Crozet Master Plan Update – June 2021

In conversation with a client last night, I was asked, “how do you know all of this about what’s happening in Charlottesville and Crozet?” My first answer was that I read – a lot, and one of the best places to do so is Sean’s Charlottesville Community Engagement weekly roundup, daily email, and podcast. It’s why I pay to subscribe. Part of my job is to try to know more than my clients. Sean helps with that.

And frankly, it’s our job as citizens to try to know more, and be more involved in our community.

Did you know there’s a big Planning Commission meeting on 22 June about the Crozet Master Plan?

If you want a gift subscription to his newsletter, let me know, and I’ll get it for you.


Charlottesville Community Engagement – 21 June 2021

Today’s show focuses on Crozet in western Albemarle County. Crozet is not a town, but it is a designated growth area under the county’s growth management policy. 

But it is a place with traditions. Here’s an announcement made at the June 9, 2021 meeting of the Crozet Community Advisory Committee about an event coming up on Saturday, July 3. 

“I’m Tim Tolson, president of the Crozet Community Association, and along with other civic groups in Crozet we’re hosting the annual Crozet Independence Day celebration parade at 5:00 p.m. as part of the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department that ends at the Crozet Park where the celebration will take part, take place. We’ll have fireworks around 9:30 or quarter to 10 when it gets dark.” 

The Crozet Community Association is seeking donations to cover the cost of the fireworks. Visit their website to learn more

The Albemarle Planning Commission will take up the Crozet Master Plan at a work session on Tuesday, June 22. At the June 9 CAC meeting, committee members and participating residents got a presentation on the implementation of projects intended to bolster Crozet’s urban character. They also had the chance to comment on the plan update to date.  

But first, the implementation projects. The master plan is a large overview of the entire area, and further studies are suggested. The draft implementation chapter shows a list of ten potential topics ranging from a Downtown Neighborhood Architectural and Cultural Study to a stream health study for Parrot Branch, a local waterway. Initial feedback has already been submitted and planner Tori Kanellopoulos gave the rundown for how planning projects scored.

“The top ranked projects were the Crozet Avenue Shared-Use Path feasibility study, the Three Notch’d Trail feasibility study, and the Route 250 West design guidelines,” Kanellopoulos said. “And then the policy projects were also ranked and the top priority was updating residential zoning designations to allow for more preservation of natural resources.”

Potential capital projects were also ranked. Kanellopoulos said the highest ranking projects are the completion of Eastern Avenue, downtown Crozet intersection improvements, and sidewalk connections. 

Let’s hear more about that Three Notch’d Trail.

“Lately there’s been a lot more focus and attention on the potential Three Notch’d Trail which would ideally connect from the Blue Ridge Tunnel along Crozet and over to Charlottesville,” Kanellopoulos said. “A feasibility study would look at this alignment and there are opportunities to partner with [the Virginia Department of Transportation] and the Planning District Commission and trails groups to look at the feasibility study for the alignment.” 

Supervisor Ann Mallek said later in the meeting that VDOT planning may not have staff to conduct that feasibility study this year, but community work can be done now to prepare for that work possibly in 2022. 

“And the other blessing that goes along with that is 2022 is when [Virginia] is going to take over the rail access right of way from CSX and therefore that increases greatly the possibility that we will be able to have a trail beside the rail,” Mallek said. 

Another “catalyst” project now in the implementation chapter is Western Park, which has long been called for in the plan and for which the county received 36 acres in 2010 as part of the Old Trail rezoning. A master plan for that project was created in 2018 that identified three phases. The first is recommended for funding, a decision which would be made by the entire Board of Supervisors during the budget process.

“This phase one would include the access road with parking, a playground, and additional support of infrastructure and utilities,” Kanellopoulos said.

Committee member Sandy Hausman noted the rankings were based on responses from fewer than a hundred people. 

“I wonder if anybody feels like this there needs to be a bit more outreach, like a mass mailing to everyone who lives in Crozet,” Hausman said. “It just feels to me that this is a relatively small group of people who tend to be paying attention to this stuff and everybody else will be unpleasantly surprised in a year or two when things start happening.”

