Albemarle County Planning Commission

October 18, 2005 Partial Set

SP-2004-024 and SDP-2004-045 Northtown Center

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, October 18, 2005, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley, Rodney Thomas, Pete Craddock, Jo Higgins, Bill Edgerton, Chairman; and Marcia Joseph, Vice-Chair.  Absent was Calvin Morris and David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia. 

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Stephen Waller, Senior Planner; Jack Kelsey, County Engineer; Francis MacCall, Senior Planner; Mark Graham, Director of Community Development; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Edgerton called the regular meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

                  Public Hearing Items:

 

SP 2004-024 Northtown Center (Sign #8) - Request for special use permit approval, in accordance with Section 24.2.2(13) for a drive-in window for a bank. 

AND

SDP 2004-045 Northtown Center - Request for preliminary site plan approval to allow the construction of a 199,800 gross square foot retail development.  The property is described as Tax Map 45, Parcels 110, 110A, 111, 111A and 111B. The subject parcel contains approximately 15.9 acres, zoned H-C (Highway Commercial) and EC (Entrance Corridor), and AIA (Airport Overlay).  This site is located on the east side of Seminole Trail (US Route 29 N.) immediately opposite Lowes and Kegler's.  A Special Use Permit is also under review for this project, SP 2004-24 (Drive-in for bank).  This site is located in the Rio Magisterial District and is designated as Community Service in Neighborhood 2. (Bill Fritz)

 

Mr. Fritz summarized the staff report.  (Attachment “A”)  The Planning Commission is being requested to take the following three actions:

 

  1. Special Use Permit, SP-04-24: for a drive thru for a bank.
  2. SDP-04-45 Northtown Center Preliminary Site Plan (The site plan has been appealed to the Planning Commission by an abutting owner.  Therefore, the Planning Commission cannot approve it administratively.)
  3. Modification of Section 4.2.3 to allow activity on critical slopes.

 

The highlights of the staff report include the following:

 

The plan reviewed by the ARB has been colored to show the location of the critical slopes.  The applicant has broken the buildings up from the previously reviewed plan.  There is a different arrangement of buildings and parking. 

 

The applicant has changed the design of the streams, which relocates the stream northward. A swale is being provided that will go through the center of the property. There is a storm water management facility at the rear of the property. 

 

This plan does preserve some of the critical slopes.  The blue color indicates a storm water pipe that will convey water.  Basically, it is a two level system. The original amended plan brought in by the applicant had this pipe basically day lighted with a very deep canyon that ran through the center. The applicant has now widened that area out.  The pipe will go underneath carrying water from across 29 to the rear of the property where it gets day lighted into the storm water pond.  There is a second level where storm water from this site itself will flow, which eventually will arrive at the same elevation.  He pointed out that there was a 12 foot difference in this area.  The existing pond will be a water quality swale, which will provide water quality along its length. 

 

The plan before the Commission was reviewed by the ARB at its meeting of October 3, 2005.  He read their action as follows:

 

“Based on the ARB’s preliminary review of the plan submitted at the meeting and dated 10-3-05 and acknowledging staff’s lack of the ability to review because of the submittal timing, the ARB has no objection to the modification for activity on critical slopes because the loss of aesthetic resources, specifically the forest and the ravine, are regained in the new dry stream bed bridge, limited use of retaining walls, bridges, expected abundant planting and reduction of exposed foundations with additional grading.”

 

The critical slopes modification was evaluated in light of the stream assessment plan, the open space plan and the new findings by the Architectural Review Board. Staff is recommending approval of the request to the Planning Commission.

 

Staff has also outlined the three areas where the Planning Commission needs to make a finding and has provided some comments.  Staff is generally recommending that the Commission find this to be something that can be approved.  If there are any questions, he would be happy to answer them.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there were any questions for staff.

 

Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Fritz to point out the location of the 18 foot retaining wall, and Mr. Fritz pointed to the location towards the rear of the property.

 

Mr. Thomas asked what will happen to the stream and how will it be taken care of during the construction and the disturbing of the creek bed

 

Mr. Fritz stated that staff has not reviewed the erosion control plan because it has not been submitted yet.  But, obviously in all plans where there is any sort of a live stream the applicant’s engineer would have to account for the creation of the storm water management facility before they do the work in the stream bed.  So as they are relocating the stream it will be going to an erosion and sediment control facility and not a storm water facility. So in all likelihood he might want to ask the applicant if they have thought about this because they will need to start at the rear of the property, since it is the lowest point, to put in the erosion control measures and then work upstream from there.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the way he was reading the drawings the existing stream will not exist anymore since it will be a series of erosion controls and pipes connecting them.  He felt that if this plan is approved it would be wrong to think that any stream is going to exist.  The water will be directed down through the series of pipes.

 

Mr. Thomas asked what is going to happen to the stream and if it was still going to be there.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that the stream would in all likelihood have to be captured within various designs and would eventually end up in this storm water pipe.  There is a pipe that comes across the road now.  It is a less defined area that comes together, but the main flow is through the pipe.  The stream gets substantially moved. That is a correct assessment of the situation.  He stated that there would be a water swale through the center of the property collecting the storm water from the various properties.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that in the eyes of the ARB that mitigates the damaged critical slopes, and Mr. Fritz replied yes, along with the plantings that will go in and other things.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that there was a lot less pavement than it was on the previous plan.

 

Mr. Fritz acknowledged that there needs to be additional storm water management facilities placed on this site as part of the final review.  There will probably be multiple bio-filters that will need to be placed throughout the site. They will need to do a much more detailed analysis to demonstrate that they can achieve the storm water requirements that they have to meet.  There is no waiver or modification of those regulations.

 

Mr. Thomas asked can an engineer who designs the bio-filters be able to get a percentage like 90 percent of waste that comes off of that paved lot to be retained in those bio-filters.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that he could not answer that engineering question.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there were any other questions for staff.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission on this application.

 

Wendell Wood stated that the Commission was familiar with this project.  The Commission made it clear at the last meeting that the site should be developed with more sensitivity to the slopes and the terrain of the property.  The Commission asked that they address the critical slopes as a feature of the site, and he believed that the Commission will see that they have done that after reviewing what they have done. The plan on the board shows virtually all of the critical slopes on the site.  They have requested to use the building on the right hand side of the pond next to Route 29, which is still on critical slopes. A double sided building that has architecture on both sides is being proposed, which was designed to shield the parking lot.  There was a 28 foot high retaining wall on the first plan, which has been deleted.  On the current plan there would be an 8 foot cut as opposed to the 30 foot cut shown on the previous plan. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked how the 10 foot cut would be held up without a wall.

