Albemarle County Planning Commission

February 15, 2005

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, February 15, 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, Marcia Joseph, Vice-Chair, Jo Higgins, Pete Craddock and Bill Edgerton, Chairman.  Absent was David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia and Calvin Morris. 

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Stephen Waller, Senior Planner; Amelia McCulley, Division Director of Zoning and Current Development; Louise Wyatt, Zoning Enforcement Manager and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Edgerton called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

Albemarle First Bank-Shadwell Antiquaries, Review for Compliance with the Comprehensive Plan: Review of a proposal to convert a private septic system to a central system (to serve 3 or more users) for its compliance with the Comprehensive Plan as per State Code 15.2-2232.  No building expansion is proposed.  The site is located on the south side of Louisa Road (Route 22), approximately 600 feet from its intersection with Route 250.  The property, described as Tax Map 79, Parcel 19, is located in the Rivanna Magisterial District.  The site is Zoned C-1, Commercial and EC, Entrance Corridor and is recommended as Rural Area in the Comprehensive Plan.  (David Benish)

 

Mr. Benish summarized the staff report for the review for compliance with the Comprehensive Plan (Va. Code 15.2 – 2232) for the Albemarle First Bank Central Sewage System Request (Shadwell Antiquaries).     

The applicant intends to modify the interior of the Antiques/Retail building to provide a multi-user building.  No expansion of the building is proposed.  Since the septic system serving the site could serve three of more users under this proposal, it would be defined as a central system.  Central systems are considered public facilities and, therefore, must be found in Compliance with the County’s Comprehensive Plan as per State Code (Section 15.2-2232).  If the Commission finds this proposal in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan, The Board of Supervisors must review and approve the central system.  Attached is the staff report from the County Engineer, which provides an analysis and recommendation regarding the proposed central system (Attachment A).  The County Engineer’s report is not subject to Commission review and recommendation, but is provided for information.  The action is forwarded to the Board so that they are aware of the Commission’s finding in its compliance.  The Board may decide to entertain that issue, disagree with the Commission’s finding or have other comments to make. 

 

The site, previously referred to as Shadwell Antiquaries, is located on the south side of Louisa Road (Route 22), approximately 600 feet from its intersection with Route 250.  The 2.04 acres property, described as Tax Map 79, Parcel 19, is located in the Rivanna Magisterial District (Attachment B).  The site is Zoned C-1, Commercial and EC, Entrance Corridor and is recommended as Rural Area in the Comprehensive Plan. 

 

A final site plan for the property was approved administratively on June 11, 1999 for 2,112 square feet of building space, in two connected structures, to be used as an antique store and workshop.  On December 7, 1999 the Planning Commission approved an amendment to the site plan modifying the use of the smaller building on site from a workshop to a restaurant (tea room).  The Commission’s review of this amendment was based on an appeal by an adjacent property owner.  The Commission unanimously approved the site plan amendment.

 

The site is fully developed with two buildings, parking lot and existing septic system.  The site is located on the south side of Route 22, between Route 22 and Route 250.  The Shadwell market convenience store is the adjacent property on the western boundary of the site (zoned C-1). The adjacent property to the east, consists of the CSX Railroad and, across the tracks, the GOCO Oil gas station (zoned RA). The adjacent property to the north, across Route 22, is rural in character (zoned RA).   The property is accessed by an entrance off of Route 22, just past the Shadwell Market.

 

The County’s growth management policy discourages non-rural related development within the Rural Area.  However, this site and the adjacent Shadwell Market property are zoned C-1, Commercial.  This “old zoning” was established prior to 1980 to recognize existing development and prior activities on these properties. Therefore, while the zoning and existing development on-this site is inconsistent with the County’s current Comprehensive Plan, it is consistent with the existing zoning. 

 

The Comprehensive Plan policy regarding central utility systems discourages the use of central systems in the Rural Area (Attachment C).  However, in this particular case, the site has been developed for commercial uses consistent with its zoning and is served by an existing private septic system.  The internal modifications to the building proposed by the applicant, that would permit three (3) or more separate users in the existing buildings, necessitate the re-designation of the system from a private to central (public) system.  There is no expansion of the buildings or intensification of use of the site.  Most of the existing system is being utilized, including the existing drainfields.  Modifications to the system are primarily related to the laterals into the building to accommodate the multiple users (see County Engineer’s comments for more detail on system modifications).

