Final 8-24

 

ALBEMARLE COUNTY COMMUNITY FACILITIES PLAN, 2004

(CPA-04-03)

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

     Community facilities provide a location for necessary and desired services for County residents and are important components in supporting and enhancing the quality of life in Albemarle County. The facilities covered within this plan include police, fire and rescue protection services, schools, libraries, parks and recreation, government administration services, and solid waste facilities. Highway and transportation facilities and sewer and water utilities are not covered in this plan. Separate planning processes are already in place for these facilities.

 

The provision of community facilities can influence where and when development will occur; therefore, they are important tools for managing growth. The importance of the provision of public services and facilities is recognized within the growth management goal for the County:

 

            Protect and efficiently utilize County resources by:

 

A.   Emphasizing the importance of protecting the elements that the define the Rural Area*:

1)       Agricultural and forestry resources

2)       Water supply resources

3)       Natural resources

4)       Scenic resources

5)       Historic and cultural resources

6)       Limited service delivery [emphasis added]

 

[*NOTE: THIS SECTION WILL BE UPDATED TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE RURAL AREA AMENDMENT TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN]

 

            B. Designating Development Areas where a variety of land uses, facilities, and services are planned to support the County’s future growth, with emphasis placed on infill development.

 

Community facilities are provided to residents in the County in a number of different ways. Some facilities/services are provided entirely by the County (schools, police), some are volunteer, while others are a combination of County and volunteer (fire). Some are regional in scope (libraries), while still others are provided jointly by the County and City (solid waste disposal facilities). In the case of Parks and Recreation facilities, separate facilities are provided by the City and County, but are made available for use by all residents in the entire area, including outlying Counties. Some park facilities are also provided jointly by the City and County (Darden Towe Park and Ivy Creek Natural Park).

 

Because of the high cost involved in providing community facilities and the potential impact to the County's growth pattern, it is important to have a comprehensive and systematic planning process. This process should promote an efficient provision of services and facilities that is consistent with current needs and with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan for future development. This plan will serve as a framework for community facility development decisions. It will permit a better evaluation of service and facility performance and needs, and a more objective review of competing demands for new and expanded facilities so that the resources are used in areas of highest need. It is to be used to assist agency administrators and elected officials in determining the capital project needs and priorities, and timing for facility development. It establishes what the County determines to be the adequate level of service for community facilities. "Level of service" defines what County residents consider as necessary and desirable.  To do this, service objectives and standards for provision of facilities are established. This Plan is an element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and, like the Comprehensive Plan, will be reviewed on a regular basis.

 

The County’s Comprehensive Plan emphasizes the County's role in providing necessary new and amended ordinances, regulations, support services and infrastructure for development, and more efficient use of Development Areas, including more urban and pedestrian oriented development styles. It must be recognized that the desired increase in density and more urban model for development recommended in the Development Areas will also require an increased commitment by the County for public infrastructure improvements and community facilities and services.

 

 

 

FACILITIES PLANNING

 

     The Comprehensive Plan facilities planning goal states:

 

Strongly support and effectively implement the County’s growth management priorities in the planning and provision of transportation, public facilities and public utilities.

 

 

Residents of the County expect high quality facilities and services. It is recognized that the provision of such facilities   and services significantly affects the location, timing, and extent of development.

 

By their very nature, public facilities are capital-intensive, requiring significant funding not only for the initial development of the facility, but also for its continual maintenance and operation. It is becoming increasingly difficult for communities to find adequate fiscal resources to pay for new or improved facilities, as well as maintenance of existing facilities. Therefore, to provide facilities in a fiscally responsible and equitable manner, adequate planning is necessary to ensure that the highest benefit is provided to the citizens in exchange for the cost required providing the service. The policies, objectives, and strategies presented in this chapter outline an active process to assure this success.

 

 

The Nature of Public Service Delivery

 

The County's growth management goals are to be supported through the appropriate provision of transportation, public utilities, and public facilities and services to designated Development Areas. The provision of fire, rescue, and police protection, roads, utilities, school bus service, and other governmental activities and functions to a large, dispersed rural population is viewed as inefficient and contrary to the overall public interest in guiding new development to the designated Development Areas. 

 

Emphasis is placed on providing a level of public service delivery that will support development in, and direct development to, designated Development Areas. To accomplish this, services and facilities will be provided at a much higher level in the Development Areas than in the Rural Areas. Those persons living in the Rural Areas should not anticipate levels of public service delivery equal to services provided in the Development Areas.

 

 

Capital Improvements Program

 

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) serves as the major financial planning guide for County expenditures towards capital facilities and equipment over a five-year period. It is primarily based on the physical needs of the County as identified in the Comprehensive Plan. It is one of the primary tools used to implement the Comprehensive Plan. Albemarle County adopted its first CIP on March 5, 1978. The CIP is reviewed annually by the Planning Commission, as authorized by Virginia Code § 15.2-2239, and is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

 

The CIP establishes a five-year funding schedule for the purchase, construction or replacement of the physical assets of the community. A capital project typically requires a minimum expenditure of $20,000 and has a useful life of a minimum of ten years. County departments and affiliated agencies initiate their capital project requests, which span the five-year period of the CIP. A CIP Technical Committee reviews all requests. This Committee then makes recommendations to the Planning Commission, which subsequently makes its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for adoption as part of the County’s budget.

 

 

In conjunction with the CIP process, the County develops a comprehensive long-range capital needs assessment that forms the basis for the county’s five-year capital improvement plan.  This needs assessment is updated every other year as part of the CIP process when departments are asked to submit capital requests spanning a ten-year planning period.

 

 

POPULATION GROWTH AND SERVICE DEMAND

 

Population growth and the distribution and characteristics of the population will affect the demand for community services and facilities.

 

Population-

The County’s population for 2000 is estimated at 84,186 (U.S. Census) with an annual average growth rate of 2.1%.  This rate of growth is consistent with other high growth localities in Virginia.  The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service estimates the 2002 population of the County at 86,700.  With the County and City (40,099) combined, the area population is 124,285 (2000).  The combined population is important to recognize because many County and City facilities are used by residents from each locality, impacting available capacities.  The projected 2010 population for the County is 97,200 (136,800 County-City combined).

 

Distribution of Population-

As of July 2003, there are total of 34,403 dwellings in the County, 22,820 are single family detached (66%), 1,129 are single family attached (6%), 2,172 are townhouses (3%), 6,076 (18%) are multi-family and 1,893 (6%) are mobile homes.  The Development Areas consist of approximately 5 percent of the total land area of the County.

 

Fifty-one (51) percent of dwellings are located in the designated Development Areas and 49 percent are located in the Rural Areas.  Generally the western half of the Rural Areas (Rural Areas 1 and 3) contain a little over 60 percent of all the dwellings located in the Rural Area.

 

Age-

Age distribution is important in assessing the need for public services and the impacts can be different for the various services. 

