Crozet Park Board Responds to Swimming Proposal

Editor’s note: Everything is politics and everything is political. What follows is a response from the Crozet Park Board to the recent decision about the STAR Swimming plan. Background information is available at Charlottesville Tomorrow – August 2008 and September 2008. If you feel strongly about this issue, feel free to leave comments here; I will ensure that they get delivered to our representative on the Board of Supervisors, Ann Mallek.

January 7, 2009 Agenda Item: “Concerns with Competitive Swimming Summary” A Response to the Executive Summary

Members of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Albemarle County School Board;

It is the opinion of the Board of Directors of Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. that the executive summary and recommendation submitted by the committee, which was appointed by you, is biased, inaccurate and does not reflect the needs and interests of Albemarle County residents or its student population. Please consider the following in response to the Executive Summary:

According to the summary, “three County high school competitive swim programs are currently in desperate need of reasonably convenient lane space.”(click to go to executive summary)

– There are presently three aquatics facilities available in the urban ring (ACAC, Crow Pool and STAR swimming /Fairview Swim Club). There is not a desperate situation.
– Two more aquatic facilities are slated for construction in the urban ring in 2009-2010 (Smith Aquatics Center and McIntire YMCA), providing additional high school practice facilities.
– Monticello High School presently swims at Crow Pool; Albemarle High School presently swims at ACAC Pool, Western Albemarle High School swims in Star Swimming’s existing facility (STAR swimming/Fairview Swim Club). Charlottesville High School is scheduled to practice at the McIntire facility (when open), and no high schools are currently scheduled to practice at the Smith Aquatic Center, when complete.
– Western Albemarle is the only high school that doesn’t have a reasonably convenient facility available.

“Competitive swimming pools ranked 15th out of 16 with approximately five percent (5%) of the respondents selecting it as one of their top three (3) choices.”(click to see survey included in report – PDF)

– The recommendation ignores the needs and wants of County residents as outlined in the supporting survey and numerous (if not every) County needs assessment.
– Competitive swimming is never mentioned in the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Funding Request form, which is the basis of evaluation for the executive summary. (See Attachment B funding requests instructions).
– The recommendation accommodates after school practices and meets for 120 high school athletes for one quarter of the year.
– Other proposals accommodate 4 of the top 5 survey responses in the executive summaries attachment A. (A warm water recreation family-oriented facility was number one choice of respondents).
– Recreational aquatics facilities serve thousands of residents, including competitive swimming.
– Pools built specifically for competitive swimming cannot be easily used for other needs. Better options are available that serve not only competitive needs but also learn to swim programs, recreational swimming, and programs for swimmers with disabilities.

The executive summary failed to list several concerns with the Star Swimming proposal:

– County high school swim teams, the only beneficiaries, will need to use the facility for many years, even if more convenient options are available (such as Smith Aquatic Center, Crozet Pool, or McIntire YMCA facility) for recovery of a $500,000 County investment.
– Investment made into a private facility will limit public use.
– Lack of operator for “optional” public use (Parks and Recreation Department is proposed)
– Lack of budget, funding, and reasonable hours for public programming option.
– Swimming Pool does not exist.
– Source of pool funding is not included in proposal.
– Star Swimming location is in a highly congestion (sic) area and inconvenient to 2 out of the 3 County school.
– Least attractive option for Western Albemarle.
– Location is near five existing and proposed aquatic facility locations.
– A facility already exists at Star Swimming/Fairview that is used by Western Albemarle High School.

The executive summary misrepresents Claudius Crozet Park:

– Long history of working successfully with the County to provide affordable programs to all County residents, regardless of income.
– Subcontracted YMCA coaching and aquatics staff since 2004.
– Proven 50-year track record of successfully running the ONLY public pool in Albemarle County.
– Existing affordable public swimming is subsidized through regular fundraising (30 year bi-annual Arts and Crafts Fair).
– Pool expenses include facility costs and depreciation.
– Crozet Park has over $150,000 in banking assets and no debt. Limited fundraising is required for proposal.
– Commitment and mission of YMCA mirrors partnership responsibilities in Crozet Park request. See Executive Summary Attachment F.
– Air supported dome structures provide the highest aquatic programming return on investment.
– Concern of financial failure is unwarranted and not realistic. There are numerous options other than County “takeover” of operation.
– Monticello and Albemarle High School have numerous, more convenient training options available.
– Crozet Park proposal is the only option that provides reasonable access to Western Albemarle High School.
– The Crozet pool is already built and provides public programming.
– The adjoining 6,000 SF Community Building is already built and provides public programming.
– Crozet Park proposal can be accomplished in the least amount of time for the lowest cost.

