Albemarle County Planning Commission

December 20, 2005

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, December 20, 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; Calvin Morris and Marcia Joseph, Vice-Chair.  Julia Monteith, University of Virginia Planner, attended the meeting in the absence of David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia. 

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; David Benish, Chief of Planning; David Pennock, Principal Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Lee Catlin, Community Relations; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Edgerton called the regular meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

Item Requesting Deferral:

 

Ms. Higgins arrived at 6:16 p.m.

 

ZMA 2005-006 Logan, Clevester (Sign #10,11) - Request to rezone .545 acres from the R-2 (Residential) Zoning District to the R-4 (Residential) Zoning District to allow property boundary line adjustments. The property is described as Tax Map 61, parcels 44A and 44A1 (portion of, 17,503 square feet adjacent to Tax Map 61, parcel 44 including an existing dwelling) located at 2530 Hydraulic Road (Route 743) at the intersection of Hydraulic Road and Turtle Creek Road in the Jack Jouett Magisterial district. It is zoned R-2 (Residential) and EC (Entrance Corridor) Overlay. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property Urban Density in Neighborhood 1 and recommends 6.01-34 dwelling units per acre. The R-4 Zoning District allows for up to 6 dwelling units per acre. (Rebecca Ragsdale)

 

Ms. Ragsdale summarized the staff report.

 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if on attachment C, the letter from the postal service, that they were concerned if the Hydraulic Entrance was closed.  He asked if that was correct.

 

Ms. Ragsdale stated that was noted in his letter, which was attachment C from the original staff report in September.  He also pointed out that in his opinion closing the entrance would actually create more issues than it would in closing it based on how they view it.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if this is contrary to VDOTís recommendation.

 

Ms. Ragsdale felt that they look at it from two different perspectives.  This is based on how they deliver mail there currently, which if you recall from the last time the property does serve as a central location for a couple of the houses down Hydraulic Road.  So in his mind he would envision the mailman having to make a couple more stops along Hydraulic Road, while the way it is now he kind of just whips through and makes one stop.  But, as for the residents she was not sure what they would do.  Hopefully, they would be able to walk.  But, based on the way the mail delivery is it might be in a couple more stops for the mailman.  Along that section of Hydraulic Road, it is two lanes.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if staffís recommendation that they not review this until the proffer can be reviewed still stands.

 

Ms. Ragsdale stated yes, that staff has not gotten any comments from Mr. Kamptner or zoning on this revision.  It is based on our suggested revisions, but she did not know if there were any typos or corrections. But, she felt that basically it was in the proper form.

 

Ms. Higgins asked if it was a private road.

 

Ms. Ragsdale replied yes, that it was a private road.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that in essence unless it was under a redevelopment plan or site plan that there would be no real possibility that the use change wonít be addressed through a site plan so that they could control it.  But, technically this property now outlets onto a public road and to put it on to a private road involves them entering into some sort of joint maintenance agreement to come off of a private road that they have not responsibility at this time to maintain. 

 

Ms. Ragsdale stated that this was a question that had come up before on the maintenance on the right-of-way.  They have two entrances and exits on there now. They are not a party to the Turtle Creek Road Maintenance agreement. Based on the fact that the Logans were there they have all of their rights and they donít have to enter into any maintenance agreement with Turtle Creek.  Turtle Creek voluntarily does the maintenance.  So there would not be any issues with them having this little access from this private road or any revisions to any maintenance agreements that go along with Turtle Creek Road.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that the deed that the staff report appears to convey to the Loganís the right to use the 50 foot road refers to the map which is attached.  That appears to be Turtle Creek Road. 

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that was certainly before Turtle Creek existed.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that it appears that they have the right to use that road.  The obligation to maintain it or to participate in the maintenance is connected to a subdivision ordinance requirement.  There is nothing here at this point that is triggering an application of the subdivision ordinance.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that she was just thinking of the principle that there was no real change in the amount of trips in and out of the driveway on to Hydraulic.  But, closing that and putting it on to the side road that is privately maintained by another party does change the use.  But, at the time that it comes in for development and it is under a site plan they will have to address that.  Therefore, she was just asking the question.

