Albemarle County Planning Commission

April 6, 2004

STA-01-08 Comprehensive Revision of the Subdivision Ordinance


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


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; Margaret Doherty, Principal Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Francis MacCall, Planner; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Jack Kelsey, Chief of Engineering and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


STA 01-08 - Comprehensive Revision of the Subdivision Ordinance - Amend Chapter 14, Subdivision of Land, of the Albemarle County Code, to comprehensively revise the subdivision regulations by amending most existing regulations, repealing or adding other regulations, and reorganizing Chapter 14 and renumbering many existing regulations.  The regulations being amended and added pertain to general provisions (including but not limited to the purposes of Chapter 14 and its applicability; prohibited acts; and definitions); administration and procedure (including but not limited to application requirements for various types of land divisions, boundary line adjustments and easement plats; procedures for reviewing such plats; conditions of approval for family divisions; periods of validity of approved plats; and when and how private streets may be authorized and considerations relevant thereto); plat requirements and required documents (including but not limited to the form, style and content of plats; and the documents required to be submitted therewith including groundwater assessment information); and onsite improvements and design (including but not limited to lots and blocks, including appropriate lot location to allow access from lots onto streets or shared driveways; the coordination of streets; street standards; water, sewer and other improvements including sidewalks, planting strips and pedestrian walkways; dedications and reservations; and surety in lieu of completion of improvements).  The proposed amendment will also impose a ninety-five dollar ($95.00) fee for the review of plats for family divisions, resubdivisions, easements and boundary line adjustments.  The purpose of this fee is to reimburse the County for its services in reviewing the plats.  This is the same fee presently imposed for the review of plats for rural divisions.  The proposed imposition of this fee is authorized by Virginia Code § 15.2-2241(9).  (Margaret Doherty). DEFERRED FROM THE FEBRUARY 17, 2004 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING.


Ms. Doherty summarized the staff report. She stated that the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the Subdivision Text Amendment on February 17th and decided to continue the discussion to tonight.  Staff took the comments received at the public hearing, in writing and from the discussion of the Planning Commission and incorporated those changes into a new Subdivision Text Amendment. Also, staff added the attachments that the Commission received tonight. She pointed out that a two-page staff report had been provided outlining those changes along with the page numbers. The significant items follow the comments that staff heard from the public and the Planning Commission. Staff created specific criteria for waivers that could be administratively approved by the agent. Staff reviewed all of the standard sections of Chapter 14 and outlined which of those standards could be waived by the agent or the Planning Commission and then wrote the criteria. The other noted items have previously been seen by the Commission. The overlot grading has been reworked by the Engineering Department and includes performance standards and an agent waiver as an alternative. Staff had enough time to actually work these changes into the revised ordinance. Therefore, staff requests the Commission to recommend the adoption of the amended draft to the Board of Supervisors. Staff received a letter yesterday from the Free Enterprise Forum and provided a copy to each Commissioner tonight. She pointed out that Mr. Kamptner, from the County Attorney’s Office, would like to comment on that letter.  She noted that she would be happy to answer any questions.


Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Kamptner to comment on the letter.


Mr. Kamptner stated that around mid-day he received a copy of the letter from the Free Enterprise Forum.  He made the following comments:


Jack Kelsey, Chief of Engineering, stated that he would respond to Mr. Theobald’s letter in which he mentions that he was not sure if the overlot grading plan is consistent with how development actually occurs. He admitted that it might not be the way that they were used to doing development now, but it was something needed due to the growing development activity. He pointed out that if you were dealing with a large lot that usually there were a lot of places to put the house, but a homeowner or builder would want their architect to look at the land, the topography and the design of the house in order to fit the house site on the land.  When dealing with small lots in high density developments there is not that much flexibility in creating a unique house for a particular site.  These lots are so close together that the grading has to be done comprehensively to make any sense. He stated that if they were going to follow the purpose of the Subdivision Ordinance to assure that developments are built in some comprehensive harmonious organized fashion that the only way to do it is to assure that there is some comprehensive grading plan that can be followed.


Mr. Kamptner stated that he would move on to comment on item number 10.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that the conversation at the last meeting had to do with the reservation of right-of-way to the next abutting property for public utility extensions to the next property.  This ties back to that which would not have anything to do with it being substantially generated by the project.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that there was separate enabling authority for determining and establishing the extent of the road. He pointed out that Section 14-429 has been deleted in the draft before the Commission because it was deemed to be unnecessary by staff.


