CCAC Wrap-up – November 2023 | Transportation & Land Use!

Downtown Crozet with winter morning sun on the mountains

As ever, thanks to Crozet Gazette for the recording. If you can find the time to watch the meeting, I think it’s an instructive background into growth in Albemarle and Crozet going forward. Start or continue your learning about Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan at Engage Albemarle.

I missed the meeting, and it looks like it was sparsely-attended, despite transportation and infrastructure being such important parts of our community conversation.

A few things jumped out as I watched the meeting

  • 12:07 multi modal planning approach; focusing growth within development areas
  • 15:50 centers and destinations of activity – Crozet is a bit ahead of other development areas
  • 16:55 jobs & people densities — this is really interesting
  • 21 modes
  • 25:00 — urban design conversation, context, vocabulary are too complicated for an an average citizen to understand? Planning and development are meaty topics that affect us all, and the November CCAC meeting is an example of why it’s important to consistently pay attention to local government.
  • 45:00 — AC44 future land use and planning designations; this is important (and technical) stuff that affects how we live and grow. There are 24 land use designations (confusing) across 5 master plans.

January’s meeting will be about the Crozet Square!

Via email from the County

(me: I always forget there’s a Crozet CAC folder on the County’s site.)

Here are the individual links

Crozet CAC AC44 Presentation

Crozet Modal Emphasis Map

Draft Updated Land Use Designations for AC44

And, just a reminder, questionnaires are open online for the following chapter draft goals and objectives:

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Meeting – 15 November 2023

When I see the agenda come through my email, I try to make a few minutes to open it and scan for Crozet-related items.

Here’s the agenda for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting that starts at 1pm on Wednesday, 15 November.

The items on the agenda that jumped out to me as being meaningful and relevant to Crozet:

It’s Time to Take the Signs Down, 2023 Edition

Cold Beaver Creek on a frosty November morning.

Or … 2023’s election season in Albemarle County is finally over.

As the dust settles, we are still a great place to live. Close to UVA, Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, good schools (with many of the challenges faced around the country), and genuinely a great place to live.

This was the most divisive, and certainly most expensive, local election I remember.

I was talking to a new-to-Crozet friend this week, and he asked for my seasoned perspective on the Crozet elections. Here we go.

That the school board races cost about $300,000

is offensive, shameful, disgusting. Give each candidate $25K, and put the rest to the Food Bank or some other worthy charity that helps people.

For Board of Supervisors between Brad Rykal and Ann Mallek

I’m glad Brad ran; contested elections are better for everyone, and I hope he continues to be involved beyond the election.

It looks like Brad’s strategy of focusing almost exclusively on growth area matters that directly affect the “urban” area of Crozet almost worked.

Crozet residents are more than the “town” of Crozet.

If “Crozet” wants to have autonomy, Crozet needs to become a town. Simple. (related stories from 2021 in January, and August; there are a lot more if you want to search the blog). Crozet is part of the White Hall district, and further, a part of Albemarle County.

We need more infrastructure (more to come after I watch the video of CCAC November), and we need more housing.

If we want more businesses and services, we need more people (have you seen the complaints on godforaken-Nextdoor about the lack of restaurants and other stuff?)

I find it instructive and interesting that the “urban” areas went so heavily for Brad; I see that as a meaningful indication that Crozet’s townification deserves a serious consideration.

Crozet has gotten a lot of money over the years – Library, Streetscape, Jarmans, Old Trail playground, and we need more — there is no argument here. I’d argue we need protected bike lanes and sidewalks. Build it and they will use it.

One request to fellow Crozetians — go to meetings other than CCAC. CCAC is interesting, yet the meetings that matter are the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors — those votes count.

Another is to support local media like Charlottesville Community Engagement, Crozet Gazette, and Daily Progress.

And go consistently, not just when you see that thing coming that will affect your backyard — go now. And next month, and then next. Be consistent in your attendance and involvement. Being a citizen takes effort and sacrifice.

