Albemarle County Planning Commission

December 9, 2003

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 at 4:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 235, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley, Chairman; Bill Edgerton; Rodney Thomas, Vice-Chairman and Pete Craddock. Absent from the meeting were William Finley and Jared Loewenstein. Mr. Edgerton arrived at 4:25 p.m. Mr. Loewenstein arrived at 5:30 p.m.        

 

Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Susan Thomas, Senior Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Lee Catlin, Facilitator; Mark Graham, Director of Engineering; and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Rieley called the regular meeting to order at 4:07 p.m. He stated that a quorum was not present, but that the Commission would not take any formal action.  He stated that the meeting would begin with the work session on the Crozet Master Plan Facilitated Session.

 

CPA 2003-07 Crozet Master Plan - The Planning Commission will review the Master Plan

prepared by the County's technical consultants, for adoption into the Comprehensive Plan, Land

Use Plan as an amendment to the Community of Crozet Profile.  (Susan Thomas)

 

Ms. Thomas stated that the Commission last reviewed this on November 18.  Since things went well at that session, they would continue that format as they work through Sections II and III.  She invited staff who had special expertise in certain areas to weight in with their comments. Staff decided to leave in some things that they were not sure of in terms of their legal statute to make sure the Commission had a chance to see them and have a chance to talk about them.  Staff felt that even if not everything could be implemented as the consultant’s proposed it that it would probably be very worthwhile to talk about that strategy. The Commission might come up with some other good ideas or maybe decide that even though they could not do something right now that it is the direction that you feel that the County should go, and then they could work towards that. She pointed out that a few staff comments were inserted.  Staff also tried to point out where the Commission might want to insert some additional information, such as the reference to the Affordable Housing Ordinance.  She turned the meeting over to the facilitator, Lee Catlin.

 

Lee Catlin, facilitator, asked if there were any questions before they got started.  She stated that the Commission has two batches of information to look at today and they would get as far as they can.  She pointed out that they have the second part Section II, which was entitled Strategies for Implementation and Section III, which was entitled Process and Forms of Development. She pointed out that they would go section by section starting with Section II. She asked that any Commissioner share with staff any comments or edits that they might have.

 

The Commission reviewed the document section by section and provided comments and suggestions to staff.

 

Ms. Catlin stated that on recommended strategies, the Commission wants staff to take a look through this again based on putting some language in that says that once these tools are placed in the Master Plan that they should be implemented through a Crozet Zoning Code. She noted that the Commission might want to take another look at it once they get this section reconfigured. She noted that the last one in this section is Indicators: The Measures of Success. 

 

Ms. Thomas stated that staff’s comment there was just if it was all right to just mention these things or do they need to develop rather specific standards.

 

Mr. Rieley suggested that they leave it short and open.

 

Mr. Craddock suggested that they leave the section as it was.

 

Ms. Catlin stated that the Commission needed to take a break before their next session at 6:00 p.m.  She suggested that they go back through this and summarize the Commission’s comments and suggestions to make sure that it was clear.  She stated that she would go back through her notes to summarize what the Commission has determined today.

 

·         On page 2, in the bullet related to Greenway Development - rather than having a hard and fast figure they should have language that says something more about that there should be as much funding put here as may be available or appropriate based on the needs of the plan.

·         An explanation for the Main Street Extensions - the 2006 to question mark had to do with the fact that is not really going to happen.  An element of that is until the property develops, that somewhat depends on the private sector so we really could not put a figure there.

·         On page 3, the discussion on Point Person - the real issue was that there was a clear intent to establish some capacity for economic development activities that were separate from what the Neighborhood Planner would be doing in that position when the Master Plan was adopted and that was established.

 

Mr. Rieley pointed out that position was to be linked to understanding the implementation of that.

 

Ms. Catlin stated that the next comment was as follows:

 

·         On page 4, under the strategy for Affordable Housing - The Commission needs to keep this section concurrent with what the Board is discussing and the action that they take on the Comp Plan Section, the ordinance and that type of thing.

·         Under d) The Strategies for Financial Improvement – there will be input on some language changes from the County Attorney for bonds, tax increment financing, community development authorities and for the public/private transportation act.  The idea under community development authorities was to make sure that staff brought back something that defines it for a community or for a public purpose.  The Commission felt that was needed to be part of what they saw.

·         Under the Section for Strategy for Development Review – take out zoning tools and other tools and just put in a general category of implementation tools.  This section should be presented in a sequence and manner that reflects the goals of the Master Plan, and tries to encourage applicant-initiated actions before using what applicants might perceive to be the more heavy handed type of approaches.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that they suggested that the section on modified development of the new process should be moved up.

 

Ms. Thomas stated that it really referred more to rezoning, but that it could be moved up to the top. 

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested that the third would be the by-right development rezoning and then the modified development rezoning.

 

Ms. Catlin stated that the next comment was as follows:

 

·         There should be some specific changes to some of those tools under the Neighborhood Model Planned Development – The Commission suggested a rewrite in the second paragraph, that they amend the second sentence to say Planned Development and applicant initiated rezonings, and thus preserves the County’s ability to address the concurrency issue at the time of the rezoning.

·         On Zoning Overlay – the Commission wanted to see some more definition and language changes in the form of tools for relief from regulations that don’t make sense in implementing the Master Plan. The Commission will revisit the Crozet Zoning Code in a major way.  The Commission will look at this once the section has been reworked to make sure that it reflects what the strategy and implementation tool section is about.

 

Ms. Catlin asked if there was anything else that anyone heard or wanted to discuss further.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that they should make sure that they end up with a sensible blend for public initiatives and private initiatives that has some room in it for some surprises. 

 

Ms. Thomas stated that it might be useful for the Commission to talk about the Design Guidelines before weighing back in on some of those tools.  There might be certain elements that they see in the matrixes and maps that the Commission likes and feels are reasonable and flexible, and then they might have some ideas on how to promote them.

 

Ms. Catlin stated that they would start on the next section on maps and matrixes at the next meeting, and then come back to work on this section. 

 

The work session ended at 5:30 p.m.

 

In summary, the Albemarle County Planning Commission held the second facilitated work session on the Crozet Master Plan.  Lee Catlin facilitated the work session and assisted the Commission in their review of Section II, Strategies for Implementation, of the proposed Master Plan for Crozet. The Commission reviewed and discussed staff’s recommended Comprehensive Plan language for changes to Section II of the technical consultants’ Crozet Master Plan final report.  The Commission discussed the proposal and provided comments and suggestions for changes to the document, but took no formal action.  Staff will make the changes and bring it back to the Commission for review.

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m. to the regular meeting at 6:00 p.m. in Room # 241.

