Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival – Fall 2021 – 9 & 10 October

via email:

CROZET, VA Over 120 Artists and Exhibitors are coming back to Crozet Park for the 41st 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 9th and 10th from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.
 
Safety is a priority for this socially-distanced, outdoor event. The Festival will implement COVID safety protocols, such as social distancing markers and additional hand sanitizing stations. The outdoor festival grounds and parking areas at Crozet Park allow for artists and patrons plenty of room for social distancing.
 
Artists: Top artists from across the country vied to be a part of the 41st bi-annual Crozet Art & Craft Festival on Columbus Day/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.

Music: The festival’s fine arts and crafts will be complemented by a variety of types and styles of popular local musicians playing throughout the days. On Saturday we welcome Driftwood Radio, The Skyline Country Cloggers, Wicked Olde, and The Sweet Potatoes. Performing on Sunday are Victoria Lee, Orta Vez, and Jackson Cunningham.
 
Food & Beer: An appetizing selection of Food Trucks will be complemented by beer from Starr-Hill Brewery and Three Roads Brewing Company and wine from Stinson Vineyards and Kings Family Vineyards. 
 
Kids’ Area: The children’s area includes beloved musical guests Kim and Jimbo Cary, crafts with The Hive, balloon animals, and more! 

Crozet Park treats exhibitors and guests to a most relaxing, accessible setting. Located just off the Route 64 bypass, take exit #107 west of Charlottesville by 20 minutes, Crozet Park is a beautiful, community-owned non-profit park that is the beneficiary of these Art Festival Events.

Volunteering for Crozet Park Art & Craft Festival is easy and fun with sign ups at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0e48a4af2ea75-crozet12

Tickets are $7 and children under 12 are free. Our event is pet-friendly! Everyone is encouraged to purchase their ticket online this year ahead of time to help with Covid safety. Tickets are available at: https://buytickets.at/crozetartsandcraftsfestival
Parking is free. 

For more information please visit https://www.crozetfestival.com/
Ewa Harr is the current director of the event. 

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival evolves and grows when the Crozet Park growth plans are underway.

Crozet Master Plan Slowly Moving Forward

From Alison Wrabel with the Daily Progress. (read the whole thing). Interesting times in Crozet as we try to balance growth, affordable housing, infrastructure …. basically all the stuff that affects us every day. I wonder how many of us attended the Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night?

The draft of the updated Crozet Master Plan took another step forward Tuesday night.

The Albemarle County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the updated Crozet Master Plan with one change — land near downtown that had previously had its possible density increased in the future land use map was recommended to be reduced.

The Crozet community and Albemarle County began updating the Crozet Master Plan in 2019, which helps to guide decisions about land use, transportation and parks in the area, and the draft will now move forward to the Board of Supervisors. The board is scheduled to hold its public hearing virtually at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

When adopted, the Master Plan will be part of Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides the county’s long-term vision for land use and resource protection. County staff and supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process, but it is not law.

The process has been contentious, especially around population growth and infrastructure issues around roads, schools and sidewalks in Crozet, which has seen its population increase from about 5,565 in 2010 to approximately 9,224 in 2020, according to census data.

Crozet Master Plan Public Hearing – 14 September 2021

This thing is going to come to fruition sooner rather than later.

From Sean Tubbs’ outstanding week ahead email (read the whole thing, and subscribe if you can). Heck, ask me, and I’ll buy you one. It’s $50/year and if you’re interested in learning more and supporting local news, I’d welcome that opportunity.

Crozet Master Plan public hearing

The Albemarle County Planning Commission meets virtually at 6 p.m. There are two public hearings. (meeting info)

In the first, the Field School is requesting an amendment to a special use permit that requires them to begin construction of their new facility on Barracks Road. The Board of Supervisors approved a permit in March 2017 for a new school to be constructed on land in the rural area. The terms of the approval state the new building has to be under construction by the end of February 2022. 

“Construction plans to establish the new Field School Campus on the property were put on hold as the global pandemic created a great deal of uncertainty for future funding opportunities and general construction feasibility,” reads the narrative by Shimp Engineering. “Field School of Charlottesville looks forward to continue working towards creating its new campus on the property and in light of some funding setbacks and the global COVID-19 pandemic; respectfully requests more time to bring this long-anticipated and worked-for vision to fruition.” 

