Albemarle County Planning Commission

July 18, 2006


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Eric Strucko, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Pete Craddock, Jo Higgins, Jon Cannon and Marcia Joseph, Chairman. Julia Monteith, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia, representative for David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect of University of Virginia was absent. 


Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; Claudette Grant, Senior Planner; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner; Amy Arnold, Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.


            Public Hearing Item:


SP 2006-12 Colonial Baptist Church Mission Building (Sign #29)

PROPOSED: New building (80' x 50'), mission ministry/storage; additional driveway/parking/planting

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)

SECTION: Section, Special Use Permit, church building

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (.5 unit/ acre)


LOCATION: 4218 Richmond Road



STAFF:  Amy Arnold


Ms. Arnold summarized the staff report.



Ms. Joseph asked if the membership or congregation was being increased.


Ms. Arnold replied no that they were not, which the basis for the VDOT comments was provided for the special use permit. It is not an intensification of the use.


Ms. Higgins asked if it was a recommendation or a requirement.


Ms. Arnold replied that it says should.  In our opinion, it is a recommendation.  Our VDOT reviewer provided comments, met with the Pastor, reviewed the entrance, had the comments about the radii and she spoke with him.  Then yesterday they had a whole another set of recommendations.  Community Development asked that staff bring that to the Commission’s attention.


Ms. Higgins said that she had no problem with this other than it seems to be focused on operating a print shop with limited distribution of church related items.  So if zoning were to make an inspection to make sure that the church was working in conformance with the special use permit are they suppose to look at the documents that are being printed and determine if they are church related items.  The premise here is that this is a business operation.  She wished that it did not say that it was a print shop, but that it was just a building for other church activities.  She asked if they were stepping out of the bounds of allowing a church to have another church related activity in a separate building by starting to say that it is a print shop and it has to be this kind of thing that it is printing.  Now they would have to make a judgment call are these church related items or not. 


Mr. Kamptner said that his reading of the staff report is that it sounds as though they are connecting to the distribution of printed materials is part of this church’s ministry and the printing activity is accessory.  Of course, if they were going to be printing nonreligious materials and zoning were warned about it, and then there would be an investigation.


Ms. Higgins asked what if another ministry has what she would call a business activity which is printing and distribution.  If as long it is established as part of the ministry it is okay.  She felt that it does have a specific purpose, but it seems more like a business operation.  The temptation of operating a printing operation exists in not letting the equipment set idle.  The enforcement of it would be a nightmare.

But, having another building and having church related activities she would acknowledge that by interpretation if he was saying that it was an accessory use, then she could understand.  There are many uses that a church could do that could be problematic as far as a business.


Mr. Kamptner said that it may be.  732  ???


Ms. Arnold pointed out that it seems to be an established sort of long running part of their ministry.  She visited the building and they have a really extensive set of publications not only in English, but in Spanish.  She noted that the church does not sell any of the materials.


Ms. Higgins said that she did not have a problem with it, but would want to compare it with something else that might come before the Commission that could be a business related activity.


Mr. Edgerton said that they typically ask applicants when they apply for special use permits to do accessory activity what they plan to do.  But, there is no way to know except if a sign goes up.


Ms. Joseph noted that there are other ministries that assist in disaster relief.


Mr. Edgerton asked why condition # 7 listed 12 truck deliveries instead of the 2 mentioned previously. 


Ms. Arnold replied that staff’s consideration there was to try to gauge or get some sense of what it would be like during a disaster so that if they went above their normal 2 trucks a month trying to assist a community.


Ms. Higgins asked if the number of truck deliveries includes the incoming and outgoing deliveries.  She noted that the truck delivery volumes would be more due to paper delivering.


Ms. Joseph suggested that they ask the applicant.  She asked Mr. Kamptner about recommended action 2 because the Fire Official has not defined what that is.  What are their expectations of the applicant if they don’t even know what the Fire Official’s expectations are?


Mr. Kamptner replied that this condition is merely stating what is in the Fire Code.


Ms. Arnold said that it is reiterating the comment provided by the Fire Marshall.


Mr. Kamptner said that it is based on that Code section.  If it was a Fire Prevention Code requirement it does not need to be restated as a condition.  It can merely be stated as information to the applicant that they will need to satisfy the Fire Prevention Code’s requirements for water supply.


