Albemarle County Planning Commission

October 19, 2004


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley; Bill Edgerton; Cal Morris and Jo Higgins.  Absent were Rodney Thomas, Chairman; Marcia Joseph; Pete Craddock, Vice-Chairman; and David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia (non-voting).


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner; Juan Wade, Transportation Planner; and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


Mr. Cilimberg stated that the Planning Commission needed to nominate a temporary Chairman for tonight's meeting due to the absence of their Chairman and Vice-Chairman.


Mr. Morris nominated William Rieley to act as temporary Chairman for tonight's meeting.


Mr. Edgerton seconded the motion.


The motion carried by a vote of (4:0).


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

Mr. Rieley called the regular meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. and established a quorum.  He pointed out that they have a slim quorum since only three Commissioners are present.


Public Hearing Items:

SP 2004-046 Lighthouse Worship Center Inc. (Sign #82): Request for special use permit to allow church expansion in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for churches in R-1 residential zoning district. The property, described as Tax Map 32 Parcel 36E contains 2.217 acres, and is located in the Rivanna Magisterial District at 3349 Worth Crossing. The property is zoned R-1.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Transitional in the Hollymead Development Area. (Sean Dougherty)


Mr. Cilimberg introduced Sean Dougherty, the new Senior Planner, to the Planning Commission.


Mr. Dougherty summarized the staff report. This is for a special use permit for the Lighthouse Worship Center, Inc.  It is located in the Hollymead neighborhood at the intersection of Proffit Road and Route 29 on Worth Crossing.  It is located just off of Route 29 behind Mercer Carpet.  The applicant proposes to construct a one-story steel frame class room building on the Lighthouse Worship Center property.  It will be located to the rear of the church property behind the existing church building.  The applicant has submitted a concept plan, which should be attached to your packet. The building will serve as a fellowship hall and a Sunday school facility for about 30 to 40 people.  There is no existing special use permit for the church. The proposed special use permit will bring the Lighthouse Worship Center into compliance.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this area as transitional in the Hollymead Neighborhood. The Comprehensive Plan defines transitional areas as intended to be used primarily between residential areas and commercial or industrial areas, or in areas where flexibility of land uses may be necessary to blend changing circumstances. This is where long term public improvements are anticipated or areas where development/re-use is encouraged. The zoning is R-1, Residential and within R-1 churches are permitted by special use permit.  The site was analyzed and measured by a County Engineer and the Zoning Administrator.  Based on the one space per 75 square feet requirement it was determined that the site contains sufficient existing parking to fill their requirement for the new building.  The County’s Chief of Zoning has granted administrative approval. The special use permit was reviewed in relationship to the Zoning Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan and the Neighborhood Model.  In summary, staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this request:


Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Mr. Dougherty. There being none, he opened the public hearing and asked if the applicant would like to address the Commission.  Since the applicant did not wish to speak, the Chairman invited other public comment.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back to the Commission for discussion and possible action.


Mr. Rieley stated that he had one question about the recommended conditions of approval.  He stated that he did not recall seeing the limitation that the building be used only on Sundays and one evening per week in other church related applications.  He asked what the reason was for that limitation.


Mr. Dougherty stated that there was really no reason for having that limitation. He pointed out that he was following the different items listed as conditions for approval for churches. One of those conditions had sort of designated the times of usage, but that is not something that they have asked for.  Staff can delete that condition if the Commission is not happy with it. It was just to get a little specific about what the uses were in the event that the church would have a lot of week night uses that might disrupt other neighbors.


Mr. Cilimberg stated that it has become a type of condition used in some circumstances where adjacent issues or traffic issues might be relevant.  But, that is not the circumstance in this case.


Mr. Rieley stated that the condition was not solving a problem.  He pointed out that his reservation was that they should not imply a condition if there is no specific reason, particularly with religious institutions.


Ms. Higgins stated that she found this one to be worded in such a way that it would be potentially difficult to enforce and interpret with the occasional meetings and gatherings differentiated.  Therefore, if they were to include one that was limiting at all that it might be broken down differently.  She suggested that the condition be deleted.


Mr. Morris moved for acceptance of SP-2004-00046, Lighthouse Worship Center, as recommended in the staff report excluding condition 3.


1.       The improvements and the scale and location of the improvements shall be developed in general accord with the concept plan dated November 4, 2003.

2.       The size of the proposed building will be no larger than 50X100 feet

3.       The building will be used on Sundays and one evening per week for worship services in addition to occasional meetings and gathering

4.       There shall be no daycare center or private school on site without approval of a separate special use permit.


Ms. Higgins seconded the motion.


The motion carried by a vote of (4:0).  (Thomas, Joseph, Craddock – Absent)


Mr. Rieley stated that SP-2004-00046 will go forward with a recommendation for approval, and would be heard by the Board on November 3.


(Recorded and transcribed by Sharon Claytor Taylor, Recording Secretary.)


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