NIMBY, there I’ve said it. The word the development community loves to use to denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with their view of growth and development. The name has come to be associated with a charge of elitism. The question is, however, can it really be applied to Crozet and I would submit that a review of the data will show the word NIMBY when applied to Crozet is a grave insult.
Growth management for Crozet started in the early 1990’s when it became apparent that Crozet was headed for a growth spurt of monumental proportions. I remember well when then, Supervisor, Walter Perkins said, “Crozet was the great secret in Albemarle County and now the secret is out”. How right he was. The goal of growth management then, as it is now, is to approach growth as a community, instead of a piece meal approach of taking on one development at a time. A committee was formed out of the Crozet Community Association to work with the County planning staff to develop a plan to guide future growth in Crozet. Knowing that even with a group of concerned citizens, Crozet was woefully short of a knowledge base to take on the task, help would come in the form of Professor Mark Schimmenti, from the Architecture school at the University of Virginia. Professor Schimmenti was especially helpful for two reasons. One, he came from a small town in Florida that was ruined by poor development and two, the fact he was one of the early adapters of “New Urbanism”, having been involved in the planning of the Seaside development in Florida. Anyone reading the final plan would see his influence on the final development design. Rather then give you a blow by blow description of the final plan, I will tell you that the projected build out population for the plan was 5,993. Considering at the time the population of Crozet was around 1,700 residents, facing a population of almost 6,000 was a daunting prospect for our small community. Now fast forward to 1999 and Crozet was still facing rapidly evolving development and it was apparent that the plan from 1993 was not adequate, not to mention the fact the type of development recommended in the plan was totally ignored, but that’s another story. Back once again at the table with the county, only this time with an entire staff of consultants brought in by the county to come up with a new plan. In August of 1999, it was a full house of over 200 Crozet residents who came out to hear the consultants give their analysis for the population build out for Crozet. You could have heard a pin drop as the consultants went through a page by page analysis of the data to arrive at a final build out population of 12,198, which was expected to take from 11 to 20 years to arrive at complete build out. Now I’m not a math wiz, but the increase from a population 1,700 to 12,000 is a 600 percent increase. So tell me how does anyone have the audacity to complain about the community of Crozet being anti development, much less a community of NIMBY’s? One more thing, if you look at the current data from the county(May 2022), there are still 1,771 units approved, but not yet built. If you use the County multiplier of 2.5 persons per household you come up with an additional 4,477 residents. Add this to the current population (2023) of 10,322 and you arrive at 14,799 residents, almost 3,000 of the projected 12,198 population number arrived at by the County consultants. Enough said!