COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Crozet Downtown Zoning District or Zoning Overlay District

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Direct staff to develop zoning district regulations for downtown Crozet

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Kamptner, Graham, Cilimberg, Stimart

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

September 6, 2006

 

ACTION:     X                         INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:      Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The Crozet community and staff are requesting action to allow Crozet’s downtown to develop in accordance with the Crozet Master Plan. The Master Plan calls for “County initiated rezoning” a downtown zoning overlay district, changes to the zoning code, and a modified review process (pages 24-26), in balance with historic preservation (Attachment A). Crozet business owners met in May, 2006 to discuss the Master Plan recommendations.  At the end of the meeting they called for a County-led initiative to address current zoning constraints. The business owners met again in July to discuss zoning research and findings, prepared in advance by a sub-committee of business-owners. (Attachment B)  On July 20th the Crozet Community Advisory Council met to review the business-owner recommendations and asked the County to make this project a priority for Crozet (Attachment C).

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

1.3 Enhance the Quality of Life for all Citizens–includes increasing the economic vitality of the County’s development areas.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

It is staff’s opinion that it is important to implement the Master Plan’s recommendations for downtown Crozet now, with the help of a consultant, to allow downtown Crozet to be developed and redeveloped in a manner consistent with the Master Plan, and to protect the downtown from the increasing pressures of competing development in fringe areas. Most downtown properties cannot be developed or redeveloped consistent with the Master Plan under the existing zoning.   In addition, most of downtown Crozet could not even be built to its present form under the existing zoning.  Existing zoning districts in downtown Crozet impose constraints on mixed-uses, parking, outdoor displays and activities, and building locations.

 

To achieve the form of development or redevelopment called for in the Master Plan, the downtown area will need either a new zoning district or a new zoning overlay district with regulations specifically tailored for downtown Crozet.  The key elements of the proposed zoning district would include identifying uses allowed by right and by special use permit, including mixed-use developments and outdoor displays and activities, maximum building height, building location (setbacks), parking, landscaping and tree canopy, and exterior lighting.  It is staff’s opinion that rezoning the downtown to the Neighborhood Model District (NMD) would put a burden on small business owners and require considerable coordination among many property owners. Under either the existing zoning regulations or an NMD, downtown business owners cannot practically expand and new businesses will have great difficulty being added. With these constraints, greenfield development outside of downtown is more economical and feasible. The proposed zoning district regulations would allow more compact, infill development in downtown permitting a mix of uses and better utilized parking.

 

Given Community Development staff is fully allocated on other projects and the interest in starting this project now, staff plans to use a consultant to expedite this work.  The County will issue an RFQ for a consultant to start with the community’s recommendations in preparing a zoning text amendment, and possibly a zoning map amendment to either replace the zoning or establish an overlay zoning district within Crozet’s downtown.  Staff anticipates the consultant will work with staff and the CCAD to refine the sub-committee’s recommendations to meet legal standards and verify stakeholder support (Attachment D).

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Consultant fees are not expected to exceed $75,000 and staff time is expected to be less than 6 months of work. Staff intends to fund this through the reappropriation process and is requesting that the Board agree to fund this study in advance from unspent funds from last fiscal year’s Community Development budget.  Reappropriation requests will be on the Board’s agenda at next month’s Board meeting.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board:

 

1.       Adopt the attached resolution of intent to initiate the zoning text amendment discussed herein  (Attachment E);

 

2.       Direct staff to proceed with hiring a consultant to assist in the creation of a Crozet downtown zoning district or zoning overlay district and to develop a zoning text amendment proposal in cooperation with the Crozet community;

 

3.       Approve the use of FY05/06 unspent funding from Planning and Community Development through the reappropriation process to fund the study.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A - Crozet Master Plan Recommendations for Downtown Crozet

Attachment B - Crozet Business Owners’ Zoning Text Amendment Proposal

Attachment C – Crozet Community Advisory Council Resolution

Attachment D - Consultant Scope of Work

Attachment E - Resolution of Intent
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