Vote Early In-Person Starting this Friday, September 18 (2020)

via Albemarle County’s email

(if you’re curious, you can learn more background about voting in Albemarle by reading the CCAC recap)

Vote Early In-Person Starting this Friday, September 18

Beginning this Friday, September 18th through Saturday, October 31st, registered voters can vote early in-person in Conference Room A at the 5th Street County Office Building on 1600 5th Street.

Voting early in-person is a nearly identical experience to voting at your polling place on Election Day – you’re just opting to cast your vote early!
Dates and times for early in-person voting are as follows: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 am to 5 pm Tuesdays from 7 am to 5 pm Thursdays from 8:30 am to 7 pm Saturday, October 24 from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, October 31 from 9 am to 5 pm

Think ahead and #makeaplan to vote in the upcoming 2020 November General Election.
Register to Vote Check your voter registration or register to vote at

The deadline to register to vote/update your voter registration information is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

To register online, you must: Have a valid Virginia DMV driver’s license or state ID card Be a citizen of the United States Be a resident of Virginia Be 18 years old on or before the next general election (if you are 17, you can still register and vote in elections if you will be 18 on or before the next general election) Not be convicted of a felony or judged mentally incapacitated, unless right to vote has been restored
Ways to Vote There are three options to cast your vote in the upcoming November 2020 General Election.

By Mail Any registered voter can apply to vote by mail for the upcoming election, no excuse necessary.

Applications must be submitted by October 23, 2020. Mail-in ballots must be mailed in to the Voter Registration Office or personally delivered to the Voter Registration Office by November 3. However, we recommend sending them in as soon as possible.

Early In-Person Starting Friday, September 18 through Saturday, October 31, registered voters can vote early in-person in Conference Room A at the 5th Street County Office Building at 1600 5th St. Voters will present acceptable ID, get checked in on the electronic pollbooks, be handed a ballot, and directed to a ballot marking booth; the voter will mark the ballot, and then insert it into a DS200 ballot scanning machine. Curbside voting will also be available. Hours for early in-person voting are: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 am to 5 pm Tuesdays from 7 am to 5 pm Thursdays from 8:30 am to 7 pm Saturday, October 24 from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, October 31 from 9 am to 5 pm

At your Polling Place on Election Day All 30 Albemarle County voting precinct polling places will be open on election day, November 3, 2020, from 6 am to 7 pm. Enhanced cleaning and distancing protocols will be in effect to keep voters safe. To find your polling place, visit
Important Deadlines Register to Vote: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 Request Mail-In Ballot: Tuesday, October 23, 2020 Return Mail-In Ballot: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 7 pm
Voter Registration Office Information
Early In-Person Voting Conference Room A County Office Building at 1600 5th Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 (1/2 mile south of I-64 on 5th Street Extended)
Dates and Times: September 18 – October 31 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 am to 5 pm Tuesdays from 7 am to 5 pm Thursdays from 8:30 am to 7 pm Saturday, October 24 from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, October 31 from 9 am to 5 pm

Send Ballot by Mail Use pre-addressed envelope sent with your mail-in ballot -OR- Elections 435 Merchant Walk Square, Suite 300 PMB 160 Charlottesville, VA 22902

Mail Ballot Drop-Off Drop Box at the parking circle of the 5th Street County Office Building, 1600 5th St., Charlottesville, VA 2290

CCAC Recap for September 2020

What I would have tweeted, but with more formatting, and way longer; I hope you find this useful.

Like them or not, these meetings influence many aspects of our lives in Crozet, and in Albemarle County. Land use affects almost everything.


Voting discussion, Animal Wellness Center expansion, adding a new, denser, middle housing category.

Each heading is a link to the video, cued to to the right time.

