Be Patient on 64 & 250 This Week

Update 2 May 2013Repairs are set to last through 9 May.

Be patient again this week on 64 and 250 in and out of Crozet …

from VDOT’s site –

– Intermittent traffic restrictions on Interstate 64 between Charlottesville and Waynesboro will resume next week during operations to remove unstable soil from Afton Mountain above the highway at milepost 100.3 in Albemarle County.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 29, traffic on I-64 will be restricted in both directions for 30-45 minutes. The restrictions will continue through the day, ending between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The westbound right shoulder will be closed and work zone activity will begin at 7 a.m. each day but traffic will not be restricted before 9 a.m. The work is expected to continue through Thursday, May 2.

The restrictions will affect traffic from Exit 107 (Route 250/Rockfish Gap Turnpike) at Crozet to Exit 96 (Route 624/S. Delphine Avenue) at Waynesboro. Drivers should expect significant congestion and delays; passenger vehicles are encouraged to use Route 250 as an alternate route. Message boards along I-64 will advise motorists of the closures and expected congestion in the area.

Motorists should check VDOT’s traffic information web site,, or call 511 for real-time information about traffic conditions and delays.

Thought on James Sun Memorial 5k

A note received from Ashley Fitch via email about this past weekend’s James Sun memorial:

Today I decided to run the James Sun Memorial 5K to inspire my kids to exercise and to get them excited about moving to our new neighborhood where the race was held – Old Trail. I accomplished that goal, but what I didn’t expect was how inspired I would be by the event.

I was inspired by Mr. Sun, in which attending this event had to be difficult for him, took a few moments to kick a soccer ball to my young son and to thank the attendees for supporting his son’s memorial. I, also, was inspired by the Western Albemarle students’ leadership in organizing the event in memory of a deceased classmate and in making something positive come out of the tragedy. Lastly, I was inspired by seeing classmates and families run together for such a wonderful cause, an organization that helps support families who have lost a child.

I did not have the pleasure of knowing James Sun, but it was obvious that he left a positive impression on his classmates, and they, in turn, left a positive impression upon me. Our future will be in good hands with these leaders.

I encourage those of you who were unable to attend this wonderful community event this year to attend it next year.


Ashley Fitch

Background – James Sun was killed in July 2011 near Harris Teeter when he was hit by a car.

Western Albemarle Camp Fair this Sunday – 28 April 2013

via email –

On April 28th, 10am-4pml, we’re having the Western Albemarle Camp Fair, featuring 20 day and specialty camps from the Western Albemarle area and regional overnight camps. We hope to have a great turnout and would be delighted if you could join us. The attached flyer includes further information; please share it with your networks. This is a great opportunity for Crozet, and we hope to have a substantial turnout that leads to an annual event.  Admission is free! Continue reading “Western Albemarle Camp Fair this Sunday – 28 April 2013”

Western Albemarle High School Has a New Principal

via press release:

Dr. John W. Werner, who has served as a high school principal in Virginia since 2008, has been appointed to succeed Dave Francis as the principal of Western Albemarle High School effective July 1 of this year.

Dr. Werner’s appointment follows an exhaustive search process that included interviews and a community online survey that asked residents in western Albemarle communities about those qualities that were most important in the next Western Albemarle High School principal.

The school division’s search committee surveyed nearly 4,000 families in its western feeder pattern of schools. Among the qualities respondents identified as most valuable in a new high school principal were strong communications and educational skills, being a visionary and being able to facilitate and manage change.

“We are very pleased to have a leader with John’s proven strengths join the Western Albemarle community in such an important role,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, an assistant superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools and the chair of the search committee.   The committee included administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students.

“When you review John’s record, two characteristics boldly stand out. Students improve their academic achievement and John is the designer of some highly innovative development programs for both teachers and students,” Dr. Haas said.

Among innovative opportunities for the new principal will be a decision on a new center of excellence to be located at Western Albemarle High School. Four years ago, Albemarle High School unveiled its Math, Engineering & Science Academy and this year, Monticello High School began its Health and Medical Sciences Academy. A decision is expected later this year on a learning academy at Western Albemarle that would begin operations in the fall of 2014.

