The Crozet Community Advisory Committee met on August 12 and discussed currently circulating plans for a new Crozet development called Old Dominion Village. The project proposes 101 townhouses and 14 single-family detached homes on a combined 24-acre expanse along Rt. 240 east of the Crozet Veterinary Care Center. The following is a recap of committee member views on the topic.
Brian Day was very concerned about Rt. 240, noting its narrowness and lack of support for walking and biking, and not much infrastructure support for the project.
Sandy Hausman said that the supposition that people are going to buy new homes and cross the street to go to work was unconvincing, and she doesn’t see that as an argument for this development. She feels it’s too dense in terms of number of additional vehicles and kids in the schools it would add, noting that developers do not pay for public education. Her hope would be that the developer scales back on the number of houses. She said this area is in the Master Plan as residential, and we still need to evaluate how much we want to devote to residential and how much open space.
Supervisor Ann Mallek asked about the stream behind this property that goes straight to Beaver Creek and Crozet’s drinking water supply.
Cameron Langille, the county planner on this project, said that they are proposing to not grade in the stream buffer, and pointed out that there is a large area of open space between the planned residential lots and the steam buffer.
Doug Bates said that we should make sure the developer builds a new sidewalk extending from downtown Crozet and to other neighborhoods as well.
Joe Fore assumed that all students from this development would attend Crozet Elementary, which is still in a crunch because the school expansion has been delayed due to COVID. He said the Rt. 240/250 roundabout should help with traffic.
David Mitchell said that we don’t get infrastructure improvements and increased capacity in schools, etc., until the need is there. If the Comp Plan says this is the use in the plan, then it is not correct to hold the landowner to that standard when it’s not their job to extend sidewalks beyond their property line. Also, VDOT will do a traffic capacity analysis for this project.
Kostas Alibertis disagreed strongly with the idea that the roundabout would solve congestion, noting that a two-lane road for the number of people in Crozet is woeful.
Cameron Langille said that the land is currently zoned as rural area, and by right based on acreage the owner could construct 9 single-family detached homes.
Allie Pesch said we don’t have to approve a rezoning in order for them to build something there.
Valerie Long said that we have to apply the Master Plan we have now. If applications have been submitted and accepted, then we have to review them as they come. She doesn’t think it’s appropriate for us to say we want a moratorium on development (even if it’s consistent with the plan) until infrastructure comes along, then we’re always behind in one area or another. Also, having this developed by right doesn’t achieve the goals of downtown Crozet and higher densities.
Pesch said the Master Plan isn’t just colors on the map, it’s a whole document that describes other goals for Crozet, like small-town feel and good schools. Looking at the whole picture, if some of us feel that the density that this application is requesting is not consistent with Crozet as a whole then that is a fair argument.
Mallek added that the planners can update us, we can expect modifications as this evolves and then the CCAC should look at it again in a later state.