240 Bridge Work Beginning 22 November 2021

240 Bridge sign

One of several Crozet area transportation projects gets underway on Monday.

via email:

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS MONDAY ON RT. 240 BRIDGE

Crozet Ave. reduced to one lane controlled with signal during rehabilitation work

CULPEPER — Route 240 (Crozet Avenue) will be reduced to one lane at the bridge over Lickinghole Creek south of Crozet beginning Monday. This will allow rehabilitation of the current substandard structure that carries more than 7,000 vehicles per day.

During the construction work, traffic over the bridge will be controlled by a temporary signal; traffic in the open lane will be separated from the work by temporary barriers. Once the work is complete on one side of the bridge traffic will be shifted to the new lane and the opposite side of the bridge will be reconstructed.

Motorists should drive with extreme care as they travel through the work zone. Workers and equipment will be operating near the travel lane and there is likely to be congestion and delays, especially during morning and afternoon commuting hours, due to the lane closure. The advisory speed limit through the project construction area is 15 miles per hour.

The $1.17 million project will be constructed by Clearwater Construction Inc. of Mercer, Pa. It is scheduled for completion in July 2022. Information about the project is available on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s web site at: Route 240 (Crozet Avenue), Albemarle County

Current traffic conditions and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook and the district’s Twitter account, @VaDOTCulp.

Redistricting Brownsville and Crozet Elementary Schools (2022)

Redistricting of Brownsville & Crozet coming soon. 

I noted on RealCrozetVA Twitter this morning:

– As ever, no one will be happy. 

– This is why I tell clients to never count on school districts remaining the same.

In response to this

I don’t have kids but obviously my home re-sale value depends on good schools and I support that. Are some of the schools in our area CLEARLY not as good as others? Or is most of the stress here around kids having to change schools half-way through?

I wrote this

Katherine Knott at the Daily Progress reports:

(make sure to click through and read the whole thing!)

An advisory committee tasked with determining how to best move students from Brownsville to Crozet elementary will finalize its recommendation Tuesday.

Over the last few months, the committee made up of representatives from the Brownsville and Crozet communities has reviewed student enrollment data, projections and redistricting scenarios. More recently, the committee released four scenarios to gather feedback from the community via surveys and virtual meetings.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearby Brownsville Elementary had nearly 900 students while the building’s capacity was 764. At Crozet, enrollment was up to 360 students, 30 more than the building’s capacity. The $20.4 million, 28,000-square-foot expansion of Crozet will add about 340 seats.

This school year, Brownsville has 729 students while Crozet has 328.

Under the initial scenarios, between 226 to 272 students could move from Brownsville to Crozet, leaving both schools with room to grow. Over the next five years, the division is projecting Brownsville to add another 235 students, though that’s using the current attendance zones.

…The scenarios would affect people living in the Grayrock and Waylands Grant/Bargamin Park neighborhoods as well as the Western Ridge/Foothill Crossing/Wickham Pond area. The largest group of Brownsville students would come from the Western Ridge area, according to presentations.

Becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer

via email:

Become an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

If you enjoy being a volunteer educator, want to share your passion for gardening, want to provide science-based environmentally sound horticulture knowledge with others, and have time to volunteer – you should consider becoming an Extension Master Gardener! To learn more about the Training Program and the projects we support, visit our website.

The training course includes approximately 70 hours of instruction taught by experts in various gardening areas such as soil, botany, integrated pest management, disease diagnosis, and more. The 2022 program will be in person from 9am to 4pm beginning on Tuesday Feb 15, and recurring every Tuesday through May 3. Next year, and in alternating years, the course will be offered as hybrid/evening course. While going through the course, each trainee has an Extension Master Gardener as a mentor.

The deadline for applying for the 2022 Training Course is December 1, 2021. The 2022 application is online and can be accessed by contacting the Coordinator, Trisha Costello, at [email protected]. VCE also requires a background check once an application is submitted. The training course costs $190, with need-based scholarships available by request.

Crozet Park Expansion Approved

As expected, Crozet Park’s expansion has been approved.

Read the whole thing at the Daily Progress

An expansion of Claudius Crozet Park can move forward once the nonprofit that owns it raises enough funds.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment Wednesday evening of a special-use permit for the park to expand.

Supporters of the park have said that the expansion would allow more recreation opportunities, but some neighbors don’t think the expansion should happen due to the lack of sidewalks and potential for increased traffic.

The plan will add a two-story, 34,200-square-foot recreation building, which is set to include exercise areas, sports courts, community meeting spaces and a pool expansion. A second phase of the project would include an indoor pool facility adjacent to the existing pool deck.


Here’s hoping that the County is able to build sidewalks and bike lanes leading to and from the Park so that people won’t be forced to drive to take advantage of the new Park.

The approval comes with nine conditions, including sound and lighting limitations and a number of fencing and screening requirements.

