Crozet and maintain the goal that Rt 250 should remain as development free as current zoning allows.

    • Edward Strauss

      Build a library/municipal building and business will come.
      Rebuild a couple hundred yards of main st and business will come.
      Nope, did not work.
      The question is how much more time is going to be wasted on a
      committee system that does not work? Elected officials should be held accountable for the lack of a balanced community in Crozet.
      More business has been chased off from Crozet that the current

      bunch will admit.This brewery nonsense is starting to awaken
      people to the current situation. I will suggest that the management
      of Old Trail be given the chance to get Crozet back on the right
      path. They seem to be more about action then words and excuses.
      Business will locate where it feels that it will have the best chance.
      It seems to be up on Rt 250 not in Crozet. Before the committee
      system that was not the case. I see that you have elevated the
      CCAC to the same level as the Planning Commission and BOS.
      That is the problem. That linkage does not exist…

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