STAFF PERSON:                                                                              Tarpley Vest Gillespie

 

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                          December 7, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                                           January 12, 2005

 

ZMA 2004-014:  Briarwood

 

Applicant's Proposal:

The applicant is requesting an amendment to the existing proffers for the Briarwood development approved as part of ZMA 1991-13 and ZMA 1995-05 in order to allow a change in their phasing requirements and a change in the unit mix for the development.  They are also proposing several changes to the approved Application Plan related to the unit types as well as the road layout for the development.  Attachment B shows the existing approved Application Plan for Briarwood with notations showing the proposed new maximum number of units and unit types for each phase.  Attachment C shows the actual Application Plan for which they are seeking approval.  This proposed new application plan was received by Planning Staff after the normal review period had ended (11/18/2004) and has not received a complete review by County staff or VDOT. 

 

Petition: 

Request to rezone 123.612 acres from PRD (Planned Residential District) to PRD (Planned Residential District) to amend the proffers of ZMA 91-13 and ZMA 95-5 and to amend the Application Plan.  The property, described as Tax Map 32G Parcel 1, Tax Map 32G Section3 Parcel A and Tax Map 32G Section 3 Parcel 83 is located in the Rivanna Magisterial District on Seminole Trail (Route 29) at the intersection of Seminole Trail and Austin Drive (Route 1575).  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density Residential in the Piney Mountain Community.  (Attachment A is the location map.)

 

Character of the Area: 

The existing Briarwood development contains 272 single family attached (duplex) units.  Just to the north of Briarwood is the GE Fanuc industrial facility.  To the west of the site is Dickerson Road and lower density residential development including the North Pines subdivision.  Dickerson Road (Route 606) forms the Development Area boundary.  The Camelot subdivision is just south of the site.  Camelot consists of single family houses on smaller lots.  The undeveloped phases of Briarwood are currently wooded and gently rolling with some steep topography. 

 

RECOMMENDATION: 

Staff recommends deferral of the request until a complete staff review has been conducted and comments have been received by County Engineering staff and VDOT. 

 

Planning and Zoning History:  

ZMA 79-32: Briarwood was originally zoned PRD- Planned Residential Development in 1980 with approval of ZMA 79-32.  At that time, a condition of the approval was "No more than two phases shall be under simultaneous development". 

 

ZMA 91-13: In March of 1992, the Board of Supervisors approved ZMA 91-13, which amended the existing PRD to allow the use of private roads and to revise the Application Plan to show future phases of townhouse development.  This ZMA also includes a series of proffers, Attachment D.

 

ZMA 95-05: In June of 1995, the Board of Supervisors approved ZMA 95-05.  With this approval, a new set of proffers were approved, Attachment E.  Both sets of proffers from ZMA 91-13 and ZMA 95-5 apply to this property and the applicant must comply with all conditions of both documents. 

 

Specifics of the Proposal/Proffers:  

The applicant is seeking to amend one proffer of ZMA 95-05 and two proffers of ZMA 91-13 and is also seeking to add one new proffer related to affordable housing.  (See Attachment F- Proposed Proffers) The applicant is also seeking to amend and replace the Application Plan with a new plan that amends and reconfigures some of the internal roads (Attachment C). 

 

Due to the recent submittal of these proffers, the County Attorney has not conducted a full review.  Should the Planning Commission make a recommendation for approval to the Board of Supervisors, the specific language of these proffers may need to be refined before they are considered by the Board.  The proposed proffers are as follows:

 

Proffer #1 seeks to amend proffer 12 of ZMA 95-5 to allow simultaneous development of the remaining phases.  The previous proffer required that no more than two phases be developed simultaneously.  There was some concern in the past about the timeliness of completion of infrastructure.  The previous proffer was offered to provide some assurance that all necessary infrastructure would be completed for each phase before the commencement of the next phase.  At this point in time, all infrastructure is up to date in the existing phases of Briarwood.  Staff is confident that the County's site plan and subdivision processes, along with bonding procedures, will ensure that each remaining phase of development will stand on its own and that all infrastructure obligations will be met with each remaining phase.  Therefore, staff does not object to the removal of the previous condition.  However, staff does feel that it is important that Briarwood Drive be constructed to provide a second means of access from the development to Route 29 before phases 4, 5 or 6 are constructed.  In response to the staff's concern, the applicant has committed to constructing this segment of Briarwood Drive prior to commencing Phases 4, 5, or 6. 

