The Road from Foothills to Barnes Lumber

View from Glenbrook to Downtown Crozet

I sent this to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Posting here because a) I think it’s a good idea (that’s why I sent it) and b) If I say it to the board, I will say it here.

I’m writing as a resident of Crozet, and of Parkside Village, in reference to the nearly-completed road and site work for the newest phase of Glenbrook at Foothills.
My request/suggestion is simple: please do not open this road to vehicular traffic until the road through the forthcoming Barnes Lumberyard redevelopment is completed and open. 

The road opening is inevitable; we knew about the road and growth when we moved in 18 years ago. “Don’t open the road” is not my position, even though Hill Top is not scaled for this volume of vehicular traffic, nor is the original section of Hill Top.

The timeline for the road through to Barnes is an unknown, and the pushing of dirt has been “next year” for many years.
Open the road to bicycles and pedestrians, but not to automobiles and trucks:

  • Neither Hill Top nor Tabor are sufficient for increased vehicular traffic, and “old Hill Top” has embarrassingly deficient “sidewalks,” and Tabor has sidewalks on 1/3 of the road.  Already, the morning and afternoon backups on Tabor/240 are extraordinary.
  • The Tabor/Park/Hill Top intersection already is unable to handle its traffic, and is in a persistent state of disrepair.
  • Most importantly, this is an opportunity to nudge people to alter their transportation patterns and expectations, and to encourage people to walk or ride a bike less than a mile to downtown Crozet. 

I’d make the obvious arguments that fewer cars and more walking/riding is better for human health and the environment, but I know that you are aware of all of these.
Happy to provide more photos or video for any who are interested.

Addition that wasn’t in my email: while it may be necessary for the road to be accessible for the fire department after 50 units are complete, I suggest bollards that are removable so that the fire department – and only the fire department – can have vehicular access.


Attachments: 

  • Photo of current Hill Top Street adjacent to the new development
  • Video of same 
  • Photo of “walking path” on Hill Top — impossible to navigate with a stroller or kids’ bicycle, so people walk in the road.
  • Note – I’ve added two additional pictures to this post that I didn’t send to the BoS – the pictures that have the equipment.

Expanding Mobile Home Park, and a new Augusta Health sign

Crozet Mobile Home Park location on Google Maps

I get these emails from Albemarle County, I guess because I’m now on the CCAC and I’m glad I do — better to know know what’s happening in our community. Not every announcement is a “big” one, and often it’s the aggregate of the small ones that matter.

Every week, I skim them for Crozet-focused things. Two of note in the past two weeks:

(I’ve re-ordered the snippets I copy/pasted below; both files are at the bottom of the post; I encourage people to click through and read/learn/digest for yourselves)

PROJECT: SP202200029 Park Road Manufactured Home Park

LOCATION: 934 Agatha Dr.

PROPOSAL: Special use permit for a manufactured home park.

PETITION:  A request for a special use permit under Section 18-16.2.2 for a manufactured home park on a 14.94-acre parcel. The property is currently a non-conforming manufactured home park with 73 units. The proposal seeks to bring the property into conformance and to request an additional 14 units for a total of 87 units at a gross density of 5.82 dwelling units/acre. Associated with this request are several special exceptions to the manufactured home park special regulations outlined in Section 18-5.3.


Continue reading “Expanding Mobile Home Park, and a new Augusta Health sign”

CCAC Meeting – 9 November 2022

CCAC October 2022 inside Crozet Library

Seemingly not much on the Crozet Community Advisory Committee agenda for November; we’ll see.

Crozet Community Advisory Committee Wednesday, November 9, 2022

7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. Crozet Library Meeting Room |

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order, Agenda Review, Introductions (5 minutes) Joe Fore, CCAC Chair
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes) Joe Fore, CCAC Chair
  3. Announcements and Updates (5 minutes)
  4. Committee Business (5 minutes) • •
  5. Scheduled Presentations (75 minutes)
    • CAC/County staffing and operations, Emily Kilroy and Serena Gruia
    • Crozet Trails Crew, Terri Miyamoto

via email from CCAC Chair Joe Fore

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet this Wednesday, November 9, at 7 pm in the large meeting room at the Crozet Library. I have attached the agenda and the draft minutes from our last meeting. (If you can arrive a few minutes early to help set up the room, it will help ensure that we can start promptly at 7.)