The commission added a 10th proposed condition that the park should include additional on-site bicycle infrastructure, such as bike racks, bike lockers, bike lanes and other on-road or adjacent bicycle access. They also recommended that the county prioritize the installation and/or repair of sidewalks along High Street, Hill Top Street and Park Road.

Crozet Park Expansion to be Approved this Week

Autumnal leaves

From Charlottesville Community Engagement’s Week Ahead

Claudius Crozet Park seeks to amend an existing special use permit to build a fitness center and indoor pool. The Planning Commission recommended approval on September 28. (report)

From the report

There’s a lot here, and this has been a reasonably quick process, by Albemarle County development standards. (and yes, this is the formatting on the County’s site)

SP202000016 Claudius Crozet Park. PROJECT: SP202000016 Claudius Crozet Park MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall TAX MAP/PARCEL(S): 056A2010007200; 056A20100072A0; 056A20400000A4 LOCATION: 1075 Claudius Crozet Park, Crozet, Virginia 22932 PROPOSAL: Request to amend existing special use permit SP199500043 in order to expand the existing community center at Crozet Park with a fitness center and a pool expansion, along with additional parking spaces and pedestrian connections. PETITION: Special Use Permit request for a community center and swim, golf, tennis, or similar athletic facilities in accordance with Sections 10.2.2.1, 10.2.2.4, 16.2.2.1, and 16.2.2.4 of the Zoning Ordinance, on three parcels totaling approximately 22.806 acres. No dwelling units proposed. 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 – Mana…

There are some really interesting comments from the community, in favor and in opposition.


My thought remains – This facility being built was a foregone conclusion; building it without commensurate building of supporting bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is negligent.

School Redistricting Begins in Crozet

The process, at least.

Geographically, these plans seem to make a lot of sense. But change is hard, no matter how logical the plans may be; as these plans ultimately affect so much about our community – kids, families, teachers, transportation, property values.

Be sure to read through the public slide deck for the 4 November presentation; the demographic insight is interesting. Bolding below is mine, from the County’s release.


Katherine Knott at the Daily Progress

(read the whole thing)

With construction of an expansion of Crozet Elementary under way, the Albemarle County school division is gearing up for a redistricting process to fill the additional seats.

The county School Board signed off on the plan Thursday. A 10-person committee will review data and redistricting options over the course of several meetings from September to December, with a goal of making a recommendation to schools Superintendent Matt Haas by the end of the calendar year.

The $20.4 million, 28,000-square-foot expansion of Crozet will add about 340 seats to the school and address overcrowding in the division’s western feeder pattern. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearby Brownsville Elementary had nearly 900 students while the building’s capacity was 764. At Crozet, enrollment was up to 360 students, 30 more than the building’s capacity.

Brownsville currently has eight mobile classrooms on site because of the overcrowding.

From the County’s site

(make sure to click through and read the whole thing)

The Crozet/Brownsville Redistricting Advisory Committee has developed four redistricting scenarios to reduce overcrowding at Brownsville Elementary School. Each option will be presented to residents of the Brownsville and Crozet Elementary School communities for comment during public meetings next Thursday, November 4, and the following Tuesday, November 9.

The four scenarios propose redistricting between 226 and 272 Brownsville students to a newly-expanded Crozet Elementary School. All four proposals impact the Grayrock and Waylands Grant/Bargamin Park neighborhoods as well as the Western Ridge/Foothill Crossing/Wickham Pond area.

Residents are being asked for their initial opinions on these proposals in an online survey open now through Wednesday, November 10, at https://survey.k12insight.com/r/T3Dls7.

Members of the community can address the advisory committee at the public meetings, which will be held virtually over the Zoom platform from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on November 4 and 9. Those wishing to address the committee can register through the links on the Crozet/Brownsville Redistricting web page. For both meetings, public comment sign-up will close at noon on the day of the meeting.


* I saved the presentation here for posterity, as I assume that the link will die eventually.

Crozet Master Plan (Finally) Approved – 2020 edition

How often do we do these? Every five years?

Onward.

Alison Wrabel at the Daily Progress reports: (make sure to read the whole thing)

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors late Wednesday night approved an updated Crozet Master Plan without a change recommended by the Planning Commission.

The Crozet community and county staff and officials began updating the Crozet Master Plan in 2019, which helps to guide decisions about land use, transportation and parks in the area.

The updated Master Plan is now part of Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides the county’s long-term vision for land use and resource protection. County staff and supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process, but it is not law.

The process has been contentious, especially when it came to the potential for population growth and infrastructure issues around roads, schools and sidewalks in Crozet, which has seen its population increase from about 5,565 in 2010 to approximately 9,224 in 2020, according to census data.

During the Master Plan update process, some community members have taken issue in particular with a future land use designation called Middle Density Residential, which would allow for six to 12 housing units per acre on a site, or up to 18 units per acre to accommodate additional affordable housing.

