COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

AGENDA TITLE:  SP 03-079 THE ROCKS AMENDMENT

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST: Request to amend an existing special use permit for a rural preservation development of more than 20 lots to: (1) amend the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract (Tax Map 74, Parcel 18); (2) amend the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3; (3) amend access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18, 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3; and (4) allot development rights not used in the original proposal. This request is made in accordance with Section 10.2.2.28 of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for 20 or more Development Lots in a Rural Preservation Development. The property, described as Tax Map 74, Parcels 18, 18C, 18C1, 18C2, 18C3, 18D, 18D1, 18D4, 18D7, 18D8, 18D9, 18E, 18E1, 18E2, 18E3, 18E4, 18E5, 18E8, 18E9, 18F, 18F1, 18F2, 18F3, 18F9, 18G, 18G1, 18G3, 18G4, 18G5, 18G6, 18G7, 18G8, contains  approximately 645 acres, and is zoned RA - Rural Area. The proposal is located off of Rt. 637 (Dick Woods Road), at its intersection with Interstate Route 64 in the Samuel Miller Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Areas in Rural Area 3.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Yadira Amarante, Planner

AGENDA DATE:

Planning Commission:  May 25, 2004

Board of Supervisors:  June 9, 2004

 

ITEM NUMBER: SP 03-079

 

INFORMATION:

 

ATTACHMENTS: Yes

 

REVIEWED BY: VWC

 

BACKGROUND:

The Planning Commission held a public hearing and acted on this item on April 27, 2004. Due to the publishing of an incorrect advertisement for the project, the item must be brought back to the Planning Commission and a new public hearing must be held.

 

To summarize, the applicant is seeking to amend an existing Special Use Permit (SP 91-36) to:

 

(1) amend the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract (Tax Map 74, Parcel 18);

(2) amend the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3;

(3) amend access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18, 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3; and

(4) allot development rights not used in the original proposal.

 

As noted in the attached minutes of the April 27 hearing, (Attachment I), the Commission moved to recommend approval of items (1) and (3), which would amend the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract (Tax Map 74, Parcel 18) and amend access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18, 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 respectively. The Commission also moved to recommend denial of items (2) and (4), which would amend the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 and allot development rights not used in the original proposal respectively.

 

The following are the conditions exactly as recommended by staff and amended by the Commission on April 27:

 

1.              Development of The Rocks shall be in accord with the “Special Use Permit Plan…” prepared by Thomas B. Lincoln Land Surveyor, Inc. dated April 2, 2004. For purposes of these conditions it shall heretofore be referred to as “The Application Plan.”

2.              The boundaries of Parcels identified as Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 may be modified to allow minor variations to accommodate the new road alignment for the extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane that will serve these lots. only as shown on “The Application Plan.”

3.              Within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1 there shall be allowed a total of 4 (four) dwelling units or four (four) lots. Before the 3rd dwelling unit can be constructed a site plan meeting the requirements of Section 32 of the Zoning Ordinance or a Site Plan Waiver, per Section 32.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance shall be submitted, reviewed and approved by the County. All subdivisions within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1 shall conform to the rules and regulations set forth in Chapter 14, the Subdivision Ordinance.

4.              All dwellings/lots within Lot 1 shall be located east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek.

5.              A minimum of ten trees per acre shall be provided on the development lots and the lots permitted by condition one, in accordance with Section 32.7.9.5 of the Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of providing screening from Interstate 64 and Route 637.  Trees shall be installed within two planting seasons of the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the dwelling on the lots.

6.              Clearing of land shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the construction of access roads, and dwellings; and appropriate septic field areas.

7.              Building siding and trim shall be of colors and materials that blend with the surrounding natural environment. Highly reflective colors or surfaces, or light colored roofs are prohibited.

8.              Concrete driveways visible from off-site shall be darkened to blend with the surrounding natural environment.

