Staff Person:                      David Benish

Planning Commission:      February 15, 2005


Review for Compliance with the Comprehensive Plan (Va. Code 15.2- 2232) – 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County Engineer, which provides an analysis and recommendation regarding the proposed central system (Attachment A) [superseded by Attachment 2].   The County Engineer’s report is not subject to Commission review and recommendation, but is provided for information.



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.


Character of the Site/Area:

The site is fully developed with two buildings, parking lot and 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.


Staff Comment:

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 one 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 laterals into the building to accommodate 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.





1A – County Engineer’s Report [see Attachment B-updated County Engineer’s Report, dated March 17, 2005]

1B – Location Map

1C – Land Use Plan, Central Systems Recommendations

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