According to the plan, the designation is to bridge the gap between single-family housing and multi-level apartment buildings, and would allow for small and medium multiplexes, small single-family cottages, bungalow or cottage courts, live/work units, accessory dwelling units and tiny houses.

From 2016

Echols said the current population of Crozet is around 6,000 and it is expected that will double by 2030. The master plan has a maximum population cap.

“The number that’s in the master plan is 18,000,” Echols said. “You have about 6,000 people right now and if you add another 6,000 to that, that’s 12,000. That’s our math.”

151/250 Roundabout Construction Begins

This will be fun.

Starting in October 2021, finishing in July 2022. I bet they finish early. (see the bottom of this post for graphic of the schedule)

via email

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON U.S. 250/RT. 151 ROUNDABOUT

Speed limit lowered to 25 mph through work zone at Afton, watch for workers and equipment

CULPEPER — Construction activity will begin next week on a roundabout at the intersection of Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) and Route 151 (Critzer Shop Road). The project will improve safety and traffic flow at the busy intersection while managing vehicle speeds and correcting geometric deficiencies that have been identified as contributing factors in crashes at the intersection. 

Traffic flow through the current “T” intersection is controlled by a traffic signal that was installed in 2017 as a temporary measure along with flashers to warn traffic to slow in advance of the intersection. The roundabout will improve safety since all traffic must slow to enter the roundabout. In a roundabout traffic on the approaches must yield to vehicles in the roundabout.

During construction traffic will be maintained through the project although drivers may encounter some lane closures with traffic controlled by flaggers. Work will be limited to Monday through Friday, so weekend traffic will not be affected by construction activities. 

Information about the project is available on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s web site at: Albemarle Co. Design-Build Projects. That page also has a link to a graphic of the construction phases and lane alignments during each phase.

The speed limit on both U.S. 250 and Route 151 has been lowered to 25 miles per hour on the intersection approaches and through the work zone. Motorists should drive with extreme caution as they approach the construction project since workers may be near the travel lanes and slow-moving equipment and vehicles may enter or exit the travel lanes in the work zone.

The U.S. 250 / Route 151 roundabout project is one of six improvement projects in a $28.5 million design-build bundled contract with Curtis Contracting Inc., of West Point, Va. The U.S. 250 / Route 151 roundabout project will cost $4.8 million. The other projects include the interchange improvements at U.S. 29 and Interstate 64, Exit 118, improvements to the Fontaine Avenue exit from U.S. 29 north, and the Rio Mills connector road, all of which are substantially complete. 

The diverging diamond interchange on U.S. 250 at I-64 Exit 124 is under construction, as is a roundabout at Route 20 (Stony Point Road) and Route 649 (Proffit Road) in northern Albemarle County. The contract completion date for all six projects is February 2023.

Current traffic conditions and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook and the district’s Twitter account, @VaDOTCulp.


Continue reading “151/250 Roundabout Construction Begins”

October CCAC Recap – Transportation, Growth, etc

Lots of discussions at last week’s CCAC meeting; it was the first I’d been able to make in some time, and many of the conversation topics were familiar, if not the same as they have been discussing for some time.

Transportation updates, Crozet Master Plan is nearing approval from the Board of Supervisors, brief conversation on proffers for new developments in Albemarle County, touching on tax service districts, climate change and density and looking long-term.

Lots of important discussions that will eventually lead to substantive and tangible changes to the community. These meetings matter, but the ones that really matter are the Albemarle County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings.

(nextdoor is not a representation of community members 🙂 and I’d argue that the CCAC tries to be.)

Roster of CCAC members, meeting minutes, and more can be found at the County’s site

Note that the Albemarle Board of Supervisors Meeting with the Crozet Master Plan on the agenda is 20 October 2021 at 6pm. Find the agenda and meeting materials here.

Read all the tweets here

(I missed the last 15 minutes)

Watch the video


What’s a Master Plan, Zoning, Comp Plan?


And a City of Charlottesville -focused explainer thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow.


PDFs

CCAC Meeting – 13 October 2021

via email (bolding mine) … I’m wondering if this will actually be a shorter-than-normal meeting. #CCAC1021

The October meeting of the Crozet CAC will be … Wednesday, October 13 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. We will take this opportunity to share and discuss ideas and suggestions for the next several months of CCAC meeting topics. I’m calling it “agenda planning and reflection,” as I received emails back with many good agenda ideas from committee members, and would like to open this to the group to discuss, as well as give staff and other experts more notice to prepare for future meeting invitations. It should be a shorter meeting than usual. Agenda and meeting details are posted here


Please also mark your calendar for the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, October 20, which will include the public hearing for the final draft of the Crozet Master Plan. Instructions for participating and other details for that are here.


How to Participate in the Virtual Meeting

To participate online: 

To participate by telephone: 

  • Dial: 301-715-8592 or 833-548-0276
  • Webinar ID: 945 7178 2297 

Official minutes will be posted at Albemarle County’s page.

Continue reading “CCAC Meeting – 13 October 2021”