To the Editor: Crozet Master Plan Update Ratification

Albemarle Board of Supervisors White Hall representative Ann Mallek. Submitted photo.

People are wondering why I voted yes. It was to try to improve things for the future and to recover some civility to this process. 

I was disappointed that I was unable to persuade the board to return the Tabor block from 6-12 units per acre to the current 3-6 units per acre for the next master plan period. I think that was the wrong choice. I focused on the process deficiencies of inserting the Tabor change at the last minute, as well as the lack of recognition of the many other opportunities in the current pipeline for varied sizes of housing. I saw no desperate need to make this decision now; it could have waited another five years.

In the end, however, I wanted the Crozet community to be in charge of the vote, to make the motion for approval and to vote for it, rather than having it dropped on the district by others.

While I understand that Crozetians want to retain their quality of life and are very concerned about the demands of increased population and tardy infrastructure, we all must participate in ways which bring supporters to us with productive feedback, instead of creating adversaries. This process became unrecoverable with citizens resorting to vicious and personal attacks. No one can hear the very real and important messages under those conditions and those very conditions provide an easy excuse to discount complaints and write off concerns.

There are upcoming rezonings for White Gate and Old Dominion, both on the edge of the growth area and one impinging on the watershed, about which we should have robust and civil debate and outreach. Other master plans, such as Rio29, have recognized that a reduction in density at the edge of the district makes a better transition to an urban neighborhood. Breezy Hill (Rivanna Master Plan) was approved at the rural edge density rather than the higher core density in the original application. Sparrow Hill was approved at an edge density consistent with Cory Farms.

Let us all make our arguments for or against policy or application changes based on the facts and interpretation of them and avoid any of the harsher language of the past, which lost the community the support it was seeking.

Ann Mallek
Albemarle County Supervisor, White Hall District


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