9.              The bridge shall not be constructed until the approvals in conditions 9 through 19 10 through 13 have been obtained;

10.           Department of Engineering issuance of an erosion and sediment control permit;

11.           Department of Engineering approval of bridge design;

12.           Department of Engineering approval of hydro geologic and hydraulic calculations to ensure compliance with Section 30.3. of the Zoning Ordinance;

13.           Department of Engineering approval of private road plans and drainage calculations.  Private roads shall be designed to Virginia Department of Transportation mountainous terrain standards. This condition is only applicable to the private roads constructed to access and provide frontage to all the lots in the Rocks development except the Rural Preservation Tract and revised Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3. as shown on “The Application Plan.”

14.           The extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane as a private road is subject to Planning Commission approval. The Planning Commission shall establish the standard of the private road extension at the time of review.

15.           The Preservation Tract shall not have access to or from Newcomb Mountain Lane.

16.           The existing road, shown entering from Rocks Farm Drive, parallel to Interstate 64 and meandering through the Preservation Tract shall not be improved or widened except for agricultural and/or forestry purposes. The need for such improvements shall be reviewed by the Public Recreational Facilities Authority. It If the Public Recreational Facilities Authority deems that the improvements are warranted, construction shall not commence until a road plan and an erosion and sediment control plan has been reviewed and approved by the County Engineer.

17.           Prior to the approval of any plat modifying the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract, the rural preservation easement shall be amended to allow the modification; amendment to the easement is subject to the review and approval of the County and the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority. Approval of this special use permit in no way implies or guarantees approval of a modified easement by the County or the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority.

18.           Prior to the approval of any plat providing access to Newcomb Mountain Lane an amended road maintenance agreement shall be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney. This agreement shall be recorded with the plat.

19.           Provide evidence to the County that the Rosemont Homeowner’s Association consents to the Newcomb Mountain Lane extension to serve as access to the four mountain lots.

 

Since the April 27th hearing it has been brought to staff’s attention, (by the applicant and from constructive comments from Zoning and County Attorney staff), that the presentation of the project to the Commission may have caused confusion about the details of the request. The following discussion is offered to clarify some of the details of the request. Staff is in no way implying that the Commission did not act correctly on the 27th nor is staff advocating for the applicant, staff is merely trying to represent the request more clearly, provide a clearer analysis of why staff is recommending approval, and provide better conditions if the project is approved.

 

Discussion:

To summarize, the applicant is seeking to amend an existing Special Use Permit (SP 91-36) to:

 

(1) amend the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract (Tax Map 74, Parcel 18);

(2) amend the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3;

(3) amend access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18, 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3; and

(4) allot development rights not used in the original proposal.

 

As evidenced on the attached staff report, (Attachment II), which was presented to the Commission on April 27, staff has recommended approval of all four of the requested amendments with conditions.

 

Staff recommends that the Commission consider the following clarifications and reconsider its previous action on items (2) and (4) of the request.

 

Item (2) seeks to amend the existing Special Use Permit (SP 91-36) by moving the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3, (four lots on top of the mountain which were approved as family division lots). These parcels are existing/platted lots on top of Bear Den Mountain, completely surrounded by the preservation tract and referred to as the “Mountain Lots” throughout the staff report. The general locations for these lots were set in 1990 when the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors approved the original Rocks Rural Preservation Development Special Use Permit of over 20 lots. At that time there was no Mountain Protection element of the Comprehensive Plan and so the parcels were allowed to be platted well above the 800’ contour limit that today the Comprehensive Plan seeks to protect. Because of the 1990 Special Use Permit conditions, those lots cannot be located anywhere else and to relocate them requires an amendment to the Special Use Permit.

 

The current applicant seeks to adjust the boundary lines of these existing parcels in a way that will relocate some of the existing building sites within those lots approximately 30 feet higher in elevation.  The building site for existing parcel 18C3 already exists on a ridge. The boundary line adjustments will place two (2) building sites (Revised Lot 1 and Revised Lot 2) within the existing area of Parcel 18C3. Therefore, the only change that will occur in this area is that there will be two building sites at this elevation instead of the one that already exists. Revised Lots 3 and 4 will have building sites higher in elevation – from about elevation 1,160 to elevation 1,190; approximately 30 feet higher.

