Albemarle County Planning Commissioners are ready for more specifics in the Crozet Master Plan update.
The commissioners on Tuesday gave feedback on the Crozet Master Plan update process and on information gathered thus far.
“I mean this in a kind way, but to me, this is a little bit like dry toast, and then we need to figure out how to … dig into it and make it Crozet,” said Commissioner Jennie More, who represents the White Hall district.
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 the Board of Supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process.
County staff began the first phase on “community visioning” in September and have hosted three workshops, two office hours and character and connectivity tours. A third round of office hours is scheduled for 8 to 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 at Green House Coffee, and an online feedback form from the third workshop will close Nov. 22.
Four main chapters are proposed for the plan — connectivity, character, conservation and implementation. Each chapter will have a guiding principle, or a vision statement, multiple goals supporting the guiding principle and specific recommendations supporting each goal.
The first phase of the update focused on drafting the guiding principles and identifying broad goals or discussion topics to be developed further.
The second phase is designed to refine the goals and create specific recommendations to support each goal.
“Some of the themes that emerged out of the meetings are about the vibrant downtown, and I feel like at this point, I would think that in a guiding principle we could see some of that having already emerged out of three meetings as one of the most important centers,” More said.
She said she knows some people are anxious about the density with the redevelopment of the former Barnes Lumber property, because they are worried about traffic and transportation issues.
“But the reason that is supposed to be that dense is because of its location, because … this is a walkable area,” More said. “I feel like that should have already emerged as something that would be very specific to Crozet at this point, as a guiding principle.”
Other commissioners said they wanted to see more emphasis on housing and affordability, more data about Crozet residents and more diversity in meeting attendees.
Commissioner Julian Bivins said he knew there were a lot of tradespeople in Crozet and the general area who have lived there for many years.
“When I looked at those photos, I didn’t see that population represented,” he said. “Now granted, that’s only a few photos. I’m very concerned that this process doesn’t get driven by newly-arrived Crozet.”
The plan’s guiding principles and goals are scheduled to be presented to the Board on Dec. 18.
The second phase of the Master Plan update will begin in January. The plan is scheduled to be adopted in December 2020.