 

The meeting convened at 6:12 p.m. in meeting room # 241.

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley, Chairman; Rodney Thomas, Vice-Chairman; Pete Craddock; Jared Loewenstein; Bill Edgerton and William Finley.

 

Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; Margaret Doherty, Senior Planner; Yadira Amarante, Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; Juandiego Wade, Transportation Planner and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Rieley called the regular meeting to order at 6:12 p.m. and established that a quorum was present.

 

Other Matters Not Listed on the Agenda from the Public:

 

Mr. Rieley invited comment from the public on other matters not listed on the agenda. 

 

 

Neil Williamson, Executive Director of the Free Enterprises Forum of Charlottesville, stated that he would like to tell the Commission about his weekend.  He stated that this weekend his family spent the weekend at Chapel Hills.  Chapel Hills is often used as an example for both relegated parking and new urbanism design.  He stated that he stayed just outside of the Meadow Mount neighborhood, which was often cited.  This existing neighborhood has recently put in traffic calming devices called raised sidewalks to cut down on some of the cut-through traffic that the interconnectivity of Meadow Mount has created.  He stated that during his visit he had the opportunity to visit Raskin School, which was a lovely facility where his nephew attended.  On Saturday the drive to the basketball game displayed a cascade of housing types not intermingled but cascading with increasingly single-family dwelling as you got closer to the school.  At the end of the cul-de-sac was the school site, which was on the edge of the development.  It serves as a community center despite the fact that it is not located in the community’s center. The senior housing and multi-family housing were located closer to the commercial center than the single-family housing. He felt that made sense for transit as well as the fact that those people in the higher density housing would be most likely to walk to the stores located in the commercial area.  He stated that this was a neighborhood that was an example of lots of flexibility, particularly with the use of the cul-de-sac.  He pointed out that this was a good neighborhood for the Planning Commission to look at for the potential of the implementation of the principles of the Neighborhood Model.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was anyone else who would like to speak regarding matters not listed on the agenda.

 

Mr. Leslie Jones stated that he lived at 4841 Blenheim Road that was located at the intersection of Rt. 708 and Rt. 795.  He pointed out that his daughter was with him in the audience.  He stated that when he came back early Thanksgiving day that he found that Mr. Sullivan, the owner of Pleasure Grove Farm, was going to do some work on Route 708 and redo the bridge at Hardware River at Carter’s Bridge. He stated that he got very few specific answers as to what was happening.  He talked with Mr. Willie W. Mayo, the superintendent, who came to his home with another gentleman and said that he had also been on vacation and that this work was new to him also.  He tried to find out from other people and did not receive any specific answers.  He stated that he remembered another gentleman, Mr. Kluge, who fixed Route 627. The neighbors told him that someone who represented Mr. Kluge spoke to all of them.  Therefore, they knew what was happening and all signed an agreement on how much they would lose for the road. Everybody worked together on it and he felt that it was a good thing.  He stated that he would like to find out the best way to find out answers and asked if the Commission had any suggestions.

 

Mr. Rieley asked Mr. Benish if he had any answers. 

 

Mr. Benish stated that this was a private property owner request to upgrade that roadway, and that process is initially done with VDOT.  Therefore, Mr. Jones should contact someone with the Virginia Department of Transportation. He noted that after he got through with his part of the meeting in about five minutes that he would get with Mr. Jones and give him some names of persons to contact at VDOT. 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the Carter’s Bridge project was a separate item that was an ongoing project. He asked if anyone else would like to speak to any item that was not on tonight’s agenda.  There being none, he stated that the meeting would move on to the next item.

 

Review of the Board of Supervisors Meeting - December 3, 2003:

 

Mr. Benish summarized the actions of the Board of Supervisors at their meeting of December 3, 2003.

 

 

Consent Agenda:

 

SUB-03-040 Avemore Final Plat  - Request for authorization of a private road in association with a final plat creating tree (3) lots.  (Stephen Waller)

 

Approval of Minutes – September 23, 2003, September 30, 2003, October 21, 2003 and October 28, 2003

 

Mr. Rieley asked if any Commissioner would like to pull this item from the consent agenda for discussion. 

 

Mr. Thomas stated that he did not know whether the item needed to be pulled or not, but that he just had a question for staff.  He stated that with everything that is going on at Pantops and all of the developments that they have approved, where do they stand on having a plan for a connector.  He asked if there was anything that was getting in the way now that was being applied for that was getting in the way of providing a connection to Route 20.

 

Mr. Benish stated that staff was actually working on a Comprehensive Plan Amendment that came out of the discussions on Eckerd Drug Store when the Commission reviewed that proposal. Staff is looking at an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that is addressing transportation and interconnections, and actually have broadened that to be possibly a baby step towards a neighborhood plan.  The Commission had asked staff to look at the land use issues.  However, staff is also looking to identify neighborhood centers and areas of protection that they want to emphasis, such as stream valley areas and other open space areas.  Then, staff can come back to the Commission with a comprehensive concept for interconnections recognizing the ongoing CHART work that has established certain improvements. In terms of specific projects, there are projects around the Route 20 corridor across from Darden Towe Park that are under review, which have been deferred for further internal discussion with the applicant to address or recognize the road connector issues. That is the Moore proposal.  Also, there was some subdivision proposals that are being made in the Luxor area. He asked if that answered his question.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that he thought that it does.  He stated that his question would have been specifically if Avemore were in direct conflict with that Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

 

Mr. Benish stated that they were recognizing Avemore as an improved project that the applicant was actively working towards developing. In the approved plan, accommodations for interconnections to an internal local street system were made. The project has been approved and nearing development that is now a physical characteristic of the area that they are going to have to plan for or around as they look at these interconnections.  However, they did make some accommodations for interconnectivity and in that general area they are trying to address that interconnection issue as they move through this planning process.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that that he was satisfied with the answer to his question.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it was a good point.  He asked if there was a motion.

 

Mr. Edgerton moved to approve the consent agenda as presented.

 

Mr. Loewenstein seconded the motion.

 

The motion carried by a vote of (6:0). 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the consent agenda was approved.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the Commission had two items to be reviewed under regular items.  He stated that the first item was SUB-2003-241, Ballard Field (Upper) Preliminary Plat.

