STAFF PERSON:                                               CLAUDETTE GRANT         

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                      MARCH 15, 2005

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                     MAY 4, 2005

 

SP 2004-0002 Charlottesville Kingdom Hall

 

Applicant's Proposal: Charlottesville Kingdom Hall is requesting a special use permit application to allow a Church with one apartment in accordance with Sections 14.2.2.12 and 15.2.2.12 of the Zoning Ordinance which allow for Churches on property it owns at 665 Old Lynchburg Road. (See Attachment A) The current plan is to replace the existing building, which serves 3 congregations with Halls that will serve 4 congregations. The current number of total users for this facility is 340. In order to accommodate these users there are multiple services. The seating capacity is approximately 210. The applicant projects 420 users by 2008. The church is currently nonconforming in that it has no special use permit.

 

Petition:  The applicant requests a special use permit for Tax Map 76 Parcels 51 and 52A3 to allow a church use on the properties. (See Attachment B) This special use permit would be in accordance with Section 31.2.4 of the Zoning Ordinance, to allow churches in an R2 and R4 residential zoning district. This property is also located in an Entrance Corridor. The total lot area is 3.685 acres and the property is located in the Scottsville Magisterial District at 665 Old Lynchburg Road (Route 631) at the intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and Sunset Avenue Extended. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density in Neighborhood 5. 

 

Character of the Area: The area surrounding the church is made up of primarily single family residences. The site is adjacent to a mobile home park and a church is located across the street.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  Staff has reviewed the proposal for conformity with the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance and recommends approval of the special use permit with conditions.

 

Planning and Zoning History: The parcel has no planning or zoning history. The church was built on the site in 1981.

 

Comprehensive Plan and The Neighborhood Model:  Requests for special use permits in the Development Areas are assessed for conformity with the Neighborhood Model and the Land Use Plan. 

 

The Land Use Plan shows this area as Neighborhood Density, which should:

 

· Have a gross density of between 3 to 6 dwellings per acre.

· Be located within the Urban Area, Communities and Villages.

· Accommodate all dwelling unit types as well as institutional uses such as places of worship, public and private schools, and early childhood education centers including day care centers and preschools.

· Accommodate small areas of non-residential land uses on the scale of Neighborhood Service, to serve residential uses.

· Have any new development within an existing subdivision be in keeping with the character and density of the existing development. New developments adjacent to existing subdivisions or developments shall be developed at higher densities and a form in keeping with the Neighborhood Model to support infill development efforts.

 

The density of the proposed project is less than the intended density noted in the Neighborhood Density classification. The addition of an institutional use, such as a place of worship is in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

The Open Space Plan does not show any significant environmental features on this property.

 

The ways in which the proposed project meets the twelve principles for development in accordance with the Neighborhood Model are provided below: 

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Sidewalks are provided throughout the development, around the building and parking area. As noted on the concept plan, there will be an area graded 5 feet in width for sidewalk on Old Lynchburg Road adjacent to the site. Sufficient pedestrian access is provided.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

This is not applicable, given the type of development this is.

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

Staff requested the applicant provide a reservation of right of way to allow for a possible future road, which could connect to the adjacent property (Southwood Mobile Home Park). This would allow for future interconnection of roads/development to the existing intersection of Old Lynchburg and Sunset Roads A similar interconnected road concept is identified in the “Southern Urban Area B Study”, which has been approved by the Planning and Coordination Council (PACC), and is pending review and approval by the County. The applicant is agreeable and has shown this on the concept plan.

Parks and Open Space

This principle is not applicable.

Neighborhood Centers

The church on the site acts as a neighborhood center. The church is in close proximity to residences and can act as a neighborhood center for these residences.

Building and Spaces of Human Scale

This principle has been addressed by the Architectural Review Board (ARB). (See Attachment C)

Relegated Parking

Given the topography of the site, existing development, setbacks, and possible future road connection, as noted above in the section on interconnected streets, the applicant has indicated on the concept plan relegated parking.

The grading changes on the site made relegating the parking difficult. Landscape treatment recommendations by the ARB will assist in making the parking solution acceptable.

Mixture of Uses

 

A mix of residential and institutional uses is in close proximity to the church.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

This principle is not applicable.

Redevelopment

This is the site of the existing church. A new larger church is proposed within the same site.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The applicant has designed the proposed building to work with the slopes of the site, so that the building elevations are designed with the lay of the land. Near the rear of the proposed building, the land slopes down toward the property line and there is a somewhat steep gulley located there. The applicant has not indicated any development in this area of the site. This principle is met.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

Given the location of this site, this principle is not applicable.

 

Engineering Analysis: The County’s Engineering staff has reviewed this request for engineering issues related to health, safety, and welfare requirements. The plan appears satisfactory as a concept plan.

 

Zoning Considerations: The Zoning staff has reviewed this request and finds it acceptable.

 

Any Other Agencies that have important comments:

· VDOT will need to review the entrance profile and drainage computation when the site plans are submitted.

