Brad Rykal Challenging Ann Mallek for White Hall Supervisor

VPAP screenshot

It’s hard to argue with “build infrastructure” as a platform. Looking forward to the discussions leading up to the White Hall Board of Supervisors election on 7 November 2023.

Contested elections are good. So are ones focused on local matters rather than national.

As with most things, be sure to follow the money. (nothing yet to report, but VPAP is awesome)

via email.

CROZET, VA — Brad Rykal (pronounced: *edit: rye-kel)) announced today that he is running for Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors representing the White Hall district, which includes the designated growth area of Crozet.

“I am excited to announce my candidacy as an Independent for White Hall Supervisor and am humbled by the opportunity to serve my local neighbors and larger community. We live in a very special place, and with your support, I will fight to keep it that way.”

Rykal is no stranger to leadership and public service. Born in a small town in northern Wisconsin, he enlisted in the Army after graduating college in 2005, and did two tours in Iraq with the 2nd Armored Division and later, in Afghanistan with the Special Forces. He went on to earn his MBA, and moved to Crozet to work at Rivanna Station, and later became the Chief Operating Officer of a private defense contracting company.

One of the campaign’s major initiatives will be to build out long overdue and necessary infrastructure. “We did our part”, he says, referring to the fact that White Hall’s population and tax revenues have grown dramatically in recent years. “Now it is time for the County to do theirs by making significant public investments in White Hall.”

Rykal is also motivated to preserve the area’s natural resources and rekindle the close-knit community feel for the generations to come as well as his own young family. Brad and his wife, Mallory DeCoster, are parents of two boys, Brett (age 14), and Bode (age 3). The couple is expecting their third in May.

“Too many White Hall residents tell me they don’t feel like their voice matters anymore. They fear that national party politics are overriding our local community issues.” Rykal said. “That’s why I’m running as an Independent candidate, to bring us back together with a focus on the issues that truly matter in our day-to day-lives.”

Rykal is beginning a “listening tour” to speak with individual residents about their concerns before hosting a formal campaign kickoff event later this Spring. Citizens are encouraged to sign up at his campaign website to learn more and get in touch.

*at least on my computer, the screenshot below showed with gibberish. Hopefully my edit makes sense.

A Thought on Crozet Park Plan

The following is a letter from a reader to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors regarding the plans for the expansion of Crozet Park. Published with permission; only edits I’ve made have been for links or formatting for readability.

PROJECT: SDP202300010 Claudius Crozet Park – Initial Site Plan
TAX MAP/PARCEL(S): 056A2010007200; 056A20100072A0; 056A20400000A4
LOCATION: 1075 Claudius Crozet Park, Crozet, Virginia 22932
PROPOSAL: Request for approval of an initial site plan to construct a community center, with a fitness center, pool, and meeting space, along with additional parking spaces and pedestrian connections, on three parcels that total approximately 22.806 acres. No dwelling units proposed. In accordance with approved special use permit SP202000016.

Over many years, I have observed a pattern in Albemarle County of developers proposing features in new developments to appease the community in early drafts of their proposals when there is a lot of community attention, and then quietly removing them later.

That behavior seems to be involved in the proposed building expansion at Claudius Crozet Park. The SDP202300010 Claudius Crozet Park – Initial Site Plan appears to violate the terms of the SP202000016 Special Use Permit, and I would ask that you not permit the developer to eliminate the Playground / Tot Lot Area and that you deny approval of the SDP202300010 Claudius Crozet Park – Initial Site Plan (or any subsequent site plan for Crozet Park) unless the developer is required to build a Playground and Tot Lot for younger children as described below.

Continue reading “A Thought on Crozet Park Plan”

CCAC – 8 March 2023 | WARS & County View — Plus CAC update

Never quite know what you’re going to learn in CCAC meetings. I’m looking forward to learning more about Albemarle County’s County View (lots of information there; I find it challenging to navigate) and the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad’s possible new location off of Crozet Avenue.edit: link to the Crozet Gazette story.