AGE

1990

1990

2000

2000

% change

 

total

% of total

Total

% of total

1990-2000

<5

  4,655

7

  4,961

6

7

5-19

14,670

22

16,271

19

11

20-24

  6,361

10

  9,159

11

44

25-44

23,559

35

24,487

29

4

45-64

12,197

18

19,388

23

59

65+

  5,403

8

  9,920

12

84

TOTAL

66,845

100

84,186

100

26

 

One of the more significant trends is that the population is aging, with the elderly (65+) increasing by 4,517, or 84% from 1990. This aging trend is consistent with the national baby boomer trend. Also, the experienced workforce cohort (45-64) grew by 59% from 1990 to 2000.  The school age cohort (5-19) grew at a moderate rate (11%) from 1990, from 14,670 to 16,271 in 2000.  Also, the “young family” cohort 25-44 has remained fairly stable in total numbers, with only a 4 percent change from 1990 to 2000 (as a percentage of the total population it has decreased from 35% to 29%

 

Income-

Income levels can indicate the type and extent of services that are demanded.  While a higher income level may generally mean a lesser need for essential social and human resources, populations consisting of higher income tend to demand a higher level of community services and facilities such as libraries, parks, and schools. Median family income for Albemarle County in 2000 was $63,407, which was 17 percent higher than the median income for the rest of the State ($54,169).  Per capita income for the County was $34,143, 9 percent higher than the per capita income statewide ($31,210).

 

Educational Attainment-

As with income, educational attainment can be used as an indicator of the level of services demanded from the population. The higher the educational attainment, the less need for essential human and social services, but the greater demand/expectation of other services (libraries, parks and recreation, etc). The County has an extremely high level of educational attainment.  Fifty-three (53) percent of the county population has at least an associates degree, while the state level is 35 percent (47 percent of county residents have bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29 percent for the state).


 

 

OVERALL FACILITY OBJECTIVES

 

There are a number of general objectives which are common to all community facilities. Other service objectives established within specific facility sections are to be utilized in conjunction with these objectives in evaluating facility need and design.

 

Objective: Community facilities should be equitably provided for all County residents based on cost-effectiveness. Levels of service will vary based on the area of the County. Those in the outlying Rural Area should not anticipate levels of service delivery equal to those provided in the Development Area.

 

Objective: The location of new public facilities should be within the County’s Development Areas so as to support County land use policies. Development Areas such as Communities and Villages will serve as service center locations for the Rural Areas.  Only in cases where it is not possible to locate a new facility in the Development Area due to physical constraints, or the nature of the facility, and/or service(s) provided, will public facilities be allowed in the Rural Area.

                    

The location of community facilities can be an important factor in determining where development can and will be accommodated. Therefore, the provision of community facilities must be carefully coordinated with the land use plan to ensure the adequate provision of facilities and services to accommodate existing and anticipated development. The primary focus of the land use plan is to encourage development in the Development Areas; the necessary facilities should be provided to support this pattern of growth. In certain cases it may not be appropriate, or possible, to provide facilities solely in the Development Areas due to the nature of the service or other unique circumstances. However, the priority is to provide the highest level of service to the Development Areas.

 

Objective: Give priority to facilities which address emergency needs, health and safety concerns, and provide the greatest ratio of benefit to the population served.

 

Objective: Priority shall be given to the maintenance and expansion of existing facilities to meet service needs.

 

Maintenance of existing facilities is of primary importance. No benefit is gained if new facilities are provided while existing facilities deteriorate and become substandard.  Also, in meeting new service needs, consideration should be given to whether the existing facilities can provide an adequate level of service through modification of them.

 

Objective: All sites should be able to accommodate existing and future service needs. All buildings, structures and other facilities shall be designed to permit expansion as necessary.

 

Objective: Related or complementary services/facilities should be located together when possible.

 

There are distinct advantages for both the service providers and the public when related and supporting facilities are in a central location. Operational economies are achieved, capital facility and development costs are reduced (buildings, parking and accessory facilities can be shared), and cooperation and support between personnel can be provided in some cases.

 

Objective: Public facility sites/structures may be mixed-use in nature, consisting of compatible residential and/or non-residential uses (office, commercial, retail). 

 

While public facility sites do not need to be mixed-use in character, the County should take full advantage of beneficial arrangements and opportunities to participate in mixed use developments.  Public/private partnerships, publicly developed sites with leaseable space, or private developments with long term lease arrangements for public facilities are examples of some of the potential arrangements/opportunities.  If opportunities to provide housing as part of a facility development should be offered/presented they should be considered.  Mixing of housing and public facilities is not necessarily discouraged.

 

 

 

 

Objective: Schedule funding of community facilities through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), based on the adopted Community Facilities Plan.

 

Objective: All community facilities shall be in conformance with County regulations, site development standards, and policies to the greatest extent feasible.

 

County projects are expected to meet all County development regulations and procedures, consistent with any other like type of development project. County projects should further strive to achieve or meet all other appropriate development standards and policies established/encouraged by the County (stormwater/water quality, critical slope management, building form/orientation, amount/location of parking, pedestrian/bike accessibility, others).  Public projects should be examples of good development and should be models to demonstrate the type of development the County wants to see.

 

 

 

The County has adopted as part of its Comprehensive Plan a new model for development within the designated Development Areas.  Referred to as the “Neighborhood Model,” it supports a change in the form of urban development from what currently exists.  It recognizes that, if the Development Areas are to be the primary areas receiving residential growth, density must be increased to at least the low end of the density scale that is recommended on the land use plans for the individual Development Areas.  To achieve that density and to provide the supporting services to support and contribute to a quality environment, the form of development must change and that form must be more urban and less suburban.  Application of Neighborhood Model principles will be an important component in the planning, locating, siting and designing community facilities.  A separate section of this document, “The Neighborhood Model” provides further information regarding its relation to facilities planning.

 

Objective: Determine the value of maintaining existing but obsolete facilities and sites for the potential re-use for other services/facilities prior to their disposal.

 

Consideration should be given to the re-use of public facilities/sites for other public uses, if no longer viable for its original service/facility. It is costly and often difficult to purchase property and site public facilities in new locations. Prior to disposing of public properties, a review of the site/facilities potential for other public uses or reservation of the property for future use should be considered.

 

Objective: Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible. 

 

By addressing environmental responsibility in the design and development of community facilities, the County will create facilities that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce solid waste, and conserve natural resources.

 

Objective: Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to occupant health and community benefits. 

 

By addressing occupant health and community benefits in the design and development of community facilities, the County will be creating facilities with improved indoor air quality, improved thermal and acoustic environments. These facilities will enhance occupant comfort and health, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NEIGHBORHOOD MODEL

 

The Neighborhood Model impacts community facility planning and development in varied ways, but for the most part it impacts the relative location of the facility within the designated Development Area, and the location and design of the facility on-site.  The Neighborhood Model has relatively limited impact on the management and operation of the service. 

 

The following is a description of what the model offers and the goals for Neighborhood and how these may relate to facilities planning and development.

 

What the Neighborhood Model Offers

 

The Neighborhood Model seeks to change the form of development from a pattern of sprawling, isolated buildings to a more compact and interconnected design.  The Neighborhood Model:

 

Accommodates walkers, bikers, and public transportation so that mobility can be a reality for the elderly, the young, and those with limited access to automobiles.

 

All public facilities should be designed and/or located to accommodate multi-modal transportation options, including walkways, bike facilities and transit access, if available.

 

Makes open space integral to overall design so that residents and workers can walk to a public park, experience preserved natural areas, and enjoy public gathering spaces.

 

Greater emphasis will be placed on strategic location of open space areas and their design to make them more accessible to neighborhood residents.  There will be a greater potential for smaller-scale public park and open space areas that will be dedicated to the County for operation as part of future development activity.  Also see #12, below.

 

Keeps buildings and spaces at a human scale so that street views are attractive and pedestrian friendly.

 

Building size and orientation on the site (and to the street and neighborhood) should be in keeping with the character of the neighborhood to the extent possible and appropriate.  As a general rule, buildings should be oriented to the street, with parking relegated internal to the site and away from the street.