 

Regular Items:

 

SUB-2003-241 Ballard Field (Upper) Preliminary Plat: Request for preliminary plat approval to create 43 lots on 40.1 acres. The property is zoned R-1.   The property described as Tax Map 55, Parcel 71 is located in the White Hall Magisterial District on Rt. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike), approximately one mile west of the intersection of Routes 240 and 250.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density in the Crozet Community. (Margaret Doherty)

 

Ms. Doherty summarized the staff report.  She stated that this was a request for a preliminary plat on tax map 55, parcel 71. She stated that the request was for a preliminary plat approval to create 170 lots for 228 units on 54.7 acres. The number of lots might change a little bit before the final plat approval, but was just about there. There are approximately 200 units, which has moved around a little bit since the staff report was written. The property is zoned R-6, Residential. It is located in the White Hall Magisterial District on Jarman's Gap Road [Route #691] approximately 1 mile west of the intersection of Jarman's Gap Road and Route 240. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Urban Density in the Crozet Community.  There have been a few minor changes. The subdivision includes a mix of housing types on small lots located on public roads. This is a request for a preliminary plat, utilizing public roads and the cluster provisions of the R-6 Residential Zoning District and a request to grade within areas of critical slopes. This allows for smaller lots and more open space. An adjacent property owner has requested the Planning Commission’s full review of the preliminary plat. They are well within the Comprehensive Plan’s recommended density and below their allowed underlying zoning density.  They have recreational facilities including tot lots, a green ways trail along Lickinghole Creek and public green space. The access to the site is provided by the construction of a new public road, which connects Jarman’s Gap Road to Route 250.  The applicant has labeled this road, “Western Avenue” and has scheduled construction prior to the construction of this subdivision, thereby helping to reduce traffic impacts to Jarman’s Gap Road.  The proposal also includes an emergency access only connection to Haden Lane and a ‘stub out’ for a future connection to the east.  The preliminary plat has been reviewed by the Site Review Committee and found to be in general compliance with the Subdivision Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance. There are a few issues that are outstanding, but which staff believes that can be accomplished by the time of final plat approval.  Staff has included those items as conditions of approval. The first one is the issue of what they are showing as Western Avenue.  There is a special use permit for this property for the golf course that has a condition that says that the road serving the golf course be built “following an alignment consistent with the Crozet Master Plan, once adopted.”  The Master Plan has not been adopted.  Therefore, staff cannot say that is where Western Avenue will be going.  Therefore, staff would ask that the applicant remove that label because this road might not end up being that connector road. 

 

There is a request for a critical slope waiver for this project. Staff normally recommends approval of critical slopes waivers in the Development Area, if the slopes being disturbed are not adjacent to a natural or cultural asset as identified in the Open Space Plan and if the Engineering Department recommends approval.  Most of the disturbance is for Brookview Road, which is proposed parallel to Lickinghole Creek, a natural feature identified on the Open Space Plan.   Staff is not concerned about this disturbance from an aesthetic point of view.  However, at the time this staff report was written, the Engineering Department was not prepared to recommend approval because of concerns with the grading near the buffer that was potentially in the floodplain.  Therefore, staff was requesting more information prior to recommending approval. The applicant believes these issues can be resolved to the Engineering Department’s satisfaction.   Staff believes that the disturbance outside of that adjacent area to Lickinghole Creek is minimal.  If the disturbance adjacent to the creek can be recommended for approval by the Engineering Department, than the request can return to the Planning Commission on a future consent agenda or however the Commission would like to see it later.

 

Another issue is that the preliminary plat shows emergency access only to Haden Lane. Staff is recommending that to be a public road access as shown on the Crozet Master Plan. 
Within the last couple of days staff found out that although this preliminary plat does show a public road connection to an adjacent property parcel # 75, that it does not show an existing access easement to that property nor does it show the extinguishing of that access easement. The legal approval from that property owner to extinguish that existing access easement and to provide access through this public road has to be approved prior to the final plat.

 

Those are the remaining issues. There are two conditions to add to the list.  She stated that the new condition G was the zoning administrator approval of the parking modification request.  The applicant needs seven more spaces and the applicant is suggesting that they be on the street.  The applicant would provide on-street parking and everyone agrees that is approvable.  VDOT and Zoning have approved that, but they just need to work out the final details of showing that on the plat. In addition, they have another condition of approval that they added tonight that the property owner of tax map 55, parcel 75 would approve the extinguishing of that access easement that exists to their property on the plat. 

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Ms. Doherty.

 

Mr. Thomas asked staff if the applicant had been informed and agreed to the additional conditions, and Ms. Doherty stated that she had.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were other questions.  There being none, he opened the public hearing for public comment.  He asked if the applicant would like to address the Commission.

 

Dave Anderson, of the Timmons Group from Richmond, stated that he was present to represent the applicant.  He stated that he would accept the recommendations by staff with one question to be answered before he made that official.  It seems that item G, that the Zoning Administrator could handle the approval of the seven additional parking spaces, would replace item E regarding VDOT’s requirement.

 

Ms. Doherty stated that Mr. Timmons was correct in that item E could be replaced with the language that she just suggested for G.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was any additional VDOT approval needed for the off-street parking that is required.

 

Ms. Doherty stated no because staff already has that approval. 

 

Mr. Anderson stated that in that event they would accept those recommendations of the staff.  He asked to reserve 5 minutes to respond after the public hearing portion in case there was the need to discuss some things. He stated that with respect to the adjacent property that staff mentioned, they were cognitive of the concern that there may be during the construction of Western Avenue, or whatever name it becomes, as to ongoing access and making sure that there is an all-weather road that is maintained.  He stated that they were willing to show that on the plan to ensure that they can get to the property at all times.  With that, he stated that they would agree to the recommendations.

 

Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Anderson if he knew why this item was pulled as a by right.

 

Mr. Anderson stated that he thought the Commission might hear that there is some concern about the congestion on Jarman Gap Road.  He pointed out that there were some concerns that involved what VDOT has already done and on what VDOT currently was not planning on doing until 2007. He stated that they were not interested in making Jarman Gap Road any worse than it was currently during the construction process of this project.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any other questions for Mr. Anderson.  There being none, he asked if anyone else would like to address this application.

 

Cliff Fox stated that he was working with the contract purchaser of tax map 55, parcel 75, which was the parcel that staff just mentioned concerning the access easement.  He pointed out that he was working with the developer to get that issue resolved, but they wanted to make sure that the condition was well articulated and finalized before the applicant received final plat approval.  Other than that, he pointed out that he submitted a letter and a copy of the deed showing the easement to Ms. Doherty for the record.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if anyone else would like to address this application. He asked if Mr. Anderson would like to rebut the comments.

 

Mr. Anderson stated that he had nothing further to add.

 

Mr. Rieley closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for discussion and possible action.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that he had one question.  He asked if it would be appropriate to include Mr. Anderson’s language about maintaining access as a condition.

