COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Jarmanís Gap Road (Route 691) Improvement Project

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

The Board of Supervisors to review and discuss public comments on the Jarmanís Gap Road project options and adopt of a resolution of support for the project.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Cilimberg, Benish, Wade

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 7, 2006

 

ACTION:     X                          INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                               INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:       Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

On March 30, 2006, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) held a design public hearing for the Jarmanís Gap Road improvement project. The purpose of the project is to improve Jarmanís Gap Road from its intersection with Half Mile Branch Road (Route 684) to its intersection with Crozet Avenue (Route 240).   Jim Utterback, VDOT Resident Engineer, has provided a summary of public comments received from the public hearing process and recommendations for implementing the project (Attachment A).

 

VDOT had previously held a Citizen Information Meeting on this project on November 12, 2003.  Prior VDOT comments and recommendations resulting from the November 12, 2003 meeting and the Boardís March 3, 2004 resolution are provided as Attachments B and C, respectively. At that time, two options for intersecting with Crozet Avenue (Rt. 240) were shown, one using the existing alignment/right of way (called Alternative A), and the other realigning Jarmanís Gap to intersect at the Tabor Street/Crozet Avenue intersection (called Alternative B).  Based on comments received at that time, the Board adopted a resolution supporting Alternative A which utilized the existing alignment/right of way for Jarmanís Gap Road, providing a two lane road with curb and gutter, bikelanes and a sidewalk on the north side of the road from Crozet Avenue to Jarmanís Lake Road, then changing to a rural cross-section with paved shoulders from Jarmanís Lake Road to Half Mile Branch Road.  This design minimized the impact to an adjacent potential historic property, avoided displacement of homes on at least two properties, and best maintained the existing schedule for construction.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

3.1 Make the County a safe and healthy community in which citizens feel secure to live, work and play.

 

DISCUSSION:

VDOT has again recommended a design that utilizes the existing alignment/right of way and provides two (2) twelve foot (12í) lanes, two (2) four foot (4í) bicycle lanes, curb and gutter and a five foot (5í) sidewalk on the north side of the road from Route 240 (Crozet Avenue) to Jarmanís Lake Road.  From Jarmanís Lake Rd. to Route 684 (Half Mile Branch Road) the cross section will be two (2) twelve foot (12í) lanes, shared bike path, sidewalk and curb and gutter on the north side of the road and a rural design (shoulder and ditch) with a paved shoulder on the south side of the road. The paved shoulder will function as the bikelane on the south side of the road. Some horizontal and vertical curvature improvements will also result from the project.  This design is consistent with the Boardís prior resolution for the project design, but now includes continuing the sidewalk along the full length of the project on the north side of road.  This addition addresses both public and staff concerns with the extent of the pedestrian facilities as previously proposed. 

 

As was the case in November 2003, there was considerable opposition to this alignment from members of Crozet United Methodist Church at the March 30, 2006 design public hearing. The proposed alignment and cross-section will have an impact on the churchís side parking lot. Approximately 10-25 spaces may be lost as a result of this project.  Staff has evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed alignment vs. one that would intersect with Tabor Street.

 

 

 

Proposed VDOT Alignment (Alternative A)

Strengths:

 

Weaknesses:

 

Tabor Street Alignment (Alternative B):                                              

Strengths:

 

Weaknesses:

 

To further elaborate, the State Department of Historic Resources determined in October of 2000 (Attachment E) that if a Crozet Historic District were created, the Community Garage property could be eligible for National Register listing. The Community Garage/Bickersí Tea Room was identified as a contributing structure to such a potential historic district.  The Jarmanís Gap Road project is receiving federal funds and the use of those federal funds requires compliance with the National Transportation Act of 1996. The National Transportation Act requires avoidance of contributing properties such as the Community Garage/Bickersí Tea Room unless it can be demonstrated that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to such use.  In addition, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 has a component called Section 106 which states that if a contributing structure were to be demolished the project (Jarmanís Gap Road) would have an adverse impact on a potential National Register historic district.  

 

The loss of church parking with Alternative A is a serious concern and will require VDOT to evaluate opportunities to provide additional parking to offset this loss.  Several parking arrangements appear possible to offset this loss but no solutions have been established at this time. First, a more proactive process to develop central parking opportunities that serve downtown Crozet is currently being considered, which could provide additional church parking. Staff is currently working with many downtown property owners to identify possible parking solutions for the downtown.  Second, additional cooperative parking arrangements may also become available to serve the church as the ďBlue GooseĒ property redevelops.  There has been some interest expressed in possible shared parking arrangements. Third, potential improvements to Carter Street associated with redevelopment could provide some parallel parking opportunities in this

area.  That option has not yet been explored.  Staff believes VDOT will need to consider all of these options as the project moves to right of way acquisition and staff plans to work in cooperation with VDOT to help identify potential solutions. 

 

Based on this information, staff supports the improvements to Jarmanís Gap Road as recommended by VDOT.

 

 

Project Timing:

In June 2006, VDOT is proposing to submit project plans for Federal authorization of right of way acquisition.  Assuming County endorsement, these plans will incorporate revisions recommended as a result of the March public hearing.  This process takes roughly 2 - 3 months.  Once Federal notice to proceed on right of way acquisition is issued, it will take at least 2 years to complete right of way acquisition and utility relocation.  At that point, VDOT can proceed with advertisement for construction bids.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

This project is listed in the Countyís Six Year Secondary Road Priority List for VDOT Secondary Road funding.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends the Board of Supervisors endorse VDOTís recommended alignment and adopt the resolution found in Attachment D.  In addition, staff recommends that the Board direct staff to include further analysis of long term intersection needs on Crozet Avenue and possible improvements to Carter Street as part of the upcoming Crozet Sidewalk/Streetscape engineering/design work.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment A- March 30, 2006 Public Hearing Comments Summary from VDOT

Attachment B Ė November, 2003 Public Information Meeting Comments Summary from VDOT

Attachment C- March, 2004 Resolution Approved by the Board of Supervisors

Attachment D- Resolution Supporting VDOTís Proposed Alignment

Attachment E Ė Historic Resources Letter

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