We will have two scheduled presentations. First, in a fitting follow-up to last month’s discussion about our internal operations, we’ll discuss CAC operations and staffing with Emily Kilroy and Serena Gruia from the County. Second, we’ll hear from the Crozet Trails Crew about their recent and future projects. 

We’ll also consider a resolution to let the committee meet virtually in a way that complies with state law. I’ll circulate a copy of that proposed resolution before the meeting. 

Lastly, I wanted to pass along an update regarding the White Gate Farm/Montclair stream, shared by Eric Schmitz (who joined us for our September meeting). The environmental consultants hired by the County have confirmed that there is, indeed, an “intermittent” stream, which is entitled to protection under County ordinances. Frank Pohl, the County Engineer, issued the attached letter, agreeing with that determination and noting that the stream and the corresponding stream buffers will be added back to the County’s maps.



Attachments

Update: here’s the draft language for the virtual meeting proposal (tl;dr – only three meetings a year are allowed)

Continue reading “CCAC Meeting – 9 November 2022”

Beaver Creek Dam Update

I received the following via email (the bolding is mine)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has prepared a Draft Supplemental Watershed Plan-Environmental Document (Draft Plan-EA) for the Rehabilitation of Multiple-Purpose Structure No. 1 of the Beaver Creek watershed (Beaver Creek Dam) located in Albemarle County, Virginia. NRCS and the Project Sponsors invite you to review the Draft Plan-EA and provide your comments, questions and/or feedback regarding this supplemental watershed plan.

The documents will be available online at https://www.rivanna.org/rwsa- projects-map/beaver-creek-improvements/ beginning on November 4, 2022.

The formal comment review period will conclude on December 19, 2022. Please direct all questions and comments to J.R. Collins of Schnabel Engineering, LLC by e-mail at [email protected], or hard copies to:

Schnabel Engineering, LLC
12301 Research Blvd, Building 4, Suite 150 Austin, TX 78759
Attn: J.R. Collins

For more information, please visit www.rivanna.org. We look forward to receiving your feedback.


Continue reading “Beaver Creek Dam Update”

Affordable Housing in Old Trail? BoS Meeting 2 November 2022

God knows we need more affordable housing in Crozet, here’s hoping these come to fruition.

Thanks to Charlottesville Community Engagement (plug to pay to subscribe!)

“And then there’s Election Day, with the Congressional races the major item on the ballot in Virginia. No matter how that race turns out, many people may begin to think about running for office themselves. In a year from now, three seats on the Charlottesville City Council will be up for election, as will the Rivanna, Scottsville, and White Hall seats in Albemarle County. The world always turns, and so does local government. “

In the second request Albemarle Supervisors will review today, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville is seeking $80,000 as a local match through the Affordable Housing and Special Needs Program of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. 

“This funding would support the construction of four homes purchased by the families at or below 60 percent of the area median income,” reads the October 12, 2022 request letter.

These homes would be at either the Lochlyn Hill subdivision on the city border or at Old Trail in Crozet. 


Dig into the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ agendas yourself.

There’s usually something in there that may affect your actual backyard, or close to your own backyard. Or your community.

After the 2 November meeting, it looks like the next one is 16 November.


Notable from the BoS – School Board report

There’s a lot more here; our community’s education is important. (bolding below is mine)

22-476 – Board-to-Board (October 2022)

In another key academic category, 64% of all ACPS graduates received an Advanced Studies Diploma, which is earned each year by graduates who take the most rigorous academic courses. The statewide rate was 53%.

School division graduates in individual student demographic groups also did well in comparison to their peers across Virginia. Among Hispanic students, students with disabilities, students from economically disadvantaged homes, and English Learners, on-time graduation rates in the division were higher in each group than the average rates across Virginia. Among Black students, the division’s on-time graduation rate matched the statewide average of 90.3%.