Ms. Doherty pointed out that on page 87 of the ordinance that the old Section 14-07 was the new Section 14-429.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that issue was addressed in one of the road sections, which deals with it in a different way. That section deals with the extent of the public road that will be required as part of the plat and either be built or dedicated. 


Ms. Higgins asked if someone did a by-right subdivision and it happens that a piece of a planned road cuts across the corner or passes through the lane could a reservation of right-of-way be dedicated?  Secondly, would it have to be put in without being compensated if one was not going through a rezoning? She pointed out that it read that it must be dedicated and that no compensation would be received.


Mr. Kamptner stated that if the project was creating the need for the improvement, then no compensation was needed. If it was something that they just want but it was not being substantially generated by the project, then yes we would compensate.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that those items are in there, but it does not say if.


Mr. Rieley stated that Section 14-429 seemed to be the section that she was addressing.


Ms. Echols stated that Section 14-429 was getting at the issue of coordination of streets and extending to adjoining properties, which was located on page 74. She pointed out that Section 14-429 had been deleted.  She stated that Section 14-409 on page 74 is similar to that question, which talks about the coordination. She pointed out that none of that would be the way it has been operating with regards to a road that is shown on a plan.  For example, staff has had several subdivision plats in the area for the Meadow Creek Parkway where a sub divider did not want to reserve that area on the plat. Therefore, they were given the option of either reserving it or putting a note on the plat that says that the Meadow Creek Parkway may come through here some day.  She noted that they were certainly not changing that practice.


Mr. Kamptner continued his comments on the letter with item number 15.


Ms. Higgins asked in summary if he was saying that #4 which was the health, safety and welfare that would result in a change in the ordinances before the Commission tonight, and Mr. Kamptner stated yes.


Ms. Higgins stated that she was unclear on #6 because Mr. Theobald had talked about how they were reviewing it and that it should be changed from 10 to 15 days.  She felt that was going in the opposite direction of getting a more streamlined process to consolidate portions of the process to reduce the time required.


Mr. Edgerton pointed out that refers to an insufficient submittal and therefore the clock would not start. He pointed out that the application would go to the next submittal deadline after it was complete.


Ms. Higgins asked if they have to make a conscious decision about the application going to the next submittal deadline to be considered complete.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that part of the ordinance was not being changed because when an application was resubmitted that it was given the date of the next submittal deadline as the date that it was officially submitted.


Mr. Edgerton pointed out that Mr. Theobald was suggesting that the clock starts on the date the application is submitted.


Mr. Kamptner stated that they were saying that the State enabling law allows us to administer the Subdivision Ordinance and they were doing this as a reasonable way of administering the ordinance.


Mr. Higgins suggested that #7 might be discussed further because it was more than just a legal question.  She noted that he was saying that #8 needs to be revised because of the Comprehensive Plan reference.


Mr. Kamptner agreed that they could delete that.


Ms. Higgins questioned the use of the words “substantially generated” in #11 since it was subjective wording.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that criteria was in one of the Code sections, which actually was about a 5 or 6 part test that is applied to determine that. The criteria were pulled from the cases.


Ms. Echols pointed out that was something that VDOT has been doing.  If there is a need for some kind of change to the road that they can require that as well, which was what had actually happened in Parkside Subdivision. VDOT required the expansion of that pavement width because the need was substantially generated by the development, but it was their call.


Ms. Higgins questioned the insertion of the waiver process for overlot grading based on curb, gutter and sidewalks.  The zoning text amendment has been revised to allow for waivers.  The way that #7 reads, which she somewhat agreed with, was that they were pushing the envelope and then making it a subjective and discretionary call based on requesting a waiver instead of clearly spelling out in the cases where it would be and would not be appropriate. Instead of making it a ministerial one as required by Code, they were going the subjective way.  This again could bring someone down a road that could be somewhat misleading. She felt that the revised language did not respond to all of their previous discussion and they were just throwing in a waiver process for that particular issue. 


Mr. Rieley pointed out that his recollection was that the way that this had revolved was that a good many of the provisions for waivers came as a result of requests from the development community for additional flexibility. 


Ms. Higgins stated that was because they objected to the premise of making it a requirement for all subdivisions.


Mr. Edgerton stated that previously they had requested staff to provide some language in the text for the provision of waivers when it was appropriate. He pointed out that the only other alternative was to not have any waivers.