I know this the tweets of these meetings over the years have proven remarkably useful. This meeting’s hashtag will be #CCAC0323


  1. Call to Order, Agenda Review, Introductions (5 minutes)
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)
  3. Announcements and Updates (5 minutes)
  4. Community Concerns (10 minutes)
  5. Scheduled Presentations (45 minutes)
    • Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, Kostas Alibertis
    • Navigating Albemarle County’s County View, Allison Wrabel, Community Connector
  6. Committee Business (10 minutes)

• Recognizing Departing CCAC Members

  1. Other Business
  2. Adjourn

Next Meeting: April 12, 2023

Continue reading “CCAC – 8 March 2023 | WARS & County View — Plus CAC update”

Albemarle Budget, Comp Plan, 500 Units in Ivy? And DCI Meeting

Sugar hollow morning

Wednesday, 1 March will be an interesting Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting; the afternoon session starts at 6pm.

My quick thoughts:

  • How many of us will attend or email the Board about either of these?
  • Albemarle and Charlottesville need more housing; the Old Ivy Road location is a great location, particularly as it’s close enough to benefit those seeking to walk or ride bicycles places (in other words, not be forced to drive everywhere), and especially if they can somehow work to solve the infrastructure dilemma on Old Ivy Road/Old Garth (21 Curves), 250. Maybe … limit parking to further encourage people who live there to not use cars?
  • $551M budget; that’s a lot of money.

Attending these meetings is the best way to support or oppose something; those who show up have their voices heard. Commenting on Nextdoor, Twitter, FB, may serve the need to “feel” heard, but emailing or showing up to the Board are the absolute best ways to voice your opinion.

From Charlottesville Community Engagement

There are two public hearings in the evening session which begins at 6 p.m.

The first is on the $551.5 million budget proposed for Albemarle by County Executive Jeffrey Richardson. For those details, check out the most recent edition of the newsletter.

The second is for a rezoning for Old Ivy Residences. If the strategy with this timing is to find a way to get more people in to pay attention to the budget, it will likely pay off. Greystar Development is seeking a rezoning to allow up to 525 homes. For background, here are some recent stories:

The Planning Commission’s denial was in part because of a concern about whether sufficient transportation projects would be in place to address the development’s impacts on road congestion. At play is a condition from a rezoning in 1985. 

“The Commission recommended denial of the ZMA202100008 because it found that the Old Ivy Road traffic conditions, while different from 1985 when the Proffer in ZMA1985-21 was established, do not appear at a level of improvement to satisfy the condition precedent established by ZMA 1985-21 and address transportation concerns,” reads the staff report.

There is a new proffer associated with this rezoning that would commit an additional $500,000 in cash for a new receiving lane on the northbound on-ramp to the U.S. 250 bypass. 

The Albemarle County Comp plan …

… is still underway; how many of you have visited the AC44 site, filled out the surveys, or attended a pop-up? Albemarle staff are doing amazing attempting outreach.

Continue reading “Albemarle Budget, Comp Plan, 500 Units in Ivy? And DCI Meeting”

Oak Bluff – 134 Homes between Westlake and 240?

Oak Bluff in Crozet

Big thanks to the reader who sent this to me; I’d not yet seen it.

Subscribe to RealCrozetVA here.

A few quick thoughts:

  • Dig in to the files below; learn more, ask questions, get informed and involved in our community.
  • They’re seeking a rezoning from single family to higher density.
  • More housing: good. We desperately need it. I’m curious to learn what types of housing are proposed beyond the typical villa style/townhouse or single family detached that we’ve seen built in Crozet.
  • Eastern Connector – Possible to do this *first*?
    • From the narrative: “Given the proximity to the proposed Eastern Connector, we do not anticipate any other transportation improvements will be necessary” … “Oak Bluff includes dedication of public right for way for the Eastern Avenue extension through a portion of the property. Eastern Avenue is an important public infrastructure project that will create connections between neighborhoods and commercial areas in Crozet.” Bolding is mine.
  • I took the photo below in Cory Farm in 2011; “The Charlottesville/Crozet area lost the 804 area code June 1, 2001.”


Going to copy and paste from the developer’s narrative.

There’s bolding in their PDF, but it didn’t easily paste, so the bolding below is mine. Read the whole thing; it’s the most plain-English part of the submission.

Read the Rest of the Story: Oak Bluff – 134 Homes between Westlake and 240?

