COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

North Pointe Worksession

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Solicit Board recommendation on North Pointe plan alternatives and associated proffers

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Echols

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

November 10, 2004

 

ACTION:     X                          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                               INFORMATION:   

 

ATTACHMENTS:      Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this worksession is to determine if the Board supports the applicant’s proposed Community Development Authority (CDA) that would be used to fund development costs.  This CDA is referred to as the “Development CDA” in this executive summary.  It is important to note that the purpose of this worksession is not to provide direction on the proposed rezoning or special use permit.  At this time, the applicant has received staff comments on the original plan and proffers, but is awaiting direction on the Development CDA before finalizing his plan.       

 

At the October 6th Board meeting, staff presented an analysis of the project with two different plans and proffers.  The first plan proposes the project with a proffer to petition and consent to a CDA formed by the County, similar to other recent rezonings.  This plan is referred to as the “County CDA” plan.  That  CDA would allow the County to assess the commercial property in North Pointe for the purpose of funding needed infrastructure in the area, such as Route 29 improvements.  The second plan has a different CDA and is referred to as the “Development CDA” plan.  That plan would eliminate the above described County CDA and replace it with a CDA the developer would use to finance development costs.  The applicant’s position is that this CDA allows him to provide additional infrastructure important to the County. 

 

At the October 6th worksession, staff and the applicant presented significant differences in their evaluations of those plans.  At the direction of the Board, staff and the applicant have diligently worked over the last month to see where those differences could be resolved and “agree to disagree” on the remaining issues.  Staff and the applicant have used the attached summary table for communicating positions on the significant issues on  the CDAs and associated plans. At this point, staff believes those differences have been reduced to the extent possible and resolution of the remaining differences can only be accomplished by the Board. 

Finally, staff would note the plan changes and consideration of the CDA has not altered its recommendation for denial of the rezoning.  Both staff and the Planning Commission have made a recommendation for denial of the project.     

 

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:

Staff is presenting a summary of each plan with issues that staff recommends be addressed prior to the Board acting on that plan, followed by its analysis of the project with the Development CDA. 

 

County CDA Plan

 

This is actually the second plan proposed by the applicant and represents the applicant’s stated position rather than an actual plan and proffers. A completed plan and proffers have never been submitted for this alternative and the alternative has not been reviewed by the Planning Commission. The applicant indicates this is the plan that would be brought forward if the Board decides against supporting his proposed Development CDA.  Staff notes this plan removes the Northwest Passage property (Virginia Land Trust and Edward Jackson estate)  and would not  complete Northwest Passage to Route 29. When compared to the original submission reviewed by the Planning Commission, this plan would add an additional 25,000 square feet of commercial building by changing the library site to a commercial building and eliminate approximately 200 residential units that were planned along the Northwest Passage property. All of the remaining use is unchanged. This property change eliminates the northernmost entrance on Route 29 where Northwest Passage intersects Route 29, which is opposite the North Fork Research Park.  Staff considers Northwest Passage important to completing the street network in this area.  Additionally, this plan replaces the library with a commercial use building and eliminates some of the proposed northbound Route 29 improvements. In referring to the attached “County CDA”  table, staff notes the following as important considerations with this plan:

Despite the efforts at resolving differences between staff and the applicant, staff believes there are still deficiencies that need to be addressed before the Board considers this plan:  Those include: 