 

Mr. Wood stated that they have pulled the buildings away from Woodbrook and are just using a slope. There is a 20 foot undisturbed buffer plus almost an additional 20 foot of landscape buffer with no walls before getting to any impervious materials such as parking or buildings.  He noted that there would be 38 to 40 feet of buffer.  He stated that Tim Miller of Rivanna Engineering and Mr. Bhatt, the engineer, have come up with a pretty ingenious design for handling the critical slope.  In the middle drawing, you can see the pipe coming under 29, which is obviously at the first pond. At that point today it is about 28 feet deep to the creek to the elevation of the new parking lot.  They have piped that down to the detention pond and are coming back in and filling it approximately 12 to 14 feet on top of that pipe in the critical slope area. They are technically disturbing the critical slopes, but they are enhancing the critical slopes that are there, but with no buildings.  Then they are enhancing it to become bio-filters.  All of that will be the same grade through there.  Therefore, it will become truly a scenic visual enhancement to what is there.  After this is done it will be 12 feet below the parking lot as opposed to 28 feet.  The two passages are actually little bridges going across.  So instead of all of this being filled and piped you get to the southern portion by going across two bridges.  They really do think that they have listened to the Commission and done what they have been asked to do.  The ARB was very complimentary of what they have done.  He noted that his engineer was here to answer any questions.  But, as owner of the property, they have to meet this criterion. Or they don’t get a permit or approval to even start the project if the County does not approve the plan that says takes care of the stream while it is under construction.  That is a function of which they would not get final site plan approval.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if the existing retention pond would disappear.

 

Mr. Wood stated that it would be in its present state, but it was going to be raised.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if they would still have capacity to retain some water in that also.  He pointed out that he wanted the adjacent owners to be able to hear the answers to these questions.

 

Mr. Wood deferred the question to his engineer, Tim Miller.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if the capacity of the existing retention pond that VDOT put in was going to be the same.

 

Mr. Tim Miller, of Rivanna Engineering, stated that the capacity would be in the rear storm water management facility.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if they were going to do away with the retention pond next to 29 and move it to the back of the property and double or increase the size to hold all of the water that was coming off of 29 and the parking lots.

 

Mr. Miller replied yes, the rear facility would be more for the volume control to ensure that there was no increase in runoff to the downstream.

 

Mr. Thomas asked what the capacity is of the back retention pond.  He asked if a thunderstorm would just blow it out or would it get deep enough to where it would ease the water out.

 

Mr. Miller replied yes, that the final site plan process would require calculations to be provided to the County for review to show that the post-development runoff and that the post-development runoff is at or less than the pre-development.  So there will be some containment in that rear facility during a ten-year or twenty-year storm.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it was limited to the ten-year storm water containment.

 

Mr. Miller stated that it can top to the 100-year, but the volume may increase during the 100-year storm.

 

Ms. Joseph pointed out that it looked like the plan had three different storage facilities.

 

Mr. Miller stated that was the plan during their discussions with the ARB.   Now they have come up with an alternative front portion now, and have submitted that plan.

 

Ms. Joseph asked what happens in that plan.

 

Mr. Miller stated that as Mr. Wood was saying previously, this invert of the existing pipe is approximately 25 feet below 29. They made every effort in this plan to try and maintain that depth without infilling that portion.  The ARB looked at that as though it would not be an aesthetic resource. Therefore, they suggested again extending the pipe through.  They had this water quality swale in the middle and they wanted that continued on up through so it would be one continuous.  So now they have this larger water quality swale forming from front to rear for water quality.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that she was seeing some pipes coming out, which was taking care of the water.

 

Mr. Miller stated that water would then drain into these water quality swales and removes the pollutants.  But, then in here it picks up in the underground system and is carried into the rear basin, which is for the volume control.  It would maintain one of the critical slope areas.  This is the plan that engineering reviewed indicating that they need to have more water quality measures. That is pretty much doubling what they had.  If you were to take a section, it would be an arched culvert with brick siding so that you would be able to see a stream effect from 29 looking back.  It will be replacing the stream, if you will.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that there could be significant landscaping along the banks.

 

Mr. Miller stated that the water quality swale itself has grasses and shrubs that are required and then there would be additional spaces for landscaping as well.  In one area they had loading spaces with a retaining wall and in response to the ARB concerns; they have moved those over on the site and eliminated that wall.

 

Ms. Higgins asked if there would be any retaining walls around the site.

 

Mr. Miller stated that Mr. Fritz had indicated that this would be an 18 foot wall from a cut section here.  He believed that there would be a 12 foot wall around one portion.  He pointed out that the plan was changed to address the ARB’s concerns.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if the rear basin had been changed, and Mr. Miller replied that they did not modify the rear basin.

 

Mr. Rieley asked what the depth was of that and if there was a pool elevation at the bottom of it or is it strictly a storm water detention facility.

 

Mr. Miller stated that it was a dry pond. 

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it looked like there were some pretty steep slopes going down to it.

 

Mr. Miller noted that they have guardrail along the top, which is now a fence.  He commented from what he recalled that might be a 3:1 slope on one side and a 2:1 slope on the other because they were trying to maintain the natural grade at the bottom.

 

Mr. Fritz stated to answer the question regarding fencing, that the applicant will be required to provide a Building Code type barrier so that no one could get down over that from any of the parking areas to get over that wall.  It will be more than a guardrail.  He pointed out that the ARB had commented during their review that the rear basin would not be visible from 29.

 

Ms. Joseph noted that it might be the basin itself, but the fence would probably be visible from 29.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if there was a certification on the waste water that runs off of the parking lot into the bio-filters that required it to be checked once a year.

 

Mr. Fritz replied that as part of the approval process there is a maintenance agreement that they have to enter into.  They have a monitoring program, but he was not sure what the frequency of it is.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if it was a requirement that the certificate be turned in periodically.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that Mr. Thomas was talking about testing the water runoff.  She pointed out that there was no water quality testing, but the design is based on a certain end result and that design has to be verified that it does not wash out and it functions properly.

 

Mr. Fritz noted that the inspections verify that the systems that were designed and installed are still in place, still operating properly and if the thing needs to cleaned or repaired.  But, there is no water testing.

 

Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Kamptner if the storm water maintenance agreement was something that was recorded at the Clerk’s Office after the applicant paid his $18.00.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that was correct.  The storm water maintenance agreement runs with the land.  The frequency of maintenance he could not recall off hand, but it is specified in the agreement.

 

Ms. Higgins asked Mark Graham to come forward to answer this question.

 

Mark Graham. Director of Community Development, stated that the agreement does not have a requirement for regular scheduled inspections by the owner, but the County or staff has the ability.  This is part of the Storm Water Management Program that the County Board just approved.  The County actually has inspector on board to do these inspections.

 

Ms. Higgins asked if they do water quality testing.

 

Mr. Graham stated that the inspector does not test water quality.  They do have the ability to test water quality if they need to, but that is part of a separate permit that they have for our municipal separate storm sewer system.

 

Mr. Thomas if there is a mechanism, bonding device or something that could be happening to protect the damage downstream of people’s individual wells for a certain amount of years.

