COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SP2006-12 Colonial Baptist Church Mission Building 

Staff: Amy Ransom Arnold

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

July 18, 2006

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

September 6, 2006

Owners: Colonial Baptist Church 

Applicant: Colonial Baptist Church 

Acreage: Approx. 10.389 acres

Special Use Permit:  To allow for the construction of a church mission building.

TMP: TM 94 Parcel 46 

Location: 4218 Richmond Road 

Existing Zoning and By-right use: RA: Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery; residential; game preserves; wayside stands; electric, gas, oil, and communication facilities; accessory uses including home occupation class A, temporary construction uses; public uses, etc.  Entrance Corridor Overlay District.  

Magisterial District: Scottsville Magisterial District

Conditions: Yes

Proposal:  Construction of a new church mission building (80' x 50'; 4,000 square feet) to house print shop, disaster relief supplies, and general storage; additional entrance drive; new parking area; site planting (Attachment A.)

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                           

 

DA (Development Area):

RA (Rural Area):  X

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)

Character of Property: The property is comprised of a single story church building (50’x150’; 7,500 square feet), parking area, entrance drive, a large lawn area, and a large forested area.

Use of Surrounding Properties:  The parcels located immediately to the west of the site are smaller, residential parcels, with farm land located east and south of the church.            

Factors Favorable:

1.    The proposal does not represent an increased intensity of use.

2.    The construction of a new mission building can help support local community life at a rural scale and provide the potential to assist in local disaster relief.

3.    With the recommended condition, approximately 8.369 acres of existing forest land on the site will remain intact, contributing substantially to local character, water supply protection, and natural resources protection. 

Factor Unfavorable: The new church building’s visibility could negatively impact the neighboring property to the west by adding to the number of church buildings on the property.  A condition has been added to address this.  

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with conditions.

 

STAFF PERSON: Amy Ransom Arnold                      

PLANNING COMMISSION: July 11, 2006                                       

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: September 6, 2006

 

SP 2006-12 Colonial Baptist Church Mission Building

 

Petition: 

PROJECT: SP 2006-12 Colonial Baptist Church Mission Building

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 10.2.2.35, 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)

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: 4218 Richmond Road

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 94/46

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Scottsville

 

Character of the Area:

Colonial Baptist Church is located approximately 6 miles east of Free Bridge on Route 250 East (Richmond Road).  The surrounding area is characterized by large continuous stands of mature, mixed deciduous / evergreen forest, open pasture/grassland, hedgerows, agricultural buildings, scattered residences, and several large ponds.  The parcels located immediate to the west of the site are smaller, residential parcels, with farm land located east and south of the church. (Attachment B.)        

 

Planning and Zoning History:

Colonial Baptist Church has applied for a Special Use Permit for additional construction on this site twice, with this submittal as the third effort to construct the new building.  Both SP1998-23 (approved on August 19, 1998) and SP2000-80 (approved on March 27, 2001) were approved with conditions. 

 

SP1998-23 and SP2000-80 both proposed the construction of a 3,040 square foot building to house a print shop and mailing service with an additional driveway, parking area, and site planting.  The conditions of approval for both Special Use Permits were similar and limited (Attachment C.):

·   Print shop and mailing service to the distribution of church related items

·   Operators of the print shop to five volunteers

·   Hours of operation from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

·   Number of monthly deliveries by truck to twelve

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

·   Additional development to the final site plan, revised May 29, 1998

 

Both Special Use Permits expired before the use was established on the site. Currently, the Zoning Ordinance allows 24 months for both construction and start of the use of a Special Use Permit (18-31.2.4.4.).  Staff has found that churches often need more time to accomplish their fundraising prior to building.  Staff recommends that the time allowed for the commencement of the use of this Special Use Permit, should it be approved, be increased to five (5) years. 

  

 

STAFF COMMENT:

The congregation of Colonial Baptist Church proposes to construct a new building (80' x 50'; 4,000 square foot) to house a print shop, currently operated out of the existing church building.  The mission building will also provide general storage space for supplies for disaster relief and seasonal displays.  To support the mission building, the proposal includes an additional driveway, parking area, and site planting. (Attachment A.) 

 

The church print shop produces pamphlets and booklets for local and international ministry outreach on behalf of Colonial Baptist.  Producing their own printed material saves the congregation as much as 90% on printing costs when compared to using a commercial printer, allowing the bulk of the resources of the congregation to focus on ministry efforts.  Currently the print shop is operated by four volunteers and receives an average of two truck deliveries a month.  In addition to the printed ministry the church supports disaster relief programs the importance of which was highlighted as the congregation initiated efforts to support communities affected by hurricane Katrina. 

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance as follows:

 

31.2.4.1: Special Use Permits provided for 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,

The mission building has been proposed to provide the existing staff and congregation with more storage space and addition room to operate the printed materials aspect of the churches ministry.  The proposed addition does not accommodate additional staff, or anticipate an increase in the church’s congregation.  One potential impact on neighboring property is the possibility of increased truck traffic should the disaster relief focus of the ministry need to respond to an event on either a local or distant scale.  The applicant has indicated an average of two small to medium sized panel trucks coming and going per month during daily operations or during disaster response.  However, on the event of a local or national disaster, this volume could be greater.  The prior conditions of approval for the Special Use Permits for this project included an allowance of up to twelve monthly truck deliveries.  While the applicant has indicated an average of two truck deliveries per month, staff recommends the condition allow for up to twelve monthly truck deliveries. 