 

Proffer #2 seeks to amend proffer 13 of ZMA 91-13 to allow lots along Camelot Drive to be developed with townhouse units.  This section of Briarwood along Camelot Drive is referred to as Phase 8 on the Application Plan.  The current plan calls for 32 single family detached units and 20 duplex units.  Given the other proposed changes to unit type and overall density throughout Briarwood, staff does not object to the proposed change in unit type in Phase 8 and can support this request.  Staff does have concerns about the proposed changes to street layout in Phase 8 as shown on the Application Plan.  This concern is discussed in greater detail later in the report. 

 

Proffer 3# seeks to amend the unit types and maximum unit numbers in each of the remaining phases.  The proposed changes would result in a total increase in units from 657 to 661.  The changes would result in an increase in the number of single family detached units and townhouses and a decrease in the number of single family attached (duplex) units.  Staff supports both of these changes.  Given the size and scale of the development, staff does not believe that the increase of 4 lots will have any measurable impacts.  Staff believes that this change will enhance the character of the neighborhood by providing a greater mixture of housing types. 

 

Proffer #4 commits the applicant to providing 25 units of affordable housing with the construction of the remaining phases.  The applicant has provided this proffer in response to advice from the Chief of Housing.  The proffer has been reviewed by the Chief of Housing and found to meet the County's goals for affordable housing.  Staff supports this proffer and commends the applicant for consistently providing housing priced below the County median with past phases of Briarwood.

 

 

Application Plan

The proposed Application Plan is Attachment C.  This plan was received by staff on November 18, 2004 after the normal review period for proposed changes had ended.  Therefore, at the time of the writing of this report, staff, including engineering, zoning and VDOT, has not had the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed changes.  Review of the Application Plan is ongoing.  If any new information comes to light before the Planning Commission public hearing, that new information will be shared with the Commission at the hearing. 

 

Attachment B is the previously submitted Application Plan.  This plan shows the underlying Application Plan that was approved with ZMA 95-05, with a notation showing the requested changes to unit types and densities for each phase. 

 

There are several notable changes to the proposed Application Plan summarized as follows:

  1. Phase 1A shows an interconnection where two cul de sacs were located on the previous plan.  While staff has not had the opportunity to review the technical feasibility of this change, staff supports this change in concept.
  2. Phases 5 and 6 show a realignment of the two cul de sacs.  Of concern to staff is that this realignment seems to include a greater area of disturbance towards the resource protection area.
  3. Phase 4 shows a cul de sac where an interconnection to St. Ives Road in Camelot had been located.  Staff is concerned about the loss of this interconnection.  Currently, there are no connections between the Camelot and Briarwood neighborhoods.  Staff believes that connection at St. Ives Road would enhance the two neighborhoods by providing an additional route between the two neighborhoods for local traffic that does not rely on Route 29. 
  4. Phase 8 shows a new access road from Briarwood Drive.  The existing plan shows access to Phase 8 from Camelot Drive.  Although the plan does not show parcel boundaries or building orientations, the applicant verbally described to staff a desire to orient the Phase 8 townhouses towards the new access road and away from Camelot Drive.  Staff is concerned about the possible traffic impacts to the Briarwood/Route 29 intersection.  Impacts need to be evaluated by County staff and VDOT.  Staff is also concerned about the negative aesthetic impacts to Camelot Drive of orienting the units such that the rear portions of the lots face Camelot Drive. 

 

Applicant’s Justification for the Request:

The applicant has committed through a proffer to provide affordable housing within the designated development area with this project.  The previous phases of Briarwood have historically provided affordable housing.  The applicant is seeking changes to the application plan which he feels will enhance the quality of the development and bring it closer to meeting some of the goals of the neighborhood model.  These changes include providing a greater variety of housing types within the development and providing two internal interconnections that are not on the currently approved plan. 

 

By-right Use of the Property:

Briarwood is currently zoned PRD and allows up to 657 units by right.  This number includes the maximum units allowed by proffer #15 of ZMA 95-05 and excludes 4 units that are permitted on adjacent properties owned by Ray Beard.  (The Ray Beard lots were included in ZMA 95-05 but are not a part of the current request, nor are they included on the proposed Application Plan.  The by right use of the Ray Beard lots will not change as a part of this request.) 

 

Comprehensive Plan and The Neighborhood Model:

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property for Neighborhood Density Residential in the Piney Mountain Community.  Neighborhood Density Residential is intended for residential areas with a gross density of 3 to 6 units per acre and is intended to accommodate all residential unit types.  New development within an existing subdivision "shall be in keeping with the character and density of the existing development".  New subdivisions are to be developed at "higher densities and in keeping with the Neighborhood Model".  The proposal meets the criteria of the Neighborhood Density designation. 

