Free Enterprise Forum weighs in on Crozet housing

Free Enterprise Forum weighs in on Crozet housing
Neil Williamson, president of the Free Enterprise Forum, works at his office. (Source: WVIR)

CROZET, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County is in the middle of the two year process taking a look at the master plan for Crozet and how housing in the area should look. Resident concerns about overcrowding in the town could lead to less development for apartment-style housing, which housing advocates say would directly affect affordability.

“The idea of zoning allows certain densities in certain places, and is it legal? Yes, it’s legal to prohibit increased densities where you don’t want it,” President of the Free Enterprise Forum Neil Williamson said.

Williamson also says there’s a possibility that apartments could be banned in Crozet.

“There’s a great embrace by the community for something called missing middle housing which is fantastic, the idea of duplexes and quadruple quad-plexes in areas that are formerly only for single family residential, but there was also a subtext to that, whereby the community was really pushing back against any new apartment buildings,” he said.

As president of the Free Enterprise Forum he says the market should decide the types of housing available.

“The Free Enterprise Forum believes that Crozet is a development area, and should have a full an entire tapestry of housing options, both for purchase and for rent that provides affordable housing across the spectrum and at various price points.”

According to the Imagine Crozet website, 60 percent of people who responded to the public survey said form of housing was more important than density of the area but many of the comments were related to Crozet becoming overcrowded.

“I would love to see more public engagement,” Williamson said. “It is a challenge to engage the public safely at this juncture in time, but I applaud Albemarle county for trying everything I can to get out to the community and get the community heard”

Williamson says Crozet needs diversity and it’s a great asset to have.

“Diversity is our strength, diversity of housing types, diversity of persons and diversity of employment opportunities,” he said.

NBC29 reached out to Albemarle County for comment about the master plan process but has not heard back.

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