 

Ms. Doherty stated that as long as the property owner approves of whatever arrangement they come up with that she would be satisfied if it was shown on the plat and that they have the final plat signed.  She pointed out that staff prefers to keep it simple.  Although it was shown on the preliminary plat, she felt that if they have their approval before the final plat that it would be sufficient.

 

Mr. Loewenstein recommended approval of SUB-2003-217, Ballard Field (Upper) Preliminary Plat, with the conditions as recommended by staff and amended and added to this evening.

 

1.       The final plat shall not be submitted for signature nor shall it be signed until the following conditions are met:

 

a.                   Planning Commission approval of a critical slopes waiver;

b.                   Show reserved right-of-way to the adjacent parcel, Tax Map 56 parcel 13, to allow for a future road connection;

c.                   Show a public road connection to Haden Lane;

d.                   Remove the “Western Avenue” road name;

e.                   Zoning Administrator approval of parking; and

f.                     Dedicate area for a Greenways trail along Lickinghole Creek.

g.                   Approval of the extinguishment of the access easement through the adjacent property.

 

2.       The following items must reviewed and approved by the Engineering Department before the final plat can be recommended for approval.  A completed submittal form and application, available at the Engineering Department, must accompany all submittals.

 

a.                   Water resources staff approval of the detention waiver.  There are no detention provisions currently on the plat, and if the waiver is not granted, the plat will need to be revised to show provisions.

b.                   Permission for off-site grading on tax map parcels 56-12, 56-11B, 56-8, 56-8A, and 55-70F;

c.                   A stormwater management/BMP plan, computations, and maintenance agreement. The BMP/stormwater detention basin location will require engineering approval prior to final plat approval.  This may require the elimination of one or more lots to accommodate an approved basin location;

d.                   All drainage easements must be shown on the final plat;

e.                   An erosion and sediment control plan, narrative and computations;

f.                     A stream buffer mitigation plan; and

g.                   Road plans and computations.

 

Mr. Edgerton seconded the motion.

 

The motion carried by a vote of (6:0). 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that SUB-03-217, Ballard Field Preliminary Plat, was approved.

 

SDP-2003-080 Parkside Village Townhomes Preliminary Plat: Request for preliminary site plan approval for 24 townhouse units totaling 26,579 square feet of building development with 1.3 acres of Open Space on an existing public road and a proposed extension of that public road on 2.8 acres zoned R6, Residential. The property described as Tax Map 56A2, Section 4, Parcels 23-34 is located in the White Hall Magisterial District on Rt. 691 (Hill Top Street), approximately 2,070 feet from its intersection with High Street. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density in the Crozet Community. (Yadira Amarante)

 

Ms. Amarante summarized the staff report.  This is a proposal to construct 24 townhouse units in the location that was previously approved as a section of Phase II of Parkside, which was already platted previously as twelve single-family home lots.  The applicant is proposing to combine those together and build townhouse units and then re-subdivide them into 24 townhouse units. That area is approximately 2.797 acres and zoned R-6 in the Crozet Community. Those lots are currently vacant.  Most of Parkside has been built out with single-family homes.  The reason staff has brought this request back to the Commission tonight is because, as you recall when the original Parkside Village Subdivision proposal came to the Commission in 1999, the applicant proposed 52 dwelling units. The Commission was very reluctant to approve 52 dwelling units on the public road connection basically being the old Hilltop Street.  On that section the applicant subsequently reduced the number of dwelling units from 52 to 48, which is what has been approved as a preliminary and final plat approval.  Now with this proposal it is taking the number of dwelling units up to 60, which exceeds the 50 dwelling units per public road connection limit imposed by Section 32.7.2.4 of the Zoning Ordinance.  Basically, staff is asking for guidance from the Planning Commission. Staff is recommending approval of this proposal with conditions. She asked to strike condition #5 because she was a little late in receiving VDOT’s comments. 

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Ms. Amarante.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that when this came before the Commission several years ago that they had discussed these numbers in great detail regarding not exceeding the 50 dwelling units per public road connection. He asked if staff felt that this proposal would not have any significant adverse impacts on the historic properties in this area.

 

Ms. Amarante pointed out that this was a by-right development.  She stated that she had looked at the Comprehensive Plan to see what resources were out there, and found that most of the historic properties were located in downtown Crozet.  She pointed out that in terms of the impact that she had not looked at this project.  She pointed out that she was not part of the previous approval. But in going back to the minutes and staff report, she stated that it seemed that the Commission at that time were reluctant to allow 52 dwelling units because of that part of the ordinance that says only 50 dwelling units or less shall be connected per public road connection. That being the case, the Commission only granted 48 dwelling units.  She pointed out that staff had recommended approval for up to 52 dwelling units.  She pointed out that there were many different ways that section of the ordinance has been applied, but that the Commission decided to be a little stricter.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that basically what was before them was another approach to that.

 

Ms. Amarante stated that was correct.

 

Mr. Rieley pointed out that another difference was that this proposal made provisions for two future connections.

 

Mr. Loewenstein pointed out that was not the case before.

 

Ms. Amarante stated that they have made significant additions to the provision of future connections.  She stated that there was the existing connection off Hilltop Road going to the properties to the west, which was the Daly property that the Commission had before them this year.  She pointed out that they did actually limit the number of dwelling units that could come from this property off this road.  

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any other questions for Ms. Amarante.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and asked if the applicant would like to address the Commission.

 

Bob Kingrea, of Stonehouse Development, stated that he represented the developer for this proposal.  He thanked Ms. Amarante for her efforts in working on the site plan with them to come up with a solution for a plan that would work for both the developer and the County.  The significant features of this plan was the potential connection of a Main Street to downtown Crozet of which they as the owners of the property were making a provision for. He felt that it was also important to note that they met with the property owner to the east to discuss its connectivity to continue that Main Street through the adjoining development that has been planned to the east of this project.  With those two things, he stated that they have a win/win here for the community.  It is in response to the identification of Crozet for a growth area.  They have attempted to create a footprint in a design that incorporates elements, which they think will be a very positive and attractive amenity to the area.  He pointed out that it was a very challenging site and not an easy site to work with since they were dealing with a grade with the current elevation that was about 15 to 20 feet below the trusses of the railroad tracks.  This property is set up currently to where you would be looking directly at a railroad trusses bank. The utilities that are in place on this particular site have to be worked around.  There are certain setbacks that are required from the rear where there was a water line easement, which has made it challenging to fit this particular project in.  He stated that working with County staff they have come up with a good solution.  He stated that he would be available for any questions that the Commission might have.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Mr. Kingrea.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that lot 24, which had the proposed Hilltop Street Extension, shows ownership by Weatherhill Homes on his plat.  He asked if that lot was just going to disappear.

