What if … they widened 250?

Might be more than a “what if” and more “when they” …

From Charlottesville Tomorrow:

In other news, the Federal Highway Administration has awarded a $100,000 grant to the MPO to study I-64 from exit 87 in Staunton to exit 124 at Pantops. The organization will work with its equivalents in Staunton and Waynesboro, as well as VDOT.

The goal is to find ways to improve traffic, relieve congestion and prevent crashes in a 40-mile stretch that crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“This project will be a two-fold mission,” said Chip Boyles, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. “The biggest mission is to develop and promote a planning tool that FHWA uses and they’re trying to get MPOs to use to coordinate planning between multiple jurisdictions.”

Boyles said the second mission is to come up with high-level concepts of what can be built to help address the issues.

“It’s not just looking at I-64 but maybe looking at transit opportunities and possible changes to 250 so that it can handle a larger capacity when people have to detour onto it,” he said.

The Charlottesville MPO will hold a joint meeting with the Staunton-Waynesboro MPO in the fall to discuss the issue further.

Update, sent in from an offline commenter

Also from Charlottesville Tomorrow, this time in 2009: (bolding mine, and you should read the whole story)

VDOT’s final report in January 2000 recommended the widening of 250 west to four lanes between the US 29/250 Bypass near the Bellair neighborhood all the way to the railroad trestle crossing the Mechums River.

Scenic 250 vigorously opposed the road’s widening, a recommendation that VDOT made over the objections of the citizen committee participating in the study. The public argued that it made no sense to widen 250 when it ran parallel to the existing I-64.

With the strong support of Supervisor Sally H. Thomas , the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in May 2000 that committed the county to protecting the road as a two-lane scenic corridor all the way west to the county line. VDOT conceded that 250 was used largely for local traffic, and if residents wanted to deal with the congestion, that could be a local choice.

And for kicks and giggles and a bit further thought:

Portland’s drop in car use frees up $138 million in our local economy every year

Plans for next Phase of Old Trail Commercial Area Released

Old Trail Village in Crozet commercial center

Old Trail have released the plans for their new commercial space, so I’ll ask again (and a small request: please at least skim some of the comments from previous posts 🙂 )

What businesses does Crozet need?

Bonus points if the “needed” business is economically viable.

Piedmont Place in Downtown Crozet is the first mover in the “create a new place/space in Crozet.”

Publicly confirmed tenants in Piedmont Place
  1. Smoked BBQ
  2. The Roof Top 22932
  3. Blue Ridge Bottle Shop
  4. Morsel Compass
  5. An ice cream or yogurt place
  6. Yoga studio

Yesterday brought the news and images of the coming-soon Old Trail commercial space.

Old Trail Commercial center

CCAC Meeting Recap – 20 July 2016

So much discussed tonight about the Crozet Master Plan, state of growth, population, infrastructure, accusations against County Staff, lamentations about being blindsided by developers, a few new faces from the public, absence from those whose neighborhoods aren’t *directly* impacted by things on the agenda … I tried Facebook live, but the sound was awful (and it’s hard to hold a phone in one hand and tweet in the other).

Tweets below.

Continue reading “CCAC Meeting Recap – 20 July 2016”

Why Do You Love Crozet? Part 2

Downtown Crozet

Why do you love Crozet?

Crozet is at an interesting crossroads. People move here – and stay here –  in large part because of the community, the mountains, the setting, the amenities, and the small town feel.

I can’t tell you how many times I ask my clients, “Why Crozet?” and one of their first answers is either “community” or “to be part of something.”

What are the things about Crozet that you/we want to protect? To prioritize?

I love Crozet. I love the community.  I want Crozet to remain special. It’s going to change; how we change and grow is critical.

The answers below to the question, “Why do you love Crozet?” are tremendous. Click through, spend some time.

Some of the highlights

  • Mountain views
  • Crozet Library
  • Great Valu
  • Coffee shops
  • Small town living
  • Sal’s
  • Beaver Creek
  • Orchards
  • The people
  • Restaurants
  • And so. Much. More

To be and remain a community, infrastructure needs to be a critical component of how we grow – bike lanes and sidewalks are crucial to this – (read this!). Connecting humans needs to be at the forefront of how we grow, rather than a casual afterthought.