 

Mr. Fritz replied that he was unaware of any.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that there is no County requirement under the site plan regulations that would require bonding for potential damage off site resulting from construction activities.  It is something that the owner or developer has to deal with.  The County cannot impose it because the regulations don’t provide for it.

 

Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Wood if he would be willing to guarantee against any damage downstream for any length of time.

 

Mr. Wood stated that obviously he believed that under most any law that if he creates a problem that he is held liable for that.  If he has done it and someone says that he has damaged their property or well that he thought that there were plenty of laws on the book that the owner that caused the damage is going to be held responsible. He suggested that the Commission ask the attorney, but he believed that was the way that it works.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that generally that is the case.

 

Mr. Wood hoped that the Commission looked at this in the light of what they have done.  It is not a very simple process to show them what they have done, but he felt that they have grasped a little of it.  But, it really has been a concerted effort to meet their charge to them to develop on this site.  They have been sensitive to the site.  He pointed out that the engineering department, ARB and staff have recommended approved.  They have taken the residents’ issues that have been before the Commission in the past and think that they have pulled back from the required setbacks, eliminated retaining walls and made what is a critical slope into an enhanced feature of the site.  There is a particular criterion of landscaping, etc. required for what this water quality has to meet.  He asked that the Commission support their proposal.  They have met with the residents over the last five years and think they know what their concerns were.  The concerns were the critical slopes, setbacks, landscaping, etc.  They have taken those concerns into consideration and feel that they have met them.  He felt that they have satisfied the needs of the majority of the people, except those who wanted a park.

 

Mr. Edgerton invited comment from other members of the public.  The first person on the sign up sheet was Lee Freudbrug.

 

Lee Freudbeug, resident of Albemarle County at 2924 Idlewood Drive, stated that in listening there were a few points that he would like to make.  One of his concerns was the request for modification to the critical slopes on this property.  As he reads the report there are a total of 15.9 acres and the critical slopes comprise 2.4 acres, which is 15 percent of the site.  The number of critical slopes disturbed is 2 acres, which is 85 percent of the critical slopes.  He further understands from his reading that this stream that is spring fed and a continuously flowing stream across the property will be buried under 20 feet of fill of 100,000 cubic yards of land that is going to be transferred from one part of the property to the other.  So he fails to see how this could be characterized as an enhancement of the critical slopes when the stream itself is going to virtually disappear and turn into a pipe underneath of the property.  It has been mentioned by Mr. Fritz himself that there is no erosion control plan yet.  He believed that Mr. Rieley mentioned here that the existing stream will be gone.  To create the impression that somehow these critical slopes are going to be enhanced by this process would amount to going on to the property and shooting the deer that are there and then putting up plastic deer as replicate for them and saying that everything is the same.  It just does not look right.  According from the report’s conclusions, it appears that there is only one-half of the required bio-filter area possible in the proposed plan.  Other shortcomings are noted.  He understands that this preliminary site plan basically falls short by about 50 percent of engineering requirements in order to make all of these engineering requirements work, which he was not versed in.  Issues were brought up tonight about the water quality.  According to Mr. Wood, the standard for enforcement of any damage that may occur downstream would be basically for the property owner to bring a civil lawsuit for damages against him.  This places the burden on the property owner rather than on the developer to take care of the water quality issues that may impinge upon the adjoining landowners.  In addition, it seems that this preliminary plan should not be approved.  Once it happens it is going to move to realization.  He felt that there was still so much left in this plan that needs to be addressed that those should be taken care of before it is moved for approval.  He respectfully requested that this plan not be approved and that the critical slopes waiver not be granted.  Briefly, in the Places29 vision statement, the northern development areas will be a place where open space, the character of the surrounding rural areas and the natural environment had been preserved and enhanced.  This looks like they will be stepping back in time instead of forward with the vision that they have for our County.

 

Professor Gobar had left the meeting, but had previously submitted written comments against the proposal.  (Attachment “B”)       

  

Mary Ann Thompson had left the meeting.

 

Leon Gorman pointed out that Mary Ann Thompson had left the meeting, but had asked him to read one small statement. He pointed out that they had signed up together, but she had to leave because they were running so late. 

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the Commission’s rules preclude that.

 

Ms. Joseph suggested that he give Ms. Thompson’s letter to someone else in the audience to read.

 

Mr. Gorman stated that the first picture was of one of the lakes in close proximity of the proposed development. That is a very healthy lake. (Attachment “C”) They believe that lake adds to the value of Albemarle County and is an asset.  According to Places29, they wanted to preserve the existing neighborhoods.  This proposal will damage the lake and other numerous properties and will be dangerous to personal health of the people who live there.  The second picture is of VDOT that is doing work about 200 yards down the hill from this lake and they cut out the stream on the watershed side of Carrsbrook Drive.  That is the side that the proposed development is supposed to be on.  You can see how it is all dried up. They cut the water off.  There were springs in there.  He spoke with the VDOT people and the springs did not fill that part up at all.  This beautiful lake and all of the subsequent lakes right close to the proximity to that property are going to look like this during the construction phase if that happens.  That is horrible.  It not only reflects on Albemarle County, but it is also reflective of the people who own those properties and it will look awful.  What is a watershed?  From the Daily Progress, a watershed is an area of land that slopes or drains to lake, river, stream, wetland, ocean or other waterways.   When precipitation occurs water travels from the highest to the lowest point and usually the water crossing forest or agricultural or suburban land. Healthy watersheds are a vital component of a healthy environment. Watersheds act as a filter for runoff.  As development encroaches a natural area the filtering system of the watershed is replaced by impervious surfaces such as concrete and asphalt.  This creates a situation where water runs off these surfaces in sheets carrying with it a variety of pollutants.  Anything on the impervious surfaces such as gasoline and oil, litter and debris is swept away by the runoff and carried directly into a waterway. He stated that he had several comments from the Water Control Act.  From the Constitution of Virginia, Article 11, further it should be the Commonwealth’s policy to protect it atmosphere, lands and water from pollution, impairment or destruction for the benefit and enjoyment of the general welfare of the people.  On page 14 of the site plan it gives reasons for critical slopes.  The provisions created implemented the Comprehensive Plan by protecting and conserving steep hillsides together with the public’s interest.  It is recognition of increased potential for soil erosion, sedimentation, and water pollution.  That is why a critical slope is created.  These provisions are intended to direct building and septic system locations to train more suitable to development to discourage development on critical slopes.  Article 9 on page 9 says that a waiver can be allowed for anything that is for the public’s health and safety, and they can allow a waiver for a critical slope.  He challenged the Commission because gas is not healthy and will be coming down these streams.  There is no guarantee on how much that filtration system is going to stop. Those streams and lakes are going to be polluted.  He felt that this will be very unhealthy, particularly because he has asthma.

 

Richard Arthur, resident of Carrsbrook, supported the comments of the first speaker.  The first proposal for this property was very much like the new proposal and it was rejected because of the critical slope issue.  He submitted that still destroying 85 percent of the critical slopes have not made this plan better.  It is the same old thing, but just repackaged.  He urged the Commission to reject this proposal.

