The Vue – Coming to Downtown Crozet – 120+ Apartments

The Vue in Downtown Crozet - Preliminary Site Plan
The Vue – Preliminary Site Plan

 

An interesting by-right development is coming to downtown Crozet.

The Vue. 120+ apartments on Blue Ridge Avenue.

Dig into the plan. (start here) Get informed and aware. The preliminary site plan is here.

The Crozet Gazette isn’t a fan of the project. (bolding mine)

The poster child for abuse of this policy is a new by-right apartment project called The Vue on Blue Ridge Avenue. On land zoned R6 and designated at that density in the Crozet Master Plan, Pinnacle Construction and Development of Charlottesville will build nine 14-unit apartment buildings, a clubhouse and swimming pool to create a total of 125 apartments with an effective density of R18. This cynical and exploitative move is an act of sabotage to the master plan and destroys a happy 125-year-old neighborhood.

Read the whole thing.

 

Update: The Crozet Gazette pulls this from their archives:

 

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39 Replies to “The Vue – Coming to Downtown Crozet – 120+ Apartments”

  1. This area really needs affordable housing. It looks like a rather busy plan, but at some point in the near future, the way to attract high paying business ventures to the area will require action, not prolonged posturing for the perfect plan (i.e. – Barnes Lumber Property). If people want this area to continue to be a bedroom community for Charlottesville employers only, it truly limits the possibilities in the downtown Crozet area for living wage jobs and some good paying blue collar jobs. Companies looking to locate here, want housing to be diverse as to support a wide range of income ranges. I think we need to focus on the acceptance of diversity, our community leaders publicly advertise, but privately limit. This area can’t be only an area for upper middle class people in subdivisions. How about we focus on what is best for everybody who calls Crozet home and welcoming some changes for the better. I am all for smart development… I am not for fighting all development, because it is “perfect” and discussed for years.. without action. Find a reasonable compromise with the developer and move forward. There is a greater cost of doing nothing (i.e. – a completely neglected Barnes Lumber plot for the past 14 months is one example).

    1. I hear you on supporting economic diversity but does shoe horning a R18 complex on R6 land bypassing 1/2 a dozen reasonable sites for a development like this what you mean by “not Perfect?” 125 (ONE HUNDRED & TWENTY FIVE) Units on almost 5 acres with only 1 entrance (an elongated parking lot)on to Lil Blue Ridge Ave (on a steep incline), walled off from the old Crozet Neighborhood while demolishing one of it’s most beautiful historic structures. Blue Ridge ave was never intended to support this kind of density. “The Vue LLC” has loopholed their way around every common sense/public safety concern in order to absolutely maximize the volume of this complex. This is nowhere near perfect getting in the way of good. This is no master plan.

      1. Danny, I didn’t say I liked the specific (first) plan.. but this is the developer’s first cut.. They will certainly push for the highest density they can get, by right.. I believe with enough community respectful pressure on the developer, Ann Malek and others, the density can be changed and both parties can get what they need.

        1. I’ve been to the meetings thinking the same thing. That this egregious plan would be replaced be a slightly lesser one & more palatable due to the original. However I don’t think they have 1 reason to scale this down & in fact have found a loophole or exemption around every reasonable concern. Possibly storm water drainage due to impervious surfaces. The land is zoned “By Right” giving the developers all of the cards. If the lumber mill had the same advantage, ground would have been broken long ago. This would be a great location for a Agri-hood!

          1. Danny. I agree on all your points.. except on the lumber mill property. There is plenty the developer could have done the past 14 months on that property. I know exactly what the lumber mill developer could do, but that is another long subject. My company offered to buy part of that lumber mill property (the CSX plot) as part of the overall development. That is a much longer story.

    2. This doesn’t stay a bedroom community if you bring this so called diversified neighborhood limited at population of 12,000 in 2030. The cost of living here and limited amenities will not be a attractive feature for low cost housing. Take in account that the attraction for many prospective residents is not diversification. There is plenty of diversification in Charlottesville.

    3. This sounds someone is looking for subsidies from the government. Something we do not need. You want money get some grants. We do not need anymore affordable housing. Do you live here?

