A sports organization in Crozet wants to build an indoor athletic facility on the edge of Old Trail Village.
Crozet Sports, which was established in 2018 to help meet the athletic and health needs of residents of western Albemarle County, has submitted a proposal to build the project.
“We’re all aware of the situation on hand with not only reaching capacity with building space for our schools, but also lack of field space and lack of indoor gyms and training space,” Crozet Sports owner Justin Byrd said at a meeting this week of the Crozet Community Advisory Committee. “We feel like this is a solution to that problem, particularly the location … being just the perfect location, being a true extension of the [Albemarle County Public Schools] and school campuses.”
Byrd said that when he, his wife, Jessica, and others started the organization, their main vision was to build an indoor facility, but that they first began operating a sports academy with kids camps, sports clinics and summer camps.
“Really, our goal was to support those youth sports organizations that already have existing sports, but just don’t have enough indoor space,” Byrd said.
Currently, in Old Trail Village’s approved county plan, the plot of land is designated for single-family homes, so Crozet Sports needs an amendment approved by the Board of Supervisors to build the facility.
The approximately 9.8-acre site is near the intersection of Old Trail Drive and U.S. 250 next to Henley Middle School. It is currently vacant and wooded. A buffer would remain along both roads.
The proposed building would be two floors with a total of approximately 85,000 square feet and indoor turf fields, hard courts, baseball and softball training areas, locker rooms and student-athlete classrooms, among other facilities.
Byrd said they are proposing a number of programs, including sports facility memberships; physical therapy programs; children’s after-school programming and day camps; adult sports leagues; sports camps and clinics; and rentals of turf fields, hard courts, batting cages and multi-purpose rooms.
The plan also proposes a pedestrian and road connection to the Henley property, but the school division would have to approve a connector.
“They do definitely support a pedestrian connection between Crozet Sports and Henley and they’re going to evaluate whether they’re comfortable having a vehicular connection there or not,” said Valerie Long with Williams-Mullen, who is representing Crozet Sports.
During the community meeting, some area residents expressed concerns about the proposed project’s impact on noise and traffic.
Old Trail resident Marshall Faintich said he was fine with an indoor sports facility, but that Crozet Sports had picked the wrong location.
“If this is approved, my plan is to buy a directional microphone and a recording decibel meter, and every time the noise exceeds the county ordinance, I’m going to be calling the police because there’s enough problems with noise in our area as it is, with football games and everything else,” he said.
Another resident suggested delaying the project until the repairs to the Crozet Avenue bridge over Lickinghole Creek are made, which could close the road in both directions for six months or reduce the road to one lane and require a temporary traffic signal for at least eight months.
“I’m not sure how much traffic is going to be going through Old Trail, but it’s going to be quite a bit more than it is now,” he said.
According to a traffic study completed for the proposal, the facility would generate about 820 vehicle trips per day, and if the site is developed with 90 housing units, which is what originally was planned for the property, it would generate about 944 trips per day.
During the weekday rush hour between 4 and 6 p.m., the sports facility would likely generate about 136 more trips than if there was housing on the site.
The proposal next will go before the county Planning Commission and then the Board of Supervisors, but those dates have not yet been scheduled.