 

Staff’s analysis of this request was focused solely on the issue of visibility and it is staff’s opinion that if the house sites are relocated onto the ridge, they will be no more visible, and in some cases less visible, from Interstate 64, due to existing terrain and tree cover, than if they remain where they currently are. It is staff’s opinion that on the relatively steeper slopes, where the home sites would be located under the currently approved parcel boundaries, more grading and tree removal is necessary in order to create a “shelf” for the house sites.

 

Item (4) seeks to amend the existing Special Use Permit (SP 91-36) by allocating three (3) unused “development lot” rights to existing Lot 1 which is 106 acres. During the April 27 hearing, and within the staff report, staff may have referred to these rights in a manner which implied that the applicant was requesting additional development rights, above and beyond those rights given to the site as it existed on December 10, 1980.

 

At the time of the initial 1990 application to divide this land as a Rural Preservation Development (RPD), this particular site had a development potential of 46 “by-right” lots. When The Rocks RPD was submitted in 1990, that applicant chose to create only 43 development lots (not 46), therefore, there are still three (3) unused rights within the boundaries of that original site. The allotment of those three (3) additional rights does not increase the density originally allowed by right.

 

This current petition requests that the right to utilize those unused rights be given solely to the owner of Lot 1, thereby giving Lot 1 the potential of having four (4) dwelling units (there is one existing house on Lot 1), or four (4) separate parcels within the existing boundaries of Lot 1. As a matter of course, because the applicant is choosing not to show the boundaries of those lots on the current application plan, the three (3) unused rights cannot be realized without amending the Special Use Permit again.

 

As it stands, any one of the existing lots within The Rocks, with enough acreage, could apply to the County, through a similar special use permit request, for the use of those unused rights. It is staff’s opinion that if those rights are ever utilized, it is more appropriate to allow them on Lot 1 than on any other lot in The Rocks. By allocating these rights now, it gives the County certainty of where they will be utilized and the recommended conditions gives us control of how they will be utilized.

 

Staff’s analysis of this request was also focused on the issue of density and it is staff’s opinion that allowing for those three (3) additional lots/dwellings within Lot 1 is in keeping with the density requirements of this particular RPD. The 1990 applicant could have as easily submitted a 46-lot RPD. There is nothing in the history of this project or physical characteristics of the land that would lead staff to believe a 46-lot RPD could not have been approved in 1990 had it been presented to the County.

 

Given the fact that the owner of Lot 1 will have to amend this Special Use Permit before those rights are utilized, staff has added conditions to those staff presented at the April 27 meeting in order to further restrict how they can be utilized. In order to address the Commission’s concern about the “disappearing” Open Space shown on the application plan for SP 91-36, one of the new conditions will require that further division of Lot 1 be treated as a “mini” RPD which includes the creation of a preservation tract, (see Conditions 3 – 6 below).

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

 

Staff has reviewed the applicant’s request and recommends approval of SP 03-079 with conditions.

 

Staff presents the following recommended conditions thusly:

 

I.          Should the Commission move to approve all four (4) requested items, staff recommends this first set of conditions which includes the clerical changes made to the original conditions at the beginning of the April 27 meeting; includes the additional conditions which restrict building/subdivision within Lot 1; and includes those changes requested by various Commissioners throughout the April 27 meeting.

