Crozet Stuff This Week – 14 March 2022

Searching Sean Tubbs’ “Week Ahead” Charlottesville Community Engagement for “Crozet” …

And a reminder to subscribe to Sean’s work; I do. I’m happy to gift a subscription to someone if you’re interested; just ask me.

The Albemarle County Economic Development Authority meets virtually at 4 p.m. for a wide-ranging meeting. (meeting material)

Then there will be a closed session at which the EDA will discuss “possible litigation” against the Center, as well as potential investment in Downtown Crozet. 


Glenbrook developer seeks to change housing type proffer

There’s only one item on the agenda for the Albemarle County Planning Commission’s virtual meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

The developer of the previously approved Glenbrook neighborhood in Crozet wants more flexibility in a 1.89 acre section of the development. When the rezoning was granted in 2016, there was a proffered condition that a minimum of 50 percent of the units would be single family housing. 

Since then, a new Crozet Master Plan has been adopted that designates the land as being for Middle Density Residential which allows for between six and 12 units per acre. 

“Instead of a minimum of 50 percent single family detached dwellings in the overall Glenbrook development, the applicant proposes a minimum of 40 percent single family detached dwelling units,” reads the applicant’s narrative.” This change will allow for the construction of affordable dwelling units in the final phase of the project. 

This would not apply to the remaining 36 acres that are not subject to this rezoning request. Staff recommends approval. 

The application plan for the new Glenbrook rezoning. Click to see a more detailed version.

Beaver Creek Dam Improvements

The referenced 230 page ACSA doc is not searchable, sadly (thanks for the nudge about Sean’s note).

Riding my bicycle yesterday, I noticed a working barge(?) and silt fencing along part of the Beaver Creek Reservoir perimeter. A bit of searching this morning, and I was reminded by the Crozet Gazette of the timing , and a bit more at Rivanna’s site.

March 2022 Transportation CCAC Meeting Roundup

That was an interesting meeting, and like most such meetings, one that people will look back on in three years and say, “I remember that’s when learned about X.”

X could be that they don’t seem to have the rights of way for the Eastern Avenue extension to 250, or that they still don’t have plans for sidewalks on Tabor and High, but are underway on the sidewalks from Cory Farm to Harris Teeter on 250, or that Oak Street from the Square is going to be completely revamped.

A few highlights that I’m pulling from the google doc at the bottom

  • Joe Fore (CCAC) asks about the Rt 240 (Three Notch’) Shared-use Path – Park Ridge Dr to Music Today; that was broken into 2 segments
  • “Much smaller” pot of funding is federal, not state, for “transportation alternatives” – under $1M, requires 20% local match. You know, walking and riding bikes. 
  • Project updates – skip to the bottom to read the discussion and questions about these
    • Eastern Ave South Extension – project was submitted last year; we find out in April if the state will fund it. ~$25M to do it (wonder what it would have been 15 – 20 years ago)
    • 240/250 Roundabout – going to advertise this year, construction to begin by the end of 2022
    • Old Trail/WAHS/250 Roundabout – worst performing intersection in Crozet – will be submitted as a Smart Scale project in this round. My thought: if they aren’t planning to put bikes and pedestrians first, they’re wrong.
    • US 250 Sidewalks
  • Crozet Connect update
  • Pandemic caused ridership to slump

Last night’s CCAC meeting represented two firsts for me: One – this was my first meeting as a CCAC member rather than observer, and two – the first that I’ve tried taking live notes in a google doc instead of live-tweeting. I’m inclined to go back to tweeting as the google doc does not perform as well as Twitter for inserting screenshots of slide decks (would be super-helpful if we’d get the slide decks before the meeting)


Part of the slide decks

Continue reading “March 2022 Transportation CCAC Meeting Roundup”

CCAC – 9 March 2022 – Transportation!

Browns Gap Turnpike

Via Charlottesville Community Engagement:

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m. The focus for this meeting will transportation with an update on projects in Crozet, as well as a update and discussion of the Crozet CONNECT service operated by Jaunt. (meeting info)

As I’ve said for years … these meetings may seem boring and disconnected, but the information is critical to how we live in Crozet. See a few of my transportation-thoughts at the bottom after the agenda.


Crozet Community Advisory Committee Wednesday, March 9, 2022 7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being held pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 20-A (16); An Ordinance to Ensure the Continuity of Government During the Covid-19 Disaster.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEETING ONLINE:

Download Zoom. Use this link https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/j/94571782297 to join the webinar.