In conclusion, Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. urges the Board of Supervisors not to support a recommendation that takes appropriations from Parks and Recreation to subsidize the replacement of an existing private facility, for a “questionable” benefit to a very limited County Schools program that does not require immediate assistance, at a time when financial resources are extremely limited.

If the focus of the request is only for additional options for high school swimming, Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. further urges the Board of Supervisors to re-evaluate the needs of high school swimming in relation to more important needs of City and County residents and in relation to the location of existing and proposed public and private facilities in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, The Piedmont Family YMCA, the University of Virginia, ACAC, Star/Fairview Swim and Tennis Club, and Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. can meet every indoor aquatic programming need for every resident throughout Central Virginia at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame. Claudius Crozet Park, Inc. looks forward to participating in such a dialogue.


The Board of Directors of Claudius Crozet Park, Incorporated

Editor’s notes:

1 – Quite simply, in my humble opinion, the Park Board has been politically outmaneuvered. STAR Swimming has been working on this for years, and the Park Board is likely too late with their efforts.

2 – The only edits made to the above are formatting to improve readability on the blog or addition of links.

3 – The only connection I have to Crozet Park is that I live in an adjacent development and my family has had a lot of friends involved in competitive swimming.

Santa In Old Trail

Old Trail Golf and Trailside Coffee are pleased to announce an opportunity for FREE pictures with Santa Saturday, December 13, 9am-12noon at the Old Trail Golf Pavilion. This event, free and open to the public, is a combined benefit for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the UVa Hospital Pediatrics units (7 West and 7 Central). Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to bring either a new toy donation for the playrooms at UVa OR a canned food donation for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. In addition to bringing a toy donation, craft materials will be available to make holiday cards for hospital patients – a terrific activity for children.

It has been brought to the attention of the Old Trail community that the toy cabinets in the pediatrics units of UVa Hospital are nearly empty, causing the playrooms to be closed. Similarly, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is experiencing a high demand and is in need of additional supplies to feed area families. In this lean economy, we recognize that not everyone can afford to purchase a new toy, but may instead be able to contribute a can of food or make a holiday card for patients unable to participate in outside activities during the holiday season. Trailside Coffee and Old Trail Golf wish to help local families while providing a fun environment and an opportunity for pictures with Santa.

A photographer will be on-hand to take pictures that will be available online, free for downloading with an option to order prints as desired.

Trailside Coffee will provide hot chocolate and cookies to those bringing donations of either food or toys. Other food and beverages will also be available.

For more information, contact:
Marcia McGee, Owner, Trailside Coffee

Or call Old Trail Golf: 434-823-8101

Below is a list of criteria for toys that will NOT be accepted due to health and safety concerns:

– Previously owned/used items (toys, crafts, stuffed animals, clothing);
– Friction (i.e., spark-producing) toys;
– Toys which emit or discharge projectiles;
– Toys with sharp edges;
– Electrical toys or radio-frequency generating toys which do not meet the requirements of Medical Center Policies 0055 and 0139;
– Toys with small pieces or removable parts, if accessible to children under the age of three;
– Toys with cords longer than 7”, if accessible to infants, and toys with cords longer than 12”, if accessible to toddlers;
– Water-retaining toys or anything that is in liquid form (other than non-toxic blowing bubbles);
– Toys containing latex, because of potential latex allergies or sensitivities; no latex balloons (only Mylar) and no latex wrist bands;
– Toys or packages containing candy (e.g., Pez or other candy dispensers, “goodie bags” with candy, food, drink, etc.);
– Any fomites (other than Play dough or foam craft kits that would be for individual use only)

Editor’s note: I’m tired of posting fun community building events centered in Old Trail – where are the ones not in OT? This post is a reprint of a press release sent by the Old Trail team.