 

There being no further questions for staff, Mr. Edgerton opened the public hearing and invite the applicant to come and address the Commission on this application.

 

John Dezio stated that he represented Mr. and Mrs. Logan who own the property.  Briefly, he wanted to review a few things that came up in September. The only reason that Mr. and Mrs. Logan are seeking this boundary line adjustment, which requires the zoning change, is so that the adjoining neighbor to their property can have access to their rear yard. Neither the neighbor nor the Loganís have any plans to develop the property.  That is the genesis of this.  He felt that the County attorney had correctly question about the right-of-way.  The Loganís do have access for both of their pieces of property over Turtle Creek Road and they have no obligation to maintain Turtle Creek Road at this time. Also, their right to use that road existed far before Mr. Heischman developed Turtle Creek. As to the post office boxes, as Ms. Ragsdale was saying, there are four mailboxes that are located on the Logan property, which includes three of the neighbors and one for the Loganís.  The postal service went to the Loganís and said that Hydraulic Road is a dangerous place and our carrier would have to stop three times on Hydraulic Road to deliver the mail in a very short period of time and it would be safer for our carrier if we could deposit all of the mail in boxes located on your property, and Mr. and Mrs. Logan agreed.  That is the safety concern that the post office has, which is the reason for exhibit C.  After they were here the last time in September he frankly did not understand exactly what was being suggested for a proffer. He had understood the suggestion for the proffer was that when the Logan sold the property.  The Loganís are going to continue using the property as their residents and nothing is going to happen to anything as a result of whatever the decision of the Commission and the Board of Supervisors might be.  The initial thought was, since he was away most of the time and somebody else helped them in my office, was that if the Loganís sell the property they should agree to close the Hydraulic Road entrance way.  He spoke with Ms. Ragsdale and that was the reason for the new proposed proffer, which has not been properly reviewed by the County Attorneyís Office.  It is basically the position of Mr. and Mrs. Logan that they would agree if for as long as they are doing what they are doing right now of simply having a single family dwelling, that it is safer right now to have the boxes on their property and for the people coming onto their property to be able to go out Hydraulic Road rather than backing into Turtle Creek.  They request that they be allowed to continue the status quo as far as the entrance way. If the use of the property is changed so that the use is more intense, they agree that entrance to Hydraulic Road should be changed.  That is the intent of the second proffer to close the entrance based on those terms.  He noted that he did not quite hear what counsel said about a grammatical error.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that in the second line the word ďassessĒ should be ďaccess.Ē

 

Mr. Dezio stated that the Loganís agree if they change the use that they would close the entrance way.  Also, Mrs. Ragsdale raised the question of whether that cottage is ever used as a dwelling how they would enforce that.  Technically, the Loganís cannot put a restriction on their own property so long as they own it legally they canít.  But, they would do anything to give assurance to the County if that rear property is occupied as a dwelling that the entrance way would be onto Turtle Creek Road.  He pointed out that Mrs. Loganís mother lived in the cottage until she died.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that Mr. Dezio mentioned that their initial intent was to provide access across their property to Hydraulic Road for a neighbor.

 

Mr. Dezio stated no, the neighbor wants to buy 44B1.  The owner of 44B wants to add the rear piece so he would own from front to back and have access to the rear of their property.  Those neighbors have indicated to the Loganís that they have no intentions of developing that back piece because it is really their back yard.

 

Ms. Joseph asked if that piece would access onto Turtle Creek Road.

 

Mr. Dezio stated that was correct.  He agreed that they would be taking parcel ďXĒ and adding it to 44A.