Committee member Joe Fore said he wanted to see all three phases of Western Park listed as catalyst projects, meaning they would be prioritized first.

“I think just given the fact that it’s been in the works for so long, that the phases of at least getting started, the land is already there,” Fore said. “I understand it’s expensive but it’s not an Eastern Avenue or Lickinghole Creek bridge expensive.” 

Fore also said he would support the creation of a special taxation district to help pay for new infrastructure. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has previously been briefed on how service districts or a “business improvement district” could be levied in certain areas to fund amenities. 

“I looked through currently, and this may be a comment for the full draft, there’s only one mention of service districts in the entire draft and that’s in reference to funding ongoing activities and services at the plaza and downtown,” Fore  said. “But I would like to see maybe a little bit more and maybe a full suggestion saying maybe this is something we should explore in Crozet to fund some of these capital projects so we’re not constantly having these be projects are ten years out.” 

The Board of Supervisors last had a formal presentation on service districts at their meeting on December 7, 2016. (presentation) (story)

Fore has looked up the section of Virginia code that allows for the creation of such districts.

“It’s a pretty broad statute as I read it,” Fore said. “Things like sidewalks, roads, programming, cultural events, economic development, beautification and landscaping. It’s a very broad statute. It seems to me you could raise money for most of the kinds of projects that we’re looking at.  When we look at the list of priorities and say, yikes! Where are we going to get all the money for this? Well, rather than say let’s raise taxes on everybody in the county, you might be able to say let’s raise funds specifically from Crozet that would stay in Crozet for some of these projects we want to see in Crozet.”

CAC member David Mitchell is skeptical of the idea and said it would lead to Crozet receiving fewer direct funds from the county.

“Over time we will start to be looked at by the other Supervisors as ‘they have their own money, they can do their own thing’ and you’re going to slowly over time lose your share of the general fund,” Mitchell said. 

Supervisor Mallek agreed.

“I would really discourage our citizenry from burdening themselves because I think David is right,” Mallek said. “We need to go to toe to toe, to say, this is a need that’s been on the books.”

Mallek singled out the Eastern Avenue connector road that will provide north-south travel. A major obstacle is the cost of a bridge required to cross Lickinghole Creek. 

“We have made all of these zoning changes prior to 2007 that were counting on that bridge and we absolutely have a moral obligation to build it,” Mallek said.

Eastern Avenue is ranked #8 on the county’s transportation priority list and there was an update in May. There’s not yet a full cost estimate on what it will cost, but engineering work is underway. 

“This project is currently being evaluated through an alignment study and conceptual design which is funded through the Transportation Leveraging Fund in the [Capital Improvement Program],” reads the update. “The alignment report was presented to the Board in January and the preferred alignment was selected. This project is being considered for a Revenue Sharing Grant application.”

Allie Pesch, the chair of the CAC, said she wanted Eastern Avenue to be the top implementation priority.

“I like seeing Eastern Avenue at the top of that list,” Pesch said. “That is a priority for everyone in our area and just so overdue.”

After this discussion of implementation, county planner Rachel Falkenstein turned the conversation to the working draft of the master plan. The draft that will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at their work session on Tuesday incorporates feedback from the June 9 CAC meeting. (download the draft

“We still have a couple of steps to go before we get to our public hearings and we’ll continue to accept feedback and make revisions to the chapters and to the content,” Falkenstein said. 

A work session with the Board of Supervisors will take place in August. (Watch the CAC meeting on YouTube)


You’re reading Charlottesville Community Engagement. On June 22 at 7 p.m., the Jefferson Madison Regional Library and the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society gives a glimpse into the cemeteries at Pen Park in Charlottesville. Tucked behind the Meadowcreek clubhouse are three, enclosed, family cemeteries, with the oldest dating back to the Colonial era.

