To the Editor: Freetown Still Needs Protection

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Freetown Still Needs Protection

On October 13, 2010, I feel our supervisors did not listen to the citizens of Western Albemarle about the Re-Store-N station. I know the supervisors are thinking about the tax revenue that is to be collected. I feel that with the data that has been collected, all of the facts have not been taken into account.

(1) There is nothing to stop overnight parking. For example, what if at 1 a.m. two tractor trailers exit off I-64 east-bound, tired and needing fuel. They are loaded with produce. They will park until the station opens up. The next morning that refrigerated truck will make as much noise as the tractor and give off fumes.

(2) The lumberyard, which is less than a half-mile from the proposed station, is many acres larger than the gas station location, and multiple widths wider. It is commonly observed on any given day that these tractor-trailers block both lanes of Route 250, east and west.

(3) If this station is built on this site on Route 250 between Freetown and Hillsboro, we will never have the quiet and tranquil community we have come to love. The noise from the tractor-trailers and trash trucks serving the Re-Store-N station will destroy that peace. The trash truck collection typically starts around 3:30 to 4:00 a.m.; that’s not good for the neighborhood. Parking lot lights, trucks, cars, and building lights will disrupt the community’s sleep. Diesel fumes and exhaust fumes and waste will also be an issue.

(4) The applicant’s consultant speaks to the station’s access/exit in support of the station, saying that she drives a horse trailer and that she knows all about diesel trucks. Well, a ¾ ton pickup truck with a horse trailer is only approximately 40 ft. You cannot compare that with a tractor-trailer, which is over 74 feet. Some tractor-trailers have two hitches. There are no comparisons to the turning radii of these vehicles.

(5) I-64 was opened in 1972. It was built on the south side of Crozet to divert the traffic issues we are seeing on 250 now. Modified master plans for the area in the 2000’s included the schools and the large residential area, which have multiplied the traffic to the extent that it takes a resident on the 250 corridor 15-30 minutes to cross over lanes coming out of their driveways onto 250. You add additional traffic that would be generated from the Re-Store-N station, we add additional minutes to the traffic problem, particularly at the intersection of the three schools.

(6) The high school is located on land joining Freetown. The chosen locale considered the safety of the school children on the buses and young drivers, and also considered before and after school activities. There are 30 school buses that come in and out of the schools. Some buses cross between the three schools. The distance from the proposed Re=Store-N station and school is 0.3 miles.

(7) Ms. Higgins, speaking for the applicant, stated that when the amount of water is used for the day, that the water will cut off. What happens when the water is stopped due to the usage quota being reached and there is a fire? When there is no water for the overhead sprinklers, what will happen? Remember no one is there in the building. If it’s 2 or 3 a.m., we could have a disaster at the station before the fire company could get there. Ms. Higgins has not addressed this problem.

Accountability:

(1) Containment for runoff. Runoff would eventually end up in our drinking water via Re-Store-N station to Stockton Creek to Mechum River to Moorman’s River to Rivanna Reservoir, which stores our drinking water. What recourse does the public have if the reservoir is contaminated by this new station? A water expert should be hired to explore this possibility.

(2) Concern for contamination of water from station. What is the homeowner’s recourse for contamination of wells?

(3) We want to see in writing exact plans and distances at each existing driveway, the agreement of 10 feet right of way on both sides of the station.

(4) Water metering: who will monitor? Ms. Higgins proposes self-monitoring by the Re-Store-N station. With the county’s ability to call for records, will this be sufficient? Will it require a budget for special hire?

(5) Traffic study needs to be done.

(6) A sound wall is requested between the Re-Store-N station and community, to be paid for by the Re-Store-N station.

(7) An escrow account should be created with added cost-of-living yearly for re-drilling dry wells for the 11 homes in the community.

From general public opinion, there is little opposition to an apartment complex or homes, even a produce or other small store, something that would fit within our existing lifestyle and community. Not I-64 travelers.

Richard Brown
Freetown

Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm… There was a Trucking Company located on the property on the eastern edge of the proposed Restore N Staion site. This Company ran the refrigeration units on their trailors all night. None of the above mentioned diasters occured. And really, it is not common to see both lanes of Route 250 blocked by tractor trailors by the lumber yard. The only reason you publish this nonsense is that you control the content of this site. Kinda hard to hide the truth though…

  2. Dear Editor and Richard Bown of Free Town,
    Her it is July 2011 and what was going on is still going on with Free Town “still on the endangered list” – it is hard to believe that the leadership of Albemarle County does not see what the will do to Scenic Road 250 and the character of the entranceway to “olde Crozet” and to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive.

    IT is time that the citizens save Route 250 for all time – certainly, some of us could seek a way to raise enough funds to buy the 4+ acres and make it into parkland – there should be significant Federal, Commonwealth, Albemarle grants with some private/non-profit money to stop this “abomination” on this very significant scenic road. Who will take the lead? The site is now included in the recently established Greenwood-Afton Historic District – that should now weigh into the decision making process!

    Frank Calhoun – Do Not Squeeze Free Town any longer – this started in 2008 – it is time for the battle to end !

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