 

Incorporates varying densities and gradually allows for an overall increase in density in the Development Areas to meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Not directly related to facility development.  However, on-site development density should be taken into consideration to avoid lower density/sprawling site development which under-utilizes sites and does not create or contribute to compact, walkable neighborhood development.

 

Contains a mixture of residential and non-residential uses so residents have convenient access to work, to services, and to entertainment.

 

Public facility sites do not need to be mixed-use in character.  It should be recognized that public facilities contribute to the mixed-use character of neighborhoods.  Therefore, strategic location and siting of facilities can contribute to creating mixed-use neighborhoods.

 

Requires interconnected streets within developments and between developments so that pedestrians can walk easily to many destinations, traffic has alternative routes, and car trips are reduced in number and length.

 

Interconnected streets should be considered and accommodated as part of site development to the greatest extent feasible and as appropriate for the neighborhood and the facility. 

 

Moves off-street parking out of sight and encourages on-street parking.

 

This should be applied to the facility site design to the greatest extent feasible.

 

Mixes housing types and markets so that a full range of housing choices is offered within the neighborhood.

 

Typically, this would not be applicable to facilities development.  However, if opportunities to provide housing as part of a facility development should be offered/presented they should be considered.  Mixing of housing and public facilities is not necessarily discouraged.

 

Emphasizes re-use of sites.

 

This is already a long-standing objective in the Community Facilities Plan.

 

Adapts development to site terrain so that natural topography can be preserved.

 

This should be given strong consideration in site selection and site/building design.  Public facilities should strive to meet this to the greatest extent feasible.  It is recognized that grading and site alterations will occur with facility construction, but efforts need to be made to seek a sustainable balance with better grading and preserving natural topography.  Two important focus points should be protecting important open space/resource areas (streams, significant wooded areas, etc.) and the character of the finished grading (steepness, ability to maintain, vegetate and avoid erosion).

 

Maintains a clear boundary between Development Areas and Rural Areas.

 

Some facilities may be appropriate to locate at the edges of the Development Areas.  The recommendations for the Development Area boundaries, or edge treatments, will be articulated in future Master Plans for each Development Area.

 

Provides for neighborhoods to have a designated center to bring diverse and continuous activity to a neighborhood.

 

Public facilities may be established and function as neighborhood centers and/or opens space areas, particularly parks, libraries, and schools but also facilities like fire departments and county offices because of the meeting room/public gathering function.  New public facilities will likely be encouraged to locate in existing neighborhoods centers, if feasible.


 

 

The Neighborhood Model Goals:

 

Goals for the Neighborhoods are as follows:

 

·         Centers – Neighborhoods within the Development Areas will have centers or focal points for congregating.  These may include schools, parks, places of worship, civic centers, or small commercial and social areas.  Such features will be an easy walk for most residents in the neighborhood,

 

·         Open Space – Each Development Area will offer opportunities for public and private outdoor recreational areas for active and passive recreation.

 

·         Network – A network of streets, bikeways, pedestrian paths, and bus routes will connect new neighborhoods as well as existing residential areas and nonresidential districts.

 

·         Mixed Uses – Neighborhoods will contain a true mix of uses, including residences, shops, and places of employment, as well as civic, religious, and cultural institutions.

 

·         Building Placement and Scale – Consideration will be given to massing, height, setbacks, and orientation of buildings so that these characteristics enhance the public realm.  In particular, garages will be less dominant at street view than houses.

 

·         Alleys – Where topography permits, alleys will provide rear access to parcels, allowing for and facilitating the provision of garages and utilities to the rear of houses.

 

·         Relegated Parking – Parking for the automobile will not result in an excessive amount of paved area; parking on the street will be the norm, and the preference will be for parking lots to be located to the rear and/or sides of buildings.

 

·         Variety of Housing Types – Each neighborhood will possess a variety of housing types accommodating a range of incomes.  Affordable units will be dispersed throughout the neighborhood and will be visually indistinguishable from other units.

 

·         Appealing Streetscapes – As the fundamental element of public space within the neighborhood, the street will make the neighborhood inviting with street trees and landscaping.  Sidewalks or paths that connect houses to each other and to centers and common areas will be the norm.  Walks will connect sidewalks to front doors and main entrances.

 

·         Transportation Options – Convenient routes for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and other transit, including light rail, will augment the street network.  Public transit stops will be located within each Development Area.  Walking to them will be safe and convenient.  Waiting for transit will be comfortable and a normal part of activity in the neighborhood

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

FOLLOWING SECTIONS OF THE PLAN

 

In the following sections, the plan establishes specific service objectives and standards for the provision of public facilities for each of the agencies listed below:

 

1.   Police Department

2.   Fire and Rescue Services    

3.   Library Services

4.       Schools

[SECTIONS STILL BEING UPDATED]

5.       Parks and Recreation

6.       County Government (Administrative Offices/Services)

7.       Solid Waste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Albemarle County Police Department was established in May 1983 and has primary responsibility for law enforcement in the County.  The County currently maintains its police headquarters in a single, centralized location in the County Office Building. All patrol units are quartered at this location. Presently, there are no substations located in the County. Instead, the department utilizes satellite offices within service sectors to provide support space for officers to address administrative functions.

 

Each officer is individually assigned a police car on a take home basis. This policy increases police visibility throughout the County and improves response time to emergency calls and public safety responsibilities. The headquarters is manned around the clock.

 

The following objectives establish a methodology for providing an adequate level of police service to County residents.

 

 

SERVICE OBJECTIVES

 

1.              Achieve an average response time of five minutes or less to all emergency calls 85 percent of the time in the designated Development Areas.

 

2.              Achieve an average response time of ten minutes or less to all emergency calls in the Rural Area of the County.

 

3.       Provide a level of service of one and one-half (1.5) officers per 1000 residents.

 

4.       Locate police Satellite Offices within all designated police service Sectors of the County.

 

5.        Provide new facilities in a manner that accommodates anticipated service demands and the needs of the current and future staff.

 

6.      Maintain and upgrade, as necessary, headquarters and other support facilities to meet the standards outlined in this Plan.

 

 

 

SERVICE/FACILITY STANDARDS  

 

The nature of most police work focuses on mobile police operations.  Therefore, the greatest need for facility space is related to administrative and operational support and training functions.  There are no nationally accepted standards for such facilities, but the County has adopted the following as our local standards.  These standards should be used in conjunction with the Overall Service Objectives (p. 5) of the Plan and the Service Objectives from the preceding page.

 

 

1.   Sectors/Beat System.  Maintain an effective and efficient Sector/Beat system that facilitates meeting the identified response time standards.

 

The primary service objective for police services is to achieve a five-minute response time to all emergency calls 85 percent of the time in the Development Areas (average 10 minutes to Rural Area). The Police Department patrols are performed based on a Sector/Beat System.

 

 

2.       Satellite Offices.  Provide a minimum of one (1) satellite office in all sectors.

 

·         Desirable size is 250 to 500 square feet, consisting of standard office space and a secured storage area, if possible.

·         Satellite offices should be provided in all fire/rescue stations, unless established in another public facility/ location.

·         The location should be within a designated Development Area whenever possible or a well defined existing rural crossroad, commercial/residential concentration, or village.

·         The satellite office should be in a location which allows response from the site to meet response time standards

 

Satellite offices provide a location for patrol offices to conduct administrative functions while on duty, without having to return to police headquarters.  This convenience keeps the officer in the patrol sector, thereby improving overall response time.  Field offices are not intended to function as full service sub-stations.  The offices will not be regularly manned and services to the public will not be regularly provided from these locations.  However, they will provide a physical presence in the area in which they are located, and allow for the future potential of limited office hours and services to be provided.