  2. Are you from Crozet? I am assuming not. If you were from Crozet you would know that this is just a bad idea, and poor judgement. The families on Blue Ridge Ave. have lived there for years. I for one am part of a family that has lived 4 generations on Blue Ridge occupying more than one home on that street, and building two homes. Find another location for your “affordable housing”. Do you want low income housing on you street? This will only bring nothing good to the families that have built their lives in this area Do you really think apartment dwellers care about the area? Crime will increase, schools will be overly filled, and people will move to Albemarle County to live on our tax money. U see no revenue coming from this, only expense.

    1. I have lived in Crozet for almost two years renting a townhouse while we are building our new house just outside of town. It is not “my” affordable housing. I have absolutely no problem with lower cost housing and I find it really troubling that you think “apartment dwellers” are all bad and will increase crime and crowd our schools. I have lived in a small town in my 49 year life, and I don’t stereotype any person based on how much they make or where they live. Apartment dwellers do pay taxes on their personal property and are due equal respect and an opportunity to improve their lives . I understand your frustration about the location, but no matter where any apartments get built, some people will oppose it. I encourage you not to stereotype your future neighbors. Why not do the right thing and welcome new people when they move in. You might find a new lifelong friend.

      1. I have lived in Crozet for 58 years.I see nothing but houses and people.They have filled our schools and roads and our taxes are raised almost every year.I see nothing good about a 120 unit apartment complex coming to Crozet.As for the lumber yard it would make a great place to plant trees and save a little of Crozet from developers.Richard I see you are building your house just outside of town.Why?

        1. Larry… Because I have lived in subdivisions enough in my life.. We wanted a few acres fairly close to downtown Crozet.. just about 5 minutes outside of town, so we purchased 2 acres up above the Mint Springs Valley Park on Mint Springs Road. My company tried to open a small green manufacturing plant in Crozet (on a little less than 2 acres of the Barnes Lumber Property.. (small CSX plot)) along the tracks, but we ended up going with a site in the Hampton Roads area.

          I am not interested in overcrowding this area with houses and people. I am most interested in embracing diversity, affordable housing and bringing living wage jobs to the community, so people are all not driving out of town to Charlottesville and Waynesboro, to make a decent living. That would result in less congestion on 64 and 250, if a lot more people could live AND work in Crozet, and make a reasonable living wage. As far as taxes, Albemarle County is right at the VA state average for county taxes. I am all for planting trees and preserving some natural areas in downtown Crozet. Myself, my wife and my son call this home and this is the last house we are building. I want to spend the rest of my life here. Trust me, I have spoken with some developers in this area. Many are just in “buy and hold for speculation”. Some want to squeeze things by… But I hope a compromise is negotiated and the proposed apartment plan becomes less dense.

          I would imagine many of the people who work in the core retail businesses can’t even afford to live in Crozet, so they drive to Crozet for low paying retail store jobs. Change is certain … But a better balance between economic development (not just retail) and preserving the Crozet heritage is seriously needed too. I try to think about the generations after me, not just my own generation and self interests.

  3. I grew up on Blue Ridge Avenue and have had family members living there for 6 decades. My family still owns two homes, not houses but HOMES, there. One has been there for 60 years. Blue Ridge Avenue cannot sustain the additional traffic this will bring. This proposed development would drastically change a long standing neighborhood. I am not opposed to development in Crozet or to an apartment complex such as this. I believe there are better places for it. Since I had family members who worked at both Crozet Lumber Company and Barnes Lumber Company, I hated to see them go. However, they are gone. At least part of that property would be better suited for this proposed project. On a sentimental side, a detest the idea of a lovely 125 year old home around which I played being destroyed for this development.

    1. Sue… I appreciate your balanced perspective without stereotypes. I don’t disagree about the traffic issues. No one likes to see a nice 125 year old house torn down. I don’t know the parties involved in the development, but I am sure a compromise on the layout of their plan is prudent and possible with the proper negotiation and pressure. I am not sure any new apartment development in the Crozet area would be fine with everybody. There will always be those who don’t want it close to them. I just happen to believe we should never stereotype lower income people who live in apartments, as increasing crime and crowding our schools. I say contact the developer directly and negotiate with them for a plan that is workable for both parties. A hostile neighbor situation serves no good for either party involved. At the end of the day, the county has to approve the development (by right).