· The Albemarle County Architectural Review Board met on February 7, 2005 regarding the Special Use Permit and Concept Plan. (See Attachment C) The Board voted 4:0 in favor of sending the following recommendations to the Planning Commission regarding the Special Use Permit:

The ARB has no objection to the proposed use, based on the ARB Re-submission plan with revision date of December 28, 2004, with the following conditions:

1.      Landscaping shall be provided to minimize the impact of parking areas on the EC, to the satisfaction of the ARB.

2.      Site and building lighting shall be limited to the satisfaction of the ARB.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance below requires that special use permits be assessed as follows:

 

Will the use be of substantial detriment to adjacent property?

This site will be redeveloped as the expansion of an existing church. It is located on the edge of a neighborhood, which has a similar use located across the street. The increased number of users and vehicles support the use of the site. It is not anticipated that this use will be of substantial detriment to adjacent property with traffic or noise anymore than it currently is.

 

Will the character of the zoning district change with this use?

The proposed church revision is not expected to change the R-2 and R-4 zoning district or the character of the area.

 

Will the use be in harmony with the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance?

The R-2 and R-4 zoning district are intended for residential uses but allows for churches by special use permit if sited appropriately. The church is viewed as a use supportive to Albemarle County residents in all residential zones.

 

Will the use be in harmony with the uses permitted by right in the district?

By-right uses in the R-2 district are single family and cluster development, electric, gas, oil and communication facilities, accessory uses and buildings including home occupations and storage buildings, temporary construction uses, public uses and buildings, tourist lodgings, homes for developmentally disabled persons, stormwater management facilities and Tier I and Tier II personal wireless service facilities. By-right uses in the R-4 district are the same as previously mentioned for R-2 including, duplex housing, townhouses, attached houses and quadruplexes. When sited appropriately, churches are viewed as “in harmony” with the permitted uses of this district. Staff believes the church use is sited appropriately.

 

Will the use comply with the additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance?

There are no additional regulations relating to churches.

 

Will the public health, safety and general welfare of the community be protected if the use is approved?

The proposed church has the potential for approximately 120 vehicles coming in and out of the site. The church is not in use all the time. There are a variety of services that meet at different times. Currently, the most vehicles present during any one service is 45 vehicles. The applicant anticipates an increase of approximately 80 users and potentially 75 additional vehicles. However, it is not anticipated that the increase will be detrimental to the community.

The proposed storm water pond shown located in the path of the Parkway is acceptable. Engineering staff believe alternate locations for adequate stormwater are available on site after the Parkway is built. Sidewalks are to be graded along Old Lynchburg Road, but not paved. Currently, there is a septic system located on this site. The site is located in a development area and normally would be recommended for public sewer connection. However, the closest public sewer is not adjacent to the site. It is located across the street at the Mosby Mountain development. Connecting to the public sewer would not be a straight connection. Not only would the connections be relatively expensive and somewhat cost prohibitive for the applicant, but there are complications with fiber optic and other lines, which are located under Old Lynchburg Road. There would be a need for pump systems to be put in place in order to assist with the connections and it is anticipated that the applicant would need to bring connections down the street in order to maneuver around the existing lines. The proposed development shows a septic expansion, which is to be located under the new parking area. An official from the Virginia Department of Health is aware of the septic system and its’ location under the parking area and finds it acceptable.

There are a variety of complications involved with the redevelopment of this site. However, since the health official finds the location of the septic system acceptable, and staff anticipates that eventually there will be an opportunity for connection to public sewer in this location, the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community is protected through the special use permit process which assures that uses approved by special use permit are appropriate in the location requested.  

 

The most recent plan submittal from the applicant included two apartments, instead of one, as originally shown on the concept plan. It would take additional review time from staff to review the plan for the additional unit, which could potentially change the parking requirement. Since time was of the essence to the applicant, the applicant agreed that one apartment would be sufficient for this plan and request.

 

SUMMARY

 

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

 

1.         The special use permit is in conformity with the land use plan for institutional uses.

2.         The site design is appropriate given the topography.

3.         Accommodation is made for a possible future road, which could connect to the adjacent property (Southwood Mobile Home Park).

 

Staff has identified the following factor, which is unfavorable to this request:

1.         The site will not currently be served with public sewer.

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

 

The staff recommends approval of this special use permit with the following conditions: 

 

1.         The development of the site shall be in general accord with the concept plan entitled Proposed Addition Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Charlottesville, Virginia prepared by Hardee Johnston, A.I.A., A.S.L.A. and dated December 28, 2004.

2.         The area of assembly shall be limited to a maximum of two auditoriums with 175-seats in each.

3.         Sidewalks are to be graded along Old Lynchburg Road (5th Street), but not paved, in the locations  shown on the concept plan.

4.         The building shall not have more than one apartment.

5.         There shall be no day care center or private school on site without approval of a separate special use permit.

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ATTACHMENTS:

 

A – Location Map

B – Concept Plan        

C – Letter from Margaret Maliszewski to Applicant dated 2/24/05

D – Tax Parcel Map

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