 

Mr. Kingrea stated that was correct because they control that lot.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if the property line shown would no longer exist.

 

Ms. Amarante stated that it was part of the approval process of the final site plan for the boundary lines to be combined.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was anyone else present who wanted to address this application.

 

D. B. Sandridge, resident of Hilltop Street, stated that he did not see any of his neighbors here tonight, but he did not think that it was due to the lack of interest but that they felt like it was not going to make any difference that they were here tonight.  He stated that he had several points that he would like to bring up.  Back in 1999 when this subdivision was first put in, they were told 48 dwelling units and not 52 or 60.  He pointed out that they were back tonight looking at 60 dwelling units being at the end of their street.  As far as the two accesses to the property for emergency access, they are saying that Crozet Park could be a separate access.  If you go one-quarter of a mile to the end of Hilltop Street or if you go one-half a mile around through Crozet Park that it still stops right there at the end of Hilltop Street, which prevents any kind of access to his neighborhood. He stated that they had discussed future connectivity, and asked how long they were going to have to live with what was there before it ever happens.  He pointed out that what was currently there has already changed their neighborhood. In addition, it would change their neighborhood drastically in just adding twelve more homes. He suggested that the connectivity should be in place before there was approval for something like this so that it would not have the impact on their little neighborhood.  It was also in 1999 when the existing subdivision was approved and it was recommended that an asphalt sidewalk be put in their neighborhood.  He pointed out that it was now 2003 and you could not even use that sidewalk. He noted that he did not know who oversaw the construction of the sidewalk or who was looking after it today. The sidewalk was deteriorated in pieces with grass growing through it.  He asked that the Commission strongly consider not approving this.  It was a really emotional thing for their neighborhood when the 48 houses were put up, and now it would be 60, since they use to live on a dead end street.  He questioned what would happen in two years and if there would be 60 additional houses built.  He stated that he would appreciate any consideration that the Commission would give to not approving this request.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if anyone else would like to speak regarding this issue.  There being none, he asked if the applicant wanted some time for rebuttal.

 

Mr. Kingrea stated that it would be important to emphasize that the connectivity might not be there today, but he felt that it was important to make provisions for that connectivity and this was an opportunity to do that.  Without this, he pointed out that opportunity did not exist.  He stated that he did appreciate and understand the changes to a neighborhood that do occur since the area was growing and was a reality of a desirable place to live.  He stated that they could produce a design here that would add for future benefit to the Crozet area with the Main Street connection and increase connectivity in the future. Hopefully, this connectivity will occur sooner than later, but he felt that a project like this would add to it to make it sooner in reality than a later reality. 

 

Mr. Finley asked if he knew who built the sidewalks and maintains them.

 

Mr. Kingrea stated that he did not know who built the sidewalks, but he thought that it could be the developer of the Parkside Subdivision, which was not a group that they were involved with.

 

Ms. Amarante stated that Weatherhill Homes owned it at that time.

 

Mr. Craddock asked what the price points would be in here for affordable housing.

 

Mr. Kingrea stated that right now they were purposing these prices to be in the $175,000 per unit range, which was very close to the current Crozet affordable housing threshold of $172,000.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were other questions.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back to the Commission for discussion and possible action.

 

Mr. Finley asked staff who maintains the sidewalks.

 

Ms. Amarante stated that she did not know, but that she could find out.  She pointed out that the sidewalk was in the VDOT right-of-way.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that he would have to go through a process with VDOT.  He pointed out that he had been told that there was an awareness of the problem that exists now with the asphalt sidewalk.  He pointed out that he would need to check to find out what measures might be taken. This topic came up in a conversation recently. He stated that he would certainly find out and get back to this gentleman.

 

Mr. Rieley suggested that the Commission do everything possible to encourage that the sidewalk gets fixed.  He pointed out that it was interesting the Commission was going to look at the Six-Year Secondary Road Plan Priority List this evening.  This year, for the first time ever, sidewalks were separate projects not associated with roads and can be VDOT projects in and of itself. He stated that he would advocate putting something like this at the top of the list.

 

Mr. Cilimberg noted that he recalled some discussion about the potential of replacing that asphalt pad with a sidewalk.  He stated that staff would look into the situation.

 

Mr. Finley recommended approval of SUB-2003-080, Parkside Village Townhomes Preliminary Plat, with the conditions and changes as recommended by staff with the removal of condition # 5.

 

The Planning Department shall not accept submittal of the final site plan for signature until tentative final approvals for the following conditions have been obtained. The final site plan shall not be signed until the following conditions have been met:

 

1.       [18-32.7.4.3, 17-203] An erosion control plan, narrative, computations, completed application and fee.

2.       [17-304] A stormwater management/BMP plan and computations.  Computations must include water quality and detention routings for the 2yr and 10yr storms.

3.       [17-323] A completed stormwater management facilities maintenance agreement and fee.

4.       [18-32.7.4, Policy] Drainage computations.

5.        [18-32.7.9] Submittal of a Landscape Plan in conformance with Section 32.7.9 of the Zoning Ordinance.

6.       [32.5.6(n)] Show the location of all outdoor lighting on the plan.

7.       [32.6.6(j)] Provide a description and photograph or diagram and show the location of each type of outdoor luminaire that emits 3,000 or more initial lumens. Please be aware that installation of such luminaires in the future that are not shown on this plan shall require an amendment to this plan.

8.       [32.6.6(j)] [4.17.4(b)] Include a photometric plan on the site plan demonstrating that parking area luminaires are in compliance with 4.17.4(b).

9.   [30.6] The final plan approval is subject to the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Architectural Review Board.

 

Mr. Edgerton seconded the motion.

 

The motion carried by a vote of (6:0). 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that SDP-2003-080; Parkside Village Townhomes Preliminary Plat was approved.  He pointed out that staff would get to work on the sidewalk issue.

 

Work Session:

 

CPA-03-06 Rural Areas Section of the Comprehensive Plan </SPAN> - <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"> - Discuss the draft of the Rural Areas element of the Comprehensive Plan, including an additional section to the draft Plan titled "Conservation Uses." The Comprehensive Plan establishes government policy to help guide public and private activities as they relate to land use and resource utilization. The draft Rural Areas element of the Comprehensive Plan, including the draft Conservation Uses section, is posted on the county website at www.albemarle.org and is also available for review in the Planning Department located in the County Office Building. (Joan McDowell)

 

Ms. McDowell stated that the work session was to discuss an added section to the Rural Areas element of the Comprehensive Plan titled “Conservation Uses.”  She thanked Mr. Rieley for helping staff on this.  She pointed out that the conservation uses encompasses much of what is integrated into the rest of the document, but it pulls it together into one place. Next week the Commission has a public input session scheduled on December 16.  That is the public’s first opportunity to speak about the draft of the Comprehensive Plan for the RA element, and then they would go into at least one public session or perhaps more.  That is the reason staff has not scheduled the facilitated session. Staff will schedule the facilitated session as soon as possible after the public input sessions.  The revisions will be made to the proposal and then staff will hold public hearings.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that staff was trying to make sure that they have the document that the Commission wants the public to comment on next week.  Then from there, the Commission will receive the public comments and then use those facilitated work sessions to really focus on the particulars and make any suggestions for change.  He pointed out that it depends on how long that the Commission takes to get through that to know when the public hearing can be scheduled. He pointed out that staff wants to make it as quick as possible to go ahead and have the hearings so that staff can move this on to the Board.

