Family Torn Between Development And Peacefulness

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

March 7, 2006

Albemarle County officials met tonight to discuss the proposal of new housing developments off Old Lynchburg Road. The Albemarle County Planning Commission Meeting is the appropriate place for residents to voice their concerns about any issues.

One family that was not at the meeting is the Breedens, who are giving up their land for the development. They say that although they are sad to see it go, they know that development in inevitable.

Christian Breeden and his family have lived in a rural part of Albemarle County called Biscuit Run for years and they said it will be hard to let go.

"What wouldn't you miss? The privacy, the solitude, the piece of mind that you get when you walk in the woods," said Christian Breeden.

"Christian and I have walked this land for 30 years and there are pockets that when the bulldozers come are going to break our hearts," said Elizabeth Breeden.

The Breeden Family sold a portion of their land to developers. Almost 1,000 acres of land between Old Lynchburg Road and Route 20 will be converted into single-family homes. A portion of that land will be reserved for the community.

"The developer is saying 'lets keep that separate and distinct. We'll have that for a future school as well as a huge park,'" explained Cal Morris, of the Albemarle Planning Commission.

The proposed residential and commercial development that sits on the Charlottesville and Albemarle boarder will mean more people and more traffic, which is something the Breeden's are not used to seeing on their many acres of land. However, they said they understand and accept why the growth is needed.

"Development in a town as lovely as Charlottesville is inevitable and I don't think that you're allowed to move to Charlottesville and say 'okay slam the door behind me,'" said Elizabeth Breeden.

If the proposal is accepted than the only way the peaceful memories will be remembered is through a song. "I miss the winding ways of that Old Lynchburg Road. 5th Street Extended is how it's now known," sang Christian Breeden, while playing guitar.

The fact that the Commission held a public comment is unusual because they normally don't do that this early in the development process. The County said they wanted to do this just to make sure that residents are okay with what's coming up.

The developer is expected to build almost 5,000 single family homes, townhomes, and apartments.

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