Albemarle County Planning Commission

September 27, 2005

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Chairman; William Rieley, Rodney Thomas, Calvin Morris, Pete Craddock and Marcia Joseph, Vice-Chair.  Absent was Jo Higgins and David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of VirginiaJudy Monteith, University of Virginia Planner, was present.

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; David Benish, Chief of Planning; Bill Fritz, Development Review Manager; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Judy Wiegand, Senior Planner; Lee Catlin, Community Relations Manager; Harrison B. Rue, Executive Director of Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Edgerton called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum. 

 

Other Matters Not Listed on the Agenda from the Public:

 

Mr. Edgerton invited comment from the public on other matters not listed on the agenda. There being none, the meeting moved on to the next item.

 

            Consent Agenda:

 

Approval of Planning Commission Minutes – July 26, 2005, August 9, 2005 and August 23, 2005

                 

Mr. Edgerton asked if any Commissioner would like to pull an item off of the consent agenda for discussion or if there was a motion.

 

Motion:  Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Thomas seconded, that the consent agenda be approved.

 

The motion that the consent agenda be approved passed by a vote of 6:0.  (Commissioner Higgins was absent.) 

 

            Work sessions:

 

ZMA 2001-008 Rivanna Village – Rivanna Village at Glenmore is a request to rezone 88 acres from RA and PRD to Neighborhood Model District.  The work session is specific to discussion and decisions on internal street design standards. (Elaine Echols)

 

Mr. Craddock made a declaration that he was a member of the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department and still a board member of the company. The property on which the fire company’s station is located is part of the land included with this rezoning application.  Although he does not have a conflict of interest within the meaning of the Conflict of Interests Act, his circumstances may lend themselves to an appearance of impropriety and his participation could affect the confidence of the public in his ability to perform his duties impartially.  Therefore, he was disqualifying himself from participating in this matter.

 

Ms. Echols summarized the staff report. She presented a power point presentation regarding the proposed street sections in the Village of Rivanna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Echols stated that she thought that she heard that the Commission wants to look and see if there are those places where there are exceptions that could be made.  Staff can show them to the Commission in this presentation and on this plan.  An exception could be made along the park side because it was going to look different.  The applicant did not ask for that specifically, but if the Commission feels that the trees are not essential along this side that they might be able to make an exception there.  But, for the residential streets if that is the unit type that comes out, then staff thinks that there are not exceptions in that particular group.  The townhouse sections shown on the plan might have a different kind of a look and feel.  She asked if that was one they could talk about.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he was trying to figure out why they would not want the tree separating the curb from the sidewalk in any situation.  He questioned why that profile should be deviated from.  He felt that it would only improve the project to have that consistent throughout.  Personally, he did not see any advantage to that.

 

Mr. Rieley felt that was an issue they should discuss, but only in the bounds of a prescribed building envelope with prescribed frontage and prescribed height. From his perspective, what staff was trying to accomplish the trees was interrelated with that.  While he was really sympathetic with their point of view, they should have this almost everywhere.  But, he did not want to cut off the conversation because it makes it sound as if they have a waiver provision that they were not even willing to look at.   He felt that there are more urbane situations in which they should look at that, but they can’t look at it exclusive of the building location and its height.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that at this scale it was very hard to do.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that a waiver is something that you grant for some particular reason.  There has to be some sort of compelling reason to grant the waiver.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that was exactly right.  Therefore, it has to be tied to something concrete.  He felt that they need to be open to it, but should not be in the position tonight of trying to predict whether that is going to be the case or not.  He felt that comes along when the buildings become finite, then that is when the treatment of the streetscape becomes finite.

 

Mr. Echols stated that staff could bring back some additional information, particularly in the downtown area, because she felt that there was strong commitment to the way that is shown on the plan and the locations of those buildings.  The applicant may be able to provide some setback information and building height information to help us.

 

Mr. Rieley agreed that information would be helpful.

