Crozet Master Plan Inches Along – Public Hearing 20 October 2021

via email (click through to read the whole thing)

Upcoming Board of Supervisors Public Hearing — Read the Plan, Attend the Public Hearing, and Share Your Feedback Since September 2019, Albemarle County has been exploring, alongside the Crozet community, how to best reflect the community’s vision for the future of Crozet in the latest update to the Crozet Master Plan.

The Crozet Master Plan includes five chapters: Introduction, Transportation, Land Use, Conservation, and Implementation.

Over the summer, community members shared feedback on earlier drafts of the Master Plan through an online questionnaire, at virtual Crozet Community Advisory Committee meetings, and in-person at community pop-ups. A public hearing with the Albemarle County Planning Commission was held last month.

The latest draft Master Plan incorporates comments and feedback shared over the summer. The current draft will be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 6 pm. 

Review the draft online
Calendar Event _1_.pngUpcoming Board of Supervisors Public Hearing 

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 at 6 pm   You may sign up to comment at the public hearing and/or share your comments directly to Rachel Falkenstein, Planning Manager [email protected]  

Crozet Master Plan Review (2021)

First, from Sean Tubbs’ Charlottesville Community Engagement

The Crozet Master Plan is part of Albemarle County’s Comprehensive Plan and an update has been in development for the past two years. The draft has been produced internally by planners in the Albemarle Department of Community Development and is similar in design to the Rio Road / 29 Small Area Plan and the update of the Pantops Master Plan. There are five chapters in the 137-page plan. A questionnaire is open through September 14, which is also the day of the public hearing before the Albemarle Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors will hold their public hearing on October 20. (read the draft here)


And from Albemarle County

The Draft Crozet Master Plan is Complete — Read the Plan, Share Your Feedback, and Attend the Public Hearings

Since September 2019, Albemarle County has been exploring, alongside the Crozet community, how to best reflect the community’s vision for the future of Crozet in the latest update to the Crozet Master Plan. The Crozet Master Plan includes 5 chapters: Introduction, Transportation, Land Use, Conservation, and Implementation.

This summer, community members shared their priorities for recommended projects in the Implementation Chapter and shared feedback on an earlier draft Master Plan. Community members participated through an online questionnaire, at virtual Crozet Community Advisory Committee meetings, and in-person at community pop-ups. The latest draft Master Plan that incorporates comments and feedback is now available to review online!

Online Questionnaire

Through Tuesday, September 14th 
Review the draft plan and share your feedback via the online questionnaire.

You may also submit your comments directly to Rachel Falkenstein, Planning Manager [email protected]

Your feedback will be shared with the Albemarle County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors at upcoming public hearings.

Public Hearings

You are welcome to attend these public hearings which will be held virtually (meeting access information will be added to the County calendar soon):
Planning Commission Public Hearing – Tuesday, September 14th at 6pm
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing – Wednesday, October 20th at 6pm
What Is a Master Plan? 

A Master Plan is a collaboratively developed document that describes a community’s vision for future development, using text, maps, and diagrams. In Albemarle County, Master Plans are used to guide future public and private development and to coordinate and prepare more detailed plans.   

Master Plan Update Process 
The public participation process for the Crozet Master Plan includes four phases:
– Phase 1 focused on updating the community’s vision and guiding principles that lay the foundation for the Master Plan document.
– Phase 2 involved Focus Area Input and Design Strategies. During this phase, staff worked with the community to identify specific recommendations and associated updates to maps on the topics of Character/Land Use, Connectivity/ Transportation, Conservation/ Parks & Green Systems, and Implementation.
– Phase 3 consisted of a period of recommendations drafting and refinement.
– Phase 4 (current phase) will include drafting each chapter and taking the Final Master Plan Draft through public comment, public hearings, and approval processes.   

Community Engagement
View the Community Engagement home for this project, available at publicinput.com/imaginecrozet to view previous feedback opportunities and catch up on the project’s progress to date.

Crozet Master Plan (2021 edition) is Complete

I’m sure it’s not perfect; no plan ever is. (bolding below is mine)

via email.

The Draft Crozet Master Plan is Complete — Read the Plan and Share Your Feedback!
Since September 2019, Albemarle County has been exploring, alongside the Crozet community, how to best reflect the community’s vision for the future of Crozet in the latest update to the Crozet Master Plan.

The Crozet Master Plan includes 5 chapters: an Introduction, Transportation, Land Use, Conservation, and Implementation. 

Over the past month, community members shared their priorities for recommended projects in the Implementation Chapter through an online questionnaire, at the virtual Crozet Community Advisory Committee meeting, and in-person at community pop-ups. The ‘Cataylst Projects’ in the Implementation Chapter reflect these priorities, read the draft Master Plan to learn more! Meet us at one of our pop-ups or participate anytime at PublicInput.com/ImagineCrozet!  

