September 16, 2004




Kelly Strickland

Rivanna Engineering

1350 Stony Point Road

Charlottesville, VA 22911


RE: ARB-2004-71: Dennis Enterprises Rio West; Tax Map 45, Parcels 100, 101 and 101B


Dear Mr. Strickland:


The Albemarle County Architectural Review Board, at its meeting on September 7, 2004, completed a preliminary review of the above-noted request. The Board took the following actions.


Regarding the Special Use Permit, the Board by a vote of 3:0, forwarded the following recommendation to the Planning Commission for the above-noted petition:


The ARB has no objections to the proposed use, based on the revised plan, excluding the approval of the building elevations, 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.


Regarding the Conceptual Plan and Building Design, the Board made the following comments and suggestions for the benefit of the applicant’s next submittal.

1.       Display vehicles between the building and the EC shall be limited to a single row.  Indicate on the drawings the different functions of each parking area.  Indicate on the drawings that the display spaces shall be striped to a size of 9’x 18’ and that display cars will only be parked in striped spaces.  

2.       Indicate on the plan that vehicles shall not be elevated anywhere on site (through the use of racks or other lift devices).

3.       Provide spot elevations for the retaining wall along the EC indicating top of wall and bottom of wall relationships at the highest and lowest points of the wall. Re-grade the 2:1 slope to a 3:1 slope.

4.       Indicate proposed building and retaining wall materials and colors. Provide samples for review and a typical cross section of retaining walls to show proportions and overall character.

5.       Provide a completed proposed grading plan for review.

6.       Show existing trees along the rear property line to remain.  Indicate limits of construction, staging areas and tree protection on plan.  Submit signed Conservation Plan Check List. 

7.       To partially compensate for the loss of wooded areas and large trees on site, choose plant species indigenous to the area to form the basis for a site planting plan.  Base all species choices for site planting on the existing wooded area.  Propose plant associations appropriate for the context.  Suggested species:

·         Trees (large shade): Quercus alba (White Oak); Quercus rubra (Red Oak); Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Polar); Fagus grandifolia (American Beech); Fraxinus americana (White Ash); Acer rubrum (Red Maple)

·         Trees (large evergreen): Ilex opaca (American Holly); Pinus echinata (Short Leaf Pine); Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar)

·         Trees (medium and small): Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum); Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum); Cercis canadensis (Redbud); Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry)

·         Shrubs (evergreen): Ilex glabra cvs. (Inkberry); Myrica pensylvanica (Wax Myrtle); Rhododendron maximum x ‘Roseum’

·         Shrubs (deciduous): Itea virginica cvs. (Virginia Sweetspire); Clethra alnifolia cvs. (Summersweet); Fothergilla major (Large Fothergilla); Hydrangea quercifolia cvs. (Oakleaf Hydrangea)

8.       Provide a complete planting schedule, including plan species (Latin and common name), size on planting, total numbers of plants and plant form (B&B, container etc.).

9.       Indicate in the planting schedule that the large EC trees are 3˝” caliper at planting.

10.   Indicate in the planting schedule that the EC shrubs are 36” high at planting.

11.   Indicate additional shrubs to form a continuous boarder along the EC side of the retaining wall. 

12.   Provide a mix of evergreen trees, shade trees and shrubs along the full width (25’) and length (180’) of the sloped area south of the 11,000 SF vehicle display and storage area to help break up the “sea of parking”.  Base plant species choices on the existing wooded area and propose plant associations appropriate for the context. 

13.   Provide complete lighting information, including a photometric plan and manufacturer’s cut sheets with all options identified for the chosen fixtures.

14.   Limit site illumination levels to eliminate negative impacts on the EC.

15.   Limit building illumination to that which is necessary for safety and security.

16.   Show all proposed exterior lights, including wall lights, ground-mounted lights, lights within the entry porch, etc.

17.   Complete information on all proposed signage should be included with the site plan submittal.

18.   Clearly indicate intended sign locations on the building elevations.

19.   Sign locations must be compatible with the architecture.

20.   Wall signs shall maintain a 6” blank border around the perimeter of the sign band.

21.   Consider external illumination for building and site signage. As illustrated, the building design offers few options for wall signage.

22.   Provide all signage materials and color samples for review.

23.   Indicate in writing that no accessory structures or equipment are proposed, or show all proposed accessory structures and equipment on the plan and illustrate how visibility of these items will be eliminated from the EC. The change to flat roofs on portions of the building could limit the ability to use rooftop equipment.

24.   Provide to-scale architectural elevations for review. Indicate the height of the Photoworks building and windows for reference.

25.   Indicate proposed materials and colors on the drawings and provide samples for review.

26.   The rhythm of the building in plan is acceptable.  The faux residential appearance is not appropriate.  The elevations need to be significantly revised.


You may submit your application for continued ARB review at your earliest convenience. Application forms, checklists and schedules are available on-line at


Revised drawings addressing the comments listed above are required.  Please include a memo outlining how each comment has been addressed.  If changes other than those requested have been made, identify those changes in the memo also.



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If you have any questions concerning any of the above, please feel free to call me.





Margaret Maliszewski

Design Planner