 

Staff has reviewed the proposal within the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan's guidance that expansion of an existing subdivision is to be in keeping with the character of the existing subdivision.  Therefore staff has not requested on a wholesale redesign of this section of Briarwood to reflect the Neighborhood Model.  The proposal has left much of the original Application Plan for the remaining phases intact.  The level of change proposed does not warrant a total site redesign.  This proposal does present opportunities to move the remaining phases closer to meeting the goals of the Neighborhood Model. 

 

Staff has analyzed the proposal against the 12 Neighborhood Model principles and offers the following comments:

PEDESTRIAN ORIENTATION

The existing phases of Briarwood have curb and gutter and sidewalks on one side of the street.  At this time, the applicant has not made a formal commitment to streetscape design for the remaining phases.  Staff recommends that the applicant commit to curb and gutter and sidewalks on both sides of all streets in the remaining phases of development.   

NEIGHBORHOOD FRIENDLY STREETS AND PATHS

 

The existing Briarwood development meets this principle with narrow streets, curb and gutter, and sidewalks on one side of the streets.  Staff commends the applicant for the precedent that has been set with the existing phases and recommends that a commitment be made to incorporate these features into the remaining phases.

INTERCONNECTED STREETS AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK

The proposed changes stand to strengthen this principle.  The proposed Application Plan shows a new internal interconnection in Phase 1A where two cul de sacs were previously approved.  While engineering staff has not yet had the opportunity to review this change to the plan for impacts, the concept offers a potential improvement to the neighborhood.  As previously mentioned, the reorientation of Phase 8 to Briarwood Drive raised some concerns that need to be evaluated by staff and VDOT.  However, it also shows potential to interconnect this previously isolated phase with the rest of the development.  Finally, the applicant has proffered to construct the final segment of Briarwood Drive prior to Phases 4, 5, and 6, helping to ensure adequate access to these sections of the development.  It is premature for staff to offer a recommendation of approval for these changes until they have been evaluated for technical feasibility.  However, staff recognizes that they offer some potential to enhance the overall plan for Briarwood. 

 

PARKS AND OPEN SPACE

The previously approved Application Plan shows a "Resource Protection Area" on the western edge of the development and a "passive recreation area to consist of walking and jogging trails."  These features are not shown on the proposed Application Plan.  Staff recommends that these features be included on the newly proposed plan prior to adoption.  Further, staff recommends that the Application Plan clearly show how these areas will be accessed by pedestrians from within the development.  Open space and recreational amenities should be integrated within each phase of development to serve the residents of each phase. 

NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS

The Briarwood development was originally designed as a conventional residential subdivision.  As such, it does not meet this Neighborhood Model principle.  Staff does not believe that the proposed changes are significant enough to necessitate a wholesale redesign to address this principle.

BUILDINGS AND SPACES OF HUMAN SCALE

The existing Briarwood development meets this principle with units oriented towards the street, relatively shallow setbacks and front porches.  Staff commends the applicant for the precedent that has been set with the existing phases and recommends that a commitment be made to incorporate these features into the remaining phases.

RELEGATED PARKING

The Briarwood development was originally designed as a conventional residential subdivision.  As such, it does not meet this Neighborhood Model principle.  Staff does not believe that the proposed changes are significant enough to necessitate a wholesale redesign to address this principle.

MIXTURE OF USES

The Briarwood development was originally conceived as a residential development and the proposed changes are consistent with that concept.  Staff does not believe that the proposed changes are significant enough to necessitate a wholesale redesign to address this principle.

MIXTURE OF HOUSING TYPES AND AFFORDABILITY

The proposed changes will enhance the housing mixture in Briarwood and create a greater range of homeownership opportunities for moderate and middle income families in Albemarle.  The existing phases of Briarwood have consistently met the County's criteria for affordable housing, even without a proffered obligation to do so.  Staff recognizes that the future development phases will provide important affordable housing in this portion of the County. 

REDEVELOPMENT

The area under review is all undeveloped land and this principle does not apply.

SITE PLANNING THAT RESPECTS TERRAIN

At this time, staff has not completed its review of the proposed changes to street configuration in Phases 4, 5, and 6.  At this time, it is unclear what, if any, new impacts will be incurred by the proposed changes.

CLEAR BOUNDARIES WITH THE RURAL AREAS

Route 606, Dickerson Road just west of this site forms the rural area boundary.  The plan meets this principle.