Outside the enclosures of the family plots, the city has confirmed the presence of 40 or more unmarked graves, all likely those of people enslaved at Pen Park. Join us as a panel of three professionals discuss what led to the examination of this site, the process of the investigation, and the efforts to identify and commemorate those buried there. Register on the JMRL website.  

A few days after the CAC meeting, the Downtown Crozet Initiative held a public meeting to talk about a 30,000 square foot plaza intended to be located at the former Barnes Lumberyard. The plaza would anchor a mixed-use building and a hotel through a public-private partnership. The idea involves construction of a connector road using revenue-sharing funds from VDOT. That process requires a local match. 

Frank Stoner is a principal at Milestone Partners which seeks to redevelop the space. They’re putting up $2 million to serve as that match. 

“This project started in 2014,” Stoner said. “We developed this road plan in 2016, 2017. Most of the design elements of the road have been resolved. We felt strongly and I think the community felt strongly and the county felt strongly that the streets had to be appropriate for the small town that is Crozet and not be a highway through the middle of downtown which is kind of where VDOT wanted to go with it.” 

Albemarle County has contributed $1.6 million in cash to the project, and will provide another $1.6 million in rebates through a process known as tax increment financing. (read the June 2019 performance agreement)

Stoner said the idea is to build an urban plaza, not a park. 

“And most importantly we wanted this plaza to be the heart not just of the neighborhood but the Crozet community,” Stoner said. 

Credit: Downtown Crozet Initiative

VDOT is contributing $2.5 million and the Downtown Crozet Initiative is seeking to raise over a million in private funds. 

“Which will be used to fund essentially the furniture, fixtures and equipment, sculpture, artwork, seating, all of that kind of stuff that goes in the plaza,” Stoner said. 

The designs aren’t close to final yet, but Stoner wanted to get feedback from the community. There are also no identified tenants for any of the spaces yet. 

“We haven’t really been in the position to take commitments because there have been so many unknowns because of the VDOT plans and then we had some stormwater issues we had to work through and so it has just been one obstacle after another,” Stoner said. 

Stoner said if all goes according to plan, construction could get underway next year. To Stoner, success means making sure it’s a place to expand what already makes Crozet Crozet.

“If we can’t create a place that’s affordable for local businesses, then we’re not going to succeed,” Stoner said. 

In April 2020, the firm Downtown Strategies unveiled their report on a Downtown Strategic Vision for Crozet. Stoner suggested interested parties might take a look. (take a look)

Nearby there is a separate VDOT project to rebuild the existing Square to add sidewalks and address ongoing stormwater issues. (watch the June 14 presentation)

The Draft Crozet Master Plan is Almost Complete — Help Prioritize the Recommended Projects!

A reason to participate in these surveys is simple – if you don’t express your opinion, be assured that someone else has, and you might not agree with that which they want.

Me? I want more sidewalks, bike lanes, density, and walkability.

Someone else probably wants zero growth, and wider roads only for cars.

Might as well spend a few minutes putting forth one’s opinion.

(as I’ve said many times; yes, I’m a Realtor. Yes, I earn a living representing people who buy and sell real estate in Crozet. No, I don’t benefit, either as a real estate agent or a resident of Crozet if we implement poor growth and transportation policies.)

Via email

Since September 2019, Albemarle County has been exploring, alongside the Crozet community, how to best reflect the community’s vision for the future of Crozet in the latest update to the Crozet Master Plan. This month, we are focusing on content for the “Implementation” chapter of the Master Plan. 

This week, we will share information about recommended projects in the draft Crozet Master Plan at four pop-ups in Crozet, as well as a virtual information session that will be recorded and available online. 

Meet us at one of our pop-ups, attend the virtual information session, or participate anytime at PublicInput.com/ImagineCrozet

Online Questionnaire

Through Monday, June 7th 

Review the draft recommendations and share your priorities for the implementation of the plan via the online questionnaire.

Crozet Elementary Construction Starting Soon

Via email

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to provide you with a brief update regarding the Crozet ES project. Again, please forward to anyone else that you think might be interested. If there are any groups/individuals that are not receiving these updates, please let me know and I will add them to my distribution list.

Things have been moving fast! At the time of my last email update, we were still in the bidding phase. Since then, we have received favorable bids, and have contracted with the low bidder – Nielsen Builders, Inc. out of Harrisonburg, VA.

My previous communication indicated that we anticipated construction starting in mid-May. However, Nielsen Builders offered the County an additional cost savings credit if we were able to expedite the contracting process to get construction started sooner. We are happy to say that we were able to achieve this goal, which is of great benefit to you all as County taxpayers!

Thus, we wanted you to be aware, that construction will be starting on some areas of the project next Wednesday, April 28.

As can be expected from ongoing construction activities, some noise and dust should be expected throughout construction, but the project team will be taking every effort to minimize these where possible. The Contractor will also be bound by the County’s noise ordinances and all other County/state ordinances and building codes. Here’s what you can expect through the first summer of work:

  • The first week of work will primarily consist of putting up safety fencing, E&S controls, and mobilization/preparation efforts.
  • Beginning the week of May 3, the drilling of the additional geothermal wells will commence. We have an additional 53 wells to drill this spring/summer to accommodate the geothermal HVAC system that I have mentioned in previous correspondence.
  • Other early efforts will include installing temporary emergency egress stairs for building occupants, associated site work for a new kitchen addition on the north side of the school, and associated site work for the new classroom addition on the south side of the school. Footers and foundations on the two additions are expected to commence sometime in June.
  • Once school lets out in mid-June, work on the interior office renovations and the construction of a new, expanded playground will commence.
  • By the end of the summer, the general layout of what will become the new bus loop on the north side of the school should be complete.

Additionally, because the County also owns the property where the Field School is located, we have allowed the Contractor to utilize a small portion of that site for some limited contractor parking and storage of construction materials so please do not be alarmed if you see some construction-related activity there as well.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be working from the site at least 3 days a week, and I can always be reached by cell phone. Thanks and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Matt Wertman

Senior Project Manager – Facilities Planning & Construction

Albemarle County

Planning Commission Meeting on 23 March re: Crozet Park Plans

A letter from a Crozet Park neighbor. Background here. The Park’s plans are massive.

Commissioner,

In October I submitted written comments regarding the Special Use Permit Application by Crozet Park to build a commercial style recreation building  with a 32,000 square footprint (about ¾ of an acre) that is 36 feet high. Unfortunately those comments were never discussed at the CCAC meeting (which was when I understood there would be a question and answer session) nor were they discussed with me at any other time. In fact, until a few weeks ago when I thought the applicant was still making changes to the drawings but was informed by staff they were not. The comments I made in October are still very valid.

I hope the drawing below will help provide context for how the proposed project sits the existing neighborhood. I used the files that staff identified as the latest drawings to create it. Most pertinent to Crozet Park’s request for a Special Use Permit is the size of the new building (in purple) compared to the size of the existing buildings (dotted in blue which have gable roofs about 20’ high), the number of new parking spaces (which are annotated totaling over 200 new), and the configuration of the intersection at Hilltop Road which the Park requests to use as a fulltime entrance/exit (currently only used as an exit in special events). It also provides context for how much of the park will become essentially a commercial enterprise and no longer green space. Please see my comments below the drawing regarding these points.

