Housing Project on Rt. 250 Seeks Rezoning to R6

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Adelaide-Conceptual-Plan-Jan16
Adelaide Conceptual Plan, December 2015

Real estate developer Kyle Redinger presented his plan for an 86-unit housing development on Rt. 250 next to Cory Farm to the Crozet Community Advisory Committee Dec. 12, where his plan for “urban density” on the parcel met resistance.

Redinger referred to his debut development as “Adelaide,” a name he chose with his mentor, developer Vito Cetta.

He said he had submitted an official rezoning request to the county the week before. Because of its location on an “entrance corridor,” Rt. 250, the plan will have to have the approval of the county’s Architectural Review Board, too. The two parcels in the plan, together about 20 acres, of which 14 are slated for development, are now zoned R1, one unit per acre, and Redinger is seeking a hike to R6, three to six units per acre.

“I consider this an interactive process,” Redinger said. “We will likely resubmit based on the feedback we get.

“The profile of Adelaide is a lot more urban because this is what the county wants,” Redinger said. He compared the density proposed to that at Wickham Pond on Rt. 240.

“This is one of the few remaining properties you can do this density on. We have adhered closely to the Comprehensive Plan. It’s a mix of workforce housing and affordable. I think we are implementing the vision of the [Crozet] Master Plan.” Redinger said that 1,000 people a year are moving into Albemarle, but that 75 percent of them are over age 55.

The plan Redinger presented showed a teardrop-shaped internal loop road with one entrance on Rt. 250. No connection to Cory Farm next door is possible, he said. A second entrance restricted to fire and rescue vehicles is shown east of the main entrance, to be used if the main road should be blocked. It is not actually a road.

Redinger said of the 86-units—all of which are attached but of varying widths—42 would be single-family duplexes, 20 would be townhouses, 16 units he termed “affordable” and 8 he referred to as villas.

Prices are expected to range from $250,000 to $400,000.

Redinger said a traffic study done by a certified traffic engineer said that the development’s impact on traffic on Rt. 250 would be minimal. A tapered right turn lane would be added on the westbound side of Rt. 250. Redinger did not describe the traffic study further, but gave a web address for finding it. He also suggested to interested citizens that they “do their homework” about state and county storm water management rules.

“I think you’ve made a serious misreading of the Master Plan,” outgoing planning commissioner Tom Loach told Redinger when he had finished his presentation. “The edges of the Growth Area are supposed to be less dense. As a community we have been proponents of minimal development along Rt. 250. The reason Old Trail Village is where it is is to minimize density along 250.”

Adelaide location
Adelaide location

Loach also raised safety issues about the stretch of road in front of the location, where two people have been run over and killed in recent years. Loach said he had gotten accident information from the Albemarle County Police Department. The 1.3-mile length of Rt. 250 from Western Albemarle High School to the Harris Teeter shopping center had 68 accidents in five years, an average of one a month. “There are a lot of new drivers on that section of road,” he noted.

“Three to six units per acre is not the preferred density. This site should be very low density. At the periphery of the Growth Area [Rt. 250 is a boundary], density decreases. The reason Harris Teeter is called a ‘center’ in the master plan is because it had grandfathered development rights.”

In the revision of the master plan in 2010, “We rezoned the master plan to shift density to the north side of the Growth Area,” Loach said.

Next-door neighbor Bob Ramsey said that he has a difficult time entering Rt. 250 now, especially to make a left turn and go east. “It’s hard for us to get out of our driveway. We feel we take our life in our hands.”

CCAC member John Savage, a Cory Farm resident, seconded the point about highway safety and said he believes the speed limit there should be reduced to 35 miles per hour from Foxchase to Western.

“I live on Brownsville Road,” [across from the proposed entrance] said one speaker. “I’ve had kids drive off the road and through my yard.”

Tim O’Laughlin, speaking as the representative of the Cory Farm Homeowners Association, said, “We’re pretty opposed to this rezoning.” He had a letter the group had sent to County zoning director Amelia McCulley, objecting to the proposed density and the risk of another road intersection on 250.

“There’s already bad traffic congestion,” said O’Laughlin. “It’s near impossible to turn eastbound. We can wait as long as 20 minutes.”

He said “urbanizing” next to Cory Farm would hurt values there. “This parcel’s ‘neighborhood’ is single-family detached houses. This far exceeds that.”

In a letter to the CCAC, the Cory Farm HOA president Steve Walsworth raised traffic objections that could require traffic lights to be installed, identified growth impacts that will raise the county costs of providing public services, and predicted that the project would negatively affect property values in Cory Farm. The letter called for an environmental impact study of the plan to be done.

“This is against our interest,” said another Cory Farm resident. “You would have one of the highest densities in Crozet here.”

The CCAC meeting was obliged to end as Crozet Library reached closing time, but it was clear more discussion over Adelaide is ahead.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m following these proceedings with a sense of the inevitable. Crozet has been seen by Albemarle County as a prize plum ripe for the picking that will yield more revenue for the county, not for the Crozet region. And they will do so regardless of the concern of the citizens of Crozet who have to live with the consequences of these choices.

    Quality of life of Crozet has been the primary reason that people have moved here. Yet so true to form, that is exactly what is being severely altered and ultimately destroyed.

    I have yet to see people who are poised to either gain money or power who are able to exercise restraint. The more local the seat of power, the more accountable are those in power who ultimately make the decisions. The more removed, the more elite the attitude. Unequal power will always prevail on the side of those with greater power.

    This seems to me to be one of the best arguments for incorporation as town. I imagine this has been a topic of hot debate but I would like to know any thoughts Crozetians have on how to rebalance the power in these rezoning plans. In the meantime, let’s find some good candidates who are willing to run and able to win at the county and state level.

  2. I’m disappointed to see a lack of pedestrian access between this new development and the adjoining Cory Farms neighborhood. From Albemarle GIS data, the Cory Farms HOA appears to own a strip of land, which from the ground appears to be an old access road, that could be easily made into a pedestrian walkway between the two developments.

    Regardless of the housing density of this new development, if this project goes forward without such pedestrian access, there will be a cluster of neighborhoods – Liberty Hall, Cory Farms, and Adelaide – close enough for residents to literally spit in each others backyard but unable to safely or easily walk from one to another. This lack of pedestrian access would be especially disappointing given the close proximity, less than half a mile, from the largest grocery store in the greater Crozet area and the many businesses and restaurants in the Blue Ridge shopping complex and the Shoppes at Clover Lawn.

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