Update: December 2014: Click here for Milestone Partner's response to the CCAC's July 16 resolution concerning Barnes Lumber
Update: August 5, 2014: The Albemarle County Planning Commission granted developer Frank Stone's application to rezone the Barnes Lumber property in downtown Crozet and "indefinite deferral". This is the second time this property's re-zoning has been granted an indefinite deferral. Further information about this deferral at the Crozet Gazette and Cville Tomorrow websites.
CCAC Resolution on July 16, 2014 listing Issues and Position on Barnes Lumber property Re-development – Click here for PDF
In fall 2013, Frank Stoner, of Milestone Partners, submitted a re-development proposal to Albemarle County for review. Milestone has a website devoted to this project, available at http://www.barnes-lumber.com
The Crozet Community Advisory Council heard Mr. Stoner's proposal at their December 2013 meeting. The Crozet Gazette covered it and published its story about that meeting (Click here to read it.) The minutes of the December 2013 CCAC meeting are also available here.
The County staff reviewed his proposals and on February 26, 2014 issued a 15 page comment, the PDF of this is available here. An important question to consider is how well this plan adheres to the Crozet Master Plan.
In mid-May 2014, Mr. Stoner, emailed the following update to Ann Mallek, our White Hall district supervisor to share with the Crozet Community Advisory Council (CCAC) as he prepares to go before the Planning Commission on Tuesady, June 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM. As of this posting, the Planning Commission agenda for June 17, 2014 has not been posted, however you can get it when it is by clicking here.
Video of the proposal overlayed on current site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq4oQGp3D1M
For the sake of comparison – here are two drawings from the last proposal for re-developing the Barnes Lumber property that was submitted by the Piedmont Development Group back in August 2010 and February 2011. The current proposal is actually a continuation of that request for re-zoning (ZMA2010-0018).
Here's what the Piedmont Development Group's proposal for Barnes Property looked like in February 2011.
Below (click on Continue reading) is Frank Stoner's May 16, 2014 email, followed by links to the documents he references in the email below.
From: Frank Stoner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 16, 2014 at 11:20:04 AM EDT
To: Ann.mallek <email@example.com>
Subject: CCAC – County Submittals
Attached are the latest responses we submitted to the County. I’ve also included the authorization letter from CSX regarding their property. I had a meeting with staff shortly before our resubmittal, suggesting that we try to get as many issues off the table as possible, face to face, instead of through extended submittal/response cycles that eat up a bunch of time and often don’t lead to real solutions. As you know, time is of the essence for us as the September 30 drop dead date looms with the Bank.
I think we made real progress on the following items:
Stormwater – Glenn asked for and we delivered a narrative and a chart showing the types of storm water measures that we plan to use within the development blocks.
Transportation – Troy suggested, and we have included, a mini-roundabout at the end of the square. He was pushing for removal of the intersection until I suggested that removing it would only drive more traffic to the square and that’s what he says he doesn’t want. The traffic study we submitted seems to indicate that signals may eventually be needed at Jarmans Gap, Library Avenue and the Square. Vdot may only permit 2 of these intersections to be signalized but they don’t know which 2. We have not proffered funds toward another light because I’d rather spend that money on the plaza/park or a connection under the railroad. My sense is that VDOT can come up with the money for one more signal but I know they are not going to fund anything in the Plaza or park. I’d welcome your thoughts on this.
Open/Civic space – we’ve modified our application to provide some assurance that all the open space won’t end up in the stream buffer and around residential units. At least ene third of the open/civic space will be located in blocks 1-5. If we can get Carroll’s property, that percentage will increase further.
Affordable Housing – We’ve proffered to build 15% affordable housing on the entire rezoned site, not just the area subject to the SUP. However, we think most of those units will be flats, apartments or condo’s and, as such, have phased the affordable such that full compliance is not required until some multifamily gets built. Some may happen in blocks 6-7 and 8 but we’ve included blocks 5 and 6 just to be safe.
