PRIVATE  COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

 

Project Name:  ZMA 06-01 Westhall Phase V

Staff:  Elaine K. Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

July 11, 2006

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

August 2, 2006

Owners:  Shiflett Farm LLC

Applicant: Stonehaus Development, WW Associates consulting engineer

Acreage: 8.9 acres

Rezone from: R-1 and R-6 Residential (existing  zoning) to PRD Planned Residential Development   

TMP:   TM 56H, Parcel A

Location: Approximately 600 feet east of the end of Park Road (SR 1204) – See Attachments A and B

By-right use:  9 single family units, up to 13 units with bonuses

Magisterial District:  White Hall

Proffers:     Yes            

Proposal:  Zero Lot line Single Family Residential at 6.1 dwelling units/acre net, with request for a private street and waivers

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  36

DA (Development Area): Community of Crozet

 

Comp. Plan Designation: Crozet Master Plan -  Neighborhood CT1 & CT 2 Preserve and Reserve (net 1 unit/21 acres), CT4 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 4.5 units per acre for Single family detached and attached units and duplexes; net 12 units per acre for townhouses and apartments; net 18 units per acre for mixed use).  Neighborhood CT5 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 12 units per acre for all housing types; net 18 units per acre for mixed use.

Character of Property:  Undeveloped and wooded

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Mobile home community and single family to north and west; other surrounding properties currently undeveloped but include future by-right phases of Westhall to the south and west.   

Factors Favorable:

1.      The project positively addresses the principles of the Neighborhood Model with specific emphasis on a pedestrian orientation, neighborhood friendly streets and paths, parks and open space, and relegated parking.

2.      Density is in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan.

3.      Greenway connections in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan are proffered.

Factors Unfavorable:

1.      Proposed moderately priced housing does not meet the County’s definition of affordable housing.

2.      Additional traffic on Park Road and Tabor Street from the 36 houses will add to the traffic from the by-right phases of the Westhall development to overburden streets.

3.      Minor changes are needed to the proffers and application plan to satisfy form issues from the County Attorney’s office and County engineering requirements.

RECOMMENDATION:  If the Commission and Board believe that the cash proffer and spot improvements to Park Road are sufficient to mitigate traffic impacts, then staff recommends approval if the affordable housing proffer is modified to bring it into conformity with County policy and if the technical changes are made to the application plan and proffers.  Staff recommends approval of the private street and waivers with conditions.

 


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                   ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                   JULY 11, 2006

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                AUGUST 2, 2006

 

ZMA 06-01  WESTHALL PHASE V

With Private Street request and Waivers of Sections 14-422 B. and 14-422 D. of the Subdivision Ordinance and Sections 4.6.2, 4.6.3 b., and 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance

 

PETITION 

PROJECT: ZMA 06-01 Westhall - Phase V

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 8.96 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre) and R-6 (6 units/acre) to PRD Planned Residential District residential (3 - 34 units/acre).  36 single family detached units proposed at a density of gross 4 units per acre.

PROFFERS:  Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Neighborhood CT4 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 4.5 units per acre for Single family detached and attached units and duplexes; net 12 units per acre for townhouses and apartments; net 18 units per acre for mixed use).  Neighborhood CT5 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 12 units per acre for all housing types; net 18 units per acre for mixed use. CT 1 and CT 2 Preservation and Reservation Areas with net 1 unit per 20 acres

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes____No  X

LOCATION: Portion of Tax Map 56H Parcel A, located approximately 600 feet east of the end of Park Street (SR 1204) in the Community of Crozet.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA

The property is located at the end of Park Road.  It is immediately surrounded by the mobile home park to the west, an unnamed tributary of Lickinghole Creek along the northern boundary of the property and existing pasture and woods to the east.  Cory Farm open space borders Westhall to the south, across Lickinghole Creek and Brookwood Subdivision is located across Park Road from Westhall.  The site is mostly wooded.  (See Attachments A and B.)

 

SPECIFICS OF THE PROPOSAL 

The application plan (Attachment C) shows the desired layout with thirty lots for single-family detached zero- lot-line units on both sides of a proposed public street that runs north-south.  Six smaller affordable units are shown on individual lots at the corner of Brookwood Road and Tremont Street.  Two lots have been removed from the plan with the redesign.  All but one of the affordable units faces Tremont Street.  Because one lot does not have public street frontage, a private street is shown which requires approval by the Commission.  Waivers to sidewalks and planting strips on the private street are proposed as well as some zoning ordinance waivers to help implement the plan. 

 

The development is proposed is residential with no mixed use.   Amenities include a tot lot and greenway trails. The applicant has also shown on-street parking for greenway trail head parking. Dedication of the area for the tot lot and greenway trails is proposed, which is acceptable to the Director of Parks and Recreation.  A temporary easement for a greenway is proffered on the adjacent property.  The future Eastern Avenue is located on the adjoining property which is partially owned by the applicant.  Dedication for Eastern Avenue is expected in a subsequent rezoning. Other proffers include cash for transportation and capital improvements and a commitment to provide moderately-priced single-family detached housing. (See Attachment D.)

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST

The applicant has said that “densification of Urban Growth Area consistent with Comprehensive Plan for Crozet is the justification for the request.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

The parcel has been zoned R-1 and R-6 since 1980.  There is no other history other than the current platting activity for other portions of the parcel. 

 

This parcel is the remainder of land from other phases of the new Westhall development.  Westhall Phases I & II include properties zoned R4 and R6 and have final plat approval for 49 lots using clustering provisions.  Lot sizes range from 4,800 square feet to 15,000 square feet with nearly 30,000 square foot lots adjacent to Lickinghole Creek to the south. Westhall III is also zoned R6 and has preliminary plat approval for single family lots ranging in size from 4,500-6,500 square feet in size.  Westhall Phase IV has preliminary site plan approval for 36 townhouse lots/units. These earlier phases of Westhall included an 80 foot wide right-of-way reservation for Eastern Avenue.

