Members of the Crozet community are itching to update the master plan that will continue to guide the village’s future development.
At a Crozet Community Advisory Committee meeting last week, members expressed frustration that their recent recommendations have not been supported by Albemarle County staff.
Former committee chairwoman Meg Holden said she thinks the CCAC has served a vital role offering advice for the development of Crozet.
“It is a critical function,” Holden said. “This is a unique community and I feel strongly that this community should fight hard to be the place it wants to be.”
During a discussion about the CCAC’s goals and priorities, several committee members expressed interest in participating in a revision of the Crozet Master Plan, which was last updated in 2010.
“The [master] plan is scheduled to be updated every five years,” CCAC chairman David Stoner said. “The scheduled time would have been last year, and the county has said they are not equipped to resource that effort now.”
The master plan guides future development of the Crozet community and was first approved by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in 2004, becoming the first master plan for a designated growth area of the county to be approved by the board.
The CCAC, tasked with advising the board on how the Crozet Master Plan is implemented, previously has passed resolutions in opposition to projects supported by staff in the county’s community development department, such as a proposed crossing of Powells Creek to allow for the West Glen development near Orchard Acres, a proposed expansion of the Re-Store N’ Station on U.S. 250 and the proposed Adelaide development west of Cory Farms.
Supervisor Ann H. Mallek, who represents the White Hall District, suggested a meeting between CCAC members and county staff to discuss differences in interpretations of the master plan.
“They have very strong opinions that do not agree at all with what’s come out of this group in the 10 years I’ve been listening,” Mallek said.
“I think it would be really important to have that discussion prior to the next [master plan] update,” said Mary Gallo, a member of the CCAC.
Mike Marshall, current president of the Crozet Board of Trade and a former CCAC chairman, said the community should not wait until 2019 for a master plan update. He suggested members of Crozet’s civic organizations — namely, the CCAC, Board of Trade and Crozet Community Association — work together to support a master plan update process.
“The [Crozet] Master Plan, in my opinion, is pretty much a durable and intact document, but there are obviously some places where we are running into kinks,” Marshall said.
Who’s Who in Crozet?
» Crozet Board of Trade (2003*-present): Nonprofit civic organization of Crozet business leaders that fundraises for the Crozet Fourth of July fireworks and worked to create the Downtown Crozet Zoning District. Formerly known as the Downtown Crozet Association.
» Crozet Community Advisory Committee (2006-present): 15-member group appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise the county on the implementation of Crozet’s Master Plan.
» Crozet Community Association (1985 – present): Volunteer organization that serves as a forum for Crozet residents and works to address quality of life issues in the Crozet community.
» Downtown Crozet Initiative (2015-present) – A subcommittee of the CCA that provides input and guidance for the community engagement process regarding the development of Downtown Crozet and the property formerly home to the J. Bruce Barnes Lumber Company.
Marshall recommended conducting a community survey to inform the master planning update and said he would suggest the effort to the Crozet Community Association.
The CCA potentially could sponsor several public meetings, out of which would come a document with suggested changes to the master plan, Marshall said.
The president of the CCA, Tim Tolson, who oversaw a similar survey effort in 2009, said a survey process possibly could start as early as September.
Gallo asked members to clarify the role of the CCAC in the revision process.
“When we’re talking about looking at the master plan, to be clear, we are not talking about that being driven by the CCAC, is that correct?” Gallo asked. “We’re talking about this being driven more primarily under the community association and the community, with our participation and attendance.”
Committee members confirmed Gallo’s view that it would be a community effort, although members of the CCAC may participate in committees associated with the update process.
“Even though we might have a coalition of groups led by the CCA … I think it’s going to require some effort of this group,” Stoner said.
Stoner also said it would be important to include county staff in the update process and make it an inclusive process for the Crozet community.
“I want to make sure that whatever we go through and whatever we do, that ends up actually becoming part of the master plan,” Stoner said.
Former Planning Commission member Tom Loach said it would be important to have data regarding Crozet’s current and projected population during a revision process.
In terms of other goals and priorities, several committee members said they believe there should be a better way to track developments and project proposals.
“I just have trouble keeping track of all the different development projects that are going on,” committee member Kim Guenther said. “It would be great to have … a tracking list so that every time that we meet, we know where these different projects are.”
Committee members also supported an effort to start drafting a set of guidelines for developers to follow for future project presentations to the group in order to make public meetings more effective.