Innisfree Village

In light of last week’s posting on about a “greener” Albemarle County comes this story from today’s Daily Progress about Innisfree Village in Crozet.

This year a new program, Community Supported Agriculture, was started in order to share the benefits of the gardens with others outside the village.

CSA is a nationwide movement designed to connect city folks with the food they eat and with the land and people who tend them. This past spring, 25 subscribers were given the opportunity to participate in the program.

“We want people to know about Innisfree and realize the incredible wealth of our gardens,” Ohle said. “It also provides more therapeutic work opportunities for our co-workers, which is our term for the people with developmental disabilities who live here.

“As a result of the program, we now have extra work in harvesting and preparing the vegetables that are sent out to the subscribers. The number of different tasks and skill levels this provides is wonderful for our folks.

We are lucky to have organizations such as this in our area.

Update 06/06/2006: the Charlottesville Podcasting Network has an interesting profile of Innisfree Village.

Weather Hill’s plans for Crozet

The Depot
Located next to the existing Crozet Shopping Center, this plan features two office/commercial buildings and adequate parking.

Wickham Pond
This proposed Neighborhood Model Development is located adjacent to the “Highlands at Mechums River” in Crozet.

Liberty Hall
The neighborhood includes single-family homes, townhouses, and a commercial center. (County review pending.)

Everybody wants to build in Crozet. Let’s see how Weather Hill does. Getting a project approved and developed through Albemarle’s planning process is an achievement in and of itself. Hopefully they will follow through.

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More on Crozet’s Master Plan

Thanks to today’s DP article for this excerpt –

Crozet was the first of the county’s seven designated-growth areas to be planned for pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development. The plan called for road improvements, infrastructure upgrades downtown and for specific development patterns. According to the county’s plan, such improvements are supposed to be made simultaneously with development, and that’s the point of frustration for residents. “If they don’t use planning to cause development to happen the right way, it isn’t going to just happen, resident Sandy Wilcox said.

The plan specifically includes improvements to Jarman’s Gap Road, parking downtown, sidewalks and new connector roads. So far, Crozet residents say, they’ve been left out to dry.

Loach said the people continuing to speak out since the Old Trail decision are not reactionary, but defensive. “It’s not fire and brimstone as much as it’s disappointment and betrayal.”

The short story is that there is a tremendous amount of growth planned for Crozet with relatively few infrastructure planned to be provided. Anybody who drives 250 in the morning will agree that adding several thousand vehicles every day will overload this artery.

Dennis Rooker

Referencing Old Trail in Crozet –

‘No plan is perfect, but it’s probably the best plan I’ve seen,’ Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker said. When a citizen addressed the familiar concern that the Crozet area and the 250 Bypass will sprawl and become the next Route 29N or Pantops, Rooker responded, ‘Houses don’t create people. They’ll come whether or not the houses are here.’ –courtesy of this week’s C-Ville.

If they don’t build the houses, where would they live?If they don’t build the houses, where would they live? Clearly these are the words of someone who cares.

Crozet’s Tunnel

Crozet wasn’t always in the designated growth zone.

When railroads in Virginia were beginning to expand to the western part of the state in the mid-1800’s, the Blue Ridge mountains stood as a formidable obstacle to their progress. In 1848, construction began on a series of  tunnels (Crozet Tunnel being the longest) to link the Shenandoah Valley to the eastern part of the state. The tunnel was engineered by Claudius Crozet, and stands as one of the great engineering wonders of the 19th century.

Read about it here.

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Old Trail Approved

The Old Trail development was approved last night. Brace yourselves for the impact of building a large number of homes with no planned infrastructure improvements.

Daily Progress

My favorite quote –

“As far as Crozet is concerned [building Old Trail] is like dancing with an elephant”, resident Sandy Wilcox said. “It gets you a lot of attention, but if it steps on you, you’re dead.”

Old Trail could be a really, really good thing. However, without planning for the proper infrastructure needs – roads, rail, trails to the schools, etc. life in Crozet may get very difficult. Trusting developers to “do the right thing” is naive and goes against their nature.

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Old Trail Hearing

Tonight is the night for Old Trail’s rezoning. Referencing the first quote from the developer, if they were “intending” to make the changes, they should make them prior to approval.

“Most of the items that the Planning Commission added were items we were going to do anyway, and they just wanted us to iron out the details, said Justin Beights of Beights Development Corp.

“I think we’ve done our best, I think it’s a good plan, and I hope it’s something that the county supports,” he said.
Those who support the plan have pointed to its close following of the county’s neighborhood model and its potential to bring new customers to the businesses of downtown Crozet.

But others have expressed concerns about strains on the school system, a lack of sufficient recreation space and Old Trail businesses that may take money away from downtown.

David Wayland, president of Crozet Community Association, asked the 44 attendees at Thursday’s association meeting if anyone felt comfortable with the rezoning. No one raised a hand.

Most of the frustration, though, has been directed at the county for not funding long-term improvements outlined in Crozet’s master plan, such as parking, better roads and sidewalks.

We shall see. The DP has more. The Board of Supervisor’s agenda for this evening.

Sadly, money talks.

What is the RealCrozetVA blog?

I am starting this blog somewhat on a whim, so as to provide a forum for Crozet to (hopefully) discuss their thoughts about Crozet’s growth.

My whimsical vision also sees this as a place to discuss Crozet’s goings-on, music and cultural events, local vineyards, etc. This will be a slow start, as my business* and my blog and my life already consume so much of my time. Please be patient, and if anybody wants to help out, please let me know.

This is obviously a work-in-progress – I don’t know about the blogroll error to the right, but I will figure it out shortly, I hope.

You may start here to learn a little bit about some of what has been happening in Crozet. Update 5/30/14: This is the Crozet Calendar – a growing listing of events in Crozet.


* I edited the link to my first site – from 12 years ago – is no longer in existence.