Short of Crozet getting a benevolent dictator, we’re going to have to work together to continue to build a great Crozet, and we need to look beyond our backyards and look at these changes as generational changes.

I thought I was making up the word “townify” — I was wrong; it was first used in 1798!

town·?i·?fy ?tau?n??f?
: to cause to become urban
a pleasant little village rapidly being townified
: to stamp with the characteristics of the town or city or of urban life
the long townified dress she’d put on—
Christopher Isherwood

Disclosures, for what it’s worth — I gave money to no candidates, had coffee with Brad several times, and genuinely like him, and have known Ann for many years.

It’s going to take more than a sign to make things happen; and what’s wrong with that intersection?

Part 2 – Crozet Real Estate Conversation

What should sellers be doing to prepare for the spring market? Buyers?

Greg Slater and I spoke at length about the Crozet real estate market, what’s happened so far in 2023, and some early thoughts about 2024.

We’re going to start doing these Crozet real estate conversations quarterly; the market is ever-changing and evolving.

Questions/comments? Please leave them below, or contact us directly:

Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot – 27 October 2023

I voted sticker

A meaningful election is upon us in Albemarle County.

Voting is key.

From Albemarle County’s site:

“For the November 7, 2023 General Election:

Early Voting: Friday, September 22, 2023 – Saturday, November 4, 2023

Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, October 16, 2023

Same Day Registration: Tuesday, October 17, 2023 – Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Last day to request a ballot by-mail: Close of business on Friday, October 27, 2023″

(bolding by me)

Figure out where to vote here.

Each election, I have to figure out where to vote, as I voted in the same place for so many years.

I always find voting histories fascinating — here is the Mechums River Voting District history.

I’m choosing to stop looking at Mechums River, as otherwise I’ll be in the voting history rabbit hole for too long, and then I might spend a lot more time looking at who’s giving how much to whom. And marvel at how absolutely insane it is that a local school board race is going to cost about a quarter of a million dollars.

Here’s an idea: each candidate gets $25K to spend on election stuff, and the remaining $200K goes to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, or Meals on Wheels, or PACHEM.

Crozet Real Estate Conversation with Greg and Jim – October 2023

Altos Research Market Action index for Crozet, Virginia. Slight Seller's Advantage

The Crozet real estate market continues to be interesting, and requires constant study. Greg Slater and I are restarting the Crozet Real Estate Conversation series to help provide some insight into the market, and offer guidance for those considering buying or selling homes.

This is Part 1.

Questions/comments? Please leave them below, or contact us directly:

Quick Crozet real estate numbers*

From 1 January 2023 to 19 October 2023:

  • 233 homes have sold
  • Average price: $642,859
  • Median Price: $560,014
  • Average Days on Market: 27
  • Median Days on Market: 5
  • 132 of those 233 homes sold were resales; 101 were new construction.

Right now in Crozet**

  • There are 67 active listings — 33 are resales; 34 are new construction.
  • There are 95 homes under contract — 70 are new construction; 25 are resales.

* “Crozet” for these conversations = Crozet Elementary + Brownsville Elementary school districts

** “Right now” = ~noon on 19 October 2023

*** All data pulled from the Charlottesville MLS


Greg Slater – 434-981-6655

Jim Duncan – 434-242-7140

Thanks to Altos for the market action index image!

Live Where you Can Walk or Ride to School (and other things)

For a period of time, she rode the bus.

Then we walked to school, and I walked back. That took too long for my work life.

So we walked, and I walked my bike and I rode home.

Then she’d ride on the downtube, and that made more time to hang out together at Crozet Mudhouse.

Then we rode to school, and rode home. Stopping at the Mudhouse at least one direction.

Those mornings and afternoons are some of our best memories together. Sure, when I drove her to school later, that was great, but we still talk about riding to school together.

