Montclair to the Board of Supervisors – 10 January 2024

My mindset remains — Crozet needs more houses, more diverse housing options, and more non-car-centric infrastructure.

—- update 9pm 8 January:

  • At the request of the applicant, the following public hearings are deferred:
  • ZMA202000012 Montclair (formerly known as White Gate Village)
  • ACSA202100002 Montclair ACSA Jurisdictional Area Amendment

Montclair goes to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on 10 January 2024.

From the Montclair developer’s narrative: (PDF)

This proposed rezoning seeks ot establish a Neighborhood Model District (NMD) to allow for a maximum of 12 attached dwelling units of varying sizes and multi-family units as well as a limited neighborhood-scale commercial service area. The development plan will establish considerable amenity and greenspace areas to serve future residents. The proposed block network will achieve inter-parcel connectivity and will establish well connected pedestrian routes.

The site establishes a transect within itself, proposing more dense development on the portion of the property closest to Route 240 and Park Ridge Drive and becoming increasingly less dense nearing the exposed portion of stream on the property, which is proposed to be a conservation area within the development.

Read more about it (ideally before concluding that you are for/against it, if you haven’t already made such a conclusion).

From today’s Charlottesville Community Engagement

The second and third (hearings) are associated with a request to rezone 14.9 acres of land in Crozet to the Neighborhood Model District to allow for a mixed-use development for up to 122 residential units and 16,500 square feet of non-residential use. This is the Montclair development that at one point had been named White Gate Village. There’s an associated request to change the jurisdictional areas for the Albemarle County Service Authority to allow water and sewer extension to new buildings. (staff report #1) (staff report #2)

Granted, I’ve not paid attention to 100% of the news about this development; this surprised me — “jurisdictional areas for the Albemarle County Service Authority to allow water and sewer extension.”

I do remain confused/concerned about the sidewalk waivers.

This is what I sent last year to the Board of Supervisors regarding Montclair.

Sidewalk waivers are a terrible idea, and counter to 1) human mobility 2) connecting neighbors and neighborhoods and 3) counter to the County’s stated climate goals. 

I live in Parkside Village, which is a 20 year old (ancient by today’s Crozet standards, and new by “old Crozet” standards.) One of the benefits of my neighborhood is that we have maturing trees along our street, and also sufficient space between houses to allow for trees and other plantings to grow. Today’s neighborhoods have insufficient space between houses to allow for such planting — further exacerbating heat islands, also counter to the County’s stated climate goals.

Traffic – the County have the opportunity and I’d argue responsibility to provide more mobility options for people to get around Crozet without being forced into cars. Please do whatever it takes to achieve this goal.

Old Dominion on 240 Moving Forward with 110 Houses?

You remember the Old Dominion proposed neighborhood, right?

Imagine if the sidewalks were continuous to downtown Crozet, and if there was a protected bike lane along 240.?While I’m dreaming, review the planning commission information below.

Notably, as indicated on the Planning Staff Report Summary from 4 May 2022, there will be an internal sidewalk network as well as connectivity to 240’s sidewalks, and dedicated funds?to “help mitigate impacts of the development on schools and transportation” in addition to “proffers 20 Affordable Dwelling Units within the development exceeding the required 15% rate.”

(I’m still trying to find out the status of the pedestrian improvements at Starr Hill).

Good comments at the corresponding Facebook post.

via email:

LEAD REVIEWER: Kevin McCollum, [email protected]
PROJECT: SDP202300067 Old Dominion Village
TAX MAP/PARCEL: 05600-00-00-067B0 and 05600-00-00-074A0
LOCATION: 1263 Parkview Dr, Crozet, VA 22932
PROPOSAL: Request for initial site plan approval containing 110 total new lots, including 16 single-family detached lots and 94 attached single-family lots (townhouses) on 23.72 acres for a gross density of 4.64 units/acre. The development will be served by new internal public roads and public water and sewer utilities. 6.29 acres of open space is proposed within the development. An existing veterinary clinic within the site will be retained on a 0.91 acre commercial parcel within the overall development. Project is subject to the Code of Development and proffers of ZMA202000005.