 

Ms. Echols asked the Commission to advise the applicant and the staff on where if any places you think there is the ability to vary the County’s standard.  So what staff was trying to do was to show them those locations.  Then they could go back in and possibly talk about the importance of public and private streets and whether they should be public or private, and then how do they accomplish that. 

 

Ms. Joseph stated that if they were going to vary the standard then they need to know why they are varying the standard.  What is the reason?  Is there something that is driving this that means that this standard could not be used in these cases?  She agreed with Mr. Rieley that the urban section can be different and you can have wider sidewalks and you can have tree grates, which would work in certain circumstances.  But, she was back to the 3 foot wide green strip there.  She needs to know why it can’t be 6 feet and they could put a tree in there.  Why is that 3 feet so important? 

 

Ms. Echols stated that was something that the Commission might want to ask the applicant.  Staff has spent a lot of time going back and forth on this with the applicant.  It is fair to say that there is a general preference that the applicant has for that.  She asked that the applicant convey that to the Commission in possibly a better way.

 

Mr. Thomas stated that he felt that would move them in the direction that they would like to go.  Therefore, he asked that the applicant be invited up at this time.

 

Mr. Edgerton invited the applicant to address the Commission.

 

Steve Runkle, with KG Associates representing Glenmore Associates, stated that Frank Cox was present and would probably like to speak to this issue as well.  Part of the reason for these streetscapes relates to the date on that zoning application, which is 2001.  So a lot of these streetscapes proposed and are kind of integral to this plan because of the time it has taken and the Subdivision Ordinance being revised while this was ongoing and so forth.  Having said that they would like direction on the road in front of the firehouse, on the Main Street, and in the urban area of Main Street, what they have labeled in their plans as private access easements to the parking lots, etc.  He asked if those were streets that would have to meet the same cross sections.  Those are perpendicular to the Main Street.  He asked for some guidance on that.  The issues that relate to the plan they will adhere to the 6 foot strip and the 5 foot sidewalk, but here is the implication. They were working on this plan with 50 foot right-of-ways.  That creates a 61 foot right-of-way.  If it was a public road there are certain off-site parking requirements that may go along with that road with VDOT that might not go with the County.  Those block dimensions, particularly if they want them rear loaded, in order to get a certain amount of the required parking spaces off-site all of a sudden he could not stack in front of a garage and VDOT will not let them count the garage.  There are a whole lot of interrelated issues that deal with what that right-of-way width is.  Those are some of the reasons for asking for the waivers.  Having said that again, they will go ahead and do what they can do.  But, the other issue that has not been addressed and they are not asking that it be addressed as part of this rezoning application is the common area strip in the front to accommodate utilities where he could not accommodate them in a VDOT right-of-way.  That is particularly relevant to those detached lots and other lots that are on the edge that will be accessed from the front because he could not get the electric company to typically put the utilities in the rear of the lot.  He can get them potentially to put them in the alley, but not on the rear lot line. Those are all issues that relate to these dimensional issues that they are talking about.  But, the most important thing is where Ms. Echols is pointing to the area of the firehouse when they started out that was a private road with a 30 foot right-of-way several years ago.  Now if they are putting parking on that street and using the cross section that the County is calling for with the 6 foot section and they can’t use the County and the firehouse’s land for any of that right-of-way, then about 50 percent of that parking on Main Street would go away.  So they have not angled that parking to try to pick up that dimension and they are asking for some relief on that road to pick up some dimension.  On that road they were talking about the 8 foot sidewalk. He felt that without on-street parking they could potentially put a 5 foot sidewalk adjacent to the curb, and they might pick up a couple of feet that way in that particular location. But that was something that they could check on and address down the road.  A 6 foot grassed strip and a 5 foot sidewalk in an urban commercial zone does not make sense to them.  They don’t have a standard for that kind of use in the Subdivision Ordinance as he reads it.  They would be using the same amount of width, but they would be using a sidewalk with trees in a tree well and an 11 or 12 foot sidewalk or something of that nature to accommodate the pedestrian activity and potentially have some outside dining and that type of thing.  It would be nice with the understanding that they would have to convince them that the area when they bring it to them that it is an area that warrants that kind of use.  But it would be nice to know that would be a possibility.  Hopefully, they would create a village center here that will have enough activity that it would warrant that kind of design as opposed to a 6 foot grassed strip with a 5 foot sidewalk.  A 5 foot sidewalk would not have enough capacity.  Conceivably in some of the higher residential areas the same case could be made, but he was not sure if it was true in a townhouse area. 