 

Chris Honenbergerger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Second Bank and Trust, stated that he appeared before the Commission in the previous occasion and indicated their interest.  He pointed out that the bank’s proposed building was the small building on the northwest corner of the property.  They are very interested in this location.  Their holding company, Virginia Financial Group, is interested in a substantial investment in the building immediately behind what would be their bank.  This would bring a number of executive positions for our holding company to the Charlottesville market.  These would be well paying jobs or corporate jobs.  He felt that their increased involvement in the community would be an enhancement to the community.  They have followed this project for over two years and want to compliment the developer, Mr. Wood, for making efforts to accommodate this property with a comprehensive development that is sensitive to the site and the neighbors.

 

Tom Linebocken, a 30 year resident of the County and 50 year resident of Carrsbrook, asked to speak for his neighbor Michael Coppola who had to leave the meeting.  His message was briefly that the notion was somehow that this plan is less bad than the plans that have come before this group for that site.  As you can see from the details in the plan it still destroys most of the critical slope and the stream that is there.  He felt that they would prefer a stream to a storm water swale and would prefer the critical slopes to the parking lots.  If the choice is between this and other plans, maybe this plan is a little bit more favorable.  But, if the choice is between this plan and what is there now, which is woods, streams and critical slopes that he felt that the residents of the County would choose what is there now.

 

Dean Wenger, President of Carrsbrook Association, stated that he had been the President for over six months and the thing he had heard over and over again is quality of life in Carrsbrook and largely the quality of life has centered over the lakes that exist in Carrsbrook.  Mr. Wood said that he has listened to the residents of Carrsbrook in developing this plan.  The one thing that is absolutely critical in listening to the residents of Carrsbrook is the quality of those lakes.  Tonight they have heard that during construction he will follow the minimum requirements that are set out by law.  One of the things that would go a long way to alleviating the concerns of the community is what he would do beyond the minimum.  For example, that a bond will be posted during construction so if something happens it will be there to appropriately deal with those things.  What about a long term bond?  Mr. Thomas asked if he would put something up and there was no response.  Again and again he hears from the residents that the quality of their life there is centered on those lakes and that is what makes Carrsbrook unique.  In the staff report, which recommends approval of the critical slopes waiver, it say, “Staff has not found that approval would be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare to adjacent properties.”  He submits to the Commission that it would be in fact detrimental to the adjacent properties without some kind of long term plan to deal with runoff to those lakes.

 

Ray Caddell, resident of Carrsbrook, pointed out from looking around the room he found that it was a very stable community.  He stated that he enjoyed living in Carrsbrook.  He pointed out that he was on public water and could not see this development from his house since his house was located at the end of Dover Road.  The lights will not bother him.  He just went to the meeting to support his neighbors.  He stated that he was a real estate broker, a class A contractor, a small developer and a big private property rights guy. So he thought that Mr. Wood ought to be able to develop his property.  He felt that the critical slopes must not be so critical if they could allow them to be moved from one spot to another.  It just does not seem that critical applies in this case.  People keep using words such as stream effect if you will.  He felt that it was a stream or it was not a stream.  Another word used water quality swale was something that he had no idea what it means.  If there was not some sort of mechanism with an erosion and sedimentation bond that can be put into place that has some teeth in it that will stand for a very long time to protect the quality of the watershed of the ponds and lakes, most importantly the wells of the people who do live in this neighborhood and depend on the quality of the water that comes out of the ground, he just thinks all they can say about the plan is that it is not as bad as the last one, but it is just not good enough.

 

Peter Seffarati stated that he just moved into Carrsbrook ten days ago and was not familiar with all of these issues.  He understands that the stream that is fed by the springs that are going to be buried feed these lakes.  It was mentioned that during construction these lakes may go dry.  Then he had another concern about the fact that not only you might have runoff from gasoline or oil from cars parked on those parking lots, but he had a concern about poison and toxic materials that might be on other trucks that might be damaged from accidents that might find its way into that water system.  The owner of the property suggests that if they suffer damage to their properties that we have the avail of the court system to seek remedies.  That may sound good on its face, however, he could envision a situation where you have a non-human entity that owns and controls that property heavily mortgaged with no equity at all in it.  There would be no place to go to for damages.  It is too easy to get around that legally.  So if the developer is allowed to develop this kind of a project, then more power to him.  But, he felt that the property owners downstream need to be protected some how by the actions of this Board or the County so that they are not forced to try to go after a straw man in court for damages and be left with this Board being responsible for a lot of dead lakes downstream.  That is not unlikely to happen. 

 

Jerry Peperson, resident of Woodbrook, stated that he had been drafted by Mr. Gorman sitting next to him to read this statement from Mary Ann Thompson.  He read, “Given the history of this project I have no confidence that Mr. Wood will be able or has any intent to rebuild the destroyed critical slopes in any way, shape or form that will come close to replicating what now exists.  I will be extremely disappointed if you approve this plan.  I give the rest of my time to Mr. Gorman from our Carrsbrook Committee.  Mr. Gorman did mention to me that he was not aware of any opportunity to meet with Mr. Wood who said that there were meetings within the community.  He said that he has been very involved with this, but he did not have such an opportunity.”  The only thing that he could add on his own was that everyone has seen the Carrsbrook property and the lakes.  It is an unusually beautiful neighborhood and he could easily see why everybody was emotional disturbed by this and any negative impacts that may happen to those lakes.  He felt that they already have some examples of this in other lakes in the area with previous developments.  Therefore, he did not think that it was just a moot point that was being brought up here to argue on.  These are real issues and deserve to be considered.

 

Joe Mason, resident of Carrsbrook, stated that he appreciated Mr. Fritz’s accessibility to the residents in helping them understand the plan.  He felt that the most pertinent issue is the crossroads between maximum property development and respect for the terrain.  The Neighborhood Model clearly states that respect for terrain is integral to the Comprehensive Plan.  This is the eighth plan by his count that has been submitted and they all require a critical slopes waiver.  The Zoning Ordinance states that waivers for critical slopes may be granted, but only excluding the proprietary interest of the developer.  As far as he was concerned the only reason for granting a waiver is for the proprietary interest of the developer.  Eighty percent of this property could be developed without disturbing the critical slopes at all.  Mr. Fritz stated that any man-made filtration system is inferior to the natural vegetation of the land. So he hoped that they could develop with foresight and be able to prevent problems before they arise because private remedies are not appropriate and may not even be feasible.  He asked the Commission to please have the stamina to reject any plan that calls for a critical slopes waiver.