An Assisted Living Facility at Old Trail?

You know those signs that say “Notice Number 22” that pop up from time time time around Albemarle County? They really are important. 🙂

Did you see the one on 240 between Downtown Crozet and the 240/240 intersection by chance? From the Albemarle County website – (bolding mine)

PROJECT: ZMA200800005 Old Trail Village Block 2 PROPOSAL: Amend Code of Development to include rest home\assisted living use for approved ZMA200400024 (Old Trail NMD) which allows residential (3 – 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Approved number of units for Old Trail is between 1600 and 2200. No change to density is proposed. PROFFERS: Yes (Amendment to refer to revised Table 4 of the amended Code of Development) EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: CT5 – mixed residential and commercial uses. Residential density – 12 dwelling units per acre; 18 dwelling units per acre in a mixed use setting in the Community of Crozet. ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes LOCATION: North side of Route 250 West, approximately 2,000+ feet east of the intersection of Miller School Rd. and Route 250. TAX MAP/PARCEL: 55E1-A1 (portion) MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall

The Planning Commission hearing is 11 November; Board hearing is 12 November.

I’m working on finding out more …

Here is the BIG Announcement – ACAC Coming to Old Trail

Mostly from the press release …

Opening in Spring 2009, ACAC will occupy approximately 8500 square feet of the new commercial center.

ACAC is a regional owner and operator of fitness and wellness centers, with facilities in Richmond, Charlottesville, and West Chester, PA. The new Old Trail ACAC will be its sixth location. At the new Crozet facility, ACAC will offer many of its popular services to members in Old Trail Village and the surrounding area. The new location will feature cardiovascular and strength equipment, group exercise, and child care. (ed note: bolding mine)

Old Trail Village Center, a mixed-use development at the heart Old Trail Village will feature a wide variety of businesses that improve the vitality of Old Trail and the surrounding Crozet community. The tenant mix will include eateries, medical service providers, insurance and mortgage brokerages, a Segway outlet, and the new ACAC fitness and wellness facility. Apartments varying in style from loft to townhome designs are also available in the Village Center, providing modern convenience at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The unique combination of retail, office space, and apartments creates a close-knit, friendly community in the heart of Old Trail Village.

Justin Beights, Vice President of Beights Development Corporation, said of the ACAC lease-signing, “I am excited about this partnership with ACAC as both a developer, a resident of Old Trail Village, and as a current member of ACAC. Now my family and I will have a high quality wellness center only steps from our front door.” With the addition of the large community pool currently under construction, Old Trail Village will soon feature the most complete package of neighborhood amenities in the region.

Is Crozet big enough for two gyms? We have 24-Hour Fitness in the Clover Lawn Shops and now ACAC. Don’t say we’re not an active community!

*Sorry for the delay in posting this … with respect to my sources, I have to abide by their wishes. Also, this rumor has been circulating for months, if not years and I didn’t want to jump the gun only to have the rumor prove to be just that.

Cigars, Beer and Coffee in Old Trail

I don’t intend this site to become an Old Trail News Site, but they seem to be having many of the announcements of late – a lot of exciting things* are happening there right now, and all of Crozet benefits. Take for instance, Trailside Coffee’s survey

1. How many cups of coffee do you drink daily or weekly?

2. What is your preferred beverage?

3. Where do you currently get your coffee? (home, office, coffeehouse…%)

4. Would you be interested in joining community events held at coffee house (ie bookclub, talkgroups, garden clubs?)

5. What type of food would you like us to serve?

6. What Hours and days would you like us to be open?


Many more questions giving hints about how they intend the shop to grow … Send responses to Marcia.


Old Trail Cigar and Tasting Event

Seriously – Awesome beer from Blue Mountain Brewery and cigars?

Each guest will enjoy:

– Sampler pack of cigars from Miami Cigar Co. and CVille Smoke Shop, valued at $59 (retail);
– Fresh-Rolled cigar crafted on-site;
– Unlimited tastings of Blue Mountain Brewery beers and ales;
– Dinner menu paired with and created for the beers and ales offered for tasting;
– Coupon for a round of golf, compliments of Old Trail Golf (valued at $59); and
– Assorted gifts from event sponsors.