Conceptual layout for the new Field School (Credit: Shimp Engineering)

The Field School currently operates out of the old Crozet High School, which is addressed in the draft version of the Crozet Master Plan.

“The County should solicit community input to help determine an appropriate use of the school building and adjacent grounds,” reads page LU-25 of the plan. “Consideration should be given to uses that support the County’s goals for Affordable Housing, school needs, and uses that provide historic and cultural programming.”

However, I suspect that is not the kind of input the Planning Commission will hear at the public hearing on the plan. Comprehensive Planning can tend to bring forward strong opinions about the future of communities as we’ve seen with the Cville Plans Together initiative and during the Crozet plan’s review. 

Crozet is one of several designated growth areas in Albemarle and the first master plan was adopted in December 2004 as a subsection of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. 

The Board of Supervisors approved an update in October 2010. The idea is to review these plans every five years, but an update was delayed as work continued on other master plans such as one for Pantops and the Rio-29 Small Area Plan. In recent years, Albemarle has conducted this planning work in-house. 

This update finally got underway with a community visioning process followed by many input sessions with the Crozet Community Advisory Committee. The Board of Supervisors reviewed a nearly complete draft in early August. 

“The Board of Supervisors reviewed the draft Master Plan and agreed with the majority of the Planning Commission’s implementation recommendations,” reads the staff report

To achieve the land use goal of creating more units that qualify under county guidelines as affordable housing, staff has created the land use category of “middle density residential” to have a range of between six to 12 units per acre, with up to 18 if below-market affordable housing is guaranteed. Some stories about what’s been going on: 

“The Board discussed the application of the Middle Density Residential land use category both throughout Crozet and specifically to the block bounded by Tabor Street, Crozet Avenue, Dunvegan Lane, and High Street,” the staff report continues. “They directed staff to leave the future land use plan as is for the public hearing process to allow for additional community and Planning Commission feedback on the proposed change to the Tabor Street block.”

This will be an interesting story to write. 

Current Future Land Use Map for the Crozet Land Use Map (Credit: Albemarle County)

Beaver Creek Public Meeting – 6 October 2021

Beaver Creek Reservoir

via email

A virtual meeting is being conducted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 6:00 PM EST to discuss the Beaver Creek Watershed Structure No. 1 Planning Study.  The project team will update the public on the status of the project, present the evaluated spillway upgrade alternatives and describe the sponsors preferred alternative. The project is located in Albemarle County approximately one-half mile north-northwest of the intersection of Browns Gap Turnpike/VA-680 and Three Notched Road/VA-240 and involves the rehabilitation of Beaver Creek Dam No. 1 to meet State and Federal requirements for high-hazard dams.  The multi-purpose Beaver Creek Reservoir No. 1, operated by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA), serves as the sole municipal water supply for the Crozet Area in Albemarle County.

This meeting will be held virtually using the Zoom platform. A link to the meeting location will be posted to RWSA’s website at https://www.rivanna.org/rwsa-projects-map/beaver-creek-improvements/. Residents and interested parties will have the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns about the project to the team. Following the meeting, the presentation will be posted to RWSA’s website for anyone who is unable to attend live. Questions and comments will be received until October 20, 2021. Additional details for accessing the recorded meeting and submitting feedback will be provided during the live presentation and posted to RWSA’s website.

The previous meeting was in December 2020.


Great recent story from Crozet Gazette about Crozet’s future water supply.

click through to read the whole thing.

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) presented an update on our drinking water supply and production, wastewater treatment, and local projects in progress for the Crozet area. RWSA Executive Director Bill Mawyer described $41.5 million in projects, ranging from those just completed (such as improvements to the water treatment plant and filtration system) to those on the horizon such as a new Beaver Creek Reservoir pump station and improvements to the Beaver Creek Dam scheduled for 2024-2026. These projects are paid for by all customers of the Albemarle County Service Authority via their water bills.