 

John Gallangher, resident of Woodbrook, asked the Commission not to approve this plan, at least not until more modifications are made to it.  The plan is better, but he did not think they were there yet.  He also requests when the modifications are made that this plan go back through the approval process and back through Bill Fritz.  They need to ensure that they get this right.  This plan has no respect for the topography of the land.  The plan, as you heard, moves 85 percent of the critical slopes.  Do they have an ordinance prohibiting that or don’t we?  It moves a stream.  Will it kill the stream in the process?  They do not know.  Please don’t move the stream killing it and the ponds downstream. Why does every square inch need to be developed?  He saw in the paper lately that the buffer for the Waffle House seems to be inadequate.  If you look closely here you will see a much bigger thing being stuck in between existing neighborhoods.  It will be a much larger Waffle House.  The buffers between Northside and Woodbrook he feels are still inadequate.  He was not an engineer, but when he looked at the map he did not see the glorious 60 foot ones Mr. Wood alluded to.  They are much too small and there is no fence to prevent foot traffic cutting from the commercial site through the residential area.  Why more effort can’t be made for larger buffers and fences.  Mr. Wood is not working with neighbors. If he did he would not put a restaurant with its smells deep into the neighborhood.  Wouldn’t it be nicer for the neighbors if the restaurant was located out on 29 instead of in somebody’s backyard?  This would be along with the food, the barrels, and the loading docks and associated rats.  Speaking of smells, last time he was here he told the Commission about the pump station that was not designed well.  They get a lot of sewer smells through Woodbrook and it will only get worse in our neighborhood when the shopping center opens and begins pumping waste.  He believed that a bank wanted to relocate here and he suspects that they were fighting some finance.  They welcome their business.  But, do they think that they are building bridges with the community by sticking a shopping center into our neighborhoods like this when they know they can do better with the site plan.  He asked that they make modifications to the plan protecting the slopes, the stream and providing better buffers with fences.  Please don’t forget the families in the two neighborhoods who will bear the brunt of your decision for as long as they live in Woodbrook and Carrsbrook. Would this be acceptable in your backyard?  Please fix the sewer smell!  He believed that the ARB report said that they did not have adequate time to review the plan, which was not the flowery recommendation that they heard from Mr. Wood.  He thanked the Commission for their time.

 

There being no further public comment, Mr. Edgerton closed the public hearing to bring the matter back to the Commission for further consideration.

 

Mr. Thomas asked to go back to the discussion that he had with Mr. Wood and try to get something out of it, particularly on the runoff and the silt during the construction.  He asked if this was recommended if there was anyway to stipulate that a triple, quadruple silt screen starting at the bottom could be required.  He asked if they can require more that what the Code requires.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that the Commission could if the they feel that it is a reasonable condition to require additional erosion control measures in order to approve a critical slopes modification.  He thought that those two are related to one another.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that they had heard a lot of reference to downstream lakes. In looking at the existing condition sheet where there is a sewer line that runs along the existing stream, she did not see any stream designation on whether there is a perennial flow.  She suggested that the applicant address if there is a relocation or diversion of the stream in any way so that they can sequence it so that the flow is maintained.  It would be design criteria, but it is done all of the time.  She wanted to make it clear that if there is a perennial flow in the stream that should be maintained.  In other words, that there is a path for it to flow before it is cut off on the other side.  She was not sure if it is, but suggested that they ask Mr. Miller.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that he knew the answer to that question.  The findings on the stream are that it is not designated as a perennial stream, although field visits to the site indicated that it has perennial characteristics.  But, it is not designated on the USGS map as a perennial stream.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that the elusion to springs could be that the springs are not all in one location and they could be throughout the property. They could be from this location down to where the lakes are.  But, they can still address either by a condition or stressing that when staff does the storm water management plan that the sequence during construction and throughout the process be addressed so that if there is a natural flow that it be maintained. 

 

Ms. Joseph referred to page 59 where it shows the location of the lakes, the drainage patterns and how this works together.  There are a lot of drainage areas that go into these lakes.

 

Ms. Higgins recalled that on the west side development on 29 there was some deterioration of streams and the goal would be to improve upon that.  Sometimes a deteriorating condition will accelerate in deterioration in its natural state.  But, if they could deal with the stress by putting a condition on the storm water management plan that during the construction sequence that they adequately address that any natural flow is maintained.  She felt that was an important factor.

 

Mr. Rieley supported Ms. Higgins suggestion. He also thought that there was a reasonable nexus between the disturbance of critical slopes and the quality of the streams.  Therefore, they should not be concerned only with the peak flow between the two- and ten-year storms.  But, in fact they should be concerned with water quality.  There are state accepted mechanisms that require a wet pond for at least a part of the detention area.  But, there is a very simple formula relating to the number of square feet of drainage area and the amount of storage area in the pond that has a relationship with taking the sediment out.  He felt that the biggest concern about these ponds was with the sediment not coming down.  He agreed with Ms. Higgins and suggested that they also consider ways to deal with the water quality of these streams.

 

Ms. Joseph pointed out that there was a bonding process for erosion and sediment control measures on the site plan itself.  She asked Mr. Graham to talk a little bit about what happens when someone is in violation and they get phone calls from adjacent neighbors because of mud in the streams.

 

Mr. Graham stated that with erosion and sediment control the County follows the state requirements.  Therefore, our state requirements are what need to be included in an erosion and sediment control plan.  Those capture most of the sediment, but he would not say that they capture all of the sediment.  They will never capture all of the sediment.  There will be sediment during construction that will flow down to the downstream ponds, which is just part of construction.  We do see circumstances where sediment gets in the downstream property, and they look at that from the perspective if the erosion and sediment control facility is operating properly.  If it is, then there is no violation of the law.  There is no need for them to require them to do anything else.  If the facility has failed for some reason or if it was not properly cleaned or maintained, yes, they could stop construction and require that it be brought back to order.  To the question of the downstream property owners, what he had heard from them about the possible damage to their property, that yes, as far as the County ordinances are concerned, that is a private matter between two property owners.  The County enforces the ordinances that exist and require certain measures for the development to put in place during construction.  If they do that, then they are in compliance with the County ordinance.  But, that is not a perfect measure. 

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that in the critical slopes waiver process the conditions that the Commission can impose may open up some avenues to protect the downstream property owners.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that those lakes have filled up with sediment.  One pond, which is to the right of Carrsbrook Drive, is filled up to the extent now that it is no longer just a lake because it also has wetlands in it.  When he checked into cleaning the lakes out and DEQ got into the environmental aspects of it, he found that they could not do it because it was wetlands.  He asked if the property owners who own those lakes could have gone to Lowe’s, Woodbrook or whoever built all of those places that caused that silt or is that silt just a everyday occurrence of the water flowing through this field.

 

Mr. Graham stated that it was both, which was one of the complicating factors. What they have seen in past circumstances is that it is extremely difficult for the downstream property owners to be able to bring something against the upstream property owner.  You can’t determine how much of the sediment came from which site and how much of the sediment was natural stream bank erosion that was occurring versus what was associated with construction activity.  Therefore, it is a combination of things.  For example, the upstream pond there that was constructed as part of the VDOT construction that he had been told institutively that thing blew out at least once during construction and dumped a load of sediment in the downstream pond.