Ms. Joseph stated that she would presume that when somebody comes before staff with a subdivision that sometimes it was a family division and they really don’t know very much. But a lot of times they come with a professional who one would assume would understand the waiver process and be able to read the ordinance.  She felt that Section 14-225.1 where it talks about waivers of certain requirements by the Commission that it gives some lead way, which would allow a professional to think about the different issues that are specific to that site and then be able to construct a waiver request. She pointed out that she liked the waiver request aspect because every site is different. She supported allowing the opportunity for design professionals to come in and say that they could make a case for this and do it rather than just checking off items 1 through 4 because she favored allowing some creativity. She stated that within the waiver request that they would allow for that creativity.


Ms. Higgins asked why the waiver provisions could not be more clearly stated. She felt that the language was too subjective and discretionary and could cause inconsistencies in its application. She stated that this circles back to the issue of if they will mandate the Neighborhood Model because it says curb, gutter and sidewalks and are they requiring it in all instances.  If someone has a subdivision that might be in the Rural Areas and does not come in for a rezoning, which becomes voluntary, are they going to mandate it?  She pointed out that curb, gutter and sidewalk is a function of drainage and density, but not of looks.  She pointed out if they were doing lots that were 150 foot wide where the density was below that requirement.


Mr. Thomas asked if she was talking about the designated development area.


Ms. Higgins asked if the Commission wants every road in the development areas to be curb, gutter, sidewalk and planting strip.


Mr. Thomas stated that they did if it ever was going to be urbanized.


Mr. Rieley stated yes, because that was the pattern and the ordinance was clearly written that way. If there was a good reason to deflect from that pattern, then the applicant can make a case for it and then they could get it because there are lots of provisions to do that. He noted that it was a denser pattern and they were changing the model, which was the nature of this entire exercise. The other side of that is that one of the effects of having this be the basis on which they start is that it encourages more efficient use of the development areas.  They have to start off with curb, gutter and an urban section anticipating a more dense level of development. This encourages that density because that is the way that you pay for it.


Ms. Higgins suggested that some language be incorporated so that the applicant could make the choice and not be subjected to that.


Mr. Edgerton pointed out that they could take the waiver option out and it would be crystal clear what would be required.  He noted that this was allowing some flexibility.


Ms. Higgins stated that she did not think that they needed to achieve that kind of density in all designated growth areas. She pointed out that they were imposing this on Crozet and on the growth area in the central part of the County and she did not agree with the premise that you have to come in and ask permission when there is certain cases that they could clearly allow it.


Ms. Joseph questioned why some of the zoning in the development area was not as dense as one would expect.


Ms. Echols stated that there was some development area land that has zoning on it that does not reflect development area zoning.  Staff stated that the Subdivision Ordinance up to this time has been a one size fits all, but that is not the way our County is any longer. Staff is trying to create clear goals for the Rural Areas that are very, very different than our goals for the development areas.  Rather than deal with the confusion of a RA parcel in the development areas that would be developing that way or even R-1 zoning, staff wants to move it more towards achieving the overall goals.  They would hope that in their efforts to provide for more efficient usage of our development areas that the developers who own R-1 or RA zoned land and looking to develop it would develop it in accordance with what our Comprehensive Plan says so that they could make better use of those areas.  It is all about the goals.


Ms. Joseph pointed out that she just wanted to make sure that it was legal to do something like that.


Ms. Echols stated that the goals that they have for density in the development areas are generally reflected on the Land Use Plan.  That Land Use Plan is not the same as what the zoning is on the ground. Therefore, what they were trying to do was to get to what the Land Use Plan shows. 


Ms. Higgins pointed out that they were clearly not relieving pressure on the Rural Areas to not allow some of these potential sites to develop less dense than the goals. She felt that they were sticking their heads in the sand because the additional costs that gets factored into all of this in making it discretionary or subjective, which involves a more untenable process, is putting more and more pressure on the Rural Areas. Many developers will go out and buy the acreage in the Rural Areas and use the five division rights and create subdivisions. She pointed out that on her road that it has happened five times within the last two years.  She noted that they could talk about waivers and allowing it under certain circumstances, but they were generally making it less likely that someone will use that land in some way.  She stated that there was no carrot here.


