COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  ZMA 05-18 Wickham Pond – Phase II

Staff:  Claudette Grant

Planning Commission Public Hearing:  July 11, 2006

Board of Supervisors Hearing:  September 13, 2006

 

Owners: Barnes-Crozet LLC (C/O Charlotte B. Dammann)

Applicant: Weatherhill Development, with Timmons Group as the consulting engineer

Acreage: 19.69 Acres

Rezone from: RA Rural Areas (existing zoning)  to NMD Neighborhood Model District

TMP:   Tax Map Parcel 56-91

Location: Crozet, between Route 240 and the C & O railroad, approximately 2,200 feet from the intersection of Route 240 and Highlands Drive. (Attachments A and B)

By-right use:  5 units if all development rights are intact.

Magisterial District:  White Hall

Proffers:  Yes

Proposal:  Residential with a mixture of housing types at an average of 8.7 dwelling units/acre-net with approximately 16,000 square feet of non-residential, neighborhood-service uses. Requesting parking waiver.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  106                           

 

DA (Development Area): Community of Crozet

Comp. Plan Designation: Community of Crozet – Corridor 2-CT3 Urban Edge: single family residential (3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses, and CT4 Urban General: residential (4.5 units/acre single family, 12 units/acre townhouses/apartments, 18 units/acre mixed use) with supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and mixed uses including retail/office and Development Area Reserve (CT2) and Preserve (CT1) - development area open space preserve or reserve with very low residential density (1 unit per 20 acres).

Character of Property: Undeveloped with a mix of open meadow, grassed lawn, and woodland.   

Use of Surrounding Properties: Open undeveloped field, Wickham Pond Phase I, The Highlands subdivision, and single family residences.

Factors Favorable:

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

2.        15% for-sale and for-rent affordable housing is proffered.

3.        The proposal creates a new center as contemplated in the Master Plan.

4.        Density is in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan, under staff’s interpretation of the Plan.

Factors Unfavorable:

1.       Proffers are in need of revision relative to transportation impacts.

2.       Screening to adjacent parcels should be shown on the application plan and in the Code of Development.

3.       Minor revisions are needed to the Code of Development, Application Plan, and to the proffers relative to form.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

If the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors agree with staff’s interpretation of affordability and density, then staff recommends approval with the following provided: 

1.        Revision of proffers relative to transportation impacts to include Eastern Avenue as a capital improvements project to which they could apply.

2.        Addition of screening for adjacent parcels on the General Development Plan and Code of Development.

  1. Minor revisions to the Code of Development, Application Plan, and to the proffers relative to form.

 

Staff also recommends approval of the parking waiver.

 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                              CLAUDETTE GRANT

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                              JULY 11, 2006

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                           SEPTEMBER 13, 2006

 

ZMA 2005-00018 WICKHAM POND – PHASE II

With Waivers of Sections 4.2 and 4.12.9 of the Zoning Ordinance

 

PETITION

PROJECT: ZMA 2005-00018 Wickham Pond – Phase II

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 19.69 acres from RA - Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (.5 unit/acre) to NMD Neighborhood Model District - residential (3 - 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses for up to 16,000 square feet of commercial use and up to 106 residential units (48 single family, 8 apartments, 50 condominiums)

PROFFERS:  Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Crozet Master Plan designates the property CT3 Urban Edge: single family residential (3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses, and CT4 Urban General: residential (4.5 units/acre single family, 12 units/acre townhouses/apartments, 18 units/acre mixed use) with supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and mixed uses including retail/office and Development Area Reserve (CT2) and Preserve (CT1) - development area open space preserve or reserve with very low residential density (1 unit per 20 acres).

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: Tax Map 56 Parcel 91, between Route 240 and the C & O railroad, and approximately 2,200 feet from intersection of Route 240 and Highlands Drive.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA

The property is located on Route 240 approximately 2,200 feet from the intersection of Route 240 and the Highlands subdivision. Uses adjacent to the site include an open, undeveloped field, the Wickham Pond - Phase I Subdivision, single family residences with a few dependent buildings, and the C & O Railroad.