Riding back from my morning ride this week, I was happily surprised to see so many kids and families riding bikes and walking to Crozet Elementary. (turns out it was national walk to school day — without little kids, I’m out of that loop)

The kids I saw were smiling, and laughing. I’d argue that the ones on bikes were demonstrably happier than those walking, and that might be my particular bias. As I rode through the Square, the slew of bikes caught my eye, so I rode around and took a picture, and wondered, “You’d think you’d see more businesses advocating for bike/ped infrastructure, providing bike racks, and encouraging such things.” (bike infrastructure can increase sales by 49% & “one parking space costs businesses $15,000 – $25,000; a bike rack costs about $150 – $500”)

For those who walked or rode to school for the second or third time — I’d ask that you make that a habit, one that allows for more time, more conversation, more being together, in a way that is better for the community, the earth, fitness, and all the things.


If nothing else, convince your kids to start the movement. Block traffic. Do what it takes. 🙂

Walking the dog on our usual route at our usual time today in the midst of all the walk to school hub bub on St. George Ave., I overheard a young boy riding by on a bike say to his mom who was ahead of him and may not have heard “This is the best moment of my life so far.”

From the FB post

I was reminded of a story I wrote on RealCentralVA in 2015

Why do you live (or want to live) where you do?

That’s a question I ask my seller clients – to help me better describe and market their homes – and one I ask my buyer clients – to help them define and understand their triangles.

A friend commented a few weeks ago that he was a bit surprised that we have chosen to stay in the same place for so long. My reasoning is simple – living where we live allows for walk- and bike- ability to almost everywhere in Crozet that we need or want to go.

More importantly, living in a walkable/bikeable location allows for this, which is important (to me):

We rode to elementary school many days out of the school year – quiet time together, teaching her independence, confidence, and that cars aren’t always the answer.

As I noted in 2011:

I ride my bike with my younger daughter frequently. In two days, she will be a second grader.

This morning we recommenced our morning ritual of riding our bikes to the Crozet Mudhouse, a pit stop on the path to Crozet Elementary.

Upon our return home, we stopped for a bit of exploration and she seized the opportunity to cut me to the quick:

“I wish I could stay 7 forever, and you could stay 35. Because today is just perfect.”

With that, she got on her bike and started by herself, a skill she mastered two days ago. And she said,

Come on Daddy!

And I followed.

Lesson of the day:

Live life every day. You don’t stay young forever. And these moments must be appreciated.

Albemarle BoS Meeting – 4 October 2023

Dick Woods Road - 2 October

The CCAC is fun, Nextdoor is whatever Nextdoor is, and talking amongst ourselves is often enlightening and a fun use of time.

It’s more productive to be for something than against.

Voicing your opinion in person at the Board of Supervisors, and emailing our representative — and copying the entire Board (because they *all* vote! — is the best way to voice our opinions. These things take time, and going once is just that – a one-off. Going twice is something, three times is organized, and fifty people going fifty times – now that’s a movement.**

The Board Agenda is here; the meeting starts at 1pm, and Transportation items begin around 3:15.

Two PDFs of note:

Joe Fore, Chair of the CCAC emailed this out to the CCAC, and with permission, I’m posting here.*

I’m writing as a follow-up to my previous email about the discussion of the draft list of County’s transportation priorities for the year at the October 4 BOS meeting. Again, you can go here to provide written comments or to sign up to speak at the meeting. I’m hoping that some folks will be able to do so.

To me, the County’s priority list is a terrible reflection of Crozet’s transportation needs and priorities. Crozet (once again) is given short shrift compared to other parts of the County. But even more, the projects that do make it onto the list aren’t the ones that the Crozet Master Plan prioritizes–nor are they the ones that make the most logistical or financial sense. Below are my specific thoughts and concerns with the list.

Continue reading “Albemarle BoS Meeting – 4 October 2023”

Montclair Passed at the Planning Commission – 26 September

Sunrise near entrance to Western Ridge/Foothills/Montclair?

