Lisa Martin

Aerial view of the proposed water and fitness center in Crozet Park. By Claudius Crozet Park.

Following strong resistance at the March 23 Planning Committee hearing, Claudius Crozet Park (CCP) management and its design team renewed their request to change and refuse permission to build a new 47,000-square-foot water and fitness center in the park. Commissioners expressed concern about the removal of the green space, the location of a second entrance to the park, the possible increase in local traffic and the proximity to the property line near the nearby swimming pool.

Following the delay in preparing a response to the committee’s concerns, management has provided a point-by-point document, along with new maps and drawings describing changes to the plan. The changes will be presented to the committee in September. The council is reviewing regional planning staff, who recommended that the original project design be approved, even though the commissioners raised concerns. Here are the biggest changes to the plan.

Location of the building

The design team requested a special exception to locate a new indoor pool within 30 meters of the original property line, as zoning regulations typically require a distance of 75 meters. According to the updated design, the entire remnant of the facility has been moved to the south, so that the edge of the pool is 80 meters from the property line and is also protected by a “Quiet Zone” of north wall offices and meeting rooms. CCP board member Drew Holzwarth said the park will still ask for a special exception.

Distribution of the planned water and fitness center site in Crozet Park, showing that the project would reduce the total green space by 5.6 percent.

“I think we still need it,” Holzwarth said. “We made the move in good faith, moving the structure farther to help with the buffer. Another thing is that we have added quite a bit of greenery to that corner of the building [for a visual and sound buffer] as well.”

North entrance location

The entrance to the proposed park to the north of the property has been relocated to the east — to the right of the small community center building on Indigo Road — to care for the trees next to the nearby residences. “There was a poor visual distance when you left [originally onto Hill Top Street] due to the bend in the road there, “said CCP board member Joel DeNunzio.” The new entrance to Indigo is much safer, maintains road views and complies with VDOT regulations. ” .

Drawing showing the updated location of the new water and seasonal facility relative to the nearest line of adjacent property. Photo: Claudius Crozet Park.

Construction entrance

Although the CCP commission initially intended to use the north entrance on Hill Top Street for construction vehicles, while the new facility was being built, complaints from Parkside Village residents called for a change in access to Park Road emergencies in most of the construction traffic. “We will use the Perkins Gate area [to the west of the main park entrance along Park Road], and we will have to remove some of the barriers to make it wider, “said CCP committee chairman Kim Guenther. The change will require a temporary gravel road to accommodate construction vehicles on the mountain slope.

Scale

Planning commissioners also expressed dissatisfaction with the size of the new facility, saying it was “out of scale” for the park. “I don’t think putting all that mass into a small neighborhood park is the right solution,” Karen Firehock said.

Comparison of the heights of the Crozet building with the water and fitness facilities proposed in Crozet Park. Photo: Claudius Crozet Park.

“Should the Commission be committed to intensive car and asphalt use on a green space?” said Rick Randolph.

“It’s starting to look like a mall with a lot of physical options,” Tim Keller said.

The CCP management addressed these complaints directly in a series of interpretations that show how the new two-story facility will look and fit within the park. Comparing the scale of the building shows that the fitness center will be the same height as the Mudhouse building and shorter than the surrounding library. Park Road entrance and football field views show limited impact with adult plantings. “The blue dome we put in the winter is taller than what the new facility will be,” Guenther said.

The most striking is the Proposed Site Breakdown. This shows that the construction space per square meter will increase by less than 3% and that the car park and hard-to-reach areas will increase by 2.7%, which will reduce the total green space / equipment in the park by only 5.6%. . The project engineer (Collins Engineering) stated in a response letter to the organizers of the region: [will] mitigate this minimal increase in the waterproof area over the property “.

It covers the vegetation of Crozet Park after the installation of the new water and fitness center, which shows that 44 trees will be removed and 194 trees will be added. Photo: Claudius Crozet Park.

Gardening

“We expanded the scope of the gardening package from the original plan to increase the buffer between the park and the Parkside Village neighborhood,” Holzwarth said. The site plan warns that while 44 trees will be removed from the immediate construction area, 194 trees will be planted along the building, parking lots, pond and Hill Top Street. The purpose of the board is to install a large portion of the Hill Top Buffer, even before the project begins.

Traffic

It was discussed at a meeting of the Planning Commission in 985 as the amount of daily vehicle travel that would create new facilities, but that amount was based on an older model of land use for a generic facility. DeNunzio recalculated the projected daily trips using more appropriate land use codes and calculated 847 additional trips per day with the proposed new facilities.

“The biggest increase is in the PM (evening) peak hour and 68 vehicles per hour are added [or about one per minute], ”he said. it has calculated an increase in travel on that road, the largest increase in that hour in the main PM time of 24 trips. [or about one additional vehicle every two minutes].

Updated architectural rendering of the planned water and fitness center at Claudius Crozet Park. Photo: Design Develop.

“They are not the roads that cause congestion,” he continued, “they are intersections. If you look at the congested areas of Crozet, they are on Crozet Avenue, Rt. 250, Rt. 240. it will reduce traffic to these intersections with less traffic and allow access to the park from the Library Avenue to avoid less-than-better sections of the Hill Top Better network connectivity reduces travel times, reduces emissions and reduces traffic to less crowded intersections scattering. ‘

For details, visit crozetpark.org and click on Aquatics & Fitness (and then Future Facility). The Planning Committee will meet again on Tuesday, September 28 to hear the CCP management’s request for a Special Use Permit and Special Exemption for the fitness center.