  1. I feel like public comment has been stifled by the process. Perhaps it due to that the volume of development happening in the county that conflicting, inaccurate and incomplete information is often provided in public venues. Many of us are trying to understand unfamiliar processes and respond to processes, expecting that the public can question why decisions are made and how they can be impacted – I understand that this takes time but it is not happening now. The fact is that we have community meetings where comments are not allowed and Planning Commission meetings that we can not attend (replaced by zoom sessions with 3 minute comment periods that may or may not be sequenced so the public can respond to information presented at the meeting). I have yet to see a meaningful public question and answer session on any important topic.
  1. The Planning Commission, as part of the Master Plan review process, recently approved, in concept, a site next to Brownsville Elementary along Route 250  as an acceptable location for a Recreational Facility and all parties agreed that the location was a good idea [my language might not be right here but this was discussed at the Planning Commission when Staff’s Crozet Master Plan update was reviewed]. The proposed project is in essence a commercial establishment with 985 projected visitors per day. A facility of this size does not belong in a neighborhood park setting.
  1. That the findings of Staff misrepresent the scope and scale of the proposed building – YES IT WILL impact the character of the area. In a prime example of not listening to public comment the applicant has not provided drawings that show the scale of the proposed building within the neighborhoods nearby although drawings of this type were requested specifically. The unfortunate thing in this is that I have had a fantastic relationship with the park for years and now they are acting like an unchallenged developer maximizing land use, minimizing information – certainly not like a neighbor.
  1. That we are running out of Green Space in Crozet and we should preserve the limited amount that is left. If this development is completed 1/3 of the park’s area will be impervious – not greenspace. Further this development was not mentioned in the Planning Commission’s review of the updates on the Crozet masterplan. Staff’s recommendation says it is in keeping with the Master Plan. It is difficult for me to understand that logic and why it was not discussed during the Master Plan reviews.
  1. That the vague description of what happens at the proposed new permanent exit on to Hilltop should not be delayed until Site Plan review and, further, that the assertion that no traffic study is required on either Hilltop or Park Street should not be accepted. If the Hilltop exit becomes a “by right” condition for the applicant it means, as we have seen in other places, that the people impacted no longer have input into the outcome. I have been told in writing that my comments are important and spent hours reviewing drawings of “by right” applications finding issues and asking questions – none of my requests resulted in meaningful dialog with staff unless it was to tell me that the applicant had the right to move ahead prior to approval, or that engineering had approved it, or applicant was not required to provide information about a retaining wall abutting our properties. It is unfair to kick an issue like this the down the road in order for a developer or the park to have the power of “by right” on their side before it is even clear what they are doing. Further, this proposed development is not happening in isolation so traffic impacts to Park, Hilltop and other local streets should be studied in totality.

In closing I would like to remind the Planning Commission that many of us have been supportive neighbors of the park for years donating time and money to its development. This proposal is in itself OUT OF CHARACTER with the way the park has acted in the past. I won’t deny the project must have some redeeming qualities – access for a broader part of the community, expanded facilities certainly – but build it where it belongs – perhaps on the parcel you agreed was the right place for it on route 250.

Philip Kirby

Parkside Village Resident for eighteen years


Disclosure: I live next to Crozet Park.

Crozet Park Planning Commission Hearing – 23 March 2021

via email:

As you have previously expressed interest in the special use permit application SP2020-00016 Claudius Crozet Park (for additions to the facilities at Crozet Park), I wanted to let you know that it has been confirmed for a public hearing with the Albemarle County Planning Commission, scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at 6:00pm. This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. The link to the Zoom webinar can be found on the County calendar, accessed here: https://www.albemarle.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/1130/16.

The meeting agenda and the staff report for this project will be available on the County website at the link provided above approximately one week prior to the public hearing.

During the public hearing, there will be a portion of the meeting dedicated to allowing members of the public to speak about this project. Each speaker is limited to three (3) minutes. You are also welcome to email comments, visuals, reports, etc., to the Planning Commission in advance of the meeting. The email address for the Planning Commission is [email protected]. Emails sent to this address will go to all seven Planning Commissioners.


Thoughts on Pending Crozet Neighborhood Traffic Changes

Thanks to Phil Kirby again for sharing this insight and knowledge.


Over the past few months, once my eyes were opened by the approach to development in my own backyard, I have started to watch more closely the planned development for Crozet.

I do not understand the details of how these things get approved but I have attended Crozet community meetings and I have been to a few Planning Commission meetings to watch how the commissioners react to recommendations from their staff and comments from the people who live here.

The Crozet Community Advisory Council, CCAC, has advocated for greater control of development – stressing that it should more closely resemble the accepted Master Plan and for the infrastructure that was expected to support the development be put in place. I think they are doing very good work to present the point of view of the people who live in Crozet these regards.

