The Vue – 126 Apartments in Downtown Crozet – Begins

The Vue – the 126 apartments coming to near-downtown-Crozet, started today. That start was the demolition of one of the oldest – and coolest – homes in Crozet.

 

A serious question – was this envisioned by the Crozet Master Plan?

Background here.

 

An Adelaide Perspective you May Not Have Considered

The owner of the property on which the soon-to-be Adelaide development sits wrote the following to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. I asked her this morning after I read it if I could publish it here.

I’ve seen a lot of the opponents’ voices, and I’ve listened to the pro-development voices, but I’d not seen the owner/seller’s voice until now.

Please, take the time to read and hear another neighbor’s thoughts and concerns.

Good discussion on the accompanying facebook post.


Letter to the Board of Supervisors

Ms. Mallek:
First, I now understand why our country is in such turmoil and dissatisfaction. It’s true, government is out of control, even at our local level. I have found this every step of the way while trying to get my property sold. I question what is the purpose of having a Planning Commission if you don’t abide by their decisions. Why have a planning committee?

Continue reading “An Adelaide Perspective you May Not Have Considered”

Adelaide Rezoning Fails; By-Right Development Moving Forward

via Charlottesville Tomorrow: (read the whole thing)

A divided Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has denied a rezoning for the proposed 80-unit Adelaide development in Crozet, prompting the developer to announce that he will build 35 units on the property instead by-right.

“By opposing Adelaide, the dissenting supervisors … have voted against inclusivity and against the recommendations of the experts that they appointed — the county staff and the planning commis-sioners,” Kyle Redinger said in a statement released shortly (Jim’s note: full statement here) after a motion to approve the rezoning failed on a 3-3 vote.

Further from the Charlottesville Tomorrow story (bolding mine)

“If we believe our communities are no longer accepting of the development-area model to ensure prescribed amenities and targeting growth into specific areas, then we revisit the Comprehensive Plan and the master plans,” McKeel said.

Mallek said the Crozet Master Plan is well-supported by the community, and the community does not want higher density on U.S. 250. However, she said the plan was supposed to have been updated in 2015 in part to reduce the ambiguity.

“There are several different elements of the Crozet Master Plan, and what seems to have happened is that one was chosen by [the Planning Commission] to be more important than the other,” Mallek said. “But it is the Board of Supervisors’ job to re-evaluate that.

A question on that – as it’s the BoS job to re-evaluate the plan, does the Board support the CCAC/CCA/Board of Trade re-evaluating the Crozet Master plan?

 


Two things to point out

Related from December

Adelaide Going to Board of Supervisors

The Adelaide neighborhood proposal is going to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors today.  Agenda here.

A question: if the County turn down this rezoning proposal, will the by-right result be better or worse for Crozet?  

Will the by-right neighborhood provide trails, buffers from 250, etc? Will the by-right houses be more or less affordable than the rezoned houses? (Answer: far less) — is this good for Crozet to have more expensive houses?

Crozet Today reports that Supervisor Ann Mallek is lobbying against the neighborhood:

Continue reading “Adelaide Going to Board of Supervisors”

Service Tax Districts in Albemarle County?

Crozet - Image from Charlottesville Tomorrow
Crozet – Image from Charlottesville Tomorrow

I’ll wait for the news reports to come in before formulating my own opinion, but the tweets from Neil Williamson, of the Free Enterprise Forum, from today were interesting.

Update: Sean Tubbs with Charlottesville Tomorrow has more.

Short question – would you be willing to pay more taxes to fund infrastructure improvements in Crozet? Such as the Lickinghole Creek bridge/connector from Westhall to 250?

 

Say … $100/year?*

(Illustration: For a house assessed at $350,000, an increase
of 2.8 cents on the tax rate would equate to an annual
increase of $98.00; a 1.6 cent increase on the tax rate
would equate to an annual increase of $56.00. )

A few points from the County presentation: (I highly recommend you read the whole thing)

  • Services districts are a tool that have been authorized for decades
  • The general purpose of a service district is to provide additional, more complete or more timely services of government than are desired for the locality or localities as a whole
  • Service districts are geographic areas composed of less than all of the County’s territory, and whose boundaries are established by the Board of Supervisors
  • The Board may levy and collect an annual tax on real property within the service district to pay for the facilities authorized to be provided in the district
  • The tax is an ad valorem tax

As the conversation continues

And I’d forgotten about these stories

Important note – When people refer to Crozet as a “town,” they are wrong.

*This is why permanent URLs are important. I’m looking at you, Daily Progress and Albemarle County, the websites of the dead links.

Continue reading “Service Tax Districts in Albemarle County?”

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Meeting – 14 Sept 2016

Big discussions at the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting – West Glen neighborhood and stream crossing special use permit (approved), Restore N Station (vote was deferred), and a fair amount about schools in Albemarle.

I recapped the tweets from Neil Williamson (and a few others) below. Click through to the end, and make your way back up, and get informed.

But then I started watching the video of the hearing … and became interested, and started tweeting myself.

The agenda from the BoS is here.

