As Crozet continues to grow, it’s important to keep the end result in mind. What do we want Crozet to be in 10 years? In 20 years?
“Walkability plays a big part in an area’s economic vibrancy,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks, a national nonprofit that fosters walkable communities. “The most valuable real estate around the world is in walkable places, places where people are living and working in closer proximity.”
Researchers have found that areas with high Walk Scores fare better environmentally (less use of cars), socially (better chances of connecting with someone face to face) and economically. A recent study published in Real Estate Economics found that in neighborhoods with greater walkability, the resale value of both residential and commercial properties is higher. And according to a 2009 report commissioned by CEOs for Cities, “a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market.”
“There’s a strong preference for being in a neighborhood where people can walk to shops, restaurants, parks,” said Joe Molinaro, managing director of community and public affairs at the National Association of Realtors, which found that two-thirds of respondents in its 2011 Consumer Preference Survey said that walkability was an important factor when deciding where to live. “We asked people for tradeoffs—comparing different things they might have to give up to get that—and more and more are willing to make a sacrifice to be in a walkable neighborhood.”
– Homes for sale in Old Trail have relatively low Walk Scores (for now) – there’s Trailside Coffee, ACAC gym, Anna’s Pizza, Dentist, Augusta Medical, park, playgrounds and more (and much more to come as the Village Center gets built out.
– Homes around Downtown Crozet have higher Walk Scores – Mudhouse and Greenhouse coffee shops, hardware, Fardowners pub, Great Valu, Crozet Park, YMCA gym and lots more.
– Homes around the third business center – 250 West – don’t have the same connectivity, despite the proximity to Harris Teeter and all of the businesses in Clover Lawn – Eye Care, restaurants, UVA Credit Union …
With the lumberyard having been purchased recently, the future of downtown Crozet has the potential to shape up in the next couple years. What will it look like?
Let’s not forget (or forget to volunteer!) the value of the growing Crozet Trails system and network; I feel that these will be integral to the future of connectivity in Crozet, in addition to sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere possible.