SP-2004-14 Gary T. Dalton (Sign # 89) - Request for a special use permit to allow a Home Occupation Class B for Furniture Making in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for Home Occupations Class B.  The property is described as Tax Map 94, Parcel 90, contains 2.1 acres, and is zoned RA, Rural Area.  The proposal is located on Rt. 828 (3830 Whitetail Lane), approximately .25 miles from the intersection of Whitetail Lane and Rt. 808 (Running Deer Road), in the Scottsville Magisterial District.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property Rural Area.  (Rebecca Ragsdale)


Ms. Ragsdale summarized the staff report.  This request is for a Home Occupation, Class B to allow a professional furniture work shop on the applicant’s property.  The applicant is requesting to operate this furniture business in a detached work shop building on the property.  He is not requesting any employees and does not anticipate any customer visits to his property.  The applicant will be making only custom commissions usually for one or a few pieces of furniture at a time.  Therefore, there will not be a substantial amount of storage of materials associated with this business as there would not be a mass production of furniture.  The property is a 2-acre site in the Running Deer Subdivision, which consists of mostly 2 and 3 acre lots.  The area around the applicant’s lot is mostly wooded that provides some screening of the proposed building for the business.  The Comprehensive Plan identifies this area as being in the Rural Areas.  The level of the intensity of the proposed use would not be incompatible with the character of the Rural Area.  Staff would consider it consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  The applicant is not proposing any deliveries or intending to use any heavy trucks for the shipping of the finished furniture products.  Therefore, staff does not anticipate any heavy truck traffic or increased traffic to the residential area with this request.  As part of the request, the applicant is seeking a waiver of Section of the Zoning Ordinance.  This modification is to allow a work shop building greater than 25 percent of the floor area of the dwelling to be devoted to the home occupation.  The square footage of the dwelling is about 2,016 and that would permit an area of 504 square feet to be devoted to the home occupation.  The applicant would like to have a total square footage of 635 square feet for the home occupation.  The applicant has an existing accessory building on the property that he wants to add on to for the business.  This expansion would allow for all of the operations associated with the furniture making, storage and machinery to be enclosed.  This would reduce the noise impacts.  Also, there would not be any outdoor storage associated with it.  The proposed modification would be about 30 percent of the total dwelling floor area, which is not a significant increase beyond the 25 percent.  Therefore, staff feels that this request is reasonable and recommends approval.  Staff has identified the following factors as being favorable to this application. 

1.       There would be no additional traffic generated from this proposal than what would be considered normal residential traffic.

2.       There would be no noise or lighting impacts on surrounding neighbors.


Staff recommends approval of SP-2004-014, subject to the conditions listed in the staff report.  Staff recommends approval of the request for the waiver to Section to allow the modification to allow a building greater than 25 percent of the dwelling to be devoted to the home occupation.  If there are any questions, she would be happy to answer them.


Mr. Rieley stated that he noticed that the applicant had contacted all of his neighbors and got favorable response from everybody but one.  He asked if staff had received any communication of opposition.


Ms. Ragsdale stated that she did not hear from any of the neighbors.


Mr. Thomas opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to come forward and address the Commission.


Gary T. Dalton, applicant, stated that he had just returned to Albemarle County after a year of extensive training in fine furniture making in North California.  He pointed out that he hoped to begin building beautiful useful objects out of his home shop.  He stated that he needed to expand the shop and to get his home occupation permit in order to begin his furniture making work.  Staff has done a very good job in presenting the application.  Therefore, he would be happy to answer any questions that they might have.


Mr. Thomas asked if there were any questions for Mr. Dalton. There being none, he opened the public hearing and asked if there was any one else present who would like to speak regarding this application.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for discussion and a possible action.


Mr. Rieley stated that the applicant has done a very thorough job of documenting exactly the number of square feet and so forth in the plan.  The Commission has often given a little bit of latitude, particularly since the upper limit on this is 1,500 square feet.  Therefore, if you have a big house you can get up to 1,500 square feet.  Since the applicant’s house is a couple thousand square feet, he suggested that the Commission consider giving the applicant a little extra square footage in his plan to give him a little latitude.


Ms. Higgins supported Mr. Rieley’s idea because if the applicant’s storage needs increased there would be a tendency to move things outside.  Whereas, if there is some flexibility in what he is allowed to do structurally, then they would hope that it would be more accommodating than having to come back here saying he needs another 100 feet or something.


Mr. Craddock agreed with Mr. Rieley’s proposal.


Mr. Rieley asked if 800 square feet sounds reasonable instead of the 650, and the Commissioners agreed.


Mr. Rieley moved for approval of SP-2004-14, Gary T. Dalton, subject to the recommended conditions with a modification to condition 3 to increase the square footage to 800 square feet.


1.       The number of vehicle trips per week associated with this home occupation shall not exceed 10.

2.       The use shall be conducted in general accord with the concept plan identified as Attachment B in the staff report.

3.       The total square footage of the shop building, including the study, shall not exceed 800 square feet in size.

4.       No business sign shall be permitted.


Ms. Higgins seconded the motion.


The motion carried by a vote of (6:0).  (Morris – Absent)


Action on Waiver Request:


Ms. Higgins moved for approval of the waiver to Section to allow an area greater than 25 percent of the dwelling to be devoted to the home occupation that the Commission just approved.


Mr. Craddock seconded the motion.


The motion carried by a vote of (60).  (Morris – Absent)


Mr. Thomas stated that the waiver carries and that SP-04-14 will go the Board of Supervisors on August 4.


 Return to PC actions letter