Staff Contact:                                                      Scott Clark

Planning Commission:                                        June 14, 2005

 

SP 2005-00007 The Garden Barn

SDP 2005-00042 The Garden Barn (Kleinmichel)

 

Applicant's Proposal: The applicant is proposing to start a farm sales operation on a 30-acre parcel in the Rural Areas, selling agricultural and horticultural products (trees, flowers, other plants, fruits, vegetables, poultry, etc.). The sales area would be located in an existing shed with a small attached greenhouse.

 

Petition: The applicant is requesting a special use permit to allow farm sales in accordance with Section 10.2.2(45) of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for farm sales. The property, described as Tax Map 21 Parcel 5B1, contains 30.754 acres (of which 3 acres are included in this request) and is zoned RA, Rural Areas.  The proposal is located at 5625 Spring Hill Road (Route 606), approximately 1,500 feet west of its intersection with Seminole Trail (Route 29) in the White Hall Magisterial District. 

                                                         

Character of the Area: The area includes a mix of large farm and forest parcels and small residential parcels. US 29 is located just to the east. This parcel and two adjacent parcels are under conservation easements held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. VOF is aware of this application and has not objected.

 

Planning and Zoning History: This property has no previous special use permits, and no other planning or zoning history.

 

Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area.

 

Recommendation: Staff recommends approval of SP 2005-00007 and SDP 2005-00042 with conditions.

 

STAFF COMMENT (Special Use Permit)

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance below:

 

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,

 

Farm sales operations are a typical land use in the Rural Areas, and this use is not expected to be a detriment to adjacent properties. The applicant has stated that this will be a seasonal business operating during daylight hours.

 

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

 

This is a rural use that is in keeping with the character of the district.

 

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

 

A purpose of the Zoning Ordinance is to “to provide for the preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and other lands of significance for the protection of the natural environment.” One of the purposes of the Rural Areas zoning district is the “[p]reservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;” this use helps to achieve these purposes.

 

with the uses permitted by right in the district,

 

This agricultural use is in harmony with by-right uses in the Rural Areas district and is supportive of agriculture.

 

with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,

 

5.1.35 FARM SALES

a. One (1) farm sales structure may be established per farm. In addition to displays and sales of agricultural or horticultural produce or merchandise which is produced on the farm, it may include companion items not produced on the premises, but intended to be used with the agricultural or horticultural produce which is produced on the farm. The farm sales structure shall not be established until the agricultural or horticultural produce growing area has been established and is in production. Such growing area shall be reestablished on an annual basis.

 

The applicant is aware of these requirements, and has not requested any waivers. The applicant plans to produce trees, plants, vegetables, fowl, and other agriculture products.

 

b. The total retail sales area in the farm sales structure shall not exceed fifteen hundred (1,500) square feet. Greenhouses shall not be counted as part of the total retail sales area, unless one is designated as the farm sales structure. At all times, at least fifty (50) percent of the retail sales area inside the farm sales structure shall be agricultural or horticultural produce or merchandise produced on the premises. The remaining fifty (50) percent area may be companion items. Displays outside the farm sales structure shall be limited to agricultural and horticultural produce only.

 

The retail sales are for this use would be 1,397 square feet. The applicant is aware of the restrictions regarding companion items and outdoor display.

 

c. A preliminary schematic plan in accordance with section 32.4.1 shall be submitted along with, and become a part of, the special use permit application. The plan shall include the area of the farm sales structure, parking and entrance. The plan shall address, in particular, provisions for safe and convenient access from and to the public road, adequacy of delineation of parking, and general information regarding the exterior appearance of the proposed site. Based on the submitted information, the board of supervisors may then waive the requirement for a site development plan in a particular case, upon a finding that the requirement of a site development plan would not forward the purposes of this ordinance or otherwise serve the public interest. No such use shall be established without Virginia Department of Transportation approval of commercial access to the site.

 

The applicant has submitted a preliminary schematic plan (the “Garden Barn Application Plan SP-2005-7,” prepared by Gabriele Kleinmichel, and dated 3/29/05; see Attachment B), which has been reviewed and found sufficient by staff. Community Development staff have found that a waiver of the site plan requirement is appropriate.

 

d. The farm sales structure and parking area shall not be located closer than fifty (50) feet to any adjoining property not under the same ownership. The farm sales structure shall meet front yard setbacks for a primary structure. The parking area shall not be located closer than ten (10) feet to any public or private street right-of-way.