 

 

3.   Headquarters.   Provide a centrally located headquarters facility to serve Police Department operations and administration.  The location should provide for quick access to major roads accessing all parts of the County.  The site should be compatible with the surrounding area, preferably within a neighborhood center, commercial concentrations, and to residential areas.  

 

Police headquarters is located at the County Office Building, Fifth Street facility, located on Fifth Street, just south of the I-64 interchange.  This location was established in 2004, and provides adequate space to meet current and anticipated needs for the next fifteen to twenty years.  The Department’s approach for management of operations is to establish a single headquarters facility.  All operations are located in this facility, with field patrols provided through the sector/beat system.  Full service substations are not proposed at this time based on this management concept.  Patrol officers are (or will be provided) with satellite offices within each Sector to provide them space “in the field” to support administration functions.

 

 

4.  Training Facilities.  Provide, or insure availability of, training facilities including firing range academic facilities

     classroom/training rooms. 

 

 

5.  Manpower. One and a half (1.5) officers per 1,000 residents shall be provided. 

 

6. Sustainability: 

Structures - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible.  By addressing environmental responsibility in the design and development of community facilities, the County will create facilities that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce solid waste, and conserve natural resources.

 

Employee health - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to occupant health and community benefits.  By addressing occupant health and community benefits in the design and development of community facilities, the County will be creating facilities with improved indoor air quality, improved thermal and acoustic environments. These facilities will enhance occupant comfort and health, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

 

 


 

 

FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The purpose of the Fire Department is to safeguard the community against the damaging effects of fire and in some cases, provide emergency medical (EMS) first response services. The Rescue Squad is to provide both emergency and medical assistance and ready access to hospital care for those in need. The service functions of the two organizations sometimes overlap in response to distress calls and, therefore, the two services will be discussed together in this plan in regards to their major capital needs.

 

In order to accomplish the Fire Department's primary purpose requires the training and deployment of paid and volunteer fire fighters for fire prevention and fire suppression. There are eight fire companies in the County and two in the City of Charlottesville. The Ivy station is operated by the City, but is located in the County. These companies are listed below (See Map #xx):

 

Ridge Street Fire Department (City) Charlottesville Fire Department Headquarters 

250 Bypass Fire Department (City) Station #1 

East Rivanna Company #2 

North Garden Company #3

Earlysville Company #4 

Crozet Company #5

Stony Point Company #6

Scottsville Company #7

Seminole Trail Company #8

Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport Fire Station #9 (provides airport services only)

Ivy Road Fire Department (City) Station #10

Monticello Company #11

 

Career fire fighters staff the Earlysville, Stony Point, Scottsville Rescue, and Seminole Trail stations during the day and the volunteers staff the stations in the evening and weekends. Career fire fighters staff an engine company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Monticello Company. Volunteers staff the remainder of the county fire stations. The crew size assigned to a company is a local decision and varies with such factors as fire risk, fiscal constraints and recruitment ability. The County has a two phased fire program that combines the efforts of both the career City and County personnel and volunteer County personnel. The City and County have a contract whereby the City agrees to provide supplementary 24-hour fire protection to the County. Currently, Seminole Trail and Monticello have aerial trucks that respond to target hazards in the county.

 

Rescue service in the County involves deployment of paid and volunteer personnel and equipment in response to emergency medical needs and provides rescue equipment as well as facilities. Due to the rescue squads' extended response time to many portions of the County, the County’s career staff provide advanced life support services out of certain fire stations participating in a "first responder" program.  Currently, there are three rescue squads providing services to the County, two squads are located in the County and one in the City. These rescue squads are listed below

 

Western Albemarle Rescue Squad (WARS)

Scottsville Rescue Squad

Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS)

 

Volunteers staff the Rescue Squads. At this time WARS, CARS and Scottsville Rescue Stations all provide advance Life Support (ALS) to the County when staffing allows. ALS is all basic life support measures, plus invasive medical procedures, including intravenous therapy, cardiac defibrillation, administration of antiarrhymthmic medication and other specific drugs, and use of adjunctive ventilation devices. 

 

Due to the rescue squads' extended response time to many portions of the County, five fire stations participate in a "first responder" program. Responding with Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), they are simultaneously dispatched with the rescue squads. The County’s career staff provides (during the day shift) advanced life support services out of the Earlysville, Stony Point, and Seminole Trail fire departments and the Scottsville Rescue Squad.  ALS services are provided “24/7” from the Monticello station. In addition, the City fire stations also respond to many of these calls. The Crozet and Scottsville fire stations do not participate in this program because of their close proximity to existing rescue stations; however, both departments can be called upon if needed.

 

The Regional Emergency Communications Center (ECOC), located on Ivy Road, dispatches all emergency calls to County Fire departments, rescue squads and the region’s police departments.  One Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) is assigned per shift to assist callers by providing basic emergency first aid instructions over the phone.

 

 

SERVICE OBJECTIVES

 

1.    Achieve an average response time (how long it takes once the call is dispatched from ECC until a fire apparatus arrives on scene.) to fire emergency calls of five minutes or less in the Development Areas and thirteen minutes or less in the Rural Areas 90% of the time.

 

   2.    Achieve an average response time (time call is dispatched from ECC to time an EMS staffed vehicle arrives on-scene) to rescue emergency calls of four minutes or less in the Development Areas and thirteen minutes or less in the Rural Areas 90% of the time.

 

  3.     Construct fire and rescue stations at strategic locations throughout the County to help achieve desired response times to all emergency calls and increase the level of service.

 

4.   Provide firefighting and rescue equipment as needed to meet the characteristics of particular service areas.

 

5.   Encourage joint fire and rescue stations at new locations when possible.

 

6.       Maintain and utilize the current emergency response data collection system in order to provide the County with sound information to anticipate demand for services, subsequent staffing, and new equipment and facilities

 

 

 

 

 

SERVICE/FACILITY STANDARDS

 

As stated above, the primary objectives of the County are to achieve desired response times and increase levels of service in all areas of the County.  

 

 

Response time is defined as the amount of time between receipt of an alarm at the station and the arrival of the first engine or ambulance at the scene. The service and facility standards below help ensure that average response times can be achieved and adequate service is provided to the County.  These standards should be used in conjunction with the Overall Service Objectives (p. 5) of the Plan and the Service Objectives from the preceding page.

 

 

1.       Location of Site.

·         Stations are to be located in designated Development Areas in a manner that allows desired response times to be achieved. Locating stations at or near the periphery of a Development Area will allow both the Development and Rural Areas to be better served. In certain circumstances, in order to provide adequate protection of the public, stations may be located in the Rural Area.

·         The location and design of the station should be consistent with the general intent for the facility as described in the Comprehensive Plan-Neighborhood Master Plans.

·         In general, a good location is a site that has direct access to a collector road, located within .5 mile from an arterial road. The fire and rescue departments should control any traffic signal lights located at the collector/arterial road intersection(s) during emergency calls.

·         A station should not be located such that its equipment would be immediately hindered during response by steep grades, crossing restricted bridges or railroad crossings.

·          Do not locate a facility directly on heavily traveled roads that are frequently congested due to difficulties with entering traffic flow. A site close to high volume intersections may prevent equipment from leaving the station because traffic is backed up waiting for a signal to change. However, it may be possible to address these issues through the use of “station controlled” traffic signals along such road corridors.  Stations should be located in centers, or commercial/service areas/industrial areas.  Locations near or adjacent to neighborhoods may be acceptable; however, potential noise and traffic conflicts must be adequately addressed.