 

Planning Commission Background And Changes To Plan

On May 9, 2006, the Commission held a worksession on the proposal to gain input on several issues.  An excerpt from the minutes of that meeting summarizing the Commission’s comments is provided as follows:

 

·         Density and Mix of Uses in relation to the Crozet Master Plan – The density was viewed as consistent with the Crozet Master Plan.  Although the Master Plan suggested a greater intensity and mixture of use at this location, the proposed development could be supported because development nearby had been done by-right in a different form than contemplated by the Master Plan.  As a result, it didn’t make sense for this one small section to be very different from the housing development nearby. 

 

·         Layout and Design – In general, the layout was acceptable; however, more information was needed relative to the layout and design for the lots, units and driveways.   The Commission asked that the storm water management facilities be designed so that they are not in conflict with adjacent residential uses, the tot lot, or causing negative visual impacts to future Eastern Avenue. The Commission agreed with staff that modifying the location and the design of both of the stormwater facilities could be done to create a greater aesthetic and a safer situation adjacent to the tot lot.

 

·         Eastern Avenue and Greenway Connection – The Commission asked for additional information on greenway connections. They also asked that staff work with the applicant on how to incorporate a greenway trail in advance of full road construction of Eastern Avenue.  The Commission was not in agreement on the width of the screening buffer adjacent to Eastern Avenue.  Some Commissioners believed that the 20’ buffer was sufficient; others believed it should be wider.

 

·         Affordable Housing – The applicant’s proposal for small single-family detached units, either on a single lot or individual lots and served by a private drive with adjacent parking was viewed as unique and advantageous to the development.

 

·         Transportation Impacts – Park Road would not be recommended for widening, even though VDOT suggested that it should be widened by 1 – 2 feet.  Instead, spot improvements along Park Road should be proffered.  In addition, a cash proffer should be considered for Eastern Avenue or the Lickinghole Bridge to offset the impacts of this development.

 

The application plan shows a similar layout to the plan reviewed by the Commission.  As requested by staff and the Commission, changes have been made to the location of the stormwater facilities, the tot lot, and location of trails to address concerns about appearance and safety.

 

The applicant has again shown a 20-foot buffer at the rear of the lots; however, this buffer is now a part of open space to be dedicated to the County.  The open space will adjoin the future right-of-way for Eastern Avenue.  A temporary easement for a greenway path is proposed on the adjoining property.  The path is proposed to meander through the open space and the future right-of-way for Eastern Avenue with little if any disturbance of trees.  Staff believes that more than 20 feet will be available for the buffer because of the 80 foot expected right-of-way and that, with County ownership of the buffer area, effective screening of the back yards of houses on Tremont will be provided. 

 

Several Commissioners were interested in the location of driveways and garages in relation to the houses.  Attachment E shows the proposed location of driveways and garages.  Staff was initially concerned about the potential crowding of houses and driveways, leaving little room for landscaping between lots.  The applicant invited staff to see a similar development at the end of Cabell Street off of Preston Avenue in the City.  In viewing that development, staff was satisfied that parking could be appropriately relegated on the lots.

 

At the May 9, 2006 meeting, Commissioners also wanted to better understand staff’s request for a greenway connection along the future Eastern Avenue right-of-way.  Attachment F shows a proposed trail (in red) from Crozet Park to Cory Farm.  The eastern boundary of the parcel is the proposed location for Eastern Avenue.  Staff’s proposal was for a temporary trail to be constructed in that future right-of-way that would be replaced when the street was actually built.  The applicant has proffered to provide a temporary access easement at that location.  Even though the property is owned by a different entity than the applicant, the applicant holds an interest in the adjoining property and will be providing a letter from the adjoining owner indicating the owner’s willingness to provide the temporary access easement.

 

Comprehensive Plan

Crozet Master Plan – Westhall V is located in the northeast quadrant of Crozet, east of Crozet Avenue and north of Lickinghole Creek.  It is located in Neighborhood 3 of the Crozet Master Plan.  The property contains four designations, specifically CT5, CT4, and CT1 & 2 as shown below:

 

Westhall Phase V Residential

Density

 

 

 

 

 

Master Plan

Density

Units

 

Crozet Transect Density

Acres

Net Acres

Min

Mid

Max

Proposed

Density

CT 1 and CT 2 (1 du/21 ac)

3.77

3.01

0

0

0

11

3.6

CT 4 (4.5,12/acre; 18/acre mix use)

1.00

0.80

4

10

14

7

8.8

CT 5 (12/acre; 18/acre mix use)

4.13

1.65

20

25

30

18

8.6

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: Net acreage is 80% project area for

8.90

5.45

24

35

44

36

 4.04

 CT1,CT2, CT4; 50% of net project area for CT5

 

 

 

 

 

 

gross

 

 

As indicated at the May 9 worksession, the portion of the neighborhood that includes the area for Westhall V is very difficult to analyze.  The reason for the difficulty is that the master plan map was not parcel-based which can make the County’s GIS system application difficult on small parcels or where several different land use categories are shown.  In addition, road systems and development have taken place that are not in specific conformity with the master plan.  No center has emerged to represent the CT5 area shown on the plan.  (Finally, the transect-based map is very difficult to use at this level of detail because some of the boundaries are schematic and cannot be tied to any physical characteristics of the land.)