ZONING: NMD Neighborhood Model District – residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses


OVERLAY DISTRICT: EC Entrance Corridor, FH Flood Hazard, Managed and Preserved Steep Slopes

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Neighborhood Density Residential – residential 3-6 units/acre; supporting uses such as religious assembly, schools, childcare, institutional, commercial/retail, and other small-scale non-residential uses; Middle Density Residential – residential 6 – 12 units/acre (up to 18 units/acre considered with additional affordable housing units and/or small-scale housing types); supporting uses such as religious assembly, schools, childcare, institutional, commercial/retail, and other small-scale non-residential uses; Green Systems – sensitive environmental features including stream buffers, floodplains, and steep slopes; privately-owned open space; natural areas in the Crozet Master Plan. Rural Area – preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources; residential (0.5 unit/ acre in development lots).

So Many Albemarle County Meetings the Week of 4 December 2023

Moon over crozet during a bike ride

If you’re not subscribing to Sean Tubbs’ Charlottesville Community Engagement, you’re not as informed as you could be. 🙂 If you’re not paying for a subscription, please consider doing so. Please, spend a few minutes reading and supporting his work — this stuff matters.

There is so much happening during the week of 4 December 2023 in Albemarle County governance.

I’ll pay for the subscription for the first person to email me asking for one. Just ask.

From Sean’s Week Ahead email, a few snippets:

Montclair Passed at the Planning Commission – 26 September

Sunrise near entrance to Western Ridge/Foothills/Montclair?

Update — passed the PC.

“The video is posted on our website is the direct link. The Commission approved the project it will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.”

There is a lot of organization against this development; I’d love to see as much (or more!) passion for adding more housing for neighbors, but we are where we are. I’ll update this post after the Planning Commission Hearing.

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m.(Tuesday 26 September) in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

Lots more Montclair background at RealCrozetVA and at the Crozet Gazette, but I’d likely start with this story in January 2022.

From the inimitable Charlottesville Community Engagement

(please consider becoming a paid subscriber; no one else or organization in the region is offering the comprehensive content and context as Sean Tubbs)

Albemarle PC to hold work session on stream protection overlay; public hearing for Montclair development in Crozet 

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m. in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

The work session will review work to date on the establishment of a riparian buffer overlay district. Since 2017, county staff have been working on the development of strategies to improve the health of streams. A first phase is complete with thirteen proposals, some of which have been implemented. 

“Proposal 1 of the Stream Health Initiative was for the creation of a stream-buffer overlay district within the Zoning Ordinance, with the goal of re-establishing the pre-2014 Water Protection Ordinance (WPO) requirement to retain existing wooded stream buffers throughout the defined buffer areas,” reads the staff report

At the moment, these buffers are only required during the land disturbing activities. A public engagement process is complete for a draft ordinance. 

“The next step for this project will be for staff to prepare a revised draft of these ordinances, taking the public input and the Planning Commission’s input into account,” the report continues. 

Expect Commissioner Lonnie Murray to do a lot of talking. 

A description of the purpose of the Stream Health Overlay district. Review the staff report for more information


The second is for a rezoning in Crozet that is now known as Montclair but had been known as White Gate Village. Developer Vito Cetta wants around 15 acres to the Neighborhood Model District for construction of a maximum of 122 units as well as an amendment to the jurisdictional areas of the Albemarle County Service Authority. 

The Comprehensive Plan calls for a mixture of Neighborhood Density Residential (3 to 6 units per acre) and Middle Density Residential (6 to 12 units, or up to 18 if affordable housing units are provided).

The county’s Water Protection Ordinance comes into play here. The classification of a stream that runs along the property has been disputed. In January, the county engineer determined the stream is intermittent which brings requirements for vegetated buffers. 

