To the Editor: Save Apple Green

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A prospective buyer of property adjacent to Crozet’s Mint Springs Park is planning to build a dog kennel there.  Neighbors, including myself, are concerned about this.  Some background information may be helpful.  The property in question is part of the old Wayland Orchard which is now divided into several parcels located on the uphill side of Mint Springs Park Rd.  The dog kennel would be located on an approximate 8-acre parcel of overgrown, undeveloped orchard land that borders the park.  The parcel is also the site of an old chemical mixing structure where arsenic and lead-containing pesticides were prepared for use in the orchard.  Soil contamination with arsenic and lead was still present at the site when tested in 2003.  The property is located within Rural Area 3 on Crozet’s Comprehensive Plan and its Land Use Survey designation is Residential Single Family.

My family owns adjacent property, including the old red barn you see on the righthand side before you enter Mint Springs Park.  We bought the property about 17 years ago from one of four Wayland siblings who owned the remaining property there.  At the time, the orchard was deteriorating and becoming overgrown.  For years we had admired the beauty of the barn and orchard when we took our yellow lab for walks in the park.  I have enjoyed trying to restore and maintain the orchard, not as a commercial enterprise, but as a labor of love.

Crozet has experienced tremendous growth and is dealing with the challenges of that growth.  I hope we can honor the intentions and thoughtful planning that attempts to designate areas for residential and commercial growth while preserving areas that reflect both the natural beauty and historical aspects of rural life that we want to retain.  We would like for our little piece of Wayland’s Orchard to be present for many years as a visual reminder of the beauty and history of Crozet.  Business encroachment into Mint Springs and the old Wayland Orchard will significantly detract from the beauty and history of that area and encourage further development.

John Williams
Crozet

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