 

 

2.        Size of Site. The useable area for a fire station is a minimum of two acres. The useable area for a rescue squad site is a minimum of one acre.  Larger sites may be needed depending on ultimate building program and perceived expansion needs.

 

3.   Parking. Adequate parking should be provided to support the overall use of the building.  Meeting room usage is potentially the single highest traffic/parking generator in the facility.  On-street parking and cooperative parking with adjacent uses could be utilized to meet parking needs, particularly overflow and meeting related parking. Parking areas should not be located between the building and street, to the extent feasible.

 

4.   Building.  Each new fire and rescue station should include the following facilities:

 

1)   Living quarters (w/ kitchen, wash rooms, etc.)

2)   Chief's office

3)   Radio room

4)       Storage area

5)   Exercise area 

6)   Training space/Apparatus area

7)       Meeting room (serving 50-100 persons)

8)       Police Department satellite office space (500 sq. ft.)

 

·         Generally, 700 square feet of apparatus space is needed for each major fire vehicle and 350 square feet for each rescue squad vehicle to accommodate for vehicle storage and free circulation around the apparatus.

·         Provide satellite office space for police department within all new or renovated stations (see Police section of the Community Facilities Plan).  The space should consist of a general office space and include a small, secure storage area.  Separate access is desirable, but not necessary.

·         Provide meeting room space within all new and renovated facilities.

·         The station should be oriented to the street and brought forward to the extent feasible and practical.  Because of unique characteristics with fire/rescue stations (bay and apron access needs, site circulation needs, etc.), the building and parking area’s relationship to the street may need to be more flexible.

 

5.   Sustainability: 

Structures - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible.  By addressing environmental responsibility in the design and development of community facilities, the County will create facilities that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce solid waste, and conserve natural resources.

 

Employee health - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to occupant health and community benefits.  By addressing occupant health and community benefits in the design and development of community facilities, the County will be creating facilities with improved indoor air quality, improved thermal and acoustic environments. These facilities will enhance occupant comfort and health, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

 

6. Pedestrian and Bicycle Access.  Where appropriate, Provide sidewalks, walkways, and/or trails to connect the station site to the   neighborhood(s).  Consider the need to program in the CIP necessary walkway improvements within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the facility, based on the community’s potential usage of the station (meetings rooms, etc.).  In addition, bicycle parking shall be provided. The County should also program in the CIP necessary bike lane/paths within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the library.

 

7. Vehicle Numbers.  (Fire Stations). In determining if a fire station is adequately equipped, fire fighting capability must be determined. The most common method to determine this is by calculating fire flow and fire suppression capability. Fire flow is the estimated amount of water needed to extinguish a fire in a structure and is usually defined as needed gallons per minute (GPM). Fire suppression capability is an expression used to define how much fire fighting power can be placed into action to fight a fire. It includes determining the amount of apparatus, personnel and equipment needed to effectively serve an area based on the characteristics of the service area. Other factors to consider include population characteristics (existing/potential), land uses (existing/potential), total area covered, density of development, terrain, and threats to human life and property. Mutual aid agreements with other stations should be considered for providing certain types of specialized equipment such as aerial trucks.

 

 (Rescue Stations). The number and type of rescue vehicles shall be related to the squad’s service area characteristics. The service area characteristics such as the number of calls and type of calls shall be evaluated annually to determine if each station is adequately equipped. Also total area covered, density of development, unique population and land use characteristics, and terrain should be considered.  Mutual aid agreements with other stations should be considered for providing certain types of specialized equipment such as heavy duty rescue trucks (auto extraction) trucks, scuba units, and rescue boats.

 

8.  Circulation. Traffic patterns within the station should be carefully considered and allow personnel to reach the apparatus room from all parts of the building with minimum confusion during an alarm. Provisions should be made to accommodate future apparatus such as aerials and platforms, which require more height than the standard pumper. Traffic circulation should be designed to allow fire or rescue vehicles to enter on one side of the station and exit on the other side in order to avoid backing.

 

9.   Timing for New Station ConstructionConstruction of a new station should be based on the number of calls emanating from the proposed service area for the new station.  Based on the Insurance Service Office (ISO) standards, a new station should be constructed when 365 calls per year are received from the proposed service area for the new station. Once sites for any stations are located, service areas should be defined. The decision of when to build shall be based on the number of fire or rescue calls emanating from an area. Until such time as the number of calls reach 365 per year, existing stations should cover the interim area. When 365 calls per year are received from the interim service area, a new station is recommended to be built in the area. The standard of 365 calls per year was developed by the Insurance Service Office (ISO). In addition, a threshold of 1000 calls per year can be used as a benchmark indicator of full capacity of any fire/rescue station.  Once this threshold is met, improvements or modifications will need to be made to provide for balanced service among all the stations (new station, revise service areas, etc.)  By doing this, the ensures there is adequate demand to warrant the construction of a new station.

 

10.  Service Capacity for Existing Stations.  A threshold of 1000 calls per year can be used as a benchmark indicator of full capacity of any fire/rescue station.  Once this threshold is met, improvements or modifications will need to be made to provide for balanced service among all the stations (new station, revise service areas, etc.) or allow stations to function effectively above 1000 calls per year.  However, this is not the sole method to determine the need for upgrades or enhancements to the fire/rescue services.  Other factors, or unique issues/circumstances related to the station/service area, may create the need for improvements to existing stations or the establishment of new station before the 1000 call threshold is reached.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

LIBRARY SERVICES

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Public Library services are provided to the County by the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library System 0MRL). Members of this regional system include Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties, and the City of Charlottesville. The entire regional system consists of eight facilities plus one bookmobile, which provides service to the region. The facilities include (See Map #7):

 

Central Library/Headquarters, Charlottesville (29,000 sq. ft.*)

Gordon Avenue Branch Library, Charlottesville (12,384 gross square feet [gsf])

Northside Branch Library, Woodbrook (15,572 gsf)
Crozet Branch Library, Crozet (1,864 gsf)
Scottsville Branch Library, Scottsville (3,900 gsf)

Greene County Branch Library, Stanardsville (7,400 gsf)
Louisa County Branch Library, Mineral (15,000 gsf)
Nelson County Branch Library, Lovingston (4,000 gsf)

 

*NOTE: GSF for the Main Library is 42,100.  But due to the particular construction/design of the building (unusually thick walls, large columns, and mezzanine) the total assignable area is 29,000 sq.ft.

 

 

In addition to the JMRL system services, the University of Virginia Library and Piedmont Virginia Community College resources are available to the general public. Any resident of the County may obtain a University library card, and use the facilities and check out books. However, while the University provides an excellent opportunity for residents to have available an additional source of services and information, a state educational institution should not be expected to provide primary public library service to County residents. An academic library's mission and role is oriented to a different client group, namely students and faculty, and is uniquely different from the mission of a public library systemIt should also be noted that the public school system libraries, while not available to general public use, do provided a service to a certain population group and reflect a major county investment in library services.

