STAFF PERSON:                                                                  MARGARET DOHERTY

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                              DECEMBER 2, 2003

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                              JANUARY 14 , 2004




Applicant’s Proposal: The applicant, Foundations Child Development Center, is proposing a day care center of up to 125 students in a new building approximately 6,200 square feet in size, on a portion of a parcel located on Berkmar Drive across the street from Planet Fun.  The proposed improvements include sufficient area for playground and parking.


Petition: Request for special use permit to allow a day care center in accordance with Section [] of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for day care facilities in the R-6 Zoning District.   The property, described as Tax Map 45 Parcel 112F, contains 1.541 acres, and is zoned R-6, Residential.   The proposal  is located on Berkmar Drive (Route 1403), approximately .5 miles north of the intersection of Berkmar and Woodbrook Road,  in the Rio Magisterial District.   The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Transitional in Neighborhood 1.  Please see a vicinity map included as attachment A.


Property description: Tax Map 45 Parcel 112F is located on Berkmar Drive (Route 1403), approximately .5 miles north of the intersection of Berkmar and Woodbrook Road, in the Rio Magisterial District.  


Character of the Area: The property is surrounded by commercial uses: SPCA to the south and Planet Fun across the street.  The property adjacent to the north is reserved for right-of-way for the Western Bypass, and includes improvements from the former Faulconer Construction Company site.   There are two single family residential properties near the site, one on Woodburn Road  northwest of the subject parcel, and one northeast of the site across the street, however, the character of the area along Berkmar Drive is mostly service commercial.


By-right Use of the Property: The property is currently zoned R-6, medium density residential.  It could be developed with up to six dwelling units per acre, theoretically 6 units (1.5 acres x 6), and a variety of dwelling unit types are available.




Staff’s comments present an analysis of how the proposed use meets the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan, and the Zoning Ordinance.


Comprehensive Plan:


The subject property is designated Transitional on the Land Use Plan Map and is within Neighborhood One.  Following are recommendations from the Comprehensive Plan (page ), relative to this property:


·        Due to the potential impact of the Western Bypass, the area north of Rio Road, west of Berkmar Drive and east of Woodburn Road, was designated Transitional.  This designation will allow for a wide flexibility of uses and allow uses that would be compatible with the bypass in the long term and provide a transition to the residential property to the west in the short term. 


The proposed daycare use is a good transitional use between the commercial uses on the south side of Berkmar Drive and the residential uses on Woodburn Road.   In the long term, if the bypass is constructed, the building may be converted to a more commercial use, to avoid the construction and eventual noise from truck traffic.


·        Access to Woodburn Road from properties located between Berkmar Drive and Woodburn Drive will be prohibited.  Proposed development which impacts on the bypass development shall be discouraged.   


The proposal does not include access to Woodburn, nor does it impact bypass development.


·        Consider extending transit service along Berkmar Drive.


The concept plan includes a twelve foot reservation for future right-of-way, which will allow VDOT to improve Berkmar Drive with an additional lane or bikelanes, as necessary.


·        Maintain the wooded ridgeline along Berkmar Drive to buffer the residential properties along Woodburn Road.


The proposal does include the removal of trees, which is required for any development of this parcel, however, there are no residential properties along this stretch of Woodburn Road which require buffering.


Neighborhood Model


Staff has analyzed the parking structure for conformity with the twelve principles of the Neighborhood Model, and finds it generally in compliance, as follows:


 Pedestrian Orientation

 The concept plan shows sidewalks from the parking lot to the building and along Berkmar Drive, however, crosswalks should be shown across the entrance and the travelway, which will be required at the Site Plan stage.

 Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

 Not Applicable.  Sidewalks exist on Berkmar Drive along the entire frontage.


 The proposal includes a new entrance on Berkmar Drive, which will be shared with any future development on the northern portion of the property.

 Parks and Open Space

 The proposal includes an area for a playground around the building. 

 Neighborhood Centers

 Not Applicable.

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

 Elevations have been provided with Attachment B.  The building presents as a residential structure, one-story with a pitched roof, which will blend into the neighborhood. 

 Relegated Parking

 The daycare use requires a safe play area, behind the building, which forces the parking to the side, rather than the rear.  However, the building has a smaller setback than the majority of the parking.

 Mixture of Uses

  The site is so small that it is acceptable to propose one use and it adds to the mixture of uses within this transitional area.

Mix/ Housing Types

Not Applicable.


 Not Applicable.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The concept plan shows a lot of grading into the slope to create a usable play area.  Given the fact that the adjacent parcel is right of way for the Western Bypass, this is an acceptable solution.  The remaining slopes should not be more than 3:1 to allow for re-vegetation and stability.

Clear Boundaries w/ Rural Areas

Not Applicable.


Zoning Ordinance Review


Section of the Zoning Ordinance below requires that special use permits be assessed as follows:


Will the use be of substantial detriment to adjacent property?


Adjacent property will find little or no effect from this proposed use.  The SPCA facility to the south is setback so far from the street such that there is little or no relationship.


Will the character of the zoning district change with this use?


The character of the zoning district is a mix of residential and commercial and service uses.  A daycare facility will not change this character.


Will the use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance?


A daycare facility provides a necessary service use to the residents of this area and therefore is in harmony with the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance.


Will the use be in harmony with the uses permitted by right in the district?


A daycare facility is in harmony with the uses permitted by right, which include mostly residential uses, and compatible service uses.


Will the use comply with the additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance?


Section 5.1.06 requires that each day care center be subject to the following: 


a.      No such use shall operate without the required licensure by the VDSS.  It shall be the responsibility of the owner/operator to transmit to the zoning administrator a copy of the original license.  Failure to do so shall be deemed willful noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter;


b.      Periodic inspection of the premises shall be made by the Albemarle County fire official at his discretion.  Failure to promptly admit the fire official for such inspection shall be deemed willful noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter; and


c.       These provisions are supplementary and nothing stated herein shall be deemed to preclude application of the requirements of the VDSS, FDH, VSFM, or any other local, state or federal agency.


The additional regulations noted above do not need to be addressed as part of the special permit approval.


Will the public health, safety and general welfare of the community be protected if the use is approved?


The special permit request has been review by the members of the Site Review Committee, to ensure the public health, safety and general welfare of the community will be protected.


Finally, the Virginia Department of Transportation is recommending approval of the special permit, but they are requiring that the applicant reserve area for a potential additional lane in Berkmar Drive, which is shown on the concept plan.




Staff finds that this request generally complies with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan, and recommends approval of SP 03-49 with the following conditions:


1.      The site shall be developed in general accord with the concept plan entitled, Foundations Child Daycare Center, dated September 25, 2003;


2.      The maximum number of children shall not exceed 125 or the number of students as approved by the Department of Social Services, whichever is less;


3.      VDOT approval of a commercial entrance;


4.      The remaining slopes should not be more than 3:1 to allow for re-vegetation and stability; and


5.      The following minimum setbacks shall be maintained:  30 ft building and 10 ft parking setback from Berkmar Dr and 15 ft building setback from the southern property line.




A – Location Maps

B – Foundations Child Daycare Center Concept Plan and elevation drawing, dated November 3, 2003.

Return to PC actions letter