Jobs in Crozet?

The RFP (Request for Proposals) for the next life of the old Crozet Library/Train Depot has gone out, (as noted here in November) and the discussion about “what jobs/businesses does Crozet needs” has been refreshed.

I submit Robert Gutowski’s comment on the RealCrozetVA Facebook page as a starting place, once you’ve read (okay, skimmed) these stories: What should become of the old Crozet Library and Result of the “what should become of the Crozet Library poll and What Businesses should come to Crozet.

Real jobs, not just retail and restaurants. Young people graduate from WAHS or UVA, where can they work in town? Some apartments within walking distance of the Square, with the median housing price in Crozet being above $275K, where can a young WAHS or UVA graduate live in town even if there were employers? A town needs all these things to maintain its own identity, otherwise it becomes a mere bedroom community for Charlottesville.

(big) Questions:

  • Where should the jobs go?
  • What could/should Albemarle County do to encourage jobs coming to Crozet?
  • How much input is reasonable for the public to have beyond typical zoning, etc?
  • How to accommodate/counter NIMBYism?

 

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9 Replies to “Jobs in Crozet?”

  1. Until the provincial attitude of long time residents changes, I doubt there will ever be “real jobs.” Remember the brewery and discussions about the area around the sawmill?

  2. Musictoday is an excellent example of a business in Crozet that offers a variety of “Real” jobs: software engineering, project management, client services, marketing, art / graphic design, executive / director type positions, warehouse, call center.

    Beyond what we already have in Musictoday, just look at where the energy is in Charlottesville proper: lots of small / medium start-ups that have sprung out of the academic and medical centers. Technology. Publishing. Medical.

    1. Would the average salary there actually allow an employee to be able to afford to live in Crozet? The people I know that work there can not…

      1. For the hourly-wage jobs (warehouse and call-center), perhaps not comfortably. But for the salaried jobs, yes. I can think of nine people off the top of my head, including myself, that work there and also live in Crozet.

        1. While jobs are jobs I expect the majority of them there are below the living wage needed for a Crozet lifestyle. Like a WalMart or other
          big box style business there are a number of people that make decent money while the vast majority do not. If you have a job
          where you make enough to live here without having to have a second job, good for you.

  3. I don’t see Crozet ever moving beyond its status as a Charlottesville bedroom community, at least in the next couple decades. It’s explosive growth in recent years has been as a bedroom community, meaning that the people who moved here in recent times liked what they saw as a bedroom community and are unlikely to want significant changes. Also, Albemarle County has no intrinsic reason for supporting job creation in Crozet, a job created along the route 29 corridor brings in the same tax revenue as one in Crozet. Additionally, Crozet is neither here or there from a larger regional perspective; Crozet isn’t close enough to Charlottesville to gain significantly from proximity to UVA, et al., and the Waynesboro/Vally-region with it’s more business friendly climate is only a short drive over the ridge.

    The only way I see the points above being overcome is if the economy becomes so bad that a large number of people are trapped in Crozet without jobs and are unable to move away to a better economy due underwater mortgages or other market factors. Or, if Crozet were to become an incorporated town, similar to Charlottesville, then it would have an intrinsic need to support job creation within its borders; this is extremely unlikely, as far as I can tell the last time a new town was created in Virginia was in the 1800s.

    All of this is really too bad because Route 250 is only going to become more congested in the coming years as more people move to Crozet the bedroom community, and any attempt to widen or add lanes to 250 will be met with extreme resistance by those who live along the road. The bedroom community nature of Crozet is one of the reason why I would never want to buy a house here; the town feels soulless, like a corpse that’s only alive on evenings and weekends.

    On a more concrete and constructive note, I think Crozet has three natural assets for attracting jobs/businesses: 1) railroad access, 2) interstate access, and 3) the Western Albemarle lifestyle. Assets 1 and 2 are unlikely to be developed due to the current development attitudes, for example see the recent Yancey Mills light industrial park development proposal. This leaves only the superb Western Albemarle lifestyle. I think the most promising avenue of exploration would be to convince some Cville startup company that needs to expand to locate in Crozet, of course doing so would require some pre-existing office-space which seems to be in short-supply in Crozet.

    1. I agree on a lot of your points. The Tract Housing/Bedroom Community effect leads
      to a community losing it’s soul. The closer people are the farther apart they become. What is the Western Albemarle lifestyle???? Are you not familiar with the
      Rural Virginia lifestyle?

      1. “Western Albemarle lifestyle” was my poor attempt at coining a phrase for all the amenities one enjoys by living in Crozet: beautiful county parks at your doorstep, gorgeous rural roads for bicycling, easy access to superb wineries and breweries, the AT just minutes away, etc.

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