Mr. Rieley stated that they have had in the growth area in the past years policies that would allow the development of subdivisions that were rural cross-sections with ½ acre lots. That kind of subdivision has gobbled up an enormous acreage in the southern growth area.  He pointed out that many people say that there is no land left in the growth area and part of it is because it has been developed at a suburban level and not at a level that is dense enough to create a pedestrian environment and also with no mixed uses.  He noted that they have lost big chunks of the growth area by doing exactly what they were trying not to do. Growth in the development areas cannot continue this way without expanding them enormously.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that they were going to mandate costs on land that has already been zoned for a particular use. She stated that previously the Commission had a discussion regarding page 74 with Mark Graham.  Since Mr. Graham was not present, perhaps Jack Kelsey could answer this question.  She stated that under Section 14-427 they had talked about all public streets within subdivisions coordinated as to location and there was a list of 3 things.  The third thing she thought the Commission had agreed to not agree to involved requiring the physical construction of public streets to the abutting property line to provide vehicular, pedestrian interconnections. The Commission had agreed about coordinating planned streets and doing reservations, dedications and that sort of thing, but they had a conversation about sections of road that were built to abut properties that maybe would not be developed in that way.  They brought up that there were sections of pavement that are not eligible to be accepted by VDOT, which just sit out there. There is a cost that is involved with those for the current subdivision plus you are building a road to serve somebody on an adjacent property and have no way of recovering the costs with the potential for maintenance.  It is a place for people to park.  She pointed out that in Section b) there was a waiver provision that talks about the possibility of not having to do that, but it was clearly one of the items in Section a). She disagreed that you have to build the public road because you can’t build a public road that dead ends.  That road would have to have a cul-de-sac or it would not be acceptable to VDOT. They talked about doing a reservation of both the right-of-way itself and any necessary grading easements.  This also ties back into the overlot grading plan because in an overlot grading plan you would go potentially to the back of where a house would be built and grade it so that it would be more acceptable so that there is not an excuse that the topography is too steep or whatever.  She pointed out that she had met separately with Mark Graham since their last meeting and tried to tie all of these together. She noted that she did not think that this would have come back in this form, but it basically says that you must build it.


Ms. Doherty pointed out that Section b) sets out the waiver criteria and this was staff’s attempt in addressing that.  It says that the public street would be constructed past the point of which the primary structure on the adjoining lot would rely on the finished grade and so on.  Then the sub divider would dedicate the right-of-way and that there would be a sign at the end of the stub out.  The direction to staff was to create a waiver provision for a stub out instead and staff attempted to write that in.


Ms. Higgins stated that they had agreed to put a sign on the stub out, but it was not by waiver. The waiver criteria talks about needing off-site easements, which obviously would not because it might be on your property.  It says to the next abutting property. It primarily would not disturb a stream buffer or would not otherwise serve a public interest purpose in building a road past your development to the next person’s development.  It is an equity issue, too. She felt that with Mr. Grahams discussion about having unmarked pavement sitting out there for a place to attract hazards, which could not get accepted into the State system, was something that they were going to take off the table.


Mr. Edgerton stated that his recollection was that if they did not put in the provision for at least the dedication of this that the interconnection would never happen because the neighborhood once it was developed would actually fight that extension.  Therefore, the extension had to be dedicated clearly in the plan.  He noted that the waiver provision allows for the issues that Ms. Higgins was talking about regarding reducing the expense, but leaving no uncertainty about whether there would be an intended connection at a later date if the adjacent property would be developed.  There would be no argument five years down the road about whether that road could be continued.


Ms. Higgins felt that they had fell short of actually building it since previously they had said that it does not have to be built. She stated that under #3 it should say 30 feet beyond the end of the curb line should be built and not do away with #4.  She pointed out that they could be talking about 30 feet or 300 feet and someone would not come in and say that they don’t want to build it because it costs too much or because they don’t know what he standards will be because they don’t know what the next development will be.  Unused pavement that is not accepted by VDOT becomes a responsibility of the home owner’s association. She preferred if #3 says that, “the public street constructed past the point … of the finished grade, but that no less than 30 feet beyond the curb line or the ditch line …” She felt that was the criteria that would be under Section a).  She pointed out that was a big thing in the wording for water, sewer and streets.  She pointed out that the Service Authority for the past 10 years has always required easements to the next abutting property owner.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that one reason that this is structured this way is because Section a) sets out the rule and they recognize that there will be circumstances where we know that the adjoining property is going to be developed. They might reach the point where they have a plan that shows where their street network is going to be. Therefore, by stating the rule up front they could require the construction all the way to the property line. The exception is that they could come in and show that it is not going to otherwise serve a present public purpose and that empty lot next door has no plans for development or for a traffic network, and then you hold back the construction to 30 feet past the property line.  He stated that it was important if they were going to have the interconnectivity that they want that provision in the appropriate circumstances that the road infrastructure go all the way to the property line.