Individual school highlights include Monticello High School’s 93.3% on-time graduation rate for Black students; Western Albemarle’s rate of 92.9% for Hispanic students; and the 95.1% on-time graduation rate for students with disabilities at Albemarle High School.

The division also had a lower dropout rate than Virginia’s average for all school divisions. Led by a rate of less than one percent at Western Albemarle, the overall dropout rate for the division was 3.9%, compared to the statewide rate of 5.2%.

ACPS also released the college readiness scores for its graduates who took SAT tests earlier this year. Research shows that students who meet or exceed this College Board benchmark have a strong likelihood for success in credit-bearing college work. Better than eight out of 10 seniors (85%) in the school division met the College Board benchmark, compared to 83% of seniors in Virginia and 68% of seniors across the country.

Next year, the school division will be expanding its career readiness program offerings to all students in grades 10-12. The division is providing open admission to any sophomore, junior or senior in career learning communities. Each career learning community represents professional areas with the highest potential for high-quality job opportunities, both locally and nationally. They are based upon state research and division surveys of middle school students over the past four years.

Misty Mountain Expanding? Meeting 17 October

Misty Mountain Expansion area

via Sean Tubbs’ always outstanding, and worth-paying-for Charlottesville Community Engagement Week Ahead.

Albemarle panel to review Misty Mountain camp expansion

The Albemarle Agricultural and Forestal District Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. in Room 246 in the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road. They will consider an addition to the Hatton AFD, review the Blue Run District, and get briefings on two special use permits near AFD’s. (meeting info)

The first special use permit is for Misty Mountain Camp Resort to expand by 53 campsites to a total of 158, permit 19 cabins, and to be able to rent out cabins year-round with a 30-day occupancy limit. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision by the AFD is being asked to weigh in on whether the expansion would be contrary to the purpose of the districts. (staff report)

In the second, Pippin Hill seeks a special use permit to expand a historic structure called Crossroads Tavern at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Plank Road. (staff report)

Location map for Misty Mountain Camp Resort (Credit: Albemarle County) ((Jim – And Sean Tubbs))



I think it would be useful to search Albemarle County agendas and meeting minutes for matters that affect Crozet. Weekly. Anyone interested in helping me do this? Please contact me.

Example: I heard that the Greenwood cell phone tower was approved, but I haven’t made time to seek out those meeting minutes, and with limited local journalists, I think we the community need to take on some of this research.


Continue reading “Misty Mountain Expanding? Meeting 17 October”

Crozet Trails, 5K, Bluegrass – 29 October 2022

Crozet Trails 5K bluegrass

Crozet Trails, Bluegrass, Diapers, 5K … all to support one of the best things in Crozet that benefits us all – the Crozet Trails, and the Crozet Trails Crew!

All-New Fun This Year!

Later start time: 10 a.m. Sleep in and relax before you come

Family Fun Run and Diaper Derby: Fun for the whole family

Bluegrass Music: Stick around for the music and fun after the race

Starr Hill Brewery: Try an autumn flavor from our neighborhood brewery

Help support our work providing trails for Crozet!

Register here

2022 Fall Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival

Tent at Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival - 2018

The twice-a-year “one of the great things about Crozet” is this weekend.

via press release

CROZET, VA Over 120 Artists and Exhibitors are coming back to Crozet Park for the 42nd Annual Crozet Fall Arts and Crafts Festival! Recognized as one of the region’s leading fine arts and craft shows, the Crozet Arts & Craft Festival will be held rain or shine Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday. The event is family and pet-friendly.

Top artists from across the country vied to be a part of the 42nd bi-annual Crozet Art & Craft Festival on Columbus/ Indigenous People’s Day weekend. From a large pool of creative candidates, a panel of talented and professional artist jurors chose the best in each arts category. Many new artists will join the seasoned and returning favorites of the past. This year’s exhibitors will bring to Crozet an array of stunning jewelry, trendsetting apparel and leather, magnificent artwork, photography and exceptionally crafted glass, ceramics, sculpture, and more. Festival guests will find something for almost every taste and pocketbook, ranging from affordable gift giving to heirloom investments.

