On Wednesday evening, the Board of Supervisors approved a zoning change for the Patterson subdivision in Crozet, from R-1 to R-6, allowing for the potential of up to 6 homes per acre on the approximately 3.5 acre lot (althougth the developer agreed to build not more than 10 homes). The BOS approved this change despite the Planning Commission’s recommendation against the rezoning (twice) and the objections of the surrounding community. Among the concerns of the planning commission and the surrounding community are that the proposed development is out of character with the existing Grayrock and Grayrock North communities and that the infrastructure is not suitable for the increased traffic along Lanetown Road and Lanetown Way,
Specifically, both the planning commission and the Grayrock HOA expressed concern that the only entrance to the new development is through the existing Grayrock North community, rather than directly from Lanetown Road. The Grayrock North community consists of 26 homes on a rural section of road (18 feet wide, no sidewalks). The concern is that the roughly 30% increase in traffic through the community will increase the danger to the families and over 40 children in the community who have no choice but to use the street for walking, biking, baby strolling, etc.
In fairness to the developer, a number of changes were incorporated into the plan to make it more acceptable. However, the concerns expressed above were not addressed. Instead of focusing on these issues, the BOS chose to engage in an inane discussion of exactly what was intended by the word “edge” in the “Development Edge” area on the Crozet Master Plan and finally voted 5-1 in favor of the rezoning. The only voice of reason on the Board come from Ann Mallek, who actually took the time to visit the community so she could understand the concerns raised.
One has to wonder a) what the purpose of the Planning Commission is, and b) what it would take for a subdivision request to be deemed unsuitable for the Crozet community.
2 Replies to “BOS still hasn’t met a subdivision it didn’t like”
I think you ask a really good question – what is the purpose of the planning commission? If you ask developers, the purpose of the commission is to slow down growth and hassel developers. If you ask people who are anti-growth they will say the purpose is to decide which growth is good and which is bad. I’d suggest that both of those viewpoints are accurate, but the primary purpose is neither.
I think the planning commission has two main purposes. One purpose is to get public feedback and make adjustments where possible to mitigate confrontation between developers and existing residents. This is the governments answer to dealing with NIMBYism.
The other purpose is to provide political cover for the BOS. In the vote you mention, the vote was 5 to 1 with the one desenting vote coming from the Supervisor from the affected District. The bottom line is that developers have legal rights to develop property (not in all cases, of course) and the county can not completely stop them. I’ll bet if you look back at a lot of the votes over the years, the local supervisor may be against while the others are in favor. That is the way the system is supposed to work. It just sounds bad, but in reality it works well.