 

Frank Cox stated that when they started the Neighborhood Model five or six years ago the whole percept behind tree planting was that they try to design something that would be site specific and unique to each project.  Coming along three years later they discover that there is section that has been applied that is unique to each and every conceivable situation that you could think of.  Just echoing what Mr. Runkle said that he did not think that was the right way to apply the Neighborhood Model.  The two pictures on top of the handout are for projects where the sidewalk actually comes to the street. Either you like it or not and it is a matter of taste and not necessarily a function.  But, he felt that in the instance of the second picture illustrating the residential that in Old Town Alexandria they were trying to get a visualization of what they were thinking about.  That is one where the townhouse is pulled right up to the street line.  In that instance the public right-of-way goes right to the face of the building.

 

In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZMA-2001-008 Rivanna Village.  Elaine Echols presented a power point presentation regarding the internal street design standards and asked for the Commission’s comments and suggestions on particular street sections and the use of public and private streets. The Planning Commission discussed the various types of street cross sections and the application plan with staff and the applicant and provided comments and suggestions.  The applicant asked for specific relief from the road standard in several locations, and the Commission noted that they needed a compelling reason to deviate from the County’s standard. The Commission expressed their desire to be flexible, but that they need additional information before they can commit to anything.  The Commission provided the following comments:

 

·         There is not sufficient information in the central part of the development to be totally convinced of the cross section that is being proposed, but the Commission is open to hearing more and knowing more about the spatial relationships and the architecture.

 

·         The Commission might be sympathetic to the need for a sidewalk that would be adjacent to the street and not a tree line, especially down main street.

 

·         In a couple of other places in the intervening side streets, the Commission is sympathetic to a section that would also have the sidewalk adjacent to the street and would have the buildings fairly close to the street.

 

·         In the residential blocks, the Commission has not yet heard a compelling reason why the County standard should not be used.  If there is a reason why the VDOT regulations prevent the County standard from being used, the Commission is very sympathetic for the use of a private street.

 

·         The Commission needs more information about the townhouses to be able to approve a sidewalk directly against the road.  The Commission’s preference is that the sidewalk not be directly against the road, but because of that unit type, its location and how it interacts with the surroundings the Commission said it would consider the waiver. The Commission does not see this as a unit type distinction, but more of a streetscape, spatial enclosure and architecture distinction.

 

·         Regarding the area in front of the firehouse, the Commission feels that the options discussed were valid.  If VDOT will allow a variance in where the sidewalk crosses the apron, then that would certainly be acceptable to the Commission. 

 

·         The Commission would like to know why it is not possible to have the utilities located in the rear of the site.

 

Other comments made by the Commission are as follows:

 

·         The streets around the park should be public with the standard cross section.

·         The standard County cross section governs unless there is a specific and defensible position, but that has to be specific.

·         Separating the pedestrians from the vehicles is the key to the Neighborhood Model and is what they should be trying to do.

·         The tree line provides a buffer between the pedestrian access and the street.

·         If they could get closer to the Neighborhood Model by allowing private streets it seems that this is an instance that it might make sense to do that.  The Commission remains open on this issue and a future decision would be made depending on the circumstance and specific building envelopes.

·         The Commission should not force public streets and all of the VDOT requirements that come along with them into situations in which there is not a clear through-traffic condition.  The fact that a street will connect with another street is not enough justification for requiring it to be public. 