 

SPECIFICS OF THE PROPOSAL

The applicant has proposed a compact neighborhood with a small non-residential center (approximately 16,000 sq. ft.) close to Route 240 which would include a mix of retail and office uses on a neighborhood scale.

 

The proposed project is a Neighborhood Model development organized into 2 blocks as shown on  Attachment C.

Block 1 consists of forty-eight single family detached residences and 8 affordable apartment units on varying lot sizes. The eight affordable units will be located in a single structure with architecture similar to that of the single family detached units. Green space and pedestrian paths, some of which connect to Wickham Pond Phase I, are located in this block.

Block 2 consists of four buildings offering a mix of residential and commercial uses. Two buildings will be solely residential and the other two buildings will have commercial uses on the ground floor and residential units above. A plaza area, green space, tot lot and community garden are proposed for this block. A new hedgerow will be planted along Route 240 which will act as a buffer to the development and a connection between Wickham Pond I and II.

 

The project’s main access will be from Route 240. All of the streets within the project are proposed to be public. There will be an interconnected road to Wickham Pond Phase I. This road will also show future interconnection to the adjacent property to the west. There are two north and south roads in the development that go through all of block 1 as well as an alley that serves as access for the houses in the middle of this block. As previously mentioned, the only east and west road in the development serves as interconnection between Wickham Pond Phase I and II and future development to the adjacent west

property.

 

Block 2 in Wickham Pond Phase II is adjacent on the east and west side to residential uses. On the east side residential uses in Wickham Pond Phase I are adjacent to the main entrance road in Wickham Pond Phase II. To the west of Wickham Pond Phase II a single family dwelling is located on the adjacent property near the commercial and recreation spaces of the proposed development. Due to potential noise, and lights from the non-residential uses at Wickham Pond II, and view concerns, screening on both of these sections of Wickham Pond Phase II from the residential uses on the adjacent properties is viewed as important.  The existing pond will be used for stormwater management. 

 

Proffers include a contribution of up to $37,000 (the owners proportionate share) to improve the SR 240/SR250 intersection, the owner paying the total cost of a traffic analysis of the SR 240/SR 250 intersection, a contribution of $213,300 cash towards the CIP for schools and other public facilities, 15% affordable units for rent or sale, phasing restrictions on the commercial buildings, and an overlot grading plan. The most recent proffers were received on July 10, 2006. Although they attempt to address concerns about traffic impacts, staff has not yet been able to review them in full, nor has the County Attorney’s office seen them. Staff is unable to provide a full review or comments at this time. The applicant has verbally agreed to reallocate the traffic funds to the CIP fund, similar to what was done in Wickham Pond I. 

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST

The applicant describes this compact development as an extension of Wickham Pond Phase I. The Code of Development explains that the applicant embraces the principles of the Neighborhood Model District within this development by providing an attractive development with livable neighborhoods where various uses are intermingled and pedestrian accessibility is paramount. The Crozet Master Plan also calls for this area to support the types of uses proposed.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

The parcel has no planning and zoning history. Records indicate it was zoned Agricultural prior to 1980 and in 1980 this parcel was given an RA (Rural Areas) zoning classification.

 

Planning Commission Background And Changes To Plan

Wickham Pond Phase I and II are located next to each other. (See Attachment H) Wickham Pond Phase II is the second portion of Wickham Pond Phase I which was a request for a rezoning from Rural Area to Neighborhood Model District for 107 residential units. Wickham Pond Phase I was approved on January 4, 2006. (See Attachment I) Relevant issues for Wickham Pond Phase I were, traffic impacts on the infrastructure, long term maintenance and cost of the stormwater facility, and affordable housing. In order to address traffic impacts, the applicant agreed to increase their cash contribution by $207,000 towards capital improvements mainly to deal with traffic impacts. Because the stormwater facility is located on both Wickham Pond I and II properties, an agreement was signed between both property owners that satisfied maintenance and cost concerns. Affordable housing was appropriately provided. 