The Beaver Creek dam, pump station, and piping modification needs are driven by upgrades required by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s dam safety standards. The project will replace the major infrastructure elements that carry water to Crozet’s water treatment plant and will install a new labyrinth spillway in the dam at a total cost of $27 million.

Mawyer noted two bits of news that may alleviate the concerns of Beaver Creek area residents.

One issue is the construction-related closure of the road that runs across the dam, which would send traffic from Browns Gap Turnpike on a long detour via White Hall Road. “We’ve had some meetings and conversations with our consultants about closing that road and we are now thinking we can build a temporary road actually on the water side of the dam and maintain traffic during construction,” he said. “There was talk about building a detour road around the lower side of the dam that was going to be very difficult and expensive, but now we’re much more optimistic that we can build a road on the inside of the dam. We’ll keep you informed about that.”

Courtesy RWSA.

Mawyer also discussed potential sites for the new raw water pumping station that will have to be located just off shore in the reservoir just above the dam. “At one time we were looking at a site adjacent to the Clark family’s property but we’ve done more research into the property, the topography, and the cost and now we’re focusing on two other sites [that sit closer to the dam], so hopefully that will work out.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will also weigh in on the new site locations as the RWSA is asking that agency to foot 65% of the bill for the dam project.

As for Crozet’s water supply, Beaver Creek Reservoir’s water pool is currently two feet below normal levels, and is 85% full with about 430 million gallons of water (usable supply). The community’s water demand is 0.5 to 1.1 million gallons per day, and Mawyer said the reservoir currently holds about seven months’ worth of storage with no additional inflow. 

Should Crozet Become a Town? (2021 version)

Alison Wrabel has a fantastic story about whether Crozet could become a town. Please read it the whole thing, and not just this snippet.

Some Crozet residents are still agitated by the final draft of a plan to help guide future growth in the area, and some want to seriously look at what it would take to become a town.

In 2019, the community and Albemarle County began updating the Crozet Master Plan, which helps to guide decisions about land use, transportation and parks in the area, and the draft will be the topic of a county Planning Commission hearing next month.

An online questionnaire is available until Sept. 14 for community members to view and provide feedback on the draft at publicinput.com/M8451. Comments also may be submitted directly to Albemarle Planning Manager Rachel Falkenstein at [email protected].

The Planning Commission will hold its public hearing virtually at 6 p.m. Sept. 14. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold its public hearing virtually at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

At a recent meeting of the Crozet Community Advisory Committee — a group appointed by the Board of Supervisors to provide assistance, feedback and input to county staff and the board on efforts around the area’s Master Plan — several members and area residents expressed dissatisfaction with the process and the final draft of the updated plan.

When adopted, the Master Plan will be part of Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides the county’s long-term vision for land use and resource protection. County staff and supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process.

Some Crozet residents have expressed frustration with the area’s growing population and infrastructure issues around roads, schools and sidewalks.

Related stories


If you can, watch the most recent CCAC meeting where this was discussed.


An interesting and relevant thought on the “Middle Density” discussion:

Density can be better for the climate.

The key to this lower level of emissions is density. Concentrating people, businesses, and services makes public transportation more feasible, apartment buildings (which are generally more energy-efficient than single-family homes) more common, and ultimately preserves more land.

Reservoirs are Low

Beaver-Creek-10-August

I think about our water supply every time I see a sidewalk being watered. And when I drink water.

From yesterday’s Charlottesville Community Engagement email

At the top of the meeting, Supervisor Ann Mallek wanted people who don’t live in the rural area to know there’s a problem.

“Urban people who have not been out in the countryside may not be aware of how severe this dryness is,” Mallek said. “We have streams drying up all over the place in the countryside and pastures are gone, hayfields are gone, cornfields are gone.” 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Albemarle County is either in the Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought. All of Nelson County is marked as Moderate Drought, while Fluvanna and Greene counties are Abnormally Dry. 

Mallek warned that the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority be clear in reporting conditions to the city of Charlottesville and the Albemarle County Service Authority. 

“If we don’t start getting rain there is going to be a precipitous drop in supply,” Malelk said. “It happens very fast, like two, three, four feet a day at South Fork [reservoir] when things get to that saturation point.”