 

Mr. Thomas pointed out that it was full of sediment now.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that ponds do require maintenance over time, and if not cleaned they don’t retain their capacity. The issue with silting in on the upper end as the water slows down and drops sediment can grow vegetation and becomes wetlands and in itself become a water quality feature for that pond.

 

Mr. Graham stated that her point was excellent that ponds naturally will fill with sediment without anybody doing anything particularly onerous above them.  It happens all of the time out in the rural area. 

 

Mr. Thomas asked if that was the maximum that they could get the developer to do.

 

Mr. Graham stated that as Mr. Kamptner said that it appears that some conditions could be to require erosion and sediment control measures above and beyond those required by the ordinance as a condition of approval of an item. 

 

Mr. Rieley asked if he could talk about the issue of a long term mechanism to decrease downstream sediment flowing into the ponds.

 

Mr. Graham stated that in that regard ironically the development answers some of that question with the storm water management facilities that he would be putting in they would capture by the nature of getting pollutants much more of this sediment than is currently being caught.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if the normal state requirement for water quality typically involves a ration between the run off of paved areas and the volume of wet storage.

 

Mr. Graham stated yes, that is correct that there is a ratio.  The water protection that the County requires is required through the State storm water management regulations.  It is directly correlated to the amount of impervious cover that is on that property such as parking lots, buildings, sidewalks and things of that nature.

 

Mr. Rieley stated as this project is currently designed would it meet that criteria.  He asked if it would be required to meet the wet storage.

 

Mr. Graham stated that it would be required to meet the criteria.  He pointed out that they don’t specify the mechanism, but the result.  It will be required to demonstrate that the impact associated with the development and the additional pollutants that would run off as a result of creating this impervious cover have been addressed through onsite storm water management measures.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked how that is demonstrated to satisfy the County’s requirements.

 

Mr. Graham stated that to satisfy the County requirements there is a calculation formula, which is called the simple method, which works with the amount of impervious cover.   It establishes a percent of the pollutants that would be washing off.  Then they have a range of facility types that would meet that pollutant loading that was being created by this particular development.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that they would of course have to address not just what was created by this development, but by the VDOT pond that it is displacing also.

 

Mr. Graham stated that was correct.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that the two would have to be added together.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that in that calculation they obviously have a pipe coming across 29 feeding into this site right now.  That pipe is going to continue to be there.  Unless he was mistaken, there is probably some stuff coming off of the parking lot from the other side that is also going to be contributing to this.  He asked if that was correct.

 

Mr. Graham stated that actually upstream from this basin the County has its own regional storm water basin, which is called the Kegler’s basin.  Most of the development in that area runs into that basin.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that therefore the water from Better Living or Jim Price, etc. was not coming through this pipe.

 

Mr. Graham stated that the County routinely cleans out that basin.

 

Mr. Thomas asked to go back to the bond issue and ask the applicant to come forward so he could ask him if he would be willing to extend the bond for a couple of years to protect the wells downstream.

 

Ms. Higgins pointed out that the bond for the E & S plan would address anything that was not included on the E & S plan.

 

Mr. Thomas pointed out that he was talking about a type of voluntary bond offered by the applicant to protect the wells for two or for some specific period of time.

 

Ms. Higgins suggested that they ask Mr. Graham how this would relate to the wells because wells are sub service wells and E & S plans would cover surface, and they have not drawn any relationships between those two issues.

 

Mr. Graham stated that staff would have a very difficult time finding any direct link or nexus that the sediment coming from this site was in any way impairing anybody’s well.  It would be very difficult for us to predict that accurately in advance.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it would be hard to find any links between the critical slopes or the drive-in window to that issue as well.

 

Ms. Joseph felt that it was a personal matter between the applicant and the neighborhood.

 

Mr. Thomas asked if there would be any dynamiting on the property.

 

Mr. Wood stated that the site has been test bored and the depth to which they would be cutting there was no rock.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that there was a concern that the dynamite would cause damage with the shaking.

 

Mr. Wood stated that rock was not hit any dept.  To answer the question, he stated that there would be no dynamite.

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that the Commission has several decisions to make.

 

Mr. Wood asked to respond to the request, and Mr. Edgerton invited Mr. Wood to address the Commission.

 

Mr. Wood stated that Mr. Thomas had mentioned something about providing extra measures.  He stated that they would be willing to proffer a double row of silt fencing that the County would suggest them to provide.

 

Ms. Higgins noted that it would have to be a condition because they don’t take proffers.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that central to his concerns in the past have been the fact that Carrsbrook and Woodbrook are such great communities and deserve whatever protection that they can reasonably and legally give them.  He certainly agreed that a natural environment is more desirable than pavement for the adjacent property owners.  One of the speakers said that if the choice was between this and the previous plans, that this plan is better.  If the choice was between this and what is there now, then what is there now is better.  But, that is not the choice.  This property is zoned commercial.  When they met in a work session with Mr. Wood the Commission raised several concerns.  They asked that the stream corridor be opened up and not have parking or buildings located on top of the stream, and he has done that.  They asked him to break up the massing of the building into smaller scale buildings, and he had done that.  They asked him to take it to the ARB before he brought it back, and he has done that. They asked for diminution in the scale of the walls on the perimeter of the site, and he has done that.  Therefore, he felt that this has come back to the Commission with a genuine attempt to address the specific issues that they raised. He did not think that whatever shortcomings, since they could always find things to be done better, but he did not find anything that would need to be made better by this plan rises to the level of denying a critical slopes waiver or denying the drive-through window.  Those two issues are the only matters before the Commission.  He hoped that they would concentrate their attention on crafting the conditions for the critical slopes waiver that would reasonably address very legitimate concerns about the ponds downstream.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that this was the first plan that she has seen on this property during the past ten years that she could support.  She felt that there has been a genuine effort to look at the existing topography and try to respond to that by the fact that they don’t have a retaining wall circling this area anymore and the fact that they were using some of the natural slope to feather in to some places and actually keep the 20 feet buffer.  The 20 foot buffer could be larger, but that is all that the ordinance requires.  She felt that Mr. Wood has tried to respond to everything that they have talked about.  There would be three water quality places on this site.  It may sound a little bit ridiculous, but there is more of a spirit of the place with this plan than she has ever seen on the previous plans.

