The black blocks indicate what has already been built at Old Trail Village Credit: Credit: March Mountain Properties

The developers of the Old Creek Village have cleared one hurdle in their request for permis-sion to build fewer homes in the Crozet community.

On Tuesday, the Albemarle Planning Commission recommended approval of a zoning amendment that would lower the minimum number of homes from 1,600 units to 1,000.

“The reduction is still within the density recommended in the Crozet Master Plan,” said county planner Megan Yaniglos.

The Board of Supervisors rezoned the property to the Neighborhood Model Development district in 2004. So far, 31 other amendments to the code of development have been made.

Old Trail Village is partially built with several different kinds of homes, ranging from single-family detached homes to town houses. There’s also a town center and an assisted living facility.

A maximum of 2,200 units can be built within the 289-acre development.

Valerie Long, an attorney with Williams Mullen, said the lower figure is due to market de-mands. She said customers have wanted slightly bigger houses and bigger lots, and the reduc-tion will allow the ability for those to be fit in to the plan.

“We didn’t want to be in a position where we could not achieve the minimum and be in viola-tion of the code,” Long said.

The developer, March Mountain Properties, also wants to update the code of development to allow for a new kind of housing type called a “cluster cottage.”

Cluster cottages are small, one-story units of about 1,000 square feet that are arranged around a common space.

Some commissioners asked if these units would be “affordable” under the county’s housing guidelines.

“Part of the plan is to work with staff, realtors and builders to figure out how we address the market demand but do everything we can to make these units quality under the affordable housing guidelines,” Long said.

March Mountain also wants to remove a reference to a future road connection with Henley Middle School. Staff members want the developer to retain a pedestrian connection and reserve it for emergency vehicle access and the developer agreed.

Much of the discussion dealt with a request to convert certain future streets from public to private.

Long said the developer wants one of those roads to be private in order to allow for perpen-dicular on-street parking to support nearby commercial areas. The Virginia Department of Transportation does not allow that configuration on a public road.

Commissioner Tom Loach said he was concerned the pull-in parking might cause a traffic hazard.

“We will see more commercial traffic into those areas,” Loach said. “If staff can resolve that in their own way with the applicant and resolve what it should like in the end, I would move that part be denied for now.”

However, the commission did agree that certain alleyways in the development could be private so that curbs and gutters would not be required.

These alleyways are the vehicular entrances for certain single-family detached homes that have front doors that open onto a lawn mall.

“A curb and gutter require two feet on either side,” Long said. “That makes it less like an alley way.”

Commissioner Tim Keller wanted to know if not having curbs and gutters would cause drainage issues in the alleys.

Yaniglos said the county engineer does not have any concerns.

The meeting was the final meeting for three members. Both Loach and Calvin Morris are retiring from the commission. In November, Commissioner Rick Randolph was elected to represent the Scottsville magisterial district on the Board of Supervisors.