Albemarle County Planning Commission

Partial Minutes of ZMA-2003-13 & SP-2003-092 Glenwood Station

March 23, 2004


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Rodney Thomas, Chairman; Bill Edgerton, Calvin Morris, Marcia Joseph, Jo Higgins, William Rieley and Pete Craddock, Vice-Chairman. 


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Susan Thomas, Senior Planner; Margaret Doherty, Senior Planner; and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


ZMA-2003-013 Glenwood Station (Sign # 48) - Request to rezone 9.31 acres from R-15, Residential with a special permit approval for office to PRD, Planned Residential Development with a special permit for office.  The property described as Tax Map 61, Parcel 129F.   The proposal is located on Rt. 631 (East Rio Road), approximately one mile from the intersection of East Rio Road and Route 29N, between Fashion Square Mall and Squire Hill Apartments, in the Rio Magisterial District.   The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Office Service and Neighborhood Service in Neighborhood 2.


SP-2003-092 Glenwood Station (Sign #48) - Request for special use permit to allow office in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for professional offices in a Planned Residential Development. (Margaret Doherty)


Ms. Doherty summarized the staff report.  This is the same project that the Commission recommended approval for in September that the Board of Supervisors approved in October of last year.  This is the Glenwood Station mixed use project that has town homes, apartments and offices on Rio Road. The application plan represents the same plan that the Commission approved back then.  What has happened here is in the site plan and subdivision process the applicants realized that they want to go to a fee simple ownership product with the town homes, which created the setback issue in the R-15 zoning district. The only way to rectify that was to apply for a rezoning for a Planned District that would allow a varied setback. Therefore, the application plan that the Commission now sees establishes the setbacks. But, besides that there is no plan change. Staff carried forward the conditions of the old special use permit, but dropped one condition because the traffic issue has gone away. The Commission has a copy of the action letter from September and the new conditions for the special use permit. The Commission had to review the new special use permit because the previous special use permit in the R-15 does not count towards the special use permit with the current rezoning request.  In addition, the applicant needed a special use permit for the offices.  This is really a technical item, but they have to hold a public hearing. The applicant is here to answer any questions. 


Mr. Thomas asked if there were any questions for staff.


Mr. Edgerton asked staff for an explanation of condition #3 so that he would fully understand what they would be requiring of the applicant if the Commission approves this request.


Ms. Doherty stated that they are showing an entrance onto the Mall access road in the back. She asked the Commission to look at the attachments to see the entrance on the Mall access road.  The applicants have a final site plan in process that is nearly completed that shows that access and it also shows the sidewalks on the Mall access road for their frontage. The concern at the time of approving the special use permit was that the Mall may not give them that approval. The Fashion Square Mall property owners were concerned that this may affect future development on their property. If that was the case, then this would allow them to do an emergency access.  The applicants are close to receiving their final site plan approval and she assumed that was not an issue.


Mr. Edgerton stated that they donít have a resolution.


Ms. Doherty pointed out that the applicants donít have a final site plan.


Mr. Edgerton stated that he remembered the uncertainty with the Mall owners allowing that.  He asked if staff was comfortable with that just being the emergency access.


Ms. Doherty stated that she did not think that would happen and that the applicant could update them on that.


Mr. Edgerton asked if the technicality for bringing this back before them was that the set back on the current layout would not be allowed under the R-15 normal setbacks.


Ms. Doherty stated that it was not that.  She pointed out that if the applicant subdivides, then the road becomes an access easement and the setback had to be measured from the access easement.  Therefore, it was just when you go to subdivide that there is a setback issue.  The applicant could develop this with a site plan and have condominiums for sale, but once you cut it into fee simple lots they can not meet the R-15 setback.


Mr. Thomas asked if there were any other questions for Ms. Doherty.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and asked if the applicant wanted to address the Commission.