 

Ms. McDowell pointed out that the facilitated session next week was so that the discussions could be facilitated and directed so that staff could receive clear direction from the Commission to know how to revise the plan accordingly.  She stated that the Commission would be able to discuss the public input and form their opinions at the facilitated session.  She stated that they wanted to meet tonight to discuss the conservation uses and any other questions or issues.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that staff has had the Rural Areas section, including Conservation Uses, available for the public during this last week.  He noted that it was located on the web site as well.  He stated that anything that the Commission wants to revise for next week would be made to the document and put out for the public.  If the Commission does not make any changes, then the entire document is in place and can be commented on.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if any Commissioner had any suggestions for changes.

 

Mr. Finley stated that he had a question in the first paragraph, in the recognition of conservation for land use. He asked if that paragraph meant that conservation was one of those things that he could get land use for.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it would not be unless the current land use regulations are changed.  He pointed out that this was just Comprehensive Plan language and it does not have any regulatory teeth. He stated that essentially what this section would be doing would be elevating conservation to the same level of importance within the Comprehensive Plan as agriculture and forestry.  It is a philosophical foundation for the Comprehensive Plan and not an ordinance, which does not have any requirements with it. 

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that Mr. Finley had an interesting point.  He suggested that the order of the words be changed to say the importance of conservation use of land in the County instead of using land use.  The words land use triggers the definition that everybody refers to.

 

Mr. Rieley agreed that Mr. Edgerton’s suggested wording change would be helpful.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that land use is used twice in the second paragraph and he agreed that it might very well create some misunderstanding.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the Commission would change the wording to “use of land.”

 

Mr. Finley stated that in the last paragraph on that page it talks about the primary use of conservation, which may have secondary uses for agriculture or forestry (e.g., limited hay cutting and/or small selective harvesting of trees).  He asked if this again was left up to the owner or the property.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it would absolutely be left up to the owner because this was just a description of how people sometimes use their land. For instance, this would cover if you have a part of your land that you neither harvest trees nor grow crops on, but you have parts of it that you do cut some hay or do some selective harvesting.

 

Mr. Finley stated that the last paragraph used the word encourage and then under objectives it uses the word supports.  He asked what that meant and who encourages whom to do what regarding strategies.

 

Mr. Rieley noted that the use of the word encourage was meant in the exact same spirit as it was used in the agricultural and forestral sections.  In other words, the agricultural one says encourage and not you must.

 

Mr. Loewenstein questioned the language in the second bullet under objectives with the use of the word support.  He stated that in his view this might be misconstrued as well. He asked what was meant by the use of the word support. He pointed out that might be construed as a type of support obviously if there were a land use category for conservation.  He pointed out that was not what they were saying. He asked if there was some other verb that might be used which would be clearer.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that was a good suggestion. He noted that once again that was similar language as it was used in the agricultural and forestal section. He pointed out that if there was a rezoning application that would negatively affect an agricultural or forestral use, or in this case a conservation use, then that would be taken into account and that would be the form that the support would take.  He stated that if there were a better way of putting it that he would not have a problem with it.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that the word support seems to imply the possibility of something concrete rather than a general spirit of encouragement, which was what he thought they were trying to say.

 

Mr. Rieley pointed out that he could not come up with another word.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that this might be just past the point of full agreement on its meaning.

 

Mr. Thomas suggested using the word favor in place of support.

 

Mr. Rieley asked staff to look at that issue within the context of the language that is used.

 

Ms. McDowell suggested that the Commission might want to add something like support through education.

 

Mr. Rieley suggested adding the words and land use decisions.

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested using the words use of the land.

 

Mr. Finley stated that the document did not list any incentives for conservation.

 

Mr. Rieley pointed out that argued for support in a more active sense.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that in the context of this document that he was not uncomfortable with the use of the word support.  He pointed out that this was talking about what the Commission cared about.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that support could have many different meanings and could be very passive or active.  He stated that it really was the basis from which they structure their strategies and ultimate actions. There are many things listed under strategies here and other places that represent what that support can be.

 

Mr. Loewenstein pointed out that the document talks about the economic benefit in use value taxation of conservation.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that conservation in and of itself is not identified as a use value law.  However, the types of things that represent conservation can actually be qualifiers, particularly under the open space category.

 

Mr. Rieley thanked everyone for their careful reading of this.  With those caveats and changes, he asked if the Commission felt comfortable putting this up to public scrutiny.

 

Mr. Craddock stated that it was a very good piece of work.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that it was very well done.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that he looked forward to the public session to receive public feedback.

 

Ms. McDowell distributed a statement from the Citizens of Albemarle that the Commission might have received by email. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if he could ask some questions concerning the statement of Ms. Hobbs, who was a representative for the Citizens of Albemarle.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it would be all right for Mr. Edgerton to ask his question.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that he agreed with them that the 50-acre parcel was not large enough, but he was curious if the Citizens of Albemarle had an idea of what would be an appropriate large size.

 

Katie Hobbs noted that she hoped that their board, who was very good about thinking outside of the box, could come up with some suggestions for the Commission before the public hearing next week.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he would like to add to that request.  He asked for some suggestions from them on how to equitably deal with the impacts that might have.  He asked to hear some public input on if they went to a larger lot size and that in effect down zones the properties, then how in fact do they make sense out of it.

 

Ms. Hobbs pointed out that she had some suggestions that she would send to the Commission by email. She stated that she fully understands that this would not be an equitable thing to do without some how taking care of the landowners because they have been protecting their land on their own for a long time.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that his second item was about agricultural/forestall districts. He noted that he had put his land in an agricultural/forestall district several years ago.  He stated that he was under the impression that, albeit may not be of great value, by doing so he was insured that even if the County decided to give up on the land use taxation break that he was insured that he would still get land use taxation.  He pointed out that was an incentive.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that at one point there was some thought about actually attaching land use value taxation to only properties that were in the districts.  This was considered particularly after the smaller district enabling legislation was passed by the State where you did not have to assemble so much land.  The idea would be that the people would be making a commitment to get their use value taxation.  Otherwise, you could remove use value taxation.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if that was his understanding, and Mr. Cilimberg stated that it was.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that was one benefit.

