STAFF PERSON:                                                                              Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                              May 23, 2006

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                                                        July 5, 2006



SP 2005-00029 Pro Distribution




PROJECT: Special Use Permit 2005-029 Pro Distribution

PROPOSED: Retail tire sales/service

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: LI - Light Industrial - industrial, office, and limited commercial uses (no residential use)

SECTION: Subordinate retail sales exceeding 15% of floor area of the main use.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Crozet Master Plan designates CT1 Development Area preservation of open space, CT3 Urban Edge: single family residential(3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses, and CT4 Urban General: residential (4.5 units/acre single family, 12 units/acre townhouses/apartments, 18 units/acre mixed use) with supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and mixed uses including retail/office



Character of the Area: 

Pro Distribution is located on a rectangular 3.8 acre parcel in Crozet that is more intensively used than surrounding properties. Located on the site is a trucking business, wholesale tire distribution, and self-storage units located in the rear of the parcel.  Adjoining the property to the east is a medical office building, to the west is an undeveloped wooded parcel, both zoned Light Industrial; north of the property across Three Notch’d Road is a residence zoned Rural Areas and to the south of the property, across the railroad tracks, is Western Ridge zoned Planned Residential.  


Specifics of the Proposal

The request is for retail tire sales exceeding 15 percent of the floor area of the main use within an existing 3,780 square foot office/work building located in approximately the middle of the property.  Special use permit approval is being sought for up 953 square feet or up to 26 percent of the building for use as retail tire sales. The applicant has submitted floor plans of the whole sale office/work building and has shown which portions would be devoted to the tire sales business. This use will also require additional parking can be addressed with the site plan process.


Applicant’s Justification for the Request:   

The applicant has indicated that tire sales is not a business currently located in Crozet and would meet the needs of the residents and reduce their trips into Charlottesville for tire sales and service.


Planning and Zoning History:  

The site has been zoned Light Industrial since prior to 1980.  The primary land use of the site until the self storage was established was trucking/distribution. The land uses are currently evenly split between trucking/whole sale distribution and self storage. The applicants have submitted a site plan to expand the self storage business to areas of the site currently used for trucking.


Comprehensive Plan and the Neighborhood Model:

This property is located in a Corridor place type as identified by the Crozet Master Plan and is designated with three land uses:  CT 1 Development Area Preserve along Three Notch’d Road, CT 4 Urban General over approximately half the property from the CT1 area along Three Notch’d Road and CT 3 Urban Edge in the rear of the property adjacent to the railroad tracks.  The existing building proposed for retail tire sales appears to be located within the area of the property designated CT 4 Urban General. CT 4 areas within the transect organization of this area of Crozet function as center areas for the Corridor. CT 4 areas are intended to be a focal point with a variety of residential types and mix of uses. CT 4 areas are intended to have small retail buildings and also automotive type uses such as gasoline stations. Staff finds that tires sales is comparable to the retail uses anticipated in the CT 4 designation in the Crozet Master Plan with limiting conditions. The site is redeveloping in a sense from trucking to other less intensive uses such as self storage and retail. (Attachment A)


There are no physical changes to the site proposed with this special use permit application.   The site is being developed under its by-right LI Zoning utilizing existing buildings on the property. This request, by its nature, does not fit most concepts of the Crozet Master Plan and 12 Neighborhood Model principles.


Staff Comment:

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

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.

This request has been evaluated for impacts to adjacent properties based on a proposed increase in retail sales from the 15% allowed by-right to 26% and staff feels that that there will be no greater impacts to adjoining properties from the retail tire sales business. (Staff suggests allowing up to 30% if this special use permit is approved.) A distribution business is already operating from this site and the added retail traffic will not be substantial. There is some concern regarding potential noise from the tire service. The tire sales and service business will have regular business hours, usually between 8:30a.m. -5:30p.m., and installation of tires onto vehicles will be within the enclosed building. Staff feels that these would be appropriate conditions of approval to mitigate impacts to adjoining properties and has also suggested a condition of approval that would prevent outdoor storage of tires.

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

LI districts are intended to permit industries, offices and limited commercial uses which are compatible with and do not detract from surrounding districts. The majority of the site will still be used for businesses that are permitted by –right in the LI District. The retail tire sales would be located such that it is incorporated within surrounding LI uses and thereby does not change the character of the district.


