ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Plans to revitalize part of Downtown Crozet are now one step closer to reality. On Tuesday night, the Albemarle County Planning Commission greenlit a rezoning request critical to the redevelopment of the old Barnes Lumber site. Planning commissioners initially raised concerns about the traffic impacts of the plans for this former industrial site, but ultimately they supported this rezone request in an effort to help expand Downtown.

"The key to making this project work really was for the Crozet community and the county to embrace it, to own it, and to support it in a vibrant and consistent manner,” said Frank Stoner, developer.

On Tuesday night, the Albemarle County Planning Commission recommended approval for a request to rezone six acres of the former Banes Lumber property to make way for a multi-million dollar plaza which will include mixed-use retail and housing.

"I wish every area had the time that this community had taken to come to a redevelopment proposal like this,” said Pam Riley, Scottsville District.  

Commissioners raised concerns about the site and other proposed developments in the area causing an influx in traffic tying up major intersections Downtown.

"There are 126 apartments very close to Downtown. You have Pleasant Green with 200+ units breaking ground. I'm not a traffic engineer but I predict that these intersections will experience potential failure,” said Jennie More, White Hall planner.

Stoner said he plans to continue working with the county and the people who live in Crozet to ensure their vision for the expansion of Downtown is carried out in a way that best suits them. "Crozet is a growth area and we're fortunate to have a growing population but the reality is small-town economics are challenging."

That rezoning request will now move to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. That is scheduled to take place on August 21. If approved, construction could start as early as Spring 2020.