 

Ms. Echols stated that in terms of how to achieve the desired section, staff would like to look more at the applicant’s information that they have provided regarding whether or not a common area is necessary to make this happen with the issue of the utilities and the easements.  There are some things about this plan that would suggest that serving many of these buildings through rear access is possible and is more likely to happen than having it as front access.  There may be places on this plan where front access could be problematic and staff would like to look into that and bring back that information to the Commission.  There has been a request to look at this in terms of a subdivision text amendment. The County cannot accept an applicant initiated subdivision text amendment. But, staff has contacted the person who made that request and said that they want to work with them and hear from them about what it is that concerns them about our ordinance that would prevent them from being able to do the Neighborhood Model type of development that they would like to do.  Therefore, staff is going to be in conversation with the applicant and bring that information back to the Commission as part of this whole discussion.  If the Commission wants to initiate a change to the subdivision ordinance, staff can provide the resolution of intent.

 

Mr. Rieley asked if they have solved the issue of lots having to front on the right-of-way.

 

Ms. Echols stated no, that was what staff would be bringing back to the Commission.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that issue needed to be solved because it would make it much easier.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that was involved in a lot of the issues in this request.

 

Ms. Joseph asked if the applicant could come back up and tell the Commission if they had any other questions.

 

Mr. Runkle asked if he should submit a site plan now.  He asked how much detail they need before he could determine if a 10 to 12 foot sidewalk with the street trees and tree wells is warranted versus a grassed strip.  The other specific situation is relative to the firehouse and so forth. He felt that they could address those issues in a different way.  He pointed out that if it was a public street there will not be townhouses, but would be single-family lots.  Unless you park 100 percent of those townhouses on the street, you would not get a public street with those kinds of curb cuts.  That is some of the implication in where the density starts.  If that is what they want to do it just means that they will have fewer units and a different mix.  The other thing that they are concerned about is if they have to design the specific building or exactly how much detail are they looking for.  Or do they show them pictures that they are trying to emulate or that type of thing with the amount of stories and amount of square footage in a certain area. They don’t have criteria for establishing that in their subdivision ordinance and they don’t even have it as a standard yet.  Therefore, they are kind of guessing as they go here.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that they have done rezonings with illustrations that were a part of the rezoning and language that says something along the lines of in general accord with the attached.  He stated that he liked his cross sections and the scale of the buildings and found them reassuring, but he wanted to make sure that they don’t end up with a lot of one-story buildings and sidewalks adjacent to the street.

 

Mr. Runkle stated that they could commit to that in the code of development, but he did not know what the exact building was going to be.

 

Ms. Joseph stated that it was the proportions that were needed.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that they needed the location of the building face and the height of it, which would give them enough information.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it was a massing issue.

 

Mr. Runkle stated that he might not have understood what they said about the front load versus the rear load.  He would say that all of those lots on the perimeter, with the exception of those in Block E facing Glenmore Way, are loaded from the rear off of an alley.  But the ones back in MaGruder where the townhouses or single-families are located will be front loaded. The ones on the upper right side would be front loaded.  The ones in Block D would likely be front loaded because of the physical characteristics of the land and the fact that they would get a lot of opposition to MaGruder if he rear loads those lots as well as the neighbors from those other two locations.  That would be their expectations.

 

Mr. Rieley stated that it was a fair trade off and those are the type of realities that they deal with.  It seems that the cross section that they are talking about is so important that his inclination would be, particularly in this stage of the development of the implementation of the Neighborhood Model, to give ground in other places and make sure that they hold that cross section.

 

Ms. Echols stated that on the main street one of the requirements of the code of development would be the building heights and build to lines for setbacks.  She felt that staff could work with the applicant to get that information.  It is a requirement.  In the evolution of what the applicant has provided, the application is just not quite there yet.  That information has to be provided so that staff can get it to the Commission.

