~260 Homes Coming to Downtown Crozet

Update:

I suspect this is not the final plan, and some aspects are open to change/negotiation, but this gives a sense as to what the development is going to be. If you want to voice your opinion, I suspect the best routes would be to our Board of Supervisors and the Albemarle County Planning Commission.


 

Allison Wrabel with the Daily Progress reports:

Stanley Martin Homes has sent a letter to neighbors about an informal, private meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday regarding the Pleasant Green project, planned for an area north of Powells Creek. Collins Engineering held a pre-application meeting with the county in June, but no formal applications have been submitted with the county.

Mike Marshall, who owns some of the properties that are being sold for the development, including the circa-1800s house, said that he does not know what’s going to happen to it at this point. He said he has salvage rights as part of the sale, and he has talked to some companies that dismantle old houses for building materials.

“I don’t have any arrangements with any salvage companies; the house still has tenants in it and they haven’t found places to move yet, so they’re in there for the time being,” said Marshall, who is also the editor and publisher of the Crozet Gazette. “Presumably, they’ll move out sometime over the fall and then we’ll be able to find out what is actually salvageable from the building.”

The accompanying FB post.

Apartments Coming to Old Trail

from the Old Trail developer: (remember – they told us about this years ago)

We are providing follow up information on the work being done along Old Trail Drive at the School Trail area. We have completed the utility work and are continuing with the pond conversion so we kindly ask that folks use the Trail detours and respect the signage and fencing. We apologize for this inconvenience and expect the work to be finished on this west side in another 60 days.

There has been some discussion of a luxury apartment project coming to Old Trail and we are pleased to officially announce this new project coming to the area along the West side of Old Trail Drive from the Golf Drive/Old Trail Drive Roundabout south to the trail connector across the pond work. We will provide more information about this at our next Neighborhood meeting on April 25th in Restoration Hall but the work for this project could begin within the next two weeks.

Lastly, we are also pleased to announce that our Commercial Development will be expanding for a Retail / Apartment project on the open lot on the North East corner of Old Trail Drive and Ashlar. As we continue to grow, we realize this may create limited access into the Townhome parking lot off Ashlar. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and recommend using the Mornington Place access to these homes.

We realize the inconvenience of all this construction and appreciate everyone’s cooperation on respecting the signs and detours.

A Thought on Growth in Crozet

as seen on the Crozet Nextdoor, and posted with permission:

Looks like the Earth movers are in place at 1166 Blue Ridge Ave. William Park gets his wish & one of Crozet’s oldest neighborhoods gets sold out for a cheap apt complex. “The Vue” 130 units shoehorned on less than 5 acres which is zoned for no more than 30 total. They gamed every zoning loophole possible in maximizing density & profit. Public safety & quality of life in this little town gets brushed aside.

Ann Mallek (annmallek.com) has the nerve to praise The Vue in the name of the master plan & as a way to deflect criticism for rightfully refusing to expand zoning on the Adelaide property on Rt 250. Why is it an ‘either or’ when they are both bad for Crozet & there are great solutions under our noses?

She is having a town hall so we can ask her ourselves along with great questions like “Why would we ever vote for you again?” this Saturday, March 24. White Hall Community Building. 10 am – noon. Garth Road and White Hall Road. 2904 Browns Gap Turnpike. Thanks for listening. I wish this was the end of rant.

Some background on the Vue, for those unawares.

Crozet’s Infrastructure Needs

Good story from C-Ville. We need roads, bike lanes, sidewalks. No report yet on when those will appear.

Good comments on the facebook post.

From C-Ville (read the whole thing)

A fire along Old Three Notch’d Road caused a rush hour roadblock February 1 on one of Crozet’s main thoroughfares: Three Notch’d Road, aka Route 240. Instead of being able to drive to downtown Crozet, drivers had to make a U-turn, return to U.S. 250 and make a right, then another right onto Crozet Avenue/Route 240, only to be part of a massive backup at the light and four-way stop near the railway trestle at Crozet Square.