 

 

STAFF COMMENT

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district

The applicant is seeking to amend an existing Planning Residential Development (PRD) to allow changes in unit types, densities and proffers.  An amendment to the existing Application Plan and proffers is necessary to allow for the changes proposed.  The revised application plan is consistent with the intent of a PRD.

 

Public need and justification for the change

The proposed changes will provide affordable housing within the designated development area while also allowing a greater variety of housing unit types throughout the development.  The applicant has proffered that 25 of the new units be made available to individuals or families seeking affordable housing for owner occupancy.  This will help to fill a need within the Albemarle community. 

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services

 

Transportation – At this time, due to the late submittal of the Application Plan to staff, a review of the proposed changes to the access of Phase 8 has not been conducted by County Engineering or VDOT.  Therefore it is premature to anticipate what impact to the Briarwood Drive/Route 29 intersection may be incurred by the proposed reorientation of Phase 8 to Briarwood Drive. 

 

Water and Sewer – The proposed changes will not have any significant impact on water and sewer to the development.  The site is served by water and sewer and the slight increase in density can be accommodated.

 

Schools – The changes proposed will have a very minimal impact on schools in this area as compared to the currently approved zoning.

 

Stormwater Management – At this time, it is unclear what, if any, new impacts will be incurred by the proposed changes to the Application Plan.  Staff is awaiting completion of an engineering review.

 

Fiscal impact to public facilities – The slight increase in density of this proposal will have virtually no fiscal impact for the County.

 

It is possible that new information regarding public facilities may come to light that will aid in this evaluation between the writing of this report and the Planning Commission public hearing.  If that is the case, staff will share any new information with the Planning Commission at the public hearing. 

 

 

Anticipated impact on natural, cultural, and historic resources

At this time, staff has not had the opportunity to evaluate potential new impacts to natural, cultural or historic resources what may result from the proposed changes to the plan.  Specifically, Phases 5 and 6 show a different road layout than is shown on the approved plan.  The new layout shows a greater encroachment towards what appear to be steeper slopes and a resource protection area.  Therefore, it is premature to anticipate what impact the proposed change to plan may have on natural resources. 

 

It is possible that new information regarding natural resources may come to light that will aid in this evaluation between the writing of this report and the Planning Commission public hearing.  If that is the case, staff will share any new information with the Planning Commission at the public hearing. 

 

SUMMARY

 

Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this rezoning request:

1.      The proposal will provide affordable housing within the designated Development Areas.

2.      The proposed change in unit types will create a better mixture of unit types within Briarwood, one of the principles of the neighborhood model.

3.      The proposed changes to Phase 1A of the Application Plan will create one additional internal interconnection.

4.      The applicant has committed, in the form of a proffer, to construct Briarwood Drive to Route 29 prior to commencing with phases 4, 5, 6, thus ensuring the appropriately sequenced construction of a second access to Route 29. 

 

Staff has identified the following factors, which are unfavorable to this request:

1.      The proposed application plan was not submitted until after the normal review period ended.  Therefore, staff and VDOT have not had adequate time to review changes to the plan, including the proposed access changes to Phase 8 and new internal road configuration on Phases 1A, 5, and 6.

2.      An interconnection between Briarwood and Camelot seems to be lost with the proposed changes to Phase 4 on the Application Plan. 

3.      It is unclear what the proposed orientation of buildings along Camelot Drive in Phase 8 will be.

4.      The proposed application plan does not show the existing resource protection area.

5.      The proposed application plan does not provide access to the open spaces on the plan.

6.      At this time, no commitment has been made to the streetscape of the remaining phases, including a commitment to curb and gutter and sidewalks.

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

Staff cannot recommend approval at this time and recommends deferral until a full review of proposed changes to the application plan have been reviewed by County staff including engineering staff and by VDOT.  However, the Planning Commission can use this opportunity to provide feedback to the staff and applicant regarding the proposal's features and staff's findings to this point. 

 

At this time, Staff could support approval of only those changes proposed for Phase 1B.  The applicant has not indicated a willingness to pursue only the Phase 1B changes at this time.  However, staff could recommend approval of the Phase 1B changes if the applicant agreed to that approval and if the Application Plan and proffers were amended between the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors hearing to reflect only changes to Phase 1B. 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

  1. Location Map
  2. Application Plan received October 27, 2004
  3. Application Plan dated 11/17/2004, received 11/18/2004
  4. Proffers of ZMA 91-13
  5. Proffers of ZMA 95-05
  6. Proposed proffers of ZMA 2004-14
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