COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
The applicant is seeking to rezone property totaling 60.77 acres to Neighborhood Model District. Along Route 20 North across from Darden Towe Park. 55.71 acres are currently zoned RA – Rural Areas and 5.06 acres are zoned R-6 Residential. The development is proposed to contain up to 330 dwelling units, in a mixture of housing types at an average of 5.43 dwelling units per acre. Cascadia is also proposed to supply up to 20,000 square feet of non-residential, neighborhood-service uses.
LEGAL REVIEW: YES
August 2, 2006
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
On June 27, 2006, the Planning Commission recommended approval of Cascadia subject to the following conditions:
The applicant has made revisions to the Code of Development in keeping with the Commission’s expectations. Specifically, the applicant has increased the side yard setback on larger lots to five feet. The applicant did not opt to include a zero lot line concept with the latest revisions. During the June 27th public hearing, the Commission concurred with the applicant that the extensive use of retaining walls will allow for less land disturbance and will be necessary to implement the form of development proposed for Cascadia. The Commission supported the applicant’s standard for retaining walls (6’X300’), but asked that the applicant augment the tree protection language found in the Code of Development. The applicant has committed to submitting a tree protection plan for land disturbing activities in the Conservation Areas. This reflects the same treatment the applicant provided for areas immediately adjacent to Preservation Areas and adequately addresses the Commission’s request. Exhibit A is the location map, Exhibit B is the action letter from the June 27th public hearing, Attachment C is the staff report from the June 27th public hearing, Exhibit D is proffers, and Exhibit E is the Code of Development.
The proffers have been revised. The cash proffer designated for the CIP to address the project’s impacts has been increased from $2,000 to $3,000 for each single family detached house, from $1000 to $2,500 for each townhouse, and from $500 to $2,000 for each multifamily unit. Based on the applicant’s approximate distribution of housing types, the sum of the proffer has increased from $300,000 to roughly $730,000. This is in keeping with the Commission’s request and reflects or exceeds other similar recently-accepted proffers. However, the applicant has not increased the 90-day limit on the availability of affordable units that the Commission felt needed to be increased. The 90-day limit is not problematic for the Chief of Housing because any site plan or subdivision plat with affordable housing will identify where and how many affordable units it contains. This would occur at least 30 days, but likely closer to 90 days, before an approved site plan or subdivision plat would be approved by the County. After that, time would be needed to install roads and infrastructure and construct the house to make it available. The proffer clarifies that 90-days before the house is available for sale, the Housing Office will be officially notified. The Housing Office estimates that through review of the site plan or subdivision plat staff will know of affordable units being constructed at least 180 days before they are ready. The Chief of Housing will be present at the hearing to discuss his support of the proffer as written.
The applicant has submitted a request to waive or modify 18 sections of the Albemarle County Code. Some waivers, such as critical slopes, are general and contain conditions. In order to gain support for other, more specific waivers or modifications, the applicant has added an alternate standard in the Code of Development. These alternate standards are a substitute for development standards generated by the County Code. These alternate standards are more in keeping with the Neighborhood Model. As the County Code generates one standard for all forms of development, and because many of those standards are more conventional or suburban, the waivers are necessary to complete the applicant’s neo-traditional / new-urbanist vision for Cascadia. The Planning Commission reviewed the applicant’s waiver requests and is in support of all requested waivers or modifications. A chart summarizing the waivers or modifications recommended for approval by staff and supported by the Commission is Attachment F. Attachment G discusses each waiver in detail. In conjunction with the rezoning, the Board will need to affirm or reject these waiver or modification requests.
Staff recommends approval of the rezoning, with proffers, Code of Development, and waivers if the Board agrees with the Chief of Housing that 90 days is sufficient time for finding purchasers for the affordable units.
EXHIBIT A: Location Map
EXHIBIT B: Action Letter from June 27, 2006 Commission Hearing
EXHIBIT C: Staff report from June 27, 2006 Commission Hearing
EXHIBIT D: Proffers
EXHIBIT E: Code of Development (on file in the Clerk's office)
EXHIBIT F: Waiver / Modification Chart
EXHIBIT G: Waiver / Modification Evaluation
View PC minutes of June 27 and July 18, 2006
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