High-density growth area Crozet surely has the homes, but roadways have lagged behind. Will 2018 be the year several road projects begin in earnest?

“We’ve worked hard for the past 10 years, so it would be great to finally take some steps,” says Ann Mallek, chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors and representative of the White Hall District, which includes Crozet, where two connector road projects are in the works.

One would connect Route 240 to Route 250 through Park Ridge Drive and the Cory Farm subdivision.

The proposed Eastern Avenue Connector, which runs north-south, still has two major portions that need to be constructed, says Kevin McDermott, transportation planner for Albemarle County.

The northern piece may break ground soon. “The private developers of the Foothills-Daly development are responsible for making a connection onto Park Ridge Drive and onto Route 240,” McDermott says, and they have submitted all of the required applications.

To the south, a bridge that is needed to cross Lickinghole Creek to complete the connector road “is the sticking point and has been for many years,” says David Stoner, a member of the Crozet Community Advisory Committee. “It’s such an expensive proposition that it hasn’t risen to the top of the county’s list of projects to be funded.”

The southern-portion work is No. 12 on the county’s priority list of road projects, McDermott explains. “Because other priorities are already under way, No. 12 will be a priority in the next year,” he says.

Possibly Related:  President’s budget threatens local transit projects.

Cities and states stand to lose billions in funding for projects that are already moving toward construction. Nationally, more than 70 projects are waiting for funding from the New Starts program, and only about a dozen have been approved.

Restore N Station & Creekside at Albemarle Planning Commission – 5 December

For context, spend some time looking through this month’s CCAC meeting notes.

via email from Bill Fritz with Albemarle County:

The staff report for SP 2017-20 ReStore’n Station is now available online.  If you are not able to attend the meeting and want to provide comments to the Planning Commission please send your comments to me and I will print them out and distribute them to the Planning Commission at Tuesday’s meeting.  Any comments provided to the Planning Commission will automatically be added to the packet that is prepared for the Board of Supervisors.  At this time this item is not scheduled for the Board of Supervisors.  I will let you know as soon as a date has been set.

You can access the December 5, 2017 PC agenda and materials below.

Online

Dropbox

Hardcopies

The hard copies are still being copied and not done yet, I will send out an email once they are complete and ready for pickup.

*Note from Jim – I put the links to the dropbox & online in, rather than have them all strung out.


Continue reading “Restore N Station & Creekside at Albemarle Planning Commission – 5 December”

Planning for School Growth

Read the whole thing at Charlottesville Tomorrow.

 

An architectural consulting firm told the Albemarle County School Board on Thursday that the county would soon need new high school facilities to accommodate growing enrollment and implement innovative educational programs.

“We have to look at what the competition is doing around the world and around the country, and do what makes sense for the benefit of our kids and their education,” said Board member Jonno Alcaro.

The division forecasts much more rapid growth at Western Albemarle High School  in Crozet. Enrollment at WAHS is expected to increase by more than 21 percent, reaching a high of 1,335 in 2024.

A planned 10,000 square-foot addition of science classroom space at WAHS, scheduled for completion in 2019, was not factored into the study’s capacity calculations.

Growing Crozet Thoughtfully & Sustainably

Yes, traffic sucks sometimes (school time, anyone?), and it’s going to get worse. What if … we grew Crozet, locally and more sustainably?

We’re definitely going to get more houses … houses that don’t pay for themselves, or the infrastructure (schools, roads, etc) that we use.

Think about this story in the context of the possible redevelopment of downtown Crozet.

“They’ll see they’re working against the tide very soon when millennials eventually head to the suburbs,” he says. “We see a lot of what we call ‘millennials in mourning.’ They’re married with their first child, and the last place they think about is the urban environment. A lot of people are soon going to be at the point where finding a good place for their kid to go to school is going to be a lot more important than the coolest restaurant to hang out. Unfortunately for some companies, they may be moving into the cities just before the tide goes the other way.”

Sadly, we are in an environment that is remarkably conducive to walking or riding bikes to school, but 1.5 -2 miles is apparently an unconquerable distance for many.

