Albemarle BoS Meeting – 4 October 2023

Dick Woods Road - 2 October

The CCAC is fun, Nextdoor is whatever Nextdoor is, and talking amongst ourselves is often enlightening and a fun use of time.

It’s more productive to be for something than against.

Voicing your opinion in person at the Board of Supervisors, and emailing our representative — and copying the entire Board (because they *all* vote! — is the best way to voice our opinions. These things take time, and going once is just that – a one-off. Going twice is something, three times is organized, and fifty people going fifty times – now that’s a movement.**

The Board Agenda is here; the meeting starts at 1pm, and Transportation items begin around 3:15.

Two PDFs of note:

Joe Fore, Chair of the CCAC emailed this out to the CCAC, and with permission, I’m posting here.*

I’m writing as a follow-up to my previous email about the discussion of the draft list of County’s transportation priorities for the year at the October 4 BOS meeting. Again, you can go here to provide written comments or to sign up to speak at the meeting. I’m hoping that some folks will be able to do so.

To me, the County’s priority list is a terrible reflection of Crozet’s transportation needs and priorities. Crozet (once again) is given short shrift compared to other parts of the County. But even more, the projects that do make it onto the list aren’t the ones that the Crozet Master Plan prioritizes–nor are they the ones that make the most logistical or financial sense. Below are my specific thoughts and concerns with the list.

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Montclair Passed at the Planning Commission – 26 September

Sunrise near entrance to Western Ridge/Foothills/Montclair?

Update — passed the PC.

“The video is posted on our website is the direct link. The Commission approved the project it will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.”

There is a lot of organization against this development; I’d love to see as much (or more!) passion for adding more housing for neighbors, but we are where we are. I’ll update this post after the Planning Commission Hearing.

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m.(Tuesday 26 September) in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

Lots more Montclair background at RealCrozetVA and at the Crozet Gazette, but I’d likely start with this story in January 2022.

From the inimitable Charlottesville Community Engagement

(please consider becoming a paid subscriber; no one else or organization in the region is offering the comprehensive content and context as Sean Tubbs)

Albemarle PC to hold work session on stream protection overlay; public hearing for Montclair development in Crozet 

The Albemarle Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m. in Lane Auditorium of the county office building at 401 McIntire Road. (meeting info) (agenda)

The work session will review work to date on the establishment of a riparian buffer overlay district. Since 2017, county staff have been working on the development of strategies to improve the health of streams. A first phase is complete with thirteen proposals, some of which have been implemented. 

“Proposal 1 of the Stream Health Initiative was for the creation of a stream-buffer overlay district within the Zoning Ordinance, with the goal of re-establishing the pre-2014 Water Protection Ordinance (WPO) requirement to retain existing wooded stream buffers throughout the defined buffer areas,” reads the staff report

At the moment, these buffers are only required during the land disturbing activities. A public engagement process is complete for a draft ordinance. 

“The next step for this project will be for staff to prepare a revised draft of these ordinances, taking the public input and the Planning Commission’s input into account,” the report continues. 

Expect Commissioner Lonnie Murray to do a lot of talking. 

A description of the purpose of the Stream Health Overlay district. Review the staff report for more information


The second is for a rezoning in Crozet that is now known as Montclair but had been known as White Gate Village. Developer Vito Cetta wants around 15 acres to the Neighborhood Model District for construction of a maximum of 122 units as well as an amendment to the jurisdictional areas of the Albemarle County Service Authority. 

The Comprehensive Plan calls for a mixture of Neighborhood Density Residential (3 to 6 units per acre) and Middle Density Residential (6 to 12 units, or up to 18 if affordable housing units are provided).

The county’s Water Protection Ordinance comes into play here. The classification of a stream that runs along the property has been disputed. In January, the county engineer determined the stream is intermittent which brings requirements for vegetated buffers. 

“The developer of Montclair appealed this determination because they believed the stream was more appropriately classified as an ephemeral stream, and therefore would not be subject to further regulation under the WPO,” reads the staff report.

The Director of Community Development upheld the county engineer and the developer revised the proposal accordingly. 

Crozet Library – 10th Anniversary! 29 September 2023

Groundbreaking was in June 2012.

I remember the countless discussions, meetings, and fundraising for the Crozet Library. The passing of books from the old Crozet Library (current Crozet Artisan Depot), stopping at the library with one of my daughters on our way home from Crozet Elementary.

Libraries are amazing, and we owe a debt of thanks and gratitude to all of those who worked tirelessly to build – and furnish! – the Crozet Library. And thanks to all those who keep the Crozet Library amazing.

I remember when they opened in September 2013.

via email

I am so happy to share with you the great lineup of events coming up – and personally invite you all to Crozet Library’s 10th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, September 29th from 3-4:30pm. It’s a day out of school, and 10 years to the day that this building was officially opened for business in its new location. Come celebrate with apple cider donuts, fun activities, photo montages, and some words from the people that helped make this magical place a reality in this community event.