“The developer of Montclair appealed this determination because they believed the stream was more appropriately classified as an ephemeral stream, and therefore would not be subject to further regulation under the WPO,” reads the staff report.

The Director of Community Development upheld the county engineer and the developer revised the proposal accordingly. 

The Albemarle County Development Dashboard is Back!

The Development Pipeline Map shows the current Development Pipeline for projects under review or approved as of 07/01/2023. This data is anticipated to be updated quarterly.

This qualifies as good news; I’ve missed the development dashboard!

From the CAC email last month (I know; I’m just getting around to this – bolding mine)

Some of you may remember the previous version of the Development Dashboard – and now a new version is ready!

The Development Dashboard is a way to track and share information on development projects in Albemarle County and includes the Development Pipeline Map and data for each of the Development Areas.

The Dashboard map is hosted using ArcPro.  View the Development Pipeline Map here to see current development for projects under review or approved as of April 1, 2023. This data is anticipated to be updated quarterly.

Reminder: we need more housing + more infrastructure.

Did you know …

Based on this, Old Trail has a fair amount of unbuilt units left to go?

Oak Bluff Community Meeting – 8 June 7pm

I’ll pay someone to livetweet this meeting.

via email.

Thank you for your interest in the Oak Bluff Development.  Our team invites you to a follow up discussion regarding the project.  At the meeting, we will cover design updates and welcome additional feedback from the community.  We appreciate your comments thus far and look forward to seeing you at the meeting!


Date: June 8

Time: 7 pm

Location: Brownsville Elementary Cafeteria

Notes: Please enter through the side door of the building that faces Route 250

My two cents:

We need housing. We need infrastructure.

This is a relevant story from The Atlantic, and the accompanying discussion with the author is insightful:

Kelli: You make a bold assertion in your article: “Sometimes NIMBYs have a point.” What do you mean by that?

Jerusalem: A single development can’t balance all of the concerns people have about housing. If the question is “Should we allow this block to turn into duplexes?” community members who support the idea of building more housing in general might respond, “Why here?” And that response could be informed by reasonable concerns about housing that are broader than what that single development project entails. They may have concerns about gentrification, or about open space, or about the types of housing that are currently available.

If I’m representing a city, and I’m trying to convert one hotel into homeless housing, it’s not going to respond to green-space concerns. It’s not going to be able to speak to that, or to senior housing, or to teacher housing, or anything like that. Similarly, if you’re trying to build a new condo development in an area where increasing numbers of rich young people are moving for jobs, that’s not going to respond to the needs of people who have different kinds of concerns. And because no individual developments can check every single box, many projects end up falling through.

Kelli: So what you’re saying is that when hyperlocal political players are given too much power in these development plans, the bigger picture of a municipality or state’s housing needs can get lost. And this can end up sabotaging progress in actually building the new housing that people want and need.

Jerusalem: Exactly. We live in a pretty segregated society, both by class and by race, and on a variety of other different measures. When you restrict a development discussion to a very hyperlocal level, then you can’t have necessary conversations to balance the wants of various interest groups. If you’re dealing with a very rich, white area whose residents are wedded to their exclusionary zoning, they’re always going to resist giving up their space for, for example, homeless housing. And even if these people want homeless housing to exist in general, they have no power to make that occur somewhere else. The only power they have is to exclude it from happening in their own place.

When you expand the development process beyond a very hyperlocal level, then you can actually have broad conversations about what the state needs, and not just what this one locality says they want because they happen to live there right now.

Oak Bluff at the CCAC – 12 April 2023

This image of morning light against the mountains has nothing to do with this post; I just like the picture.

This should be fun, and likely the first CCAC meeting for many of the people who will attend.

For background on Oak Bluff, start here. Rather than reiterate my personal thoughts about the development, please read that post. At last month’s CCAC, several residents of Westlake came to speak against new homes. Read the tweets here. Like this one, or this one.

via email:

From Joe Fore, CCAC chair, to the CCAC

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet next Wednesday, April 12, at 7 pm in the large meeting room at the Crozet Library. (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.) I’ve attached the agenda.