 

Staff opinion is that this request, although not entirely consistent with the principles and recommendations noted above, is not contrary to the Plan’s overriding intent to provide for orderly development and provide for the protection of the Rural Area and its associated resources.  The intent of the Comprehensive Plan statements is to discourage the use of new central systems that support and encourage new development, which may not have occurred without the use of a central system. This proposal amounts to a reclassification of an existing private system to a central system because of the potential for the system to serve three or more users.   No expansion of the building is proposed and essentially the same septic system, including existing drainfields, is being used. 

 

The existing development constitutes a significant capital investment on the property.  The approval of the system does not facilitate an expansion of the use and no expansion to the leasable square footage is proposed. Approval of the central system does provide the owner greater flexibility in leasing the existing space. 

 

Staff recommends the Planning Commission find this proposal consistent with the Comprehensive Plan with the condition that the central septic system is to serve existing on-site structures only.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if the only decision that they were being asked to make tonight is whether it is in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Mr. Benish stated that was correct.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated from what Mr. Benish had wrote and just said that he had heard fairly clearly that it was not in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan, but it was in compliance with the old zoning.  He asked if that was correct.

 

Mr. Benish stated that his opinion was that it was not on its face consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, but it was consistent with the overriding intent of the Comprehensive Plan to support orderly development.  Because of the existing circumstances on the site and the proposal it cannot be consistent with the Comp Plan because it did not start out consistent with the Comp Plan.  But, it was not intensifying the use or making it any more inconsistent with the Comp Plan.  He noted that was probably the best way to explain it.   He pointed out that he had a larger copy of the system and the site to post on the board because the one in their packets is very small and hard to read. 

 

Ms. Joseph passed out copies of two letters in opposition of the request that she received.  The first letter was dated February 13, 2005 from Pat and Leo Napoleon.  The second letter was dated February 14, 2005 from Jim Ballheim.  (ATTACHMENTS – TWO)

 

Ms. Higgins asked if they were allowed to consider some of the basis that the Planning Commission has already forwarded to the Board with respect to the Comp Plan Amendment to the Rural Areas, which involved negative opinion on its consistency with what the Planning Commission has recommended on how it relates to cross road communities.  She asked if there was any relationship between this analysis and what is now before the Board of Supervisors.  In other words, they have a Comprehensive Plan now, but the Commission forwarded to the Board amendments to the Comp Plan relating to the Rural Areas and at that time the Commission took specific conversation and note about what was called cross road communities.  She asked if this was one of those types of established locations.  She asked if staff has any input on that.

 

Mr. Benish stated that it was too early to say whether this site would be one of those cross roads that they would designate.  That would be subject to the implementation tools that they put in place for that.  But, he felt that this could be characteristic of those types of things that they would be designating. Theoretically, it could be. But, they were not at a point in time yet that they have decided which ones they were going to designate and what sort of tools they would use.  He stated that arguably yes, there could be that type of location on Keswick, Cismont or Batesville sites that have existing facilities and historic characteristic to them.  Now whether this one will qualify and will one that they designate he was not sure because they were not at the point of implementing it yet.

 

Mr. Thomas pointed out that on the first page of the staff report it has the word restaurant.  When this came before the Commission previously they had emphasized that there not be a restaurant.  He stated that it was a tearoom, but he did not remember the stipulations that they put on it.

 

Mr. Craddock stated that they could have a commercial kitchen.  He stated that they had also approved a veterinary office on that site a few years ago.  Currently there was a wine shop on the site, which he felt had a minimum water use and falls into compliance.

 

Mr. Benish stated that the property was zoned C-1, which permits a broad range of retail and commercial type of uses.  It is one step away from the HC zoning district, which is accommodating commercial.  There are a lot of uses that could be made of the building regardless of whether it is petitioned off.  Arguably the larger the building that was not petitioned the larger type of use that could fit in.  The more the building is petitioned off the smaller the scope that any individual use could be.  They were really looking at the same building and the same square footage of land use that is in play using essentially the same septic systems.  Staff sees it more as a reclassification that allows more than three entities to be located within the building as opposed to the two prior ones. 

 

Mr. Thomas asked if the property would be able to be utilized more extensively with the new septic system.

 

Mr. Benish stated that it could be used more extensively if extensively defines how many people could be in the building, but it was still the same square footage because there was no expansion to the building that would accommodate any more square footage of activity.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that it was still the same septic field size because there was no proposed expansion of the septic field. 