Mr. Rieley stated that the question was the issue of requiring a cul-de-sac. He asked if staff was anticipating that.


Ms. Doherty stated no, that in the subdivision text amendment staff actually removed the word cul-de-sac because it was changed to turn around because VDOT now approves many different forms of turnarounds.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that VDOT would not take a section of road to a property line.


Ms. Echols stated that occasionally there was an exception to that rule with VDOT if there was some reason why that road has a system that works for something like drainage.  Recently they had that happen in Wayland Grants going over to the adjoining property because the stub out to the property line has the curbing and drainage that worked with the whole system.  She noted that they did from time to time, but it was not their rule.


Ms. Higgins suggested that they make that the exception in places that it was needed for the integrity of the system. She felt that they would be putting today’s financial responsibility on one development in today’s dollars to build something that might end up, very frankly, in having to be torn out or having to be redone, which would be a waste of money.  In addition, the stub out would be a nuisance since people park on them and dump trash on them and nobody maintains them.


Mr. Rieley pointed out that the clear mechanism to avoid that was the waiver process.


Mr. Thomas stated that he liked the wording in that it provides options.  He felt that if they don’t set the rules and guidelines now for the urban area to be developed in this fashion that it was never going to happen.


Ms. Higgins stated that in Section 14-231.d that it refers to the Commission and should state agent.


Ms. Echols stated that staff would make that correction.


Ms. Higgins stated that under Section 14-231.a that it talks about the period of validity of an approved preliminary plat.  This changes the requirement from 5 days to 10 days prior to the expiration of the plat. She stated that she did not disagree because 5 days puts it down to the wire.  Then there were issues about running around and getting the right person involved.  She totally supported staff making the applicant come to the table a lot earlier than the eleventh hour.  Then she disagreed in Section 14-216 with the submittal of the preliminary plat in Section b), which talks about a preliminary plat omitting any information required in Section 14-302.a, which can be disapproved and staff has changed the time from 10 to 15 days.


Ms. Doherty stated that staff would be happy to change the standard operation procedure that back to 10 days.


It was the consensus of the Commission that Section 14-302.a be changed back to 10 days.


Ms. Higgins questioned the wording of Section 14-316 in that it states the principle means of access for each lot onto any public street.  She pointed out that they don’t get looked at and are not built and just reference a standard. Actually those roads are not in the State system yet. The only approval you receive is a design approval and it does not apply to any lot on any public street.


Mr. Rieley suggested that on page 69, that they add the words “existing or proposed” before public street, put a period after “standard” and delete the remaining language.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that the concern that he was hearing is that there is a potential public street within the subdivision in that every entrance would have to have evidence of meeting VDOT requirements.  He pointed out that they do not do that, but they require evidence for entry onto existing public streets. He noted that was the difference here and that it basically needs to be reworded. He stated that staff would do some wording changes to take care of that.


Ms. Higgins suggested that they add the words any existing or proposed public street and then after standards add a period.  She asked that in Section 412.a.2.b.ii on page 77, that staff needs to reword that to be clearer. She stated that in 1982 or ’83 the LURC report talks about a Design Standards Manual, which was referenced in many places. Then in establishing this other criteria they went back and started inserting 20 foot basic curb, 20 percentage grades and 150 foot lot width back in the ordinance. She felt they have a mixture of some that reference a Design Standards Manual, which is actually in formulation in the Engineering Department and then an ordinance that is filled with engineering design criteria.  The general question is whether they have gone through this for consistency and not gone back and disregarded the goal. She pointed out that now she had been appointed to the Design Standards Committee that she questioned it. She noted that in some places it says Design Manual and others design specifications by the County Engineer.


Mr. Rieley suggested that they only say it once in the appropriate place, which he felt should be in the ordinance.


Ms. Higgins asked if that undermines the Design Standards Manual.