 

There being no further questions for Mr. Dezio, Mr. Edgerton invited other members of the public who wanted to address this application.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for consideration.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that as long as it is a single family residence she did not think it would have an adverse effect on Hydraulic Road.  There are many other situations in the County where an entrance would not be closed until the actual use changed on the property.  She felt that it was a timing thing.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that he did not disagreed, but that they have used the threshold of a rezoning many times to correct a situation in which VDOT or somebody else thought that there was a problem that they had no other mechanism to correct the problems.  That was the basis of their discussion last time.

 

Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Kamptner as they are looking at the proffers and as Ms. Ragsdale mentioned it would really be difficult once that accessory cottage is used by someone for us to even know it was happening and the entrance had closed. She asked if he knew of any way that could be enforced.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that he was not aware of anything, except what Ms. Ragsdale said about there being a complaint by the public.  Staff has a way to track whether residences are occupied by the zoning inspectors.  Typically, they donít look into that until there has been a complaint. 

 

Ms. Higgins stated that they do have the authority under a site plan to require the entrance to be closed.  That is when VDOT usually gets involved.  If there was a four-plex apartment sitting on here, for example, it could be required.

 

Ms. Joseph pointed out that the discussion was, as Mr. Rieley referred to, was that here is an area that they know there is a lot of traffic on Hydraulic and it was an opportunity to maybe get them because they had the ability to use Turtle Creek Road so that they could close that one entrance.

 

Mr. Rieley asked Mr. Kamptner if it was his understanding in the proffer that if the accessory cottage is occupied as a dwelling unit that access for both the cottage and the primary residence at that time would have to use Turtle Creek Road.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated yes, that all vehicular ingress and egress would have to shift from Hydraulic Road to Turtle Creek Road.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if he had any trigger that would impose this, which would alert the County to the fact that this proffer should be executed.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that he was not aware of any, but that staff was more familiar with the workings with development approvals.  He was not aware of any with new occupancy because it was already a dwelling unit there is not going to be any County review or approval that is going to be needed for someone to step in and start occupying.  So even if they imposed a requirement that the Loganís have to notify the County it still becomes a question of the County learning about it from outside the process.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that the previous proffer back in November indicated that if the property was sold or that on the death of both of the Loganís that the residence would have to change, but that would be even harder to monitor.

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that they wanted the access to change when there was some kind of change in the land use rather than ownership.

 

Mr. Rieley noted that the question was whether they agree with VDOT that this is a threshold in which they could make an adjustment.

 

Ms. Higgins stated that VDOTís general policy was to close or consolidate entrances.  But, the post office felt it was a safety issue for mail delivery.

 

Ms. Ragsdale felt that it was in part based on their general policy as he had said, but they have made a site visit and have looked at this specifically and have the same recommendations. 

 

Ms. Higgins asked if it has been sited for any particular accident frequency.

 

Ms. Ragsdale stated that they did not share that with them if that was the case.

 

Ms. Higgins asked if there was any way to allow this cottage without rezoning the property from R-2 to

R-4. 

 

Mr. Kamptner stated that if it exists as a dwelling unit the density requirements of the zoning regulations need to be satisfied.  He assumed that zoning determined that the R-2 allowed density was being exceeded.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that it was the combination of the lots to bring in the new dwelling under the same lots.  Therefore, they have two dwellings on a lot where there was one on a slightly larger lot. That cannot happen under conventional zoning.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that if one was no considered a dwelling, yes, they could do that.

 

Ms. Higgins noted that adding the land to the front parcel is triggering the need to go to R-4. 

 

Motion:  Mr. Higgins moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve ZMA-2005-006, Logan, Clevester based on the proffers provided in Attachment C, handwritten page 8, with the two corrections noted as follows:

1.       Change the date at the top of the revised proffers, and

2.       Correct ďassessĒ to ďaccessĒ in the proffers.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 7:0. 

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that ZMA-2005-006 will go to the Board with a recommendation for approval on January 11.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that just for the applicantís benefit due to the policy that the Board recently adopted, they will need to have the corrected proffers signed and to us by tomorrow.

 

 Return to January 11 exec summary