  4. I think a little history is important with respect to the apartment development. The community Crozet spent a considerable amount of time and effort working with the Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA), the owner of the land, to come up with a plan for the property in question. Multiple meetings were held over several months working with planners and designers from PHA. Each meeting, which was held at the Crozet Methodist Church was filled to capacity. The outline for the final plan was to be a mixed income development with a variety of housing types, which included everything from apartment type buildings next to small single family homes, next to attached homes. The home that was on the property along Blue Ridge Ave. was to be preserved to maintain the character of the the neighborhood, which is not the case with the new plan. Then without any consultation or even notification PHA sold the land to the current developer. I’m sure that if you compare both proposals most would agree the original mixed income, mixed housing type plan would be better then a large apartment complex and better for Crozet in general.

    1. Not sure what you mean by assumption, but it was PHA who sponsored the community meeting and provided the planners and designers to come up with a mixed use, mixed income plan. Having attended the meetings I thought the PHA and the community were well underway to coming up with a good plan.

    1. I am sure you will keep bugging them. I am also sure they are overwhelmed with public feedback. I wish you good luck in helping negotiate a viable plan, Sue. Peace. 🙂

  5. Who are you Rich Pleasant? What committee are you on? You have only lived in Crozet for 2years and you think delevopment like this one should be okay. Like Sue Hughes my grandmother lived on Blue Ridge, and I now live in her home and grew up in this area. This delevopment would destroy Blue Ridge this is a quiet street that kids can play on it, people take walks though here without having to worry about getting run over. 125 apartments, 125 cars that won’t turn to go towards Jarman gap Rd. They will come now Blue Ridge around to Carter St and so on. You have know idea. Let’s see if there is land available near where you are building your new house and put some apartments near you.

    1. Teresa,

      I am not on any committee. I am just another concerned citizen of Crozet, who cares about our community. No reason for the aggressive comments directed at me personally. I have no problem with apartments near me and my family. Our family might make a few new friends that way. No reason to make this personal and project your personal frustration with this development toward me, Teresa. It is completely counterproductive, disrespectful and adds nothing to a constructive discussion on this topic.

  6. The committees are at the root of the problem. This is the most inefficient way of doing anything and the very notion that a small self serving group can speak for the majority is absurd. As long as we have a disinterested member on the BOS this will only get worse. What is planned for Blue Ridge Ave is disgusting. But, there may be some benefit to local people of being able to have affordable housing. Using the “historic” term now does no longer apply since you have already dug up main street and poured concrete over some of the nicest terrain in Central Va.
    Wasting taxpayer money on a Municipal Building and rarely
    used sidewalks push us even closer to being an Urban Area
    which is the perfect place for this housing project. And, when you consider the number of plastic, tract housing developments along with the major sale of retail space
    what outcome do you expect out of these developers and realtors? While the committees are fighting to control what is
    happening outside of Crozet, up on route 250, they can not
    even control whats is going on in their own backyard…
    What is needed are real elected representatives who will, with
    out conflict of interest, represent the best interests of the majority. By incorporating, Crozet can overcome this…

    1. Incorporation is a longer term option for Crozet. But that requires a petition and tons of signatures, a pro-bono attorney and filling out a long application to the state. In the meantime, I would agree these committees need to reach out more regularly to the whole Crozet community for input than once every few years.

      I also agree that a small group of citizens should not try speak for the majority of Crozet citizens. However, I believe many on these committes have good intentions, but many have developers camped out in all their meetings. This article is about a specific development and a bad loophole that allows this kind of development density. I understand the orginial plan was for 72 units total. That seems much more reasonable.

      1. I think that you would get the same results if only 72 units
        were approved. Slowly people are starting to realize what
        is going to happen. What is coming on 240 should really
        wake them up. Developers know their trade. They are
        responsible to their investors only. They know the rules long before the committees know they are even around. I still think that if we had an effective member on the BOS without their
        own personal agenda we would be far better off.

        1. Edward … Agreed on your points about 240. Effective and transparent BOS representation is essential. I saw no one running against her last time. I believe we have 3.5 more years with Ann as our county supervisor. I have not seen or heard of her publically taking much of a defined position (either way) on this development or other recent developments.

  7. Any further development in the Crozet area needs to be better thought out and transparent to this small community. If wage paying jobs are sought in Crozet to bring people to work here, then an infrastructure to handle that traffic and population growth needs to be established before high density housing is completed. Slowly and increasingly, traffic and services are becoming a real problem in Crozet. We need to improve our network of roads (such as an east-end connector) and access to services (supermarkets and other businesses) before further population increase. My other concern about high density housing is that it lowers real estate property. We need better representation at the county level.

