Adelaide Approved by Albemarle County Planning Commission

Now that the Albemarle County Planning Commission have approved Adelaide, the next step is the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting.

This is a facebook post I put up on 9 May, the day before the PC approved Adelaide: (great comments and conversation there as well)

RE: Adelaide and the CCAC’s and the neighbors’ opposition to the rezoning, a few thoughts that I’m going to revise & refine : (update: I didn’t)

(This will be a blog post, but I wanted to start it here …) (Update: again, I didn’t)

– Crozet is going to continue to grow; we are a designated growth area.
– Good growth is better than no growth, and better than bad growth.

** Big caveat – I love Crozet, and want it to stay and be the wonderful place to live that most of us appreciate. I am a Realtor, but for anyone who knows me (or reads me), knows that I don’t like willy-nilly, no-holds-barred growth.***

Regarding Adelaide –

– If the rezoning doesn’t happen, the land **will** still be developed – instead of ~ 80(?) attached and detached homes priced probably > ~ $275K – $500K, we’ll get ~30 single family priced around $600K (this is big)

– If the rezoning doesn’t happen, this will be a by-right development, meaning that the County (we) will get *no* concessions or proffers … meaning:

• Less traffic
• Higher priced houses (read: less affordable Crozet, more “bedroom community”)
• No trail connection (trails are fantastic for lifestyle & property values) or bike/pedestrian trails
• No multiuse trail across the front of the development
• No pocket park
• No tree preservation

Thoughts and input welcomed. Questions most assuredly so.

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2 Replies to “Adelaide Approved by Albemarle County Planning Commission”

  1. Couple of comments. First and probably most important was the issue of safety along the Rt 250 corridor. Data provided by the Albemarle County police department showed that over the past 5 years in the 1.3 mile section between Harris Teeter and Western Albemarle there has been an average of one accident per month and 2 pedestrian deaths. I’m sure there is no one in Crozet who is not familiar with the traffic situation especially in the morning and evening rush hours. Additionally at the meeting a letter was presented written by the chief of police expressing his concern with the safety issue along Rt 250 west. Not to be lost in the discussion is the fact that Rt 250 West is a Virginia designated scenic By Way.

    The CCAC opposition was based not just on safety but on the Crozet Master Plan and sections of the county’s Model Neighborhood documentation. With regard to the Crozet Master Plan one of the primary planning principles which actually dates back to 1993 and the first Crozet Community Plan is the protection of Rt 250 West from development. Early on the residents of Crozet saw the danger of Rt 250 West becoming a carbon copy of Rt 29. The community also wanted downtown Crozet to remain the center of business for the growth area. Here is the applicable text from the Master Plan that relates to Rt 250 West:
    Future volumes on US 250 will be near or slightly exceed the roadway’s capacity, putting pressure on the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen it to four lanes. To maximize capacity, the county must limit the amount of development on properties adjacent to Route 250 from I-64 to Route 240 as called for in the Master Plan.

    The Master Plan and the Neighborhood Model also address how to plan for a. Fringe Areas and b. Centers. The designated center along Rt 250 is the Harris Teeter/Clover Lawn area.
    The master plan states the following:
    Each place-type retains its own distinctive center, with radiating middle and edge “bands”. The center is the most intensely developed, while the middle and edge bands become progressively more residential, less mixed use and less dense.

    The Neighborhood Model has similar text:
    Using the transect, the most active areas are the “Center” dominated primarily by high intensity uses but also containing some residential uses. Spreading out from the Center to the “general area” and then to the “fringe” development is increasingly residential in use and dispersed in density”.

    If CloverLawn/Harris Teeter is the center the language would argue that as you move away from the center toward the proposed development, then density should decrease from the high end located in Clover Lawn to a lower density in Cory Farm and even lower for Adelaide. Additionally, the master plan calls for density to decrease in the growth area fringe areas which is Rt 250.

    I want to correct Jim’s statement that if the rezoning is rejected it means it will develop by right, which currently means a little over 1 home per acre. It is also important to know that the CCAC fully realized the current zoning. The current allowable zoning would allow for a range of 3 to 6 homes per acre. What the CCAC did was to request the planning apply the lowest possible density, that is the 3 homes per acre consistent with the language in the master plan and neighborhood model. What by right means is that the land owner could develop the land at its current R1 zoning without needed to go through a rezoning.

    As for proffers it should be noted that new legislation in Richmond will severely limit the amount of proffers that can be obtained by the county. The fact still remains that residential growth does not pay for itself.

    With regard to Jim’s assertion that if this rezoning was not approved it would mean higher home prices, he’s wrong. There are currently 3 developments in the pipeline for Crozet. Each has already been rezoned. One is the Vue mentioned on this blog with its 120 apartments, one will be for approximately 80 units homes the last for 200 homes. Each of the proposed projects has a higher density the Adelaide, meaning each will be more affordable. Additionally each will be within walking distance to downtown Crozet.

    There are several other sections of text in the Master Plan that support the CCAC’s position, but in order to save space I have presented what I thought was most relevant to the discussion.

  2. 1 – Thanks, Tom. Again, great information and background.

    2 – I’ll take issue only with these:

    “With regard to Jim’s assertion that if this rezoning was not approved it would mean higher home prices, he’s wrong. ”

    I apologize if I was unclear.

    If the developer builds (a builder will build, the developer won’t, but semantics …) 30 single family homes, those will probably cost ~$600K+ and if he builds 30 attached, and 50 single family (I don’t recall offhand what the actual breakdown would be) the attached homes would probably start below $300k and go up from there.

    3 – Again, I apologize for being unclear. That statement was made after I had more than one conversation with an opponent who thought that if the CCAC denied it (another conversation entirely) then the land would not be developed. It will be in time …

Something to say?