BY PHONE/CALL-IN:

Dial (301) 715-8592. Type in the Webinar ID 945 7178 2297 followed by the pound (#) sign. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order & Agenda Review (3 minutes)Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair
  1. (15 minutes)
  2. Upcoming CAC topics (5 minutes)Rachel Falkenstein, Planning Manager, Long-Range Planning

Transportation Planning Overview & Crozet Project Updates (60 minutes)

Kevin McDermot, Planning Manager, Transportation

Crozet CONNECT update & discussion

Jodie Saunders, JAUNT

6. Committee Business (10 minutes)

Allie Pesch, CCAC Chair

Next Meeting: April 13, 2022


Transportation thoughts, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter

Old Dominion Village Rezoning – 15 February 2022

One day, the County, VDOT, developers might see the value in adding better pedestrian and bike connectivity when proposing new housing. One day.

It’s a ~20 minute walk to Crozet Mudhouse. A 6 minute bike ride. 7 minute walk to Starr Hill.

This is the August 2020 CCAC meeting in which this development was discussed.

via the excellent Charlottesville Community Engagement

Subscribe here (I recommend paying for a subscription)

(bolding is mine)

Albemarle PC to review 110-unit Old Dominion Village in Crozet

Crozet is one of Albemarle’s designated growth areas. Last year, the Crozet Master Plan was updated with a new land use designation of Middle Density Residential which allows between six to 12 units per acre with high provisions if below-market housing is to be part of the development.

The Albemarle Planning Commission will have a public hearing tonight for a rezoning on 23.68 acres on the north side of Route 240 across from the Acme Visible Records site. Part of the land for the Old Dominion Village development contains this new category, and some parts at the less intense Neighborhood Density Residential. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. (meeting info)

The developer seeks a rezoning to the Neighborhood Model District for a project that would be built around an existing veterinary clinic. 

“After practicing for 40 years, the parcel owner, Dr Martin Schulman leases the hospital building to the Old Dominion Animal Hospital – Crozet, a sister hospital to Old Dominion Animal Hospital on Preston Avenue in Charlottesville also in operation since 1982,” reads the narrative for the application. “Dr. Schulman has decided that combining the two parcels and developing them into a mixed – use neighborhood while keeping the veterinary care center as a commercial component would be beneficial to the Crozet Community.”  

The developer has stated 20 of the units will be built under the county’s affordability guidelines. They’ll also contribute $283,000 in cash proffers “to help mitigate impacts of the development on schools and transportation.” 


Also from Sean’s Week Ahead – smaller lots in Old Trail?


The developer of Old Trail in Crozet seeks a reduction in the minimum lot size from 8,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet in order to build smaller units that might have lower prices. (staff report)

Goodbye, St. George Mural

removed street art

What a damn shame.

More to come, but I saw during my morning bike ride that the street art on St. George Avenue has been removed/destroyed.

From the December Crozet Gazette

(bolding mine)

“VDOT does not have a policy in place to address murals and other art within the travel way on state-maintained roads,” read the statement. “We do not endorse the placement of art like what is in place in Crozet, but we will not use state resources to remove it at this time. However, in a situation where roadway art presents a safety hazard, such as creating a distraction for drivers or if it interferes with traffic control markings, it will be removed. When the road is repaved, VDOT will not replace the artwork.”

St. George neighbors were briefly jubilant until VDOT subsequently reversed course. In a second set of comments to the Gazette, Hatter said the street mural had been reclassified as a safety hazard after VDOT fielded complaints from local residents. “We have received some additional feedback from community members regarding the St. George Avenue street mural, and have heard that it’s a distraction for drivers going through the intersection,” he said. “We’ve also heard that children are attracted to the area and have been playing around it, which means it’s hazardous at this point. So, because of this new information, we have to treat the mural as a safety hazard and will be removing it next week.”


I prefer to remember the street art this way
I prefer to remember the street art this way

Looking at Crozet’s 2022 Real Estate Market

2021 may go in the books as one of the most expensive and fastest-moving markets in history. I wrote a bit about my thoughts on 2022:

Much the same as 2021. The pandemic will continue, inventory will be tight, and there will be a lot of competition for a lot of houses, and less for others. Similar story, different year.