 

Mr. Benish stated that the change really related to the way the septic system was developed.  There are three drainfields with two to serve the tea room and one was for the antique shop.  They are simply combining them all into one system so that the distribution box distributes to all three systems for the whole building.  In essence, that is what they are proposing to do.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if this had anything to do with the market located on the adjacent property, and Mr. Benish stated that it did not.

 

Mr. Craddock stated that he would like to argue that this is all water under the dam because it was all approved administratively for this building many years ago.  There was a residence on that property back then and the only commercial use was right there where Shadwell Store is, which had a house right behind it.  There was also another house that was on this property.  He stated that maybe it got old zoned as commercial through administration, but there was a residence on this. Then when it came to the Commission in 1999 he voted for it because it was going to be on a private septic system. 

 

Mr. Rieley agreed with Mr. Craddock.

 

Mr. Benish stated that he did not research how this particular property got that zoning.  The zoning has been there for a long time.  The best that staff can speculate is that there was some activity within those buildings that caused at some point in time when the zoning was put on the property to recognize it for that zoning. But, staff could not figure that out.  He stated that it was very clear that the Shadwell Market was a commercial retail store.  He stated that he could not find any history to find out why this property was zoned C-1, but that is old history from a long time ago.

 

Mr. Craddock stated that his grandparents ran the store and the post office for thirty years.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there were any other questions for staff. There being none, he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.

 

Richard Carter, representative for the applicant Albemarle First Bank, stated that he would argue that it was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan in that when the Comprehensive Plan was adopted this property was zoned the same thing that it is today.  Therefore, if the Comprehensive Plan recognized that this was commercial, then arguably it was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan at that time.  It is not something that was residentially zoned. It was commercial at the time the Comprehensive Plan was adopted.  Therefore, he would argue that by recognition of this and this zoning at the time that it was already consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the commercial use.  They agree with and adopt the staff report. What this does is that there is one small building, as Mr. Craddock mentioned, where a special use permit was granted on it for a veterinary hospital.  Also, a special use permit was granted for a tea room.  There is now a wine shop in the little building.  He stated that the bank was using the big building right now as the only tenant.  The bank can continue to occupy the whole building, and they can wait for another big tenant to come along.  But it makes more sense if they had multiple users.  As Mr. Benish said, they are not really increasing the intensity with the multiple users. They may even be with multiple small users as opposed to one big user actually diluting the intensity of it. What they were trying to do was to make some internal changes to give them some more bathrooms so that they could have those users.  They were not increasing the square footage.  They were not increasing the intensity of use.  They were not doing anything other than adding some bathrooms to this.  They recognize that the property is in the Rural Areas, which was why they were asking for the central sewage system.  This property was there when they unfortunately had to buy it back.  Therefore, they are doing what they think is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan as a use when the Comprehensive Plan was adopted.  He stated that Mr. Pryor was present from the bank and he would be happy to answer any questions. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there were any questions for Mr. Carter.  There being none, he asked if there were any members of the public that would like to address the Commission on this application.

 

Judith Summer stated that she lived on a farm located on Route 631 in Keswick.  Only recently had she heard about this plan to divide up the Shadwell Antiquaries building and that she mostly had questions.  She felt that Albemarle First Bank had made a bad business decision and now they are asking the Commission to make a bad decision. The County’s own staff said that it was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  Certainly the proposal is an intensification of a use.  If you take a large building and divide it up into multiple spaces with multiple users, of course, you would have multiple people compared to what it was before.  She noted that she had not heard the number of divisions that the applicant plans for this building.  But, from what she heard it sounded like a mini mall, which she felt was an inappropriate way to use that building.  She asked who will renovate and manage the building.  How many employees will there be for these multiple users?  How many customers do they plan to have for these multiple uses? She asked what type of parking will be required and do they plan to pave over the entire area?  She asked what about the use of signs, flags and pennants to advertise the multiple users in that building? She asked what about access for commercial trucks if they have commercial businesses? She asked whether it would make the road unsafe.  She asked if there was any evidence that the site will support that number of businesses.  She understood that there is an area dedicated to Glenmore for multiple small businesses, but she did not know when that would be utilized.  She believed that the overriding intent of the Comprehensive Plan is to protect the Rural Areas and the residents and not to allow development, which is what this multiple use would be.  She felt that this was development that was in the wrong place. 

