White Hall District Planning Commissioner Tom Loach will retire January 1 after serving for eight years.
Supervisor Ann Mallek will appoint current Crozet Community Advisory Committee chair Jennie More to the post.
Loach, 69, served during Crozet’s growth boom, the revision of the Crozet Master Plan in 2010 and the contentious proposal to develop Yancey Lumber Co. property near the Interstate 64 interchange in Yancey Mills.
“I’d like to say thank you to Ann Mallek for appointing me and thanks to the citizens of Crozet for getting involved, doing the Master Plan, and having the foresight to plan rather than react to things,” said Loach. “I want to thank the Crozet Community Association and Tim Tolson for doing the community survey, as well as the 700 people who responded it, and thanks to the Crozet Community Advisory Committee for their continuing guidance. Having that input made my job as planning commissioner easier. Even on issues that weren’t in Crozet, I applied our logic to those situations.”
Loach said that Crozet faces three development challenges. “First, we have to keep development along Rt. 250 down and keep the highway scenic. Second, we have to complete the development of Barnes Lumber as the downtown hub, and third, we don’t want to become victims of our success and face an expansion of the Crozet Growth Area. These are major things.
“I noticed the letter that Jean Seal wrote to the Gazette about how she was welcomed here when she moved and now she says she’s from here. We want everybody in Crozet to have that affection and to be able to write that letter.”
Loach is a member of the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department and a founder of the Crozet Safety Corps.
“I really want to be accessible to the community,” said More. “I think Crozet offers lots of opportunities for the community to be involved. I hope more people will come to Crozet Community Association and Crozet Community Advisory Committee meetings. Our Master Plan is due for review and I’m excited to be part of that. Everybody can participate. It will help newer residents understand the plan. I don’t want us/them thinking to happen. A lot of people who were involved in earlier planning bring a lot of knowledge, but I want the voices of new residents, too. We’re one community. I also think it’s a good time for another survey of the community’s thoughts on Crozet’s growth.”
More’s roots in Crozet trace back five generations and she is raising the sixth here now.