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Phase 3: Draft Conservation Recommendations

Phase 3: Draft Conservation Recommendations

This is an online opportunity to review draft conservation recommendations for the 2020-2021 Crozet Master Plan Update. These recommendations are based on collaborative work with community members, staff research, and site analysis over the past year and a half.

Community feedback will be shared with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors as part of the review process. The Board of Supervisors will provide final direction and approval on the Crozet Master Plan.

The questionnaire will be open from February  22nd to March 10th.

Conservation Chapter Overview

The Crozet Master Plan includes a chapter on conservation, which evaluates existing conditions and provides prioritized recommendations for the overall network of parks, trails, and environmental features (including steep slopes and water features). 

Each chapter of the updated Crozet Master Plan will include a guiding principle and a series of goals. Those components have been used to guide the draft recommendations shared in this online questionnaire. 

Guiding Principle

Enhance Crozet's natural beauty, existing natural resources, and the surrounding rural areas with an integrated network of parks and gathering spaces, trails, and greenways that support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation.

Goals

  • Continue to develop community parks and support opportunities for outdoor recreation in Crozet.
  • Build and maintain an interconnected network of trails and greenways that expand recreational opportunities in Crozet and provide alternate routes for travel between neighborhoods and centers of activity.
  • Leverage Crozet's proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park by expanding access to rural and regional amenities.
  • Conserve and enhance Crozet's natural resources through the use of sustainable and restorative site design practices.

Participate in the Master Plan Process

There are several upcoming opportunities to share feedback on the Conservation recommendations, including: 

Frequently Asked Questions

A Master Plan is a collaboratively developed document that describes a community’s vision for future development, using text, maps, and diagrams. In Albemarle County, Master Plans are used to guide future public and private development and to coordinate and prepare more detailed plans.

Albemarle County's Comprehensive Plan has implemented a Growth Management policy directing development into specified Development Areas or areas for growth. Crozet is one of Albemarle County's five Development Areas.

Rural Areas are intended to be conserved for rural uses, such as agriculture, forestry, and resource protection. 

Steep slopes are areas of incline with a 25 percent grade or greater (grade refers to the angle of the incline, where horizontal or flat equals zero). Steep slopes are regulated through an overlay district in the Zoning Ordinance. Generally, disturbance of steep slopes should be limited in order to protect downstream lands and waterways from potential negative effects (such as erosion and stormwater runoff) and to preserve the scenic nature of steep slopes in Albemarle County. 
 
In the Development Areas, steep slopes are classified in two ways: preserved slopes and managed slopes. Preserved steep slopes are often adjacent to stream banks and other sensitive environmental features. Special use permits (requiring approval by the Board of Supervisors) are required to disturb these areas. Managed steep slopes may be disturbed provided that engineering design standards are followed.
 
In the Rural Areas, critical steep slopes are classified as slopes with a grade greater than 25 percent. Special exceptions (requiring approval by the Board of Supervisors) are required to disturb critical slopes in Rural Area. 
An intermittent stream is a natural stream that has a defined stream bed and banks. It flows with water either after a rainfall or from springs. Otherwise, it may not have flowing water.
 
A perennial stream is a natural stream that is consistently flowing and only lacks flowing water during abnormally dry conditions.

Stream buffers are areas of land at or near streambanks or nontidal wetlands (or both) that provide environmental services (such as improving water quality) or are sensitive to changes which may result in water quality degradation.

Chapter 17 of Albemarle County's Ordinances is the Water Protection Ordinance (sometimes referred to as the "WPO"). This section regulates construction activities, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, and stream buffers. WPO regulations are authorized by the state of Virginia and are required to ensure that land disturbing activities provide adequate measures to protect nearby waterways and other properties.

The WPO requires stream buffers to be 100 feet on each side of the stream. Typically, in Albemarle County's Development Areas intermittent streams do not have a stream buffer when they are located outside of public water supply watersheds. Since Crozet is located within a water supply watershed, all intermittent streams in Crozet have a stream buffer. Perennial streams always have stream buffers.

A floodplain is an area adjacent to a body of water that is susceptible to being inundated by water normally associated with a 100-year flood or storm event. This term includes (but is not limited to) FEMA designated floodplains.

The Albemarle County Zoning Ordinance includes a flood hazard overlay district, which regulates the allowed and prohibited uses in the floodplain. For example, some recreational, public utility, and agricultural uses are permitted in the floodplain, while most structures (such as homes and businesses) are not.

Albemarle County's Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in June 2018. The Plan identifies important species, habitats, and sites within the County and outlines goals and strategies to protect these habitats and species, such as minimizing habitat fragmentation and management of public lands to conserve and enhance biodiversity.

Dark skies refers to lighting regulations in Albemarle County's Zoning Ordinance that are intended to restrict excessive uplighting and glare in an effort to protect views of the night sky and reduce light pollution. 

A viewshed is an area (typically with significant natural features) that is visible from public spaces such as streets, sidewalks and parks. County staff have heard from Crozetians about the importance of preserving significant views from public areas and parks. 

Please visit this page to view the List of Engagement Opportunities: https://publicinput.com/L4000

Below, watch the February 10, 2021 CCAC meeting which includes an overview presentation of draft Conservation recommendations: