STAFF PERSON:                                               FRANCIS H MACCALL      

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                      MARCH 30, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                     APRIL 14, 2004


ZMA_2003-011 Rio East Commercial Area Amendment

SP 2003-058 Rio East Commercial Park (Veterinary Office/Hospital)


Applicant's Proposal: The applicant is proposing to build a veterinary office and hospital within the Rio East Office Park, at the corner of Rio East Court and Rio Road East.  The proffers of ZMA-1996-004 need to be amended to allow the Special Use Permit. (Attachment A)


Petitioner: Rio East Land Trust, Charles Rotgin Jr. & Donald J Wagner Trustees.


Petition: The petition is for approval to amend the proffers of ZMA-1996-004 to allow for the addition of the use of veterinary office and hospital to the proffers, and for approval of a special use permit for that use, in accordance with Section 25A.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance to allow the uses by special permit of the C-1, CO, & HC zoning districts.  (Attachments A)  The properties, described as Tax Map 61 Parcels 124A & 124B is 5.608 acres, and are zoned PDMC, Planned Development Mixed Commercial.  The properties are located on located on Rio East Court, approximately .1 mile from the intersection Rio Road East [Route # 631] and Old Brook Road, in the Rio Magisterial District.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Office Service in Neighborhood 2. (Attachments B & C)


Character of the Area: The property is located on Rio Road, east of both Albemarle Square Shopping Center and Fashion Square Mall.  The Rio East Office Park is approximately 80% complete with the majority of uses being medical/professional offices along with a wireless provider’s retail sales office.  The residential subdivision known as Raintree and a commercial office building are to the east.  A bank, a self-storage facility, and Putt Putt are to the west.  Also, to the south across Rio Road is the recently approved Glenwood Station residential/commercial development.


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


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

1996: ZMA-1996-004 – Rezoned Parcel 124A, 12B and 124C from both R-10 and CO to PD-MC.


The original properties consisted of three (3) parcels.  The parcels have been subdivided and now consist of five (5) parcels and six (6) commercial condominium units. 


Multiple site plans have been approved.  They were in 1996, 1999, and 2001.


Comprehensive Plan and The Neighborhood Model: Requests for zoning map amendments and 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 Office Service.  The addition of a veterinary office and hospital to this development would not be a departure from the current land use and character of the area.  The Land Use Plan does not have any other specific recommendations for this 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 – There will be a sidewalk leading from the building to the sidewalks along Rio East Court that leads out to Rio Road.


Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths – Not applicable.


Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks – The entrance to the site will be shared with the adjacent parcel.


Parks and Open Space – Not applicable.


Neighborhood Centers – Not applicable.


Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale – The structure will fit architecturally with the other buildings that have been approved for this site.  The existing buildings right now would be considered to be of a human scale.


Relegated Parking – The building is being proposed to front along Rio East Court and Rio Road.  This will relegate the parking from both roads.


Mixture of Uses – The proposed use is a little different than just the medical/professional offices that are currently in the development now.


Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability – Not applicable.


Redevelopment Rather than Abandonment – Not applicable.


Site Planning that Respects Terrain – Not applicable.  


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 staff is recommending approval with final engineering comments being addressed with the site plan.





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?


Staff has not identified any detriment to adjacent property from the veterinary office and hospital use.  The required soundproofing will address any noise impacts.  The closet residential property is across the five (5) lanes of Rio Road.  The applicant is requesting a waiver of the required distance that should be maintained between the use and residentially zoned property.


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


The proposed use will incorporate into the existing PD-MC zoning of the Rio East Office Park a little more of a mix of uses than what currently exists, thus is in harmony of purpose and intent of the PD-MC zoning.


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


The proposed use will not restrict the by right uses in the district.


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


There are additional regulations provided in Section 5.1.11 that must be complied with.  The applicant is requesting a waiver of Section 5.1.11(b) to reduce the distance of the soundproofed building from residentially zoned property from two hundred (200) feet to hundred forty five (145) feet.


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.  


Waiver of Section 5.1.11(b):


Section 5.1.11(b) of the Zoning Ordinance requires that a soundproofed building shall be located no closer than two hundred (200) feet to any agricultural or residential lot line.  Pursuant to Section 5.1(a) the Planning Commission “may modify or waive any such requirement upon a finding that such requirement would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public health, safety, or welfare; or that a modified regulation would satisfy the purposes of this chapter to at least an equivalent degree as the specified requirement; except that, in no case, shall such action constitute a modification or waiver of any applicable general regulation set forth in section 4.0 or any district regulation. In granting such modification or waiver, the commission may impose such conditions as it deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.” 


The applicant has requested a modification of the two hundred (200) foot setback to allow the building for the veterinary office and hospital, to be one hundred forty five (145) feet away from the residential property that is across Rio Road.  That property is zoned R-15.  This property was recently approved for a special use permit to allow for commercial uses on the property.  The plan for that special use permit showed commercial use along Rio Road.  Staff also did a sound meter reading and found that the existing noise along Rio Road already exceeds the fifty five (55) decibels required by Section 5.1.11(b).  So, the affect the use will have on that property is minimal to none.  Staff recommends approval of the modification of the two hundred (200) foot distance.  (Attachment D)




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


1.  Parking is relegated and the plan is providing pedestrian access to the existing sidewalk network.     


Staff has not identified factors that are unfavorable to this request:






Staff recommends the approval of the ZMA with the attached proffers.  (Attachment E)


Special Use Permit:


Staff recommends approval of the request with the following conditions of approval:


1.      A site plan shall be submitted for approval that shall be in general accord with the sketch plan prepared by Keeney & Co, Architects dated 3/12/04.


2.      Any enlargement or expansion of the veterinary office and hospital use will require an amendment to this Special Use Permit (SP-2003-058).


3.      No overnight boarding use other than for those animals under medical care shall take place at the veterinary hospital.


A – Sketch Plan Reduction  

B – Detail Map

C – Location Map                 

D – Applicants modification request

E – Proffers dated 4/14/04
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