COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

SP 03-84 Dennis Enterprises (Signs #27 and 30)

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Request for special use permit to allow a car dealership in accordance with Sections 22.2.2.8 and 30.6.3.2.b of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for motor vehicle sales and any portion of outdoor storage, display and/or sales, which would be visible from an Entrance Corridor Street. The property, described as Tax Map 45 Parcels 100, 101 and 101B is zoned C-1, Commercial and EC, Entrance Corridor.  

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Graham, Cilimberg, Benish, Ms. Echols

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   No

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

November 3, 2004

 

ACTION:   X                               INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                                  INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

On April 14, 2004 the Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on the request for a new car dealership on Rio Road.  Staff and the ARB had recommended disapproval of the special use permit; the Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions.  Votes were taken and the Board was split on the decision.  Insufficient votes were received to either approve or deny the project.  The applicant asserted that he had addressed all of the ARB concerns in a plan not yet seen by the ARB and asked for a deferral to take the proposal back to the ARB.  The Board approved the applicant’s request for deferral. An excerpt from the minutes of this meeting is provided as Attachment A.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Strategic Direction 2: Protect the County’s natural, scenic and historic resources.

Strategic Direction 3: Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Citizens

 

 

DISCUSSION:

In its March 2, 2004 staff report, staff said it believed that the auto dealership would be detrimental to nearby residential and commercial properties because of the intensity of the proposed use, largely because of heavy truck traffic and late operating hours.  While the Land Use Plan designates this area as Regional Service, it acts as a “transition” zone to the nearby residential area.  Staff said it believed that auto dealerships should not be introduced to this section of Rio Road because of the precedent it would set.  Staff also suggested that there are locations within the development area which are more suitable for car dealerships, such as Route 29 and Route 250.  Staff said that, as part of the upcoming Northern Development Area Master Plan process, the residential uses in this area may be encouraged to remain and/or expand to allow for a greater mix of uses in the neighborhood.  Staff also mentioned that outstanding issues for zoning and engineering had not been addressed by the applicant.

 

The Planning Commission, however, disagreed.  The Commission said that all outstanding zoning and engineering comments could be satisfied at the site plan stage. The Planning Commission said it believed that the impacts could be mitigated through the design of the project and that the Architectural Review Board (ARB) would ensure that the scale of the development and architectural character of the area was maintained.  It recommended approval with conditions.

 

On September 7, 2004, the ARB reviewed a revised concept plan for the site.  The concept plan is provided as Attachment B.  A copy of the staff report is Attachment C and the ARB’s action is contained in Attachment D.  The ARB made comments to the applicant on changes to the elevations they would like to see. With the revised design, the ARB had no objections to the proposed use, except for the building elevations, and recommended approval with the following conditions:

 

  1. Display vehicles between the building and the EC shall be limited to cars parked in a single row, with 9’ x 18’ spaces striped, and display vehicles parked only in those striped display spaces.
  2. Limit building illumination to that which is necessary for safety and security.
  3. Limit the level of illumination of site lighting to eliminate negative impacts on the EC, to the satisfaction of the ARB.
  4. The site shall be planted to limit visibility of vehicles and the “sea of parking” effect, to the satisfaction of the ARB with a species palette based on existing trees to be removed.
  5. Vehicles shall not be elevated anywhere on site.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

While issues regarding the relationship of the site design to the Entrance Corridor have been addressed by the ARB, staff still believes that the auto dealership use at this location is not compatible with the nearby residential and commercial properties.  If the Board of Supervisors wishes to approve the special use permit, staff recommends the following conditions which have been updated from the conditions recommended by the Planning Commission, to reflect the ARB’s current position.

  1. The site shall be developed in general accord with the concept plan entitled, Application Plan for Dennis Enterprises – Rio Road, dated 7/24/04 and the elevation and section dated 7/24/04;
  2. Vehicles parked or displayed outdoors shall not be elevated anywhere on site (through the use of racks or other lift devices);
  3. Vehicles shall be displayed only in areas as per the elevation and section dated 7/24/04;
  4. Between the building and Rio Road West, there shall not be more than two rows of vehicles.  One row shall be used for display vehicles; the other row shall be used for customer parking.  The intermittent, incidental parking of customer vehicles in the display vehicle row shall not be a violation of this condition;
  5. All building and sight lighting shall be full cutoff, regardless of lumens.  Light levels shall not exceed 30.0 footcandles anywhere on site.  All site lighting shall be turned off no later than 9:00 p.m., with the exception of the security lighting.
  6. The site shall be landscaped to limit the visibility of vehicles, to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board; 
  7. If the existing large shade trees identified on the plans entitled, Application Plan for Dennis Enterprises – Rio Road, dated 7/24/04, are removed, alternative landscaping shall be provided, to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board; 
  8. All building and sight lighting shall be full cutoff, regardless of lumens.  Light levels shall not exceed 30.0 footcandles anywhere on site.  All site lighting shall be turned off no later than 9:00 p.m., with the exception of the security lighting.
  9. Display vehicles shall not display signage, flags, balloons, or other similar items; and
  10. Spaces for display vehicles shall measure 9’ X 18’ and shall be striped.  Display vehicles shall be parked in striped display spaces only.

 

ATTACHMENTS

ATTACHMENT A – Minutes from Board of Supervisors Meeting April 14, 2004

ATTACHMENT B – Concept Plan entitled, Application Plan for Dennis Enterprises – Rio Road, dated 7/24/04

ATTACHMENT C -- Staff Report to ARB dated September 7, 2004

ATTACHMENT D – ARB Action Letter dated September 16, 2004

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