In designing the conceptual layout of Oak Bluff, our team followed the Neighborhood Model Principles.

Oak Bluff is a community focused on Pedestrian Orientation. An ample network of sidewalks and connections are provided throughout and around the property. Green spaces are located throughout the property to allow for outdoor experiences and the enjoyment of all residents. Oak Bluff is also directly accessible to existing trail networks. This project enhances the pedestrian network by granting an easement and new public greenway area to complete the Lickinghole Creek trail network.

While Oak Bluff is a residential property, it is easily accessible to a Mixture of Uses via walking and biking. The proposed housing is a perfect complement to the great variety of surrounding uses. By having houses within walking distance of retail and restaurants, we create a symbiotic and supportive relationship of uses.

Oak Bluff is an integral part of a mixture of residential housing types and is nearby to other commercial elements that create a complete Neighborhood Center.

A Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability are proposed within this development. We anticipate a variety of unit sizes, including affordable housing on site. Affordable housing is addressed on the application plan.

The site is designed with the principle of Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks. The design includes platting and construction of portions of the Eastern Avenue Connector Road.

The Eastern Avenue Connector Road will allow for Multi -modal Transportation Opportunities in Crozet.

A series of Parks, Recreational Amenities, and Open Space are featured in the center of this site and easily accessible for all residents.

By providing unit types such as townhomes and villas, the property design achieves the goal of Buildings and Space of Human Scale. The design of this unit type has a nice level of detail and rhythm of units, combined with centralized open spaces.

Relegated Parking- All parking within Oak Bluff will be relegated from the Eastern Avenue Connector Road.

Redevelopment- The site is currently vacant, so this principle does not apply, but the property is part of an overall development pattern that is harmonious with surrounding neighborhoods.

Bigger Crozet Park & More of Old Trail

Claudius Crozet Park - initial site plan

Neither of these is (or should be) a surprise to Crozetians.

Background (please take the time to read these as well)

via email

PROJECT LEAD REVIEWER: Andy Reitelbach [email protected]

PROJECT: SDP202300010 Claudius Crozet Park – Initial Site Plan


TAX MAP/PARCEL(S): 056A2010007200; 056A20100072A0; 056A20400000A4

LOCATION: 1075 Claudius Crozet Park, Crozet, Virginia 22932

PROPOSAL: Request for approval of an initial site plan to construct a community center, with a fitness center, pool, and meeting space, along with additional parking spaces and pedestrian connections, on three parcels that total approximately 22.806 acres. No dwelling units proposed. In accordance with approved special use permit SP202000016.

ZONING: RA, Rural Areas – agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots); and R-6 Residential – 6 units/acre


OVERLAY DISTRICT(S): EC – Entrance Corridor; Steep Slopes – Managed; Steep Slopes – Preserved

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Public Land – public parks, open space, environmental features; in the Community of Crozet Master Plan area.

My comment on Twitter last year

Reminder that the Special Use Permit for Crozet Park changes were approved in November 2021.

Timeline, as provided by Andy Reitelbach with the County

Review comments will be available from County staff and partner agencies around March 23rd, and final action (either approving or denying the initial site plan) must be taken by staff by April 7th.

Once an initial site plan has been approved, a final site plan must also be submitted for review and approval before construction could commence.

Continue reading “Bigger Crozet Park & More of Old Trail”

February CCAC Recap – Comprehensive Plan

New Foothills construction; who knew a leaf blower was more upsetting than construction?

Thanks to Crozet Gazette for the recording.

A Few Takeaways

(there’s a lot of value in live-tweeting, but I’m finding great value in noting the meeting along with timed links to the video)

update: PDFs.

How we grow has been broken for a long, long time.

But … We are going to grow. Period.

What are the direct consequences of growth? Limiting growth? What are the unintended consequences? We are not going to stop growing. Stop allowing people to move here? It’s America! What are the consequences when we reach some arbitrary “hard” population limit? Draw straws to see who moves out? Restrict pregnancies? Arguing from the extreme is but one step. Recognizing the extreme and negotiating from there is where successes can be gained.

Shutting down development is not a viable solution – it is reactionary, unnecessarily and unreasonably extreme. Permitting unfettered growth is equally unreasonable.

