Staff Contact:                                                                                  Rebecca Ragsdale

Planning Commission:                                                                 March 14, 2006

Board of Supervisors:                                                                  April 5, 2006

 

SP 2005-00033 Westfield Road Center

 

Petition:  

PROJECT: SP 2005-00033 Westfield Road Center

PROPOSED: 3-Story approx. 9,500 Sq. Ft building for office use with 2 residential units on approx 0.55 acres

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: C-1 Commercial-retail sales and service uses and residential uses by special use permit; EC Entrance Corridor overlay

SECTION: 22.2.2.6 Special Use Permit, which allows for residential uses allowed in Section 18 R-15 Residential (15 units/acre) in the C-1 Zoning District

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Community Service-community-scale retail, wholesale, business and/or employment centers, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre)

LOCATION: Tax Map 66W, Section 2, Block B, Parcel 1A; on the south side of Westfield Rd. (Rt. 1452), approx. 300 ft.  from the intersection of Seminole Trail (Rt. 29) and Westfield Road

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio

CONCURRENT APPLICATION: SDP 2005-00136

 

Existing Conditions/Character of the Area: 

The site is currently vacant and undeveloped. The front two-thirds of the property is relatively flat open grass while the rear slopes downward and is wooded. All properties immediately surrounding the project site and in the general area are similarly zoned C1 Commercial. Surrounding uses are a bank, printing company, medical offices, with assisted living nearby on Westfield Road. Westfield Road connects Seminole Trail to Greenbrier Drive, forming a block.

 

Planning and Zoning History:

There is no previous history on this site and it has been zoned Commercial since 1980 and Commercial Business prior to 1980.

 

Specifics of Proposal:

The applicant has submitted a preliminary site development plan which reflects the proposed site layout and landscaping plan. (Attachment B) The applicant proposes a building with 5,490 square feet of office and 4,000 square feet of residential space in the two condo units. Parking required for theses uses is 26 spaces, which the applicant has provided in two parking areas. One area is in front of the building and the other area is behind the building on the lower walk-out level. The required loading space is located in the front parking lot. Pedestrian access to the building is provided from a sidewalk along Westfield Road via a raised wood walkway that extends to the front of the building and around the side. This site is visible from the Entrance Corridor and the ARB has reviewed the preliminary site plan and proposed architecture of the building. The ARB granted approval of the preliminary site plan, contingent upon the applicant meeting several conditions. These conditions related to façade treatment, fence details, retaining wall material details, landscape schedule revisions, limits to the height of lighting, and railing details on the exterior stairs and requirements to screen the stairs.

 

Comprehensive Plan:

The site and surrounding area are designated Community Service in Neighborhood 2 of the Land Use Plan, which has the following recommendations:

 

·         Uses allowed in this designation include community-scale commercial, professional, and office uses providing retail, wholesale, business, medical offices, small office buildings, mixed-use core communities and/or employment services to the Development Areas and larger geographic sections of the County.

 

·         Areas designated as Community Service typically encompass a medium site size (5 to 30 acres), collector road accessibility, water and sewer availability, and compatibility with adjacent land uses.

 

·         A mixture of Urban Density Residential (6-20du/acre) uses and community service uses is anticipated within this designation.

 

·         Larger areas may be designated as Community Service if a mixture of uses includes residential units relating to the commercial area. The proportion of residential square footage to non-residential square footage may be as high as 50%.

 

In these mixed use areas, green space should occupy at least 20% of the area.

Amenities such as parks, paved plazas, indoor or outdoor gathering areas, lakes, pedestrian paths, and the like should occupy at least 20% of the area.

 

The Plan encourages mixed use and the office and residential uses appear consistent with those intended for this area. The applicant’s proposal is not a very intense use of the property with the residential density of 1dwelling unit per acre well below what is suggested by the Plan.

 

Conformity with the Neighborhood Model

An analysis of the proposal against the 12 principles of the Neighborhood Model is included in the table below. While the applicant desires to develop an office building under the C1 Zoning regulations, this analysis is primarily focused on the special use permit for the two proposed residential units.  

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Sidewalks and walkways for pedestrian connections are provided from Westfield Road to the building and around to the back of the site. More immediate pedestrian access to the building from Westfield Road could be provided without the raised walkways if the building were moved closer to the street. However, the by-right commercial development of the site does not require this and building setback requirements of 30 feet limit how close the building can be to the street.

 
Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Low speed limits and sidewalks along Westfield Road are provided; however there is no planting strip provided between the sidewalk and the roadway.   

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

Westfield Road functions as an interconnecting street between Seminole Trail and Greenbrier Drive. A possible interconnection along the eastern property line to the adjoining office property is provided. A separate entrance onto Westfield Road is also proposed for this site.   

Parks and Open Space

 
Development of the site as proposed would result in 27% landscaped open space. The applicant has noted that the each residential unit will have an approximately 270 square foot exterior deck. The project is within ¼ mile of the Rivanna Trail (Senior Center spur) and is less than a mile from Humphris Park on Whitewood Road. The Rivanna Trail is easily accessible. Humphris Park is within walking distance but is not as easily accessed because it can only be reached from this site by crossing Seminole Trail (Route 29). 
Neighborhood Centers

The Westfield Road area is an emerging center with office and residential uses.  

