It’s Always Good to Conserve Water; especially in a drought

Beaver Creek Reservoir - 2 September 2023

I don’t understand the people who choose to water their sidewalks, yet I walk and ride by them all the time.


Marlene Condon posted this, and I’m posting with permission.

In the Sugar Hollow area, we are experiencing extreme drought (despite what the TV weathermen tell you). All the streams along Sugar Hollow Road (but one or two) have stopped flowing, and trees and herbaceous plants are wilting badly with some dying. In other words, our ground water is being depleted due to a lack of replenishing rain coupled with extreme heat, as well as more usage by more people living here.

If you live in a similarly impacted area, I’d like to suggest you consider the following, please:

STOP mowing grass so short! When lawn is scalped (as most people cut it), soil is exposed, allowing precious moisture to evaporate instead of sink into the ground. Leaving grass taller helps shade the soil to maintain moisture longer for the use of your grass (and other plants) and perhaps make it to the water table (depending upon environmental conditions). Additionally, grass kept constantly at such a short height is detrimental to the health of trees, which is why so many large oaks in large expanses of grass are dying (drive on rte 810 by Grace Estate winery to see what I’m talking about). When the soil dries out, tree roots die.

TO HELP WILDLIFE, put out sunflower and white millet seeds for finches and sparrows (a towhee is a sparrow) to make up for the flowering plants that are dying. VDOT’s untimely mowing today is seriously impacting food availability for pollinators and birds, especially. If you don’t have a pond or bird bath, it’d be nice if you considered placing a shallow container of water on the ground where toads, birds, and other animals can drink from it. HOWEVER, don’t do this if you or a neighbor allows cats to roam freely.

The drought in the Sugar Hollow area so adversely affected my gardens that even so-called invasive plants much better suited to drought than most native plants are dying. Wildlife depends upon plants, and all of us depend upon availability of water, so I would hope everyone would take this situation seriously and do their utmost to help conserve the limited amount of water available. Thanks so much.

Watering a sidewalk -- why?
Continue reading “It’s Always Good to Conserve Water; especially in a drought”

School Board & BoS Candidate Forum – 11 September 2023

Crozet Town Hall Forum

This will hopefully be interesting and informative. As ever, follow the money (at VPAP).

Crozet Town Hall Forum
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Monday, September 11th, at 7:00 pm
Field School Gymnasium – 1408 Crozet Ave

  • Moderated by Dori Zook, award-winning journalist and anchor/reporter for news radio WINA
  • Q&A with County Board of Supervisors – White Hall
    District candidates:
  • Q&A with Albemarle County School Board candidates:
  • Event is open to all, but space at The Field School is limited. Overflow parking will be available across the street in the Crozet Elementary School parking lot.
  • The Forum will be filmed and recorded by the Crozet Gazette.
  • Sponsored by the Crozet Leadership Team


Continue reading “School Board & BoS Candidate Forum – 11 September 2023”

Albemarle Board of Supervisors Meeting – 6 September 2023

For these posts, I don’t provide much insight other than reading the agenda — you can too; the agenda is here — and pulling out items that seem specifically relevant to Crozet.

What interests you in this Board meeting?


Transportation and Such in Crozet – Albemarle BoS 2 August 2023

Crozet train tracks

Miller School expansion public hearing, 240/250 roundabout maybe coming this decade.

I noted some of the VDOT transportation projects earlier this month, and here is the August 2023 VDOT Transportation update.

Copy/Pasting from the outstanding Charlottesville Community Engagement from 30 July 2023. If you’re not a paying subscriber, please consider doing so.

Public hearings in Albemarle on photo speed cameras, Miller School expansion 

The six member Albemarle Board of Supervisors meets at 1 p.m. in Lane Auditorium in the county’s office building at 401 McIntire Road. (agenda) (meeting info)

After the Pledge of Allegiance, announcements from Board members, matters from the public, and the consent agenda, Supervisors will consider a petition from Woodard Properties requesting the vacation of 430-feet of right of way dedicated to the county in 1968 for construction of a portion of Colonnade Drive that was not built. 

Woodard Properties to use the land for more housing units above the 96 permitted under an active site plan, but staff is recommending denial of the request to preserve interconnection to another nearby parcel zoned R-15. 