 

The sales and parking areas meet these requirements.

 

e. Farm machinery and equipment (except hand tools), building materials, furniture or other like items, shall not be offered for sale.

 

The applicant is aware of these restrictions.

 

f. All farm sales structures shall meet all applicable requirements of the Virginia Uniform

Statewide Building Code. (Added 10-11-95)

 

The Building Official has stated that the structure meets building code requirements for this use.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

VDOT has stated that entrance improvements will be necessary. The entrance will need to be built as “a 24’ private road connection with 25’ radii.,” and tree cutting or trimming along the road frontage of the applicant’s property will be necessary to provide adequate sight distance.

 

STAFF COMMENT (Site Plan Waiver)

 

The Zoning Ordinance addresses the need for a site plan in Section 32.2.1 which states:

 

32.2.1 A site plan shall be required for any construction, use, change in use or other development in all zoning districts; provided that no site plan shall be required for the following:

 

a. The construction or location of any single-family detached dwelling which is located upon a lot whereon are located or proposed to be located an aggregate of two (2) or fewer dwellings.

 

b. The construction or location of a two-family dwelling on any lot not occupied by any other dwellings.

 

c. Any accessory structure to a single-family detached or two-family dwelling.

 

d. Any agricultural activity except as otherwise provided in section 5.0.

 

e. Any change in or expansion of a use provided that: (1) such change or expansion does not occasion additional parking under the requirements of this chapter; (2) no additional ingress/egress or alteration of existing ingress/egress is recommended by the Virginia Department of Transportation based on intensification of use; (3) no additional ingress/egress or alteration of existing ingress/ egress is proposed. (32.2.1, 1980)

 

This project requires a site plan due to the proposed changes to the entrance only. Parking requirements have been addressed on the preliminary schematic plan to the satisfaction of the Zoning and Current Development division. If no changes to the entrance were proposed or required, this project would not require a site plan.

 

The Zoning Ordinance permits the waiving of the site plan requirement in Section 32.2.2 which states:

 

32.2.2 The foregoing notwithstanding, after notice in accordance with section 32.4.2.5, the commission may waive the drawing of a site plan in a particular case upon a finding that the requirement of such plan would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; provided that no such waiver shall be made until the commission has considered the recommendation of the agent. The agent may recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial of such waiver. In the case of conditional approval, the agent in his recommendation shall state the relationship of the recommended condition to the provisions of this section. No condition shall be imposed which could not be imposed through the application of the regulations of section 32.0. (32.2.2, 1980; Amended 5-1-87)

 

Staff has analyzed this application and is recommending approval of a waiver of the drawing of a site plan, with conditions.  The method staff used to reach this recommendation is included below.

 

The submittal of a site plan meeting all of the criteria of Sections 32.5.6 (Preliminary Site Plan Content) and 32.6.6 (Final Site Plan Content) would not in the opinion of staff forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest.  The submittal of a plan will provide substantially more information than currently provided.  However, the proposed level of development is limited and the plan provided by the applicant for review with the special use permit has allowed staff to analyze the impact on this project on adjacent properties. The applicant will have to obtain a permit from the Virginia Department of Transportation for the improvement of the entrance.  This permitting process by VDOT will insure that the entrance is properly designed and installed.  The scale of this project is limited and the VDOT permitting process will allow adequate protection of the public interest.

 

SUMMARY

 

This is small-scale use that is in accord with the County’s goals for the rural areas. Public safety concerns can be addressed sufficiently through the conditions of approval.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

 

Staff recommends approval of SP 2005-00007 with the following conditions:

 

  1. The site shall be developed, and the farms sales use conducted, in general accord with the preliminary schematic plan entitled “Garden Barn Application Plan SP-2005-7,” prepared by Gabriele Kleinmichel, and dated 3/29/05.
  2. The applicant shall make the entrance improvements specified in a letter from VDOT Assistant Resident Engineer Charles C. Proctor III dated 3/29/05.

 

Staff recommends approval of the site plan waiver, SDP 2005-00042, with the following conditions:

 

  1. The farms sales use shall not begin operation until the improvements described in a letter from VDOT Assistant Resident Engineer Charles C. Proctor III dated 3/29/05 are completed.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

A.     Location Map

B.     Preliminary Schematic Plan for SP 2005-00007

C.     Letter from VDOT regarding entrance improvements

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