STAFF PERSON:                                                                  TARPLEY V. GILLESPIE

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                              June 8, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                              July 7, 2004

 

 

SP-2004-008 Karin Gest Driving School

 

Applicant's Proposal:

The applicant’s proposal is for a special use permit to allow a private school for classroom driver training.  The proposed school would be located in Units 202 and 202A within the existing Branchlands Professional Center building on Incarnation Drive.  This is an expansion of an existing private school use in Unit 202B of this building.  This expansion would allow more physical space to be devoted to the school use, but would not increase enrollment or staff.  Consistent with the previously approved school, this SP would result in 1 employee and up to 10 students at any given time.  Classes would be conducted in the evenings, generally from 4pm-8pm.   

 

Petition:

This is a request for a special use permit to allow private school for classroom driver training in accordance with Section 20.4.2.1 of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for private schools in the PUD Zoning District.   This is an expansion of an existing classroom driver training use.  The property, described as Tax Map 61Z 3 Parcel 202, contains .245 acres, and is zoned PUD-Planned Unit Development.  The proposal is located on Incarnation Drive, at the intersection of Branchlands Boulevard (Rout 1694) and Hillsdale Drive (Route 1427) in the Rio Magisterial District.   The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Urban Density Residential (6.01-34 dwelling units per acre) in Neighborhood Two.

 

Petitioners:

The applicant is Karin M. Gest.  The office building is owned in a condominium regime and the owners of the condominium unit are Karin M. Gest and Robert Gest.

 

Zoning History:

In 1975, SP 446 was approved establishing Branchlands as a PUD to be developed with 782 dwelling units and 16 acres of commercial area.  In 1978, Charlottesville Fashion Square Mall purchased 10.74 acres of the commercial area to be developed as a portion of the shopping mall. 

 

A site plan for this building (SDP 1998-027) was approved in 1999.  The plan required 97 parking spaces.  105 parking spaces are provided on the site. 

 

In January of 2004, SP-2003-074 was approved for Unit 202B of Branchlands Professional Center by the Board of Supervisors.  This Special Use Permit permitted a private school for classroom driver training for up to 10 students with normal operating hours of 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM daily.  

 

 

Background:

SP 2003-074 allows drivers education classes in Suite 202B.  SP 2004-008 will allow private school use in two additional suites 202 and 202A.  Unit 202 is not envisioned for actual classrooms but rather as accessory use such as office, storage and a break room.  Suite 202A will be additional class space.  There is no increase requested in the maximum number of students (10) or employees (1) from the previously approved SP 2003-074.  The applicant wishes to have alternate classrooms to provide for less set-up and break-down between various classes throughout the week. 

 

The Zoning Ordinance requires that, for school uses, the number of required parking spaces shall be determined by the Zoning Administrator.  In making the determination, the Zoning Administrator is to consider the recommendations of a parking study provided by the applicant as well as traffic generation figures, parking demands and any other relevant information. 

 

The applicant provided a parking study to the Zoning Administrator, which stipulates that there will be no more than 10 students at any particular time, and that the general hours of operation of the instruction will be between 4-8 PM. 

 

Based on this information, the Zoning Administrator has determined that a total of 5 parking spaces will be required for this Special Permit.  A total of 5 parking spaces were also required for SP 2003-74.  Therefore, a total of 10 parking spaces must be available to Gest Education Services.  Attachment B is a Parking Plan for the Branchlands Professional Center.  The plan shows at total of 10 parking spaces will allocated to Units 202, 202A and 202B that will be reserved for this specific use.  In order to meet the parking requirement, these 10 spaces must be reserved on the Parking Plan for Gest Education Services. 

 

Character of the Area:

The proposed school is to be located within an existing condominium building, the Branchlands Professional Center.  Other uses in the building include Atlantic Sports and Rehab and several business uses.  This site is located on Hillsdale Drive, at the intersection of Incarnation Drive and opposite Branchlands Boulevard.  South and east of the site is the Branchlands retirement village.  Across Hillsdale drive are commercial shopping areas of Food Lion and Toys R Us.   

 

Comprehensive Plan:

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Urban Density Residential, which recommends 6-34 Dwelling Units Per Acre.  The Urban Density Residential designation is intended to accommodate all dwelling types as well as institutional uses such as places of worship, public and private schools, and early childhood education centers including daycare centers and preschools.  The proposed school is consistent with the Urban Density Residential designation. 

 

The Neighborhood Model provides additional support to the Land Use Plan by setting forth principles for how development should take place in Development Areas.  The use is proposed within an existing building and no exterior changes are proposed.  Staff has evaluated this proposal and does not believe that any modifications are needed to the site to conform to the Neighborhood Model or other parts of the Comprehensive Plan.

RECOMMENDATION

 

Staff has reviewed this request for compliance with the provisions of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance and recommends approval with conditions.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance:

 

The Board of Supervisors hereby reserves unto itself the right to issue all special use permits permitted hereunder.  Special use permits for uses as provided in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property. 

 

South and east of the site is the Branchlands retirement village.  Across Hillsdale drive are commercial shopping areas of Food Lion and Toys R Us.  Adjacent to the site on Hillsdale Drive is Woodlands Day Care.  The proposed use is to be located entirely within the existing Branchlands Professional Center.  There are no exterior site modifications proposed.  Staff does not anticipate any significant traffic impacts.  Therefor, staff finds that there is no negative impact from this proposal on the adjacent properties.

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby,

 

This site is located within a PUD Planned Development zoning districtThe proposed use is a relatively small instructional facility to be located entirely within the existing building.  The proposal is compatible with the site and surrounding areas. 

 

and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

 

Staff has reviewed this request with consideration for the purpose and intent of the Planned Unit Development section of the Zoning Ordinance as stated in Section 18.20.1 of the Zoning Ordinance.  Planned Unit Development districts are intended "to serve as neighborhoods or mini neighborhoods within designated communities and the urban area."  It is intended that "appropriate commercial and industrial uses are provided in addition to a variety of residential uses."  The proposed driving school is to be located entirely within an existing professional office building.  It is staff's opinion that this proposal is consistent with the purpose and intent of the PUD District of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

            with the uses permitted by right in the district,

 

Due to the limited scale of this school and its location within an existing building, approval of this request will not negatively affect any of the by-right uses that are allowed within the district or on this site. 

 

 

 

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare. 

 

The proposed classroom driving training school provides a unique service to the community and serves the public purpose of affording local citizens the opportunity to receive driver training within this community.

 

SUMMARY

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

1.      This SP will not increase enrollment or staff to Gest Education Services.

2.      There is adequate parking available on site to address this use.

3.      The classroom driving training school will provide a service to the community.

4.      As the use will be located entirely within an existing facility, no new land use impacts are anticipated.

 

Staff finds no factors unfavorable to this request.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Staff has reviewed this request for compliance with the provisions set forth in Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance and recommends approval with conditions.

 

Recommended conditions of approval:

 

1.      Maximum enrollment shall be 10 students;

 

2.      Normal hours of operation for the school shall be from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM provided that occasional school-related events may occur outside of these hours.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

A.                 Property Tax Map

B.                 Parking Plan

C.                 Staff Report: SP 2003-74 December 16, 2003

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