Eastern Connector May be Built After All

Pretty sure this is where the road will go

This from Charlottesville Community Engagement is an absolute must-read, from start to finish. Read it, and ask questions. It’s long, as it needs to be.

May 31, 2024: Albemarle County working on public-private partnership to complete long-awaited roadway in Crozet

A single-story edition of the newsletter on an important topic: How do things get built to support growth?

MAY 31, 2024

In today’s installment:

  • A group associated with an unsuccessful political campaign in Albemarle County has launched a newsletter
  • One article they wrote this week claims Albemarle is working to create a public-private partnership to complete a key piece of transportation infrastructure
  • Albemarle County confirms this is happening and points to the recent adoption of guidelines by the Board of Supervisors to govern such partnerships
  • The project is not related to economic development, though Albemarle has a recent history of giving names to projects in negotiation”

I posted on the RealCrozetVA Facebook page about the Crozet United story, and there was actually a good conversation there.

If Eastern Connector gets built, great — it’s been planned for *decades.* Things take time, and it should have been built long ago.

One question that Sean rightfully raises — who are the people behind Crozet United?

A pink survey flag in a field

It’s all going to change, and while we love the Crozet Trails, it would be fantastic to have the promised road. Maybe they will build the road with protected bike lanes and sidewalks, to really build for the future.

Montclair and the Albemarle Planning Commission

The journey to build housing continues. Connecting a few threads here about a housing, growth, and proffers.

We do a disservice to our community by not building connected neighborhoods. #crozet

“British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study about managing depression that will make Americans uncomfortable.

They found physical activity to be 1.5x more effective than counselling or the leading medications.”

via email this morning (I’m posting the full document at the end of this post). Bolding is mine

PROJECT: SDP202400023 Montclair Initial Site Plan
TAX MAP/PARCEL: 05600-00-00-091A0 & 056E0-00-00-00200 (portion of)
LOCATION: 5055 Three Notch’d Road
PROPOSAL: Request for initial site plan approval to for eighty-eight (88) proposed dwellings units that would feature single-family detached, single family attached, or other dwelling unit types as allowed by the Application Plan and Code of Development of ZMA202000012. Total site acreage is 14.48 acres and the proposed density is 6.1 units/acre. 74 market-rate units and 14 affordable dwelling units are proposed. Site plan includes creation of new public and private street rights-of-way, landscaping, and 6.34 acres of open space. Water, sewer, drainage, and stormwater utilities are proposed.
ZONING: NMD Neighborhood Model District – residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses
OVERLAY DISTRICT: EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District, Managed & Preserved Steep Slopes Overlay District
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Middle Density Residential – Residential densities of 6-12 units per acre, up to 18 units per acre for affordable housing or for construction of small-scale housing types: bungalow courts, small and medium multiplexes, accessory dwelling units, live/work units, small single family cottages, and tiny houses. Secondary uses include religious assembly uses, schools and child care, institutional, and commercial/retail; Neighborhood Density Residential-Residential densities of 3-6 units per acre, housing types including townhomes, single-family attached, single-family detached, accessory dwellings, Secondary uses include religious assembly uses, schools and child care, institutional, and commercial/retail; and Green Systems – parks, greenways, open space, environmental features within the Crozet Master Plan.

This is relevant re: proffers

From the Crozet Gazette’s story on Ann Mallek’s town hall last month (bolding is mine, again)

A Pleasant Green questioner asked if developers could be forced to build connecting sidewalks between their projects and nearby connecting sidewalks, and the answer was no. “We require developers to build that infrastructure within their developments, but in 2016 the state legislature severely restricted the county’s ability to require what’s called ‘proffers’—commitments to provide additional surrounding structures,” said McDermott. “We’re working right now to catch up throughout the entire county with all those areas that really need sidewalks, and we’re focused right now on ones that are high priority where people are getting injured or those that get a lot of use in high density residential areas. It’s a long list.”

From Charlottesville Tomorrow in 2016, when proffers went away.

Legislation signed this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe will change the way Albemarle Countyand other Virginia localities negotiate with developers during the rezoning process. 

“It effectively renders our cash proffer policy [invalid],” said Bill Fritz, Albemarle’s chief of special projects. 

Fritz made his comments at a meeting Thursday of the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee, a group created to advise the Board of Supervisors on how development affects the county’s operating and capital budgets. 

The committee was briefed Thursday on the impacts the new law would have on a county whose population has increased from 68,040 in 1990 to an estimated 105,000 in 2015.

The Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia projects that number could climb to more than 150,000 by 2040. 

To help cover the costs generated by population growth, the county developed a policy over time that evaluated the impact each rezoning would have on school population, area roads and other government services. 

However, the county formalized a cash policy proffer in October 2007 that established specific amounts all developers would pay per unit to help offset Albemarle’s need for increased real estate tax revenue. 

“The methodology used was more of a broad approach where [staff] would calculate all the costs of impacts and come up with an average,” said Bill Letteri, deputy county executive. “That approach won’t work at all [anymore].” 

The formula adopted then would require developers to pay $20,987 for each single-family detached unit, $14,271 for each attached unit and $14,871 for each unit in an apartment complex. 

The fiscal impact committee already has recommended drastically lowering those amounts in response to legislation passed in 2013, but the new law calls those figures into question. 

“The new legislation requires such a degree of certitude in identifying impacts [of new development] that the averages that we use in the cash proffer policy won’t work,” said Greg Kamptner, deputy county attorney. 

Kamptner said the new law requires that any cash collected in a rezoning can only be spent on infrastructure that directly addresses the impacts of that new development. Localities will have to demonstrate that connection and possibly defend it in court. 

Fritz said the county likely will move back to evaluating each rezoning application on a case-by-case basis. 

“What used to happen [before 2007] is that the model would generate a number and then there would be negotiations about that number,” Fritz said. “With this legislation, we’ll have to be much more careful about what that initial number is.” 

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, does not apply only to cash proffers. Developers have proffered other conditions in previous rezoning, such as land for libraries, courts or schools. 

“The new standard is that for any on-site proffer, such as a dedication of a school site, they now have to be specifically attributable,” Kamptner said, but added that there’s no strict definition yet for what that means. 

“If we have a project that dedicates a school site for an area large enough to handle 400 children, but it turns out the project will only serve 200 children from that project, that school site is now larger than what was specifically attributable to that project,” Kamptner said. 

“That proffer is then in complete jeopardy,” he said. 

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 websitehttps://youtu.be/qBH8AkHalKM 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.