Representatives from developer Stanley Martin met recently with nearby community members about its plans for Pleasant Green, a new neighborhood of condominiums, townhouses, and villas to be built within walking distance of downtown Crozet.
Sited between the railroad tracks and Powell’s Creek as an extension of McComb Street, the development will feature several innovative design elements.
The project combines the 18-acre parcel on which Southern Development had planned to build a development it called West Glen, which Stanley Martin purchased, and 19 acres adjoining it owned by Crozet Gazette publisher Michael Marshall and his wife, Lisa. The area has been zoned as R-6, essentially a designation for townhouses, since 1980. The project will connect to Cling Lane on its west end.
“It’s a great parcel of ground,” said Drew Holzwarth, Crozet resident and president of the Piedmont region for Stanley Martin. “It will be the first neighborhood in memory for me where we’re targeting the median income in Albemarle County.” Pleasant Green is aimed at young families and empty-nesters, as well as longtime Crozet residents looking to move closer to town.
Toward the latter purpose, about 25 percent of the homes will be constructed using “universal design,” allowing owners of the property to age gracefully in place. “It will look like every other home, but, for example, there’s a no-step entry in the garage, and the door frames are three feet wide so a walker or wheelchair can fit,” said Holzwarth. “That way the home doesn’t become a barrier later in life.”
Though the plans are still in flux and Stanley Martin is working with county staff on approvals, the developer is proposing 268 units on the 37-acre parcels, comprised of a mix of two sizes of condos, two sizes of townhomes, and larger villa units, all of which will have garages. In a nod toward the “agri-hood” design trend, Holzwarth says that a large part of the open space will be dedicated to community gardens. “We envision fruit trees, garden plots, and hopefully we can engage a local farmer to grow something in the more fertile land down along Powell’s Creek.”
The Marshalls’ 1917 farmhouse will become Pleasant Green’s clubhouse.
A second structure on the property is known locally as the Wayland House. When a developer expressed interest in the Wayland House property in 2000, Marshall bought it himself, and it now houses two tenants. Under the Stanley Martin plan, it would be torn down or moved to make way for new construction.
Historical records show that a “one-room log structure” was built on the Wayland House site in 1815 and expanded to an “I-house” in the 1830s after it was purchased by Crozet forefather Jeremiah Wayland. In the 1880s the eight-bedroom house was expanded to more than 5,000 square feet in a U-shaped plan. Neither Marshall nor Holzwarth know if the original log structure is still standing within the current timber frame or not.
Holzwarth says he is sensitive to the potential history of the structure and is committed to investigating it fully. “You’ve got the current owner, the contract owner, and the original [Wayland] family all interested in this property,” he said, “so if there’s something to be preserved there, I can assure you that it won’t be treated like other homes in the recent past.”
Stanley Martin is aiming to build a community consistent with Crozet’s Master Plan by increasing housing density close to the downtown area. “We actually studied the survey data published in the Gazette that indicated public sentiment in favor of affordability, walkability, and keeping development closer to downtown and away from Rt. 250,” said Holzwarth, “and this plan was born out of paying attention to those preferences.”