 

Ms. Hobbs stated that he was saying that if the County gave it up that he would still have it through the State, and Mr. Edgerton agreed and noted that he thought that benefit still exists.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that it would still be a County program by having agricultural/forestall districts.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the other benefit was that it sends a signal to the County about what the landowner intends to do with their property and that in fact is a benefit to the community at large.  He noted that gives the County the opportunity to be responsive to other land use planning decisions.

 

Ms. Hobbs pointed out that her point on that was that there needs to be more reasons and more incentives for doing that sort of thing.  For instance, it would be a hardship if she put her land in the program for ten years and then her daughter needed a kidney transplant or something.  She stated that they could understand why the landowners would not necessarily want to have their land tied up.  She suggested that the incentives be raised up a little bit.  If they were going to ask people to do this, then they have to have some very good reasons for being in the program.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that there was a small audience today and asked if the Commissioners would like to hear from anybody else who would like to weigh in on the things that they have talked about tonight.  Since the Commissioners favored receiving additional comments, Mr. Rieley invited additional public comment.

 

Neil Williamson, Executive Director of the Free Enterprise Forum, stated that the Free Enterprises Board has not formulated a position on this issue.  He stated that he had been through a number of these work sessions with the Commission, but was unclear concerning the discussions on the philosophical issue that Mr. Rieley raised about raising conservation to the level of agricultural and forestal and the impact that may or may not have.  He stated that he appreciated that it is Comp Plan language, but many of those seated in the audience were part of the Rural Areas Focus Group, which was not a committee because committees agree.  He stated that they had exciting discussions, but he thought that it was important to hear what changes that it would make. Often they hear at this podium that it was in the Comp Plan. Therefore, he thought that it was important to have that philosophical discussion and engage in it when there are more people in the audience because he felt that it was an important part for the County to hear.  He thanked the Commission for the opportunity to speak. 

 

Tom Olivier, resident of the Scottsville District, stated that he would like to comment briefly on two items. One is the importance of recognizing conservation areas as a land use with a distinct status.  He pointed out that he had been involved with the Comp Plan update since 1993.  One of the difficulties that has existed since the beginning is that in many cases there has been an assumption that natural resource conservation could be sufficiently accomplished as a kind of side effect of other types of open space uses.  He stated that to some degree that is true. But, one of the things that has come out of a lot of scientific work over the last two decades is simply that there are some types of resources that can only be protected within the areas that are more or less dedicated primarily to protect the natural resources.  He pointed out that there is a great deal of emphasis shown on water resources now.  It is very difficult to protect over the long term in a sustainable way the resources that are highly valued unless they understand that sometimes some areas are rightly set aside for protecting these things.  He stated that he was thinking primarily in terms of conservation easements where landowners would take it on themselves to a degree to protect wetlands or encourage some old growth forest on their property as a choice of theirs.  The second thing was the land use tax and the notion of conservation.  In the mid-1990’s the County thought about removing, what Mr. Cilimberg mentioned the open space category in the land use tax.  At that time one of our developers proposed placing a golf course under open space, taxation and it would have amounted to a very large reduction in property taxes each year.  This is a fairly obscure provision in this State land use law, but it in fact does exist as Mr. Cilimberg mentioned.  There is a land use category for open space, but he felt that the criteria for qualifying for this was somewhat fuzzy.  He pointed out that there was a mention of wild life habitat and wetlands.  There are a number of categories which can qualify for land use taxation benefits if you were to place your land in an open space use of one of these specified conservation types.  He pointed out that very few people seem aware of this.  He stated that there were even some people on the County’s staff in the Real Estate Department that were not aware that this existed. Subsequently, he pointed out that he spoke with Mr. Woodzell and learned that there is apparently no formal process for doing this.  He stated that one thing that ought to be encouraged in the mix of things is that this open space land use process should be publicized since it was already on the books, but yet it was hardly known and used.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that was a strategy that they should consider adding.  He asked if there was anyone else who would like to weigh in on the Rural Areas.  He thanked everyone for his or her comments.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that he observed that conservation as a use of land beyond agricultural and forestry in a sense is broadening the possibilities in the Rural Area for activity and use.  He noted that there was an array of degrees from preservation, which might be at the highest end, to actual land use activities that were at the other side of the spectrum.  Staff reviews incoming applications to try to determine how the request fits in the Rural Area Policy and sometimes have not found a neat fit.  The conservation use of land and the fairly broad array of things that can constitute that can give more of a basis.  He referred back to the application for Cross Country Trails for the biking, which was not representative of anything of an agricultural or forestall sense other than the possibility that they might by doing that be able to continue some of their agricultural activities there. He stated that in fact there might have been better ways to tie that use to conservation. Again, the devil is always in the details and they have to really look at these projects based on the particulars. He noted that it broadens the possibilities of what Rural Area is, how people may conduct activity on their land in the Rural Area, and also how they preserve their land that the agriculture and forestry in and of itself may not capture.  He pointed out that was just an observation. 

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there were any more comments.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that what he was hearing was that the Commission would like to add something that might be a ninth point that speaks to the open space land use category.

 

It was the consensus of the Commission to add the open space land use category with some clarification.

 

Mr. Rieley suggested one change in the last paragraph before objectives where it says for the individual property owner retail sales associated with conservation land use such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and so forth are substantial and growing.  He noted that his original thought was that those were general economic benefits rather than ones that are accrued specifically to the individual property owner.  He suggested that they change it to read for the County or region in general and for the individual property owner to a lesser extent and then finish the sentence.  He stated that he did not think that they could argue that those retail sales from saddles for horses are a major economic thing for the property owner.

 

Mr. Cilimberg suggested using community at large and to a lesser extent, the individual property owner and Mr. Rieley agreed that was perfect.

 

In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on the draft of the Rural Area element of the Comprehensive Plan, including an additional section to the draft Plan titled “Conservation Uses.”  This section attempts to elevate conservation to the same level of importance within the Comp Plan as agricultural and forestry uses. The Commission reviewed and discussed staff’s recommended Comprehensive Plan language for the draft Plan titled “Conservation Uses.” The Commission discussed the proposal and provided comments and suggestions for changes to the document, but took no formal action.  Staff will make the changes and bring it back to the Commission for review.  The Commission will hold a public hearing on this next week on December 16.  Facilitated work sessions will be held in the future prior to the document being forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Mr. Finley left the meeting at 7:40 p.m.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the next work session was on the six-year secondary road plan priority list.