 

 

Mr. Cilimberg introduced Julia Monteith from the University of Virginia Architect Office who was the University Planner.  He stated that Julia will be attending some of the Commission’s meetings.

 

Mr. Kamptner left the meeting at 7:22 p.m.

 

 

CPA 2005-006 Fontaine Avenue Area B Study - Work session to review this Area B Study for adoption into the County’s Comprehensive Plan. (David Benish)

 

In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session to begin discussion on the Area B Study for adoption into the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Staff reviewed the process of the study and the need to update the plan, particularly as it related to the transportation needs that generated the update to the plan.  Staff reviewed and discussed the major components of the Area B Study with the Commission and recommended that the Area B CPA and “Granger site” CPA be reviewed and discussed together in a unified process.  Staff anticipates a more specific discussion of the Granger CPA at the next work session on the Area B Study. The Planning Commission discussed the study with staff and provided comments and suggestions, particularly that the Granger property be labeled on the plan. Another work session will be scheduled in the future. (Attachment – Staff Report)

 

 

Places 29 - In preparation for Charrette #2, scheduled for October 31 - November 4, staff will update the Commission on the Vision and Guiding Principles statement, the Workshop Intent Memo, and the draft Charrette Schedule. (Judy Wiegand, Lee Catlin, Harrison Rue)

 

Judy Wiegand presented the project mile stones concerning where they are, where they have been and where they were going.  Next, staff will provide staff’s activity on the project since last time and what they are expecting between now and early November.  Lee Catlin will review the upcoming draft Charrette Schedule, which was included in the packet, and the materials.  She distributed copies of a draft Vision Statement, Guiding Principles and goals, which staff would like the Commission’s input.  She presented the time line of the project through a power point presentation, which is included in the handouts.  (Attachments)

 

·         Currently they are in the process of issues assessment, which is looking at settlement and environmental patterns in the area and numerous other economic issues.  It is basically more background, but it is directed towards issues rather than mapping.  That is underway and they will see much of the results of that during public work shop #2 where they cover the asset needs and opportunities in the area, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  That meeting is supposed to be in an open house format at Sutherland Middle School.  During that work shop the public will help the consultants answer the question if they have found all of the assets, needs and opportunities.

·         Then two nights later there will be a second public work shop where they will talk about the initial framework plan alternatives.  It will also be held at Sutherland Middle School from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.  At that meeting the consultants will have a big presentation on the existing framework plan, which is what the conditions are like in the area now.  The public will see that and two or three alternative plans, which will connect different road networks and land uses as possible alternatives for people to react to and provide input, which will happen on November 3. 

·         Then by January, 2006 staff expects the consultants to refine and assess those framework concepts, develop initial implementation strategies and then bring those two things back to public work shop #4 where they will identify the preferred master plan.  That is scheduled for the second week in February, 2006.

·         Between Feburary – June 2006 the consultants will be going back and looking at the final details and information to put in the draft master plan, which will brought back informally in June.  That will be an opportunity for the consultants to receive initial reactions to the plan. 

·         The draft master plan is expected to be delivered in September, 2006.

·         Several meetings have been held with stakeholders.  Staff has several more meetings scheduled before the Charrette, which includes the following:

o        Staff met with the Housing Director’s Council at the Planning District Committee about a week ago and received their input. 

o        Staff met with the Architectural Review Board and they are scheduled to meet with the consultants during the Charrette week beginning on October 31.

o        A small business stakeholder’s group is being organized, which is being done through Susan Stigmart.  There will be one meeting before the Charrette and then one meeting with the consultants during the Charrette.  

o        Staff is scheduled to meet with the Transportation and Transit Group.  Harrison suggested that they get the CHART Committee and the Citizen Mobility Committee together at a CHART meeting, which will be held tentatively on October 19.

o        Staff is contacting the City of Charlottesville through the Neighborhood Planners to see if they can talk with the neighborhoods that surround the southern end of the corridor so that they will be familiar with what is going on.

o        This week staff is meeting with the Advisory Stakeholders and the Neighborhood Stakeholders.

o        Reviewing work products with the consultants, which includes an outline for the assets and needs opportunity study. 