Think about this: in the  Crozet Board of Trade meeting on 18 July, Frank Stoner, who is developing Barnes Lumber, mentioned that the Crozet design guidelines call for 10 foot sidewalks whereas VDOT calls for 5 foot sidewalks … if VDOT won’t maintain the sidewalks, who will? We are in challenging times.

Part 1, if you’re interested.

Continue reading “Why Do You Love Crozet? Part 2”

CCAC Meeting 20 July 2016 – What Are CCAC Roles & Goals?

Sorry for the late-ish notice; just got this via email last night: (bolding mine) — please read the CCAC 2016 Goals & Priorities Discussion Draft (PDF), and weigh in in the comments.

The Crozet Library
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


  1. Agenda Review (David Stoner – CCAC chair)
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Review of CCAC Fact Sheet and Introduction/Overview/Duties (10 min)
  4. CCAC Priorities Discussion (90 min)
    1. What are the most important issues facing Crozet? Should we advocate more for certain of these stated in the Master Plan? Which? How?
    2. Master Plan Monitoring, Review, and Update – should we do more?
    3. Public Meetings and Project Reviews – are we spending our time wisely?
    4. Are there other Issues, county processes, or things we should focus on?
    5. Need to update Committee Liaisons (Aug 2016)
    6. Are there ways we conduct business that can be improved upon?
  5. Items Not Listed on the Agenda
  6. Announcements
  7. Future Agenda Items (August?)
    1. Update Committee Liaison Roles
    2. Barnes Lumber Rezoning Presentation (tentative)

CCAC 2016 Goals & Priorities Discussion Draft (PDF)


Crozet Business Owners Meeting at PRN – 18 July

The last Crozet Business Owners meeting was quite good, well attended, and frankly, a bit inspiring to hear Crozet business owners discuss the need to increase business, tourism, and awareness of Crozet. I expect this evening to be interesting and useful as well.

via Instagram:


Crozet Real Estate Market – 2nd Quarter 2016


David and I have fun doing these at PRN, but we never have enough time to say all that we need or want to say. As such, we’ve shifted our Crozet conversations from coffee at Mudhouse to beers (or water or soda) at PRN – Thirsty Third Thursdays from 5 to 7.

Questions about the market? Ask Jim (me) or David anytime!

Public Involvement Matters as Crozet Grows

Neil Williamson has a solid editorial at the FEF (as noted on the RealCrozetVA facebook page): — make sure to click through and read the whole thing.

If a significant community engagement process happens and the project still gains approval, does the process have value?  What if the project is rejected out of hand, or the density reduced, then does it have value?  I anticipate it depends where you sit.  Please let me explain.

A week ago Sunday (July 3) I was surprised to find myself nodding in agreement with an opinion piece in The Washington Post written by Stewart Schwartz, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.  The piece entitled “Stop saying no to development in your neighborhood”  included the following:

“Yet wherever infill and walkable, transit-accessible development are proposed, existing residents are either saying no to development or forcing it to be cut back so much that the region isn’t producing the new housing we need.

Some of the most strident opposition comes from our wealthiest and most fortunate neighborhoods. This is the case even though these neighborhoods have benefited as their property values have soared by virtue of convenient access to Metro and all of the jobs, restaurants, grocery stores and services that transit-oriented development brings.

It is a good thing that people are passionate and actively engaged in planning decisions in our communities. We need everyone at the table, and we need to pay serious attention to good design, transportation, public spaces, affordable housing and other community benefits. We need to ensure we balance development, historic preservation, public parks and other community assets. But the intensity and hostility of the opposition are suppressing thoughtful discussion about the benefits of transit-oriented development for the community, transportation and the environment.”

One thing I’ll add: the minutes provided often are not as detailed or as timely as I would like; that’s ones of the big reasons I try to tweet (and often have help thankfully) the meetings. CCAC tweet summaries and agendas are here.


The July (2016) Gazette is here!

As always, this month’s Crozet Gazette is chock-full. A few select stories (make sure to pick one up):

Crozet, and Albemarle County, and Albemarle + Charlottesville need a 50 year plan, rather than a 2 year or 5 year, or “what’s next?” plan.