Voting Discussion

  • Jim Heilman talking about voting in November; this election is a “perfect storm” of an election. Has never seen an election like this one.
  • New election laws, some of which were passed on Friday. “Certain voices” saying mail in ballots are fraudulent, not to trust the mail, and then we have COVID-19
  • Goes over what’s on the ballot, from races to two constitutional amendments
  • Talking about voter registration. There is usually a spike in voter registration; not this year as voter drives aren’t happening
  • Learn more about voting in Albemarle here; last day to register is 13 October
  • Details how to register to vote. Or here at the Virginia elections site.
  • Three ways to vote
  • The Albemarle County Electoral Board encourages citizens to vote early in person or via mail so as to avoid long lines.
  • Highly encourage voters to wear mask; state says they can’t force people to, but will do everything they can to encourage people to wear them. Me: Wear a damn mask.
  • Jennie – if someone requested a mail in ballot, could someone still vote in person early, or once you make the request, is that the way you should vote?
    • A: Fill it out, bring it to the County Office Building
    • Or if you want to put it into the machine yourself, you can do that
    • Dropboxes: we have never before had a legal way to do this. Last week, State passed a law allowing drop off stations, but we decided that’s not a good idea. They will have dropbox outside County Office buidling on 5th Street. May have drop off centers in the two weeks prior to election
    • Q: when will the mail in ballots be mailed?
    • A: by September 18, and hopefully Kanye West doesn’t win his appeal so we have to re-print the ballots. Me: #headdesk
  • Heilman: we don’t think there will be a problem with the mail. But don’t wait until the last day to mail.
  • Any ballot postmarked November 3, and received by 6 November will be counted.
  • Two ways to track your ballot. Ballot Scout will track your ballot.
  • Reminder that they’ve added a precinct, the Mechums River District.
    • Five locations to vote: Crozet, Brownsville, Western Albemarle High School, Broadus Wood, Free Union Country Day School
  • Discussion about how to get out the word to vote

Animal Wellness Center Special Use Permit

Continue reading “CCAC Recap for September 2020”

Crozet Master Plan serves as test conversation for “missing middle” housing 

This material is made possible by supporters of Charlottesville Community Engagement, a service of Sean Tubbs and his new media venture. Thanks to subscribers, Sean was able to spend some time putting together this summary. It will also available on the CCE website along with a podcast version.

All across the country, advocates of affordable housing have been combing through zoning codes to find ways to increase the number of homes in urban areas. 

One idea is to increase the number of duplexes, town-homes, triplexes and other types of housing that allow for more people to live in an area. Many zoning codes across America prohibit these so-called “missing middle” homes. 

“They’re called missing because these aren’t being built very often right now,” said Rachel Falkenstein, a senior planner with the county. “Often times we see both ends of the spectrum but you don’t see the middle housing types being built, primarily because these are prohibited by a lot of local zoning ordinances.”

The conversation about middle-missing housing has come to Albemarle as review of the Crozet Master Plan continues. On September 1, 2020, the Albemarle Planning Commission held a work session on the Future Land Use Map for Crozet, one of the county’s seven designated growth areas. (staff report for the meeting)

County staff are recommending new land use categories to the future land use map for Crozet, including the downtown area. 

“We first want to check in about two new land use tools we’re exploring with this master plan that we have not used before so we wanted to get the Commission’s buy-in first,” said principal planner Andrew Knuppel.

Continue reading “Crozet Master Plan serves as test conversation for “missing middle” housing “

CCAC – 9 September | Master Plan, 2020 Voting Procedures

Local politics is like a slow drip … best to pay attention so you’re not surprised when things happen in your back yard.


Crozet Community Advisory Committee
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.
Virtual Meeting

This meeting is being held pursuant to and in compliance with Ordinance No. 20-A (6); An Ordinance to Ensure the Continuity of Government During the Covid-19 Disaster.


Download Zoom. Use this link to join the webinar.

Dial (301) 715-8592. Type in the Webinar ID 968 1548 6613 followed by the pound (#) sign.

If you have any questions, please email csha…


1. Call to Order & Agenda Review (3 minutes)

2. Approve Meeting Minutes (2 minutes)

3. Presentation: 2020 Voting Procedures (Jim Heilman, Albemarle County Electoral Board) (15 minutes)

4. Community Meeting: SP2020-00015 Animal Wellness Center (40 minutes)
Link to application materials:

5. Discussion: Crozet Master Plan: Planning Commission Work Session Recap and Next Steps (remaining time)

Discussion Question: Are CCAC members available in late September/early October for a special meeting? This meeting will focus on finalizing site-specific land use recommendations and reviewing draft recommendations in the Master Plan’s Conservation chapter.

