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)

Notes from the Crozet Master Plan Committee Meeting

Thanks to Tim Tolson at the CCA for this … read the whole thing.

Present: Tom Loach, Tom Guterboch, Jennie More, Bryan Kelly, Shawn Bird, Jim Crosby, Pat Crosby, Tim Tolson, Mike Marshall

Notes by Tim Tolson

Elaine Echols from Albemarle County staff sends her regrets, she cannot make this meeting.

Ann Mallek emailed to say she had another commitment and couldn’t make this meeting.

Tom L. re-capped why we’re doing this survey, to gather opinions about Crozet and growth topics related to master plan in preparation for 2018 when County said it can revise master plan. Starting with 2009 survey that CCAC and CCA and County did, Tim chaired that effort. (Click here for the Crozet Gazette article with more background)

I have a conflict for the next meeting, Thursday, 3/30 at 7:00 PM at the Field School. If you can attend, and can tweet the meeting, please let me know. I’ll pay. This is important stuff, folks. These are not FOIA-able public meetings, even though they are open, and the public is encouraged to attend. While they do a great job with the minutes, having live-tweeting would be fantastic.

Wariness of the Crozet Master Plan

A letter from a reader:

Thank you for the continued updates. We bought in December 2013 in (Crozet) and love it. We will be retiring there in the next few years and selling our DC metro home in MD.

We have watched with dismay over the past 40 years as a pastoral gem — Piscataway, MD, est. 1636 — was continually remade in the image of special interest groups, county government, and developers who could not grasp the significance of an area 20 minutes from the Capitol Building in DC that retained so much early local history, buildings, and active farms. There were many meetings, zoning amendments, master plans presented, but ultimately, all was disregarded and developed much like the rest of the area. Very large homes on tiny lots with a high foreclosure rate, inadequate infrastructure, terrible roads, intolerable commutes, and schools that rank among the lowest in MD. However, we have a world class casino 10 minutes away…

The experience has left me very leery of Smart Growth. Or, any promise of master plans that will actually govern the development process and honor the vision that preserves the essence of the area being considered and the will of the people.

I’m not anti growth. I just wonder if we really want the Crozet area to look just like every other developing area. I think it is a very shortsighted view.

    – Chris