Bamboo grove was approved last week by the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, which means that the project is moving forward. We get to build a little pocket neighborhood in walking distance to downtown Crozet!
Thank you so much to Nicole and Justin from Gallifrey who filled in the gaps of my development knowledge to make the rezoning process as smooth as it can be. County staff and officials have all been great to work with; I’m proud of how much care they put into their complex job of city building.
Special thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and advice through all of the project’s many different iterations, especially our wonderful neighbors. I’ve received so much positive feedback on the designs from the community and neighbors; I hope that this project becomes a beacon for how to create small scale, affordable, community focused, walkable places to live that fit in with and strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods.
Part of my philosophy is to make it easier for this type of neighborhood to be built in the area, so please feel free to contact me about questions, ideas or dream projects. Here is the slide deck from the Board of Supervisor’s meeting
Lisa Martin wrote a wonderful story in the Crozet Gazette about the little neighborhood we’re trying to build and how it came to be.
Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Communities, Design, Energy Efficiency, New Urbanism
Tags: Affordable housing, architecture, Bamboo Grove, Bungalow Court, community, Cottage Court, Crozet, Ecovillage, low impact, pocket neighborhood, Sustainability, walking trails
Bamboo Grove is a miniature neighborhood with six compact, affordable and energy efficient houses is designed for an acre of land a few blocks from downtown Crozet. Shared green space between the houses anchors the neighboorhood together while walking trails and sidewalks connect it to nature and the surrounding community. Common landscaped areas, patio, bicycle parking and mail area will be located between the vehicles and the houses to encourage the informal interaction so essential to build a feeling of belonging to a community.
This type of housing is often referred to as a “Cottage Court”, “Bungalow Court”, or “Pocket Neighborhood” and provides a housing choice that is desirable, affordable and very rare in the current housing stock. All the houses will have a compact design which will help them fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood and will make them more affordable than almost every new house being constructed in the surrounding Crozet area.
The area next to the stream running through the property will be dedicated for Public use as a part of the proposed future greenway trail system that is shown in the Crozet Master Plan.
Rain gardens, native surface landscaping and other green infrastructure techniques will be used as much as possible to manage stormwater from hard surfaces on the site and from the areas draining through it. The site lies next to a small stream, so careful design will be used to filter and slow down the water travelling through the site as much as possible with tools that work with the existing environmental features. The existing topography will be respected and used to enhance the character of the neighborhood. For more details go to the project page:
Charlottesville Tomorrow did a little article on our little project!
Attached housing is a really smart way to increase density and provide affordable, small housing in walkable neighborhoods, but it is illegal in most places. Duplexes don’t have to be ugly! This is a gallery of lovely examples where attached housing not only fit well into an existing neighborhood, but is also really attractive. Help normalize and re-legalize missing middle housing by adding your pictures to and sharing galleries like these!
Put a Friendly Face on Gentle Density
In the United States, people of color are disproportionally more likely to live in environments with poor air quality, in close proximity to toxic waste, and in locations more vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events.
In many vulnerable neighborhoods, structural racism and classism prevent residents from having a seat at the table when decisions are made about their community. In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential.
In Resilience for All, Barbara Brown Wilson looks at less conventional, but often more effective methods to make communities more resilient. She takes an in-depth look at what equitable, positive change through community-driven design looks like in four communities—East Biloxi, Mississippi; the Lower East Side of Manhattan; the Denby neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan; and the Cully neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. These vulnerable communities have prevailed in spite of serious urban stressors such as climate change, gentrification, and disinvestment. Wilson looks at how the lessons in the case studies and other examples might more broadly inform future practice. She shows how community-driven design projects in underserved neighborhoods can not only change the built world, but also provide opportunities for residents to build their own capacities.”
This course will be approved for 1 GBCI LEED Specific and AIA CE
Tue, January 8, 2019: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.
The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such
Entrance from Orchard Dr
little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.
See the full designs here and contact me if you would like to buy one or design something like this for somewhere else!
Categories: Architecture, Design, Tiny Housing
Tags: Affordable housing, architecture, Charlottesville Virginia, Conservation, craftsmanship, Crozet, detail, greenhouse, low impact, Neighborhood
How do you ensure that a city remains a place where people with varying incomes can still afford housing during huge re-investment and skyrocketing expenses? Former City Mayor Dave Norris and Charlottesville’s Housing Program Coordinator Stacy Pethia discuss creative ways of building a city where everyone can afford to live and work.
This luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Luncheons are open to the public. Lunch is provided, attendance is free for GVGBC members and $10 for non members.
Click here to sign up
Affordable housing, healthy environments, and energy efficiency don’t usually go together. In Central Virginia, affordability is often the least attainable goal and is becoming an increasingly big problem for the areas less-affluent residents.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville is doing an impressive amount in this area to build dwellings that provide all three. Their mission goes far beyond just getting hard-working people into homes; revitalizing entire existing neighborhoods with a focus on walkability, sustainability, community and ownership. They are paving the way with a new standard for peri-urban neighborhood revitalization.
Habitat for Humanity around the country has always been a leader in affordability and it is excellent to see the focus on sustainable, more resilient communities.