“In order to abandon a public road, the Board must find either that no public necessity exists for the continuance of a section of road as a public road, or that the public would be served best by abandoning the section of road,” reads the staff analysis

The location map for the right of way dedicated in 1968 for a roadway that’s not been built. (Credit: Albemarle County)

The meeting continues with an update on the due diligence Albemarle County is doing as it seeks to complete a contract to purchase 462 acres near Rivanna Station from developer Wendell Wood for a purchase price of $58 million. The cost may be slightly more if the county takes more time to conduct environmental and financing work.

“The purchase agreement provides a 90-day due diligence period, extendable with a fee in 30-day increments,” reads the staff report. “The first three 30-day increments would cost $50,000 per increment and the final three 30-day increments would cost $100,000 per increment.” 

If you’re new to this story, here are some previous stories:

Fans of transportation rejoice! Albemarle County staff will go through recent activities and provide updates on projects. I’ve missed a couple of items I have wanted to report, so I’ll hoping to provide some updates of my own! At any given point there are many transportation studies underway and my hope is to get as many of you looking at them as possible so you can have your stay. (here’s the raw report)

For now, here are some items:

  • An application for federal funds to study a 3.2 mile section of U.S. 29 from Hydraulic Road to Hilton Heights Road did not make the cut. However, county staff met with counterparts in the U.S. Department of Transportation and have been encouraged to resubmit the application to a new grant program called the Neighborhood Access and Equity program. 
  • Supervisors will be updated on Smart Scale applications that have been funded including the District Avenue Roundabout, intersection improvements at Belvedere Boulevard and Rio Road, and bike improvements along Avon Street from Druid Avenue to Avon Court. More details in my story from July 9, 2023.
  • A project to install “pedestrian facilities” on Solomon Road and Inglewood Drive between Hydraulic Road and Georgetown Road is on hold due to workload and staff limitations. 
  • There’s an update on the two “pipeline studies” underway at the Virginia Department of Transportation. These are in the Old Ivy Road area and the Barracks Road area. I’ll have more details coming soon in Charlottesville Community Engagement. 
  • “Stakeholders” are concerned that a project at the U.S. 29 / Fontaine Avenue interchange funded in Smart Scale Round Four “does not meet the needs of the rapidly developing area.” The staff report doesn’t tell you who those stakeholders are but I reported in much more detail in an April 13 story
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation has completed an initial review of Plank Road to see if a through-truck restriction would be appropriate. Albemarle staff report that the conditions of the roadway meet the objective criteria. The next step would be a public hearing on a formal request. 
  • Construction will begin next spring for a pedestrian bridge across U.S. 29 just north of the Hydraulic Road intersection. Work will begin for a roundabout at Hillsdale and Hydraulic will be the following summer. These are all part of a Smart Scale funded project.
  • Three large projects funded through Smart Scale will be bundled into one with a public hearing coming later this summer. These are the roundabout at John Warner Parkway and Rio Road, Route 20/Route 53 intersection improvements, and a roundabout at Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street Extended. The idea is to hire one contractor to create efficiencies. This strategy has been used on the Route 29 Solutions project as well as several recent intersection projects. 
  • The strategy will be used for two other projects. These are the Route 250 East Corridor Improvements and intersection improvements at Route 20/U.S. 250. A public hearing on those will be coming up for the fall. 

There’s so much more in the report. More details this week including a report from the Virginia Department of Transportation. (read that report)

In the evening there are two land use public hearings and two public hearings for ordinance changes. 

First, Community Christian Academy seeks a special use permit to increase enrollment from 85 to 150 students. This is part of a trend across the Fifth District with private schools seeking capacity increases to fulfill increased demand for alternatives to public school after the pandemic. (item materials)

“Not only did the public-school shutdowns emphasize the benefits that private schools offer our community, but also the increasing enrollments in many, if not all, of our private schools emphasize the desire and need for more educational options,” reads the narrative.

The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 on June 27 to recommend approval. 

The second public hearing is also for a private school. 

“The Miller School would like to plan for the future of the institution,” reads a narrative prepared by Line and Grade for a request for a special permit for the school to becoming compliant with the zoning code. They also want to eventually expand up to 500 students including a partnership with the Seven Rivers Day School. 

The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 to recommend approval at their meeting on June 13. 

Credit: Line and Grade

Next there will be a public hearing on whether Albemarle should allow photo speed monitoring devices in school crossing and highway work zones. The General Assembly enabled localities to do so in 2020

“If the proposed ordinance is adopted… County staff will begin procurement of a vendor to assist in implementing a speed enforcement program in school crossing and highway work zones,” reads the staff report.