 

Ms. Higgins agreed with Ms. Joseph’s statements.  She pointed out that on page 20 it showed an existing sewer line installation that ran along the side of the stream.  In a previous meeting she had pointed out that had already been put in and affected the natural environment.  Sometimes along streams when you have VDOT come in and do a basin and then you have a public sewer line put in and a public pump station or a station of some sort, sometimes you are in a deteriorating situation and nobody realizes it because it is in the woods, but there is probably generally siltation occurring from the point the pipe comes under road at VDOT to where it leaves this property, and based on the significant storms that they have had over a period of time there is not way that this one is in any type of pristine situation at this time.  Although the downstream property owners do not want to look at it this way, this might be a way to capture and alleviate what is happening over a period of time.  The water quality ordinance does not take this lightly.  Bio-swale and storm water quality swales are very good devices and can be aesthetically pleasing and achieve a great deal to eliminate the impacts that are potentially happening between the upstream basin to where this comes under Rt. 29 and then on this property itself.  Over the long terms it might have benefits.  She agreed that there were a couple of conditions that they need to craft to make sure that they mitigated it as much as possible during the construction sequence because that is never easy when you see the trees go down and the grading start.  It is always disruptive.  There was one thing that she would say about the retaining walls that was brought up by one of the speakers was that now there was no fencing.  At one time they had a very large difference in the grade of this development and the grade of the adjacent properties.  By leveling the grade and not having this great retaining wall to her it makes it more in alignment with the neighborhood, which has pluses and minuses.  It also decreases that barrier.  So that is a pro and con.  But, this plan is more respectful of the terrain and there is a minimized retaining wall situation.  Therefore, she supports the request.

 

Mr. Craddock felt that this storm water swale was a great improvement over a 175,000 square foot big box sitting there.  He felt that the extra sediment control measures that have been offered as well as standing in the back side of the property; he felt that the sediment and water run off can be minimized.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that he was still not satisfied.  He asked if there was any way that they could get more buffers between the Woodbrook houses and the back of the stores. 

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he was not satisfied either.  He agreed with a lot that his colleagues have said in that this was certainly better than anything that they have seen. But, in his opinion he felt that there was far too much development on this piece of land.  Mr. Wood did respond specifically to their requests, but he is still using a far greater portion of this site than he was comfortable with.  In response to Mr. Thomas’ question, yes they could ask for more buffers and he felt that it would be appropriate.  But, he was not sure if the rest of the Commission would agree.  Just because it is zoned commercial does not mean that they have to approve it. He felt that the applicant could do less impact than 85 percent of the critical slopes. He stated that he could welcome more sensitivity.  Therefore, he could not support the request in its present condition.  He opposed the scale of what the applicant was proposing.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that the residents of Woodbrook need to be protected a little bit better.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the Woodbrook residents in the southeast are going to be staring into the back of those buildings.

 

Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Fritz if there was a requirement for screening of service areas.

 

Ms. Higgins noted that there was undisturbed buffer and then there were trees.  She asked if staff could point out exactly what the buffer would consist of.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that there would be the undisturbed buffer. What they have not done and don’t do at the preliminary stage is that they don’t have the final landscaping. But, loading areas are deemed objectionable fixtures that they would have to provide screening from.  There are a variety of ways they can provide screen gin such as fencing and plantings.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that that it was a double row of evergreens 10 feet on center.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that staff has made the determination that separately from the ARB they will be looking for the location of roof top equipment because of the grade difference.  Staff will consider that as an objectionable feature, too.  Therefore, staff will be looking for parapet walls and other screening measures for any roof mounted equipment there. In relationship to the buffer requirements, they have some increased protective measures to verify the undisturbed buffer.

 

Mr. Thomas felt that a fence would not help because they would have to put the fence on the property owner’s property to even shield the buildings. 

 

Mr. Craddock noted that was needed when there was a grade difference.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that there was still a significant grade difference because there was an 18 foot difference on this side and an 8 to 10 foot difference on the other side.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that there was a 10 foot grade difference, which is the finished floor elevation.  Obviously, the building going up was going to be higher than this grade.  But, they want to make sure that they know where the roof top equipment is going to be located.

 

Mr. Thomas pointed out that on the Carrsbrook side their houses are quite a distance from the property line.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that he was at a loss of how to articulate a desire to exceed the minimum standards for things like the water quality as well as the run off requirements.  He would feel comfortable saying that they expect the minimum standards to be exceeded.  He felt that they could do the same thing with screening and ask to see the final site plan.  If a double row of staggered evergreens is difficult, then they could let staff work with the particulars because they could not figure out everything tonight.  He suggested that they give that to staff as an assignment and then they expect to see it when it comes back on the site plan.

 

Mr. Thomas and Ms. Higgins felt that would work.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that regarding the additional conditions for E & S and storm water, if they wanted to listen to the conditions that they worked on four years ago that he could read them.  At that time they tried to deal with the impacts at both the development stage and post development with the downstream ponds.  The conditions are rather lengthy, but he would be happy to read them.

 

Mr. Rieley asked that he read the conditions.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that the condition dealing with erosion and sediment control read, “In addition to all other erosion and sediment control measures that may be required by the Water Protection Ordinance, the applicant shall provide erosion and sediment control measures to assure, to the satisfaction of the Program Authority that it is providing high levels of effectiveness in controlling sediment during construction.  These measures shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. A construction schedule that minimizes the duration of disturbance (e.g., phasing of the erosion and sediment control plan).
  2. Using high efficiency sediment basins designed to include the use of flocculants.
  3. Matting exposed slopes as determined appropriate by the Program Authority. 
  4. The contractor shall have a certified Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Inspector on the site throughout the period during which the site is under construction. The Inspector shall maintain a daily erosion and sediment control inspection log demonstrating that erosion and sediment control measures are being closely monitored and deficiencies are being quickly repaired.  The Inspector shall assure that all control measures are being maintained in optical condition.  The log shall be made available for inspection by the Program Authority at any time during regular business hours.
  5. If determined to be necessary by the Program Authority, the surety required by Albemarle County Code Section 17-207 shall include an amount determined by the Program Authority to be reasonably necessary to take corrective action to repair or restore downstream properties damaged during construction by runoff or sediment. 

 

The condition that they worked on dealing with storm water management read as follows:

 

In addition to all other storm water management requirements that may be required by the Water Protection Ordinance:

 

a.       The storm water management plan shall include additional measures determined by the Program Authority to be necessary in order to capture to the maximum extent practical, the runoff from the site, both during and after construction.

b.       The storm water management plan shall include measures to prevent, to the fullest extent possible, damaging conditions to downstream properties and receiving waterways from occurring as a result of the development of the site, both during and after construction.

c.       In order to allow the Program Authority to develop appropriate measures to satisfy paragraphs (a) and (b) of this condition, the applicant shall submit data demonstrating the peak flow of runoff from the site and the peak flow of runoff coming onto the site.  [Albemarle County Codes Sections 17-31, 17-314(D)]

 

Mr. Rieley suggested that they add something similar to address the screening to allow staff to look at the specifics of the site.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that if staff has any suggestions that it would be a condition as far a part of the critical slopes waiver and not the drive-through part.

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested that the buffer be changed to 60 feet.

 

Ms.  Higgins did not feel they could draw a nexus between the buffer and the critical.

 

Mr. Rieley felt that the loss of the vegetation on the critical slopes and the fact that they were backing up even though it is going to be replanted is directly related to the views onto the site, which he felt was very clear.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that they would need a screening requirement that the Commission would want to have staff determine to be appropriate to mitigate the increased clearing resulting from the critical slopes waiver.