 

For these reasons, staff was unable to rely on a computerized breakdown and has done an analysis by hand of the transect zones reflected on the rezoning plan.  Staff believes that the breakdown is as follows:

 

For the CT 4 area, the above table was produced using 4.5 units an acre for minimum units and 12 units an acre for the medium density.  High density would require mixed-use and be18 units per acre.  The high end of density shown above would be with a mixed-use component.

 

For the CT5 area, 50% of the net area was expected in the master plan to be used for residential uses.  With this total, the low end for the CT5 area was calculated at 12 units per acre and the high end at 18 units per acre, which would also require mixed use.  The medium density figure is the average of the low and high figures.  The end result is that the proposed uses are higher than the low end of density and almost the same as the medium end.

 

For the CT1 &2 areas, no density was shown since the plan anticipates very low densities at 1 unit per 20 acres.  The applicant is actually showing approximately 11 lots in the CT 1 & 2 area.  While, in most circumstances showing lots in CT &2 areas would be problematic, most of this acreage was intended to be a greenbelt adjacent to Eastern Avenue.  Part of the acreage was expected to be an undisturbed stream buffer adjacent to a tributary to Lickinghole Creek.  The stream buffer is preserved on the property. 

 

Members of the public have raised concerns about the rate at which Crozet is growing and staff has provided a summary of potential dwelling units in crozet as a “status report” on approved developments and developments under review in Crozet (Attachment I).  The Crozet Master Plan does not specify which neighborhoods should develop first in Crozet. 

 

Applicable statements from the Crozet Master Plan for the eastern geographic sector of Crozet relevant to this site are identified below in italics.  Staff comments relative to this project and the recommendations of the Crozet Master Plan follow:

 

Development for the area east of Crozet Avenue should focus on the construction of public amenities such as the school and parks in addition to the creation of roads and bridges. Specific recommendations and tasks for Crozet-East include the following:

 

Construct Eastern Avenue, Main Street, and primary neighborhood streets within the two or three major properties available for new development.

 

The applicant has planned neighborhood streets from the end of Park Road/Brookwood Road and Jamestown Court. A public road connection from Jamestown Court to the future Eastern Avenue and approximately 1,000 feet of 80 foot wide right-of-way reservation for the Eastern Avenue was provided with the first phase of the Westhall development. 

 

Construct Lickinghole Bridge on a time-line appropriate to demand.

 

Eastern Avenue and the Lickinghole Bridge are eligible to be part of the County’s CIP.

 

Establish greenway trail (for pedestrians and bikes) from Lickinghole Creek Basin to Crozet Park and downtown.

 

Previous phases of Westhall included a greenway pedestrian easement to Lickinghole Creek and along the eastern edge of the development. There is an opportunity with this rezoning to connect Lickinghole Creek and Cory Farm to the greenways that lead to Crozet Park and Downtown. The applicant has provided pedestrian easements along the eastern edge and northern edge of the project boundaries for the rezoning.  The greenway paths are shown on Attachment F.

 

Construct new neighborhood elementary school on time-line appropriate to demand, in general location shown on plan.

 

A new neighborhood elementary school is shown on the Master Plan on the Con-Agra property north of Lickinghole Creek and south of Three Notch’d Road.  A school is expected to be provided with a future rezoning for that development.  Area from that property would be requested to be reserved if a subdivision plat is submitted for by-right development.  Construction of the school is expected at a future date when additional demand generates the need for the school. 

 

Explore and develop potential access points to Lickinghole Creek Basin.

 

A greenway trail from this site can connect to the Lickinghole Basin and is shown on the eastern border.  A second greenway trail is accommodated nearby on the sewer line easement to the north of the site.  Both access points are part of a system than was requested by the Parks and Recreation staff.

 

Establish Eastern Park with public/private collaboration.

 

The proposed Eastern Park is not on this property nor adjacent to this property.  When development of the property to the east containing the area shown for Eastern Park on the Master Plan is proposed, the County hopes to secure the property for the park.

 

Build the long anticipated north/south road east of Crozet Avenue (called Eastern Avenue in the Master Plan, formerly referred to as the 240/250 Connector). This baseline infrastructure improvement will involve a bridge over Lickinghole Creek, a bridge or underpass to cross the CSX tracks to the north, and numerous connections to neighborhood streets. Construction phasing should begin from the south (Route 250). Aside from construction itself, truck traffic should not be allowed on this road. The private sector should be responsible for funding and building Eastern Avenue with the exception of Lickinghole Creek bridge.

 

Eastern Avenue is shown adjacent to this development but not on the property proposed for the development.  It is expected that when the adjacent property is proposed for development, the right-of-way can be reserved or dedicated. 

Open Space Plan/Green Infrastructure Map: The Open Space Plan does not identify any significant environmental resources on the site with the exception of the tributary to Lickinghole Creek at the western end of the property. As mentioned, Westhall is situated between Lickinghole Creek to the south and Crozet Park to the northwest.

 

The Neighborhood Model:  Conformity with the Neighborhood Model is assessed below. With the exception of affordable housing, the proposal conforms to all of the 12 Principles of the Neighborhood Model.

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Sidewalks are shown along streets both sides of Tremont street and on one side of the east-west road that stubs out at the Eastern Avenue right-of-way. The other side of this road contains a stream and buffer which staff believes justifies a request for a path on only one side of the street.  A trail is provided along a portion of that street.  A temporary access easement for a greenway trail is proffered on the adjacent property.  This principle is met on-site and off-site, to the extent possible.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

The typical street section for the public road shows street trees.  This principle is met.

 

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The area for rezoning ties into the Westhall network of streets that connect to Park Road and provide the opportunity for a future connection to Jamestown Court. Two connections from Westhall V to Eastern Avenue have been provided.  This principle is met.