According to today’s water report from the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, South Rivanna is full, as is the Totier Creek reservoir that serves Scottsville. Sugar Hollow is down over ten feet and Ragged Mountain is 2.31 feet below the usual level.



Good Twitter discussion, too.

Running and Riding in Crozet

Mornings like this are a reminder of what an amazing place Crozet is. As we were descending Newtown Road this morning, we passed another group of riders starting the climb.

Luckily, the deer to our right stayed where he was.

As we passed countless people running, we all waved, as we started our mornings in one of the best ways possible – experiencing the outdoors, running, riding, walking in the humid summer morning. (ironically humid, as we’re in a drought)

Just a reminder of how nice Crozet is.


Two related items

On July 1, 2021, a new law goes into effect in Virginia that allows bicyclists to ride two abreast and requires motorists to change lanes to pass. Bicyclists are still expected to ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway when conditions allow. Also, the law states that riders on a highway shall not ride more than two abreast, so group riders need to follow this restriction.

The law already requires motorists to pass at a reasonable speed at least three feet to the left of an overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle proceeding in the same direction. It also allows motorists to cross a double yellow line to pass and provide the three feet margin of safety.

In short, the new law is not changing passing or lane use requirements significantly. Also, this type of statute is common in many states and has proven useful over decades of experience in the United States and abroad.

Allowing bicyclists to ride two abreast provides advantages to motorists and riders:

First, a group of riders riding two abreast is far more visible to drivers.

Second, a more compact group of two-abreast cyclists can make passing easier and more predictable. A two-abreast formation is approximately the width of a car, and cars should pass them as if they were passing a slower automobile.

Third, riders can see dangers that limit the room for passing before a trailing driver will. Riding two abreast—and “taking the lane” if riding alone—sends a message that some caution by motorists is in order. Whether a blind curve, approaching traffic, an obstacle in the road, or a narrowing lane, riders signal the danger by moving to the left or riding two abreast. This protects the cyclists and helps motorists avoid improperly passing and causing a crash or forcing the bicyclists off the road.

The key is for motorists and riders–whether an individual, a pair, or a larger group–to be considerate, bike/drive defensively, and stay alert at all times. Other bikers overtaking slower riders on the roads need to be similarly considerate and careful when passing.

Lots of Crozet Infrastructure Improvements to be Discussed on Wednesday, 7 July

Crozet Park before the fireworks fun

Reading Sean Tubbs’ “Week Ahead” email, which has become one of the very few must-reads for me every week, it looks like there are a lot of things on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ agenda this week.

There is so very much that affects Crozet. Please take a few minutes to read what’s coming up, and if you’re inclined, get involved, and if you’re super-inclined, I’d pay you to write a story about the meeting. Contact me.

Sean serves this up, and then I started digging

Next, there will be an update on transportation projects from Albemarle’s transportation planning manager as well as the administrator of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Charlottesville residency. (Albemarle report) (VDOT report)

The evening session begins at 6 p.m. and there are three public hearings. In one, $32.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act assistance is to be appropriated to county government ($21.24 million) and county public schools ($11.475 million). Read the details in the staff report

In the second public hearing, there is a proposal to designate Route 240 and Route 810 as Virginia Byways. 

“A Virginia Byway designation recognizes a road having relatively high aesthetic or cultural value, and leading to or within areas of historical, natural, or recreational significance,” reads the staff report. “This designation may promote local tourism by providing an awareness of local significance and aesthetic opportunities regionally.”

From the above-linked Albemarle County report

Just searching for “Crozet;” if these interest you, please click through to the report and see the context for each or all of these.

ZMA202000005 Old Dominion Village – Review of the proposal and transportation aspects/impacts of this Neighborhood Model rezoning in Crozet.

SP202000016 Claudius Crozet Park – Staff is reviewing the proposed redevelopment of the Crozet Park Recreational facilities to add an expanded exercise facility and improved pool and associated resources.