 

The property adjacent to the church on the west boundary is single family residential and will likely be the most impacted by the proposed 4,000 square foot mission building.  While a buffer between non-residential and residential parcels is not a specific zoning ordinance requirement, the County has routinely imposed a 20’ buffer between these uses. The concept plan shows a proposed 20’ buffer, including a swale with grading that ends at the buffer line.  The full width of the 20’ buffer should retain the remaining portion of the existing trees intact.  Staff is recommending including tree protection fencing and a tree protection detail on the concept plan.  In addition, it is recommended that the tree protection fencing define the limits of construction in all areas where disturbance along the existing tree mass will occur.  These limits and details have been included on the concept plan.    

                

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

The surrounding area is characterized by large continuous stands of mature, oak/hickory forest, open pasture/grassland, hedgerows, scattered residences, and several large ponds.  The parcels located immediate to the west of the site are smaller, residential parcels, with farm land located east and south of the church property.

           

The church property includes a 2 acre area identified to contain the church use, leaving the remaining 8.389 acres primarily in forest land.  The existing forest land on this site is a mature mixed oak/hickory community that extends well beyond the boundaries of this parcel. (Attachment D.)  The portion of the forest land located to the south of the existing church building contributes substantially to the character of this section of Route 250 East.  Because of the quality and extent of the forest land and its contribution to the character of the surrounding district staff has recommended a condition limiting disturbance of the existing forest land to the tree protection / limits of construction indicated on the concept plan.

The proposed mission building, entrance drive, parking, and plantings are partially or fully visible from the Entrance Corridor Route 250 Overlay District.  The retention of this area in forest land will also begin to address visibility from the Entrance Corridor.  Should the Board of Supervisors approve the Special Use Permit, the site plan will be subject to full review for a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board.

 

that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

Section 18, Chapter 10 of the Zoning Ordinance outlines the purpose of Rural Areas zoning: “This district (hereafter referred to as RA) is hereby created and may hereafter be established by amendment of the zoning map for the following purposes: (Amended 11-8-89)

-Preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;

-Water supply protection;

-Limited service delivery to the rural areas; and

-Conservation of natural, scenic, and historic resources. (Amended 11-8-89)”

The church property includes approximately 8.389 acres primarily in forestal lands.  Extending well beyond the boundaries of this parcel, the existing mature mixed oak/hickory plant community is a primary presence in this district. The retention of the existing forestal lands would contribute substantially water supply protection and natural resources protection.  Staff has recommended a condition that the retention of the existing forest land be assured by limiting disturbance to the tree protection / limits of construction indicated on the concept plan.  

     

with uses permitted by right in the district,

The property and the adjacent properties are zoned Rural Areas.  The uses permitted by right under RA Zoning directly support agriculture, forestry, and the conservation of rural land.  Part of the vision for the Rural Areas outlined in the Comprehensive Plan includes the support of agricultural and forestal communities through community meeting places, at rural scales, that provide the opportunity to take part in community life.  The construction of a new mission building can help support local community life at a rural scale and provide the potential to assist in local disaster relief.      

with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

There are no regulations in Section 5.0 of the Ordinance that apply to church buildings. 

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The proposed mission building does not represent an increase in intensity of use related to the operation. The Zoning Department has not required, but would support, the additional five parking spaces shown on the concept plan. County Engineering has no objections to the additional building and parking areas. 

  

The existing entrance is part of an approved site plan (SP1988-01).  John Winn of the VDOT Charlottesville Residency has visited the site and has observed that the entrance is adequate.  Mr. Winn indicated that the entrance radii have decreased due to re-paving efforts since the entrance was constructed; VDOT has no objection to this reduction in radius since the entrance has also been widened in the process. 

 

The Fire Marshall is requiring they identify and approve a water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection for the church property.  This requirement represents a change in policy in the Fire Department regarding property located in the Rural Areas. 

 

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factor favorable to this application:

1.       The proposal does not represent an increased intensity of use.

2.       The construction of a new mission building can help support local community life at a rural scale and provide the potential to assist in local disaster relief.

3.       With the recommended condition, approximately 8.369 acres of existing forest land on the site will remain intact, contributing substantially to local character, water supply protection, and natural resources protection. 

 

Staff has identified the following factor unfavorable to this application: The new church building’s visibility could negatively impact the neighboring property to the west by adding to the number of church buildings on the property.  A condition has been added to address this.  

 

Waiver Request:

The Zoning Ordinance allows 24 months for both construction and start of the use of a Special Use Permit (18-31.2.4.4.).  Staff has found that churches often need more time to accomplish their fundraising prior to building.  Staff recommends that the time allowed for construction and start of the use of this Special Use Permit, should it be approved, be increased to five (5) years. 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of Special Use Permit 2006-12 Colonial Baptist Church with the following conditions:

 

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 establishment and maintenance of the 20’ buffer along the western parcel boundary.

·   The preservation of the existing tree line outside the limits of construction as defined on the concept plan; the complete tree line outside the limits of construction shall be retained.  

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

2.       An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction. (Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code 508.1).

3.       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.  

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

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

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

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

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

 

Waiver Request: The applicant has requested a waiver from 18-31.2.4.4. to allow five years from the date of approval of this Special Use Permit to commence construction.  Staff has no objections to this request. 

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A - Concept Plan dated May 23, 2006, prepared by SL Key Inc., and titled “Conceptual Plan Colonial Baptist Church Missions and Storage Building”

Attachment B – Site Photographs

Attachment C – Staff Reports and action letters for SP1998-23 and SP2000-80

Attachment D - Vicinity aerial

Attachment E - SP Application

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