Update — passed the PC.

“The video is posted on our website is the direct link. The Commission approved the project it will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.”

There is a lot of organization against this development; I’d love to see as much (or more!) passion for adding more housing for neighbors, but we are where we are. I’ll update this post after the Planning Commission Hearing.

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m.(Tuesday 26 September) in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

Lots more Montclair background at RealCrozetVA and at the Crozet Gazette, but I’d likely start with this story in January 2022.

From the inimitable Charlottesville Community Engagement

(please consider becoming a paid subscriber; no one else or organization in the region is offering the comprehensive content and context as Sean Tubbs)

Albemarle PC to hold work session on stream protection overlay; public hearing for Montclair development in Crozet 

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m. in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

The work session will review work to date on the establishment of a riparian buffer overlay district. Since 2017, county staff have been working on the development of strategies to improve the health of streams. A first phase is complete with thirteen proposals, some of which have been implemented. 

“Proposal 1 of the Stream Health Initiative was for the creation of a stream-buffer overlay district within the Zoning Ordinance, with the goal of re-establishing the pre-2014 Water Protection Ordinance (WPO) requirement to retain existing wooded stream buffers throughout the defined buffer areas,” reads the staff report

At the moment, these buffers are only required during the land disturbing activities. A public engagement process is complete for a draft ordinance. 

“The next step for this project will be for staff to prepare a revised draft of these ordinances, taking the public input and the Planning Commission’s input into account,” the report continues. 

Expect Commissioner Lonnie Murray to do a lot of talking. 

A description of the purpose of the Stream Health Overlay district. Review the staff report for more information


The second is for a rezoning in Crozet that is now known as Montclair but had been known as White Gate Village. Developer Vito Cetta wants around 15 acres to the Neighborhood Model District for construction of a maximum of 122 units as well as an amendment to the jurisdictional areas of the Albemarle County Service Authority. 

The Comprehensive Plan calls for a mixture of Neighborhood Density Residential (3 to 6 units per acre) and Middle Density Residential (6 to 12 units, or up to 18 if affordable housing units are provided).

The county’s Water Protection Ordinance comes into play here. The classification of a stream that runs along the property has been disputed. In January, the county engineer determined the stream is intermittent which brings requirements for vegetated buffers. 

“The developer of Montclair appealed this determination because they believed the stream was more appropriately classified as an ephemeral stream, and therefore would not be subject to further regulation under the WPO,” reads the staff report.

The Director of Community Development upheld the county engineer and the developer revised the proposal accordingly. 

Crozet Library – 10th Anniversary! 29 September 2023

Groundbreaking was in June 2012.

I remember the countless discussions, meetings, and fundraising for the Crozet Library. The passing of books from the old Crozet Library (current Crozet Artisan Depot), stopping at the library with one of my daughters on our way home from Crozet Elementary.

Libraries are amazing, and we owe a debt of thanks and gratitude to all of those who worked tirelessly to build – and furnish! – the Crozet Library. And thanks to all those who keep the Crozet Library amazing.

I remember when they opened in September 2013.

via email

I am so happy to share with you the great lineup of events coming up – and personally invite you all to Crozet Library’s 10th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, September 29th from 3-4:30pm. It’s a day out of school, and 10 years to the day that this building was officially opened for business in its new location. Come celebrate with apple cider donuts, fun activities, photo montages, and some words from the people that helped make this magical place a reality in this community event.

Five Year Plan Survey – take it today!

In addition, we are hoping to get your feedback to plan the future of the library for the upcoming 5 years! Take the 5 Year Plan survey today to help inform future library services and let your voice be heard. Participants will be eligible for a gift card drawing. You can read more about the survey and what JMRL can use it for at the JMRL blog.

Continue reading “Crozet Library – 10th Anniversary! 29 September 2023”