 

·            The consultants will be providing the draft plan in the middle of October, which will be forwarded to the Commission. 

·            Staff will be getting the economic profile and part of the market analysis on Friday of this week. 

·            Staff has been doing field visits on the photo stimulations.

·            Staff is also preparing for Charrette #2.

 

Lee Catlin stated that in preparation of Charrette #2, staff will walk the Commission through the process.  The week of Charrette #2 is October 31 through November 4.  The main events of that week will involve the public and the Commission, as the Advisory Council, is as follows:

·         Workshop #2 will be the opportunity for the Guiding Principles and Vision to be checked by the public and reaction given back.  It would also include the asset, needs and opportunities statement for the public to really comment on. Staff envisions that as an open house with different stations in the school so that people can go through at their convenience and visit any of the stations that they want to comment on.  Public comment and reaction is welcomed.  The meetings are explained in detail on the memorandum passed out. 

·         Staff will be posting this material on the website in advance for public information. 

·         The next major event would be the joint work session for the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Right now it scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon during the Board’s day meeting.  What that really will be is an opportunity for the consultant to lead the Commission and Board members through a pretty directed discussion on the Vision, the Guiding Principles, the Asset Needs and Opportunities.  The consultants want to know if they are going in the right direction.  No endorsements are being requested, but that will be a focused opportunity to discuss those issues with the consultants.

·         Public Work Shop #3 on Thursday evening is really a chance to look at the initial plan’s alternatives and get reaction to that from the public. That will be the big meeting with a presentation and then breaking into small groups and letting people record their reaction to what they are seeing and provide their feedback to the consultants. 

·         The consultants will bring back a preferred framework plan later on.

·         Stakeholder groups will be meeting during that week, which will include internal stakeholders that are staff and agency representatives who need to be part of the process.  The consultants will be meeting with the ARB, the neighborhood groups, the small business stakeholder groups plus some other folks that they are identifying during that time.  If there are any suggestions, please let staff know ahead of time.

·         Fliers were handed out to be distributed by the Commission to let everyone know about the meeting dates.

As the last part of the work session, staff asked for preliminary input from the Commission on the draft Guiding Principles and Vision Statement.  Staff will forward their comments to the consultants. 

Vision Statement

The northern development areas will be a place where open space, the character of the surrounding rural areas, and the natural environment have been preserved and enhanced; where walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods feature a variety of housing choices, high quality retail, and employment opportunities; and where land uses are connected by an attractive, efficient, multimodal transportation system.

 

The following comments were made by Commission members in regard to the Draft Vision Statement:

 

·         Recommend that the vision include a reference to a variety of housing choices from an economic and/or affordability perspective

·         The order needs to be changed; employment opportunities should be at the beginning, before housing choices.

·         Transportation should be emphasized at the beginning. Move the phrase about transportation to the beginning of the statement.  Suggestion made to start with, “Through an attractive efficient multi-modal transportation system . . . and utilizing …”  The transportation system needs to maintain a primary focus.

·         This vision statement doesn’t look very different from any of the others in the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Ms. Catlin noted that all vision statements should sound similar because there are some common values that are showing up there.  But, what she heard the Commissioners saying was the kind of uniqueness of this one is that transportation network and how fundamental it is to all of the other things really working.

 

Mr. Morris pointed out that was not unique because that was what they had heard on Pantops.

 

Ms. Joseph felt what was unique about this is exactly what she said that you don’t see that on Route 29 and maybe they would like to re-energize that or maybe that is what they would like to see.  She preferred it to remain the way that it was written.

 

Mr. Edgerton preferred that it the way it was written.

 

Ms. Catlin asked for comment on the draft Guiding Principles.