 

Parks and Open Space

 

The applicant has provided 2.63 acres of open space in three places.  Open space area C is along the stream buffer at the northern end of the property.  Open space area A is along the eastern edge of the property with a small park area with a 2,100 square foot tot lot and trail head at the southern end.  The tot lot has been moved away from the stormwater detention pond and a 42-high fence will be provided.  Landscaping is shown on the application plan and proffers to landscape the area to the satisfaction of Parks and Recreation will ensure that the stormwater facilities are attractive.  Open space area B, in the southern area, is primarily the stormwater detention pond with a trail.  The applicant has proffered to pay for a pedestrian bridge across the creek.  A small park area across from the intersection of Tremont Street and Park Road. This principle is met.

 

Neighborhood Centers

There are two centers to which this project could relate:  the future Clover Lawn center to the south, and Claudius Crozet Park to the northwest. Pedestrian access to these centers is not ideal as the greenway paths are not in place yet.  The area surrounding the project site was intended to contain a center; however, the Planning Commission advised that creating a center was not necessary because of the existing pattern of development.  This principle is met generally with the relationship of the project to nearby centers.  The principle will be more fully met when sidewalks and paths are in place.

 

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

Building heights are proposed at 35 feet and setbacks proposed are a 15 foot front setback; a 0-foot side yard setback for zero lot-line houses, and a 10 foot rear yard setback.   Staff believes that heights and setbacks are appropriate and that this principle is met.

 

Relegated Parking

Attachment E illustrates the proposed location of parking in relation to the houses.  Staff believes that the parking is appropriately relegated.  Staff defers to the Commission to determine if a commitment to relegated parking as shown on the attachment is necessary.

 

Mixture of Uses

 

The applicant is providing only residential uses.   This principle is not met; however, the Commission previously decided that a mixture of uses was not essential to this development.

 

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The applicant has provided two types of single family detached housing—conventional houses and a unique complex of moderately-priced units.  The proffer for affordable housing does not meet the County’s established definition of affordable housing.  This issue is discussed later in the report.

 

Redevelopment

The site is currently undeveloped and this principle does not apply.

 

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The site does not appear to have any topographic issues. There will be some grading adjacent to but not in the stream buffer. This principle is met.

 

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

The project is located entirely with in the Community of Crozet so this principle is not applicable.

 

   

 

STAFF COMMENT

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district:  The following section is an excerpt from the Zoning Ordinance.

 

The PRD is intended to encourage sensitivity toward the natural characteristics of the site and toward impact on the surrounding area in land development.  More specifically, the PRD is intended to promote economical and efficient land use, an improved level of amenities, appropriate and harmonious physical development, and creative design consistent with the best interest of the county and the area in which it is located.

 

To these ends, the PRD provides for flexibility and variety of development for residential purposes and uses ancillary thereto. Open space may serve such varied uses as recreation, protection of areas sensitive to development, buffering between dissimilar uses and preservation of agricultural activity.

 

While a PRD approach is recommended for developments of any density, it is recommended but not required that the PRD be employed in areas where the comprehensive plan recommends densities in excess of fifteen (15) dwelling units per acre, in recognition that development at such densities generally requires careful planning with respect to impact.  (Amended 8-14-85)

 

Staff believes that the proposal meets the intent of the PRD.

 

Public need and justification for the change:  The County’s Comprehensive Plan supports rezoning proposals which are in conformity with recommendations for use, density, and form.

Impact on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources – No impacts on environmental, cultural, or historic resources, other than removal of trees, are expected with this development.  The woods on the site are not noted as significant features on any County plans.

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services:

Streets:  The most significant impact this project will have is on neighborhood streets.  Almost all of the streets in this area of Crozet, including the streets for the Westhall development, use Tabor Street as the entrance into and out of the development from Crozet Avenue.  Staff raised this issue as a concern with the applicant early in the project.  The only way for traffic impacts to be mitigated would be with the construction of Eastern Avenue.  Knowing that the construction of Eastern Avenue would be more costly than this development could reasonably fund, staff suggested to the applicant that he proffer the right-of-way for Eastern Avenue on the adjoining parcel.  The applicant responded that his ownership in the adjacent property was limited and he was unable to convince the other owners to dedicate the full right-of-way for the street. 

 

The applicant was then asked to do a traffic study to analyze the impacts of the Westhall developments (phases I – IV) on existing streets.  The study analyzed critical intersections based on the traffic that would be generated during the peak hour.  The study shows that each of these intersections will operate at an acceptable level of service.  Furthermore, the study demonstrates that the connections to the future Eastern Avenue will divert a significant amount of traffic from these intersections.  However, the study did not address the impact to the capacity of the existing streets.  The study notes that the existing Park Road (Rte. 1204) ranges from 20.5 to 21 feet wide. 

 

Staff did some additional analysis and, based on the current VDOT Subdivision Street Requirements, this width has a maximum capacity of 1750 vehicle trips per day.  Based on the traffic generated by the by-right development of Phases I – IV, the traffic volume on Park Road west of Claudius Drive exceeds this capacity (see table below).  With the additional traffic from Phase V, the capacity of Park Road will be exceeded until the street network is connected to the future Eastern Avenue.

 

                                                                           Total Trips Park Rd.    Total Trips Park Rd.d.

                                                                           East of Claudius Dr.    West of Claudius Dr.

