STAFF PERSON:                                                                                          Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                                          April 5, 2005

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                                       June 8, 2005


SP 2004-041 Cricket’s Baked Goods & Catering


Applicant’s Proposal: The applicant is requesting approval of a special use permit for a Home Occupation, Class B to allow for a small catering business. The applicant currently prepares baked goods in the kitchen of the residence on the property and sells the items at Charlottesville City Market. The applicant would like to offer additional food items and catering, moving food preparation for the business into an accessory structure.  (Attachments B & C) The kitchen would be operated in half of an existing garage building, which is 384 square feet in size total and detached from the applicant’s residence. The kitchen would be located in one side of the garage building and would be less than 200 square feet in size. The applicant would have no employees. There would be no customer visits to the property and no business signs are proposed.  


Petition: Request for a special use permit to allow a Home Occupation Class B for a Catering business in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for Home Occupations Class B. The property is described as Tax Map 105, Parcel 46, contains 13.68 acres, and is zoned RA, Rural Area and EC Entrance Corridor. The proposal is located at 3047 Thomas Jefferson Parkway (Route 53), east of the intersection of Thomas Jefferson Parkway and Buck Island Road (Route 729), in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property Rural Area.


Character of the Area: The site is located along Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway) and structures on the property front Route 53, facing eastward.  Wooded properties adjoin the property on the front and rear, including a 200 acre property across Route 53 and a 51-acre property to the rear/west of the site. Residential properties adjoin the sides of the site, with an 11-acre parcel to the north and approximately 8 2-3 acre lots in Green Heights to the south.   


Planning and Zoning History: The residence on the property was constructed in 1975 and there has been no subdivision of the property since that time. The applicant obtained a zoning clearance for a home occupation A for a home bakery in November 2000.


Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan identifies this site and surrounding areas as being located in the Rural Areas.  The Rural Areas Plan of the Comprehensive Plan offers guidance to how home occupations should be reviewed in the Rural Areas. Specifically, the plan indicates home occupations should be limited to a scale and intensity that will not diminish the character or quality of life in the Rural Areas, encourage suburban development patterns or density, or significantly impact natural or cultural resources.  This catering request is of a scale and intensity that would not be counter to this Rural Area policy.


Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway) is identified as an Entrance Corridor in the Comprehensive Plan and a portion of the applicant’s property is in the Entrance Corridor Overlay District. The Design Planner’s comments indicate that should the applicant propose any changes to the building or site visible from Route 53, then Architectural Review Board review and approval will be necessary. The garage building is not visible from Route 53 and is set nearly 500 feet from the road so no impacts to scenic resources are anticipated. The Historic Preservation Planner has indicated that historic resources in the area of the project site but no impacts to historic resources are anticipated.    


Staff Comment: Staff will address each provision of Section of the Zoning Ordinance:


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.


This proposal would not result in a significant increase in vehicular traffic beyond that which would be considered normal traffic for the residence.  The applicant would not have customers visiting the site and would not receive deliveries or ship using heavy trucks. The applicant has indicated she will obtain supplies and deliver food items in her personal vehicle.


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


The garage building is typical of accessory structures found on residential properties in the Rural Areas.  It is the opinion of staff that this home occupation would not result in any increased levels of activity on the site that would be inconsistent with the character of the area.   


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


Staff has reviewed the purpose and intent as contained in Chapter 18, Sections 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 of the Albemarle Zoning Ordinance.  In the opinion of staff, the proposed use would not conflict with the purpose and intent as described in the Zoning Ordinance.


with the uses permitted by right in the district,


This use would not prevent by-right use of the adjacent properties.


and with the public health, safety and general welfare.


The public health, safety, and general welfare of the community are protected through the special use permit process, which assures that uses approved by special use permit are appropriate in the location requested.


One safety issue has been identified by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which initially recommended:


VDOT has indicated, after further information was provided after these review comments were received, that if traffic is limited to residential only and that this is conditioned and monitored by the special use permit, then these requirements would not be necessary. The reviewing engineer staff has indicated that it would be difficult for the applicant to meet the requested VDOT recommendations given constraints of Route 53 and the applicant’s driveway. If there are no additional trips beyond normal residential traffic, the engineer has indicated that they could support the special use permit request. The applicant has indicated that there would be no employees or customers visiting the site.  Section requires that no traffic be generated beyond what would normally be expected from a residence. The Rural Area plan offers some guidance on this issue. It recommends, in order to minimize the impacts of such uses as home occupations in the RA, that requirements such as parking lots, curb and gutter, and commercial entrances be avoided.


The Health Department has regulations that address two aspects of this request, the water supply and sewer system capacity for this catering business and also the food establishment permit for the catering kitchen. Engineer prepared documents regarding the well and septic on the property were submitted to the Health Department and have been approved. The Health Department is still in the process of reviewing the food establishment permit.



with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,


Home occupation permits are governed by Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance (Attachment E).  The proposed request, as submitted, complies with all provisions of this section of the Zoning Ordinance. Should the applicant need to expand the garage kitchen for any reason, the maximum size permitted that would comply with Section is 290 square feet in size, which is 25 percent of the square footage of the primary dwelling. To allow the applicant flexibility and to avoid a new special use permit should the applicant wish to make minor modifications to the garage kitchen, a condition of approval (#2) addressing this has been recommended.



Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:


1.         There would be no additional traffic generated from this proposal than what would be considered normal residential traffic.

2.                  There would be no impacts on surrounding neighbors.


Unfavorable factors identified:

  1. Existing conditions at the applicant’s driveway onto Route 53 (Thomas Jefferson Parkway) do not meet VDOT’s commercial entrance standards.


Staff Recommendation:

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2004-041, subject to the following conditions:


1.      No business sign shall be permitted.

2.      The aggregate area of the use, including both the home office and the garage kitchen, cannot exceed 25% of the dwelling at any time.  The current limitation is 290 square feet for the garage kitchen

3.      No employees shall be permitted other than members of family residing in the dwelling on premises.

4.      No customer visits to the site shall be permitted.

5.      The applicant shall obtain a zoning compliance clearance and any necessary Health Department approvals prior to use of the garage kitchen for this home occupation.

6.      The applicant shall obtain any necessary approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for sale of food items.





A – Special Use Permit Application

B – Aerial view of the property

C – Photo of Garage Building

D – Location Maps

E – Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance

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