The fourth public hearing appears to be to correct a clerical error wherein the phrase “motor vehicle” was used instead of “dwelling unit.” (staff report)

Let’s finish up with the consent agenda:

  • Supervisors will approve the minutes for three meetings from 2021. There are no approved meetings yet for all of 2022. 
  • There are several appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023 including $300,000 in additional revenue from EMS cost recovery that will be used to cover the cost of running additional calls. There’s also a payment of $38,069 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville pursuant to a performance agreement held by the Economic Development Authority. (more details)
  • There are also several appropriations for FY2024 including the acceleration of the purchase of a $970,000 ladder truck which still won’t be delivered until FY2025. There’s also $222,000 in federal revenue to allow the Police Department to purchase “drones, ballistic shields and thermal imaging, which will aid in officer safety, further reduce violent situations and reduce gun violence within the community.” (more details
  • Kaki Dimock will become the county’s Chief Human Services Officer completing a reorganization of the social services and human services programming. She’ll oversee the Office of Human Services, Office of Housing, Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office. Mary Stebbins will be the Director of Social Services. (more details)
  • Supervisors will be asked to forgive $11,036.37 in unpaid interest on a specific loan for downpayment assistance brokered through the Albemarle County Housing Assistance Program. In October, Supervisors will review potential changes to that program including a move to have all future loans be zero interest. ACHAP is managed by the Piedmont Housing Alliance. (more details)
  • There is a written report telling anyone who’s interested in what the closed-door Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee has been up to. Even though members of the public cannot attend these meetings, I’ve managed to write quite a few stories anyway in my quest to keep people informed about regional planning. Take a look at the report. What do you think? 

Transportation, Infrastructure, Albemarle BoS – 19 July 2023

Smoky afternoon thanks to Canadian wildfires and climate change, in new section of Pleasant Green looking West - 7/17/2023

It’s always interesting (to me at least) to dig into the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors agenda, when I remember, and when I make the time. See: Being a Citizen Takes Effort. And Sacrifice.

Notable as ever is the VDOT Quarterly Report

Under the “Preliminary Engineering Heading”

  • I-64 Exit 107 Park and Ride — to be advertised in Fall 2024
  • Rte. 680 Browns Gap Turnpike Bridge Replacement over Lickinghole Creek — to be advertised in June 2025
  • Rte.151/250 Roundabout – Under construction. Expected completion Spring 2023 (I’d argue it’s nearly complete?)

Under the “completed studies” heading

  • 250/1815 Old Trail | Crosswalk markings have been installed.
  • 1815 Old Trail at Bishop Gate Ln. | ADA ramps installed. Mid-block crosswalk to be installed Summer 2023.

Studies under review:

  • Route 240 at Music City Today and Starr Hill Brewery | Pedestrian Crossing | Field investigation complete; Plans have been finalized, estimated cost approximately $153k — seriously, why has this taken so long? It’s not that hard.

Looking at the ACSA & RWSA reports, a few Crozet-centric things

ACSA

  • Crozet Phase 4 Water Main Replacement – This project replaces aging and undersized asbestos-cement and PVC water mains along Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet Avenue, Hillsboro Lane, and the neighborhood streets of the Park View subdivision. The final easement was recently acquired, and we are working to secure plan approval from Albemarle County before bidding the project later this summer.
  • Risk Assessment Improvements – As part of an on-going emergency preparedness program, the ACSA is in a multi-phase effort to reduce risk and increase resilience. Projects include additional security measures, fencing and access gate enhancements, cybersecurity measures, and additional tank protection. Work is focused on our tanks and pump station locations.

RWSA

  • The production of drinking water for the Urban area (Charlottesville and adjacent developed areas of Albemarle, not including Crozet) averaged 9.48 million gallons per day (MGD) in May 2023 (FY 2023), which was similar to the five-year average for May (9.49 MGD),
  • Urban wastewater flow for May 2023 (9.55 MGD), including flows from Crozet, was below the five-year average for May (10.47 MGD),
  • Crozet Wastewater Pump Stations Rehabilitation
    • Scope: Replacement of pumps, valves and electrical gear in four pump stations constructed in the 1980’s which convey wastewater from Crozet to the Moores Creek Treatment Plant. Completion: January 2025 – December 2026
    • Cost: $10.3 million; 52% ACSA / 48% City
  • K. Beaver Creek Dam, Pump Station and Piping Improvements
    • Scope: Replace the spillway which protects the reservoir dam along with the water pump station and piping which convey water to the Crozet Water Treatment Plant.
    • Completion: April 2025 – June 2028
    • Cost: $43 million; 100% ACSA

Clicking around VDOT’s site, I find the Route 240/US 250 Intersection Improvements. Looks like *maybe* completed in 2027? What am I missing?