 

JMRL conducted a facility planning study in 2001 (Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Albemarle County Facility Planning Study, dated June 1, 2001).  Much of the assessment provided in that study and standards established in the study are still valid.  This study noted that public libraries are in the process of changing with the information age.  This is putting pressure on the library to find space for computers and new media (books on tape, CD’s, videos, DVD’s, etc.) alongside an ever-increasing quantity of books. “Based on trends seen in library systems around the country, space use has been impacted by changes in technology, but the overall space needs have not changed significantly. While more people are accessing electronic forms of literature, there is something of a trade-off between computer space and book space.  The best information to date about the amounts of space needs, resulting from technology changes, is the amounts of space devoted to various uses can be expected to change, but overall amount of space needed is not expected to change appreciably.”

 

The County’s building space requirements have traditionally been slightly higher (minimum 0.7 square feet per resident) than the recommended state standard (0.6 square feet per resident).  This is due to the high demand for service experienced in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.  The information on the Albemarle resident’s usage of libraries in the Albemarle County Community Profile, 2003, is reflective of this demand.  Last year, the regional library circulated over 1.9 million items, or about 10.5 per capita.  The national average for libraries of comparable size is 6.9 items per capita.  Library use at the Regional Library has increased by 31 percent since 1997.  There are currently 106,553 active borrowers, meaning that 60 percent of residents have used their cards within the past 3 years.  Over 10,000 Albemarle County residents use the library’s Internet computers per month.

 

Due to the shared use of existing libraries by the City and County residents, overall facility demands will be based on the combined population of Charlottesville and Albemarle.

 


 

 

 

SERVICE OBJECTIVES

 

Location -

Libraries should be provided in the designated Development Areas. Locate library facilities in a manner that provides the most convenient access possible to residents within the designated service area. Services to the Rural Areas shall be provided from facilities located within the Development Areas and by the Bookmobile service.  Other such alternative outlet facilities/services (such as small kiosks/outlets with network connections to the library system) which do not require significant capital outlays for buildings may be considered as alternative methods for providing service to the Rural Areas, if consistent with the County’s Growth Management and Rural Area policies.

 

Collection -

Provide three (3) books/materials per capita.  All collections will include a variety of electronic media, including CD’s, books, and tapes.

 

Building Space -

Provide a total library space of 0.7 gross square feet (gsf) per resident in the Albemarle -Charlottesville area.  This is measured as the aggregate space of all buildings in the County.  It should be recognized that the state’s minimum library space standard (Library of Virginia standard) is 0.6 gsf.  Due to the level of service experienced in the County, it is most desirable to strive to achieve the 0.7-gsf level; the state standard should be considered the minimum acceptable standard.

 

As a general target, library facilities should be provided at a rate of one for every 20,000 residents.  However, size of existing structures, use of alternative service techniques, and actual demand for services will affect the number of facilities provided.

 

Service area -

5.       Specific service areas should be identified for each library facility.

 

6.       Desirable travel time to the library facility for 75 percent of the service area should be ten (10) minutes for Development Area residents and 20 minutes for Rural Area residents.

 

Bookmobile-

7.  Maintain existing service to the outlying areas, especially those areas that require outreach service. Ensure that the bookmobile is maintained and replaced when necessary.

 

Innovative Technologies and Services-

8. Utilize innovative technologies and services (such as remote/web access, kiosk service sites, etc.) to enhance service delivery to citizens.

 

 

SERVICE/FACILITY STANDARDS

 

The standards below attempt to ensure that library structures meet the needs of the County residents. These standards should be used in conjunction with the Overall Service Objectives (p. 5) of the Plan and the Service Objectives from the preceding page.

 

1.       Location of SiteLocate library facilities within neighborhood centers, downtown areas, or other commercial/service area concentrations. Locations in or at the edge of residential neighborhoods may also be considered an appropriate location. Library location/design should be consistent with the general intent for the facility as described in the Comprehensive Plan-Neighborhood Master Plans.

 

2.       Alternative Service Space. Prior to making a major investment in buildings and resources, alternative facilities such as leased space in commercial/office areas (store front space), temporary modular structures, kiosks, or other public institutional areas shall be evaluated and utilized. These sites shall be utilized until it is determined that adequate demand for the service exists and the type of permanent facility needs to be provided is determined. Both leased space and modular facilities can be considered a long-term facility option, if those type of facilities prove to meet long term needs and are cost efficient.

 

 

3.       Buildings.

·         Most branch libraries will be full-service facilities with similar offerings.

·         Minimum size for a branch library is 4,500 based on state standards.

·         Due to construction and operational cost efficiencies, generally libraries will be between 15,000 and 30,000 square feet in size.  Smaller facilities may be appropriate, given the needs of the service area and the relationship of the facility to other library facilities. The minimum size for a branch library is 4,500 based on state standards.  The minimum size for a headquarters library building shall be 25,000 square feet.

·         Single story storage structures are preferred due to construction cost, operational efficiencies and security.  However, multi-story structures are seen as a viable option to allow a location on a smaller infill site, or to address topographic and/or other site constraints.

 

4.       Books/Indoor Facilities. JMRL standards of total collections, resource materials, special rooms, staff space and public seating space shall be utilized.

  

·        Collection Size.  Provide three (3) items per capita (books, books on tape, CD’s, videos, DVD’S, etc.).

· Public Seating.  Three (3) seats per 1000 residents. A variety of seating choices will be provided for adults and children.  Lounge seating for casual reading, study tables, and computer stations will be provided. A quiet study room may be provided depending on need.  A separate children’s program room may be provided based on the characteristics of the service area. Seating meeting ADA requirements shall also be provided.

·        Staff Work Areas.  Staff areas should be adjusted to each branch’s need.  Public service desks as well as staff workrooms should be large enough to handle peak loads.

·        General Meeting Room Space.  Meeting room space should be provided based on a minimum of ten (10) sq. ft. per seat (Library of Virginia standard), minimum of one for a library of less that 15,000 sq. ft., minimum 2 for a library larger than 15,000.  Additional meeting rooms may be provided depending on the needs within the service area.  Meeting space will support programs for both adults and children.

 

5.       Size of Site. The site should be large enough to provide a sufficient square or rectangular library footprint, the required parking, future expansion needs, and allowances for set­backs, zoning requirements and suitable landscaping.  A target minimum size is 2 acres, with more acreage potentially needed for larger facilities.  Smaller sites may be appropriate depending on the character of the site, building design, and ability to use alternative parking schemes.

 

6.   Parking. Adequate parking should be provided to support the overall use of the building.  ADA parking requirements shall be met.  The actual amount of parking for each library should be determined as part of the building program.  The quantity will be determined by the building size, population served location, availability of public transportation and other factors.  In high volume locations with limited transportation alternatives, 1 space per 300 gross floor area may be necessary.  On-street parking and cooperative parking with adjacent uses should be utilized as ways to meet parking needs. Parking areas should not be located between the building and street, to the extent feasible.

 

7.   Accessibility. The site shall be easily accessible by auto, transit service (where available), bicycle, and pedestrian by sidewalk.

 

7.                Neighborhood Compatibility. The library should be compatible with surrounding adjacent properties and neighborhoods, both for existing and future land uses. Other factors in considering compatibility include traffic impacts and quality and character of surrounding development (architectural design, scale, landscaping, maintenance, etc).

 

8.       Visibility. A prominent location is required to attract and encourage use of the library. The site shall be located where people can access it and conduct other activities in the same trip. Available street frontage, building placement, location relative to employment/serv­ice/activity centers; existing traffic volumes shall be considered in evaluating visibility.

 

9.       Environment. The relationship of the building to the topography of a site shall be such that grading and development costs are minimized. The library site should not disturb any environmentally sensitive resources located on the site such as streams, wetlands and steep slopes. The environmental resources on the site are not to be extensive enough to alter or restrict the design of the building structure. The soil and subsoil conditions on the site are to be both adequate for supporting the building and vegetation.

