From the Friends of Western Albemarle Cross Country, Track & Field:
WAHS is holding its first cross country meet on its new Old Trail course today. The meet starts at 5:00, so drivers should know that they should be prepared to stop for runners. There will be signs and people at the road crossings – by the trailhead for the nature trail close to 250, by the soccer field and also on Golf Drive. A second and final home meet will be held next Wednesday, October 5 at 5:00, so the same caution applies for next week.
Friends of Western Albemarle Cross Country, Track & Field
Thanks go to everyone involved in advocating for this – from the Old Trail residents, Ann Mallek, VDOT and lots of others I’m sure.
From the Old Trail group:
We have some great news to pass on today. We’ve just heard yesterday from the VDOT project manager for the stormwater management system at Jarman’s Gap Road and Old Trail Drive. It seems that VDOT has reconsidered their plan for a detention pond and will, instead, be putting in a “Bio-Retention Area”, which should be similar to the biofilter proposal submitted by Scott Collins. We have confirmation that this design will NOT require a fence. Continue reading “Jarman’s Gap “Detention Pond” to be “BioFilter””
I spent the morning with David Hilliard at The Lodge at Old Trail. I learned so much about what they are doing and was impressed with every facet. More to come in a later post, but I wanted to share the photos.
I’m no expert on “senior living” but I left with this:
David is compassionate, passionate and he cares about the community, the people and what he’s building. And what he’s building is a place where people are going to want to come to – “people” meaning those who choose to live there and those who are going to be visiting their families there.
I’d heard about this and driven/ridden my bike by the site of the soon-to-come retention pond but haven’t yet taken photos.
Happily, I received this email from a reader today:
I wanted to bring to your attention a detention pond that VDOT has planned along Jarmans Gap Road. My hope is that you could post a story on Real Crozet to get the community at large involved. I have been trying to convince VDOT that this plan is a ridiculous solution to the storm water problem on Jarmans Gap but so far I haven’t gotten very far. It is my understanding that the developer for Old Trail also tried working with VDOT on an alternate plan to no avail.
I have a meeting with Ann Mallek on Thursday at the site to try and get the BOS on my side but the honest truth is the Western Bypass is occupying most of their time these days.
The plan, as I understand it; there is a large detention pond planned for the green space at the entrance to Old Trail (where the sign used to be). This detention pond will be filled from the bottom using the curb and gutters along Jarmans Gap. This water will then be drained through a controlled release into the storm water drains that run through Old Trail. This “pond” will be 10 feet deep and surrounded by chain link fencing that is 6 feet tall. There is landscaping in the form of trees and shrubs only only the South side (which is the side closest to the home on Old Trail Drive that it will sit beside). There are small plantings planned for the North side along Jarmans Gap. The other 2 sides will remain bare. Forgetting the fact that the fencing planned is hideous, I find the entire project offensive. VDOT has planned this as if it were way out in the country and wouldn’t be affecting anyone. This is a main corridor in Crozet and I think this will affect everyone! I can think of no other development/neighborhood in Albemarle County, or the City of Charlottesville for that matter, that has such an eye sore at it’s front door.
When I first discovered this plan, the VDOT employee that I spoke with said in no uncertain terms that it WOULD be a mosquito pit. When I asked him if he would want to live next to something like that he said “absolutely not”.
This is from Justin Beights, Old Trail’s Developer responding to my inquiry several weeks ago:
Many of you have contacted us regarding the work on Jarmans Gap Road. As you know, this is a VDOT project over which we have little control. However, please know that we have been attempting to work with VDOT for nearly two years to keep this work from negatively affecting our homeowners. Unfortunately, such efforts have met with resistance on the part of the transportation department.
Currently, the work at the intersection of Old Trail Drive and Jarmans Gap Road involves the creation of a sediment basin to collect run-off from the construction site. This is a typical environmental requirement of any construction that involves moving dirt (we have several in Old Trail Village, including the pond behind the town homes on West End Drive). Ideally, VDOT’s stormwater management would tie into the existing structures and systems in Old Trail Village. We have offered to work with VDOT engineers to create just such a solution, but they have not been open to this overture. Options for VDOT other than the collection basin at the intersection (Carriage Park entrance) would be to convert the permanent structure to a bio-filter or piping the runoff to one of our existing ponds. Neither of these options is attractive to VDOT because that would incur greater expense than the retention pond they’re digging now.
At this point, we are trying to convince VDOT that the sediment collection basin should be temporary in nature, and that a more attractive, beneficial solution should be conceived. Feedback from homeowners in the area should be directed to the VDOT, as it is a state organization responsible to the taxpayers. Regardless of your avenue for expression, please know that you have our support to reduce any negative impact on you and your quality of life here in Old Trail Village and Crozet.
What’s it going to look like when there are 2200 homes rather than 250?
This is the traffic nearly every morning during school drop-off time.
I wonder if any kids from Old Trail will ever walk to school.
From an offline commenter:
Why do you assume the problem is Old Trail KIDS?? Tell ALL of the WAHS parents to use the buses we tax payers pay for and quit using Old Trail Drive as a short cut to drop their kids off. Take a look at the bus stops in Old Trail and count the number of students going to all three schools by bus.
The students living in Old Trail will walk to all of the schools after the county gets off of it’s arses and puts in the promised walkways up to 250 and and down 250 for access to all schools as promised.
Update #2: The offline commenter raised a very valid point; I called and asked if I could use the comment in the post and we had a good conversation about the post, traffic, bureaucracy and other such matters. The point I wanted to convey is that this is not an Old Trail (which is a great place to live) issue, it’s a Crozet issue. I’d bet that at least 60% of the traffic in that photo aren’t from Old Trail but are from Crozet.
We’re in this – this traffic and lack of infrastructure and lack of common sense culture – together.
(did you notice the mountains in the background of the photo?)
Near it, on the east side of the village stores’ parking lot, will be a new 126-bed assisted living facility to be known as The Lodge at Old Trail. The facility will offer services ranging from basic to end-of-life care and memory care, all on a rental model. It is being built by David Hilliard, who has previously built and now operates two assisted living facilities in Vermont. The facility will have underground parking on its basement level, entered from behind the building, and that is being excavated now. There will be three floors above. Completion is expected in 18 months. The building was designed by local architects Russell Skinner and Richard “Jyke” Jones.
Beights Development formally transferred 48 acres, mainly lying along Lickinghole Creek, to Albemarle County in December to be the site of “Western Park.” Beights said he hopes the county will begin improvements soon. The transfer makes possible the creation of a walking path connecting Grayrock and other Jarmans Gap Road subdivisions to Henley Middle and Brownsville Elementary Schools.