Gathering in the common area of Piedmont Place at 6:45, conversation starts at 7pm sharp, and we’ll aim to end no later than 8:15 or 8:30.
Lee Cilimberg, one of the most knowledgeable about Albemarle County Government people I know, and Sean Tubbs, someone who knows more about local government intricacies and ways than I’ll ever know, and Wayne Cilimberg, former Director of Planning at Albemarle County who he rode herd on the comp plan for many years and will have lots of answers.
The Comprehensive Plan is Albemarle County’s most important document regarding growth, development and change. It establishes government policy to help guide public and private activities as they relate to land use and resource utilization. It is the basis for land development regulations and decisions (rezonings, special use permits), capital improvements (public projects such as schools, parks, libraries), transportation, environmental and historic resource protection initiatives, new county programs and decisions on the distribution of county budget dollars to a multitude of programs and agencies.
Come ready to listen. Come with questions.
Come and have a beer from the bottle shop, tacos at Morsel Compass, ice cream at the Creamery.
Charting a viable path for Mint Springs development.
Residents in and around Albemarle County are blessed with amazing outdoor recreational resources. As a mountain biker, trail runner and outdoor enthusiast, I find the availability of trail to be pretty darn good. As a relatively recent resident of Crozet, I love being able to pedal my way over to Mint Springs, drop a few PSI from my tires, and climb up and down that mountain a few times before returning home. Its a wonderful out-and-back workout. I regularly encounter trail users of all kinds…hikers, dog walkers, cyclists…we exchange pleasantries and go about enjoying the great outdoors.
Make no mistake: Mint Springs is a treasure.
It has history, wildlife, and plenty of rocks and roots to keep everyone on their toes. Some of us in this community are aware of the expanses of the park beyond the existing, marked trail system, and given the elevation and acreage, we’ve always had an itch for more. Runners, hikers and cyclists alike all seem to want to go higher, travel further and see more. I’ve engaged with fellow cyclists, runners, hikers, and County officials off and on for the last several years in discussion about this topic. We’ve done some discovery hikes, studied maps, and drawn squiggly lines from point A to point B, but we’ve made no real progress.
Ah progress…a double-edged sword.
The counter-point to any further development often centers on protecting the wilderness. And given my love of nature, I can sympathize with those on that side of the fence. I’ve encountered a decent sized black bear head-on while riding on Fire Trail, and it was awesome! But I can also zoom out, both figuratively and literally (in Google Earth), and see that there is no shortage of wilderness surrounding Mint Springs. I hear and value conservative approaches to protecting wilderness, but I also believe that we can find a better balance at Mint Springs.
I’ve recently discovered that some have taken to carving their own, new “rogue” trails at Mint Springs. I quickly engaged the County to ensure that this wasn’t a planned activity (which I was fairly sure it wasn’t), and of course, it is not. This approach will not win any favor with the County. In fact, they will now likely dedicate resources to closing these trails and “restoring” nature. I find this all very unsettling. I ask that anyone that is actively venturing off the marked trails to cease. Mint Springs is not your personal playground. You want more. I want more. Many of us want more. So where do we go from here?
Historically, we have been a fragmented user-base.
We approach the County with small numbers, with small ideas, and we get brushed aside. I propose that we attempt to unify. Let’s get the Crozet Trail Crew, the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club (CAMBC), the #runCrozet folks, the Crozet Cycling Club, and all other interested parties to come to the table and voice their ideas. Let’s develop our own “master” plan, unify our resources, and take it to to the County. Based on my experience to date, this may be the only way we are able to get traction.
Your neighbor and lover of all things outdoors,
P.S. While I have your attention, let me also say that Mountain Bikers can get a pretty bad rap. We can be portrayed as reckless trail hogs, blasting down the mountain with reckless abandon, destroying trails as we drag our wheels through switchbacks. And I know that this contingent exists…I see it on TV and on very rare occasions, I see them on the trails. But let me assure you: it is not the norm. CAMBC represents an outstanding group of trail stewards, backed by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). They build and maintain lasting trails. And the vast majority of the bikers I know are responsible trail advocates that understand trail etiquette. Additionally, the youth mountain bike scene is exploding in area High Schools, being taught by folks I respect that I know will put these kids on the path of responsible trail use. More kids outdoors: that is a win. Let’s work together to keep outdoor recreation awesome for everyone.
In a proffer statement dated May 16, the owner is offering 15 percent of the units for affordable housing, in addition to a dedication of greenway trail space and a bike and pedestrian tunnel underneath Eastern Avenue.
Eastern Avenue – This is a second major north-south Master Plan road that will connect Rt. 240 and Rt. 250 generally from the area around Western Ridge and the Conagra plant to an area near Cory Farms. An alignment study of Eastern Avenue and design of the Lickinghole Creek Bridge, a major feature of Eastern Avenue, are being programmed in the County’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The road itself is expected to be built as part of private development, while the bridge is anticipated to be a future CIP project. The County has begun preliminary discussions with developers who control the property to determine an effective alignment of the road
“We’ve worked hard for the past 10 years, so it would be great to finally take some steps,” says Ann Mallek, chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors and representative of the White Hall District, which includes Crozet, where two connector road projects are in the works.
One would connect Route 240 to Route 250 through Park Ridge Drive and the Cory Farm subdivision.
The proposed Eastern Avenue Connector, which runs north-south, still has two major portions that need to be constructed, says Kevin McDermott, transportation planner for Albemarle County.
Looks like I won’t be able to get much use out of these photoshopped signs.
Each month Nest Realty hosts a social soiree to benefit a different organization or charity. This month we’ve teamed up with Piedmont Place to benefit Claudius Crozet Park, Inc.
Thursday, April 12th, starting at 5:30pm, we’ll have a keg tapped and flowing at The Rooftop Crozet. All you have to do is ask for the Nest keg! We’ll have a donation box available that you can drop a $5, $10 or $20, if so moved.
On Sunday, April 22nd from 8AM to12:30PM, Crozet Park will host its fifth annual Pitch-in at the Park. This event brings together volunteers throughout the community and makes it possible to complete many of the Park’s yearly maintenance activities. Lunch is provided to ALL volunteers.
So much cool stuff at Crozet Library. The sheer volume of cool and interesting things the Library offers is astonishing.
via email –
We have some great programs lined up for you this April – tomorrow come stretch out with Essentrics at 10am. Don’t forget that you can now register for programs online or register over the phone (+14348234050 )! Next Monday, we’ll have Richard Leahy discussing his book Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, so come learn about Virginia wine-making while you snack on a cheese spread and sparkling drinks.