About 40 Crozet-area residents gathered Monday night to give feedback on more aspects of the area’s Master Plan, which is undergoing an update.
At Western Albemarle High School, community members gave input on the area’s centers and what services and uses those centers should have, as well as the boundary of the development area and whether it should be expanded.
Most of those at Monday’s meeting did not not think the development area boundary should be expanded.
In one group, however, some residents wanted to keep the area open for potential future uses that wouldn’t fit elsewhere in Crozet.
“There are some business ideas out there that need a little more space than downtown Crozet offers,” said resident Shawn Bird. “I think that’s really the ideal stretch, certainly on the south side of [U.S.] 250, because what’s there isn’t exactly stunning to begin with.”
Resident Valerie Long questioned if uses such as churches or a funeral home might be appropriate for that area.
“I’d like us to keep an open mind and not have such absolute language,” she said. “Who knows what might come along. Maybe it would be a good fit for that location and only that location, and let’s at least have the opportunity to discuss it as a community.”
Mike Marshall said maybe that was appropriate for the next Master Plan revision, and that the problem is timing.
“If downtown does not get developed sufficiently, that actually has the center of gravity in the town, if we allow things to develop on U.S. 250 in advance of downtown getting its legs, then can downtown grow if there’s not enough really commercial pressure?” he said. “So it’s always been understood in the Master Plan that the first thing we’re going to try and build is downtown and after that, if we have more pressure, will find places to add to, maybe like Yancey Mills.”
The Crozet Master Plan was first adopted in 2004 and last updated in 2010. The Board of Supervisors directed county staff to begin work on an update in September.
Master plans are completed for development areas in Albemarle, which are areas designated for growth. It will steer decisions about land use, transportation and parks in Crozet, and will become part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides the county’s long-term vision for land use and resource protection. County staff and supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process.
County staff began the first phase on “community visioning” in September and hosted multiple workshops, office hours and character and connectivity tours.
The second phase, which began Monday, is about focus areas and specific topics.
In small groups Monday, residents talked about areas that could be considered centers, which are considered focal points of activity and vary in size and scale. In the Master Plan update, those centers could be downtown Crozet, the Old Trail Village development, the Clover Lawn area and the Acme Visible Records/Starr Hill area.
Residents wanted the downtown area to be walkable, while many thought the Acme Visible Records/Starr Hill area is appropriate for light industrial uses, as well as for some office space.
The groups also talked development intensity along U.S. 250 and whether the development boundary area should be expanded. Most groups thought the boundary should not be expanded, and that the development along 250 should not be intensified.
The next community workshop will be about housing and residential land use. It will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 6 in Western Albemarle High School’s cafeteria.
Input also can be given at publicinput.com/ imaginecrozet.