The festival’s fine arts and crafts will be complemented by a variety of types and styles of popular local musicians playing throughout the weekend. 

Saturday Oct 8


10a – 10:45am Skyline Country Cloggers
11:15 – 12:15p Gina Sobel
12:45 – 2:45 Zuzu’s Hot Five
3:15 – 5:15 Farm Use String Band


Sunday Oct 9


10a – 11a WAHS Jazz Band
11:30 – 2p Swansong
2:30 – 5:00 Sweet Potatoes

An appetizing selection of Food Trucks will be complemented by beer from Starr-Hill Brewery, Devil’s Backbone, cider from Blue Toad, and a selection of local wines.

The children’s area includes beloved musical guests Kim and Jimbo Cary, Bounce Play n Create, The Bluebird Bookstop, art activities, and more! 

Festival patrons can enter to win amazing original artwork in the festival raffle. 

The Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival takes place at Crozet Park. Located just off the Route 64 bypass, take exit #107 west of Charlottesville. Crozet Park is a beautiful, community-owned non-profit park and the beneficiary of the Art Festival.

Volunteering for Crozet Park Art & Craft Festival is easy and fun with sign ups at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0e48a4af2ea75-crozet1Volunteers receive free weekend admission, festival t-shirt, and a raffle ticket!

Tickets: Tickets are $7 and children and under are free. Tickets are available at: https://buytickets.at/crozetartsandcraftsfestival/755526

Parking is free. 

For more information please visit https://www.crozetfestival.com/fall-2022-festival.html

Fix the Pedestrian Crossing near Crozet Pizza

Shoddy pedestrian crossing

We need to do better


Each time I ride, walk, drive past this terrible pedestrian crossing, I get more irritated at the fact that the only safe way to cross from one side of Crozet to the other is broken and unsafe.

We ostensibly want a more bikeable and walkable community, but can’t even have a safe way to cross from one side of the road to another?

While we’re at it, what about sidewalks?

Years ago, there was a pedestrian light there, but it was hit, and never replaced. Looking at photos I have in that location, it was broken before November 2016.

Pedestrian crossing in November 2016


No particular relevance between this story and this photo, but I saw it when browsing photos of this part of Crozet, and liked it.

Old Dominion Rezoning, Week Ahead – 15 August

Near White Hall Vineyards in Crozet

Sean Tubbs’ Week Ahead is worth the subscription fee. I highly encourage you to subscribe as well. Do it here, please. Unless noted, everything below is Sean’s work, copy/pasted by me.


Monday, 15 August

The five-member Albemarle Architectural Review Board will meet virtually at 1 p.m. … (meeting info)

In the final item, they will review the entrance corridor guidelines on Route 250 west of Charlottesville for the rural areas to the east and west of Ivy Depot. (staff report)

Image screenshot below by Jim, from the Staff Report. This is interesting stuff, and how we allow this area to develop will influence how we build bike lanes one day, hopefully. (Related – Three Notch’d Trail Planning Funding Approved)

Wednesday, 17 August

Next, the end is nigh for virtual meetings in Albemarle County. Assistant County Executive Trevor Henry will provide an update on the transition back to in-person public meetings for bodies that have not already done so. 

“To prepare for in-person public meetings, investments have been made in equipment, software, and training to allow for some meetings to have elements of virtual participation and/or virtual access for the public,” reads the staff report. “Staff expects all public meetings held beginning September 1, 2022 will be held under the new framework.”

In the evening session beginning at 6 p.m. there will be a public hearing for a rezoning for the Old Dominion Village project in Crozet along Three Notch’d Road. The proposal is to rezone 23.68 acres from Rural Areas to Neighborhood Model Development for up to 110 units around a site currently occupied by Crozet Veterinary Care Center. 

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in February, but recommended denial of a special exception to reduce the minimum setback between an existing animal confinement facility (vet clinic) and a residential lot line from 200 feet to 50 feet. The plan has been revised since then. 

Location map for the Old Dominion Village project (Credit: Meridian Planning Group)

Old Dominion context from Jim