More importantly, during my involvement in these meetings I have become aware of three traffic issues that will directly affect our local neighborhoods. These are all documented in public domains – they are not my opinions – although I have not seen them addressed as an integrated issue.

  1. As part of the current Foothill Crossing development (happening now adjacent to Parkside) an “emergency” access road, connecting to the next phase of Foothill Development, has been cut through the stream buffer and a crossing over the stream has been installed. A hundred feet of trees on either side of the stream were cut down and a culvert installed to accommodate this.

Right now the road is dirt. It has been used to haul excess soil from current Foothill Crossing site construction to the next phase of development on the other side of the stream. 

The finished road will be 24 feet wide and paved with standard VDOT asphalt paving according to the plans. The drawings say it will be removed when the connector to downtown Crozet is complete.

The county engineers office confirmed that this road could be used as a construction access road in the future. 

This cut through the steam buffer is done, it is there now, and no limitations to its usage are identified. It is highlighted in red on the sketch below.

  1. Crozet Park has proposed to build an expanded Community Center and is requesting a Special Use Permit which will be presented to the Planning Commission soon. I have not been told when this will happen but Planning staff has made their comments and it could happen at any upcoming meeting.

The plans contemplate a new 32’ high, two story building with a 36,000 square foot footprint (see purple area on sketch below), with over two hundred new, paved parking spaces (counts by area shown on sketch below). 

Crozet Park is also asking, as part of the permit, that the existing access road onto Hilltop, which currently used during special events, be expanded to become a two lane, permanent entrance/exit although their drawings do not show a VDOT approved configuration. The drawings say that configuration will presented later. (shown on the sketch below highlighted in red).

The CCAC has been shown these plans at a meeting that I attended. I am not aware that CACC raised any major issues with Crozet Park’s Request for a Special Use Permit.

  1. At a recent CCAC Meeting a traffic study was presented by the county that analyzed the future impacts at the Old Trail/250 intersection, the Crozet Avenue/250 intersection and the Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection. 

The study indicated that Tabor/Crozet Avenue intersection would have unacceptable wait times when all the development planned in Crozet is complete (the study found the intersection is not a problem now) AND, even after all of the proposed infrastructure roads are complete (Eastern Avenue Connector to 250 and the connector to downtown), the intersection would not work properly because of conflicts of turns from Tabor with queuing to turn onto Jarman’s Gap. 

The proposed solution was to eliminate left turns from Crozet Ave onto Jarman’s Gap, instead cars would turn left onto a loop road, that would be built around the Methodist church, and connect to Carter Street from which a right onto Jarman’s Gap could be made. This conceptual road is shown in red on the sketch below.

It should be noted that the study and proposed solutions were presented as preliminary findings of the study group. However, at the conclusion of the meeting they indicated that they planned to move forward studying the “loop road” solution.

I attended the CCAC meeting where this was presented, and I am not aware that CCAC has raised any major with this proposal. 

I overlayed the plans submitted for the Special Use Permit for the Crozet Park, highlighted the proposed access road in red. New Building is purple, existing buildings dotted, new parking counts indicated.

I overlayed the Foothill Crossing plan to shown where the “emergency” road cuts through the steam buffer. I am not aware of limitations to usage of that roadway.

I sketched in red where the “loop road” is proposed at Tabor/Crozet Avenue.

The dotted yellow and gold lines are my attempt to highlight new traffic patterns that could result once the new roads are in place. I am not aware of any studies of these traffic patterns nor studies of the intersection of the proposed, new Crozet Park entrance at Hilltop. 

I have my own opinions about these changes and plan to share them with the CCAC, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. I also realize that at one time the development I live in impacted someone else’s backyard and that these changes impact us all differently.

Events on Plank Road at Wavertree Hill Farm?


