I know its been awhile since the subject has come up, but the issue of how our downtown develops, aside from regaining control of our own Community Advisory Committee(CCAC) is the next major challenge to Crozet. I went on the website for the Crozet Downtown Initiative and looked at the blog page to see if there was anything new and the last post was June 2021. There are graphics available of what the first phase of the project will look like, but if the history of development in Crozet is any teacher we all know “change happens”. For this reason it’s probably time for an update to make sure the first phase is stable and find out if there’s been any movement of phase two. This is especially true when it comes to the design element. The original intent for the type of development that would occur downtown featured ground floor retail with second floor residential. For those who have been around for awhile, you’ll remember the developer did submit a preliminary plan to the CCAC, which showed a plan for mostly residential units, which as you can image was roundly rejected. Speaking of going back a number of years, the original discussions about the downtown revolved around the concept of keeping our downtown as the social and business center for Crozet and to keep Route 250 with as little commercial development as possible. What commercial development on Rt. 250 you see now is because the development rights existed prior to the concept of Crozet as a growth area. There was also the fear that as Crozet built out new residents might come with an expectation of the same level of services as the places they came from and would put increasing pressure for development along Rt. 250, better known as “What do you mean there’s no Cheesecake Factory in Crozet” mentality. So far we have been as successful keeping Rt. 250 the Scenic Byway it is. Let’s hope we can keep it that way. I have added some images of what I think might be a good model for what phase two might look like. The images come from Aiken, South Carolina, a beautiful small town where my daughter used to live. The concept, as you can see, allows the developer to build one contiguous building with the same concept of ground floor retail, second floor residential, instead of having to build individual buildings. The developer has already suggested this building type might be a viable alternative design type. With all that said, it’s time to get an update and ask “where’s the beef”.