 

On February 7, 2006, the Commission held a worksession on the proposal to gain input on several issues. Staff was concerned about design and layout, residential density, mixture of uses, mixture of housing types, interconnection, affordable housing, and off-site impacts and proffers. Staffs concerns are shown in italics and an excerpt from the minutes summarizing the Commission’ comments and responses of that meeting are provided in bold as follows: 

 

Layout and Design Is the design and layout appropriate for the development (Emphasis on Blocks 5 & 6)? (See Attachment J)

 

In general the Commission agreed with staff’s concerns that the proposed look, design, height and scale of the buildings would be different than what is currently located on Route 240.The Commission suggested that the applicant reduce the height of the commercial buildings facing Route 240 to two-story structures. More information was needed relative to the layout and design.

 

Residential Density -  Crozet Master Plan with regard to residential densities?

 

Generally, the Commission believed that the density was in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan.

 

 ● Mixture of Uses Is the mix of uses proposed in Wickham Pond Phase 2 appropriate?

 

The Commission was in support of the commercial use, but felt the commercial use should be pushed back on the site and have smaller structures. There was also question about whether 41,000 square feet of commercial was too much.

 

Mixture of Housing Types Is the mixture of housing types proposed by the applicant for Wickham Pond Phase 2 appropriate? 

 

The Commission agreed the mix of housing types was appropriate.

 

Interconnections Are the interconnections proposed by the applicant appropriate and do they meet the intent of the Crozet Master Plan, specifically the interconnection to the west into a preservation area and potentially through that area.

 

After some discussion, the Commission agreed that street interconnection should be left in the plan as an option.

 

Affordable Housing Is the applicant making appropriate provisions for affordable housing within the Wickham Pond - Phase 2 development?  The applicant provided fewer than 15% of the total units and the units were not located in the appropriate CT zones to obtain the density shown on the plan.

 

The Commission said that the density and affordable units should be consistent with the recommended 15% policy for affordable housing and the Crozet Master Plan.

 

Off-Site Impacts and Proffers Are the proffers submitted adequate to meet the impacts generated by this development?  In this case the applicant has submitted 4 proffers.  One of the proffers staff has indicated should not be included.  Therefore, there are only 3 proffers. The very first proffer is the one that does not need to be included because it is already a standard in the Neighborhood Model District.

 

 With some discussion, the applicant agreed that the proffers needed to be revised. One of the proffers was not needed because it is a standard provision in the Neighborhood Model District. 

 

A follow up worksession was held on February 21, 2006 to further discuss design and layout. (See Attachment K) The applicant brought a plan to the Planning Commission meeting and asked for feedback on the redesigned site/plan where changes were made to the front of the site and to the commercial uses. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal with staff and the applicant and responded as follows:

 

The revised plan submitted for this work session included a decrease in the square feet of commercial uses from 41,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet. (Attachment K)

 

Comprehensive Plan:

Crozet Master Plan – Wickham Pond Phase II is located in the northeast quadrant of Crozet, east of Crozet Avenue and north of the C & O Railroad. The location of the property in relation to the Master Plan is shown below:

Crozet Master Plan Place-Type and Built Infrastructure Map

Corridor 2 Wickham Pond Phase 2 area

 


 

The following table is an analysis of the transect zones reflected on the rezoning plan:

 

 

Wickham Pond Phase II Residential Density

 

 

 

Crozet Master Plan Suggested Units

Wickham Pond II Proposal

Crozet Transect Density

Acres

Net Acres

Min

Mid

Max Plan Units*

Units Proposed

Net Density

CT 1 and CT 2

4.54

 

0

0

0

0

0

CT 3 (Min 3.5, Mid 4.5, Max 6.5/acre*)

10.89

8.71

30

39

57

56

6.4

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

4.26

3.41

15.3

41

61

50

14.7

Total

19.69

12.12

45.3

80

118

106

 

Notes: Net acreage is 80% project area.

* Density of 6.5 units per acre in CT 3 only if 50% accessory/affordable units added & 18 units/acre CT 4 only of mixed use

Minimum, Mid, and Maximum Crozet Master Plan Suggested Units are determined by multiplying the CT 3 and CT 4 suggested densities

for each CT type. For example, CT 3 Mid is equal to 8.71 x 4.5, which equals 39 units.