Five Year Plan Survey – take it today!

In addition, we are hoping to get your feedback to plan the future of the library for the upcoming 5 years! Take the 5 Year Plan survey today to help inform future library services and let your voice be heard. Participants will be eligible for a gift card drawing. You can read more about the survey and what JMRL can use it for at the JMRL blog.

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CCAC – 13 September

via email – (see the end of the post for meeting norms)

“The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 13, at 7 pm in the large meeting room at the Crozet Library. (If you can arrive a few minutes early to help set up the room, it will help ensure that we can start promptly at 7.) I’ve attached the agenda. 

We will hear a short presentation from Matthew Slaats about a project he’s pursuing to create a Crozet community orchard, which was inspired by a similar project in Bloomington, Indiana. We’ll also hear updates from our Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors liaisons. We may have a presentation from the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department, but I’m still waiting for final confirmation about whether they’ll be able to join us. 

I’m hoping that we’ll have plenty of time for some committee business, including reviewing the development-tracking effort that we started earlier in the year, discussing our possible role in the upcoming budget and Capital Improvement Plan cycle, and brainstorming topics for our upcoming meetings.

I look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday.”

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It’s Always Good to Conserve Water; especially in a drought

Beaver Creek Reservoir - 2 September 2023

I don’t understand the people who choose to water their sidewalks, yet I walk and ride by them all the time.

Marlene Condon posted this, and I’m posting with permission.

In the Sugar Hollow area, we are experiencing extreme drought (despite what the TV weathermen tell you). All the streams along Sugar Hollow Road (but one or two) have stopped flowing, and trees and herbaceous plants are wilting badly with some dying. In other words, our ground water is being depleted due to a lack of replenishing rain coupled with extreme heat, as well as more usage by more people living here.

If you live in a similarly impacted area, I’d like to suggest you consider the following, please:

STOP mowing grass so short! When lawn is scalped (as most people cut it), soil is exposed, allowing precious moisture to evaporate instead of sink into the ground. Leaving grass taller helps shade the soil to maintain moisture longer for the use of your grass (and other plants) and perhaps make it to the water table (depending upon environmental conditions). Additionally, grass kept constantly at such a short height is detrimental to the health of trees, which is why so many large oaks in large expanses of grass are dying (drive on rte 810 by Grace Estate winery to see what I’m talking about). When the soil dries out, tree roots die.

TO HELP WILDLIFE, put out sunflower and white millet seeds for finches and sparrows (a towhee is a sparrow) to make up for the flowering plants that are dying. VDOT’s untimely mowing today is seriously impacting food availability for pollinators and birds, especially. If you don’t have a pond or bird bath, it’d be nice if you considered placing a shallow container of water on the ground where toads, birds, and other animals can drink from it. HOWEVER, don’t do this if you or a neighbor allows cats to roam freely.

The drought in the Sugar Hollow area so adversely affected my gardens that even so-called invasive plants much better suited to drought than most native plants are dying. Wildlife depends upon plants, and all of us depend upon availability of water, so I would hope everyone would take this situation seriously and do their utmost to help conserve the limited amount of water available. Thanks so much.

Watering a sidewalk -- why?
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School Board & BoS Candidate Forum – 11 September 2023

Crozet Town Hall Forum

This will hopefully be interesting and informative. As ever, follow the money (at VPAP).

Crozet Town Hall Forum
Monday, September 11th, at 7:00 pm
Field School Gymnasium – 1408 Crozet Ave

  • Moderated by Dori Zook, award-winning journalist and anchor/reporter for news radio WINA
  • Q&A with County Board of Supervisors – White Hall
    District candidates:
  • Q&A with Albemarle County School Board candidates:
  • Event is open to all, but space at The Field School is limited. Overflow parking will be available across the street in the Crozet Elementary School parking lot.
  • The Forum will be filmed and recorded by the Crozet Gazette.
  • Sponsored by the Crozet Leadership Team

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Albemarle Board of Supervisors Meeting – 6 September 2023

For these posts, I don’t provide much insight other than reading the agenda — you can too; the agenda is here — and pulling out items that seem specifically relevant to Crozet.

What interests you in this Board meeting?

The Albemarle County Development Dashboard is Back!

The Development Pipeline Map shows the current Development Pipeline for projects under review or approved as of 07/01/2023. This data is anticipated to be updated quarterly.

This qualifies as good news; I’ve missed the development dashboard!

From the CAC email last month (I know; I’m just getting around to this – bolding mine)

Some of you may remember the previous version of the Development Dashboard – and now a new version is ready!

The Development Dashboard is a way to track and share information on development projects in Albemarle County and includes the Development Pipeline Map and data for each of the Development Areas.

The Dashboard map is hosted using ArcPro.  View the Development Pipeline Map here to see current development for projects under review or approved as of April 1, 2023. This data is anticipated to be updated quarterly.

Reminder: we need more housing + more infrastructure.

Did you know …

Based on this, Old Trail has a fair amount of unbuilt units left to go?

