Thoughts on Pending Crozet Neighborhood Traffic Changes

Thanks to Phil Kirby again for sharing this insight and knowledge.

Over the past few months, once my eyes were opened by the approach to development in my own backyard, I have started to watch more closely the planned development for Crozet.

I do not understand the details of how these things get approved but I have attended Crozet community meetings and I have been to a few Planning Commission meetings to watch how the commissioners react to recommendations from their staff and comments from the people who live here.

The Crozet Community Advisory Council, CCAC, has advocated for greater control of development – stressing that it should more closely resemble the accepted Master Plan and for the infrastructure that was expected to support the development be put in place. I think they are doing very good work to present the point of view of the people who live in Crozet these regards.

More importantly, during my involvement in these meetings I have become aware of three traffic issues that will directly affect our local neighborhoods. These are all documented in public domains – they are not my opinions – although I have not seen them addressed as an integrated issue.

  1. As part of the current Foothill Crossing development (happening now adjacent to Parkside) an “emergency” access road, connecting to the next phase of Foothill Development, has been cut through the stream buffer and a crossing over the stream has been installed. A hundred feet of trees on either side of the stream were cut down and a culvert installed to accommodate this.

Right now the road is dirt. It has been used to haul excess soil from current Foothill Crossing site construction to the next phase of development on the other side of the stream. 

The finished road will be 24 feet wide and paved with standard VDOT asphalt paving according to the plans. The drawings say it will be removed when the connector to downtown Crozet is complete.

The county engineers office confirmed that this road could be used as a construction access road in the future. 

This cut through the steam buffer is done, it is there now, and no limitations to its usage are identified. It is highlighted in red on the sketch below.

  1. Crozet Park has proposed to build an expanded Community Center and is requesting a Special Use Permit which will be presented to the Planning Commission soon. I have not been told when this will happen but Planning staff has made their comments and it could happen at any upcoming meeting.

The plans contemplate a new 32’ high, two story building with a 36,000 square foot footprint (see purple area on sketch below), with over two hundred new, paved parking spaces (counts by area shown on sketch below). 

Crozet Park is also asking, as part of the permit, that the existing access road onto Hilltop, which currently used during special events, be expanded to become a two lane, permanent entrance/exit although their drawings do not show a VDOT approved configuration. The drawings say that configuration will presented later. (shown on the sketch below highlighted in red).

The CCAC has been shown these plans at a meeting that I attended. I am not aware that CACC raised any major issues with Crozet Park’s Request for a Special Use Permit.

  1. At a recent CCAC Meeting a traffic study was presented by the county that analyzed the future impacts at the Old Trail/250 intersection, the Crozet Avenue/250 intersection and the Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection. 

The study indicated that Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection would have unacceptable wait times when all the development planned in Crozet is complete (the study found the intersection is not a problem now) AND, even after all of the proposed infrastructure roads are complete (Eastern Avenue Connector to 250 and the connector to downtown), the intersection would not work properly because of conflicts of turns from Tabor with queuing to turn onto Jarman’s Gap. 

The proposed solution was to eliminate left turns from Crozet Ave onto Jarman’s Gap, instead cars would turn left onto a loop road, that would be built around the Methodist church, and connect to Carter Street from which a right onto Jarman’s Gap could be made. This conceptual road is shown in red on the sketch below.

It should be noted that the study and proposed solutions were presented as preliminary findings of the study group. However, at the conclusion of the meeting they indicated that they planned to move forward studying the “loop road” solution.

I attended the CCAC meeting where this was presented, and I am not aware that CCAC has raised any major with this proposal. 

I overlayed the plans submitted for the Special Use Permit for the Crozet Park, highlighted the proposed access road in red. New Building is purple, existing buildings dotted, new parking counts indicated.

I overlayed the Foothill Crossing plan to shown where the “emergency” road cuts through the steam buffer. I am not aware of limitations to usage of that roadway.

I sketched in red where the “loop road” is proposed at Tabor/Crozet Avenue.

