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Albemarle County’s decision to concentrate development in Crozet to protect scenic areas that surround it was a good and progressive idea, but it was flawed in two ways. First, it provided no protection for wooded areas within the development zone, so Crozet has lost many thousands of trees.
Second, the county did not acquire enough new public land in the development area to meet the community’s recreational needs.
Already there is controversy over construction of a fairly large recreation center in Crozet Park and the addition of 115 parking spaces there. Take a look at the video at https://crozetpark.org/future.
Neighbors argue that access via fairly narrow residential streets with no sidewalks is dangerous. They object to covering current green space with pavement and point out that rain running off more blacktop will worsen water quality in our already polluted streams.
The National Recreation Association suggests community parks be 25-50 acres. At 22 acres, Crozet Park is on the small side.
Planners also recommend that 30-50% of park land be set aside for active recreation. Counting acreage at Mint Springs, Western Park and Licking Hole Creek, Crozet is devoting less than 12% of its park land to active recreation.
To address these problems, the county should acquire at least 200 acres of land just outside the development zone. Make some of that property available for construction of a new recreation center and reserve the rest for ball fields, pickle ball, tennis and other sports.
After concentrating so much population in this community, then giving themselves raises and giving county workers a $1,000 COVID bonus, it’s time for the Board of Supervisors to reward the increasingly unhappy residents of Crozet with the park we need and deserve.