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 for LI Zoning Districts. Only a very small portion of the site will be devoted to retail sales, which will be related to the LI main use of wholesale tire sales. No conflicts with the other LI uses of the property have been identified. The proposed use is consistent with the expectations for retail uses in this zoning district.

with the uses permitted by-right in the district,

Retail sales as specified in the Zoning Ordinance are required to be subordinate to a related by-right use in the LI Zoning District. In this case, retail tire sales are subordinate to the wholesale tire business which has already been established. Retail tire sales is not permitted as a by-right use and can only be established if associated with a main LI use on the property, in this case wholesale tire sales. There are specific regulations to ensure that the use is subordinate or accessory in Section 5 which are addressed below.

The trucking business is a by-right LI use that is located in front portion of the site, in front of the building proposed for retail.

with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,

Additional regulations in Section 5.0 of the ordinance relating to Subordinate Retail Sales are addressed below:



This provision is intended to permit retail sales as subordinate to the main use. To this end, the following regulations shall apply:


a. Retail sales area, including but not limited to showroom and outdoor display area, shall not exceed fifteen (15) percent of the floor area of the main use except as provided for in section; (Amended 2-20-91)


Section references the special use permit provision in the LI Zoning District for subordinate retail sales areas exceeding 15 percent, which the applicant is requesting with this application.


b. Retail sales shall not precede establishment of the main use. Retail sales shall be permitted only after or simultaneously with the establishment of the main use and shall not continue after discontinuance of the main use; (Adopted 12-2-81)


Wholesale tire distribution is a use that has already been established on the site as a main use and qualifies as the main use for purposes of allowing and regulating retail sales. This use was established prior to the applicant establishing retail tire sales.


c. In approval of any retail sales area the board and/or the commission may limit the areas for retail sales in both size and location; (Added 2-20-91)


A condition of approval is recommended that limits retail sales to no more than 30% of the 3,780 square foot building on the site and labeled “Existing Office/Work Building” and shown on the approved SDP for that building. (Attachment C)


d. Retail sales area exceeding fifteen (15) percent of the floor area of the main use pursuant to section is intended to allow for uses which by their nature are bulky and require nonintensive use of the land. The board and/or the commission in approval of such increased sales area shall be mindful of the intent of this section to provide for only subordinate retail sales and avoid incompatible land uses. (Added 2-20-91)


The intent of this provision in the Zoning Ordinance is to provide for retail sales that are accessory/subordinate to the main use. In this case the main use is wholesale tire sales and distribution, which currently includes about 6,611 square feet of floor area in buildings on the site. The applicant is planning to increase the area of the self storage business and decrease the area devoted to the whole sale tire business from 6,611 to 3,780.  Staff does not feel that the 26 percent of the floor area (953 sq.ft.) requested is incompatible with the other land uses on the site. The majority of the building would still be devoted to LI uses and in conditions of approval recommend allowing up to 30% (1134 sq.ft.) for some flexibility. This square footage for retail sales would be devoted primarily to service bays to install tires on automobiles.


and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The public health, safety, and general welfare of the community are protected through the special use permit process, which assures that uses approved by special use permit are appropriate in the location requested.    


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commented that the existing entrance is adequate. Retail customers and truck traffic would use the same entrance, as do the self-storage customers, but there is a separate travel aisle for retail and self-storage customers to use.  


Staff has not identified any issues with the proposed use since it is so limited in size and will not produce additional traffic impacts.




Factors Favorable to this request:

o        Retail tire sales is a use not presently in Crozet and could serve residents tire needs reducing trips to Charlottesville for that use.


Unfavorable factors to this request:

o        The site is not in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.











Recommended action:

Staff recommends approval of SP 2005-029 with the following conditions of approval:

1.      Site plan approval of the proposed retail tire sales use is required.

2.      Retail tire sales shall be limited to the building labeled as Office/Storage Building F as shown on the approved SDP #03-043 for that building.

3.      The floor area devoted to tire sales within that building shall not exceed 30% of the gross floor area of that building

4.      Retail tire sales may not be expanded up to 30% until the site is entirely in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.

5.      Hours of operation for the retail tire sales business shall be between 7:30a.m. and 6:00p.m.

6.      There shall be no outdoor storage of tires or equipment associated with the wholesale of retail tire sales business.




A.      Crozet Master Plan Location Map

B.     Zoning Location Map

C.     Site Development Plan-Crozet Mini Storage

 Return to July 5 executive summary