Albemarle County Planning Commission

January 11, 2005


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley, Rodney Thomas, Calvin Morris, Jo Higgins and Pete Craddock.  Absent were Bill Edgerton, Marcia Joseph and David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia.  Mary Hughes attended the meeting to represent David J. Neuman.


Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Frances MacCall, Senior Planner; Amelia McCulley, Division Director of Zoning & Current Development; Juandiego Wade, Transportation Planner; Glenn Brooks, Senior Engineer; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; Mark Graham, Director of Community Development and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Mr. Benish called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum. He asked for nominations for a temporary Chairman for tonight’s meeting due to the absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chair.


Mr. Rieley nominated Mr. Thomas to be temporary Chairman.


Mr. Morris seconded the nomination.


The motion carried by a vote of (2:1). (Higgins – No) (Thomas – Abstain)  (Edgerton, Joseph – Absent)


Mr. Benish turned the meeting over to Mr. Thomas.


CPA 2004-00006 Stormwater Master Plan:  Proposal to amend the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets component of the Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan by adding a stormwater master plan that identifies stream resources to be protected and restored as development occurs, regional stormwater facilities, and watershed projects that can be implemented in conjunction with development; provides guidance for land use planning and neighborhood master planning; and promotes public and private stormwater solutions based on needs and opportunities at the watershed scale. (Greg Harper)


Mr. Benish stated that at the September 1, 2004 meeting the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution of intent to amend the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate the Stormwater Master Plan.   The Board directed the Planning Commission to prepare an amendment and hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment.  This action was the culmination of three prior work sessions held by the Board on April 7, May 5, and July 14, 2004.  A summary of the Plan was presented to the Planning Commission in a work session on June 15, 2004.  The Planning Commission recommended adoption of the Plan to the Board.  A more thorough summary of the history is provided in the attached Executive Summaries of the three Board of Supervisors work sessions.  He pointed out that Mark Graham and Greg Harper, who is the County’s new Water Resources Manager, were present to answer any questions about the plan.  He introduced Greg Harper to the Planning Commission.  Language is included in Attachment A that includes the Comprehensive Plan’s references to the Stormwater Plan.  He pointed out that he wanted to make it clear that they were adopting the Stormwater Master Plan; but, it does not include the financial component that the consultant did.  That financial component is still under review by the Board of Supervisors.  What is going forth is the concept of the program for Stormwater Management.  He pointed out that under the first paragraph in Attachment A there is a bracketed sentence, which mentions the Historic Preservation Plan.  That reference should be deleted. In the paragraph below the last sentence it says that the open space critical sources plan, Historic Preservation Plan, adopted September, 2000 and the Stormwater Management Plan are located under separate cover.  That plan has already been adopted and this is an opportunity to update that paragraph and he just wanted to make that change.   Staff will answer any questions that the Commission might have.


Mr. Thomas asked if any Commissioner had any questions for staff.


Ms. Higgins stated that this was kind of a chicken and an egg thing. She noted that staff had answered her question about the Board still considering the funding strategies.  But under amendment 3, page 30 in the list of strategies it only lists 2 strategies with the first one being to implement the stormwater management program and improvements in accordance with the County approved funding strategy.  This raises the question of how can they recommend something on to the Board that has a list of strategies if they don’t what in accordance with the approved funding strategy is.


Mr. Benish stated that this motion is referring to the chicken part since they would adopt the plan and then it was recognized that to implement it with the limitations in the funding strategy that the Board will have to adopt it.


Ms. Higgins asked if the Board would adopt it without it coming to the Planning Commission.


Mr. Benish stated that the funding strategy would ultimately be adopted by the Board of Supervisors. Typically funding matters do not come to the Planning Commission.  He pointed out that this is existing language that is in the current plan.


Mr. Thomas stated that he thought that it meant that it would be applied in accordance with what they have approved.


Mr. Benish pointed out that the Board will approve the funding.


Ms. Higgins suggested that it be changed to read implement the Stormwater Master Plan Programs and improvements in accordance with the Board of Supervisor approved funding strategy.


Mr. Benish stated that he felt that it meant the same thing.


There being no further questions, Mr. Thomas opened the public hearing and asked if anyone wanted to speak for the applicant.  There being no one else to speak for the applicant, he invited comments from other persons in the audience who wanted to speak on this matter. 


Eric Christianson stated that he was present at last week’s meeting.  He asked if the priorities are identified in that plan for which projects may be most important in terms of preserving the drinking water quality and the general water quality in the area.


Mr. Graham stated that the priorities identified in the plan were identified primarily for the development areas that were outside of the drinking water supply.  Therefore, no there is not a strong emphasis on that.  During the Board’s discussion of the Master Plan it was brought up that they would like to expand the original scope to a County wide Stormwater Master Plan.  Originally, they were thinking in terms of a development area Master Plan.  So there will be an increased interest on that and possibly an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan sometime in the future as they develop those strategies for the Rural Area.


