I just got back from the meeting setup to give the community an additional chance to respond to the updated development proposal for Oak Bluff. The meeting was well attended by residents from several of the neighborhoods that will be directly effected by the new development. Unfortunately for me, the meeting was like countless other meetings I’ve attended over the years to discuss one more new development in Crozet. The concerns from those attending mirrored past issues including roads, traffic, schools and the quality of life in Crozet. The residents came well prepared with facts to back up their request for additional changes to the design they felt were required to better accommodate the additional development impacts on their neighborhoods.. Alas, I didn’t have the heart to tell them that based on my experience I don’t see any way to stop the development, Oak Buff is going to be approved. The reasons are simple, the county wants to shove as much development into Crozet and every other growth area as possible and the fact the developer is proffering affordable housing will surely push its approval over the goal post. The fact it’s very clear the infrastructure to support the development is inadequate has never been a deterrent to the board voting to approve a request for a new development, especially in Crozet. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that with the approval of the first Crozet Master Plan, came a commitment from the County to provide Crozet with concurrent infrastructure to meet the dramatic population increase the community had just agreed to. Since then it has been one after another failure by the County to live up to their commitments. I was surprised that Ann Mallek, after an hour and half of hearing residents concerns would not give an answer as to how she would vote when Oak Bluff gets to the board. For me this brought back a bad memory of Ann voting to approve the recent Master Plan update after the Crozet Community Advisory Committee rejected the plan. Sadly the battle is not over and for me the survival of all of Albemarle County is now at stake. The County is bulldozing its way to approving an update of the County’s Comprehensive Plan Update that has every growth area in the County in its sight. Not only are they bound and determined to expand the growth areas with higher density development, but they also want to industrialize the Crozet I 64 interchange. In addition, AC44 attacks the long held policy of protecting our rural areas, turning them into nothing more than a land bank for future development. I urge everyone in Crozt to become familiar with the County’s AC44 plan, stay informed and stay involved. The only question is, in the end, will it be one more example of standing on the deck of the Titanic knowing Crozet is going down with ship.