October 25, 2006


The Honorable Members of the Board of Supervisors

County of Albemarle

401 McIntire Road

Charlottesville, Virginia 22902


Dear Honorable Members of the Board of Albemarle County:


Attached for your consideration is the Crozet Community Advisory Council’s position paper on the town’s economic development. It derives from Crozet Master Plan principles and indicates how those might be jeopardized by development decisions. The key points are that downtown Crozet must remain the town’s dominant commercial area and that its revitalization must be advanced before competing areas are established. The recommendations specify steps to implement those aims effectively. We plan to supplement the paper with activity updates.





                                                                                                                                                Mary Rice

                                                                                                                                                CCAC Chair








The Crozet community affirms Albemarle County’s commitment to “preserving the scenic beauty, agricultural heritage and socio-economic health of its rural and urban areas.”[1]


We envision a revitalized Downtown Crozet and neighborhood-scale business centers that spur commerce, create diverse jobs, and provide products and services for the Crozet community.


We encourage open communication and collaboration among residents, business owners, developers, builders, realtors, County staff and officials, and other interested groups to harmoniously bring about the redevelopment and economic growth of the downtown area as well as the development of emerging neighborhood centers.


Guiding Principles


Downtown Crozet should remain the heart of Crozet and the largest and most important of the socio-economic centers where civic, business and cultural activities take place.


The redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown Crozet should begin immediately. A new Zoning District specific to Downtown Crozet should be created to establish separate uses, setbacks, parking standards, etc. that will facilitate redevelopment.


New neighborhood centers should comprise a balanced mixture of residential and commercial development. Commercial area within each center should be sized to primarily serve the immediate community. The approved 250,000 sq. ft. of commercial area in Old Trail Village violates the principles of the Crozet Master Plan; and if developed faster than downtown revitalizes, it may pose an economic threat to the viability of downtown businesses.


The development of the neighborhood centers should be contingent upon the provision of sufficient infrastructure and services as provided in the Crozet Master Plan.


Businesses that have served the community over the years are greatly valued by Crozet residents. Every effort should be made to support longstanding Crozet businesses.


The expansion of locally grown, small-town scale businesses that provide jobs and a diversity of merchandise and services should be encouraged.


Businesses and organizations that employ and offer volunteer opportunities for Crozet residents are strongly preferred, especially those businesses employing young adults and senior citizens, keeping them active and engaged in our community.




The CCAC will collaborate with the County Business Development Facilitator[2], other county staff, and Crozet business owners to:


1. Create and implement an economic development program[3] that supports the Guiding Principles above.


2. Assist in creating a Crozet Downtown Model and Crozet Architectural Style Guidelines and in creating a scaled‑back Crozet Neighborhood Model.[4]  Both the Crozet Downtown Model and the Crozet Neighborhood Model will include specific guidelines for implementation (e.g. commercial square footage, phased-in development).


3. Compile an inventory of current and proposed businesses within the entire Crozet community. The inventory should be used to assess the impact of proposed commercial developments.





[1] Crozet Master Plan, page 1.


[2] The County Business Development Facilitator’s position “is critical to achieving the desired Neighborhood Model form of development, particularly the viability of neighborhood centers and the mixture of uses they are intended to attract.” Crozet Master Plan, page 23.


[3] “…an organized economic development program that clearly spells out priorities, funding expectations and relationships between public and private activities is needed to make the vision of the Master Plan a reality.” Crozet Master Plan, page 23.


[4] This was recommended by Jo Higgins, former Planning Commissioner, White Hall District, in her email dated June 22, 2006 to the CCAC and county staff.


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