STAFF PERSONS:                         Stephen B. Waller, AICP

                                                          Allan Schuck                 

PLANNING COMMISSION:                   MARCH 1, 2005

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                  APRIL 6, 2005

 

sp 04-60 Second Bank and Trust Drive-Through

sdp 04-103 Second Bank - critical slopes waiver request

 

Applicant’s Proposal:

 

The applicant has submitted a preliminary site plan for a development consisting of a bank with a drive-through window and Automated Teller Machine (Attachment A).  The site review committee has reviewed the preliminary site plan and determined that it can be approved administratively with the approval of a special use permit allowing the drive-through window and a waiver of Section 4.2, which prohibits the disturbance of critical slopes.  The property, described as Tax Map 91 - Parcel 2D2, contains 1.34-acre and is located in the Scottsville Magisterial District on the south side of Mill Creek Drive [State Route #1150], approximately 240 feet east of the intersection with Avon Street Extended [State Route #742] beside the Mill Creek Exxon and car wash (Attachment B). This site is zoned Planned Development - Shopping Center (PD-SC) and Entrance Corridor (EC), and has a Comprehensive Plan designation of Community Service in Development Area Neighborhood 4.

 

Petition:

 

The applicant is requesting approval of a special use permit in accordance with Section 22.2.2(10) of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for drive-in windows serving or associated with the by-right uses allowed in the PD-SC zoning district.  This petition also includes a request for Planning Commission approval of a critical slopes waiver, pertaining to the approval of the site plan.

 

Planning and Zoning History

 

ZMA 95-21 Cathcart Properties and Denico Development Company. - On May 8, 1996, the Board of Supervisor’s approved a request to rezone approximately 11.6 acres (contained in the parent parcel of the subject property) from R-1, Residential to PD-SC, Planned Development - Shopping Center with proffers (Attachment C).  That zoning map amendment was approved with two (2) proffers that prohibit specific uses on the property and require that the property be developed in accord with the approved application plan.

 

Character of the Area:

 

Access is provided to the subject parcel from a private road called Parham Circle, which surrounds it on both sides and the rear. The adjacent parcel to the west of this site is a convenience store/gas station and car wash, and the Southside shopping center is located across the street, on the north side of Mill Creek Drive.  The property shares its southern boundary with a vacant parcel to the rear (south boundary) that is held under the same ownership and planned for development as an office building.  The property that shares the eastern boundary with this site is owned by the County and contains a stormwater management pond, which accepts drainage from the public road.  With the exception of this County owned parcel, which is zoned Residential (R-15), all properties surrounding this site are zoned PD-SC. 

 

Comprehensive Plan:

 

Requests for special use permits within the Development Areas are assessed for conformity with the recommendations set forth in the Land Use Plan.  In addition to being a use that is allowed by right in the PD-SC zoning district, banks are also recommended as primary uses in areas designated for Community Service land uses. 

 

Chapter 2 of the Comprehensive Plan, entitled “Natural Resources and Cultural Assets” sets goals for preserving the scenic resources that are recognized as being essential to the County’s character, economic vitality and quality of life.  The Entrance Corridor Overlay Districts were implemented to further the County’s efforts toward attaining the Comprehensive Plan objective of maintaining the visual integrity of important roadways.  The Architectural Review Board (ARB) addresses the aesthetic impacts of development on those roads by applying the County’s various design standards for development within the Entrance Corridor.  The ARB has reviewed the site layout and building design of this proposal for conformity with the County’s adopted design guidelines, and recommends approval of the site plan with conditions (Attachment D).