Next Meeting:
Special Meeting (date/time TBD)
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.

Whither Crozet? Master Plan. Thanks, Sean.

Sean Tubbs is writing again, now at Charlottesville Community Engagement, and we all benefit from his work. If you can, please read and subscribe to his work; he is covering growth and development in Charlottesville and Albemarle better than almost anyone else in our community.

Subscribe here, and subscribe to his Patreon here. Subscribe to his podcast, too; it’s great.

Sean has given permission for me to publish his work, and I’m hoping to publish this every week. He publishes these on Sunday nights on Monday morning.

This week’s update

Whither Crozet? Albemarle County is in the midst of an update of the master plan that guides development decisions in Albemarle’s western growth area. Tonight the Albemarle Planning Commission will hold a work session on potential changes to land use rules for Crozet, which consists of over 2,900 acres. The last master plan was adopted in October 2010, and the recent review got under way in 2019 and has been through two rounds of public participation. (full 2010 plan) (staff report)

This master plan revision has come at a time when there have been many conversations nationwide about increasing residential density within urban areas to increase the housing supply. The theory is that more supply will fulfill a need for “middle missing” housing units, or units that will provide affordable living choices. In return, county planners are recommending creation of a “Middle Density Residential” category on something called the Future Land Use Map. That map is what decision-makers will refer to in the future when making decisions about specific applications. 

“The ‘Middle Density Residential’ land use category is intended to support several goals staff has heard prioritized by community members, including to provide increased housing choice and affordability and to encourage smaller-scaled development patterns that are more consistent with existing neighborhoods and supportive of Crozet’s small-town identity,” reads the staff report. “While most are supportive of more affordable housing, some community members and CCAC members also expressed a desire to not see housing forms such as large apartment buildings within Crozet.”

That last point is one heard often in Charlottesville, with frequent complaints about the size of new apartment buildings on West Main Street. Staff have suggested that this middle density residential allow for between six and 24 units per acre. They have also said this conversation will also be held throughout the county’s development areas as time nears to update the county’s Comprehensive Plan.  

The Planning Commission will also consider a new “Downtown Neighborhoods Overlay” district which would provide guidance for the size and bulk of future buildings. 

“We heard from residents, including residents living in these neighborhoods, that there is concern about the possibility of developers tearing down existing homes to construct larger and more expensive homes,” county planners wrote. “The stated intent of the Overlay is to incentivize the maintenance and preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing, to protect historic neighborhoods, and to support the production of new housing units that have similar scales and forms as existing homes to help increase housing choice and affordability.” (Future Land Use Map)

Crozet Land Use and the Planning Commission – 1 September

This stuff matters, folks. And the voices that speak up are the ones that are heard, and the ones that write the policies we live with.

6pm on 1 September. See here how to attend.

NB: the County Calendar is useful.

via email

The Board of Supervisors directed staff to begin work on the Crozet Master Plan update on September 4, 2019. The purpose of this work session is to provide the Planning Commission with an update about public feedback related to land use and to receive the Commission’s guidance on revised land use categories.(Andrew Knuppel)

And from the PDF

Discussion/Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Commission review the attached background information,feedback summaries,and draft land use information and provide direction to staff on the questions below.

Q1 Do you agree with staff’s recommendation to create a Middle Density Residential land use category to support the stated goals within Crozet?

Q2 Do you see applicability for this category in similar contexts in other areas of the County (to be considered with future Master Plan updates)?

Q3 Do you have any feedback on the recommended density, housing types, or form guidance within the land use table?

Q4 Do you agree with staff’s recommendation to create a Downtown Neighborhoods Overlay to support the stated goals within this area of Crozet?

Q5 Do you have any feedback on the recommended criteria for increased density, housing types, or form guidance within the land use table?

I’ve put the PDF here, so that it will be here the next time Albemarle changes their website and urls.