Ms. Higgins stated that it seems to apply to the development areas, but on the inserts you have the Crozet Parrot Branch designated facilities.  She asked if those facilities are in or outside of the development area.


Mr. Graham stated that those facilities are in the development area. 


Ms. Higgins stated that on the attachment that those facilities are shown as being outside of the colored area of Crozet.


Mr. Benish stated that the facilities would serve part of the new downtown area that was included in the Comprehensive Plan area.


Mr. Graham stated that was correct.


Ms. Higgins suggested that this insert has not been updated.


Mr. Graham stated that insert was created prior to that.


Ms. Higgins suggested that this particular attachment, Figure 2-12, be clarified because it should be corrected before it goes to the Board.  She pointed out that since the Crozet Master Plan has been adopted into the Comprehensive Plan that it should be clarified.  In the language it has been struck out that the Design Manual currently under development will further refine County guidance on these matters.  She asked why that was struck out.


Mr. Benish stated that the intention to strike that language out was mainly to recognize that the Design Manual was completed.


Ms. Higgins stated that the mention that it is currently under development should be struck out, but not the Design Manual part of it.  It should say that the Design Manual does further refine County guidance on these matters. If they strike it completely you don’t include the Design Manual as any kind of criteria because you would now be disregarding it.  She pointed out that it was the Design Manual that she was on the committee for that had not had a meeting yet.


Mr. Benish stated that it was a good point.  Therefore, staff would just strike out currently under development.


Ms. Higgins stated that there were elements of it that would further define County guidance on these matters.


Mr. Graham stated that was correct in regard to the stormwater management.


Ms. Higgins stated that the last part of that under paragraph 2, page 28 in the last two sentences it is recommended, getting back to the financing mechanism, to be implemented to the various elements of the Stormwater Master Plan.  It says that an analysis of the funding options was completed subsequent to the Stormwater Master Plan, but it is not presently adopted.  She asked if that sentence would stay as it is when it was inserted into the Comp Plan.  It gives it no context and sounds like it was completed by a consultant and submitted to the Board for consideration.  If someone goes back and reads it five years from now it will not make sense. She suggested that the structure of that sentence be changed to say exactly what they mean.


Mr. Benish suggested that the sentence be taken out completely.


Ms. Higgins asked if he could in a nutshell describe what the funding options were going to be as compared to how it is funded now.


Mr. Graham stated that the primary one of consideration is can we continue to fund it out of the general fund like they have done up until now with the operating budget and the CIP, or should the County consider creating a special tax district that would be a separate line item on the tax bills that would be dedicated to the stormwater issue.


Ms. Higgins asked about the development contributions as development occurs on existing ones. She asked if that has not been sufficient.


Mr. Graham stated that the County never recovers the majority of the costs using the mechanism of the pro-rata share contribution reimbursements.  That still exists in the County’s financing plans and is being considered by the Board to continue. That would be one element that would remain in place.  Similarly the collection of fees associated with the review of stormwater management plans and erosion and sedimentation control plans would continue.  Those existing revenue sources would remain.


Ms. Higgins stated that basically that these new identified potential recommended regional stormwater facilities would become capital projects in general.


Mr. Graham stated that was correct.  But they would still need to come forward through the capital improvements plan and the funding source would just be different.


Ms. Higgins asked if the list of all of the regional basins that existed 8 or 9 years ago have all been completed.


Mr. Graham stated that staff is working on the last of them as we speak.


Mr. Higgins stated that was good news because they have been hanging over staff for a very long time.


Mr. Thomas asked if there was anyone else in the audience that would like to speak.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the request back before the Commission for a possible action.


Ms. Higgins asked if the entire book will become part of the Comp Plan or if just by reference.


Mr. Benish stated that the plan will be adopted by reference and will stand under separate cover.


Ms. Higgins asked if this plan was the final document.


Mr. Benish stated that it was the final document, except for the maps that she had pointed out, which will be changed.


Ms. Higgins asked what action staff was expecting from the Planning Commission tonight.


Mr. Benish stated that he had assumed that the Commission could move forward with the document, but he did not know that they have to.


Ms. Higgins pointed out that she was not comfortable moving it on tonight particularly with two Commissioners being absent.


Mr. Rieley stated that they had the opportunity to look at this pretty thoroughly before and thought that they could pass it on.


Mr. Morris stated that the important thing was to take the time to consider the public’s input.  Since there was not much public input tonight he was ready to forward it on.


In summary, the Commission suggested several minor non-substantive changes to the text of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment.


Mr. Rieley made a motion to send CPA-2004-00006, Stormwater Master Plan, to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval.


Mr. Craddock seconded the motion.


The motion carried with a vote of (5:0).  (Joseph, Edgerton – Absent)


Mr. Thomas stated that the motion carries and would go to the Board of Supervisors on February 2.                   


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