Mark Keller, with Terra Partners, stated that he had a page of notes, but felt that the explanation given by Ms. Doherty was very good. He pointed out that earlier this evening Ms. Echols mentioned that on April 6th that the Planning Commission would be considering some significant zoning text changes that are going to deal with setbacks, lot sizes and things like that.  These units reside in the middle or neck of the property and look like townhouses on the plan now, but actually are being processed as condominiums on the site plan. He pointed out that the marketing has a significant impact on the structure of the construction financing packet that the owners are currently working out right now and they hope to be breaking ground very soon. While they would love to wait and see the zoning text amendment fall into place, he pointed out that may take several months. That is a much more complex issue than they are dealing with now. He noted that they would like to love to be able to tell the financers that they would be able to market this as town houses with fee simple lots. It would allow them to provide not only a different type of unit, but a different type of ownership. This is a mixed use community. By allowing them to drape a subdivision plat over part of the project it would allow them to hit a broader market. He stated that they were running in front of where the Zoning Ordinance was going. He stated that they donít have the time to wait for the changes to occur. As far as the access to the Fashion Square Mall, they have not heard anything from them and donít feel that there will be any objections on their part.  He stated that the Simon Properties, which was the long-term leaser, had the concerns and not the actual owners of the Fashion Square Mall. The Simon Properties were concerned, if they decide to build out parcels or expand the Mall itself, of what impact this connection might have on the technicality of getting their site plan approved.  What they have given them in writing is an assurance if that should happen that they would either put in bollards or a gate to make it an emergency entrance only, which could be regulated.  He stated that the actual hard features, the curb, gutter and the paving, would all go in at the very first part of the project.  Therefore, they would be limiting the use of those improvements. He stated that at this point they are comfortable with those.


Mr. Thomas asked if there were any questions for the applicant.


George Ray, developer of this project, stated that when this issue went to the Board of Supervisors the condition was put on the approval by the Board that they would have to resolve this issue with Fashion Square before the issuance of the fifty-first building permit.  He pointed out that he had not made this a top priority since he knew he had some time before he had to do that. They have gotten verbal approvals from the owners of the property, which were Mr. Montague and the Estate of Ben Miller.  He pointed out that they are both associated with Fashion Square Mall and he did not think that they were going to have any problems with them.


Mr. Thomas asked how the Commission approved this previously.


Mr. Ray stated that they approved it essentially the same way that the Board did.  He pointed out that condition was something that they had negotiated with the staff.


Mr. Edgerton stated that they could use the single access up to 50 units, and Mr. Ray stated that was correct.


Mr. Edgerton stated that if the condition was imposed because of the concerns of the mall at a later date that it would significantly change the impact of this development on the community because the traffic would be going out one way instead on two ways.


Mr. Ray stated that the traffic study anticipated that there would only be one.


Mr. Thomas asked if there was anyone in the audience that would like to speak on this application.  There being none, he brought the matter back to the Commission for discussion and a possible action.


Mr. Rieley stated that it seems that this is consistent with their previous discussions.


Mr. Edgerton made a motion to recommend approval of ZMA-2003-092 for Greenwood Station, subject to the condition recommended in the staff report


    1.        The site shall be developed in general accord with the application plan entitled, Glenwood Station/Place, dated December 22, 2003, with minor changes allowed to accommodate the required parking when approved by the Zoning Administrator;


Ms. Higgins seconded the motion.


The motion carried (7:0).


Mr. Thomas stated that the motion carried.


Action on SP-2003-013:

Mr. Morris made a motion to recommend approval of SP-2003-013 for Greenwood Station, with the four conditions as outlined by staff.


    1.        The site shall be developed in general accord with the application plan entitled, Glenwood Station/Place, dated December 22, 2003, with minor changes allowed to accommodate the required parking when approved by the Zoning Administrator;


    2.        Final elevations of the office buildings shall be reviewed and approved by the Director of Planning prior to final site plan approval to ensure consistency with the elevations provided herein, dated August 25, 2003;


    3.        The Applicant shall construct, in its entirety, a second commercial entrance to their property from the Mall Access Road in general accord with the concept plan entitled, Conceptual Development Plan Glenwood Station/Place, dated July 11, 2003.   Should the County Engineer decide in the future that, for reasons associated with new development on the Fashion Square Mall property, the entrance should be restricted, said entrance shall be converted, by the Applicant, present owner or owner's association into an emergency means of ingress/egress-only by way of installation of gates, bollards or other device. The connection shall be constructed prior to issuance of the 50th building permit.  Sidewalks shall be provided along the entire Mall Access Road frontage; and


    4.        The office buildings shall have a 30' front setback and a 10' parking setback from Rio Road, as well as a 50' structure, 20' parking and 20' undisturbed buffer adjoining the Squire Hill development to the south.


Ms. Higgins seconded the motion.


The motion carried (7:0).


Mr. Thomas stated that the motion carried and the requests would go to the Board on April 7th.


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