 

            Predevelopment (VDT 2002 counts)                                550 adt                    1600 adt

            Add:  Phases I – IV                                                     1368 adt                     2418 adt

            Add:  Phase V                                                            1776 adt                     2826 adt

            With Connections to Eastern Ave.                                1075 adt (*)                  800 adt (*)

 

                                                            (* based on the traffic splits assumed in the traffic study)

 

To address the immediate impacts to Park Road, the pavement could be widened to at least 22 feet, as requested by VDOT during their review of subdivision plats and site plans for previous phases of Westhall.  The end result, though, would just be to allow for faster traffic movement.  For this reason, the Planning Commission did not recommend that a widening of Park Road take place; rather, the Commission asked for spot improvements.  The applicant met with staff and identified the most important improvements which have now been proffered by the applicant.  Whether this solution along with a cash proffer ($45,000) for Eastern Avenue is still acceptable to the Commission and ultimately to the Board to mitigate the traffic impacts should be discussed. 

 

Schools – The development is expected to generate approximately 15 students broken down as follows:  6 elementary school students, 4 middle school students, and 5 high school students.  These students would likely attend Crozet Elementary School, which is above capacity based on summer 2005 estimates; Henley Middle School, which was below capacity based on the summer 2005 estimates; and Western Albemarle High School, which was at capacity based on estimates.  For short-term capacity issues, the Schools division adds mobile units.  For long-term capacity problems, either redistricting or new schools will be built.  To help address the future school needs, proffers for capital improvements for school facilities are made for this development.

Fire, Rescue, Police –The Crozet Volunteer Fire Station and the Western Albemarle Rescue Station provide fire and rescue services to the area.  The planned Ivy Area Station will also augment services provide by the two existing fire and rescue stations Crozet. Albemarle County Fifth Street Office Building is contains the County’s Police Department, although the police patrol all areas of the County. Current policy of police services recommends an average response time of 10 minutes for all Development Areas. To this end, police satellite offices are recommended within a service sector to help achieve these desired response times to all police emergency calls. The possibility of an additional fire/rescue/police station is under consideration for the area in 2012.

Utilities – Albemarle County Service Authority indicates that water and sewer service is available to serve the site.    

Fiscal Impact Analysis:  Attachment H contains the Fiscal Impact Analysis.  The summary of the fiscal impact analysis reveals a negative net fiscal impact.  This situation is not unusual in that almost all residential projects result in a net negative fiscal impact.

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties:  Surrounding properties are already experiencing a change in character as new development has occurred around them with construction of Westhall streets and houses.  The biggest impact will be on streets.  The applicant is proffering to make spot improvements on Park Road to help deal with the impacts.  Cash proffers for Eastern Avenue are also made.

PROFFERS

Attachment D contains the current proffers.  Wording changes are expected prior to the Board of Supervisor’s hearing to address non-substantive issues.  Individual proffers are described below:

 

Proffer 1: Capital Improvements:  The County’s Community Facilities Plan, in conjunction with the Capital Improvements Program identifies the need for a library, schools, park, public safety and transportation improvements in Crozet.   A list of projects for Crozet is below.   The proposed development will generate part of the need for these facilities. Most approved rezonings for residential developments include either commitments in the form of cash proffers to help offset the impacts of the development and/or provision of land for facilities where appropriate.

Current County funded CIP items recommended by the Crozet Master Plan that relate to this project are:

• New library: $5,378,000

• Additional High School capacity: $7,500,000 (all high schools)

• New Crozet Elementary School: $12,388,000

 

Items not yet funded but recommended by the Master Plan for inclusion in future CIP budgets:

 

• Eastern Avenue design and engineering: $500,000

• Eastern Avenue bridge: $4,000,000

• Recycling Center: $250,000. [Currently three recycling centers are recommended for county as a whole but specific locations have not been selected. Given the anticipated growth in the area, it is recommended that one of the centers be located in Crozet.]

• Greenway development:

 

Items recommended for private sector funding: or public/private collaboration:

 

• Eastern Park: estimated $2,000,000

• Greenway development: estimated $30,000 per year for the County as a whole

• Main Street at Crozet Avenue: $500,000

• Eastern Avenue: $4 million

• Eastern Avenue underpass: $1 million

• Main Street extensions: $2,500,000

• Bike/pedestrian improvements in developing neighborhoods

 

The applicant is making a cash proffer for Eastern Avenue at $1500 per market-rate unit.  Cash for capital improvements for schools, libraries, fire, rescue, parks or other public uses serving Crozet is proposed at $1000 per market-rate unit.  The result is $2500 per market rate unit or $75,000.  Spot improvements for Park Road are proffered by the applicant, which the applicant has valued at approximately $250 per market rate unit, for a total of $7500. With $3,000 for the pedestrian bridge and an estimate of the value of the greenway trail on the property, the total value of cash proffers is around $100,000 or approximately $3300/unit.

 

As the Commission and Board know, the County has no cash proffer policy.  The table below shows the most recently approved projects which offered cash proffers:

 

Rezoning

# of Units

Cash Proffer

ZMA 03-12 Stillfried Lane Townhouses

    26

$3000/unit for capital improvements or affordable housing programs; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA 05-14 Poplar Glen (currently scheduled for a BOS hearing on July 5, 2006)

   28

$3200/unit for capital improvements and $66,000 for affordable housing program in lieu of providing four affordable units; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA 04-24 Old Trail Village

2275

$50,000 Cash proffer for park projects, Cash proffer for schools: $1000/sfd unit; $500/th unit; $250/apt.; Cash proffer for public faculties:  $1000/sfd unit; $500/th unit; $250/mf unit; and physical improvements including completion of Western Avenue and dedication of land for Western Park.

ZMA 05-05  Liberty Hall

43

$3,200 per unit cash proffer for public facilities; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA  02-04  Cascadia (PROPOSED)

330

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $2,000 /sfd, $1000/th, $500/mf unit.

