STAFF PERSON:                                                                                Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                           July 13, 2004  

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                          August 4, 2004


SP 2004-014 Gary T. Dalton


Applicant’s Proposal: The applicant is requesting approval of a special use permit for a Home Occupation, Class B to allow for a professional furniture workshop.  The furniture business would be operated in an existing workshop building, which is detached from the applicant’s residence. With approval of this special use permit, the applicant proposes to construct a 320 square foot addition onto that building for the business. A waiver of section is requested to allow an expansion of this size. The applicant would have no employees and has indicated that his general hours of operation would be during daylight, Monday through Friday, with limited Saturday hours. There would be no customer visits to the shop and no business signs are proposed. The applicant would only produce custom-made commissions and there would be no mass production of furniture. Given the scale of the business, there would not be substantial storage of materials. The applicant has provided a detailed description of the proposed furniture business in an addendum to his application (Attachment A), outlining specifics of the furniture making business and how impacts to adjoining properties will be mitigated. The work shop building is illustrated on a concept plan also provided. (Attachment B)


Petition: 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 Areas. The proposal is located at 3830 Whitetail Lane (Route 828), approximately .25 miles from the intersection of Whitetail Lane and Running Deer Road (Route 808), in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property Rural Area.


Character of the Area: The site is located in the Running Deer subdivision, which consists of approximately 50 residential lots, ranging mostly from 2 acres to 3 acres.  The applicant’s property is located along a state-maintained road (Route 828).  The property and surrounding areas are fairly wooded.


Planning and Zoning History: The parcel was created in 1979 as part of the Running Deer subdivision. The home was constructed in 1981. There have been no prior zoning approvals for special use permits or home occupations.


Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan identifies this site and surrounding area as being located in the Rural Areas.  The Comprehensive Plan offers no specific comment regarding home occupations in the Rural Areas.  However, the level of intensity of the proposed use would not be incompatible with the character of the Rural Areas.    


Staff Comment: Staff will address each provision of Section 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.


This proposal would not result in a significant increase in vehicular traffic beyond that which would be considered normal traffic for the residence.  The applicant would not have customers visiting the site and would not receive deliveries or ship using heavy trucks. Mr. Dalton has indicated he will transport supplies and finished furniture pieces in his own personal passenger truck.


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


The shop building is typical of accessory structures found on residential properties in the Rural Areas.  Furthermore, the design of the shop building addition would match the existing portions of the building and the entire structure would maintain its compatibility with the dwelling. As indicated by Mr. Dalton, the shop building is located in a wooded area of the property that slopes down from the road and has limited visibility from adjoining properties. It is the opinion of staff that this home occupation would not result in any increased levels of activity on the site that would be inconsistent with the character of the area.   


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


Staff has reviewed the purpose and intent as contained in Chapter18, Sections 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 of the Albemarle Zoning Ordinance.  In the opinion of staff, the proposed use would not conflict with the purpose and intent as described in the Zoning Ordinance.


with the uses permitted by right in the district,


This use would not prevent by-right use of the adjacent properties.


and with the public health, safety and general welfare.


The public health, safety, and general welfare of the community are protected through the special use permit process, which assures that uses approved by special use permit are appropriate in the location requested.


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has verified that the entrance to the property meets site distance requirements. As there would be no more traffic generated by the applicant’s proposal than normal residential traffic and there would be no employee parking, Planning staff recommends approval without any additional requirements.    


County Engineering has reviewed this request for compliance with the performance standards of Section 4.14 which address noise, glare, pollution, radioactivity, and electrical interference. Engineering, as well as the Division of Fire Safety and the Building Official, have indicated that the proposed furniture shop does not raise any concerns.






with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,


Home occupation permits are governed by Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance (Attachment C).  The proposed request complies with all provisions of this section of the Zoning Ordinance, except for which is addressed below.



Modification and Waiver of Section 5.2 of the Zoning Ordinance:

Home occupations are intended to be accessory and subordinate to the established use on the parcel.  In this case the primary use is single family residence and the furniture making business as a home occupation is to be subordinate.  The applicant is requesting a modification to Section 5.2:


Section Such occupation shall be conducted either within the dwelling or an accessory structure, or both, provided that not more than twenty-five (25) percent of the floor area of the dwelling shall be used in the conduct of the home occupation and in no event shall the total floor area of the dwelling, accessory structure, or both, devoted to such occupation, exceed one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet; provided that the use of accessory structures shall be permitted on in connection with home occupation, Class B.


The applicant is seeking a modification to this section to allow an area greater than 25% of the dwelling to be devoted to the home occupation.  The total floor area of the dwelling is 2016 square feet.  Without the size modification, the applicant would be permitted a total of 504 square feet of floor area for the home occupation.  In order to safely accommodate equipment associated with the business and to provide for all operations and storage of materials to be completely enclosed, Mr. Dalton has indicated he will need a workshop totaling 555 square feet. Attached to the shop building is a study, which brings the total square footage of the structure to approximately 635 square feet in size. (Please refer to the concept plan detail, Attachment B.) The applicant’s total area devoted to the home occupation would still remain under the 1,500 square feet allowed for the use of an accessory structure in a Home Occupation, Class B. The applicant’s proposal would result in the accessory building comprising approximately 30% of the dwelling floor area. This is not a significant increase beyond the allowed 25% and the home occupation would still remain accessory. Also, ensuring that all activities associated with the furniture making process can be conducted inside the workshop reduces noise and impacts to the neighborhood. Therefore, staff recommends the applicant’s request for a waiver to Section be approved. 



Staff has identified the following factors 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 has not found any factors that are unfavorable to this request. 



Staff Recommendation:


SP 2004-014

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2004-014, subject to the following conditions:


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 635 square feet in size.

4.      No business sign shall be permitted.


Request for Waiver to Section

Staff recommends approval of this modification to allow an area greater than 25% of the dwelling to be devoted to the home occupation.   






A – Application

B – Concept Plan

C – Location Map

D – Section 5.2.2

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