From Sean Tubbs’ Charlottesville Community Engagement newsletter

(you can subscribe to Sean’s work here, and I highly recommend doing so)


The owners of a historic property on Plank Road near Batesville are seeking a special use permit to hold events, but under a different section of the zoning code than the one for wineries, cideries and breweries. 

“The Special Events ordinance was developed expressly for hosting events at historic properties for the public to share the enjoyment of the County’ s historic resources and rural viewsheds,” reads the narrative of the application from Hilmasco Operations, LLC. 

This requires a community meeting which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Several neighbors have already expressed opposition to the project, citing noise and traffic concerns. (meeting info)

The property was originally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 as Wavertree Hill Farm, but has since been renamed to Bellevue. Under the proposal, weddings and other activities would take place in an existing indoor riding ring which will be remodeled.

“This structure is not a contributing historic structure, was built in the 1970′ s, and is visually inconsistent with the other structures on the Property,” reads the narrative. “Though the Applicant would prefer to raze this structure and to construct a more attractive building in the same location, Section 5. 1. 43( d)( 1) requires each structure used for a special event to have been in existence on the date of the adoption of the section.”

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds a conservation easement on the property which will not allow new commercial buildings to be constructed. Under the proposal, outdoor amplified music would end at ten p.m. and all events would be over by midnight. The applicant has requested a special exception that four events be allowed to have up to 350 guests. The others would be restricted to 150 or fewer. 

Source: Albemarle County

(Jim’s note: there was a discussion somewhere on Nextdoor about this, with people riled up in opposition, but I cannot find it anywhere)


*

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee meets at 7 p.m. for another meeting on the revision of the master plan. They will have a discussion of proposed changes to date, and then a discussion of possible resolutions the CAC may make. (meeting info

CCAC Meeting 30 November – Trying to Stop Growth?

via email:

I’m attaching the agenda for our special meeting Monday, November 30, at 7 p.m., when we will review the summary of changes that staff has proposed for the Crozet Master Plan and consider a few resolutions that committee members have proposed to send forward to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. 


Please join us! https://albemarle-org.zoom.us/j/98824274913


A short read on this (my opinion) is that infrastructure has not kept up with growth, CCAC want to slow growth until the infrastructure catches up, and they are looking to advocate for lower density (read: more expensive) housing in lieu of higher density. Why not just seek to stop all growth now that we are all here? (sarcasm intended)


CCAC Meeting Documents

Please read these.

There is even a petition

Nextdoor has been a hotbed of anti-growth commentary of late.

All this talk about wanting to shut things down and have some sort of autonomy from Albemarle County makes me think Crozet should discuss becoming a town.

Also, you know what makes housing more affordable? More houses. Supply & Demand matters.


I just put up a facebook (I hate facebook) post, in part:

I’m curious – we’re going to grow. What housing would people support?

From ProPublica’s Separated by Design: How Some of America’s Richest Towns Fight Affordable Housing

Many zoning boards rely on their finely tuned regulations to keep housing segregation firmly in place. They point to frail public infrastructure, clogged streets, a lack of sidewalks and concerns of overcrowding that would damage what’s often referred to as “neighborhood character.”

And from gzeromedia’s Urbanization Around the World

Over the past seven decades, dozens of countries have experienced rapid urbanization as people flock from rural areas to cities in search of more diverse economic opportunities. During that time, the global urban population has increased six-fold.

Lickinghole Creek and Mechums are Impaired

I’m hoping this is the first of at least a two part series.

tl;dr: our waterways are damaged. If you can spare some time, you could serve on the committee to help fix them.

What follows are a few emails I’ve received from a reader

A link to a recording of the webinar on the DEQ  South Fork Rivanna River Study — presentation slides and recording — is below. 


Of particular interest to Crozet people:  Lickinghole Creek is one of the officially impaired creeks. Parts of the Mechums are too. And parts of the Rivanna.

There’s also a link to the first Technical Advisory Committee Meeting. Citizens can serve on this body.

In the light of all the construction (including the recent snafu with the violation of the stream protection guidelines in the county’s latest (?) cock-up, the development (near Crozet Park), vigilance regarding our streams is vital. 