Petition to Build Western Park

via email:

WESTERN PARK AT OLD TRAIL

We, the undersigned, express our support for the construction of the Western Park located in Crozet, Virginia, and the action to be taken by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to authorize the release of Proffered Funds and leverage additional funds to launch the Western Park project.

Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Staff have recently recommended a multi-phased approach to the development of Western Park. An initial step, described as Phase 1-ASAP would provide playground equipment and landscape/site improvements. Additional work to further develop Park facilities would occur as funds are available.

My note: this is not an Old Trail park; this will be an Albemarle County park. And a reminder: Being a citizen takes time, effort, and sacrifice. These things take time.

Learn more and sign the petition here.


Background

Moving to Crozet? (via Reddit)

This question on Reddit was a fun writing prompt for me.

Hi all hoping you can give me the local’s perspective of Crozet. My wife and I are lifelong Marylanders seriously looking at moving away from the DC area to the greater Charlottesville area in the next 2-3 years. We’ve got two kids in elementary school and are looking for a lot of what the area has to offer. We came down earlier this summer and stumbled upon Crozet as a potential area of interest.

Is it really as nice as it seems? What are you’re thoughts? We want to be close enough to Charlottesville but be able to maintain a small-town feel.

And my answer

Lots of people from NoVa/DC/Maryland move to Crozet/Charlottesville.

Crozet is a great place to live; we’ve raised two kids here. Close to mountains, hiking, biking, 25-30 minutes to Charlottesville, and Crozet is becoming more self-sufficient all them time. The mountains aren’t going anywhere.

But … as I tell my clients (yes, I’m an agent), there’s a ton of growth yet to come, and in my opinion (as someone who’s lived in Crozet for 20 years, and as a Realtor), this growth comes with challenges. Much of the growth is homogeneous with limited character, but that’s the nature of such production-built-homes, schools are crowded, and traffic (yes, really) can be a challenge. 64 can be a disaster, but they are improving 118B.

Keeping the “small town” feel is one of the key points in the Crozet Master Plan, and is often discussed. But … I don’t have great confidence in the Plan being followed; it’s an aspirational document it seems. If you live close to the elementary schools (there are two, Brownsville Elementary and Crozet Elementary), you can walk or ride bikes to school with your kids. This was one of the best things I did as a parent.

Quite a few links:

I’d be happy to put you in touch with clients who have made the same move.

Continue reading “Moving to Crozet? (via Reddit)”

Voice your Opinion on Bicycle & Pedestrian Connectivity

Take a few minutes and voice your opinion on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in Crozet here.

“Crozetians have told us about the importance of connecting Crozet’s different neighborhoods and centers with safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

We invite you to discuss potential projects and recommendations that can address the community’s goals regarding bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.

Your participation will be used to draft recommendations in the Connectivity Chapter of the Crozet Master Plan. “

Crozet Master Plan Update: Community Workshop #2

This stuff matters, folks. Really.

via email

We’ve only just begun!

Tuesday, October 1st from 6:30-8:00PM

at Western Albemarle High School Cafeteria

Workshop # 2 will focus in on what you have shared with us so far. We will continue to refine the Master Plan’s Guiding Principles from the first Community Workshop by:

DEFINING Crozet’s “small town feel” – including its architectural heritage and community.

IDENTIFYING Crozet’s important places and centers, and how they connect to their surrounding areas.

UNDERSTANDING how to support opportunities for persons of all means to live & work in Crozet.

The Master Plan is a visionary document used to guide how development and public investment happens in the future. Your participation is key to this process!


Continue reading “Crozet Master Plan Update: Community Workshop #2”

Crozet Master Plan, Sidewalks, Buses | Albemarle County BoS Agenda are interesting

It’s instructive to read Albemarle County Board of Supervisor agendas. Look at the agenda, and search “Crozet.

The next regular meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., in Lane Auditorium of the County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

  • Dig into the timeline for the Crozet Master Plan. Maybe consider going to a meeting, as this is where the Plan is shaped (better now, than after everything has been decided).
  • The Quarterly Transportation Plan update is interesting as well.
    • Crozet Square – engineering and design phase are well underway and construction is planned to begin late 2020/early 2021″
    • Crozet Express Transit Service – Staff continues to work with JAUNT on the development of the proposed express commuter transit service between Crozet and Charlottesville. The Board has identified funding for the service and draft routing and schedule has been developed. Staff is currently identifying stops and securing agreements to allow the service to make those stops.”
    • Tabor Street, High Street, and Hilltop Street Sidewalks – The consultant’s evaluation on these improvements have provided information that is being evaluated for a potential Transportation Alternatives application in 2019.”
    • Barnes Lumber – Staff continues to attend meetings with County officials, VDOT, and developers of the Barnes Lumber related to the Library Avenue Extension Project, the proposed rezoning of the property, and necessary traffic analysis and improvements. Preliminary designs for the Library Ave connection and general road system are currently in review. Staff expects a ZMA application for the development project in the coming year. Weekly team member meetings are held and (sic)”
    • Lots of speeding concerns across the county, including 250 and Park Ridge Road. And people are confused at the Airport Road roundabout. How?! It’s been there for years.