CCAC – 9 August 2023 – Long Range Transportation

Long-range transportation. We are so good at long range planning, it seems that often we neglect to actually execute and build. This is a long post, but worthwhile.

CCAC – 9 August 2023 at 7PM at Crozet Library.

From Joe Fore, CCAC Chair

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will meet next Wednesday, August 9, at 7 pm in the large meeting room at the Crozet Library. (If you can arrive a few minutes early to help set up the room, it will help ensure that we can start promptly at 7.) I’ve attached the agenda. 

Our main agenda item will be a presentation from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is updating the region’s long-range transportation plan, Moving Toward 2050. After the presentation, we’ll discuss transportation needs in the Crozet area. The project’s website includes a survey where you can share your opinions about necessary improvements to our roads, transit system, and bike/pedestrian infrastructure. I strongly encourage everyone to take the survey before our meeting.

We’ll also hear updates from our Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors liaisons and debrief July’s All-CAC Town Hall meeting. Time permitting, we’ll also discuss the proposed update to the County’s stream buffer regulations–a topic that came up last year in our discussions about the Montclair project. The County is seeking feedback on the current draft, which you can read here. Please read through the draft before the meeting, if you can.

From the Week Ahead:

If you’re not a paid subscriber to Sean’s work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the best investments you can make in ensuring that you and your neighbors are well informed about local growth, development, transportation in Albemarle and Charlottesville.

Crozet CAC to review plans for long-range transportation plan 

The Crozet Community Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting at the Crozet Library beginning at 7 p.m. with a scheduled ending time of 8:30 p.m. That’s to give enough time for attendees to help break down the room before the library closes. (meeting info)

There are three items on the agenda.  The first is a presentation from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission on the long-range transportation plan that is currently in development. 

“The purpose of this plan is to identify priority transportation needs for the City of Charlottesville and urbanized portions of Albemarle County,” reads the agenda.

Participation in transportation decisions is fairly low. This stuff is all very confusing. Another purpose of Charlottesville Community Engagement is to try to change that from a third-party, non-government perspective.  I believe democracy needs information and context to survive and thrive. Here are some stories about the Long Range Transportation Plan process:

The CAC will also have a discussion of the proposed Riparian Buffer Overlay District that is under review.  This is an outcome of Albemarle’s stream health initiative. 

“Albemarle County is developing a Riparian Buffer Overlay District to protect and improve vegetation along rivers and streams, strengthen buffer requirements that were narrowed in 2014, and be more consistent with Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act,” reads the description on the Engage Albemarle site

Input is being taken on the Engage Albemarle site through August 13. There are 39 responses so far. 

Finally, the CAC will discuss the recent virtual meeting on the AC44 process. I have a summary of that here

  • The James River Water Authority’s Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. in the Fluvanna County Administration Building in the Morris Room. That’s at 132 Main Street in Palmyra. There will be a discussion of the status of the project to build a waterline between the James River and Zion Crossroads. A draft permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will soon be ready for public review. Property acquisition for right of way is underway. (agenda packet)

Changing Ivy Road / 250 Corridor Survey

This survey (Virginia and Albemarle are great at surveys and studies!) is not specific to Crozet, but most of us use 250 and Ivy Road on a near-daily basis.

Takeway, if you read nothing else:

The survey, which has a translation tool for other languages, is available (here) Comments can also be sent by email to [email protected] or by postal mail to Michael Barnes, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA, 22701.

Background from Charlottesville Community Engagement:

Via email: (boldings beyond the first two lines are mine)


Study is first step to identify possible transportation improvements on Ivy Road corridor

CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on a transportation study assessing potential safety and multimodal improvements for the U.S. 250 (Ivy Road) corridor, including the interchange with U.S. 29, between Ednam Drive within Albemarle County and Alderman Road within the City of Charlottesville.

The purpose of this study is to identify project recommendations for the U.S. 250 corridor. This study will focus on improving roadway safety, reducing traffic congestion, improving access, and enhancing multimodal accessibility and connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, including how these needs might be satisfied by facilities within the Route 601 (Old Ivy Road) corridor.

The study will build off previous study efforts for the study area led by VDOT and the localities and provide multiple opportunities for public input. The project recommendations that come from this study will be developed into funding applications for SMART SCALE Round 6 and other transportation funding programs.

VDOT invites residents and travelers to learn more and take an online survey through Aug. 18. Community input received through this survey will help the study team identify existing issues along the study corridor and develop recommendations for potential improvements that will be evaluated and presented during the next phase of the study, which will include another opportunity for public comment.

The survey, which has a translation tool for other languages, is available at Comments can also be sent by email to [email protected] or by postal mail to Michael Barnes, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1601 Orange Road, Culpeper, VA, 22701.

This study is being conducted as part of the Project Pipeline program, which was created by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Project Pipeline is a performance-based planning program to identify cost-effective solutions to multimodal transportation needs in Virginia. Project Pipeline is led by Virginia’s Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, in collaboration with VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

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