August Crozet Gazette is Chock Full

This month’s Gazette has a slew of great and relevant stories. (they all do, but this month felt particularly meaty). Pick up a copy and read the whole thing.

The Master Plan contains a future land use map and a table describing the various land use categories. The idea is that these documents provide a legal basis for the county to evaluate landowner requests for zoning changes and to make changes to zoning regulations. During the presentation, Knuppel highlighted a specific property—White Gate Farm—for which county staff recommended an increase in housing density.

White Gate Farm is a 12-acre parcel on Rt. 240 between Wickham Pond and Western Ridge which is currently classified as rural green space in the 2010 Master Plan. The property owners have requested that its designation be re-evaluated for the 2020 Master Plan, as they are unable to build on the land in any way under current zoning. (See nearby map.)

The proposed project will be called Old Dominion Village and lays out plans for 101 townhouses and 14 single-family detached homes on the combined 24-acre expanse. The current Crozet Master Plan designates Dr. Schulman’s property as 4.5 acres Urban Density Residential, 10 acres Neighborhood Density Residential, 5.5 acres Greenspace, and 4 acres Rural Agricultural. The Urban and Neighborhood classifications allow 12 and 6 units per acre, respectively. Old Dominion Village is requesting a zoning change to “Neighborhood Model” for all 24 acres.

Neither parcel is included in the Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) jurisdictional area for water service (though the Vet Center itself is currently connected to county water). Thus, an application to add the parcels to the ACSA service area will also be submitted for county approval along with the zoning request. Since a majority of the land in question is below the elevation of Rt. 240, a private gravity sewer system and pump station will have to be designed and installed to serve the development. 

The Western Albemarle Rescue Squad plans to build a new station on two lots in downtown Crozet that it has purchased from lifelong Crozetian Sandy Wilcox. Though only a quarter-mile south of its current location on Crozet Avenue across from Green House Coffee, the squad’s new spot behind the Blue Goose Building will give it room to expand and better access to area residents who need their help.

Crozet resident Hanna Clark has launched an online petition aimed at stopping the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) from constructing a raw water pipeline along the boundaries of her family’s property. A recent WAHS graduate, Clark has lived on land bordering Beaver Creek Reservoir for 17 years and was shocked when her parents received notice from the RWSA that crews would be surveying the property this summer to determine a potential path to connect the pipeline between a pump station in the reservoir and the Crozet Water Treatment Plant. 

The Albemarle County School Board voted 4-3 to offer solely online learning for the vast majority of public school students for the first nine weeks of school beginning September 8. In-person instruction inside school buildings will be limited to students who are English language learners (in grades 4-12), those with special education needs, and those who lack adequate internet access at home. All other students will receive virtual instruction in various forms both synchronously (“live” with an online teacher) and asynchronously (via recorded videos and online assignments).

Crozet Calendar Photography Discussion

Join the Crozet Gazette and National Geographic Photographer Sam Abell for a slideshow and discussion of this year’s Crozet Gazette Calendar photography selections. 2019 Crozet Gazette calendars will be available to purchase. All ages welcome.

Crozet Gazette – New Crozet Brewery, Farmers Market and More

October (2014) Crozet Gazette is Out!

One of the highlights of the month is reading the Crozet Gazette.

 

Crozet Gazette - October 2014

Some of my personal favorite stories:

Restoration of the Blue Ridge Tunnel Begins

– Western’s Environmental Studies Academy Starts Strong

– Private Alex Davis Comes Home

– North Downtown Gets Spruced Up

– Science to Live By: Is Energy Renewable?

– Crozet Artisans Opens in The Little Purple House

(but no letters from or to the editor … that’s usually one of my favorite parts)

Albemarle County Announces Safe Routes to School Grant for Crozet Elementary

Earning/winning this grant was the result of collaborative work by the County of Albemarle, the Albemarle County School Board, 250 West group, Crozet Community Association, the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation and a few others. Readers of RealCrozetVA know that I have long advocated for walkability and bikeability in Crozet, and practice what I preach.

(Bolding mine.)

From the press release:

Chairman Ann Mallek, School Board member Barbara Massie Mouly, and Crozet school officials and parents. The grant will fund construction of a new sidewalk north of the school connecting to neighborhoods where many students live and a crosswalk with activated flashers and a warning sign to alert approaching motorists. This project will be funded entirely by grant funds.

The project is intended to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment in the area surrounding the school, and will significantly increase the number of students who can safely walk or bike to school. Approximately 177 of 305 students live within two miles of Crozet Elementary School and there are over 200 homes in neighborhood located within one-half mile of the school that will be able to take advantage of the new pedestrian features. In addition, the private Field School located directly across the street from Crozet Elementary will also be linked by the new sidewalk to neighborhoods north of downtown Crozet and will be served by the new crosswalk and warning sign features.

Continue reading “Albemarle County Announces Safe Routes to School Grant for Crozet Elementary”

Crozet Gazette Pulls No Punches

Read the whole thing at the Crozet Gazette.

The decision of the departing Kaine administration to bailout the investors in Biscuit Run, the largest subdivision ever approved in Albemarle County, and turn it into a state park will add to growth pressure in Crozet once the housing market begins to revive, which, we nonetheless hope, comes soon.

The addition of Biscuit Run’s 3,100 houses to the Albemarle market with better proximity to Charlottesville meant homebuyers had an attractive alternative at a time when county policies were aiming growth on Crozet and claiming that it could handle a population of 24,000. In those days Biscuit Run promised to vent some of the steam away from western Albemarle.

It’s hard to imagine that if the Commonwealth actually thought it needed a state park in Albemarle that it would have hankered for the 1,200 acres Biscuit Run sits on.

My favorite part?

And about that $9.8 million: hasn’t Crozet been told for the last 12 years that there is no VDOT money to pay for Jarmans Gap Road improvements, and more recently that there is no funding possible for Crozet library ($6.3 million), the number one priority library on the state library’s list of construction projects?

Thus the poor Virginia tax payer now has to pay to master plan and then operate in perpetuity a state park he had no idea he wanted, in a place he probably would not have picked, and to make up millions in tax revenue that was forfeited in the form of credits.

Well Said.

Update 8 January 2010 – Quite a bit of news coverage today centered on Biscuit Run’s dedication as a state park.

Biscuit Run State Park Opponent Says Deal Unfair to Albemarle County Residents – WCAV

Crozet Refocuses After Biscuit Run – NBC29

Biscuit Run Protected as Parkland – NBC29