 

Six Year Secondary Road Plan Priority List 2004-2010 – Second work session to respond to questions the Planning Commission posed to staff at the November 11th work session.  (Juandiego Wade)

 

Mr. Wade passed out the revised six-year secondary road plan priority list.

 

Mr. Rieley asked what the process was to get a project into a higher priority on the six-year plan.  Specifically, he requested that the deteriorating sidewalks in Crozet, which they discussed earlier, to be placed on the list as a high priority.

 

Mr. Wade stated that sidewalks could be done as part of a road project.  He pointed out that sidewalks could also be done as a CIP project.  During the past two years, the County has been trying to get sidewalks on Route 240 as an enhancement plan through VDOT.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was any technical reason that they could not use secondary road funds for that.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that they could actually use secondary monies, but they have not prioritized sidewalks under their secondary program.

 

Mr. Wade stated that during the past few years the resources from VDOT has been so limited and to take that away would just push some of these projects that they have been trying to get done even further down, but they could do that.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if those sidewalks were just part of the developer’s responsibility. 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the developers of that project were long gone.

 

Mr. Cilimberg suggested that since they need to forward this on to the Board that they express their desire to add sidewalks as an element on the priority list, and in fact identify Hilltop in particular. He stated that he thought that there was some effort underway to address this problem.  Therefore, it might not necessitate using secondary road monies to do it.  By the time that this issue gets to the Board, staff could make sure that is identified.  If in fact that there is no other mechanism or funding source available, then certainly the Commission’s comments to the Board stand.

 

The Commissioners were in agreement with Mr. Cilimberg’s suggestion.

 

Mr. Wade stated that he had a couple of things that the Commission asked staff to look into after the November 11 worksession.  He noted that there were a few changes made to the priority list. 

·         The Proffit Road date was changed to June, 2012, which the staff reports had stated October, 2012.  This was a change that VDOT should have changed initially.  However, after VDOT looked at this, with the increased funding for Jarman Gap Road, they found that the project had to be moved down a few years as well as some other ones. 

·         A new project has been placed on the list for 100 Old Green Mountain Road for Route 6 to Route 602.

·         Staff met with VDOT and suggested that they not pursue paving Route 702, which was Reservoir Road that goes to Camp Holiday Trails, but to just look at the paving at the beginning and then do some spot improvements.  This would be a recommendation by staff to the Board of Supervisors. Then if it were approved, the project would come back next year as a spot improvement.

 

Regarding the request by the Commission for staff to give cost estimates to all of the 100 projects on the list, Mr. Wade stated that staff found that it would be too much guess work involved.  Based on the information that staff has and the funding, it would take a long time to complete the estimates.  He stated that staff could work with VDOT, but it would be a very long and expensive process.

 

Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that VDOT under the administration in Richmond was required to do much more precise cost estimating.  He pointed out that they were not just using a general formula anymore, but were actually spending more time in estimating the cost of these roads in a realistic way.  He stated that if they ask VDOT to do a lot of estimates that it would take a long time to get a response.

 

Mr. Wade stated that the Commission requested information on whether paving a road would make it safer.  He stated that staff went to the Research Council at the University of Virginia to see if there have been any studies done.  There have been many studies done on that.  He noted that he chose one done at the University of North Carolina where they looked at roads in Illinois and Minnesota.  He pointed out that he put the conclusions to the study in the executive summary.  Basically the study indicated that on the roads with vehicle trips under 150 that there is really no difference in whether it is paved or unpaved concerning the number of crashes on the road.  Once you get above that, then it does make a different.  He pointed out that staff also looked at other things such as drainage, erosion, etc. in considering the number of crashes.  He noted that staff was unsure of the way that the Planning Commission wanted to go with this.  He pointed out that once the Commission decided, then staff could take it to the Board for consideration.  If the Commission would decide to take all of the projects off of the list for roads over 250 vehicle trips, then those persons affected would want an opportunity to voice their concerns.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the conclusion was directly contradictory to what Jerry Fischer told him a few years ago and he got his information from the Virginia Highway Research Council.  He suggested that the Commission continue to talk about this important issue.

 

Mr. Thomas suggested that the Proffit Road project be moved up on the list.

 

Mr. Loewenstein asked that a statement be placed in the minutes concerning Proffit Road as follows, “The condition of the road, the presence of the school and the imminent presence of a tremendous increase, and the many fold increase in the potential traffic is a disaster ready to happen.”

 

Mr. Wade pointed out that VDOT did approve the truck restriction on Proffit Road.

 

Mr. Loewenstein stated that he had seen that and the Proffit community was very grateful for that.  He stated that there was still a little confusion about the signage because all it says is through trucks prohibited.  The sign does not say anything about a weight restriction by axle or anything else, which was an issue that was debated at the time. He questioned if that has ever happened in the County.  He noted that the people out there would really like to know what that sign means.

 

Mr. Wade stated that he would check into that matter for the Commission.  He pointed out that the Board of Supervisors would have a work session on this issue on January 7Staff would like to relay the Commission’s comments to them at that time.  He asked what kind of action the Commission wanted to take on these issues or if they just wanted staff to relay their concerns. He stated that the only changes made to the list were the addition of Route 722 and the change on Proffit Road.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that would be fine, but that the Commission did not need to take any formal action on this tonight.

 

Mr. Cilimberg suggested that the Commission take an action to let the Board know that they had made comments and were recommending the priority list.

 

Mr. Loewenstein moved that the Planning Commission recommend the Six-Year Secondary Road Plan Priority List 2004-2010 to the Board as submitted with the changes as discussed.

 

Mr. Finley seconded the motion.

 

The motion carried with a vote of (5:0). (Finley – Absent)

 

 

Old Business:

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was any old business.  There being none, the meeting proceeded.

 

 

New Business:

 

Mr. Rieley asked if there was any new business.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that the Board of Supervisors reviewed the North Pointe applications last week.  They appointed a committee to address this project with staff and the applicant to consist of two Board members, Mr. Rooker and Mr. Boyd, and two members of the Commission.  The Board requested that two members of the Planning Commission be appointed to this committee.

 

The Planning Commission recommended that Mr. Edgerton and Mr. Craddock serve on this committee, and they accepted.

 

Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that Mr. Tucker had set aside two potential meeting dates in December on the 17th and 23rd.  He stated that staff would get those dates and times to the Commissioners.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that there would be no Planning Commission meetings on December 23rd, December 30 and January 6th.

 

There being no further new business, the meeting proceeded.

 

Adjournment:

 

With no further items, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m. to the December 16, 2003 meeting.

 

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