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

The design of this project does not create spaces of human scale due to the location of the building setback so far from the street.

Relegated Parking

This principle is not met with the current proposal as two rows of 4 and 5 parking spaces are proposed between the building and Westfield Road. Staff would note that give the setbacks for the C1 Zoning District that relegated parking may be difficult to meet on some sites. The required setbacks are 30 feet for buildings and 10 feet for parking. The applicant has noted that the building and parking lots have been located to reduce the amount of fill and that the overall amount of parking is reduced based on shared parking between the residences and the office uses.

Mixture of Uses

 
There is a mixture of office and residential uses provided on-site with retail uses and other uses within close proximity.
Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The applicant is proposing two residential units, a small addition to the housing choices in this area of the County.  The loft units will have two bedrooms and a den and will be marketed for sale at market rate. Based on the preliminary expected price information provided by the applicant, the units will not be affordably priced. Staff is seeking further comment from the Director of Housing.

Redevelopment This project is an example of an infill project.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

A critical slopes waiver has been submitted and this principle is discussed below under Waiver Request beginning on page 5.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas The project site is entirely within Neighborhood 2 of the Development Area and is not near the Rural Area boundary.    

 

 

Applicant’s Justification for the Request:

The applicant has indicated that this project will increase residential options in this area of the County by adding additional housing choice. The applicant has noted that the residential uses will add activity to the neighborhood after the business hours of the office uses on Westfield Road.

 

Staff Comment:

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance below:

 

The Board of Supervisors hereby reserves unto itself the right to issue all special use permits permitted hereunder.  Special use permits for uses as provided in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

 

Staff has not identified any detrimental impacts that would result from the two residential units proposed.

 

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

 

The character of this area is somewhat mixed use already and the adding residential units within an office building will add to a mixed use character.

 

and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance, 

In the opinion of staff, the proposed use is supportive of the purpose and intent as described in the Zoning Ordinance with regard to special use permit requests.  

with the uses permitted by right in the district,

 

C1 Commercial District districts allow retail and office uses by right. These uses would not conflict with the two residential units proposed.

 

with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,

 

There are no additional regulations in Section 5.0 for this use.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

Residents ability to reach nearby amenities, such as Humphris Park is a concern as it can only be reached by crossing Seminole Trail (Route 29). However, there are no other concerns and other amenities can be easily accessed.

 

Waiver Request:

Zoning Ordinance Section 4.2 Critical Slopes

Description of critical slope area and proposed disturbance:

The critical slopes on this site are a narrow slope running across the property in the rear. A proposed building, parking area, travelway and retaining walls will replace the critical slope area, as shown in the inset below:

 

                                                Approximate location retaining walls

 

Areas

Acres

Total site

0.55

Critical slopes

0.04

7% of site

Critical slopes disturbed

0.04

100% of critical slopes

 

Exemptions to critical slopes waivers for driveways, roads and utilities without reasonable alternative locations:

 

There are no exemptions on this site. 

 

Compliance with Zoning Ordinance 18-4.2:

 

“movement of soil and rock”

 

The slopes will be leveled; however, movement of soil and rock for this project is not an issue with Engineering staff.

 

“excessive stormwater runoff”

 

Runoff will be increased by the plan proposed.  The Water Protection Ordinance, section 17-314F4, exempts sites under 1 acre, such as this one,  from control of peak rate and velocity of runoff.

 

“siltation”

 

Inspection and bonding by the County will ensure siltation control during construction. Proper stabilization and maintenance will ensure long term stability.

 

“loss of aesthetic resource”

 

No loss of identified aesthetic resources will occur. A small band of critical slopes will be impacted, which are not shown on the Open Space Plan as significant. The disturbed area is currently wooded and is visible from Greenbrier Drive and the surrounding commercial properties. (see inset below). Retaining walls are proposed along both the northwest and southwest property line at a maximum of 8 feet and 5 feet in height. The walls will be buffered with landscaping and the ARB will review construction materials used for the wall.

 

 

“septic effluent”

           

This is not a concern as the site is serviced by public sewer.

 

Based on the review above, there are no engineering concerns which prohibit the disturbance of the critical slopes as shown.  Under the related issue of stormwater runoff, Staff recommends the following condition:

 

1. Peak rate and velocity of runoff shall be controlled to pre-development levels.  

 

Summary:

The applicant is providing a desirable mix of uses, however at lower intensity that would be expected for the Urban Area.

 

Factors favorable to this request:

 

Factors unfavorable to this request:

 

Recommendation:

 

SP 2005-033

Staff recommends approval of SP 2005-33 with the following conditions:

  1. The site shall be developed in general accord with all sheets of the plan entitled “Westfield Road Center,” date February 28, 2006 and prepared by The Gaines Group;
  2. A maximum of 2 residential units may be permitted

 Critical Slopes Waiver

Staff recommends approval of the critical slopes waiver with the following condition:

1.      Peak rate and velocity of runoff shall be controlled to pre-development levels

 Attachments:

A.     Location Map

B.     Westfield Road Center Preliminary Site Plan, dated February 28, 2006, and prepared by The Gaines Group

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