July 5, 2006
Controversy over growth in Crozet continued Wednesday as residents there fight to keep the area's small town appeal.
Some Crozet residents are at odds with Albemarle County supervisors. Some county estimates have Crozet’s population jumping 800 percent in distant future and residents just don't think their town was meant to sustain that kind of growth.
Three thousand people currently live in Crozet. The small rural town is about 4 square miles. Residents there anticipate growth; it’s just how much growth that scares them.
“Crozet under the master plan would grow by 400 percent and what the board is now asking us to do with this new resolution is grow by a factor of 800 percent to a density greater than that [of] the City of Charlottesville in an area about one half the size of Charlottesville,” said Crozet Resident Tom Loach.
Seven years ago the Crozet community together with the county developed a master plan, a vision of their hopes for the future of Crozet. It includes a library, walking trails and areas destined for development. Estimates projected the population would jump to 12,500 by 2026 but now new county estimates say the population could explode to twice that.
“At the beginning of the master plan we were 3,000 people. The county told us the growth is coming. You will grow to 12,000. Either you can be a part of it or not. We said okay we'll be a part of it. Certainly if they had told us it was going to grow to 8 times 3,000 people, we would have all walked out,” said Crozet resident Mary Rice.
At the county board of supervisors meeting today residents voiced their concerns. They told supervisors they don't want to stop time and keep Crozet stagnant but they do want to preserve its small town feel.
Supervisors assures residents they will be careful not to do too much too fast.
“It involves keeping a close watch on rezonings [and] not approving too much ahead of things actually being built,” said Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dennis Rooker.
The county says population increases estimates are really just numbers. They have no control over how man people move to Crozet. They can however control rezoning and new development.
In the end, the board took no action.