Update: thanks to this comment, I revisited the 240/250 roundabout bit … I guess the answer to, “when will the 240/250 roundabout happen?” is “Never.”?

Can someone explain why:

  • There are no consequences for not building needed infrastructure?


I don’t make the time to attend meetings as I should, but I do my best to read as much as I can that’s relevant to be an informed citizen, and to best represent my clients.

What do you *Love* about living in Crozet?

I asked on Facebook and on Twitter.

sunflowers

The responses to “What do you love about living in Crozet?” were great.

  • Nature (access to great trails and hiking, beautiful skies, etc), the people, the pace…
  • I don’t live there now but I loved looking at the mountains first thing every day
  • Trails, green space, views, more rural, less congested
  • So many awesome options to be outside with kids- parks, picking fruit/pumpkins, vineyards, and the views all over! All with a small town vibe
  • Waking up each day to see what show the mountains were putting on for me (I moved away a couple of months ago). I miss the mountains the most.
  • That fact that no matter the weather, Fardowners will be open.
  • With the exception of downslope windstorms, (which won’t return probably till late fall) the weather, the mix of people& their can-do attitude. Right now I think the downtown crozet initiative (DCI) is doing an excellent job and we are going to see a transformation downtown!
  • Mountains, PRN, people, King Family, Chiles, short drive to either Cville or the Valley, and on and on and on. But best of all, great place to raise a family.
  • Small town energy and ease while being 20 minutes from Charlottesville and UVA. Specifically love the walkability, biking, access to parks and trails. And Starr Hill.

Look, Crozet has challenges. All places do. But our home is a great place to live.


What do you love about Crozet?


For me?

Crozet has been a great place to live with my family, and now my older one and her family are back with their kid. To watch lightning bugs from our patio, and hear the frogs’ chorus.

I love representing people moving to or from Crozet.

I love being able to ride my bike 5 minutes, and hear nothing but the sounds of tires and pavement, running water, see horses, mountains, or ride longer to the top of Afton Mountain. To ride with friends and cross paths with others riding or running around Crozet.


Crozet Real Estate Market Mid-2023 Update – Fewer homes listed & sold, resale prices down

Sunrise, clouds, fence and round hay bales

Home sales in Crozet + Brownsville are down, year over year, prices for resale homes are down, new construction prices are up, and days on market are up a little bit.

The Crozet real estate market is stable. (despite being remarkably unaffordable for so many)

I wrote an overview of the Charlottesville – Albemarle real estate market at RealCentralVA, and this one is a bit different than that one — this is focused on Crozet + Brownsville Elementary school districts, and I’m looking at new construction and resale transactions.

Questions? Please ask.

434-242-7140 | [email protected]

A few data points for Crozet + Brownsville

  • From 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023
    • 133 (down) homes sold. Average Days on Market: 29 (up). Median: 4. Average sales price: $632,011
    • 50 (down) new construction sold – Average price: $720,826 (up)
    • 83 (down) resale homes sold – Average price: $578,508 (down)
    • 83 single family homes sold and 50 attached homes sold
    • 25 homes sold under $400K; 21 of those had 3 or more bedrooms
    • Average age of home sold in 2023: 15 years
    • 128 homes were listed.

  • From 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022
    • 151 homes sold. Average Days on Market: 18. Median: 4. Average sales price: $649,280
    • 61 new construction sold – Average price: $705,529
    • 90 resale homes sold – Average price: $611,156
    • 113 single family homes sold and 38 attached homes sold
    • 31 homes sold under $400K; 25 of those had 3 or more bedrooms
    • 144 homes were listed.

  • Will home prices in Crozet come down?
    • Maybe. But if you are able to buy now, and you have life/job security, what might be the opportunity cost of waiting? As I tell my clients, I can’t answer that. I know that houses have appreciated, even as mortgage rates have increased substantially.
  • Will interest rates come down or go up?
    • Yes.