ZMA  05-07 Haden Place (PROPOSED)

36

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities/services: $2,750/ market-rate unit; off-site road improvements to Haden and Killdeer Lanes

ZMA 05-18 Wickham Pond II

(PROPOSED)

106

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $3225/market-rate unit

ZMA  06-01Westhall V (PROPOSED)

34

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $1000/market-rate unit; $1500/market-rate unit for Eastern Avenue; Spot improvements to Park Road (apprx $7500); $3000 for a pedestrian bridge; on-site greenway trails, parking area for trailhead, and off-site temporary easement for greenway

Note: sfd = single familty detached, th = townhouse, mfd = multifamily

 

Regarding adequacy of the proffers, staff believes that, based on its actions on recent residential rezonings, the Board has set an expectation for offsets to impacts caused by residential developments.  Different types and levels of rezonings will have different impacts.  The location of the proposed development also plays into the amount and type of offsets needed. As such, staff must rely on previous actions of the Board as guidance to applicants on expectations for off-sets to impacts of new development.  Staff believes that the amount of money to be applied towards capital projects of the County and the public improvements are similar to proffers from other projects.  Staff believes that $45,000 to be applied to Eastern Avenue is a very small amount given the fact that the cost to construct the road is likely to be so much greater.  It would appear that the only other option available would be to postpone approval of this rezoning until the street network that allows traffic to actually use Eastern Avenue is in place. 

 

Proffer 2: Affordable Housing:  The applicant is proffering six moderately-priced units to meet the affordable housing policy.  The term “moderately-priced” is used because, the units do not meet the County’s definition of “affordable housing”.  The County’s definition of “affordable” housing relates to housing that is affordable to families with up to 80% of the median household income.  The applicant is proffering to provide housing that is affordable to families with up to 100% of the median household income.

Since the County’s affordable housing policy was adopted, all affordable housing proffers approved by the Board of Supervisors have met the County’s policy for providing 15% of the new units as affordable (up to 80% of the median household income) or an equivalent. 

 

Recently, the applicant for North Pointe has made a proffer for the Board of Supervisor’s review for for-sale single-family detached housing that is affordable to families with a range of 80 – 120% of the median household income.  In that case, the applicant termed the housing, “work-force” housing.  Staff pointed out to the Board that the proposed proffer was not in conformity with the County’s adopted policy for affordable housing. 

 

The Housing Director made a case to the Board for the need for “moderately priced” housing, which he presented to the Board at their June 7, 2006 meeting on North Pointe.  The report is attached as Attachment G.  In the report, the Housing Director suggests that, for North Pointe, a rated scale could be used to help “give credit” for housing that technically does not meet the definition of affordable housing, but, which provides housing for a sector of the population with incomes in excess of 80% of the median household income.  The Director of Housing relates household incomes to the maximum income for first-time homebuyers whose loans are made through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). 

 

The Board indicated a willingness to consider the Housing Director’s report in its deliberations on the affordable housing proffers with North Pointe.  The applicant for Westhall is hoping that the Board will accept this same approach with its review of Westhall.  The Director of Housing is being requested to attend the July 11, 2006 Commission meeting to answer questions of the Commission related to the report and the proffers for affordable housing.

 

Staff would like to point out that, to date, no applicant has provided single-family detached housing as “affordable housing” meeting the County’s policy.  The Commission may wish to consider whether single-family detached housing warrants any special consideration in relation to the affordable housing policy.  At present, though, staff can only recommend approval of the project based on the County’s adopted policy.

 

Proffer 3: Open Space and Greenways:  Proffer 3 offers the temporary greenway connection, a trailhead park with landscaping and amenities, two parcels of open space to connect to future public open space in relation to greenways, and $3000 for a pedestrian bridge.  Parks and Recreation is satisfied with all of the proffered facilities and land and believes that $3000 is acceptable for the cost of building the pedestrian bridge over the creek.

 

PRIVATE STREET REQUEST AND WAIVERS

With this development, the applicant is requesting approval of a private street under Section 14-233 of the Subdivision Ordinance, a waiver to Section 14-422 for sidewalks and street trees, a waiver to Section 4.6.2 of the Zoning Ordinance for determination of lot front, to Section 4.6.3 b. which requires that double frontage lots have two front yards, and permission to disturb open space under Section 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.  An administrative waiver will also be necessary to approve the double frontage lots under Section 14-401 of the Subdivision Ordinance.

The private street is the street serving the affordable housing units.  One of the lots proposed has no public street frontage.  For this reason, a private street is requested.  This street is very unique in that, except for one of the lots, the private street provides secondary access from the rear as if it were an alley.

 

According to Section 14-233 of the Subdivision Ordinance,

 

The Commission may authorize a subdivision to be developed with one (1) or more new private streets in the following circumstances including Neighborhood model development. The proposed private street(s) would enable the principles of the neighborhood model to be more fully implemented than could be achieved with a public street, without diminishing other principles of the neighborhood model, in the following circumstances:

 

(i) the subdivision would have a streetscape more consistent with the neighborhood model;

 

The private street serving the moderately-priced units enables the principle of affordability to be implemented in a unique way.  With the exception of Lot 102, the lot for which the private street is essential, the private street allows for rear access to the houses facing the public street, creating a streetscape that is consistent with the neighborhood model.  For all but Lot 102, parking is relegated.

 

(ii) the subdivision design would allow it to better achieve the density goals of the comprehensive plan;

 

The subdivision design is not essential to obtain maximum density recommended by the Crozet Master Plan; however, it does provide for greater density in the area devoted to moderately-priced housing.

 

(iii) rear vehicular access to buildings would be provided so that the buildings may face a common amenity;

 

The buildings do not face a common amenity.

 

(iv) a significant environmental resource would be protected; 

 

No environmental resources are present at this location.