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance, as they relate to the proposed bank drive-through:

 

The Board of Supervisors hereby reserves unto itself the right to issue all special use permits permitted hereunder.  Special use permits for uses as provided in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

 

Uses that implement drive-through windows are often characterized by the high volumes of customers that are served during the peak hours of operation.  Therefore, the concerns for the impact upon adjacent properties are mainly focused on ensuring that the stacking and loading movements of vehicles entering the drive-through lanes do not obstruct the free passage of off-site vehicles that are attempting to access adjacent parcels.  Because the bank would have access to a private road and the drive-through lanes are separated from that entrance on another side of the building, staff has identified no significant reason for concern that the stacking of the drive-through traffic would delay the passage of off-site traffic.  Therefore, staff does not believe that the proposed drive-through window would impose any detriment upon adjacent properties.

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby,

 

Banks and financial institutions are allowed as by-right uses in the PD-SC zoning districts and Section 22.2.2(10) of the Zoning Ordinance allows for drive-in windows serving or associated with the by-right uses allowed in the district.  The drive-through window and its access lanes are being proposed on the opposite side of the bank building and are expected to have very minimal visibility from the entrance corridor.  The Architectural Review Board has reviewed the preliminary site plan along with conceptual drawings of the structure for consistency with the County’s entrance corridor design guidelines and recommends approval with conditions.  However, the ARB had no additional conditions or concerns with the drive-through special permit.  Because the drive-through would support a by right use, and consideration has been given for its aesthetic impact, it is staff’s opinion that approval of this proposal would not result in changing the character of the district.

 

and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

 

Staff has reviewed this request for compliance with the purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance, as set forth in Section 1.4, and identified no conflict that would arise as a result of its approval.

 

with the uses permitted by right in the district,

 

Section 25A of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled Planned Development - Shopping Center, allows the same by-right uses as well as those that are permitted by special use permits in the C-1 (Commercial), CO (Commercial Office), and HC (Highway Commercial) zoning districts to also be established in the PD-SC district.  In order to protect the adjacent properties from the possible impacts of high intensity development, the parcel under review is subject to a proffer that restricts the types of uses that are allowed on it.  Banks and financial institutions and other uses that normally have drive-through windows, such as fast food restaurants, are not included among those prohibited uses. 

 

This request to allow a drive-through window is consistent with most of the banks that have been established as a stand-alone use within their own structures in similarly zoned districts throughout the County.  Therefore, it is staff’s opinion that the proposed drive-through is in harmony with the by-right uses located within this PD-SC district.

 

with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,

 

There are no additional regulations in Section 5.0 that specifically address restaurants or other uses that have drive-through windows as an accessory use to their standard services.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

Section 4.12.17.c(2)(a) of the Zoning Ordinance provides standards for internal circulation related to drive-through windows and one-way access aisles.  These regulations require adequate area for a minimum of five (5) stacking spaces for each drive-through lane and ATM serving financial institutions.  When deemed necessary, the county engineer may require single lane drive-through windows to have travelway widths of up to sixteen (16) feet in order to allow for bypass traffic.  In this case the applicant is providing a separate 13-foot wide by-pass lane that extends the full length of the drive-through after passing the curve at the southern corner of the building.  Furthermore, the site plan proposes the installation of required one-way signage and pavement markings to direct traffic in a safe and orderly pattern.

 

The special use permit application plan was reviewed by Current Development engineering staff, in conjunction with a preliminary site plan, to analyze the stacking in all drive-through lanes and the proposed site circulation.  The Site Review Committee also has also performed the standard preliminary site plan application review.  The Current Development Division’s engineering review resulted in no additional or outstanding concern with the proposed drive-through window. Therefore, it is staff’s opinion that this site could be developed, as planned, in harmony with the regulations that are intended to promote the public’s health, safety and general welfare.

 

Staff will address the provisions of Section 4.2 of the Zoning Ordinance (Critical Slopes):

 

Section 4.2.3.2 of the Zoning Ordinance restricts earth-disturbing activity on critical slopes, while Section 4.2.5.b(2) allows the Planning Commission to waive this restriction upon finding that a strict application of these provisions would not forward the purposes of the Zoning Ordinance.  The applicant has submitted a request and justification for the waiver addressing the five health, safety and welfare concerns that are set forth in the ordinance (Attachment E).