Specific questions that only buyers/sellers can ask and answer (with professional guidance?)

There’s really only one question, usually — Should I wait to buy or sell?


# of homes sold in 1st half of 2023; some of the neighborhoods

attached + detached homes. neighborhoods with more than 1 sale.

Neighborhood# of homes soldAverage PriceAvg Sq Ft – above grade
Bargamin Park3$446,000.002,261
Chesterfield2$882,500.002,939
Glenbrook at Foothill10$706,600.802485
Glenbrook at Parkside10$485,156.801996
Grayrock2$612,500.002756
Highlands6$365,630.001878
Laurel Hill2$425,000.001468
Old Trail26$748,342.892523
Orchard Acres2$248,750.001154
Pleasant Green11$452,279.552070
Sparrow Hill2$797,500.002705
Stonegate2$507,500.002759
Western Ridge4$656,875.002769
Westhall4$413,000.001702
Westlake at Foothill4$936,666.673080
Wickham Pond6$505,583.332260
Not in neighborhood16$690,937.502211

I wrote this last year, and it mostly holds (although interest rates are a bit higher now)

The one thing I’d add to what I wrote below is that mortgage rates are causing more homeowners to stay where they are rather than move up or down, especially if they are staying in Crozet or Charlottesville/Albemarle.

One of the most common conversations I have is this:

-Prices are so high! I should sell my house.

-I agree. (knowing the next part of the short conversation)

-Where would I go?

– Nowhere; you’re going to stay where you are.


Mortgage interest rates are causing the market to shift

Looking at interest rates through this lens:*

$650K price.
20% down
3.25%
Principal + Interest payment= $2,263

Change that interest rate to 6% -> $3,118

And 5.5% -> $2,953

For a $500K at 5.5% house, P&I = $2,271

Buyers are going to necessarily pull back.

Sellers need to be mindful of buyers’ more limited budgets and set expectations appropriately. And listen to the best professional guidance they have. (here’s where I ask you to contact me with questions)


* I like Karl’s Mortgage Calculator; it’s a great iOS app too.

* note:these numbers are for just Principal and Interest; a full mortgage payment is comprised of Principal + Interest + (property) Taxes + (homeowners’) Insurance. Hence the commonly-referenced “PITI payment.” If you’re in a HOA, factor those fees in as well.

Albemarle Comp Plan Survey Results – Housing and More

Mint Springs sunrise - 3 July 2023

Since I’ve got mine, it’s ok if others don’t, apparently.

Also, respondents want to live next to parks, open space, restaurants, and retail.

The People make Government’s job harder.


Crozet, Albemarle, the US, the World, need affordable housing. I don’t know that anyone has a viable solution as of yet, but I do know that not seeing affordable housing as a need is a problem.

From a recent Charlottesville Community Engagement

(bolding is mine)

The Comprehensive Plan update is being called AC44 to reflect the target year of 2044. The first set of results are in for the first round of public input for the second phase. 

“The AC44 team reviewed community input from the first round of engagement in Phase 2, from 532 questionnaire responses, six pop-ups in each magisterial district, and approximately 130 participants in 15 community chats,” reads an email sent out this morning. 

That response rate is around 0.4 percent of the total population. 

A summary of the responses has also been sent out. Question ten sought to gauge concern about housing affordability in the future. Seventy-four respondents were very concerned, 217 were somewhat concerned, and 231 were not concerned at all.

All of the data from the full questionnaire are also available for review on the AC44 website. The vast majority of respondents live in single-family homes (432 out of 526) and own their homes (460 out of 519). 

43% of respondents – who are already homeowners – are not concerned about affordable housing.

Dig into the results; what do you think?


Edit: The first title for this post was, “I’ve Got Mine;” I’m editing it because it’s a more opinionated title than I typically publish. I’d rather the post be about the comp plan, and not my opinion, though I still wish we’d think of others more when responding to surveys.

Questions for White Hall BoS Candidates

I’ve not done this before – asking candidates questions for publication, but the 2023 White Hall Board of Supervisors election is interesting, and substantive conversations are being offered.

I asked incumbent Anne Mallek and challenger Brad Rykal the following questions; I had the post formatted and ready to go, and Brad got back to me with answers, while Ann declined.

I appreciate Brad’s willingness to engage in the dialogue in a public blog post, and hope you find value in his time and his answers.