 

(v) or relegated parking would be provided to a greater extent than could otherwise be provided.

 

Relegated parking is provided to all but one lot; however, this is the lot which requires the private street.  This criteria is not met. 

 

The agent and the commission may authorize one or more private streets in a subdivision if it finds that one or more of the circumstances described in sections 14-232 or 14-233 exist and it determines that:

 

1. The private street will be adequate to carry the traffic volume which may be reasonably expected to be generated by the subdivision.

 

The private street shown on the application plan does not meet County engineering requirements; however, changes to the application plan can be easily made to meet the requirements.  The County Engineer assures that, with revisions to meet zoning ordinance requirements for travelways, the private street will be adequate to carry the traffic volume expected. 

 

2. The comprehensive plan does not provide for a public street in the approximate location of the proposed private street;

 

The Comprehensive Plan does not provide for a public street at this location.

 

3. The fee of the private street will be owned by the owner of each lot abutting the right-of-way thereof or by an association composed of the owners of all lots in the subdivision, subject in either case to any easement for the benefit of all lots served by the street;

 

This requirement will be met; however, it is one that was scrutinized by staff because of the units which the street will serve.  The units are proposed to be “affordable” units and, generally, there is an expectation that affordable units will be served by a public street so as to not create an added expense to the owners of the units.

 

The applicant has indicated to staff that the homeowners’ association dues will be approximately $40 per month for a maintenance fund for private street maintenance.  The Housing Director believes that this amount is not onerous to future homebuyers of the affordable units.

 

4.      Except where required by the commission to serve a specific public purpose, the private street will not serve through traffic nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location; and

 

The proposed private street does not serve through traffic nor intersect a public street in more than one location.

 

4.       If applicable, the private street has been approved in accordance with section 30.3, flood hazard overlay district, of the zoning ordinance and other applicable law.

 

The private street is not located in a flood hazard overlay district.

 

Staff recommends approval of the private street for the purpose of providing one additional “moderately-priced” detached unit.  Staff emphasizes that this support exists because only one unit requires the private street and this unit helps to achieve affordability goals of the County.  The street also enables the rest of the units to have rear access which allows for better relegated parking in the development.

 

Waivers to Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for sidewalks are requested.  The first waiver, identified as (a), is to eliminate the sidewalk on the private street.  The second waiver, identified as (b), is to allow an asphalt path for a portion of one side of the street next to the open space adjacent to the stream buffer.   For these waivers, the following analysis is made:

 

In reviewing a request to waive the requirement for sidewalks, the commission shall consider whether: (i) a waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted;

 

No waiver for a rural cross-section for either (a) or (b)  has been requested.  The private street (a) will need to meet the parking lot and drive aisle requirements of Section 18-4.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.  For (b), the public street is proposed as an urban section.

 

(ii) a surface other than concrete is more appropriate for the subdivision because of the character of the proposed subdivision and the surrounding neighborhood;

 

In (a), the request is for a waiver of the sidewalk altogether, so this criteria is not applicable.  In (b), the proposed surface is asphalt as part of a trail system. 

 

(iii) sidewalks on one side of the street are appropriate due to environmental constraints such as streams, stream buffers, critical slopes, floodplain, or

wetlands, or because lots are provided on only one side of the street;

 

In (a), the request is for a waiver of sidewalks on both sides of the street.  There are no environmental constraints.  In (b), the path would be adjacent to an area of open space with a stream and stream buffer. 

 

(iv) the sidewalks reasonably can connect into an existing or future pedestrian system in the area;

 

In both circumstances, sidewalks could connect into a pedestrian system.  For (a), sidewalks along the private street would tie into sidewalks along the public street.  In (b), sidewalks could connect into a future street that would extend to the mobile home park to the west.  If the future street were extended, housing would be unlikely on the north side due to the location of the stream and stream buffer.

 

(v) the length of the street is so short and the density of the development is so low that it is unlikely that the sidewalk would be used to an extent that it would provide a public benefit;

For (a), the length of the street is very short (160 feet) and acts as an alley.  For that reason, it is unlikely that the sidewalk would be used.  For (b), the sidewalk could be used and would provide a public benefit.

 

(vi) an alternate pedestrian system including an alternative pavement

could provide more appropriate access throughout the subdivision and to adjoining lands, based on a proposed alternative profile submitted by the subdivider;

 

For (a), no alternate system is proposed or viewed as needed because of the sidewalk adjacent to the public street in front of the lots.  For (b), an asphalt path is appropriate because it provides access to the County’s greenway system.

 

(vii) the sidewalks would be publicly or privately maintained;

 

For (a), no alternate system is proposed, so this criteria is not applicable.  For (b), the path would be publicly maintained and is desired by the Department of Parks and Recreation as part of a public system.

 

(viii) the waiver promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan; and

 

For (a), the sidewalk waiver relates to the private street which enables an additional single-family detached moderately-priced housing unit to be provided in the development.  For (b), waiver does not promote the goal of having sidewalks on both sides of all public streets.  However, if the street from the mobile home park is extended in the future, it is likely to be done in conjunction with a subdivision plat.  At that time, staff can ask for an asphalt path from the adjoining property to connect into the public open space to create the link.

 

(ix) waiving the requirement would enable a different principle of the neighborhood model to be more fully achieved.

 

For (a), The waiver allows for an additional single-family detached moderately-priced housing unit to be provided.  For (b), the asphalt path adjacent to the dedicated open space helps to provide greenways under the Neighborhood Model principle of providing parks and open space.

 

In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring sidewalks would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to

the orderly development of the area, to sound engineering practices, and to the land adjacent thereto.