 

11.  Pedestrian and Bicycle Access. Provide sidewalks, walkways, and/or trails to connect the library site    to the neighborhood(s).  The County should program in the CIP necessary walkway improvements within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the library.  In addition, bicycle parking shall be provided. The County should also program in the CIP necessary bike lane/paths within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the library

 

12.  Infrastructure. Public water and sewer service to the site is desirable at the time of acquisition. Roads providing access to the site should be designed to accommodate the expected traffic flow. All necessary road improvements to accommodate a library such as turn lanes, acceleration/deceleration lanes, signal light, etc. shall be installed at the time of construction.

 

13.  Lighting. On-site lighting (for parking, fields) should be the minimum necessary to provide for adequate safety and security.

 

14.  Sustainability: 

Structures - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible.  By addressing environmental responsibility in the design and development of community facilities, the County will create facilities that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce solid waste, and conserve natural resources.

 

Employee health - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to occupant health and community benefits.  By addressing occupant health and community benefits in the design and development of community facilities, the County will be creating facilities with improved indoor air quality, improved thermal and acoustic environments. These facilities will enhance occupant comfort and health, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

 

15.  Technology Opportunities.  Consider use of innovative technologies and services (such as remote/web  access, kiosk service sites, etc.) to enhance service delivery to citizens and address/manage the demand for services within a library service area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOLS

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A high quality education system is important to Albemarle County. The overriding goal for the County is to provide educational opportunities for each student to achieve the highest level of achievement possible consistent with his or her capabilities, aptitudes, and interests.

 

Schools play a vital role in the County's development and careful consideration must be given to the location and development of schools in order to be consistent with not only the goal of providing educational opportunities to all children, but also the growth management goals of the County.

 

There are a total of 26 public schools in Albemarle County, including sixteen elementary, five middle, and four high schools including the Murray High School and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Center (CATEC) (See Map #X).

 

An objective of this Community Facility Plan is to provide adequate parks and recreational facilities through the utilization of school facilities. This results in the non-duplication of many recreation facilities, saves the County on costs associated with providing land and recreational facilities, and provides for the more effective use of existing public facilities.  Therefore, it is important that schools sites are adequately sized to function effectively as Community and District Parks (See Parks and Recreation Section).  This plan does provide for greater flexibility in elementary school design by allowing for a smaller school site based on providing additional “community park” facilities at other locations within the community and not at an elementary school.

 

Presently, the School Board and the Parks and Recreation Department have an agreement whereby the schools purchase the land, provide grading, and install major sports facilities related to school activities such as football and baseball fields and the track. The Parks and Recreation Department then provides funding for the remainder of the facilities required based on the standards outlined in the Parks and Recreation section of the plan.

 

All of the objectives and standards below attempt to ensure that all facilities will meet the needs of the County.  These standards should be used in conjunction with the Overall Service Objectives (p. XX) of the Plan.

 

 

SERVICE OBJECTIVES

 

 

1.               Establish service areas for existing schools and identify those geographic areas not effectively
served as the basis for identifying overall school facility needs.

 

2.               New schools should be located within the designated Development Areas to support the County’s growth management policies.  The existing schools located in the Rural Area are intended to be maintained and upgraded/expanded as necessary in order to continue to serve rural residents. 

 

3.               School location and design should be consistent with the general intent of the facility as described in the Comprehensive Plan-Neighborhood Master Plans.

 

4.      Locate schools on sites meeting the optimum number of general location criteria:

·         Places elementary schools within neighborhoods and at neighborhood edges.  Locates middle and high schools between neighborhoods in the Development Areas because of their size.

·         Maximizes safe and convenient access to pedestrian and road networks. 

·         Is compatible with adjoining planned and existing land uses.  Locations near industrial and major commercial developments are less desirable, but not necessarily prohibited sites.

·         Is served by public water and sewer, and adequately served by police/fire and rescue services.

·         Is aesthetically pleasing physical qualities and appropriate engineering/developability features (soils, topography, floodplain, wetland, etc.)

 

Strive for parity in school facilities throughout the County.

 

Provide adequate classroom space and facilities to serve school enrollment.  In addition, provide adequate recreational/athletic facilities on a school site to serve the students and provide Community or District Park level services as identified in the Parks and Recreation section of this Plan.  The school division will make school, park, and recreational facilities available for community and public use, after meeting its responsibilities to students.

 

7.   Provide new school facilities and the expansion of existing facilities over the next ten years in a manner that corresponds to that outlined in “The Long Range Plan for Albemarle County Schools.”  Discourage the use of modular facilities as permanent facilities*, as they are not seen as an appropriate long-term solution for overcrowding.  However, periodic use of modular facilities during periods of enrollment fluctuations or prior to expansion or development is viewed as a normal practice and economic necessity.

 

8.   Identify land needed for school expansion and new schools and reserve these sites as soon as
feasible for future use.  Utilize a standard school site selection procedure.

 

9. Encourage innovative alternatives to address new facility needs, including potential cooperation with the City.

 

 

 

STANDARDS FOR ALL SCHOOLS

 

There are certain standards that apply to elementary, middle schools and high schools.  These include the following:

 

Building Location School design and development should reflect the desire to achieve parity, cost efficiencies and timeliness of construction.  Building and site design should also be sensitive to the character of the site and neighborhood setting.  School buildings should be designed to fit the terrain of the site and transition into the surrounding neighborhood to the greatest extent physically and programmatically feasible.  The school building should be oriented to the public street when physically and programmatically feasible to encourage pedestrian access and connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood. 

 

Buildings:  While single story structures are preferred for operational and program efficiencies, multi-story structures are considered a viable option to address site development issues, and/or expansion needs. Buildings oriented to the street are generally encouraged, but ultimate location and orientation of the building should also be sympathetic to the existing (or future) character of the surrounding neighborhood, physical characteristics of the site, and issues of site efficiency and security.

 

Walks:  Provide sidewalks, walkways, and/or trails to connect the school site to the neighborhoods.  The County should program in the CIP necessary walkway improvements within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the school.  On site, walkways are to directly connect streets, bus loading zones, parking areas and auxiliary facilities to main building(s).

 

Bicycle Facilities:  Bicycle access and facilities (bike trails and racks) should be incorporated into the design of the school.  The County should program in the CIP or the Six Year Secondary-Road Construction Plan the necessary bike facilities improvements within a ¼ mile radius of the site to provide adequate pedestrian linkages between the neighborhood and the school.

 

Driveway:  Driveways are to provide access and control traffic to loading areas, parking areas and building service entrances and should be strategically located and designed to minimize vehicular and pedestrian conflicts on the public street.  Multiple access points to a site may be considered appropriate based on site design issues. Entrances should be designed in a manner that allows for the construction of right and left turn lanes at the intersection with a public road. 

 

 

Parking:  To the extent physically and programmatically feasible, parking areas should be located no closer to the street than the school building.  It is recognized that there may be characteristics of certain sites which affect the ability to fully implement this standard.  Efforts should be made to meet parking requirements, particularly for overflow needs, through alternate means including designing internal roads to accommodate parallel parking, recognition and use of available on-street parking, and cooperative parking agreements with adjacent uses

 

Bus Loading and Student Loading Zones:  Bus loading zones are to be designed to accommodate all buses anticipated at one time. The bus parking area should be designed in connection with the loading zone, independent of driveways and designed so that backing is unnecessary. Designated bus spaces control signs are also recommended.  It is desirable to have a student drop-off/pick-up zone that is separated from the bus loading zone and parking area. 