  1. Staff remains concerned that the applicant has not made a time commitment for completing all of the Route 29 improvements from Airport Road through Northside Drive and recommends this be completed within five years of the construction of the Northside Drive entrance. The applicant has offered to limit the commercial development to no more than 290,000 square feet until all of those improvements are completed and expresses concern that part of those improvements will require an expensive modification to the southbound lanes.  The applicant also notes this same improvement was proffered as part of the North Fork development, but has never been completed.   Staff appreciates this concern and hopes the applicant and the North Fork developer can find a cost sharing arrangement, but notes that without this improvement, traffic on Route 29 will have a fluctuating number of lanes.  Within two miles, Route 29 will go from 2 lanes to 3 lanes to 2 lanes to 3 lanes to 2 lanes.  While VDOT has not expressed safety concerns with this arrangement, staff considers this a deficiency.  Also, staff believes this would accentuate a public perception of substandard infrastructure and will create a demand for the County to become responsible for this deficiency. 
  2. Staff believes Northwest Passage is a needed connection that assures an adequate street network with this development. Staff appreciates the applicant’s concern that this is an expensive road to build, but notes residential development along this street would provide an additional 200 residential units that helps offset this cost.  Also, staff notes Northwest Passage appears very similar in concept to the completion of Ridge Road and the Dickerson Road connector in Hollymead Town Center (HTC).  Area B of the HTC proffered to complete those offsite road improvements to assure an adequate street network.    
  3. Staff considers a $100,000 contribution to the regional transportation study appropriate.  This is equivalent to the other recent Route 29 rezonings and this issue has been raised a number of times.
  4. Staff believes the affordable housing proffer should provide content and form that satisfy the County’s Housing Division and the County Attorney.  Staff notes the last affordable housing proffer has significant concern for staff, and the County Attorney.   As noted in earlier worksessions, the Board will need to consider whether the 4% affordable housing being proffered is appropriate.  Staff notes this application was submitted prior to the affordable housing policy becoming part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

 

Development CDA Plan

 

This plan represents the original submission that was reviewed by the Planning Commission and recommended for denial, although some design changes have been made since that time.  The applicant indicates this plan would only be brought forward for consideration if the Board decided to support his Development CDA.   Staff notes the applicant proposes this plan with the Northwest Passage property and proposes to complete Northwest Passage to Route 29.  In referring to the attached “Development CDA”  table, staff notes the following as important considerations with this plan:

Despite the efforts at resolving differences between staff and the applicant, staff believes there are still deficiencies that need to be addressed before the Board considers this plan:  They include: 

  1. Staff recommends the applicant address the recommendations in the County CDA plan as part of this plan.  This includes providing a date for completion of Route 29 improvements, the regional transportation study contribution, and the affordable housing proffer.
  2. Staff recommends the elimination of the County CDA be offset by additional proffers.  The applicant is providing a library site, completion of Northwest Passage with five years of first commercial use, and additional northbound Route 29 improvements  with this plan that are not provided with the other plan.  Staff would consider that roughly comparable to what could be provided with the County CDA.    
  3. Staff recommends the Development CDA proposed with this plan provide additional County needed infrastructure to make this plan superior to other recent rezonings.  Staff has previously provided examples of how this could satisfy staff’s concerns.  Those examples included completion of the ultimate section of Proffit Road between Pritchett Lane and Route 29, and a contribution towards the County’s completion of the Northern Fire Station.  This issue remains unresolved.   

 

Staff Analysis

As noted, the purpose of this worksession is to determine if the Board supports the applicant’s Development CDA.  Staff has already provided the Board a policy recommendation on the use of a CDA for financing development costs.  A copy of that executive summary is attached. In applying this policy recommendation to this plan, staff continues to recommend against the use of the Development CDA for this project.  Staff notes that both plans are considered to have deficiencies that need to be addressed regardless of the Development CDA.   Before staff could recommend the Board support the Development CDA, staff would expect to see those deficiencies addressed and additional  County infrastructure provided that would make this an “exceptional project” as proposed in the recommended policy.  As noted above, staff has provided examples of infrastructure that could satisfy the policy recommendation and what is needed to address staff’s issues.        

 

Other

Staff believes that once the Board provides their preferences with regard to the Development CDA, the applicant has the direction for finalizing his plan and proffers that he has requested.  Staff can schedule a public hearing once the final plan and proffers have been submitted.  In order to assure a complete review of the final plan and proffers, those documents need to be provided to staff no less than four weeks before the public hearing date.  Finally, while not the purpose of this worksession, it should be noted that the two previously discussed plan issues (ARB recommendations and library block layout) have still not been addressed.  The applicant is preparing a response on those issues, but staff’s concerns remain at this time.    

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

1.                   Staff recommends the Board advise the applicant the project is not considered appropriate for the use of a Development CDA tied to the rezoning application.  It should be noted this would not preclude the developer from seeking his Development CDA after the property is rezoned. 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – 9/1/04 Exec. Summary: Policy Regarding Community Development Authorities

Attachment B -  County CDA Plan

Attachment C – Development CDA Plan

Attachment D -  Comparison Narrative and Summary Tables

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