Crozet Avenue – Crozet’s Bottleneck?

I had a better rant written (see the end of the post if you’re curious), but moderated it as I got better informed.

Growth is coming to Crozet. Crozet is a designated growth area, and has been since 1989. (Albemarle County pdf, ASAP, Charlottesville Tomorrow)

What doesn’t seem to be part of the growth plan’s implementation is adequate understanding and acknowledgement that said growth requires infrastructure improvements* – sidewalks, bike lanes, roads … turn lanes. If you look at the files embedded below, it appears there will be left turn lanes, but no right turn lanes … my non-traffic-engineer mind tells me that the roads are simply too narrow. (I’ve long struggled with growth. See: 2007 & 2009)

Ultimately, my question for those directly involved in this process – the County of Albemarle, VDOT, Crozet Library and Claudius place – is this: what infrastructure improvements are going to be built to accommodate the current and imminent traffic that is/will be generated by these new buildings? Luckily, the fine folks at the County of Albemarle were quick to respond to my queries (I’m still waiting to hear from VDOT, but it’s only been 1.5 days)

The takeaway from this post? Be informed and aware.

Claudius Place is getting ready to break ground in the next four to six weeks … presumably they’re going to bring businesses that are going to attract traffic onto Crozet Avenue


Also, one would expect the Crozet Library is going to attract a few cars …

(thanks to Crozet Gazette for the rendering of the Crozet Library)

My early research indicates that a turn lane is not likely. Depending on to whom I speak, in order to get a turn lane, Crozet Library would have to be moved back either 5 or “12 to 14” feet, the latter being deemed “unexecutable”.

Continue reading “Crozet Avenue – Crozet’s Bottleneck?”

Claudius Place Elevations – Public Comment Wanted

I’m posting these without much comment as I wanted to get them up today. The developer, Katurah Roell, has asked for Crozetians’ comments, thoughts, insights on these designs.

As I am fond of saying, speak now or forever hold your peace*

Claudius Place color southern elevation

I suggest downloading the PDFs directly:

Claudius Place Northeast Elevation
Claudius Place West & South Elevations
Crozet Place South & West Elevations
Claudius Place Site Plan
Color Crozet Square “Bubble Plan

Or see them on Scribd:

Claudius Place Site Plan

East Elevation
East Elevations

* In other words, if you don’t take the time to involve yourself now, your credibility is limited when you complain after the fact.


Update from Drew Lawrence – Business Development and Marketing Coordinator – Piedmont Virginia Companies :

1) The site plan itself (the PDF file) only shows the site plan for Claudius Place – it’s the only parcel that shows details, etc… the other parcels are shown on the site plan as references, not as part of the specific site. The 3D model, however, shows a VERY conceptual look at the plan for the entire lumber yard, as was submitted to the county in order to go through the re-zoning process. Obviously the submission wasn’t a 3D model, but the 3D model helps to give some perspective.

2) Re: communication between the developer of Claudius Place and the developer of the lumber yard. Piedmont Development Group is the developer of Claudius Place. We hope to close on the lot next week or early the following week and are the contract owner. The entire lumber yard is still owned by Barnes Lumber and they have contracted w/ Piedmont Development Group to get them through the re-zoning process, etc… to make the parcel more attractive to a prospective purchaser. The hope is that Piedmont Development Group becomes that purchaser and develops the entire project from start to finish, however the property is still for sale and anyone could come in and write a contract. To that end, yes, currently, since it’s the same people, we are talking to each other and have a common strategy. However, the possibility does exist that someone else could come in and buy the lumber yard and go in a different direction. This is something that is completely out of our control.

3) The continuity/connectivity piece of it is addressed in the rezoning application so that it does all flow together. We are very aware of those needs and the plan calls for the road to have bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street. As I believe you mentioned while live tweeting the CCAC meeting, we can’t confirm that until after VDOT goes through the traffic study and tells us what is required, etc..

4) It is a huge goal of ours to enhance the sense of community for Crozet- the public has voiced the need and we want to fill that need. No one wants to build something no one likes because, as 1 of the other commenters mentioned, then no one would lease/buy the space.

5) We haven’t gotten to the point where a landscaping plan has been created, however, as 1 of our goals is to be environmentally conscious, I anticipate that we will be right on target with what the poster requests. This is why it’s also important for us to get feedback as we move forward. We will also be doing things like using pervious pavers, looking at the opportunities to use green roofs, utilizing the natural topo of the site to put parking under buildings so as to not have massive parking lots, bike racks, etc..

6) I’ll have to get back to you on the HVAC and roofing. I’m sure I’ll be able to get the answer for Claudius Place, but as far as for the entire project that hasn’t been decided, as there are many different types and sizes of buildings.

7) To address 1 of the points made by another commenter, it’s disappointing to me that some would think that any comment on design and use at this point would be useless. If that was the case I wouldn’t spend my time looking for feedback. We don’t do it just to placate people. We took the feedback from the CCAC meeting and incorporated it directly into the plan for Claudius Place. We actually used more feedback that we got from the CCAC than we did from the ARB. We sometimes can lose sight of the fact that we do this day in, day out, every day. Getting feedback from the community helps us make the design better. It’s like going to the doctor. He might be able to tell you something is wrong, but can’t tell you what is wrong unless you give him information to help make a diagnosis. We want and need feedback to help build a project that Crozet will appreciate, not resent. While we won’t be able to make everyone happy no matter what we do, we do aim to be able to explain our decisions, etc… We realize that Claudius Place doesn’t exist in a vacuum and the decision we make regarding it don’t either.

8) If the community doesn’t want the structure then I encourage them to give that feedback. So far we have received much more positive feedback than negative, but it’s important to hear both sides. Not only as it pertains to this specific piece or project, but in terms of the entire county wide comp. plan. I know that Supervisor Mallek is very receptive to that kind of feedback, esp. since the county is revisiting all of the master plans over the coming months. If it’s re: Claudius Place or the re-zoning application I’m more than happy to meet with and talk to anyone that has concerns and would like to meet. If it’s about growth in general, I encourage those folks to reach out to Ann.

9) It’s currently an empty road b/c it’s the 1st piece of improving connectivity and the BOS adopted Master Plan calls for more connecting streets, etc… which can be seen application plan for re-zoning. Will it take time to all happen? Yes, no question. It won’t happen overnight.

10) In regards to the resembling architecture of the 50s – I appreciate the feedback, but am clearly looking at it through a certain set of eyes that came up with that design. I would love to hear if people had some other suggestions as to what they would like to see. Feedback that criticizes but doesn’t propose different/better ideas makes it hard for us to make changes that the community wants b/c we don’t have anything to work with other than ‘we don’t like that, do something different’.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or comments and thanks serving as a conduit between us and the citizens of Crozet!