Mr. Craddock noted that the church is within five miles from a volunteer fire company plus there is a large pond right across the street. 


Mr. Morris said that it is within the East Rivanna Fire Department’s area, and Mr. Craddock replied that it was.


 Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Ed Leake, Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church, said that he had been here before and would like to explain in repetition that in 1998 when the first application was made that they just ran of time in raising the money to build that building.  Then the second application was also passed.  They saw a growth in their church and had to look farther down the road for besides just this building and felt that any future building that they needed to do probably would be on the west side of the building.  They had studies done with that.  So the planners deemed that this Mission Building location was the best place for this.  It left the east side free for church growth and expansion.  He pointed out that their application says Colonial Baptist Church Mission and Storage Building.  They never named it a print shop.  Printing happens to be a ministry that they have had and have been operating in a small room in an existing building.  It is a ministry and they deem a ministry as a total expense on their shoulders.  Things are given away.  There has never been a dime charged since it has been operating for these years. He assured the Commission that it was a ministry.  There is no reason for moving the building from where it was. The electricity to go to that building would have required several hundred feet of power lines.  If it had done underground it would have been a bigger expense than they anticipated to go overhead, which affected the aesthetics of where the building is now.  They are less than 125 feet from the power supply that they have now.  That was a big factor in the building change. They have seen the need in the past and do not plan to operate a Walmart size warehouse for disaster relief.  But, the church wants to their part. Their plan was for two truck trips a month, excluding disaster.  They could not answer Ms. Arnold’s question about that and pray to God that they never have to use it.  But, to raise it to 12 trips a month would take care of that.  They don’t anticipate that at all, but that was staff’s recommendation.  They are here to seek the Commission’s approval.


Ms. Higgins asked if the truck deliveries included the paper deliveries and disaster relief.


Mr. Leake replied that would be inclusive in the trips per month average.


Mr. Morris asked if he understood and could comply with condition 2.


Mr. Leake said that he did not understand it.  He had made four calls to the Fire/Rescue number and did not have the calls returned.  They made two visits and could not get an answer.  So they just proceeded.  They have no idea what they are looking for.  


Ms. Joseph asked if there was any other public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.


Ms. Higgins said that based on their discussions she thought that condition 2 could be pulled out.


Mr. Morris felt that it was important to note that the applicant does not know what it says.


Ms. Joseph noted that the Commission did not know either.


Mr. Craddock said that two years ago the special use permit had a maximum of five people and was 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  He assumed that it was changed over time to four people and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  He asked if the applicant was fine with that.


Motion on SP-2006-12:

Motion:  Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to approve the applicant’s request for SP-2006-12, Colonial Baptist Church Mission Building, with the conditions recommended in the staff report, as amended deleting condition 2.


1.       Special Use Permit 2006-12 shall be developed in general accord with the concept plan dated May 23, 2006, prepared by SL Key Inc., and titled “Conceptual Plan Colonial Baptist Church Missions and Storage Building” (Attachment A.)  Important elements of the concept plan include the following:

·         The inclusion of tree protection details from the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.

2.       A 20’ buffer shall be established and maintained along the western boundary of the parcel.  There shall be no disturbance within that buffer.  Tree protection / limits of construction shall be included on the site development plan as shown on the concept plan.  Tree protection shall be provided prior to any site disturbance and in accordance with the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook. 

3.       Print shop and mailing service shall be limited to the distribution of church related items.

4.       Operators of the print shop shall be limited to a maximum of four.

5.       Hours of operation of the print shop shall be limited to 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.

6.       Number of monthly deliveries by truck shall be limited to a maximum of twelve.

7.       Sanctuary and classroom expansion, or the addition of day care and other non-worship uses, will require amendment to this petition.


Vote:  The motion passed by a vote of 7:0.


Motion on Waiver:


Motion: Mr. Craddock moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve the waiver request from Section for SP-2006-12, Colonial Baptist Church to increase the time allowed for construction and the start of the use of the special use permit to five (5) years.


Vote:  The motion carried by a vote of 7:0.


Ms. Joseph said that SP-2006-12, Colonial Church Mission Building will go to the Board of Supervisors on September 6 with a recommendation for approval.


Return to PC staff report