 

Recommended conditions of approval if the Commission moves to approve requested items 1 through 4:

 

  1. Except as otherwise provided herein development of The Rocks shall be in accord with the “Special Use Permit Plan…” prepared by Thomas B. Lincoln Land Surveyor, Inc. dated April 2, 2004. For purposes of these conditions the plan shall heretofore be referred to as “The Application Plan.”
  2. Except for minor boundary adjustments, (as determined by the Agent), the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 may be modified only as shown on “The Application Plan.”
  3. Within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1, there shall be allowed a total of 4 (four) dwelling units or 4 (four) lots. Before a building permit is issued for a second dwelling unit, or before a subdivision plat is approved creating a new lot(s) within the boundaries of Lot 1, this special use permit (SP 03-079) shall be amended and a new application plan shall be reviewed and approved by the County authorizing the dwelling units or lots. For purposes of these conditions the term “subdivision” shall also mean family divisions.
  4. All subdivisions within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1 shall meet the design standards and special provisions set forth in Section 10.3.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  5. All dwellings and development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek.
  6. All future development lots subdivided from Lot 1 shall be no larger than 3.26 acres in area, shall be located in a manner consistent with, and be integrated into the overall design of the other development lots in The Rocks.
  7. A minimum of ten trees per acre shall be provided on the development lots, including those permitted by condition three (3), in accordance with Section 32.7.9.5 of the Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of providing screening from Interstate 64 and Route 637.  Trees shall be installed within two planting seasons of the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the dwelling on the lots.
  8. Clearing of land shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the construction of access roads, dwellings, and septic fields.
  9. Building siding and trim shall be of colors and materials that blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning. Highly reflective colors or surfaces, or light colored roofs, as determined by the Director of Planning, are prohibited.
  10. Concrete driveways visible from off-site shall be darkened to blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning.
  11. The bridge shall not be constructed until the approvals in conditions 12 through 15 have been obtained;
  12. Department of Engineering issuance of an erosion and sediment control permit;
  13. Department of Engineering approval of bridge design;
  14. Department of Engineering approval of hydro geologic and hydraulic calculations to ensure compliance with Section 30.3. of the Zoning Ordinance;
  15. Department of Engineering approval of private road plans and drainage calculations.  Private roads shall be designed to Virginia Department of Transportation mountainous terrain standards. This condition is only applicable to the private roads constructed to access and provide frontage to all the lots in the Rocks development except the Rural Preservation Tract and revised Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 as shown on “The Application Plan.”
  16. The extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane as a private road is subject to Planning Commission approval. The Planning Commission shall establish the standard of the private road extension at the time of review.
  17. The existing road, shown entering from Rocks Farm Drive, parallel to Interstate 64 and meandering through the Preservation Tract shall not be improved or widened except for agricultural and/or forestry purposes. The need for such improvements shall be reviewed by the Public Recreational Facilities Authority. If the Public Recreational Facilities Authority deems that the improvements are warranted, construction shall not commence until a road plan and an erosion and sediment control plan has been reviewed and approved by the County Engineer.
  18. Prior to the approval of any plat modifying the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract, the rural preservation easement shall be amended to allow the modification; amendment to the easement is subject to the review and approval of the County and the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority. Approval of this special use permit in no way implies or guarantees approval of a modified easement by the County or the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority.
  19. Prior to the approval of any plat providing access to Newcomb Mountain Lane an amended road maintenance agreement shall be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney. This agreement shall be recorded with the plat.
  20. Provide evidence to the County that the Rosemont Homeowner’s Association consents to the Newcomb Mountain Lane extension to serve as access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3.

 

 

    II.      Should the Commission move to act as it did on April 27, 2004, (see Attachment I for the minutes of that meeting), in essence, to approve items (1) and (3) of the request and deny items (2) and (4) of the request, staff recommends the following conditions.

