Project Heron Project (to build the Eastern Connector?)

The Project Heron Project from Crozet United is an interesting one. The “Publishers: Eric Schmitz, Brad Rykal, and Jeff Stone” are doing an enormous amount of work to find out what is happening with the Oak Bluff + Eastern Avenue project.

Read the whole series — it’s a remarkable effort.

I don’t have conclusions other than these:

  • The perception of backroom dealing is counterproductive to good public policy; people should know better.
  • The connector needs to be built, we need more dense (read: attached) housing (median price of new construction single family home in Crozet since 1 January 2023 is $713K – 67 homes, median price of attached homes since then is $460K – 147 homes), and we need appropriate future-proof infrastructure.
  • The County needs to do things transparently at the appropriate times, while acknowledging that some things necessarily need to be done behind closed doors. When coming from a position lacking trust, perception is more important than ever.
  • Albemarle County – and Virginia – have not built the necessary infrastructure in Crozet; that is inarguable.
  • AND we need sidewalks along Park Road from Westhall and points east to Crozet Park. Why is this so hard?
  • Build the road, and build it with its original alignment where it’s been expected for decades.

I got into it a bit on Twitter when I was asking for the “who” was behind Crozet United. Who the publishers are matters. There’s a reason journalists put their names on what they write, and I’m glad the authors put their names on one post after the Twitter exchange, which I’m sure is purely coincidental.

PS – Here is the RSS feed for Crozet United.

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4 Replies to “Project Heron Project (to build the Eastern Connector?)”

  1. I appreciate the comment about building Eastern Avenue with its original alignment. It must be connected out to 240 straight through as originally intended. Having it dump onto Park Ridge Drive, right through the middle of a neighborhood, is dangerous. People are traveling through a neighborhood street like it is a county road – Excessive speeds, sometimes passing other drivers they perceive as too slow, too often looking at their phones, while children and neighbors are out playing, trying to cross the street to visit one another and walking their pets.

    1. The northern extension of Eastern to 240/Three Notch’d was scrapped during the 2021 Crozet Master Plan process. It is not even on the Future Street Network Map. The County approved a Glenbrook site plan that did not continue the road along the edge of the Glenbrook property. Instead, Eastern dead ends into the Acme Visible Records site which requires monitoring for hazardous ground water, and Glenbrook has a Storm Water Management pond where the road could have been. It is now “impractical” per Transportation Planner Kevin McDermott. Developers/builders still don’t mind having signs up that make you think it may happen – good for sales, just not true.

  2. I have read the excellent Gazette articles on both topics. ‘Crozet United’ is just another special interest group. AC doesn’t have $$ for the roads we need. VA has many other priorities. Without private $$, nothing gets built. So do the PPP deal!

    1. What PPP deal? Here’s how it is likely to play out. County will go through the motions to prepare an RFP. Then they will approve maximum density for Oak Bluff because now Eastern is “in motion”. No one bids the $13-17 million the County says they have to spend because… duh, the 2023 VDOT estimate was $39.5 million; or the plan doesn’t get FEMA approval; or other priorities in the Transporation Leveraging Program are more important so the funding for the bridge falls through in a few years. So all of East Crozet will be developed, without a road comparable to Old Trail Dr, or Crozet Ave connecting through the communities.

Something to say?