 

Jeff Werner, representative for the Piedmont Environmental Council, stated that the Southwest Mountains was a very important place to the PEC. There is a tremendous amount of stewardship in that historic district.  This is the doorstep to the Southwest Mountains.  Mr. Carter refers to the importance of the Comprehensive Plan.  Given Mr. Carter’s enthusiasm for holding up the Comp Plan, he looked forward to him supporting the regulations proposed in the Mountain Overlay District that was adopted into the Comp Plan. He stated that he would like to read something dated August 3, 2004 from staff when this came to the Commission before. This project requires connecting the dots.  This property is currently served by private well and septic neither of which is a central water supply or a central system.  Therefore, under Section . . . this property would only be permitted to have one establishment. While there is less than 120,000 square feet of site area which is required for two establishments, two establishments were mistakenly approved on this property in the past. The applicant has asked for a variance to allow a possibility of 15 separate commercial establishments on this property. Fifteen separate commercial establishments on private well and septic require a total of 900,000 square feet of land area.  This property consists of 88,000 square feet. Therefore, this is a variance of 811,000 square feet.  The applicant last year claimed undue hardship in requesting this, but that was denied.  So now they were back requesting a pocket septic plan which will allow this.  He asked that they look at the Comprehensive Plan. It states that pocket septic plans within the rural area shall be strongly discouraged except to address health and safety problems.  This is a foreclosure on a piece of property that the owner now says that they cannot make money on it.  That implies that it is a poor investment and not a health and safety problem.  However, he talked to some of the folks out there and they are encouraged about some uses there.  But, they are very concerned about the potential for 15 uses. Back when the Board of Supervisors reviewed this on 1-15-03, their minutes reflect a specific discussion about requiring turn lanes into this facility and the additional traffic that might be brought on.  Therefore, what they have here is a site that is problematic.  The site may be able to serve the community, but he suspected that there was more to risk here than just simply a few more tenants in this space.  He stated that he wished the wine shop well, but he just thinks that the Planning Commission does not need to start providing precedence to rural area policy, which in his opinion was very specific when there was no demonstrable health or safety issue involved.

 

Marshall Pryor, of Albemarle First Bank, stated that they don’t envision putting fifteen people in there. They envision having possibly two or three other tenants. They certainly hope that there will be more traffic, but it would probably just be the traffic that is already on the road that would stop and use that.  One can never be certain what will ever end up in the future.  It is a 2 acre piece of property that is adjoined by the railroad tracks, an existing store, the road and the interstate.  It could not be used for anything else other than a small commercial site, which has already been put on there.  They were simply trying to utilize the site to the best of their ability. Currently the bank now uses 7,000 square feet and the wine shop uses 2,100 square feet.  There are several people who are interested in that.  They feel that two or three other uses would be the maximum that could be put there. He stated that they think that this would be a good use of the property and appreciate the Commission’s consideration.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there was anyone else present to speak on this request.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for discussion and a possible action.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that the applicant has stated in the staff report that it would be up to 3 modifications to the building proposed by the applicant that would permit 3 or more separate users.  The applicant stated that it would probably be a maximum of 3 separate users.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that Mr. Pryor stated that there would be 3 additional users, which would be a total of 5 separate users.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the definition of central is 3 or more units.  Therefore, there is no way to limit it.

 

Mr. Benish stated that he would suppose that they could make a finding, and Mr. Kamptner could correct him on the compliance review, that would set a limit on this.  But, again the users would be using the same amount of square footage.  Basically they would be looking at cubicles if they had 15 users in 2,200 square feet.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that there were also two other limiting factors that are controlled, but the building footprint does not change.  Each time a new user goes into a C-1 space they have to meet the parking requirements. Each individual user must go to the Zoning Department to get their Certificate of Occupancy and they must prove how the parking is calculated for the use.  Therefore, as far as traffic it could be a mixture, but traffic generation is considered based on the number of parking spaces.  When she looked at this she asked what the restrictions on the site were if the building footprint does not change.  If the use changes within it from the wine shop and bank, she felt that 15 users would not meet the parking requirements for that kind of base use just for the employees only.  Therefore, that is one limiting factor that would considered.  The second one is that there is a Code requirement for bathroom facilities and hand wash facilities and the septic fields are not being modified.  She asked if the septic fields were modified if that is again an expansion.   She felt that they were taking almost all of the area on the site right now.  She stated that the applicant could not get into high traffic generators because of the limit on the parking space requirements.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that previously they approved the convenience store, which would be a pretty high intense use of that corner right in the fork of the road.  He asked the status of that approval.

 

Mr. Benish stated that he honestly did not know, but to the best of his knowledge the County had never received a site plan on it.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that this site would not be as intense as that store.  He felt that no more traffic would be generated than the store that was sitting there now. 

