Crozet Master Plan Population Resolution




Resolution establishing the Board’s position regarding the projected 2024 population of Crozet




Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Cilimberg







July 5, 2006


ACTION:     X                         INFORMATION: 



  ACTION:                              INFORMATION: 











The Crozet Master Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 1, 2004. The first major rezoning approved under the guidance of the master plan was ZMA 2004-024 Old Trail Village, which was approved on September 14, 2005 as a Neighborhood Model District with the potential of up to 2,275 residential units.  Following that rezoning, the Crozet Community raised a number of questions regarding the density/maximum number of dwelling units that were approved with Old Trail and questioned its consistency with the Crozet Master Plan.  To respond to these continued concerns from the community, the Board of Supervisors requested that build out information provided by the consultants as part of their Master Plan report be fully examined and explained by staff.


Staff provided the requested analysis to the Board for its January 4, 2006 meeting.  After reviewing that analysis, and following on an in-depth discussion by Board members on the population build-out issue, the Board at that meeting affirmed its understanding with regard to the 2024 population estimate of the Crozet Master Plan as the basis for meeting infrastructure and service needs. 


In response to continued concern from community representatives related to population and build-out, the Board, at its June 7, 2006 meeting, expressed its desire to formally adopt a statement clearly stating its position on this issue.




Goal: 3.3: Develop and implement policies that address the county’s growth and urbanization while continuing to enhance the factors that contribute to the quality of life in the county.




A very detailed discussion of population and build-out related to the Crozet Master Plan was prepared and presented to the Board as part of its January 4, 2006 meeting.  Discussion focused on an intensive analysis of the density possibilities contained in the adopted plan based on digitized mapping that was unavailable at the time of the Master Plan’s adoption or the Old Trail rezoning review.  That analysis showed that the plan’s ultimate build-out density possibilities – likely extending well beyond the 20-year planning horizon of the approved Crozet Master Plan - could significantly exceed a population of 12,000.  The discussion also highlighted the confusion that had been caused by using the term “build-out” in reference to what staff understood the plan intended as a 20-year planning horizon, which is consistent with the standard planning period for the Comprehensive Plan.  A few key highlights of the January 4 discussion are repeated below:


The Crozet Master Plan is based on several basic assumptions that are articulated on Page 4 of the Plan as follows:

“Service Planning standards form the analytical basis for evaluating needs within the community.  In most cases, this analysis ties directly to population, which is projected to reach 11,200 – 12,000 in a twenty-year build-out.  This build-out number compares with the current population of 3,000 within the Crozet Development Area, and a by-right population build-out under current zoning of 12,500.”


This presumes a population figure of 12,000 by the Year 2024, which is the planning horizon for the Master Plan.  It does not presume that this population of Crozet will be an absolute ceiling in perpetuity. 


This is an important point of clarity for the future implementation of the Master Plan.  Establishing the build-out of 12,000 as an absolute ceiling for Crozet’s maximum population in perpetuity is not consistent with possible densities recommended in the 1996 Land Use Plan for Crozet that existed prior to the adoption of the Master Plan, nor is it consistent with the Master Plan densities as they have been determined to exist based on digitized mapping.  Furthermore, establishing that ceiling would not permit any increase in density beyond what would be achieved through by-right development under zoning that existed at the time of the Master Plan’s approval.


As a reference, the 1996 Land Use Plan for Crozet which was in effect prior to the adoption of the Master Plan established an added population for Crozet of between 7,114 and 17,300 (resulting in a total population of between approximately 9,300 and 19,500 based on the existing population in Crozet at the time).  (The added population figures are contained in Table II: Albemarle County Development Areas – Total Developable Acres in the Land Use Section of the Comprehensive Plan.)                          


Also noted in the January staff analysis for the Board, the Master Plan utilizes net density possibilities for each land use designation rather than gross density as was used in the 1996 Land Use Plan for Crozet.   Therefore, in applying the net residential multipliers to determine development under the plan, the gross acreage in each land use category should not be used.  Staff estimates that, on average, about 80% of gross acreage is developable after subtracting undevelopable land, open space, amenities, roads and infrastructure.  Also, there are several mixed use land use categories in the Crozet Master Plan.  In these areas, additional acreage being developed in non-residential uses should be subtracted before applying the net residential multipliers.  Applying these factors, the following ultimate build-out estimates are derived:


Dwelling Unit (DU)/Population Build Out Estimates (Undeveloped Areas of Crozet, Units in Developed Areas, and Old Trail Approvals)

Min DU’s

Min Pop.

Mid DU’s

Mid Pop.

Max DU’s’

Max Pop.

Crozet Master Plan Land Use - 80% Net Developable Area, 50% CT5, 25% CT6







Old Trail Area Land Use Application Approvals - 80% Net Developable Area,  50% CT5, Approved By-right







Existing Dwelling Units in Crozet (December, 2005)















As the table indicates, estimated population at the high end of the range does significantly exceed the 2024 planning horizon figure of 12,000.  It is important to note that these figures represent a theoretical final build-out scenario, not just what is expected to be achieved in the Master Plan’s 20 year horizon. 


Finally, it was noted in January that the County’s experience with large scale developments in the development areas is that they tend to develop at a lesser density than they are approved for.  As an example, if Old Trail follows these trends, it was noted that development is more likely to be in the range of 1,400 to 1,600 units than the approved 2,275 units.  This trend indicates that the development of Crozet is not likely to be at the maximum population level.  And, while each project that occurs under the Crozet Master Plan will experience different build-out conditions, the flexibility for higher density under the Master Plan increases the possibility of reaching mid-range densities which is consistent with the County’s goals for its development areas.  Furthermore, a different form of development can result than might have occurred through by-right development, which is consistent with both the Neighborhood Model principles for the development areas and an important objective of the Crozet Master Plan to create a better form of development for Crozet.




There is no direct budget impact associated with the Board clearly stating its position on this issue.




Staff has prepared the attached resolution to reflect the Board’s intent regarding this issue as expressed on January 4, 2006 and reiterated on June 7, 2006.  Staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached resolution to reaffirm its position relating to the density envisioned by the Crozet Master Plan.




Attachment A – Resolution
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