“It truly is an honor to be joining such a wonderful community in Western Albemarle,” Dr. Werner said, “I was impressed with the community’s vision for preparing students for 21 st century learning and career success. I am eager to work with Western Albemarle parents, a very hardworking faculty and with dedicated students who love education. There are so many opportunities for excellence in front of us,” Dr. Werner said.

Dr. Werner currently is in his second year as the principal at Osbourn High School, which has 2100 students, in the Manassas City Public School division. Prior to that, he was the principal of Clarke County High School for three years. Dr. Werner also served for seven years as an assistant high school principal for three Fairfax County Public Schools. He began his academic career as a social studies teacher at Herndon High School in Fairfax County and coached boys and girls track and football.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in history and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University and a Master’s Degree and Licensure in Educational Administration and K-12 Leadership, also from George Mason. Dr. Werner received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Werner succeeds Dave Francis, who has served as the principal at Western Albemarle High School since 2008 and will complete 42 years as an educator in Virginia, including 23 years as a high school principal when he retires on June 30.

Continue reading “Western Albemarle High School Has a New Principal”

Crozet Real Estate Market – Conflicting Numbers, Fast Contracts, Not enough Inventory

If you were to look at just the data, you’d think the Crozet real estate market is worse this year than last. Anecdotally and practically though, you’d be wrong. (talk to anyone currently looking for a home in Crozet between $300k and $500k) Or ask me.

In the first four and a half months of 2012, 166 homes came on the market in Crozet. This year, 177 came on the market. (inventory is up)

Last year, 83 homes went under contract. This year, 94 went under contract. (comparing 1/1/12-4/22/12 to this year, the numbers are 89 to 99, respectively) (More homes are selling)

Last year, 54 homes sold. This year, that number is 49. (Let’s call that a push)

But … Of the 99 homes that have gone under contract this year … 44 had days on market of less than 7! 54 had days on market of less than 30. 37 had days on market of less than 3.

So. What in the world do those numbers mean? They’re a perfect representation of how numbers can be deceiving.

In a nutshell – here’s what I’m seeing in the Crozet real estate market right now:

– Great homes are selling fast.

– There aren’t enough quality homes on the market to satisfy the demand of buyers.

There’s a pile of new construction coming to Crozet – Foothill Crossing, Wickham Pond, Old Trail, Grayrock North (West), Westlake (behind Westhall), Foxchase Landing … and a lot of my clients are shunning said new construction for existing homes because they want something less generic. (a lot are choosing new, but I’m seeing a shift I haven’t previously seen)

– If you’re thinking about selling your home in Crozet, now would be a good time to do so. If you’ve been underwater, you might not be. Seriously.

– If you’re thinking about buying a home in Crozet, be prepared for quality inventory to move. Fast.

– We’re nearing the end of the traditional peak time for new homes to come on the market; most buyers in our area tend to want to either close around the end of the school year or the start of the school year …

I’m embedding some market summary reports below. Please do let me know what questions you have … also keep in mind that even though I’m writing about the Crozet real estate market, individual neighborhood trends are different – both different scales (Old Trail vs everything else) and quality.

Disclosure: I’m a real estate agent. This is a post to inform readers about the state of the Crozet real estate market. It’s not specifically written in order to advertise or solicit business, but I certainly would not dissuade potential buyers, sellers, curious readers from contacting me with questions or if they are seeking buyer or seller representation.

Continue reading “Crozet Real Estate Market – Conflicting Numbers, Fast Contracts, Not enough Inventory”

Crozet Lions Club presents $12,000 to Crozet/Western Albemarle Library for Large Print Book collection

via press release –

On Monday, April 22, 2013, the Crozet Lions Club will present representatives from the new Crozet/Western Albemarle Library and Jefferson Madison Regional Library System with checks totaling $12,000.  These funds were the result of a local benefit, members’ personal donations and a grant from the Lions of Virginia Fund. Continue reading “Crozet Lions Club presents $12,000 to Crozet/Western Albemarle Library for Large Print Book collection”

CCAC Agenda – 18 April 2013

This should be an interesting meeting … lots of stuff to talk about. As always, anyone up for live-tweeting this meeting or feel like earning the adulation and gratitude of the Crozet community by writing a story?