21. Crozet Ave/US 250 West Intersection Improvements – This intersection was identified in the Crozet Area Transportation Study and ongoing Master Plan update as currently experiencing failing movements and significant failure in the future. However, it should be noted that this priority ranking was set prior to that Study which showed that the more serious issue in this segment of 250 is the Old Trail/WAHS/US 250 intersection. It is staff’s recommendation that it would be more effective to address that intersection prior to the Crozet Ave intersection. A two-lane roundabout at both the WAHS/Old Trail/250 intersection and the Brownsville-Henley entrance are recommended to address the issues in this segment.

82. I-64/Exit 107 Crozet Park and Ride Lot: This project will construct a park and ride lot at the corner of Patterson Mill Lane and US 250 just south of the I-64 interchange. This lot could potentially be served by both the Crozet Connect and the proposed Afton Express transit lines.

-Crozet Square – This project will reconstruct Crozet Square and Oak St to improve traffic flow and parking. Engineering and design phase are underway, and construction is planned to begin late-2021.

– Library Avenue Extension – Staff has been working closely with the private developer designing this project and VDOT through the engineering and design phase. This has involved numerous public and project team meetings to determine design requirements that meet VDOT standards. The 60% design was submitted to VDOT for review last quarter and the team is working to address some of the issues that VDOT has identified. Construction is expected to begin late-2021.

US 250 West Pedestrian Improvements – This project will construct segments of sidewalk along US 250 West in Crozet from Cory Farms Drive to Clover Lawn Lane and include a new pedestrian crosswalk and pedestrian crossing beacon near Clover Lawn Lane. Construction is expected to begin Summer/Fall 2021.

From the Above-Linked VDOT Report

Route 240/250 Roundabout 

Total estimated cost: $3.5 million
Estimated ad date: Fall 2021
Estimated completion date: Late 2022

Route 240 Bridge Rehabilitation over Lickinghole Creek Project Details

Total estimated cost: $2,210,000
Estimated ad date: June 8, 2021
Est. construction start date: Spring 2

Rte.151/250 Roundabout

Anticipated Construction Start – Summer 2021

Western’s New Principal (2021 edition)

That was quick; good.

Via email, from WAHS’ new principal.

Dear Western Albemarle Families and Staff:

As announced by Dr. Keiser in an email a few minutes ago, I am thrilled and privileged to be working with all of you as your new principal beginning tomorrow.

Joining—or in my case, rejoining—a school community is a time for reflection and goal setting. Thinking about this opportunity brought up memories of two Western principals who were powerful role models to me as a young student and an educator. Charlie Armstrong, Western’s first principal, was a dynamic and inspirational leader who worked with our community to build a shared vision of our new school as a place where students and teachers want to be and are proud of all we accomplish together. Anne Coughlin, the principal when I returned to Western to teach, brought a different style of leadership to our school with reflective and patient thoughtfulness and an innate ability to make everyone feel that they mattered and that their perspectives and input contributed to our shared vision.

Both fostered a school culture that supported my success as a student and a teacher and, later, allowed me as an administrator to continue to harness the power of relationships and partnerships with students, faculty and families. As an assistant principal here, relationships were at the heart of the work we did together to support all students. This will continue to be true.

Our commitment to all students is essential. Some of my most important work over the past three years has been with the Department of Instruction and the Office of Community Engagement and Empowerment, implementing our anti-racism policy and the expansion of our culturally responsive teaching program. This work will create more pathways for building on Western’s tradition of excellence as we push ourselves to meet each student’s needs and ensure their success.

This is a formative time for our high school as we recover from the pandemic, think expansively about how we will reimage and expand innovative learning experiences, and engage productively with our community, drawing upon the ideas and expertise of every member of our team. The years ahead will be an exciting time, and I look forward to working with and supporting you as, together, we realize our potential as a school community.

This process of working together will begin this summer when I will schedule opportunities to reconnect and to get to know all of you even better as we prepare for the new year. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email me any time at [email protected] to share your thoughts and suggestions.

It has been my honor to be a member of our community and school for several decades. Throughout the years, I have appreciated the contributions of our students, faculty, families, and greater community in building that tradition of excellence. I continue to be impressed by the high expectations you each set and I am confident that, with your continued engagement, the years ahead will be an extraordinary time in our school community’s legacy.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Sublette


And the email from Albemarle County’s Assistant Superintendent

Continue reading “Western’s New Principal (2021 edition)”