STAFF PERSON:                                                                                    Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                                   July 12, 2005

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                                August 3, 2005

 

SP 2005-0012 SINGLETON STUDIOS

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Applicant’s Proposal: This special use permit request is for a Home Occupation Class B to allow a small music recording studio within an existing barn on a farm in the Rural Areas of the County.  The recording studio would be primarily used by the applicant, who is a musician and lives in the residence on the property. Hours of operation would vary but the applicant has indicated that clients of the proposed recording studio are anticipated mostly on weekends. There are no other employees besides the applicant proposed at this time but home occupation regulations allow up to two.

 

Location/Planning Background:  The property contains about 50 acres and is located at 135 Quandary Farm, which is located along Blenheim Road (Route 727) approximately 1 mile north of the intersection of Blenheim Road and Secretarys Road (Route 708), in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area. The residence on the property was constructed in 1860 and there is no planning or zoning history on the property.

 

Recommendation: Staff has reviewed this request and has not identified any negative impacts that would result from this home occupation, as it will be limited in scale, noise impacts are mitigated, and the building is setback considerable distances from adjoining property lines. Staff recommends approval with limiting conditions:

 

  1. This Home Occupation shall be conducted in accordance with the application plan        Area of Detail (Attachment D); including outdoor lighting plan (Attachment E).

 

2.      Structures used for this home occupation shall be limited to the building labeled Barn on the plat showing a physical survey plat of the property dated July 17, 1996. (Attachment B)

 

A modification to allow an increase in square footage for the home occupation beyond the 25 percent of the primary dwelling allowed in the ordinance has been requested by the applicant. Staff also recommends approval of this modification request.

 

 FULL REPORT

 

Petition: Request for a special use permit to allow a Home Occupation Class B for a recording studio business in accordance with Section 10.2.2.31 of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for Home Occupations Class B. The property is described as Tax Map 103, Parcel 16D, contains approximately 50 acres, and is zoned RA, Rural Area. The property is located at 135 Quandary Farm, which is located along Blenheim Road (Route 727) approximately 1 mile north of the intersection of Blenheim Road and Secretarys Road (Route 708), in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area.

 

Character of the Area: The site, known as Quandary Farm, is located along Blenheim Road and is partly wooded and open on the portion that fronts Blenheim Road. Buildings on the property are set back several hundred feet from property lines. Properties to the south and east of the site are wooded. There are some residential properties along Blenheim Road, north of Quandary Farm. The Lanark Agricultural and Forestal District is located approximately half a mile west of Quandary Farm.

 

Planning and Zoning History: The residence on the property was constructed in 1860 and there is no planning or zoning history on the property.

 

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 home occupation request is of a scale and intensity that would not be counter to this Rural Area policy and the majority of the property will remain in agriculture. The applicant is using an existing barn that will be sound-proofed and has provided a lighting plan. (Attachment E)

 

The Historic Preservation Planner has indicated that Quandary Farm (c. 1860) is located within the proposed Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District and is identified as historic, and contributing to the integrity of the proposed district. However, the low impact use is not expected to adversely impact the historic resources on this property or the adjoining district.

 

 

Staff Comment: Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 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.

 

No detrimental impacts to adjoining properties have been identified.  Noise impacts from the studio will be mitigated and the applicant does not expect more than six vehicle trips per week, primarily on the weekends.

 

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

 

This home occupation would not result in any increased levels of activity on the site or newly constructed buildings 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 Chapter18, 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.

 

No issues were identified during the review process. VDOT field verified that the entrance and sight distance at the entrance are adequate for this use.  This use will not generate traffic beyond that which typically allowed with home occupations. The applicant has estimated about 6 vehicle trips per week would be associated with the recording studio.

 

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 C).  The applicant has requested and provided justification for (Attachment H) a modification to Section 5.2.2.1.a. The square footage of the barn to be used for the recording studio is 960 square feet in size which is more than 25 percent of the floor area of the residence on the property, which is 2250 in size.  The request is still below the maximum limit of 1500 square feet for home occupations.

 

 

Summary:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

 

1.            There would be minimal traffic generated from this proposal.

2.            There would be no noise or lighting impacts on surrounding neighbors.

 

Staff has not found any factors that are unfavorable to this request. 

 

Staff Recommendation:

 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2005-012, subject to the following conditions:

 

  1. This Home Occupation shall be conducted in accordance with the application plan        Area of Detail (Attachment D); including outdoor lighting plan (Attachment E).

 

2.      Structures used for this home occupation shall be limited to the building labeled Barn on the plat showing a physical survey plat of the property dated July 17, 1996. (Attachment B)

 

Staff also recommends approval of the modification to Section 5.2.2.1a of the Zoning Ordinance to allow a building allow floor area more than 25 percent of the floor area of the dwelling.

 

Attachments:

 

A.      Special Use Permit Application

B.     Elevations of Barn (northwest and southeast)

C.     Plat showing Physical Survey of Tax Map 103, Parcel 16D & Boundary Survey of Tax Map 102, Parcel 39J, Tax Map 103, Parcel 16B and Tax Map 113, Parcel 2A Being Quandary Farm Properties, dated November 10, 2000 with Area of Detail

D.     Application Plan Area of Detail

E.     Floor Plan detailing outdoor lighting

F.      Photo of Barn prior to renovations

G.     Photos of Barn currently under renovation

H.     Applicant’s Request for Modification to Section 5.2.2.1.a

I.         Section 5.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance

 Return to PC actions letter