ZTA-2005-08 and ZMA-2005-16: Ordinance to amend the EC Entrance Corridor Overlay Zoning District by Addition of segment of State Route 631 (East Rio Road) and to amend the official zoning map to designate certain properties along a segment of Route 631 as being subject to the EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District.




Proposal to add a segment of East Rio Road as an Entrance Corridor.




Margaret Maliszewski







October 11, 2005



ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   




  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   











At its May 4, 2005 meeting, the Board of Supervisors considered a request from the Chair of the Architectural Review Board to reclassify East Rio Road as an arterial highway and to establish it a as an Entrance Corridor Overlay District. In consensus, the Board of Supervisors agreed to support the request. On July 14, 2005 VDOT notified the County that Route 631 (East Rio Road) between Route 29 and the Norfolk Southern Railway has been officially changed to an Urban Minor Arterial. On August 10, 2005 the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution of intent (see Attachment A) to establish the above-noted segment as an Entrance Corridor Overlay District and to amend the zoning map accordingly. The Board of Supervisors directed the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the zoning text and map amendments and make recommendations to the Board as soon as possible.


As outlined in section, in addition to site plan and other development review requirements, EC designation allows the ARB to “specify any architectural feature as to appearance, such as but not limited to, motif and style, color, texture and materials together with configuration, orientation and other limitations as to mass, shape, height and location of buildings and structures, location and configuration of parking areas and landscaping and buffering requirements to the extent such practices are authorized under adopted design guidelines without regard to regulations of the underlying zoning district or [site plan] regulations.“ These powers are qualified later in this section to be subordinate to considerations of health and safety as may be exercised by the Planning Commission. The ARB review process is summarized in Attachment B.




This proposal is consistent with Strategic Direction 2 of the County’s Strategic Plan: Protect the County's Natural, Scenic and Historic Resources.




The re-categorization of East Rio Road as an “arterial” roadway meets one of the two State enabling legislation criteria for local Entrance Corridor designation. The other criterion is that the proposed roadway must represent a significant tourist access route to the locality or to designated historic sites within the County or adjoining localities. East Rio Road provides access from Route 29 North to downtown Charlottesville, which is a historic community.


Designation of East Rio Road automatically applies EC Entrance Corridor Overlay zoning to adjacent lands (based on 1990 parcels) and property within 500’ of the right-of-way. A map of the affected properties is included as Attachment C.




Each final site plan requiring review by the ARB has a fee of $200.00.  Each sign requiring review by the ARB has a fee of $75.00. While each such review provides revenue to the County, the costs associated with these reviews can often exceed the fee received. Staffing of the ARB to cover the existing Entrance Corridors fully utilizes two staff persons. Staff notes that the addition of the Rio East EC will increase this already full workload, further stretching staffing capabilities to administer the Entrance Corridor overlay districts.




Staff recommends that Section 30.6 Entrance Corridor Overlay District be amended to add East Rio Road as a designated EC roadway and that the official zoning map be changed accordingly. Staff recommends adoption of the ordinance as recommended by the County Attorney’s office (Attachment D).




A – Resolution of Intent

B – “Albemarle County Entrance Corridors and the Architectural Review Board”

C – Map of properties proposed for EC designation

D – An ordinance to amend Section 30.6 EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District of the Zoning Ordinance

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