The Meadows, Crozet (5735 Meadows Dr.) Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

4. Project Updates/Information:

• Update on streetscape (Lee Caitlin and Trevor Henry)

• Update on Library Fundraising (Bill Schrader)

• Library: how will downstairs be used and do we have plans for old library as of yet?

• A plan for Oakley property (Charles Shrek)

• Any news on development of Barnes Lumber Company property

• Discussion of Comprehensive Plan Planning Commission Hearing (Ann Mallek and Tom Loach)

• Discussion on Satellite Waste Convenience Centers (Ann Mallek)

• What do we know about re-zoning request at 1306 Crozet Ave.

• What did we learn from Brownsville PTO meeting that may be relative to growth and development(Beth Bassett)

• What can we do to expedite getting some sort of pedestrian crossing signal at Clover Lawn/Harris Teeter, 2 deaths, can we form a resolution to request some action regarding a safer solution for this crossing area

• Plans for Crozet Independence Day Parade, Celebration and Fireworks on July 6.

• Information on Proposed Dog Park (Kim Guenther)

Full agenda (pdf)

250 West Needs to be “Retrofitted”

Sunday’s Daily Progress editorial notes:

U.S. 250 in the Crozet growth area needs to be retrofitted to accommodate the kind of traffic generated there — including pedestrian traffic.

But the issue goes deeper than that — all the way to the growth pattern that created the problem in the first place.

Within two years, two pedestrians have died near the Blue Ridge Shopping Center, on one side of the highway, and Clover Lawn Village, on the other.

These developments — along with nearby subdivisions — were approved to locate along the highway, which made a certain sense at the time by allowing traffic to take advantage of existing infrastructure.

But the growth then altered the highway usage. Traffic increased — especially vehicular traffic, but also pedestrian — and U.S. 250 went from being a through highway to serving as a local road.
The two uses are profoundly incompatible.

It’s baffling that we’re (meaning: the County) seemingly surprised that approving growth without complementary infrastructure leads to disaster. If we plan to bring more people, common sense dictates that we have a plan for them to move about.

Points for teaching me the term “stroad” –

A STROAD is a street/road hybrid and, besides being a very dangerous environment (yes, it is ridiculously dangerous to mix high speed highway geometric design with pedestrians, bikers and turning traffic), they are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive.A STROAD is a street/road hybrid and, besides being a very dangerous environment (yes, it is ridiculously dangerous to mix high speed highway geometric design with pedestrians, bikers and turning traffic), they are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive.

Thanks to Robert for pointing me to this editorial.

UpdateSome good comments at the RealCrozetVA Facebook page

Jarman’s Gap Controlled Burn – 10 April 2012

If it’s smoky in Crozet … it’s ok.

via email –

Shenandoah National Park News Release
Release Date:    April 9, 2013
Sally Hurlbert, [email protected], 540-999-3500 ext. 3280 or 
Karen Beck-Herzog, [email protected], 540-999-3500 ext. 3300 

Shenandoah National Park Plans Prescribed Burn

Luray, Virginia: Shenandoah National Park Fire Managers plan to burn 500 acres in the park’s south district on April 10, 2013.  The ignition of the fire is dependent on weather conditions.  The burn area is located west of Jarman Gap and northeast of Waynesboro, Virginia.

Prescribed fires are ignited by fire managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, including weather, fuel moisture and resource availability, in order to accomplish specific resource management objectives.

All prescribed burns will be conducted as interagency projects, with local support, under the guidance and direction of trained and experienced National Park Service personnel.  To learn more about prescribed fire in Shenandoah National Park go to

The Jarman Gap Prescribed Burn aims to reduce hazardous fuels and the threat of a major wildfire. Additionally, the fire will help to promote oak and pine regeneration, additional animal food sources, and increased plant diversity.  The forest of chestnut oak and three types of pine – Virginia, pitch, and table mountain – provides valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife. 

The plan is for the fire to mimic natural processes as much as possible.  It will be lit in such a way that the fire will move fairly slowly down the ridges with low flames.  Smoke from the burn will be visible from both inside and outside the park.   Some individual trees will burn, but the fire should travel mostly across the forest floor.

During the burn, the Gasline Road Trail will be closed to the public.