*Neither of these is the “big announcement.”

Another New Restaurant in Crozet/Old Trail

Once Harris Teeter opens, the reasons for going to Charlottesville will diminish even further. Coffee shop, bagel place, grocery store, gym, banks … if we could just get bike lanes ….

Derrico’s New York Bagels and Italian Ices is the seventh business to join the Old Trail Village Center group. Created by Brian Derrico, a lifetime Albemarle resident with New York family roots, Derrico’s will offer a full menu of bagels, bagel sandwiches and snacks as well as over thirty flavors of Italian Ices. Although the Village Center is slated to open in January, college football fans won’t have to wait that long to sample the fat and cholesterol-free Italian ices. Brian Derrico will operate an ice cart at Scott Stadium in the UVa “Fan Fest” area beginning with the opening game on Saturday, August 30th.

Using dough produced by New York City’s top bagel maker, Derrico’s will bake bagels fresh each day. Serving exclusively Boar’s Head brand deli meats, Derrico’s will offer eggs all day and regular sandwich specials for lunches. The various flavors of Italian ices, from mango to banana split, will be made in custom-built machines right in the shop.

About the new eatery, Brian Derrico states, “This is really a family venture; my mother, an Albemarle native, will be in there helping out along with other family members. One day, when they’re old enough, my kids will be in there, too, helping out after school.”

In addition to Derrico’s, the Village Center is home to Trailside Coffee, Face Value Salon and Studio, Seg-Ville, Access Home Mortgage, and the second location of Anna’s Ristorante Italiano and Pizza. Like several other businesses choosing the Old Trail Village Center, Brian Derrico and his family are Old Trail Village residents. Says Justin Beights, developer, “We are thrilled that the concept of ‘live, work, play’ in the same neighborhood truly is becoming reality for the neighbors here at Old Trail Village. Most of our new business tenants are residents or close neighbors of the community. ”

*The above is courtesy of a press release.

Coffee Shop in Crozet!

It’s about time. From the press release:

“Beights Corporation proudly announces the addition of Trailside Coffee to the Village Center at Old Trail in Crozet, Virginia. Albemarle native and Crozet-area resident Marcia McGee, proprietor, will be serving fresh brewed coffee and espresso beverages to passersby and residents of Old Trail Village, beginning in January 2009 once construction is complete on the new Village Center.

“I am so excited about this opportunity,” stated McGee at the lease signing, “I have been working hard for months to ensure that I have what I need to do this right. Now we’re ready to go!” McGee began creating her new shop months ago, developing her logo, website, and planned list of offerings in anticipation of her lease-signing this past Friday. She also has secured custom roasting agreements with Williamsburg Coffee & Tea Co. and other, boutique roasters. Of these relationships, McGee said, “I want to provide beans and espresso roasts that are special to our area. As the palate of my customers develops, I can change our custom roasts to best suit their tastes.”

Even though construction on the Old Trail Village Center is a full four weeks ahead of schedule, McGee doesn’t want to keep Crozet-area residents waiting any longer for their espresso fix. Opening in early August, possibly sooner, Trailside Coffee will be operating an espresso and coffee cart in the Old Trail Golf Clubhouse.”

Sunday Fun in Old Trail

Area residents and neighbors are invited to join the families of Old Trail Village for a Summer kick-off party, Sunday, from 12-4!

Located on The Common in Old Trail Village, the party will feature food from local restaurant Three Notch’d Grill, music, balloons, moon bounces and slides, and Maggie Moo’s ice cream! Many homes in Old Trail Village will also be open for touring, each with fresh-baked cookies made by the From Scratch Baking Co., also of Albemarle.

Crozet has Pizza

Let’s see –

Crozet Pizza – no delivery

Sal’s Pizza – no delivery

Domino’s Pizza – delivery

and now Anna’s Pizza in Old Trail– delivery as well!

Anna’s Ristorante Italiano and Pizza, has signed the first lease in the new commercial center at Old Trail Village in Crozet. Anna’s Pizza at Old Trail will be providing delivery to Old Trail residents and others in the nearby Crozet area.

Maybe we could have a bake-off charity event to benefit the Crozet Fireworks Fund.

(Thanks to a reader for prompting this post)