Five Seats Come Open on Crozet Advisory Council This Spring

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Landscaping along the new Jarmans Gap Road will be modest, VDOT project manager Danny Lyons told the Crozet Community Advisory Council at its meeting Feb. 16. A 400-foot line of abellias and Siberian iris will go near Wayland’s Grant and the vicinity of Haden Lane will get dogwoods, arbor vitae and serviceberry. Lyons said civic groups are free to plant other things at their own expense, once they get a permit.

Planning Commissioner Tom Loach lamented the number of trees that were lost to the widening. The available right-of-way along the road varies, Lyons said, but generally speaking, a six-foot planting strip is available along the sidewalk. He said any surplus plants available from the creation of the storm water biofilter at Old Trail Drive could be moved to other places along the road. “We need trees back,” agreed Meg West. Crozet Community Association president Tim Tolson said the CCA might be a partner in a tree-planting project.

Ravi Respeto and Joyce Dudek, representing the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, which is attempting to land a $700,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development that will enable it to repair houses in Orchard Acres, said AHIP has so far received 40 applications from residents who appear qualified to receive aid. If all meet requirements, each could get as much as $15,000 worth of repairs. Dudek asked the CCAC for a resolution of community support to boost their chances to secure funding. The council did so.

Katurah Roell, developer of Claudius Place, a two-story, bluestone and brick commercial building that will be built across from the new library, showed the CCAC new elevations of the building’s south and west sides. It now has rooftop dining pavilions for use by a restaurant. He dubbed it “Crozet’s sky bar.” The restaurant will also have a performance area for musicians. Roell said he believes he is close to finalizing a lease with a restaurant operator and hopeful that he can begin construction April 1 with a completion date in September. Two other spaces on the main floor are still for rent, he said, but he has met his bank’s requirement of 60 percent leased area prior to construction.

The CCAC also reviewed the prospect of light industrial development at Yancey Mills. More than 10.4 million square feet of light industrial and commercial land has been approved in Albemarle in the last 10 years, noted Loach, and most of it has not been built.

Bill Schrader informed the CCAC that the fundraising group that has formed to raise money for books and furnishings for the new Crozet library has “reactivated” with the prospect that the library could be funded.

CCAC members Nancy Virginia Bain, Meg West and Bill Schrader said they are willing to serve additional two-year terms. Brenda Plantz has already been reappointed. Leaving the council are Tim Tolson and Michael Marshall, both members for six years, and Jessica Mauzy and Jon Mikalson, who have both served four years. Thus five seats are open on the 15-member council, which is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise it on the implementation of the Crozet Master Plan. Interested citizens can apply online on the county’s website at https://www.albemarle.org/boards. New members will join in April.