Our main agenda item will be a community meeting for the proposed Oak Bluff development. You can find all of the materials relating to the project here, but I’ve attached some of the most pertinent ones. Please review them before Wednesday’s meeting, if possible, so we can have a thorough discussion with the applicant.

We’ll also hear a short presentation from the Crozet Community Association about their group and about the plans for the Independence Day Celebration.

Lastly, we’ll be electing officers for the upcoming year. We have three positions available: Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary. Please let me know before Wednesday’s meeting if you’d be interested in taking on any of those roles.


  1. Call to Order, Agenda Review, Introductions (5 minutes)
  2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)
  3. Announcements and Updates (5 minutes)
  4. Community Concerns (10 minutes)
  5. Scheduled Presentations (60 minutes)
    • Crozet Community Association, Tim Tolson
    • Community Meeting: ZMA202300002 Oak Bluff Development Zoning Map Amendment
  6. Committee Business (10 minutes)

• Officer Elections

  1. Other Business
  2. Adjourn


Subscribe to RealCrozetVA here.

Albemarle Budget, Comp Plan, 500 Units in Ivy? And DCI Meeting

Sugar hollow morning

Wednesday, 1 March will be an interesting Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting; the afternoon session starts at 6pm.

My quick thoughts:

  • How many of us will attend or email the Board about either of these?
  • Albemarle and Charlottesville need more housing; the Old Ivy Road location is a great location, particularly as it’s close enough to benefit those seeking to walk or ride bicycles places (in other words, not be forced to drive everywhere), and especially if they can somehow work to solve the infrastructure dilemma on Old Ivy Road/Old Garth (21 Curves), 250. Maybe … limit parking to further encourage people who live there to not use cars?
  • $551M budget; that’s a lot of money.

Attending these meetings is the best way to support or oppose something; those who show up have their voices heard. Commenting on Nextdoor, Twitter, FB, may serve the need to “feel” heard, but emailing or showing up to the Board are the absolute best ways to voice your opinion.

From Charlottesville Community Engagement

There are two public hearings in the evening session which begins at 6 p.m.

The first is on the $551.5 million budget proposed for Albemarle by County Executive Jeffrey Richardson. For those details, check out the most recent edition of the newsletter.

The second is for a rezoning for Old Ivy Residences. If the strategy with this timing is to find a way to get more people in to pay attention to the budget, it will likely pay off. Greystar Development is seeking a rezoning to allow up to 525 homes. For background, here are some recent stories:

The Planning Commission’s denial was in part because of a concern about whether sufficient transportation projects would be in place to address the development’s impacts on road congestion. At play is a condition from a rezoning in 1985. 

“The Commission recommended denial of the ZMA202100008 because it found that the Old Ivy Road traffic conditions, while different from 1985 when the Proffer in ZMA1985-21 was established, do not appear at a level of improvement to satisfy the condition precedent established by ZMA 1985-21 and address transportation concerns,” reads the staff report.

There is a new proffer associated with this rezoning that would commit an additional $500,000 in cash for a new receiving lane on the northbound on-ramp to the U.S. 250 bypass. 

The Albemarle County Comp plan …

… is still underway; how many of you have visited the AC44 site, filled out the surveys, or attended a pop-up? Albemarle staff are doing amazing attempting outreach.

Continue reading “Albemarle Budget, Comp Plan, 500 Units in Ivy? And DCI Meeting”

Oak Bluff – 134 Homes between Westlake and 240?

Oak Bluff in Crozet

Big thanks to the reader who sent this to me; I’d not yet seen it.

Subscribe to RealCrozetVA here.