 

These critical slopes are located in the areas proposed for construction on this site and adjacent to the Mill Creek Drive right of way.  Critical slopes cover approximately 0.206-acre, which is 15.4% of the total site area, and 0.133-acre (64.5%) of those slopes will be disturbed.  Critical slopes disturbance that is exempt includes the installation of utilities and construction of access ways.  The non-exempt critical slopes disturbance proposed on this site consists of grading and constructing a portion of the parking lot and a retaining wall.

 

Staff has reviewed this waiver request with consideration for the five (5) concerns that are set forth in Section 4.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled “Critical Slopes.”  These concerns have been addressed directly through both the analysis provided herein, and with the standard administrative review that is applied to all site development proposals.

 

            The Department of Community Development’s analysis of this proposal is provided by the Current Development Division’s engineering and planning reviewers.  Engineering analysis addresses the concerns for excessive stormwater run-off, increased movement of soil and rock, siltation and septic effluent.  Proper slope construction, control of drainage, and vegetative stabilization with approved erosion control measures within the standards of Virginia Erosion and Sedimentation Control Regulations will prevent any movement of soil.  Stormwater runoff will be controlled by the required drainage and stormwater management plan for this site.   Inspection and bonding by the County will ensure siltation control during construction, while proper stabilization and maintenance will ensure long term stability.  Finally, septic effluent is not a concern because this site is serviced by public sanitary sewer.

 

The Planning analysis of this request addresses the concern for the possible loss of aesthetic resources.  Staff finds that none of the critical slopes in question are delineated on the Open Space Plan Concept Map, nor are they located within any Major or Locally Important Stream Valleys or Mountains, all of which are designated as the important resources that are often associated with critical slopes.  Furthermore, there is not a significant amount of vegetative coverage present in the area where the critical slopes disturbance will occur and much of the slopes will be planted in new vegetation.

 

SUMMARY:

 

Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this special use permit request:

 

1.         The provision of drive-through services can be considered a standard function of banks and other financial institutions, which are by-right uses in the PD-SC zoning district.

2.                  The proffer prohibiting several other uses on this site does not include banks and other financial institutions.

3.                  The drive-through lanes would offer the opportunity for customers who will not need to access the teller windows or ATM to bypass the stacked traffic awaiting banking services.

4.                  Based on the proposed site layout, no conflict is expected to occur between vehicles stacked in any of the drive-through lanes and the off-site traffic passing the entrances to this site.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:

 

SP 04-060 Second Branch Bank & Trust Drive Through Window:

 

Staff has reviewed these proposals for compliance with Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and, and recommends approval of the special use permit SP 04-60 with the following conditions:

 

1.                  The site shall be constructed in general accordance with the preliminary site plan entitled “Proposed Site Plan and Special Use Permit,  Second Bank & Trust - Southside Branch”, last revised December 27, 2004.  

2.                  The furthest lane from the building shall be maintained free of any obstructions and limited to bypassing traffic.

3.                  Signage and pavement markings shall be provided at the entrance and exit points of the drive-through lane, subject to Current Development Division engineering approval to ensure appropriate and safe travel patterns.

 

SDP 04-103 Second Branch Bank & Trust Drive -Critical Slopes Waiver:

 

RECOMMENDATION: With consideration for Section 4.2.5.b(2), it is staff’s opinion that a strict application of section 4.2 would not further the purposes of the Zoning Ordinance or otherwise serve the public, health, safety or welfare.  Therefore, staff recommends Planning Commission approval of the requested critical slopes waiver based on the findings provided herein.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

A -       Special use permit application and site plan (revised 12/27/04)

B -       Tax Map/Vicinity Map

C -       Approval letter for ZMA 95-21

D -       Architectural Review Board Comments

E -       Critical Slopes Waiver Request

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