From VA DEQ Valley Regional Office

I would like to thank you all for your interest in the South Fork Rivanna River Stream Health Study.  We had great attendance and participation at our kick off meeting on Wednesday evening, and I hope that we continue to have this level of engagement going forward.  As a reminder, our first Technical Advisory Committee Meeting will be held on December 9th at 2:00 p.m.  Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.


Registration Link https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2154435171464681487

For those of you who were unable to attend the meeting on Wednesday night, I have provided a link to a recording of the webinar below.  This recording includes the presentation and the question and answer session that followed.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and please do pass along any formal written comments during the 30-day public comment period currently underway.


Webinar Recording https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1274834665452620040

Very best, Nesha
Nesha McRae | TMDL Coordinator VA DEQ Valley Regional Office |


More Questions on Crozet Park’s Plans

Current secondary entrance to Crozet Park

Questions are good.

Background on Crozet Park’s big plans.

My offer stands to Crozetians: want to research and write about developments affecting you, your neighborhood, Crozet? Let me know.

New letter from one of Crozet Park’s neighbors to Albemarle County staff.

After the Crozet Park Special Use Permit zooming meeting on the 14th  I’ve taken some time to digest my impressions and wanted to share my thoughts about the process and the content. 

First,  I think it is a good thing to solicit neighborhood input although attending the meeting via zoom rather than in person was a bit confining.  I am not clear on  the Virtual Meeting  process for responding to public questions or comments submitted prior to the Meeting.      I do not know how others felt but it was odd to submit questions/comments prior to the meeting that may or may not be addressed by the people actually active in the Video/Zoom meeting. 

Second, I had a chance to look at the additional Crozet Park Expansion project information that was attached to the previous Meeting Minutes which included staff and agency comments from the Applicant’s August Submittal. I see that some of the questions raised in my previous letter were also commented by staff and other agencies, however,  I did not see where the impact of construction on the adjacent neighborhoods is addressed in the attachments to the previous meeting minutes.   

Based on comments at the meeting it was clear to me the Applicant has no intention of  disturbing its own Park operations during construction nor did they seem concerned about how  construction work will impact adjacent neighborhoods. Incorporating neighborhood concerns should be equally aggressive and intentional. This is a serious issue for those of us experiencing the Foothill construction operation. 

From my own observations, and mentioned by a resident at the meeting, based on the progress of the Foothill Crossing construction project next door to Crozet Park, it seems that it is considered acceptable by County Staff, the Applicant and its Designer to stage dump trucks and turn them around on neighborhood roads.   It appears it is also acceptable to put  Porto-johns in front of neighbor homes and Site Debris Management areas close to neighboring homes.   The Foothill Crossing construction project plans include no requirement to stage construction vehicles within the Construction Site verses outside of the Construction site which makes the work more disruptive than it should be and is, frankly, inconsiderate.   

Staff and agency comments did not address this at all – maybe it is beyond their purviews. The construction impact of these Projects/Developments can be mitigated,  but planning for it has be intentional and should be seriously considered during early reviews. The manner in which the current Foothills Crossing construction work has been handled did not consider how it is disturbing  neighbors  in Parkside Village and along Hilltop Road. Construction impacts for this Project can be mitigated very cost effectively but they have to be planned just as intentionally as the applicant has –  and some agency has to advocate for that

Lastly, it was unclear at the community meeting what information Staff reviewed relative to the use of the Emergency Access Road entrance to Hilltop Road in the future. The Designer said it would only be used for large events while the Applicant indicated they would not accept any limitations on how they might use it.   The VDOT Comments are also unclear on whether they reviewed the improvements as an Emergency Access road or a two way Entrance to the Park.    This is a very serious issue for a lot of reasons – the Hilltop Road entrance sight distances, bus stops, traffic build up, sequence with the development of neighborhood infrastructure (future roads)  to Downtown Crozet – and how all of this impacts the adjacent neighborhoods. I am looking forward to additional project information and a chance to review the Applicants response and comments.