 

Recommended conditions of approval if the Commission moves to approve requested items (1) and (3) and deny items (2) and (4):

 

  1. Except as otherwise provided herein development of The Rocks shall be in accord with the “Special Use Permit Plan…” prepared by Thomas B. Lincoln Land Surveyor, Inc. dated April 2, 2004. For purposes of these conditions the plan shall heretofore be referred to as “The Application Plan.”
  2. Except for minor boundary adjustments, (as determined by the Agent), the boundaries of Parcels identified as Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 may be modified only as shown on “The Application Plan.” The boundaries of Parcels identified as Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 may be modified to allow minor variations to accommodate the new road alignment for the extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane that will serve these lots.
  3. Within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1, there shall be allowed a total of 4 (four) dwelling units or 4 (four) lots. Before a building permit is issued for a second dwelling unit, or before a subdivision plat is approved creating a new lot(s) within the boundaries of Lot 1, this special use permit (SP 03-079) shall be amended and a new application plan shall be reviewed and approved by the County authorizing the dwelling units or lots. For purposes of these conditions the term “subdivision” shall also mean family divisions.
  4. All subdivisions within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1 shall meet the design standards and special provisions set forth in Section 10.3.3 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  5. All dwellings and development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek.
  6. All future development lots subdivided from Lot 1 shall be no larger than 3.26 acres in area, shall be located in a manner consistent with, and be integrated into the overall design of the other development lots in The Rocks.
  7. A minimum of ten trees per acre shall be provided on the development lots, including those permitted by condition three (3), in accordance with Section 32.7.9.5 of the Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of providing screening from Interstate 64 and Route 637.  Trees shall be installed within two planting seasons of the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the dwelling on the lots.
  8. Clearing of land shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the construction of access roads, dwellings, and appropriate septic fields.
  9. Building siding and trim shall be of colors and materials that blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning. Highly reflective colors or surfaces, or light colored roofs, as determined by the Director of Planning, are prohibited.
  10. Concrete driveways visible from off-site shall be darkened to blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning.
  11. The bridge shall not be constructed until the approvals in conditions 12 through 15 have been obtained;
  12. Department of Engineering issuance of an erosion and sediment control permit;
  13. Department of Engineering approval of bridge design;
  14. Department of Engineering approval of hydro geologic and hydraulic calculations to ensure compliance with Section 30.3. of the Zoning Ordinance;
  15. Department of Engineering approval of private road plans and drainage calculations.  Private roads shall be designed to Virginia Department of Transportation mountainous terrain standards. This condition is only applicable to the private roads constructed to access and provide frontage to all the lots in the Rocks development except the Rural Preservation Tract and revised Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3. as shown on “The Application Plan.”
  16. The extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane as a private road is subject to Planning Commission approval. The Planning Commission shall establish the standard of the private road extension at the time of review.
  17. The existing road, shown entering from Rocks Farm Drive, parallel to Interstate 64 and meandering through the Preservation Tract shall not be improved or widened except for agricultural and/or forestry purposes. The need for such improvements shall be reviewed by the Public Recreational Facilities Authority. If the Public Recreational Facilities Authority deems that the improvements are warranted, construction shall not commence until a road plan and an erosion and sediment control plan has been reviewed and approved by the County Engineer.
  18. Prior to the approval of any plat modifying the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract, the rural preservation easement shall be amended to allow the modification; amendment to the easement is subject to the review and approval of the County and the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority. Approval of this special use permit in no way implies or guarantees approval of a modified easement by the County or the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority.
  19. Prior to the approval of any plat providing access to Newcomb Mountain Lane an amended road maintenance agreement shall be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney. This agreement shall be recorded with the plat.
  20. Provide evidence to the County that the Rosemont Homeowner’s Association consents to the Newcomb Mountain Lane extension to serve as access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

        I.      April 27, 2004 public hearing minutes

     II.      Staff Report presented at the April 27, 2004 public hearing corrected for errors as agreed to at the beginning of the meeting

Attachment IIA - Application Plan Reduction (dated 4/2/04)

Attachment IIB - Location map

Attachment IIC - Actions Letters with Conditions of Approval for SP-90-119, SP-90-120 and SP-91-36

Attachment IID - Historic Resources Locator Map

Attachment IIE - Reduced Line of Sight Profile Showing Surrounding Historic Resources

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