Goodbye, Crozet Running

You were an amazing part of the Crozet Community.

via email

It is with a heavy heart that we tell you we will be closing our doors on September 30th.  This has been a difficult year for everyone and after much soul searching on the best path forward for our family, we were led to this very tough decision to close the store.

Starting today, Friday August 28th, all of our inventory will be 25% off, and each week thereafter we will continue to increase the discount until closing.  Our hours will remain 10a-5p Monday through Saturday.  All sales are final and any gift cards must be used by closing.  We hope you will stop by and say goodbye and grab some of your favorite items on sale.

The hardest part of this decision is leaving the incredible community that WE (you and us) have created.  There are going to be some tears for sure as we are reminded of all of the incredible people we have met, the relationships we have made, and the outdoor experiences we have had.  Although “the clubhouse” is closing, we are excited to actually have more time to give to these relationships and experiences in the future.

We are deeply grateful for each and every customer who has ever entered our store.  Your patronage and friendship are forever appreciated.  We encourage you to keep shopping local for your running and footwear needs at Ragged Mountain Running Shop in Charlottesville and Sole Focus Running in Staunton, and for your outdoor gear needs at Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro, and Great Outdoor Provision Company in Charlottesville.

Michelle and I are Crozet “lifers” – we have found a town and mountains that we love and intend to stay.  And, despite our closing, we believe the future of Crozet for business and development is bright.  We feel confident that someone else will come along and put this beautiful retail space to work and that downtown Crozet will continue to grow and thrive.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about starting a business in Crozet!

What makes this town special are its people and its mountains.  We encourage you to spend as much time as you can with the people you love, and spend as much time as you can in the mountains.  

Big heart emoji – John and Michelle Andersen

Moving to Crozet? (via Reddit)

This question on Reddit was a fun writing prompt for me.

Hi all hoping you can give me the local’s perspective of Crozet. My wife and I are lifelong Marylanders seriously looking at moving away from the DC area to the greater Charlottesville area in the next 2-3 years. We’ve got two kids in elementary school and are looking for a lot of what the area has to offer. We came down earlier this summer and stumbled upon Crozet as a potential area of interest.

Is it really as nice as it seems? What are you’re thoughts? We want to be close enough to Charlottesville but be able to maintain a small-town feel.

And my answer

Lots of people from NoVa/DC/Maryland move to Crozet/Charlottesville.

Crozet is a great place to live; we’ve raised two kids here. Close to mountains, hiking, biking, 25-30 minutes to Charlottesville, and Crozet is becoming more self-sufficient all them time. The mountains aren’t going anywhere.

But … as I tell my clients (yes, I’m an agent), there’s a ton of growth yet to come, and in my opinion (as someone who’s lived in Crozet for 20 years, and as a Realtor), this growth comes with challenges. Much of the growth is homogeneous with limited character, but that’s the nature of such production-built-homes, schools are crowded, and traffic (yes, really) can be a challenge. 64 can be a disaster, but they are improving 118B.

Keeping the “small town” feel is one of the key points in the Crozet Master Plan, and is often discussed. But … I don’t have great confidence in the Plan being followed; it’s an aspirational document it seems. If you live close to the elementary schools (there are two, Brownsville Elementary and Crozet Elementary), you can walk or ride bikes to school with your kids. This was one of the best things I did as a parent.

Quite a few links:

I’d be happy to put you in touch with clients who have made the same move.

Continue reading “Moving to Crozet? (via Reddit)”

August 2020 CCAC Recap

It’s way easier to do these recaps the night of or morning after the meeting, but here we are.

Read all the tweets here. Here is the agenda.

Some of the highlights, as I recall from scolling through

Crozet Baptist Seeking Supplies for Crozet Schools

via email:

Our 2020 School Year is upon us!

Our schools are in need of supplies for the coming semester and we would love your help!

All items purchased can be delivered to the Crozet Baptist Church office (a collection bin is by the door) and will be distributed to each school.

If shopping from your computer is easier, shop our Amazon Wish List for supplies requested by our local schools at this link.

Thank you for helping us support our community to make this a great year!Crozet Baptist Church Missions Team [email protected]