 

Staff believes that requiring sidewalks in (a) would be redundant and that the public interest is equally served without the sidewalks.  For (b), the elimination of a portion of the sidewalk can be supported for environmental reasons.  Where the sidewalk is provided, the asphalt path will be more compatible with the park area being created.  Staff believes that granting the waiver would not be detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare, affect orderly development, contradict sound engineering practices or negatively affect adjacent land thereto. 

 

Waivers to Section 14-422 D of the Subdivision Ordinance for planting strips are requested in the areas of (a) and (b) above.  The following analysis is provided for both areas on the plan:

 

In reviewing a request to waive any requirement for planting strips, the commission shall consider whether:

 

(i) a waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted;

 

A rural cross-section is not requested.

 

(ii) a sidewalk waiver has been granted;

 

A sidewalk waiver has been requested.

 

(iii) reducing the size of or eliminating the planting strip promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan; and

 

Eliminating the planting strip allows the private street (a) to look and function as an alley which is consistent with goals of the Comprehensive Plan.  For (b), the planting strip would cause the path to be very close to the stormwater facility.  Staff believes that the planting strip could be waived at this location; however, there should be at least three feet of separation between the back of the curb and the path.

 

(iv) waiving the requirement would enable a different principle of the neighborhood model to be more fully achieved.

For (a), the waiver relates to the private street waiver which functions more as an alley than a real street.  The alley-appearance allows for relegated parking to all but one lot.  For (b), waiver of the planting strip would not enable a different principle of the neighborhood model to be more fully achieved.

In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring planting strips would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the order development of the area, and to the land adjacent thereto.

 

Staff believes that, in (a), requiring the planting strip is unnecessary because planting strips are along the public street in front of all but one of the houses.  The planting strip would be redundant and the public interest is equally served without the planting strip.  For (b), staff believes that requiring the planting strip could crowd the area near the stream buffer.  Also, where no sidewalk is proposed, a planting strip would not be expected.  Staff believes that granting the waivers would not be detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare, affect orderly development, contradict sound engineering practices or negatively affect adjacent land thereto. 

 

A waiver to Sections 4.6.2 and 4.6.3.b. is requested to allow for the application of setbacks to be as shown on the application plan, rather than as indicated in the Zoning Ordinance for the moderately priced housing complex.  Without the waiver, there would be front setbacks applied from the private street (the back of the lots facing Tremont).  Staff recommends that the setbacks shown on the application plan be applied specifically as shown.

 

A waiver to Section 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance is requested to authorize disturbance of open space.  Westhall Phase V is providing open space which will have a stormwater facility, paths, a trailhead with improvements, and a tot lot.  Staff believes that improvements in open space are expected in the Development Areas and recommends approval of the disturbance shown on the plan and with the improvements shown in the open space on the application plan.

 

SUMMARY

Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this rezoning request:

1.      The project positively addresses the principles of the Neighborhood Model with specific emphasis on a pedestrian orientation, neighborhood friendly streets and paths, parks and open space, and relegated parking.

2.      Density is in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan.

3.      Proffered greenway connections in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan.

 

Staff has found the following factors unfavorable to this rezoning:

1.      Proposed moderately priced housing does not meet the County’s definition of affordable housing.

2.      Additional traffic on Park Road and Tabor Street from the 36 houses will add to the traffic from the by-right phases of the Westhall development to overburden streets.

3.      Minor changes are needed to the proffers and application plan to satisfy form issues from the County Attorney’s office and County engineering requirements.

 

RECOMMENDATION

The Planning Commission has reviewed the project and, from a traffic standpoint, endorsed it generally with the proviso that the applicant proffer cash for construction for Eastern Avenue and make spot improvements on Park Road.  If the Commission and Board believe that the cash proffer and spot improvements to Park Road are sufficient to mitigate traffic impacts, then staff recommends approval if the following changes are made:

·        The affordable housing proffer is modified to bring it into conformity with County policy

·        Technical changes are made to the application plan and proffers to satisfy County engineering and County Attorney concerns. 

 

WAIVERS

Staff recommends approval of the private street in the location shown on the application plan with the condition that the private street serving Lot 102 and the rear parking bays for the remaining lots will be revised on the application plan to meet parking lot standards (20’ travelway and 10’x18’ bays).  

Staff also recommends approval of the following waivers:

1.      Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for sidewalks on the private street.

2.      Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance to substitute an asphalt path as shown on the application plan in the northern part of the site for sidewalks on both sides of the east-west street at the northern part of the site.

3.      Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for planting strips with the condition that for location (b) described in this report, at least three feet of separation between the back of the curb and the path shall be provided.

4.      Sections 4.6.2 and 4.6.3.b. of the Zoning Ordinance to allow the setbacks shown on the application plan to be used, rather than using the zoning ordinance’s standard of measurement for front and rear yards.

Staff recommends approval of permission to disturb open space in conjunction with Section 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance as shown on the application plan. 

 

ATTACHMENT A:      Location Map for Westhall 

ATTACHMENT B:     Tax Map showing Westhall Property

ATTACHMENT C:     Westhall Application Plan dated January 23, 2006 last revised June 14, 2006

ATTACHMENT D:     Proffers dated June 14, 2006

ATTACHMENT E:      Reduced copy illustrated Conceptual Layout dated 3/29/06 showing buildings and driveways (on file in Clerks office).

ATTACHMENT F:      Map showing proposed trail between Crozet Park and Cory Farm

ATTACHMENT G:     Report by Ron White on Affordable and Moderately-Priced Housing dated May 22, 2006

ATTACHMENT H:     Fiscal Impact Analysis dated June 30,2006

ATTACHMENT I:       New Residential Units Approved in Crozet as of 7/5/06

 

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