realcrozetva Readers’ Forum – 10-11-2006

I am extremely saddened by the proposed redevelopment of our beloved Crozet town center. Crozet Station (the name for the new buildings) is an effort to make Crozet “upscale”, which can be translated as “more expensive”.

These buildings have been acceptable for years. Why must the old buildings now be replaced with new, characterless buildings that will cause the owners of the property to increase rents? Without a doubt, we will lose our wonderful small businesses, such as Maupin’s Video, that will probably not be able to afford the higher rents that must come following new construction, new (read higher) assessments,and higher tax bills.

Crozet is being surrounded and overrun by huge developments. But that does not mean that the very heart of Crozet has to lose its identity. I hope that long-time and even new residents who appreciate the old-time feel of our Crozet center will speak out against this redevelopment plan. As Commissioner Bill Edgerton said, “There’s lots of charm in those buildings.” Charm is a meaningful quality that is quickly being lost in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.

I hope the owners of this property will reconsider this project. Life is not simply about possessing more money; a happy life is interconnected with the quality of one’s surroundings.

Crozet is special in that it has the feel of a simpler time. Let’s not reduce it to another carbon copy of modern development with only some murals in a parking lot to remind us of what once was.

Marlene A. Condon (Author, The Nature-friendly Garden, Stackpole Books, 2006)
Nature Writer, Photographer, Speaker
Crozet, VA 22932-2204

editor’s note:This redevelopment was noted here on 31 May of this year. As much as I like the small-town aspect of these buildings, if they are not structurally sound and not economically feasible to shore up for the future, perhaps it is time to address their deficiencies. The new development will certainly be different, but it doesn’t have to be worse than what we currently have. Charm is a subjective thing; done properly I expect that the new buildings could have their charm charm, yet still pay a certain homage to the previous buildings.

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Crozet Library update

Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm, Western Albemarle High School: Community Feedback Time!

Albemarle County Representatives and Grimm and Parker architects will solicit community feedback regarding the library and its potential sites. Community feedback from this meeting will be reported to the Board of Supervisors.

If you can, come to this meeting. A vibrant, dynamic, interesting and functional library can shape and enhance a community in a way unlike any other development.

Sign up for Albemarle County’s excellent, informative and timely! A-Mail (or continue to visit realcrozetva and/or subscribe to the realcrozetva calendar!)

From A-Mail:

Officials from Albemarle County and the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library are inviting Crozet area residents to attend a public meeting on Wednesday, October 25, from 7:00 pm until 9:30 pm at Western Albemarle High School. The purpose of the meeting is to update the community on the status of the project, introduce the project consultant, and get public feedback on two location options for the new library to share with the Board of Supervisors prior to their final site selection decision.
The consultant team is led by Grimm & Parker Architects, a firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia with a 30-year history of successful library and other public architecture projects. The Grimm & Parker team was selected based on their overall public library expertise, experience with downtown and town center libraries, and their successful track record of integrating public comment and input into library design and programming decisions, among other criteria.
The meeting will include an introductory overview of the library project, a brief discussion of library design possibilities, and then a detailed site analysis of the two locations under consideration conducted by the consultant team. The consultant will then lead participants through a facilitated feedback session to generate input that will be passed on to the Board of Supervisors.
Anyone who has questions or would like more information is asked to contact Albemarle County’s Community Relations Office at (434)296- 5841.

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Bring on the Chains!

Chain retailers, that is. Thanks to Jonathan:

Harris Teeter will soon be coming to Crozet. At least they’ll have a comprehensive wine selection, something that Great Valu has rapidly been expanding recently.

Will people come from Waynesboro? As of the 2000 Census, 5,229 people lived in the 22932 zip code. People are continuing to move into Crozet, though.

Heck, I’ve heard rumors about a CVS …

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Crozet Library news

Wednesday, September 20, 7:00pm, in the Crozet Library: Architect Meet and Greet with the Crozet Library Building Advisory Committee

Ms. Melanie Hennigan, of Grimm and Parker Architects, will be available to answer questions and hear comments regarding the new Crozet Library. Grimm and Parker has been hired as the firm who will be aiding in the selection of a library site and, ultimately, designing our new Crozet Library. Thursday, September 21, 7:00pm, at the Meadows (unless location is changed due to turnout), Ms. Hennigan will hold a Meet and Greet with members of the CCAC, which is also open to the public.

Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm, Western Albemarle High School: Community Feedback Time!

Albemarle County Representatives and Grimm and Parker architects will solicit community feedback regarding the library and its potential sites. Community feedback from this meeting will be reported to the Board of Supervisors.

Continue reading “Crozet Library news”

Petition to save Downtown Crozet

76 People signed. If Crozetians want to “save” Downtown Crozet, they will need to aim higher – think over one thousand people, and even then there is little assurance that the BoS will listen. More interesting to me is how these residents distributed this petition. If they distributed it “offline,” they hurt themselves. If they did it online, it seems it didn’t get much support.

How better could one market such a (or any other) petition?

Last month’s Crozet Gazette (PDF) has a nice editorial about Downtown Zoning.

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Last night’s Crozet Communication Association meeting

A roundup of last night’s CCA meeting is coming, but I wanted to briefly note a couple of things:

1) The attendance by the County was fantastic – Lee Caitlin, Rebecca Ragsdale, Tom Foley and Susan Stimart. David Wyant was absent. Thank you.

2)  About 35 -40 residents turned out – a relatively large number for a summer meeting.

3) The Crozet Library project may have some interesting developments coming down the pike. With a bit more investigation, I will write more.

4) In discussing the perceived poor implementation of the Western Connector and the lack of bike lanes, it was said that – wait for it – “The sidewalks ARE the bike lanes.”

Crozet Master Plan is here.

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