 

Mr. Craddock pointed out that the store was going to run their septic line under Route 250 to the little parcel over on the other side of the road.  That will be a private septic system.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that Mr. Craddock had made a very specific distinction between a private septic system and a central septic system.  He asked how they are different if they are using the same tanks and the same fields.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that she spoke with Mr. Benish today and found out that basically at the third user the health department calls it a central sewer.  But, two people can share and it will still be private.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that from reading the staff report that he felt that they would have to add two more septic tanks, but the fields were going to stay the same.

 

Mr. Benish stated that the applicant was not adding a tank, but actually deprogramming one tank and putting in a new tank so that there was one line that feeds both buildings to the drainfield.  Right now the way that the drainfield system is set up that there are two lines with one coming out of the wine shop and the other one coming out of the tea room. The new facilities are to centralize the lines, but to use the same drainfields. 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that he was certainly sympathetic to the situation that the bank is in.  He felt that the points have been made that the parking, square footage and the septic systems themselves will not be expanded.  But, it is hard for him to think that this will not end up intensifying the use as Ms. Summers said.  The economic reality is that they are trying to intensify the use and get more use out of this building.  At the end of the day he was struck with two very straight forward statements that he thinks answers their questions. The Commission only has one determination to make.  The second sentence in Jack Kelsey’s memo says, however these modifications create a “central system” as defined by Code.  It is not by the health department. On page 7 or page 129 of the Comprehensive Plan under recommendations a statement is made that new central sewer systems in the rural area should be strongly discouraged except to address health and safety problems. In addition to those two statements he agreed with the statement that Mr. Craddock made earlier, of which he concurs with having the same vote.  He stated that he was part of the unanimous vote in favor of this.  At the time the fact that this was on a private system that could not be expanded because if it was expanded that it would become a central system was a big part of the approval process.  He stated that he voted for it on the condition that it was private.  He stated that he would not have voted for it if it had been on a central system.

 

Ms. Higgins asked what his thoughts were on what they had just recently recommended that would change this language. There is the old zoning for the old store in this location, but also there is the existing zoning.  She asked if they were acting contradictory to what they just forwarded to the Board.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that he felt that she had a very good point.  But, he felt that the distinction is that the kind of language in the Comprehensive Plan that they forwarded was to address situations like Batesville, which are historic cross road communities.  He pointed out that he lived in that community and would guarantee if there was a proposal to put Page’s Store to a good use that the surrounding community would be in here filling up the room in favor of that.  He pointed out that he had received a lot of emails on this application.  But, there was not even a single positive email. This is not an integral part of the cross roads community.  This is a new building that was built.  He stated that the promotional material that came with the last application said that the reason that this was needed so badly in the Keswick community was that the nearest place that one could get a really good sandwich was Paris and they needed to address that.  He felt that was why the business had failed.  He felt that it was a good point that the Commission should be consistent with what they were sending on to the Board. But, the difference between the cross roads community like Batesville and the function that it plays and this building was that this building was simply built out of scale from what it should have been to begin with.  Now they were trying to back up and make the building fit when it does not fit.  Therefore, he felt that there was a big distinction.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that one of the other aspects of the cross road communities was looking at some of the historic structures to see if those could be preserved by some other uses within those structures.  This building is fairly new.  In 1999, during the review when everyone was wondering why they needed such a big building that it was explained that they needed that enormous space to do the repair work and that they would be selling out of the smaller space.  She stated that she could not support this because it is not in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Mr. Craddock stated that he would not support it either because of the aforementioned reasons and that this is not addressing any health or safety problems as noted in the staff report.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he was very torn about this because he was very sympathetic to the request since nothing is changing except the plumbing lines.  But, he pointed out that he was very concerned about setting a precedent.  If what they were doing this evening was reviewing for compliance with the Comp Plan, then he did not think there was much question because to approve this change was not in compliance with the Comp Plan.  He pointed out that he was one of the groups of persons who voted unanimously for this, but he did not share Mr. Craddock’s distinction between a private and central system in this particular issue.  Once a central system was approved then the question was, without a lot of extra conditions, whether they would be able to control the limit of development.  He noted that he had received a lot of emails.  He asked staff if the question about the 15 businesses was something that came up last summer.

