Residents Worry Crozet Losing Small-Town Feel

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April 17, 2012

Many Crozet residents will tell you they moved to the western Albemarle County town to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Crozetian Anne Royals says the community has all the benefits of a small town without getting too far away from the heart of the county. "It still has the rural feeling and it's lovely. It's just a lovely area to live."

But the small-town community could soon be growing. Some residents recently received a letter notifying them of plans for a new subdivision located next to Western Ridge. The new neighborhood, Westlake Hills, will feature 145 single-family homes, each sitting on about one acre.

Realtor and community blogger Jim Duncan ( says although the new development will be good for the recovering housing market, it could hurt what people love about Crozet.

"People come to Crozet because it is special and unique and it's not like everywhere else. I think if you keep putting up more housing tracts, then Crozet loses its character and personality," cautioned Duncan, who works for Nest Realty in Charlottesville.

Obviously with increased population comes increased traffic. And that's why many Crozet residents are worried about how the new subdivision will impact the area's small-town feel.

"All the development is going on and on, building more and more of a base, but it's not really benefiting the community that much. We don't want to turn [Crozet] into northern Virginia." Royals argued.

"We live in a neighborhood that is large enough. I don't think we need a lot of bigger neighborhoods in this area," added Mindy Beaumont.

Although the small town is growing, many question if it can support the growth it's aiming for. "We'll know in 10 or 15 years. I think it's incumbent on the community to get involved," said Duncan.

And residents will have plenty of time to get involved and share their opinions about the new subdivision. The subdivision plans will have to go through the county's site review committee this week and then the planning commission next month.

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