The dotted yellow and gold lines are my attempt to highlight new traffic patterns that could result once the new roads are in place. I am not aware of any studies of these traffic patterns nor studies of the intersection of the proposed, new Crozet Park entrance at Hilltop. 

I have my own opinions about these changes and plan to share them with the CCAC, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. I also realize that at one time the development I live in impacted someone else’s backyard and that these changes impact us all differently.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 Replies to “Thoughts on Pending Crozet Neighborhood Traffic Changes”

  1. email commenter:

    Quick question…isn’t the recommend cut through from Crozet Ave to Jarman’s Gap going to be right next to the future Crozet Volunteer Rescue Squad location? Makes sense to recommend traffic reroute through that location for now, but in the future, depending on how and where the Rescue Squad will need to exit their location, it could lead to issues. Also, having more vehicular traffic right next to a children’s playground, albeit fenced in, could lead to an accident. Just food for thought.

    1. The Rescue Squad issue came up at the meeting as something that needed to be addressed. I also agree that it unfortunate that this traffic study waited until the development was mostly done before they checked to see if the roads could handle it. I revised my drawing to try to include the THREE OPTIONS they presented on Tuesday (roughly) – I can’t remember if Option 1 also had a roundabout and I cannot remember if option 2 extended to High Street. – there may be is a link to a County Transportation site to see their conceptual drawings so if anyone is aware of one please add.

      I noted in blue the roads they mentioned were a priority – “maybe next two years”.

      A lot of this I’m doing from memory so if I misheard or made a mistake someone please let me know. Thanks.

  2. email commenter:

    I have attended the meetings also. Your maps are the clearest ones. I have had a hard time getting my head around what Crozet Park is proposing. This clarifies things for me around there (for better or worse :/)

    1. From Phil:

      I did get a note from Ann Mallek that sounded like she was surprised at the stream crossing and thought it should better controlled – but its already there and it usually hard to go backwards. How it is used and what it looks like, I think, needs to be watched (I’ve asked for clarity on that).

      This issue is particularly irritating to me because the justification is that over 35 units require two ways in for emergency vehicle access and, by right the, developer can cross a stream to make its property compliant. Parkside has always had only one access so this “requirement” seems to have been instituted with some discretion in the developer’s favor. This parcel was, as we remember, shown for eighteen homes and, again I think, was increased to 36 as part of the overall “Crozet should have more density” approach of our Planning Commission. I look back on it and realize I should have been more involved during public comment for this development because it seems to me that the development in Crozet has been allowed to get out of control (have you walked on the trail along the stream lately?).

      The proposed Park Building is almost 3/4 of an acre in footprint and 32’ high. The size can be compared to the houses shown or the dotted squares of the existing Crozet Park buildings. Most of the big trees between it and Indigo lane are proposed to be cut down. The proposal also calls for over two hundred new paved parking spaces for daily business that will enter and exit onto Park Street and, somehow, onto Hilltop. My understanding from the presentation at a CCAC meeting last fall was that they intend to lease out the building to a private company to run, something like the Y used to do and the ACAC does now. The request for a Special Use Permit by Crozet Park will be presented to the Planning Commission, I have been told, no sooner than March, although the Planning Staff completed their comments in early January.

  3. Just a few notes of clarification: the connection described in point 1 at Foothill Crossing is an emergency access only. Once site construction is complete it will be closed to vehicles with bollards. Bikes and peds may continue to use it if the HOA allows but no vehicles. Point 2 on the Crozet Park proposal, that route would be through a private travelway. While it may be possible to cut through there it is not a direct connection and would be similar to cutting through a large parking lot and the park could restrict that access. That project is not approved and Planning Commission and Board meetings will be necessary for approvals which may alter the plan. Point 3, that is a conceptual idea that is proposed to be included in the update to the Master Plan. A lot of additional work is necessary on it and it is many years off. The proposal is to address future potentially long delays and queues during peak hours in the downtown area on Library, Jarmans, Crozet, Tabor, and other streets. Thanks for your work Jim and Phil to keep the community aware of what is going on. I just wanted to help increase understanding on it.

Something to say?