A few quick thoughts:

  • Dig in to the files below; learn more, ask questions, get informed and involved in our community.
  • They’re seeking a rezoning from single family to higher density.
  • More housing: good. We desperately need it. I’m curious to learn what types of housing are proposed beyond the typical villa style/townhouse or single family detached that we’ve seen built in Crozet.
  • Eastern Connector – Possible to do this *first*?
    • From the narrative: “Given the proximity to the proposed Eastern Connector, we do not anticipate any other transportation improvements will be necessary” … “Oak Bluff includes dedication of public right for way for the Eastern Avenue extension through a portion of the property. Eastern Avenue is an important public infrastructure project that will create connections between neighborhoods and commercial areas in Crozet.” Bolding is mine.
  • I took the photo below in Cory Farm in 2011; “The Charlottesville/Crozet area lost the 804 area code June 1, 2001.”


Going to copy and paste from the developer’s narrative.

There’s bolding in their PDF, but it didn’t easily paste, so the bolding below is mine. Read the whole thing; it’s the most plain-English part of the submission.

Read the Rest of the Story: Oak Bluff – 134 Homes between Westlake and 240?

In designing the conceptual layout of Oak Bluff, our team followed the Neighborhood Model Principles.

Oak Bluff is a community focused on Pedestrian Orientation. An ample network of sidewalks and connections are provided throughout and around the property. Green spaces are located throughout the property to allow for outdoor experiences and the enjoyment of all residents. Oak Bluff is also directly accessible to existing trail networks. This project enhances the pedestrian network by granting an easement and new public greenway area to complete the Lickinghole Creek trail network.

While Oak Bluff is a residential property, it is easily accessible to a Mixture of Uses via walking and biking. The proposed housing is a perfect complement to the great variety of surrounding uses. By having houses within walking distance of retail and restaurants, we create a symbiotic and supportive relationship of uses.

Oak Bluff is an integral part of a mixture of residential housing types and is nearby to other commercial elements that create a complete Neighborhood Center.

A Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability are proposed within this development. We anticipate a variety of unit sizes, including affordable housing on site. Affordable housing is addressed on the application plan.

The site is designed with the principle of Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks. The design includes platting and construction of portions of the Eastern Avenue Connector Road.

The Eastern Avenue Connector Road will allow for Multi -modal Transportation Opportunities in Crozet.

A series of Parks, Recreational Amenities, and Open Space are featured in the center of this site and easily accessible for all residents.

By providing unit types such as townhomes and villas, the property design achieves the goal of Buildings and Space of Human Scale. The design of this unit type has a nice level of detail and rhythm of units, combined with centralized open spaces.

Relegated Parking- All parking within Oak Bluff will be relegated from the Eastern Avenue Connector Road.

Redevelopment- The site is currently vacant, so this principle does not apply, but the property is part of an overall development pattern that is harmonious with surrounding neighborhoods.

February CCAC Recap – Comprehensive Plan

New Foothills construction; who knew a leaf blower was more upsetting than construction?

Thanks to Crozet Gazette for the recording.

A Few Takeaways

(there’s a lot of value in live-tweeting, but I’m finding great value in noting the meeting along with timed links to the video)

update: PDFs.

How we grow has been broken for a long, long time.

But … We are going to grow. Period.

What are the direct consequences of growth? Limiting growth? What are the unintended consequences? We are not going to stop growing. Stop allowing people to move here? It’s America! What are the consequences when we reach some arbitrary “hard” population limit? Draw straws to see who moves out? Restrict pregnancies? Arguing from the extreme is but one step. Recognizing the extreme and negotiating from there is where successes can be gained.

Shutting down development is not a viable solution – it is reactionary, unnecessarily and unreasonably extreme. Permitting unfettered growth is equally unreasonable.

  • I’ve been writing for years that we need to think generationally. This is from 2016.

A great place – between Park Ridge and Hill Top – that would be an ideal spot for no cars, and only people on foot or scooter or bicycle

A great place - between Park Ridge and Hill Top - that would be an ideal spot for no cars, and only people on foot or scooter or bicycle

Just me finding a fun new tool in WordPress.