  8. Robert… well our representation at the county level with our supervisor is set for the next 3.5 years. Ann Malek ran unopposed last year and her term runs thru at least 2019. My business would have had the required infrastructure on that CSX lot inside the Barnes Lumber property, but the developer was being absolutely ridiculous with his contract terms. We were going to utilize rail for all shipments, in and out. Instead we selected another site in the Hampton Roads area.

    I agree on the roads situation for other types of businesses, not utilizing rail. In my experience in VA, when a supervisor runs unopposed with few promises to constituents, they kind of sit back and just coast in their positions. Many other rural counties in the US deal with this sort of dynamic with unmanaged development and borderline passive representation.

  9. I think it is important to know the facts as they relate to this development before giving an uninformed opinion, which unfortunately has never stopped Mr. Strauss. The rezoning of this property took place long before 1. Ann Mallek was elected and 2. Before the was a Crozet Community Advisory Committee was formed. The current zoning allows for the high density development to occur “By Right”, which means the developer does not have to go before the planning commission or the Board of Supervisors for permission.
    If by wasting taxpayer money on a Municipal Building Mr. Strauss means the Crozet Library, what can I say except “Duh”.

    1. Hmm… An anonymous troll, how nice.
      What is the point? Are you saying that the current “Plan” can
      not be changed?
      Are you saying that our elected representative is actively involved in making Crozet into an urban area?
      That the CCAC is not an unelected , self serving committee that would not exist if our current board member would become involved with current issues and not constantly trying to insert herself on other boards.
      And, we are not stuck with her for 3.5 more years. If there is enough interest she could be subject to a recall petition. If nothing else, this could wake her up and actually get her to
      start representing the district that she was elected to represent. The Municipal building is much more than a library
      and even that part was over built to the point that it is still not
      where it should be. That is what an unelected, self serving
      committee gets you… What facts have I missed???

  10. Ok… I don’t know who “Crozet Resident” is.. but this seems personal and directed at Mr. Strauss (who I have never met).. so I am stepping out of this discussion. I hope a plan that is more reasonable is negotiated. Good Luck.

  11. Richard Pleasants, I am not sure who you are or where you came from, but you have only lived in Crozet 2 years. I have lived in Crozet for 40 plus years and owned property on Blue Ridge Ave. So unless you have some helpful ideas on how we can stop this from happening, I would suggest you refrain from any more comments on the situation.

    1. Doug… I am not sure who you are either.. but that has no bearing on a civil discussion among adults on this public forum. I will not “refrain” from discussing this topic because you suggest that somehow my comments are less valuable than you in this community. This is a free country, so my free speech is protected. I have provided some ideas on how to find a compromise. Your tone and aggressive post are disrespectful and I will not respond to your comments here. We all live in this community together and we all have an equal voice, so try respecting that. You can always request my email address from the website owner, and I will be glad to speak with you one on one, face to face or on the phone, if you feel the need to continue an adult and civil discussion on this topic.

  12. That is not how it works. In Community all voices are heard.
    The way I see it a few people are trying to take over the area and
    make it an Urban one.The conflicts of interest among these people would disqualify them from most govt. sponsored boards and elected positions. The reason it is tolerated here is a disinterested elected representative and a newly arrived population. Our roads are safe, our schools are fine and we still have a highly desirable area. Any doubts of the facts are drowned out by the large herd of people buying anything to get to live here. Move to an area with no jobs, unsafe roads to live
    in a tract house??? Seems that there is a desperate need for
    some type of conversation…

  13. I am equally disgusted by this future attrocity as well, but directing our negative energy at each other is not going to get us anywhere. We need to all work together and figure out what, if anything, can be done to stop this. I don’t know enough about this kind of thing to offer any valuable suggestions, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to help. Rich, I don’t disagree with you that Crozet needs affordable housing, but I invite you to take a walk down Blue Ridge avenue and surrounding roads and just envision the damage that will be caused to this wonderful neighborhood if this plan is allowed to move forward. Just because something can be built, does not mean that it should.

    1. I invite you to take a walk through any of the track housing developments that have been put in the last few years and
      just envision what was destroyed to put them in. This whole area is getting urbanized to the point that it will no longer exist. The only thing left will be the Railroad Track. To wait until something happens in actual Crozet, Well, that’s what the developers are counting on. Too little, too late. But, I think that it is a mistake to bash affordable housing. I would truly prefer a local person in affordable housing to any track housing development with the needy people it brings to the area…

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