STAFF PERSON:                                                                  FRANCIS H MACCALL     

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                              FEBRUARY 3, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                              MARCH 17, 2004


SP 2003-077 Ron Martin Stand-Alone Parking

SDP 2003-058 Ron Martin Major Site Plan Amendment


Applicant's Proposal: The applicant is proposing to build a stand-alone parking lot, to serve Ron Martin Appliance located on Seminole Trail, Route 29 North. (Attachment A)


Petition: The petition is for approval of a special use permit, in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance to allow stand-alone parking, and for approval by the Planning Commission of a buffer disturbance waiver. (Attachments A & E)  The property, described as Tax Map 45C Parcel 02-1B is .77 acres, and is zoned HC, Highway Commercial.  The property is located on located Woodbrook Drive [Route # 1417], approximately .1 miles from the intersection of Seminole Trail [Route 29N] and Woodbrook Drive, in the Rio Magisterial District.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Community Service in Neighborhood 1. (Attachments B & C.)


Character of the Area: The property is located on Woodbrook Drive near the intersection of US Route 29.  The residential subdivision known as Woodbrook abuts this development to the east.  The Woodbrook Shopping Center is located south across Woodbrook Drive, and Rio Hill Shopping Center and Lowe’s are across US Route 29 to the west.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff has reviewed the proposal for conformity with the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance and recommends approval of the special use permit with conditions, and the buffer waiver with conditions.


Planning and Zoning History: The history of the parcel is as follows:

1991: The original site plan for the Ron Martin building was approved.  This plan involved three parcels, one being the subject parcel since the entrance was shared off of Woodbrook Drive.

1995: A site plan amendment of the original plan was approved to add the Eways building, but did not affect the subject parcel.

VIOLATIONS: Multiple violations have occurred regarding the site plan mainly concerning the proper location of a dumpster.  The site plan currently being reviewed will remedy this by approving a dumpster location on the property.


Comprehensive Plan and The Neighborhood Model: Requests for special use permits in the Development Areas are assessed for conformity with the Neighborhood Model and the Land Use Plan. The Land Use Plan shows this area as Community Service.  With the current appliance/furniture store located in the at the corner of Woodbrook Drive and Seminole Trail, the proposed use of a stand-alone parking lot for that business would not be a departure from the current land use and character of the area. 

The ways in which the proposed project meets the twelve principles for development in accordance with the Neighborhood Model are provided below: 


Pedestrian Orientation – Not applicable.


Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths – Not applicable.


Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks – This site already has interconnections to adjacent parcels.


Parks and Open Space – Not applicable.


Neighborhood Centers – Not applicable.


Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale – Not applicable.


Relegated Parking – The proposed location of the parking is relegated from Route 29, but not from Woodbrook Drive.  In the proposed location it works best for circulation.  It is located across from an existing internal entrance.  If it were located more directly behind the existing Ron Martin building then it would be pushed up against the entire property line shared with the residential parcels and have an entrance further back that would conflict with truck traffic in the rear.


Mixture of Uses – Not applicable.


Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability – Not applicable.


Redevelopment Rather than Abandonment – Not applicable.


Site Planning that Respects Terrain – This is a relatively flat area that will require little disturbance.  


Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas – Not applicable



Engineering Analysis: The County’s Engineering staff has reviewed this request for engineering issues related to health, safety, and welfare requirements. The Engineering Department is recommending approval with final engineering comments being addressed with a site plan amendment.


STAFF COMMENT: The applicant has shown that with the current use of the former Eways building and the Ron Martin building along with the proposed infill expansion between those buildings that there would be a need for the additional parking.  The total number of proposed spaces has also limited the size of any future building that may in the future be proposed on the subject parcel. (Attachment A & D)


SPECIAL USE PERMIT: 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?

There will not be a substantial detriment to the adjacent properties with proper screening.  At this time the applicant has not proposed a building for this parcel.   If a building and parking were proposed, which would eliminate the need for a special use permit,  staff would more than likely approve the plan with the appropriate screening and buffer.  There are many residential properties that are adjacent to commercial uses that have been appropriately screened and buffered, and staff sees this no differently as the others.


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

The character of the zoning district will not change with this use.


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


The purpose and intent of the HC, Highway Commercial zoning district is stated as follows in the ordinance;

            “HC districts are hereby created and may hereafter be established by amendment to the zoning map to permit development of commercial establishments, other than shopping centers, primarily oriented to highway locations rather than to central business concentrations. ...  It is further intended that this district shall be for the purpose of limiting sprawling strip commercial development by providing sites with adequate frontage and depth to permit controlled access to public streets.” 


The applicant has expanded his appliance/furniture business into the former Eways building and has proposed to connect that building with the original Ron Martin building.  At this time he is unable to purchase the subject parcel and develop it as part of the existing parcel.  There have been recent changes in the Zoning Ordinance regarding parking for this type of business and the review of this proposal by the Zoning Department has determined that the parking would be needed for the infill development proposed to support the use on that property. (Attachment D)


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


The proposed use will not restrict permitted uses on surrounding properties.  Staff does believe that this use will be in harmony with the other uses permitted in the district.


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


The additional regulations provided in Section 5.1.41 require a site plan be approved for the use.  There is a site plan amendment that staff is currently reviewing and should be able to recommend for approval.


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


The public health, safety, and general welfare of the community is protected through the special use permit process which assures that uses approved by special use permit are appropriate in the location requested.  


SITE PLAN: Staff should be able to complete an administrative review of the site plan once the special use permit and buffer waiver are acted upon.


Buffer Waiver:

Section 21.7.3 states,

Buffer zone adjacent to residential and rural areas districts: No construction activity including grading or clearing of vegetation shall occur closer than twenty (20) feet to any residential or rural areas district.  Screening shall be provided as required in section 32.7.9.


Except, the commission may waive this requirement in a particular case where it has been demonstrated that grading or clearing is necessary or would result in an improved site design, provided that:


a. Minimum screening requirements are met; and

b. Existing landscaping in excess of minimum requirements is substantially restored.


Some screening shrubs are necessary for parking spaces that are adjacent to public roads and residential property.  There is a line of boxwoods proposed that would need to be placed in the 20’ buffer on the plan.  There is also screening fence along the entire property line shared with the residential lots. (Attachment A)


Staff recommends approval of the requests to disturb the buffer.




Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this request:


1.  Provisions for appropriate screening have been provided.


Staff has not identified factors which would be unfavorable to this request.




SPECIAL USE PERMIT: Staff recommends approval of the special use permit request to allow stand-alone parking with the following conditions:


1.      A final site plan shall be submitted for approval, which shall be in general accord with the revised plan that shows improvements on Tax Map 45C Parcel 02-1B, dated January 28, 2004.

2.      At least one sign shall be posted in the parking area that identifies the use as parking for the adjacent commercial use only (Tax Map 45C Parcel 02-1A & 02-1), with size and location of the sign to be determined and approved by staff.


SITE PLAN: Staff recommends approval of the buffer waiver.



A - Site plan    B - Detail Map    C - Location Map    D - Zoning Comment    E - Applicants Waiver Request

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