What if … we had jobs to walk or ride to as well? 

Think sustainably and longer-term

If we figure that the average driver in the US does 20,000 miles a year, I’m going to use about 400 gallons of gas. A car getting 20 mpg is going to use closer to a thousand gallons. Figure that there are about 100 million actively driven cars in the US, which means that the net difference if “everybody did it” has the potential to save 60 billion gallons (600 times 100 million) of gas. A year. (* Jim’s note – this is from 2007)

We have an opportunity as a community to encourage great businesses and jobs to locate here; The more we can grow our local, read: Crozet, economy, the better for all.

Interesting corresponding facebook conversation as well.

My brief opinion: Wishing that Crozet would stay small is not realistic, and continuing to grow as primarily a bedroom community for Charlottesville is not sustainable.

Related story – Charlottesville (City) Grow or Preserve it?:

As a result, average city home values doubled between 2000 and 2010 to $321,000. And Albemarle homes—which are in the growth area and spread across the large lots countywide—have median prices of $309,000. Those aren’t New York or San Francisco figures, but they are well above the state and national medians, and show what happens when a city and county conspire to cordon off most of its land.

What happens for those who want to live here, but can’t meet this financial barrier? Many of them move further out, said Ridge Schuyler, who runs a self-sufficiency program for low-income people at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Schuyler said his program generally has two types of people: the first are extremely low-wage workers who qualify for Charlottesville’s public housing. The second are slightly higher-paid service workers who don’t qualify for public housing, yet can’t take that next step of competing for Charlottesville’s market-rate units. They’re the ones settling for outlying counties.

“If you try to move up the income ladder,” Schuyler said of this second group, “once you get into that first rung job of making $28,000 to $32,000, you are almost forced to move away.”

This explains why neighboring counties like Fluvanna, Louisa, Orange and Greene have roughly doubled their populations since 1990. Charlottesville-area workers who live out in them must also foot the higher transportation costs of driving 30-plus miles twice daily.

Quick Crozet real estate context

  • From 1 January to 12 September 2017, 243 homes (attached and single family) have sold in Brownsville + Crozet.
    • Average price is $458K.
  • 82 new homes (single family + attached) have sold in that timeframe.
    • Average price is $603K (source of this, and above: CAARMLS)
  • Crozet Real Estate Market – July 2017 Hotsheet (PDF)

Take the Crozet Community Survey – by 20 August 2017

Only a couple days left to take the Crozet Community Survey. Link to the survey can be found here.

After a delay in the mailing of a survey to gauge the Crozet community’s thoughts on growth and development, both the public and a scientific sample of households are being invited to submit their responses by Aug. 20.

Tolson said he hopes the Crozet survey results can be used to frame town hall meetings in the fall.

The 39-question survey covers a range of topics, from development near the U.S. 250-Interstate 64 interchange at exit 107 to whether the boundaries of the Crozet growth area should be expanded.

Tolson said two important areas covered in the survey are growth along the U.S. 250 corridor and in the downtown area of Crozet.

Density along U.S. 250 previously has proven to be a contentious issue. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors denied a proposed rezoning near the Cory Farm neighborhood that would have allowed for a new development with 80 residential units. Some community members opposed the development, known as Adelaide, on the grounds that density should be limited on 250. A 35-unit development known as Sparrow Hill is now being planned for the property by-right.

As for the survey, Tolson said, “We’ve had a really good response so far. We’ve had about 780 [responses] … on the scientific sample, and about 500 or so on the public sample.”

They were aiming to get at least 600 responses for the scientific sample. Tolson said they want to collect more responses to lower the margin of error of the results.

Some background on previous master plan surveys. And a letter from a reader in March regarding wariness about the Crozet Master Plan.

A Sunday in Crozet

Bike ride past Beaver Creek followed by polo at King Family Vineyards (and then I showed a lot in Crozet)

 

Some days, things work out, thoughts about traffic, crowded schools and roads, and other worries temporarily fade away.

All told, Crozet is a great place to live.