  • Pandemic 
    • Inflation, supply chain, labor, economy, etc. etc. etc. 
  • Interest Rates (see below)
  • Inventory
  • More buyers in the Charlottesville – Albemarle market are going to give up and either continue renting, or move away.
  • Inventory
  • Climate change is going to affect *everything* including what we pay for homeowners insurance.
  • New construction costs
  • Inventory

Have a question? Looking for representation? I’m here. (disclosure that I’m sure you figured out: I’m a Realtor)


What do the numbers below mean?


Defining “Crozet” as “Brownsville + Crozet Elementary School districts”

  • 434 homes sold in Crozet in 2021
    • 172 were new construction; all but one of these were an acre or less
    • 262 resale homes sold; average days on market was 30, and the median days on market was 6.
  • Average price for all homes sold was $527K and the median price was $468K
    • Average price for new construction was $558K and the median was $520K.
  • 287 single family homes sold and 146 attached homes sold
  • Of the 434 homes sold, 381 were on a acre or less. 354 were on half an acre or less


Did you know?

… Crozet had a population increase of 65.75% in the last 10 years, from about 5,565 in 2010 to approximately 9,224 in 2020, according to census data.

And some not-specifically-related to real estate, but really about real estate thoughts and Crozet:

We need to bring business to Crozet, and do whatever we can to lure/cajole/entice businesses to move to Crozet and provide jobs so that Crozetians don’t have to commute to Charlottesville or elsewhere; this will be better for the Crozet and Albemarle economies, good for community by keeping people here, and if we can manage to build houses, we should be able to build supporting non-auto-centric infrastructure so that people are able to move from one place to another without having to get into a car.

Bike and pedestrian infrastructure is good for community, climate, health and wellness, and the economy. We need a vision that looks beyond the next few months and years, and envisions what we can be in 25 to 50 years.

Yes, we are getting some roundabouts, a bigger Crozet Elementary, and piecemeal sidewalks interspersed here and there. But we need to do better, and I’m pretty sure that we can.


Questions?

Montclair and its 157 Homes

At the CCAC meeting on 13 January, Vito Cetta, who developed Wickham Pond and several other area neighborhoods, presented the plan for Montclair, neé White Gate Village.

A few thoughts

The rezoning/land use 101 given by Cameron with Albemarle County was really good; I recommend people watch it.

They are proposing a rezoning to allow for 157 homes.

Crozet needs new housing, but also needs supporting infrastructure and businesses to keep Crozetians in Crozet, and going to work not in cars (bikes, walking). Trails need to connect to downtown Crozet and other neighborhoods so that people aren’t forced to drive.

There is a stream on the property, but apparently it was removed; watch this part of the meeting because my tweet about it needs to be read and seen in context.

Vehicular connectivity between Wickham Pond and Montclair is a concern (the idea to make it a bike/ped path with bollards is a good one)

This was the first time that I recall a citizen dialing in with a presentation to present some questions about the Montclair development; I thought it was really well done, and the tenor and tone was good, and not simply, “don’t build!”

My opinion: they’re going to build something there, and those who are opposed may want to consider buying the land themselves. Crozet is a growth area, and we’re going to grow. The 12-plex units that they proposed are really pretty cool; I think the 430 square foot units might be better suited for cities, and we need affordable housing for families that consist of more than one person, but it’s still an innovative concept.

12 Alex proposed in Montclair
12 units here

From Allison Wrabel’s story at the Daily Progress

(read the whole thing)

Another 157 homes and additional commercial properties could be coming to Crozet under a proposed development off of Route 240 and Park Ridge Drive.

Vito Cetta, the developer and architect on the project, is requesting a rezoning of about 12.2 acres from the county’s Rural Area zoning district and 5.32 acres from the Light Industry zoning district to Neighborhood Model District to build a development called Montclair.

An initial proposal for the property, called White Gate Village, was submitted in 2020 for a maximum of 125 homes but was later withdrawn.

The proposal would allow a minimum of 58 homes and a maximum of 157 homes under the rezoning, a maximum gross housing density of about nine units per acre and a maximum density of 12 units per acre.

Cetta said the development is proposed for a mix of villa-style attached homes, townhouses and apartments. He said the villas would be priced at about $550,000 to $725,000 and most of the townhouses will be priced at about $425,000 to $550,000.


Watch the whole meeting


Naturally, Nextdoor doesn’t like it.

Read all the Tweets from the January 2022 CCAC meeting here.

First CCAC Meeting of 2022 – More Houses + Transportation Stuff at Board of Supervisors

Meetings matter, folks.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being held pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 20-A (16); An Ordinance to Ensure the Continuity of Government During the Covid-19 Disaster.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEETING ONLINE:

Download Zoom. Use this link https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/j/94571782297 to join the webinar.

From Sean Tubbs’ Week Ahead: (bolding mine)


Community meeting for Montclair development in Crozet

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets virtually at 7 p.m. and the year begins with a review of a rezoning of two parcels of land on Route 240 in Crozet to the west of Wickham Pond. This is the first application to proceed following an update of the Crozet Master Plan. (meeting info) (formerly known as the White Gate Village)

One parcel is currently zoned light industrial and the other is zoned for rural uses. The applicant seeks rezone both to the Neighborhood Model District. The 2010 version of the Future Land Use Map designates one of the properties for green space, and the other light-industrial and green space. The updated plan designates both as having elements of Middle Density Residential, Low Density Residential, and green space. 

According to the narrative written in September 2020 by Shimp Engineering (#3), the proposed development is a “mixed-unit residential community with limited complementary commercial uses.” The project would be most intense along Route 240, tapering back towards a conservation along a stream. 

The project was deferred while the Master Plan update was under development. A new code of development has been submitted that increased the maximum request from 125 units to 157 units. 

From the Rezoning (bolding mine)

PETITION: Request to rezone 12.19 acres from the RA Rural Area zoning district which allows for agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots) to NMD Neighborhood Model District which allows for residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Request to rezone 5.32 acres from the LI Light Industry zoning district which allows industrial, office, and limited commercial uses (no residential use) to NMD Neighborhood Model District which allows for residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Proposal includes approximately 3.5 acres of open space and recreational amenities throughout the development. A minimum of 58 and a maximum of 157 residential units are proposed at a maximum gross residential density of 8.96 du/acre for the entire development and a maximum net density of 12 du/acre for the area designated for development in the Crozet Master Plan. A maximum of 16,500 sq. ft. of non-residential uses are proposed. Request proposed to amend the ACSA jurisdictional area boundary to water and sewer on Tax Map Parcel 56-91A.


A bit more from his Week Ahead

(bolding is mine)

The late afternoon (of the 12 January Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ Meeting) is reserved for transportation issues with new reports from Albemarle transportation staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The ten-page county report is a summary of what took place in 2021, including the reclassification of several roads in order for them to quality as Entrance Corridors. There’s also information about pending Smart Scale pre-applications including these projects already endorsed by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board. 

  • A roundabout at District Avenue and Hydraulic road
  • A bike/pedestrian bridge to connect South Pantops and Woolen Mills (see Friday)
  • Avon Street Corridor Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • 5th Street Extended Multimodal Improvements 

Other projects under consideration for submission by either Albemarle County or the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission: 

  • U.S. 250 Corridor Improvements – Hansen Road to Peter Jefferson Parkway 
  • Avon Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • Ivy Road / U.S.29 / 250 Bypass Interchange 
  • Belvedere Boulevard / Rio Road Intersection Improvement 
  • 5th Street Extended Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
  • Crozet Avenue / US 250 West Intersection Improvements
  • U.S. 250 / Route 22 / Milton Drive 

The VDOT report tracks projects in planning and construction. Preliminary engineering is underway for a roundabout at Route 240 and U.S. 250 east of Crozet as well as a connector road between Berkmar Drive and Airport Road. When the latter is completed, Berkmar Drive would connect all the way to the UVA North Fork Research Park. Three more roundabouts are planned and funded in the county at these locations:

  • John Warner Parkway and Rio Road 
  • Route 53 and Route 20 
  • 5th Street Old Lynchburg Road

It Snowed in Crozet – January 2022

It snowed, and took out power to a lot of Crozetians, and a lot of Virginians.

Two tips for staying up to date during such events: RealCrozetVA twitter feed and my Charlottesville media Twitter list. I imagine Nextdoor was helpful also.

Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often, and I can’t recall a heavy wet snow like this, and certainly not one that left so much tree damage in its wake. We haven’t seen this much damage, and this long of a power outage, since the derecho in 2012; that was fun.

This time though, the sound of lots of generators filled the air, and hopefully more of us were more prepared this time than last. We don’t have a generator, but I did get a portable power station and solar panels for it last year, so we did ok. That, plus a gas fireplace.


I still can’t bring myself to reactivate the RealCrozetVA Facebook page as I can’t reconcile the damage FB has done to society. And I admit that I keep my IG feeds, but Facebook remains so incredibly harmful.