At its February 1 meeting, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors denied a rezoning request for Adelaide, a proposed 80-unit housing development in Crozet. The project is currently zoned for one single home per acre, and developer Kyle Redinger sought a zoning change to six units per acre, which would provide more density in the area’s high-density growth area.
“I relied on county-appointed experts, the county staff and the planning commission to interpret the master plan and design guidelines for Adelaide,” Redinger says.
In a written statement, he adds, “We talk a lot in Albemarle County about being welcoming and inclusive, especially now, in the darkness and uncertainty associated with our immigrants and those most in need. But, when it comes time to creating inclusivity on a local level, it is clear that some of our leaders have a different agenda.”
A staff report from a May 10, 2016, public hearing with the planning commission listed five favorable factors about the development including: It’s consistent with the Crozet Master Plan and the neighborhood model; it includes a mix of unit types, open space, Route 250 buffer, pocket park and trails; and the developer offered cash proffers and 12 affordable housing units for rent or sale.
Of the two unfavorable factors listed in the report, increased traffic was the biggest concern to approving the project located on Route 250, next to the Cory Farm subdivision, according to county staff.
Crozet resident Judy Herring, who owns the approximately 20-acre property upon which Adelaide will be built, feels unfairly targeted by the traffic concerns. “Downtown Crozet has quite a few projects in the works and if traffic is a concern of Adelaide, what do you think it will be if all those developments go through?” she wrote in a letter to Ann Mallek, the supervisor representing the White Hall district. “[Route] 250 is the main thoroughfare road and nothing is going to change that,” says Herring, whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run accident on that road in 2013.
Mallek voted against the development and encouraged others to speak out against it. Supervisors Liz Palmer and Rick Randolph also voted against Redinger’s zoning request, killing the rezoning with a 3-3 vote.
“Their vote prevents Albemarle from building trails and connections, and it pressures growth in the rural areas,” says Redinger. “Most importantly, it permanently eliminates the opportunity for affordable housing, creating price points that are far out of reach for young families, police officers, teachers and public servants.” The decision sends “a message of exclusivity to those most in need,” he adds.
And though some think Adelaide was the perfect subdivision for the growth area, Mallek says, “I voted no because I thought that the density on the edge of the growth area, surrounded by forest and rural uses, should be at the low end of the range suggested in the comprehensive plan and master plan for Crozet.”
Switching gears, Redinger now says he’ll build 35 by-right, high-end homes that have already been approved.