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Thread: What is going on at Crozet

  1. #1
    THE GIFT! SuperCharged! H2_RECOVERY's Avatar
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    Dec 2005

    Default What is going on at Crozet

    Chris Packard would like everyone to know what is really going on at Crozet.

    My wife (Heather Packard) and I (Chris Packard) have been members of OCC
    since 2002. I changed my email address a couple of years ago and have not
    been able to post on the lists since that time, but I have been regularly
    following them. Posts of late, like the one below, motivated me to fix my
    Yahoo ID so that I can speak up and let everyone know the truth of what is
    going on.

    My wife and I haven't been able to make a meeting in some time, so I thought
    it might be helpful for me to "introduce" us. For roughly the past 10 years,
    we have resided on the property that many people in the wheeling community
    refer to as "Crozet". We truly appreciate the support quite a few of you
    have offered and continue to offer.

    I would like to clear up some misconceptions. First, "Crozet" has never been
    a "park". It is private property surrounding the house where my wife and I
    reside, and it is maintained by the non-profit club, Rockcrawlers for the
    Preservation of Future Access (www.RCPFA.com). My wife and I lease the
    property from the landholders who are also our neighbors, and they have been
    fully aware of the rock crawling activities for as long as they have
    occurred. In fact, permission for use of the property in this manner was a
    contingency for us when we sold our home and moved to this property nearly a
    decade ago. Please note that my wife and I are members of RCPFA (as well as
    OCC, VA4WD, and UFWDA), helped to establish and nurture the growth and
    development of RCPFA, and we serve in an advisorial capacity for the RCPFA
    Board of Directors (BOD) who are elected by the club membership, but we are
    not BOD members.

    In order for people to wheel on this property, there have traditionally been
    two options. First, membership in RCPFA has conveyed the ability for someone
    to wheel on the property at any time it was not officially closed (the club
    maintains a calendar of activities via the forum referenced above). This
    included member-only events, "open" events, and the ability for two or more
    members to organize, with permission from the RCPFA BOD, a run of their own.
    Second, the club has, for several years now, organized periodic "open"
    events. These have typically been in conjunction with fund-raising and/or
    charity events (examples include an annual event around Memorial Day weekend
    to support and raise money for the EOD Wounded Warriors Foundation, an
    annual event in December to drive toy donations for Toys for Tots and food
    donations for the local Blue Ridge Area Community Food Bank, and periodic
    events to drive awareness/membership for organizations like UFWDA and Tread
    Lightly). These "open" events, in addition to being charitable functions,
    have also served as opportunities for nonmembers to get a sense of the
    property/obstacles before committing to RCPFA membership. In addition to
    maintaining the "Crozet" property, RCPFA has and continues to organize
    activities outside of the "Crozet" property (eg., club representation at
    events such as Big Dogs and cleanup-type activities on other public and
    private trails). To be clear, RCPFA exists in and on its own outside of the
    adopted "Crozet" property it maintains.

    There is a great deal of speculation on the Internet and across the various
    wheeling community/club forums (and, frankly, very little truth/fact-based
    details of the actual situation).

    The truth is that we have a neighbor about one mile away at the very end of
    Bearwood Road (he lives at the intersection of Rt 810 and Bearwood Road),
    and he does not like traffic. In fact, he has been a thorn in the sides of
    our other neighbors, including the landholders themselves, for quite some
    time. He incorrectly refers to Bearwood Road (which is a state road for a
    portion of its mile length, including the area nearest him) as part of his
    driveway/private property, and he has made past complaints about local women
    who have temporarily parked their vehicles on the side of Bearwood Road in
    order to jog/run more safely than they can do on Rt 810. He has made similar
    complaints of horseback riders and has even complained about the noise
    coming from the commercial activity of the orchard packing facility near his
    home. Please note that his mother has lived in the nearby home/complex
    referred to as the "Rockery" for many years before he moved into this house
    (sold to him by his mother) roughly 3 years ago, and it is impossible for
    him to have not been aware of the activity that has been occurring on this
    property for nearly a decade. He is self-employed (he sells pornograghy on
    eBay), and he clearly has a lot of time on his hands. He has frankly made it
    a personal vendetta to stop vehicles from driving by his home on the
    weekends, and he has attempted to disguise this vendetta as an ecological
    compliant. In fact, with the assistance from a couple of his friends, he
    created a FaceBook page (defunct after 2 days in existence) designed to
    promulgate his propaganda. When one of the landholders posted on that
    FaceBook page that he was incorrect that this property is in the watershed
    of the Beaver Creek Dam (it actually starts lower down on other property
    maintained in conservation by the landholding family), he immediately
    deleted her post.

    As we have well-known since we moved, this property we reside on is part of
    a land conservation easement held jointly by the Virginia Outdoor Foundation
    (VOF) and the Albemarle County Department of Parks and Recreation. On 22nd
    March, we received a visit from both of these entities (they have conducted
    site inspections in past as part of their standard operating procedures). We
    are waiting for a written notice of their official determination, but while
    they were touring the property, they stated that they could find nothing of
    concern to immediately address. Please note that recreational use of the
    land is expressly permitted as part of the land conservation easements.

    Additionally, as the result of this neighbor's complaint, we were also
    visited on that same day by 2 representatives of the local Albemarle County
    Zoning department (they are required to respond/investigate any complaint
    they receive). They initially expressed some concern about the potential for
    RCPFA activities conducted on the "Crozet" property being viewed as
    commercial in nature and potentially requiring a special use permit, pending
    the overall number of such events. Specifically, the collection of daily or
    weekend registration fees, while administrative in nature rather than being
    associated in any way with land-use fees, could have the appearance of
    commercial activity. These have ceased to exist. Additionally, because
    attendance at past "open" events have been made available outside of RCPFA
    membership, they felt this could give the appearance of being open to the
    public/publicly advertised.

    The RCPFA BOD is currently in process of looking at the structure of RCPFA
    membership to ensure that everything is in compliance with the Albemarle
    County Zoning department's recent official letter and that it will also be
    in compliance with any requests (should these occur) from the entities
    previously detailed above who dually hold the land conservation easements.

    ./l ,[____],
    .l---L |O==O|
    ())) ()))-o-)))

    I'm someone at the threshold of super intelligence

  2. #2
    THE GIFT! SuperCharged! H2_RECOVERY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    I hope that this will serve to put an end to the speculation and unfounded
    information that is being circulated (i.e., what are these past permits we

    have supposedly acquired?, where is this new venue we are considering?, what
    did we try in past and then were left alone?, etc.). I welcome any questions
    or requests for clarification/more information, and you can reach me via
    post on this list or contacting me directly.

    If we were to ever cease the rock crawling activities on this property,
    please rest assured that it would simply be because the joy we experience in
    participating in this great sport and helping to nurture and preserve that
    same joy for our fellow community members has been overcome by the PITA of
    having to speak the truth in the face of constant speculation and erroneous
    "facts", even if motivated from good intentions, rather than growing sick of
    dealing with governmental entities and regulations.

    Again, a very heart-felt gratitude to those of you who have already offered
    your assistance and support.

    ./l ,[____],
    .l---L |O==O|
    ())) ()))-o-)))

    I'm someone at the threshold of super intelligence

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