 

Guiding Principles

 

1.       The Northern Development Areas community values a well-connected network of accessible public open spaces, greenways, and trails that will be created by preserving existing open spaces and adding new ones.

 

2.       The character of the rural areas and the natural environment are valuable features which should be retained.

 

3.       By building on the pattern of neighborhoods and employment and shopping areas, the community seeks to create a pattern of walkable places with a diverse range of uses. Pedestrian and bicycle connections and facilities should facilitate access and ensure safety.

 

4.       The northern development areas community values high quality design, which respects the scale and character of existing development and adjacent open space.

 

5.       Protecting the character of existing neighborhoods while improving the quality, diversity, and affordability of new housing is important. Housing located close to employment centers, shopping areas, transportation, and recreation is important for the northern development areas.

 

6.       The County’s public facilities, such as libraries and schools, are both a source of pride and a resource. These facilities should be convenient and accessible to neighborhoods and employment/ centers.

 

7.       A high-quality transportation system will serve users across the entire spectrum, from local trips to regional ones, and it will be multimodal—including vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access. In particular, improvements to the US 29 corridor should recognize and address the road’s multiple purposes. The system will also address the movement of freight by truck, train, and air. 

 

8.       Public transit is now available in some parts of the US 29 corridor and is an important alternative form of transportation in the future US 29 corridor.

 

9.       Future development of the transportation system is an opportunity to increase the connectivity of places and land uses currently separated by US 29 and other high-traffic roads, such as Hydraulic and Rio roads. The future transportation system can also enhance the connectivity between neighborhoods, recreational, and community facilities throughout the area. The road network that will best serve the northern development areas includes US 29, roads that are parallel to US 29, and good east-west connecting roads.

 

10.   Safety and aesthetics are important for new and existing streets.

 

The following comments were made by Commission members in regard to the draft Guiding Principles:

 

·         No. 9, about transportation, should be higher on the list.  An emphasis needs to be maintained on the transportation system.

·         Interconnectivity is a sore spot with the public; we need to hear that soreness and clarify what we mean by interconnectivity.  It was pointed out that the word “interconnectivity had been left out of list.

·         The list seems to summarize everything that is not on 29N

·         If you look at 4 and 5, it appears that 5 is more representative of a residential neighborhood and 4 would be more directed to the commercial zoning. 

o        Staff commented that 5 did have a lot to do with residential, except obviously it is the relationship of residential to other things.  Number 4 is going to apply across the board.

·         No. 4 should be phased as less of a statement and more of an objective. A concern was expressed with trying to not match up with something that one would not see as desirable, but to try to do it better in the future and not promote the status quo. A question was raised about the intent of No. 4, which might be a discussion point for the work session with the consultant.

·         A better goal would be to increase the energy of the area and not approach it just from a setback point of view. These principles and vision make it sound like it’s a great place now and we want more of the same. Of course, we want something different.

·         Change the word “building” in No. 3 to “improving.”

·         Include an opening statement by way of an introduction. Include the fact that this master plan will have an impact not only on the County, but also on the City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. If we improve the area, it will have an impact on all three entities.

·         The reason we’re preparing this master plan is that the area is not working well.

 

Ms. Catlin suggested that an introductory paragraph be included as followed, “The existing conditions are not what we want them to be and we recognize this as a gateway area for not only the Albemarle County community, but the University of Virginia as well. The intent of this plan is really to elevate this area to where we want it to be based on the principles below.”

 

Mr. Rieley asked if the consultant came up with these as a result of these meetings, and Ms. Catlin stated yes, that this was based on the input that they got in the May 25 meeting.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he could see a lot of sensitivity to some of the comments that were made at some of the public meetings.  He appreciated that, but it was interesting that the stakeholders that did not show up and make the most noise are not necessarily speaking for the entire picture.  Therefore, they needed to make sure that they covered the whole spectrum of opinions.

 

Ms. Catlin asked if there were any other comments.  There being none, she thanked the Commissioners for their input. 