Click through to read all the tweets (start at the bottom; it’s pretty interesting)


Continue reading “Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Meeting – 14 Sept 2016”

Foothill Crossing Rezoning Approved by Planning Commission

Note that it still needs to go to the Board of Supervisors.

Sean Tubbs at Charlottesville Tomorrow reports: (read the whole thing) ((bolding mine))

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has recommended adoption of a proposal to rezone land within the boundaries of the Crozet Master Plan. The development also would add to the area’s transportation network.

Only one person spoke during the public hearing and he said he was uncertain about the future roadways.

“Most of the roads that were described as being built were described as ‘hopefully, they will be completed one day,’” said Parkside Village resident Phil Kirby. “They really don’t mean much to the residents if they’re not done.”

“I think it’s going to be important for us to reach agreement on what extent of completion there needs to be done in the concept plan before we review it,” Keller said. “It puts us in a difficult position if they are not complete.”

Firehock compared the development to nearby Adelaide, which was recommended by the commission only after details about unit types were locked down.

“I do not feel comfortable moving forward with the level of information we have,” Firehock said.

However, Commissioner Jennie More said she felt she could support this rezoning because Riverbend is developing several of the adjacent properties.


Update: a few additional thoughts/quote pulls:

From the Adelaide conversation the other day (bolding mine)

Our land-use plans are not matching up to our zoning expectations,” he said “I think that creates a lot of dysfunction in how we go about doing our planning. It sets poor expectations for what is to come.”

Sheffield said he would be in support of Crozet rewriting its Master Plan for lower density and proactively changing the zoning accordingly.

Another supervisor whose district contains large portions of U.S. 250 dealt the final blow to the evening’s review of the proposal.

“I think this project is a beautiful project,” said Liz Palmer. “I’m not worried about the schools. What I’m worried about is safety on that road. I can’t support a development with this kind of density in that spot.”

But in Foothills

At least half of the homes would be single-family homes and at least 10 percent would be townhouses. However, the exact mix of units is not yet known.

Maybe I’m missing something, but this seems inconsistent.


Good comments on the Facebook post.

 

Looking at Crozet’s Housing Build Out

Saw this on Twitter this morning, posted on the RealCrozetVA Facebook to great comments, and wanted to put it here.

Crozet Build out numbers - from Albemarle County
Crozet Build out numbers – prepared by Kyle Redinger, developer of Adelaide, based on numbers from Albemarle County … see the “context” link below.

Context.

Questions

  • Can the infrastructure handle the growth?
    • Bike lanes, sidewalks, roads
  • Can the schools?
  • What businesses are being sought to balance the growth, so that tax burden isn’t shouldered by residential?

 


Also re: Adelaide

6 Years to Get a Sidewalk in Crozet

Sidewalk from Field School/Crozet Elementary
Sidewalk from Field School/Crozet Elementary

But hey, at least we’re getting a sidewalk!  Remember when the sidewalk grant was announced in 2010? And we talked about it in 2011?

Thanks, really, to those at the County and the community (and those who straddle both!) for continuing the push. Unfortunately, my kids are now well out of Crozet Elementary, but I look forward to seeing more kids riding bikes and walking to school!

And thanks to those at Crozet Elementary who continue to push and advocate for walking and biking to school!

Note: accompanying Facebook post.

Sidewalk from Field School/Crozet Elementary
Sidewalk from Field School/Crozet Elementary

Continue reading “6 Years to Get a Sidewalk in Crozet”

Public Involvement Matters as Crozet Grows

Neil Williamson has a solid editorial at the FEF (as noted on the RealCrozetVA facebook page): — make sure to click through and read the whole thing.

If a significant community engagement process happens and the project still gains approval, does the process have value?  What if the project is rejected out of hand, or the density reduced, then does it have value?  I anticipate it depends where you sit.  Please let me explain.

A week ago Sunday (July 3) I was surprised to find myself nodding in agreement with an opinion piece in The Washington Post written by Stewart Schwartz, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.  The piece entitled “Stop saying no to development in your neighborhood”  included the following:

“Yet wherever infill and walkable, transit-accessible development are proposed, existing residents are either saying no to development or forcing it to be cut back so much that the region isn’t producing the new housing we need.

Some of the most strident opposition comes from our wealthiest and most fortunate neighborhoods. This is the case even though these neighborhoods have benefited as their property values have soared by virtue of convenient access to Metro and all of the jobs, restaurants, grocery stores and services that transit-oriented development brings.

It is a good thing that people are passionate and actively engaged in planning decisions in our communities. We need everyone at the table, and we need to pay serious attention to good design, transportation, public spaces, affordable housing and other community benefits. We need to ensure we balance development, historic preservation, public parks and other community assets. But the intensity and hostility of the opposition are suppressing thoughtful discussion about the benefits of transit-oriented development for the community, transportation and the environment.”

One thing I’ll add: the minutes provided often are not as detailed or as timely as I would like; that’s ones of the big reasons I try to tweet (and often have help thankfully) the meetings. CCAC tweet summaries and agendas are here.