A few questions and answers with Brad Rykal

Answer: Yes, it is possible if the County is willing to invest in its relationship with Crozet. We need to rebuild trust after the previous Master Planning process strained our connection. To start, we should carefully assess the required infrastructure investment for the Crozet Master Plan’s proposed growth. Crozet needs a realistic plan based on public data and prior commitments. By working together, we can solve any challenge. 

It is really this simple: if the County cannot afford to build the infrastructure in Crozet, the County cannot afford the growth in Crozet.

We must reconcile the Crozet Master Plan with reality. We’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with the County over the last 16 years.  If I have the privilege of serving as your new Supervisor, I will begin healing the relationship from Day 1.

I can’t.

I condemn it because it is a matter of safety. When gridlock paralyzes traffic from Old Trail to Star Hill, it endangers not only our community’s quality of life, but safety. First responders can’t reach their destinations when their routes are blocked. One of the top priorities as White Hall Supervisor is to prioritize Crozet’s transportation infrastructure needs.

Absolutely not. 

The County made a commitment long ago to safeguard the rural area, and it is essential to honor that promise. Imposing higher land use taxes would render many farms in the rural area financially unfeasible. The presence of both large and small farms contributes significantly to the appeal and vitality of White Hall as a community. It is imperative to support and nurture our agricultural economy, and I would never take actions that could put it in jeopardy.

Answer: The County’s tax collection has increased by $100M since 2019, indicating that there is no shortage of tax revenue. Therefore, the issue lies within the expense budget. This election cycle is crucial because the County will update its comprehensive plan, which will shape spending priorities for the next 20 years. 

Having worked in or alongside the government for a significant part of my adult life, including positions at Rivanna Station after the United States Army and as an executive for a defense contracting company, I know that government budgets often contain waste and bureaucratic inefficiencies. They are not in plain sight with line items that say “government waste” but hidden in bloated programs that have drifted from their original and useful purpose.  Finding these savings and redeploying them to higher priority investments doesn’t take a rocket scientist (trust me, I’m married to one).  

As elected leaders, the Board of Supervisors should diligently scrutinize the budget and inquire about its components. I will advocate for critical infrastructure projects to be a priority in Crozet by being a strong fiscal voice in Board meetings.

Answer: I support any reasonable, transparent, and data-driven budget approaches to ensure we are funding the County’s highest priority capital projects.

Answer: While Crozet serves as a bedroom community for Charlottesville, where many residents commute by car to work (I even know of bike enthusiast realtors that get into their car to drive to Charlottesville for work!), we can still improve connectivity within Crozet itself and increase support for public transit. 

To achieve this, I will advocate for a detailed capital budget that allocates funding for the catalyst projects outlined in the Crozet Master Plan (as displayed on page 47 of the document). This includes High Priority sidewalks, Phase 1 of the Three Notched Trail, and the Afton Express Stop for public transit.  As I said earlier, if the County cannot afford these capital projects, we will need to revisit the Crozet Master Plan and bring its growth and infrastructure goals into alignment.

Additionally, I will implement sensible policies to protect our environment. Currently, the County’s Water Protection Ordinance contains a problematic loophole that incentivizes developers to bury natural streams underground—an illogical approach. Stream preservation and buffers are crucial for clean drinking water, safe corridors for wildlife, and carbon sequestration. Our current Board of Supervisors is well aware of this issue but has failed to address the issue.

We need a leader who fearlessly confronts reality. If we can secure the necessary infrastructure, let’s proceed. If not, we should responsibly adjust the plans.

My question (if limited on time/energy, please focus on the above questions)

  • How does Albemarle County (and specifically Crozet) get money to fund infrastructure? What’s the process and is there a typical timeline? 

Answer: The first step in acquiring funding for infrastructure projects in Albemarle County, particularly in Crozet, is to elect bold leaders to the Board of Supervisors. These leaders must identify and prioritize critical infrastructure projects that can be funded by our local Capital Improvement budget or are likely to receive state funding within a reasonable timeframe. The next step is to balance the budget without further increasing citizen’s tax burden. During this process, there will be tough tradeoffs, as some infrastructure projects and County operating expenses hold greater significance than others. This is the fundamental challenge facing our elected leaders. No magic wand is required; rather, it is a matter of prioritizing what is right over what is expedient.

Question: What areas around Crozet do you propose to expand the Growth Area into? 