  • I’ve been writing for years that we need to think generationally. This is from 2016.

A great place – between Park Ridge and Hill Top – that would be an ideal spot for no cars, and only people on foot or scooter or bicycle

A great place - between Park Ridge and Hill Top - that would be an ideal spot for no cars, and only people on foot or scooter or bicycle

Just me finding a fun new tool in WordPress.

CCAC Meeting – 8 February 2023 | AC44

Greenwood sunrise

Y’all know what AC44 is right? Albemarle County is in the midst of Phase 2 — “Goals, Objectives, and ‘Planning Toolkits'” of the updating of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

From my perspective, Albemarle County have done an amazing job of outreach about the Comp Plan, and it’s incumbent upon us as citizens to participate, and to think generationally. Realistically, many if not most of those who are voicing opinions won’t be in Albemarle County is 20 or 30 years … think about those who come after us, and think about where and how our kids and grandkids will live (and if they’ll be able to afford living in Crozet).

Spend some time educating yourself, and taking the County’s survey (I have), before being “for” or “against” a part of the plan or process.

I suspect there will be a large audience Wednesday night; here’s hoping for open minds and conversation.

One thought: if the County and VDOT would build infrastructure along with housing, Crozet would be more livable, accessible, and would likely defeat the calls of people to stop change.

disclosure: I’m a member of CCAC, and a Realtor.

CCAC agenda, via email

Crozet Community Advisory Committee Wednesday, February 8, 2023

7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.
Crozet Library Meeting Room | 2020 Library Avenue


  1. Call to Order, Agenda Review, Introductions (5 minutes)
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)
  3. Announcements and Updates (5 minutes)
  4. Community Concerns (10 minutes)
  5. Scheduled Presentations (45 minutes)

• Presentation: AC44, the update to the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan, Allison Wrabel, Community Connector – Albemarle County
o A high-level overview of the Comprehensive Plan update’s process to date with a

preview of the next phase and a community discussion

6. Committee Business (10 minutes)

  • Website content and development project updates, Joe Fore
  • Virtual meeting practices, Joe Fore
  1. Other Business
  2. Adjourn

Next Meeting: March 8, 2023

Monthly Albemarle County Check-In – February

The new Public Engagement folks at Albemarle County are going to be sending out these monthly check-ins to the Albemarle County CACs. Much of it is relevant to those of us in Crozet, so I’ll post when I receive them.

Perhaps most importantly is the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan bit … this will affect the community greatly (and hopefully we’ll get more and more dense housing! as well as functional infrastructure!


Traffic Townhalls

You are invited to attend upcoming town hall events focused on traffic issues in our area. These events will provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about current traffic concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback. Each event will include the same primary information, with a short segment focused on the area where the event takes place.

View the Budget Presentation

County Executive’s Presentation to the Board – Recommended Budget and Capital Improvements Program. There is a virtual option to watch, and the video will be available after the meeting.

Continue reading “Monthly Albemarle County Check-In – February”

A New Blog – “About Crozet”

Just noticed the new blog that Tom Loach has put together, ostensibly to advocate against Albemarle County’s work-in-progress Comprehensive Plan, “AC44.

Take some time to dig in and learn about their perspective.

Well, if the disaster the county created for Crozet when it destroyed the existing Crozet Master Plan wasn’t enough, they’re up to even more mischief with the upcoming Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan update. You don’t have to look very far into their plan called AC44, to realize that several segments, if approved, will be an unmitigated disaster for Crozet. Here’s a link to the AC44 site where you can get the overview of the county’s options for the future growth in Albemarle County. Take a look below at each of the options found in the plan and vote how you feel.  Additionally, you can add a comment on your response to the plan.

Crozet is still a great place to live, and we need a lot – more housing, more and more appropriate infrastructure, more businesses.

After you’ve looked around Tom’s site, spend some time at Albemarle’s truly comprehensive Comprehensive Plan site. Learn more, get educated, and get involved.

The decisions made now will affect your kids and grandkids, if they choose to and are able to live in Crozet.

I saw the original post about the blog on Nextdoor; just below the anti-growth post was one seeking for housing ideas for a parent/grandparent seeking to move to Crozet.

We need more and more dense housing options.