 

Mr. Benish stated that staff has not talked about that in this review and honestly he could not remember that piece of information from when it came out before.  But, again he would suppose if they petitioned off the building for cubicle space, then they could literally have 15 different people operating 15 individual businesses requiring business license on there.  But, he did not remember the details of that discussion.  He felt that from the Comprehensive Plan standpoint the precedent that you always set is the precedent on the case that they were reviewing.  The circumstance here in staff’s evaluation of the Comp Plan is the C-1 zoning and the existing buildings that are out there now.  He stated that any decision that the Commission may make is unique to the proposal in front of them.  He stated that he was sympathetic to where the Commission is because this was not an easy one for staff given the history and the unique characteristics of this site, the zoning and the potential use in whether it was subdivided or not.  He noted that the individual uses may be more intensive as multiple uses depending on the type of use.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if heard him correctly earlier on that this will go to the Board for their determination since they make the decision about going from private to central sewer system.

 

Mr. Benish stated that what would happen in this circumstance is that the finding that the Commission has made on the Comprehensive Plan will be forwarded to the Clerk’s Office and on to the Board.  The Board can decide whether to entertain it or not.  The Board should be using that information in their deliberation of the central system. Since a central system has not been found to be in compliance with the Comp Plan, then he would defer to Mr. Kamptner or Mr. Davis as to how they will deal with that at the Board.  But, he would suppose that the Board could take their action up as a review of the central system and make a different finding.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that if the Commission recommends disapproval, the owner can appeal that decision to the Board if they file the petition within ten days and then the Board can make a recommendation.

 

Ms. Higgins agreed with both sides, but was torn because she felt that they were changing laterals and putting in plumbing fixtures.  But, on the other hand she thought that smaller uses fit more in a rural area than one large use.  Whether it was a financial decision or not, she felt that seeing a building that goes partially vacant out in the rural area does not help anybody.  But, the one question she had was if there was a way to modify this or make a recommendation that says unlimited that they don’t think that it is in compliance, but if it were limited to four or five uses then they were seeing it in a different light.  She asked if that was a possibility. She felt that to say yes or no does not give the Board as much direction as saying well if the applicant was not looking for 15 uses because of the intensification issue and that the parking limits it as well as the septic lines themselves.  But, if they said that there will not be more than five users, that it would be more consistent with it.  She suggested that they forward it with that information and let the Board make its decision.  She stated that was just a thought.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that it was a very interesting thought because there were a lot of other requirements in the Ordinance that were going to have to be met such as use and parking regulations.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that on at least a couple other occasions when the Commission has had a 15-2-2232 review in front of them that the Commission has imposed conditions or limitations that allows them to make a finding of consistency.  But, there needs to be a nexus between the conditional and the finding of consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Mr. Rieley suggested that they deal with this in the same way they dealt with an issue earlier this evening, which is that they take their action and then ask the Board to read the minutes.  He pointed out that was what the Commission had done earlier.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that the applicant stood in front of the Commission just a few minutes ago and said that it would be four users.  He supported the idea of limiting it to four users.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that she was not against the central system in this case because it is already built and is being used differently. That is what makes this a unique situation.  But, she felt that modifying their review for compliance, as Mr. Kamptner said, has been done in the past in saying that they consider it consistent up to a point, but if it goes beyond that point then they were in a different ballpark.  Then that would also set a precedent.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that since the engineering department has said that these modifications will create a central system under the Code and because the Comprehensive Plan says that new central sewer systems in the Rural Areas shall be strongly discouraged except to address health and safety problems, that he would make a motion that the request is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. He asked to attach to that motion once again the admonition that the entire conversation that the Commission had will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors and that they be encouraged to look at all of that. 

 

Ms. Joseph seconded the motion.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that under the discussion part of this in reading the words where it says new central systems in the rural areas shall be strongly discouraged that she thought that the engineering report says that it is not a new central sewer system. 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that however these modifications create a “central system” as defined by the Code, which was what it says.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that it does not exist as a central system now.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that it says that it exists as a system.  She stated that as the motion stands that she could not support it because she felt that there was opportunity to allow it with a limitation of no more than four or five users. Then, that information could be used by the Board because she felt that they would consider it differently.  She asked that the Board be given the opportunity to do that.  She asked that Mr. Rieley consider making an amendment to the motion so that she could support it.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the addition of the third use is what puts it in to the category of a central system, which was the point that he felt that they need to stand on.

 

Mr. Craddock agreed with Mr. Rieley.

 

The motion carried by a vote of (4:2).  (Higgins, Thomas – No) (Morris – Absent)

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the motion to determine the noncompliance with the Comprehensive Plan was approved.

 

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