Wariness of the Crozet Master Plan

A letter from a reader:

Thank you for the continued updates. We bought in December 2013 in (Crozet) and love it. We will be retiring there in the next few years and selling our DC metro home in MD.

We have watched with dismay over the past 40 years as a pastoral gem — Piscataway, MD, est. 1636 — was continually remade in the image of special interest groups, county government, and developers who could not grasp the significance of an area 20 minutes from the Capitol Building in DC that retained so much early local history, buildings, and active farms. There were many meetings, zoning amendments, master plans presented, but ultimately, all was disregarded and developed much like the rest of the area. Very large homes on tiny lots with a high foreclosure rate, inadequate infrastructure, terrible roads, intolerable commutes, and schools that rank among the lowest in MD. However, we have a world class casino 10 minutes away…

The experience has left me very leery of Smart Growth. Or, any promise of master plans that will actually govern the development process and honor the vision that preserves the essence of the area being considered and the will of the people.

I’m not anti growth. I just wonder if we really want the Crozet area to look just like every other developing area. I think it is a very shortsighted view.

    – Chris
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7 Replies to “Wariness of the Crozet Master Plan”

  1. At first look it seems clear that Chris has probably not read the Crozet Master Plan. On the other hand I’m glad Chris isn’t anti growth since he/she will be moving to a growth area. Then again, Chris should be reassured by the fact that there is not much land left in the growth area to be developed. If Chris did read the master plan he/she would see quite clearly that the plan tries to preserve all the important elements that make Crozet such a great place to live. The master plan has done its best to protect development along Rt. 250, a designated Virginia Scenic Byway, from looking like Rt 29 North or Pantops. The development that is on Rt 250 is the result of zoning prior to the master plan. Like Chris I agree that protecting a community from developers and the county is an on going battle as we have recently seen with Adelaide development. Not only have the citizens of Crozet protected Rt 250 from becoming a development nightmare with one strip mall after another, but the plan also protected the Rt 250/ Rt 64 interchange from becoming an industrial park. The Crozet Master Plan is the reason the Old Trail commercial center is in fact in the center of Old Trail and Not on Rt 250. Instead we worked very hard to have a master plan that maintains our downtown as the social and business center for Crozet. Finally, I would suggest Chris take the time and complete the upcoming Crozet Community Survey, which is being done the the Crozet Community Association and will be part of the effort to update our current Master Plan. Surely Crozet needs input from people like Chris who have seen what bad things can happen to a community to from bad development .

  2. I second all that Tom says and invite Chris to join us in helping to preserve and enhance the parts of Crozet that drew him to this area. Come to the monthly CCAC meetings (3rd Wednesdays, 7PM at the Crozet Library), come to the bi-monthly CCA meeting (2nd Thursday, 7:30 PM at the Field School on odd-numbered months (e.g, May 11.) Visit the CCA website (crozetcommunity.org) and sign-up on the email list. Buy a subscription to the Crozet Gazette and subscribe to the Crozet Today online paper.
    Come to our next Crozet Master Plan survey development meeting this Thursday, 3/30 at 7:00 PM at the Field School. Crozet is such a great place because many who have lived here over the decades were engaged, thoughtful, and protective of what makes this place Crozet.

  3. A small group of people should not be able to hijack the process
    of what the future of Crozet should be. A survey by these people is utter nonsense since it can be written and manipulated by them.
    The only type of impartial survey is a ballot question. This can then be considered by the only elected government that this area has.
    Crozet is an unincorporated area. You do not have to join a certain group to have your ideas heard. The Silent Majority usually wins elections but, not the current mess. You do not have to buy a Gazette or join a certain group. I suggest contacting
    the Albemarle County Board Of Supervisors to let your views be
    known. [email protected] No group membership or gazette
    subscription required…

    Do you want an Urban Area or not???
    Who do you want planning the areas future??
    What is the boundary of the area that this involves??
    (The Rt 64 interchange is not in Crozet or growth area.)
    (neither is the beer joint or gas station)
    Is a survey the appropriate way to decide an issue like this?

    Really get out and talk to people, (no internet). Find out what is true and what is self serving. Figure out what you want and what you can live without cause once its gone it is not coming back.

  4. Just to clear up a point Ed raised about the Rt 64 interchange. It was in fact the Board of Supervisors who specifically asked the community of Crozet to include the Rt 64 interchange question as part of the last Master Plan. To that end the community decided it did not want to see the zoning changed from rural to light industrial. As far as the beer join, which I assume he means PRN, it is not in the growth area, did not require a rezoning and the master plan had no effect on whether it got built or not. Same for the gas station, which I assume he means Restore N Station, like PRN it was not effected by the Master Plan. That said, there is a question about the future of the Route 250 corridor and should the community continue to protect if from development on both the growth area side and the rural side. As for Ed’s question about whether or not “you” and I assume he means the residents of the growth area want a urban area or not, that question has already been determined by the Board of Supervisors. This is not to mention the fact that there is very little land in the growth area that is available for rezoning and development so the question is fairly moot. Just wanted to clear up a couple of points.

  5. What “Community” was asked anything? That is no more valid than my giving my own opinion. As it is right now there is not anyone elected to speak for this community. And the fact that some people feel that they do is the biggest problem we have. The Master Plan is not an end all document. It can be changed by the only elected authority we have, not a survey. The issues I raised above are still valid and whether you agree or not or feel totally different you should let your elected representatives know. Letting your area, your home, be hijacked by self serving groups makes no sense to me. When the term “Community” is
    used who does that include? Do you really feel that you represent someone other than yourself??

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