 

Surrounding Land Use:  Locations near industrial and major commercial developments are less desirable, but not necessarily prohibited sites.

 

Lighting:  On-site lighting (for parking, fields) should be the minimum necessary to provide for adequate safety and security.

 

Environmental:  The relationship of the building to the topography of a site shall be such that grading and development costs are minimized. To the extent feasible, school construction should not disturb any environmen­tally sensitive resources located on the site such as streams, wetlands and steep slopes. The environmental resources on the site are not to be extensive enough to alter or restrict the design of the building structure. The soil and subsoil conditions on the site are to be both adequate for supporting the building and vegetation.

 

Sustainability: 

Structures - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible.  By addressing environmental responsibility in the design and development of community facilities, the County will create facilities that protect ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce solid waste, and conserve natural resources.

 

Employee health - Community facilities should be designed and constructed with a commitment to occupant health and community benefits.  By addressing occupant health and community benefits in the design and development of community facilities, the County will be creating facilities with improved indoor air quality, improved thermal and acoustic environments. These facilities will enhance occupant comfort and health, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

 

Infrastructure:  Public water and sewer service to the site is desirable at the time of acquisition. Public roads serving the school site shall be adequately designed to accommodate expected traffic flow. All necessary road improvements to accommodate a school such as turn lanes, acceleration/deceleration lanes, signal lights, crosswalks, etc. shall be installed at the time of construction.

 

 

 

SERVICE/FACILITY STANDARDS

 

Below are recommended service facility standards that should be utilized to ensure that educational facilities and services are being provided equally throughout the County.  These standards should be used in conjunction with the Overall Service Objectives (p. 5) of the Plan and the Service Objectives from the preceding page.

 

Elementary School

 

The standards below attempt to ensure that all new facilities developed will meet the elementary school needs of the County.

 

 

1.   Location of Site:  Sites shall be selected and acquired where sufficient population growth is anticipated. Seventy-five percent of the students are to live within 2.5 miles radius of the facility.  Whenever practical, schools are to be located on a collector or local street Existing schools located in, and largely serving, the Rural Area are not expected to meet this standard. 

 

 


 

2.   Size of Site:  The usable area for an elementary school site shall be a minimum of 12 acres.  However, smaller sites may be viable depending on initial school capacities, alternative building design concepts and location of parking, field areas, off- site storm water facilities or other features.

 

3.   Enrollment:  Rated Capacity should not exceed 600 students. 

 

4.   Parking:  Parking area should be based on faculty and staff size, and school/public assembly and recreational use.  The most significant generator of parking are school events and gym use for assembly and/or recreational activities 

 

5.   Recreational Facilities:  Elementary Schools are intended to provide a diversity of recreational opportunities for the school population as well as provide Community Park level of services to the surrounding area.  In an effort to ensure that there is flexibility in design standards to allow schools to be designed to better fit within the neighborhood it is located in, two levels of recreational facilities standards are established for elementary schools to meet Community Park standards.  The “Neighborhood” level school provides the minimum level of recreational/athletic facilities recommended to adequately serve the student population and surrounding neighborhood.  The “Community Park” level school provides for a higher level of recreational facilities, and will require a larger site to accommodate.

 

The following should be provided at each school:

 

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

                                          NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL                   “COMMUNITY PARK” SCHOOL

FaFacility

Amount

Size

Amount

Size

Gymnasium

1

8,000 sq. ft.

1

8,000 sq. ft.

Hard Surface Area*

2

14,000 sq. ft  total

2

14,000 sq. ft. total

Multi-purpose Field

1

81,000 sq. ft.

2

126,000*** sq. ft.

Baseball/Softball Field

0

N/A

2

135,000 sq. ft.

Basketball Court

0

N/A

1

5,000 sq. ft.

Playground/tot lot

2

14,000

2

14,000 sq. ft.

Track**/measured loop

N/A

As space permits

1

Around field area

TTOTAL

 

117,000 sq. ft.

 

302,000 sq. ft.

* Including 2 basketball goals                            

** Can be accomplished in different ways at elementary schools

***1 field @ 81,000, 1 @ 45,000 sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

Middle School

 

The standards below attempt to ensure that all new facilities will meet the middle school needs of the County, as well as achieve “Community Park” level service function (See Parks and Recreation section).

 

1.   Location of Site:  Sites shall be selected and acquired where sufficient population growth is anticipated. Seventy-five percent of the students are to live within five miles radius

 

2.  Size of Site:  The usable area for a middle school site shall be a minimum of 25-30 acres.

 

3.  Enrollment:  Rated capacity should not exceed 900 students.

 

4.    Parking:  Parking area should be based on faculty and staff size, and school/public assembly and recreational use.  The most significant generators of parking are school events and gym use for assembly and/or recreational activities.  

 

 

5.  Recreational Facilities:  Middle Schools are intended to provide a diversity of recre­ational opportunities for the school population as well as District level park services to the surrounding community.  The following should be provided at each school:

 

 

 

 

 

The following should be provided at each school:

 

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

Facility

Amount

Size

Gymnasium*

1

10,000 sq. ft.

Hard Surface Area

1

3,600 sq. ft  total

Multi-purpose Field

2

162,000 sq. ft.

Baseball/Softball Field

2

135,000 sq. ft. (250 ft. x 250 ft.)

Basketball Courts (2 full courts)

2

12,000 sq. ft.

Tennis Courts

2

12,500 sq. ft.  (100 ft. x 46 ft.)

Playground/tot lot**

1

2,500 sq. ft.

Jogging/walking trail/track

1

As space permits

Asphalt track/Loop

1

Around multi-purpose field

tot

 

246,000 sq. ft.

*When capacity exceeds 850 pupils, an additional 5,000 sq. ft. should be provided.

**May be provided when recommended by Dept. of Parks and Recreation, based on community need.

 

 

 

 

 

High School

High Schools offer a wide range of educational opportunities and extra-curriculum activities. The stand­ards below attempt to ensure that all new facilities developed will meet the high school needs of the County and address District level park services.

 

1.   Location of Site:  Sites shall be selected and acquired where sufficient population growth is anticipated.  Seventy-five percent of the students are to be within seven radius miles of the school. Whenever practical, school sites shall be located on a major collector road with good visibility.

 

2.   Size of Site: The usable area for a high school site shall be a minimum of 45 acres.

 

3.   Enrollment:  Rated capacity should not exceed 1,500 students.

 

4.   Parking: Parking area should be based on faculty, staff and student size, and school/public assembly and recreational use.  The most significant generators of parking are schools events, including gym and stadium use for assembly and/or recreational activities.    

 

5.   Recreational Facilities:  High Schools are intended to provide a diversity of recreational

opportunities for the school population as well as District level park services to the surrounding community.  The following should be provided at each school:

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL

 

Facility

Amount

Size (sq. ft.)

Gymnasium

1

18,000

Auxiliary Gym

1

8,000

Hard Surfaced Area

0

0

Multipurpose Field

5

363,000

Basketball Courts

2

12,000

Stadium Game Field w/Track

1

180,000

Softball Field

1

62,500

Baseball Game Field

1

130,000

Tennis Courts

8

7,200

Playground/Tot Lot*

0

2,500

Cross Country Track

1

N/A

Jogging/Walking Trail

0

As space allows

TOTAL

 

811,500

*May be provided when recommended by Dept. of Parks and Recreation, based on community need.

 

 

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