 

Mr. Fritz asked for some guidance from the Commission.  Ironically enough planting additional trees within an undisturbed buffer require a modification.  He asked if that was something the Commission wanted staff to look at the possibility of using that area for additional plantings knowing that they may have to grant the modification to the standards.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that under planting deciduous trees with hollies or something like that which naturally grows underneath trees that would prevent the views.  He felt that they could have a big canopy of trees.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that an undisturbed buffer could be a bunch of dead trees.

 

Mr. Fritz stated that was fine, but he just wanted to make sure that he knew what they were working with. He felt that staff can work with that.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that staff needed to have particular screening areas identified right now.

 

Mr. Fritz noted that it was very clear that the Planning Commission is looking at staff working with the applicant to develop a landscape/screening plan for the property, which exceeds the requirements of the ordinance and provides for a substantial screening buffer to adjacent residential properties.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that sounded perfect, and the other Commissioners agreed.

 

Ms. Higgins pointed out that in the first item Mr. Kamptner read d) that said certify the E & S, which would need to be changed from a certified E & S person but now would be a RLD.  She asked that the action include all of the conditions that Mr. Kamptner suggested in the action.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked who would set the surety, and Mr. Kamptner stated that it would be the program authority, which essentially was the County Engineer and his staff.

 

Motion for SP-2004-024 (drive through associated with the bank):

 

Motion: Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Rieley seconded, that SP-2004-024, Northtown Center, be approved with the staff’s recommendation subject to the following condition.

 

1.       A by-pass lane, 16’ minimum width shall be provided.  Striping and lane widths must be shown on the final plan.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.  (Commissioner Morris was absent.)  

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that SP-2004-024, Northtown Center, would go to the Board of Supervisors on November 9 with a recommendation for approval.

 

Motion for Modification of Section 4.2.3 to allow activity on critical slopes:

 

Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Rieley seconded, to grant a modification of Section 4.2 to allow activity on critical slopes on SDP-2004-045, Northtown Center, with the following conditions:

·         each of the conditions that Mr. Kamptner stated with a change to d. to the “responsible land disturber”;

·         add 1) That in the plan during construction that the sequence of the storm water management addresses the switching over of the stream flow, if any;

·         add condition as per Mr. Fritz’s wording that staff work on the buffer landscaping to allow planting within an existing undisturbed buffer to the satisfaction of staff; and

·         all of the other conditions recommended by staff in the staff report.

 

Amended Motion:  Ms. Higgins made an amendment to the motion that based on the conditions that they have imposed that they are granting the modification to Section 4.2 because the strict application of the requirements of Section 4.2. would not forward the purposes of the chapter that otherwise serve the public health, safety or welfare, or that alternatives proposed by the developer would satisfy those purposes at least to an equivalent degree, because the Commission has proposed conditions to satisfy those purposes to at least an equivalent degree.

 

Second to Amended Motion:  Mr. Rieley seconded the amendment to the motion.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:1.  (Commissioner Edgerton voted no.) (Commissioner Morris was absent.)  

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that the critical slopes waiver for Northtown Center was approved as follows:

 

The critical slopes waiver for Northtown Center was approved based on the finding that the strict application of the requirements of Section 4.2. would not forward the purposes of the chapter that otherwise serve the public health, safety or welfare, or that alternatives proposed by the developer would satisfy those purposes at least to an equivalent degree, subject to the following conditions:

 

  1. In addition to all other erosion and sediment control measures that may be required by the Water Protection Ordinance, the applicant shall provide erosion and sediment control measures to assure, to the satisfaction of the Program Authority, that it is providing high levels of effectiveness in controlling sediment during construction.  These measures shall include, but not be limited to:

 

 

  1. In addition to all other storm water management requirements that may be required by the Water Protection Ordinance:

 

a.     The stormwater management plan shall include additional measures determined by the Program Authority to be necessary in order to capture, to the maximum extent practical, the runoff from the site, both during and after construction.

b.     The stormwater management plan shall include measures to prevent, to the fullest extent possible, damaging conditions to downstream properties and receiving waterways from occurring as a result of the development of the site, both during and after construction.

c.     In order to allow the Program Authority to develop appropriate measures to satisfy paragraphs (a) and (b) of this condition, the applicant shall submit data demonstrating the peak flow of runoff from the site and the peak flow of runoff coming onto the site.  [Albemarle County Codes Sections 17-31, 17-314(D)]

 

3.       In the plan during construction the sequence of the storm water management addresses the switching over of the stream flow, if any;

 

4.       In conjunction with the final site plan, sufficient landscaping and screening shall be provided to screen adjacent residential properties from areas of disturbed critical slopes; and

 

5.       All of the other conditions recommended by staff.

 

Motion for SDP-2004-045:

 

Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Rieley seconded, that SDP-2004-045, Northtown Center Preliminary Site Plan, be approved with conditions recommended in the staff report; based on the other actions just taken and an additional condition that the final site plan come back for Planning Commission review.

 

  1. Architectural Review Board issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.
  2. Virginia Department of Transportation approval of entrance design, signal improvements, frontage and turn lane improvements as well as any associated road plans and drainage plans. 
  3. Albemarle County Service Authority approval including approval of the design of the relocated sanitary sewer meeting ACSA standards with no portion located within storm water management facilities.
  4. Current Development Division approval of:

a.       Minimum sight distances within parking areas/travelways.

b.       Design/location of curbed islands in the parking lot.

c.       Stormwater BMP plans and calculations.

d.       Stream Valley design which is acceptable to the Architectural Review Board.  Based on the plan reviewed by the Architectural Review Board at its meeting on October 3, 2005 and included as Attachment A marked WDF, 10/09/2005. 

e.       Approval of revised parking calculations to account for any parking lost by condition d, to include if necessary, a reduction in building space. 

f.         Retaining wall designs for any walls of 4 feet or greater.

g.       Landscape plan, to include a conservation plan for all trees proposed to remain.

h.       Lighting plan.

i.         Subdivision plat combining the parcels into a single parcel or realignment of existing parcel boundaries to result in lots meeting minimum requirements for building construction. 

j.         Necessary access, utility easements.

k.       The 18' retaining wall on the northern side of the site cannot disturb the undisturbed buffer for a footing or reinforcing grid.  The plan must be revised as necessary, or provide computations, details and construction methods to avoid disturbance of the buffer.

l.         Grading to the edge of the undisturbed wooded buffer on the sides of the site will likely cut tree root systems, damaging and eventually killing trees.  On final plans, the grading should be moved back, or specific trees surveyed and marked on plans to ensure survivability of trees within the undisturbed buffer.

  1. Fire Marshall approval.
  2. Building Official approval.
  3. The final site plan shall be subject to Planning Commission review.           

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:1.  (Commissioner Edgerton voted no.) (Commissioner Morris was absent.)  

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that SP-2004-024, Northtown Center, would be heard by the Board of Supervisors on November 9.

 

 

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