Answer: I have not seen any evidence that we need to expand the Growth Area around Crozet or elsewhere in the County. I know there is a prevailing sense that our housing demand is greater than our housing supply.  While that may be true in some specific areas, it simply is not the case at the County level.

How do I know? The Land Build Out analysis, which is part of the AC44 comprehensive plan update, says so. According to the report, approximately 12,600 new homes need to be constructed by 2044 to accommodate the County’s total projected population growth. But the County has already approved a housing pipeline that will satisfy the need for 12,000 of these homes. 

I am always open to new data and ideas, but at the moment, I do not see the quantitative justification for expanding the growth area.

Brad offered this as well

Jim, thank you for taking the time to compose and share these questions with me. It is clear that these questions not only occupy your mind but also resonate with many readers and residents who deserve candid and transparent answers.

Please also extend my  invitation to any of your followers to come and chat with me in person after the Crozet Parade at my designated table under the pavilion.   We are planning a light-hearted event and I have arranged some games for children with a few prizes! I will also be at Pro Re Nata Brewery on Sunday, July 2nd, from 1-3 PM for anyone interested who would like to ask me questions or  share their ideas for improving Crozet, White Hall, or Albemarle County.

Finally, I invite everyone to get more informed about my positions by following my campaign on Facebook


VPAP Update

As of June 8, Ann had $18,464 on hand and Brad had $3,384.


One comment from me – politics is hard, and local politics is more personal as the people we elect, the decisions they make, the willingness to listen and learn – all of these are tangible to us, more so in my opinion, than national politics.

I appreciate their willingness to serve and run.

Building Infrastructure in Crozet?

Jarmans Gap in 2011

Jim’s comment: please comment with questions/thoughts/corrections/clarifications. We’re in this together.

Crozet and VDOT infrastructure thoughts, from NextDoor*

Post after post after post: Everyone blames the county for the lack of infrastructure. That is patently false. I’ve lived in Crozet for almost 20yrs, I have heard the same complaints. 20yrs later…the same complaints and misdirected ire continues.

Take a peek at the Culpeper district planning.

Do you see Crozet anywhere in that list? Just the 240/250 intersection. Other than that…nothing. Why?

1) Because the 500 people complaining on ND day in and day out are not making their voices heard by state officials.

2) Most people do not understand just how difficult it is to build out infrastructure. You want sidewalks on Park Rd? Tabor St? The state, not the county, will have to negotiate with every single landowner along those roads to obtain rights of way easements, or they will have to use eminent domain. THAT is not going to be popular among of the owners along those roads.

1) The infrastructure never comes before building. So that means the county will need to deny all building permits. That will be quickly litigated and overturned as plaintiffs will point to prior approved permits and rezoning as permissible for their particular application.

2) “We have and will continue to reach out to state officials.” I disagree that actually happens. What I see are 500 posts about county meetings, CCAC meetings etc.

Can you point me to single post along the lines of “Hey Good/Deeds is hosting a townhall, lets get 500 Crozet residents down there to discuss why VDOT won’t build proper infrastructure?”

Can you point me to a single post along the lines of “Hey VDOT is hosting a meeting lets get 500 crozet residents down there to discuss why VDOT won’t build proper infrastructure?”

I’m fairly certain you can’t. I on the other hand can point to no less than 100+ posts (on Nextdoor) about county meetings, despite the fact the county has little to no authority. This is by design, it is baked into the Virginia state constitution. Just google Dillon Rule.

As my grandfather loved to say: that dog is barking up the wrong tree.

FYI: If Crozet were to incorporate, the newly formed “City of Crozet” Would obtain that legal authority to truly regulate growth and build out infrastructure. But that would require new taxes and the City of Crozet would need to levy a hefty real estate tax and provide tax relief based on income thresholds, so the tax targets those mostly responsible for the uncontrolled growth: Those living in developments. (me: what if Crozet became a town?)

However that tax proposal would be vehemently opposed by the very same people that created the situation in first place. 😉

*Note from Jim – copy/pasted from Mark McCardell’s comments with permission, and only changes made by me were to add links, and to add a ‘ here and there.

More from me: If Crozetians really want to have an effect on growth, etc in Crozet, organize and go to Board of Supervisors meetings. CCAC is about as effective as NextDoor. Go to the BoS meetings, and go again, and again, and again, and again. And again.


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