10 Guiding Principles for a Successful Downtown

Photo by The Crozet Gazette. 

Photo by The Crozet Gazette. 

These are the guiding principles we ask everyone to strive to adhere to as we work together to grow the heart of Downtown Crozet.

1.     Be Authentic. Development that is true to the nature of Crozet: eclectic, small town. Honor and draw on historic precedents but don’t try to copy things that can’t be reproduced.

2.     Be Environmentally Responsible.  Barnes Lumber is an industrial brownfield that needs to be remediated before it can be redeveloped. 

3.    Create Reasons and Places for Community to Gather.  That’s what town centers are all about.

4.     Honor Pedestrians and Bicyclists.  Most of Downtown Crozet is neither bike nor pedestrian friendly. That needs to change for downtown to be successful.  

5.     Seek Connectivity Wherever Possible.  For downtown businesses to be successful, people need to be able to get to them. 

6.     Be Flexible.  Needs and wants evolve over time. Maintain flexibility to take advantage of future opportunities. That doesn’t mean we have to compromise our other principles.

7.     Be Inclusive and Affordable.  Create affordable opportunities for local business to locate and grow in downtown. Create a variety of housing opportunities walkable to downtown. Focus on higher density in the core.

8.     Be Mindful of the Market. Understand and capitalize on Crozet’s strengths, but be realistic about what’s possible now. We have to build buildings that satisfy some market demand or downtown will fail.  

9.     Work Together.  Building downtown is an enormous challenge and without the strong support of the Crozet community and Albemarle County, it won’t happen.  We’ll need to build trust, consensus, enthusiasm and commitment before we can build roads and buildings.

10. Be Resourceful and Proactive.  Don’t assume that good things will happen if we wait long enough. Good things happen when good people make them happen.  Crozet has a new library and downtown streetscape because Crozetians made it happen. If we want good businesses to come to Crozet, let’s figure out what it will take to get them there and then do it. If we want high quality civic space in downtown, let’s figure out what it should look like, what it will cost and how we can pay for it. Then let’s make it happen!

Is there anything missing from this list that you'd like to add? Any thoughts on the current list you'd like to share?