CCAC Meeting – February 2019 | Schools, and Recycling

This should be an interesting meeting, seeing as how most everyone in Crozet benefits from having a great school system. I’ll reserve my cynicism for my in-meeting tweets.

#CCAC0219

Crozet Library 
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. 

Agenda 

1.    Introductions and Agenda Review (Allie Pesch – CCAC chair) 

2.    Approval of Minutes 

3.    Recycling in Western Albemarle (Trudy Brement, Emma-Caroline Avery, and Maren Eanes, Henley Middle School – 20 min) 

Due to illness, the recycling discussion will be postponed. Instead, our neighborhood planner Andrew Knuppel will be presenting the county’s new development dashboard and giving us an overview of Crozet developments currently “in the pipeline.”

4.    Western Albemarle Feeder Pattern School Capacity and Enrollment (Rosalyn Schmitt, ACPS Chief Operating Officer – 60 min) 

5.    Items Not Listed on the Agenda 

6.    Announcements 

7.    Future Agenda Items 
        –  Joel DeNunzio, VDOT (March) 
        –  Chesterfield Landing Phase III Review 
        –  Albemarle County Development Pipeline Dashboards (Andrew Knuppel) 
        –  The Square and Barnes Lumber Updates? 

Growing Crozet Thoughtfully & Sustainably

Yes, traffic sucks sometimes (school time, anyone?), and it’s going to get worse. What if … we grew Crozet, locally and more sustainably?

We’re definitely going to get more houses … houses that don’t pay for themselves, or the infrastructure (schools, roads, etc) that we use.

Think about this story in the context of the possible redevelopment of downtown Crozet.

“They’ll see they’re working against the tide very soon when millennials eventually head to the suburbs,” he says. “We see a lot of what we call ‘millennials in mourning.’ They’re married with their first child, and the last place they think about is the urban environment. A lot of people are soon going to be at the point where finding a good place for their kid to go to school is going to be a lot more important than the coolest restaurant to hang out. Unfortunately for some companies, they may be moving into the cities just before the tide goes the other way.”

Sadly, we are in an environment that is remarkably conducive to walking or riding bikes to school, but 1.5 -2 miles is apparently an unconquerable distance for many.

What if … we had jobs to walk or ride to as well? 

Think sustainably and longer-term

If we figure that the average driver in the US does 20,000 miles a year, I’m going to use about 400 gallons of gas. A car getting 20 mpg is going to use closer to a thousand gallons. Figure that there are about 100 million actively driven cars in the US, which means that the net difference if “everybody did it” has the potential to save 60 billion gallons (600 times 100 million) of gas. A year. (* Jim’s note – this is from 2007)

We have an opportunity as a community to encourage great businesses and jobs to locate here; The more we can grow our local, read: Crozet, economy, the better for all.

Interesting corresponding facebook conversation as well.

My brief opinion: Wishing that Crozet would stay small is not realistic, and continuing to grow as primarily a bedroom community for Charlottesville is not sustainable.

Related story – Charlottesville (City) Grow or Preserve it?:

As a result, average city home values doubled between 2000 and 2010 to $321,000. And Albemarle homes—which are in the growth area and spread across the large lots countywide—have median prices of $309,000. Those aren’t New York or San Francisco figures, but they are well above the state and national medians, and show what happens when a city and county conspire to cordon off most of its land.

What happens for those who want to live here, but can’t meet this financial barrier? Many of them move further out, said Ridge Schuyler, who runs a self-sufficiency program for low-income people at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Schuyler said his program generally has two types of people: the first are extremely low-wage workers who qualify for Charlottesville’s public housing. The second are slightly higher-paid service workers who don’t qualify for public housing, yet can’t take that next step of competing for Charlottesville’s market-rate units. They’re the ones settling for outlying counties.

“If you try to move up the income ladder,” Schuyler said of this second group, “once you get into that first rung job of making $28,000 to $32,000, you are almost forced to move away.”

This explains why neighboring counties like Fluvanna, Louisa, Orange and Greene have roughly doubled their populations since 1990. Charlottesville-area workers who live out in them must also foot the higher transportation costs of driving 30-plus miles twice daily.

Quick Crozet real estate context

  • From 1 January to 12 September 2017, 243 homes (attached and single family) have sold in Brownsville + Crozet.
    • Average price is $458K.
  • 82 new homes (single family + attached) have sold in that timeframe.
    • Average price is $603K (source of this, and above: CAARMLS)
  • Crozet Real Estate Market – July 2017 Hotsheet (PDF)