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that the Subdivision Ordinance would become very thick if they did that. The Design Standards Manual is intended to give people the guidance for the design that they need to do.  What they have done here is pointed out that rules under which they could get an exception or waiver of that.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that the text includes K factors, etc. and if the Design Manual changed that they would have to change the text of the ordinance.


Mr. Cilimberg stated that issue deals with the heart of the Design Manual and suggested that Jack Kelsey address this issue.


Mr. Kelsey stated that actually in the original versions of the Design Manual the plan was to actually take all of these road standards and take them out of the ordinance and put them in the manual. But in conversations with the County Attorney’s Office in determining what is the standard and what is the department policy guideline, it was determined that street standards, parking lot standards are things that have to be in the Code and they could not be in the Design Manual.  Those are strict standards.  The Design Manual could be those items that include department policies or requirements that each department has generated in order to implement the Code.


Mr. Kamptner stated that the goal was to make a clear distinction between the minimum requirements that are either required by State law or by the Board of Supervisors and need to be in the ordinance.  How you do things or the various approaches to deal with particular design issues are dealt with in the Design Manual. 


Mr. Kelsey pointed out that pedestrian paths or trails was something that the County establishes their own criteria for.


Mr. Kamptner stated that he did not have an answer on the K Factors because that was a very recent addition to the Subdivision Ordinance.


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that Mr. Kamptner gave the real explanation that a requirement has to be in here and a guideline or a standard that you want to achieve is in the Design Manual.


Ms. Joseph asked if any consideration had been given about addressing low impact development, and Mr. Kelsey suggested the possibility of including a section on how you would deal with a low impact development in this County in the Design Standards Manual.


Mr. Morris suggested that on page 58 under #7 for preliminary plats, that staff adds the word “approximate” and then check with Roger Ray to make sure that would meets surveyor standards.


Ms. Doherty asked if the public hearing was going to be opened.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that the public hearing was actually closed at the last meeting and would not be reopened.


Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Williamson if he wanted to address the Commission.


Neil Williamson, of the Free Enterprise Forum, stated that he just wanted to advise the Commission that he received this information on Monday and provided it to the staff on Monday and he appreciated the quick turn that staff made on this. He pointed out that he appreciates the comments and he would consider it along with the Commission’s comments.  He felt that this moves the dialogue forward and that he appreciates the consideration of something received on Monday on Tuesday evening.


Mr. Thomas asked if there was anyone else present in the audience who would like to speak on this.  There being none, he asked if any of the Commissioners had any questions on Ms. Doherty’s list.  He asked Ms. Doherty if she had anything else for the Commission at this time.


Ms. Doherty summarized the Planning Commission’s comments and suggestions:


The Commission was in general consensus with Ms. Doherty’s summary.


Ms. Higgins stated that she would not agree to the standard of requiring road waivers and making them be the more tedious way than being clearer about when it would be allowed so that they will not be subjective and discretionary.


Mr. Rieley moved to recommend approval of STA-01-08, Comprehensive Revision of the Subdivision Ordinance, to the Board of Supervisors with the amendments made by the Planning Commission as articulated by Ms. Doherty.


Mr. Edgerton seconded the motion.


Ms. Higgins stated that there were a couple of issues discussed that she felt were very important and should be brought to the Board’s attention and written that the Commission did not agree upon.  Those issues include the following:


Mr. Edgerton requested a chance to respond to that.  He asked to clearly state a concern that the perception that Ms. Higgins was presenting equates affordable housing to inexpensive cheap housing.  He noted that he was not sure that was necessarily the appropriate way to do affordable housing.  He pointed out that he had spent a lot of time on this and that cheap or inexpensive was not necessarily affordable when you start factoring the life cycle costs and the durability of the housing. By just reducing the first cost you are not necessarily creating affordable housing. He noted that he was concerned about continuing that perception.


Ms. Joseph stated that she was just taking a leap of faith between the staff and the community that they are going to submit things for waivers and that staff is going to respond appropriately so that they will get some good designs that will make sense on the specific site that they are working on.


Mr. Thomas stated that regarding affordable housing, he had heard the statement today that the cost of land and the market demand dictates what affordable housing can and cannot be in Albemarle County.


The motion carried by a vote of (6:1).  (Higgins - No)


Mr. Thomas stated that the motion carried and STA-08-08 would go to the Board for a work

session on May 4th.



(Recorded and transcribed by Sharon Claytor Taylor, Recording Secretary.)


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