Phasing – We’ve clarified the phasing of the project. There is both commercial and residential in phase 1. Demand will drive the pace of commercial development. I’ve been working closely with Susan and have met with a number of local businesses that might have an interest in relocating to Crozet. I have 1 viable prospect now and I’m confident that, if we can get a little momentum, more will follow. Residential is critical in the early phases because it provides the rooftops to support local retail and the demand is more predictable so it helps us secure the funding necessary to build the road.
The remaining issues can’t really be solved by staff and need to get to the Planning Commission and Board. They are as follows:
Special Use Permit – We strongly believe that our SUP is in conformance with the goals and intent of the original Crozet Master Plan . Our SUP provides a critical residential buffer area and a more logical transect from low density residential to downtown commercial. This transect existed in the original master plan from the consultants but was modified during the development of the DCD district. It provides needed variety of housing options within walking distance to downtown and adaptability so that, as downtown grows over the next 20 years, ground floor residential can be easily converted to commercial if there is a need.
Cash Proffers – I don’t need to say much here. We’re going to build a $2MM road. No other DCD zoned property has paid cash proffers. We’re building 130,000 sf of commercial that must be affordable for downtown to work. Etc. Etc.
I think it’s important for people to realize that this rezoning is not the end of process that will determine the fate of downtown. It’s the very beginning. This is just a land use decision, not a design or program for downtown. The heavy lifting is ahead and we’ll need real engagement from the entire community to define the identity of downtown, improve access, determine how the public areas will be programmed, built and maintained, develop and fund a long term parking plan, and recruit the kinds of businesses to Crozet that residents want and need. I hope the focus of debate can soon shift so that we can begin to work more collaboratively on these issues because we can’t solve them without the full engagement of the community and the County.
Thanks again for all your support. I’d welcome your thoughts and advise as we begin to prepare for the PC meeting next month.
Links to the May 16, 2014 email attachments:
- Barnes Lumber Resubmittal letter 2014May5
- Barnes Lumber ZMA Proffer Comparison 2014May5 vs March17
- Barnes Lumber ZMA Proffers submitted 2014May5
- Barnes Lumber Stormwater Management (SWM) Narrative
- Barnes Lumber Block Densities Sheet 2014May5
- Barnes Lumber Stormwater Management (SWM) Chart 2014May5
- Barnes Lumber 51640 (ZMA201000018) Engineering Staff Rev.6 2014May14
- Barnes Lumber Stormwater SWM Precedents 140502-BNL.pdf
- Barnes Lumber 51591 (ZMA201000018) 2014Apr16.pdf
- Barnes Lumber Conceptual Plan Rev 5514 (2014May5).pdf
- Barnes Lumber Conceptual (Bubble) Plan3 (2014March17).pdf
To find out about any project or proposal submitted to Albemarle County for review and approval, you can visit Albemarle County's "CountyView" website. For example, for the Barnes Lumber property proposal by Frank Stoner, to access the proposal and county staff's review and recommendations to date you would do the following
- Go to: http://countyviewweb.albemarle.org/
- Click on the box that says: “View Selected Planning Application”
- Make sure the “Search By:” box says: “Web Planning Application Number”.
- In the PL Application Application Number Is exactly: box type: SP201400001 (or ZMA201000018)
- And click on the green “Go” button.
- Use the “Navigation” bar on right of the resulting screens to look at the documents submitted, reviewers comments and approvals, etc. For example, if you click on the “Reviews” box. and scroll down, you can click on each reviewer name, and scroll the webpage down to see what they wrote and download any document they included.
- The staff reports, such as from Ms. Claudette Grant are their names name as a document download.
- And after you're done reviewing or downloading those documents, return to step 4 above and enter: ZMA201000018 Which is the Zoning Text admenment, as he has submittted requests under this as recently as April 16, 2014.