 

In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on Places 29. In preparation for Charrette #2, scheduled for October 31 – November 4, staff provided an update on the following areas:  1. project mile stones, 2. update on staff activity, 3. review of draft Charrette Schedule, and 4. a draft of the Vision Statement, Goals and Guiding Principles.  Staff discussed the upcoming process and asked for comments from the Commission.  The Commission provided comments and suggestions to the Vision Statement and Guiding Principles to be forwarded to the consultants for consideration.  Staff provided fliers concerning the upcoming events to the Commission to distribute.

 

            Old Business:

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there was any old business.  He stated that there was a work session on October 25 for Hollymead Town Center, which was one week before they received information on Places29.  He asked if there was any flexibility in that schedule.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that the Commission did have some flexibility in that date.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that at the previous work session the Commission had indicated they would be interested in seeing that discussion of the rezoning going in parallel with Places29.

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that work session referred to another area.  This is the missing piece of Hollymead Town Center that the Commission had a work session on and gave direction to the applicant to go back and work on their proposal and they have never brought it back to them.  This started out when Areas B, C and D also came to the Commission about three years ago.

 

Mr. Edgerton stated that he had gotten it mixed up with another request.

 

There being no further old business, the meeting moved on to new business.

 

            New Business:

           

Mr. Edgerton asked if there was any new business.

 

Mr. Cilimberg asked for input from the Commission regarding several scheduling items.  Currently, the Commission is scheduled to meet on November 8, which is Election Day.  It is a possibility for staff to move the November 8 meeting agenda items to the next week, November 15.  One thing that will do is conflict with a public information meeting in Rivanna Village that Glenmore residents had requested.  It is about our planning processes and basically how did we get to the Comp Plan that we have now. The request was made through Board members and with Mr. Graham, and the County agreed that they would put on a “Planning 101” with the community on November 15.  He asked if the Commission wanted to attend that meeting or if they preferred to have their Planning Commission meeting that night rather than on election night.  Staff will be able to cover both of the meetings if the Commission so desires.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if they could move those items to November 22, and Mr. Benish indicated that there were several applications that had already been scheduled for November 22 that included the Logan deferral and two work sessions.

 

Mr. Craddock and Ms. Joseph indicated that they would not be present on November 8.

 

 

 

Mr. Benish stated that on October 18 staff tentatively scheduled a work session on the Rural Areas Zoning Text Amendments with the Commission.  During the joint work session with the Board of Supervisors, they deferred that information to the Planning Commission to discuss the concepts and provide direction back to the Board of Supervisors.  Staff has invited some representatives from other localities that are doing phasing for timing of development.  Staff would prefer to do a 4:00 p.m. work session and asked for the Commission’s input since it was a bit of a short notice. 

 

 

 

Mr. Benish stated that would begin the process on those zoning text amendments. Staff will probably follow up in a couple of weeks, but will gage it depending on the Commission’s comments.  Staff would like to do a facilitated session based on the information that was provided to the Commission and the Board, which would be the second round of discussion.  Staff is still working on the details of that.  It is not on the work program yet.  Therefore, it is another item that staff needs to schedule. It may be that a 4:00 p.m. work session might be something that staff suggests to the Commission again. 

 

Mr. Cilimberg stated that Allison will be updating the future PC meeting schedule on Friday for distribution so the Commission can update their calendars.

 

Mr. Benish noted that he would try to tie down the Area B Study work session and the other one so that the Commission could place those dates on their calendars.  He pointed out that there were items scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving.  Therefore, there will be a regular meeting during that week and it will not be cancelled.

 

Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that he was working on scheduling a work session on the County Strategic Plan. Also, he was working on scheduling a meeting with the Commission and the ARB to talk more generally about their roles and interaction.

 

There being no further new business, the meeting proceeded.

 

Adjournment:

 

With no further items, the meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m. to the October 4, 2005 meeting.

                                               

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