CT 1 and CT 2 areas, show no density. Crozet Master Plan anticipates very low density at 1 unit per 20 acres.

 

 

The property is designated CT 1, CT 4, CT 3 and CT 2 in Corridor 2 of the Crozet Master Plan. 

 

CT 1 borders this property at the front of the site, adjacent to Route 240 and acts as a preserve.

CT 4 is shown near the front of the site, in the area shown on the plan as Block 2. CT 4 areas are intended to support centers with a variety of residential types and mixture of uses. Recommended net densities for CT 4 areas are 4.5 d.u. /ac. for single family, up to 12 d.u. /ac. for townhouses and apartments, and up to 18 d.u. /ac. in a mixed use setting.  Live-work units, home offices and commercial first floor with residential over are suggested as office/commercial use.

 

Block 1 is designated CT 3. CT 3 areas are described as the edges of the neighborhood. CT 3 areas are intended to be primarily residential at net densities between 3.5-4.5 units/acre, with up to 6.5 units/acre, if accessory apartments added for 50 % of the residential housing stock.

 

The south west corner and a portion of the south eastern part of the site are CT 2 reserve area. CT 1 & Ct 2 are intended for preservation of open space & historic agricultural activities. These areas clearly define the edge of development. The net densities are very low residential density no greater than 1 unit/20 acres.

 

Staff believes that the limited amount of retail/services proposed at this location will not impact downtown Crozet negatively. The services and retail proposed for this location will help reduce the number of vehicle trips on Route 240. Adjacent subdivisions to Wickham Pond II such as the Highlands, Wickham Pond I and Western Ridge may also use some of the commercial uses located in Wickham Pond II. These limited neighborhood scale commercial uses will not compete with Downtown Crozet which will most likely have services and retail of a larger scale that will serve the entire area Crozet and perhaps beyond. The Crozet Master Plan shows this area of Crozet as an “outlying mixed use area” It is approximately .5 miles from commercial uses associated with the old Con-Agra site and approximately 1.2 miles from downtown. As represented by the CT 3 and CT4 designated areas, the Master Plan set an expectation of mixed use at this location in order to help provide for some localized neighborhood services, not to create an area to compete with downtown Crozet. It is expected that the area would function in a way similar to the Silver Thatch Inn at Hollymead where there is a restaurant and bed and breakfast, office, and small local shops nearby.

 

Density in the CT3 area is an issue for discussion because of the statement, “net densities between 3.5-4.5 units/acre, with up to 6.5 units/acre if accessory apartment added for 50% of the residential housing stock”.

 

In the Strategies for Implementation section of the Master Plan (page 23-24), the following are excerpted comments:

 

Because such “accessory units” are but one form of affordable housing, staff has advised that "affordable housing" could take other forms (single family detached and attached, townhouses, flats, etc.) and that the terms "affordable" and "accessory" meet a very similar intent.  The Commission concurred with this conclusion in its support of Wickham Pond I, especially considering that "accessory apartments" meeting the definition of the County's zoning ordinance (which are different from “accessory units” as they are described in the Crozet Master Plan in that they must be within the structure of a single family detached dwelling) do not count towards density and are by-right in all residential districts, thus being possible in all single-family detached units. 

 

Regarding the statement in Table 1 of the Master Plan that "6.5 units/acre if accessory apartments added for 50% of the residential stock", staff has interpreted this to mean that half of the additional units would need to be accessory or "affordable" in order to take advantage of the density bonus.  If 50% of all units would have to be accessory or affordable, there would be little incentive to provide accessory or affordable units as all of the additional density plus part of the density that is otherwise available without such units would have to be accessory or affordable.  In addition, half of the additional units equated to approximately 15% of the total housing which was in keeping with the County's affordable housing policy.  Here is an example:

 

If statement in Table 1 of the Master Plan is applied literally—

 

10 acres x 4.5 units/acre = 45 units (maximum density allowed without accessory units)

10 acres x 6.5 units/acre = 65 units (maximum density allowed with accessory units)

65 units x 50% = 32 (or 33) accessory units required to achieve 6.5 units/acre, leaving

32 (or 33) market units

 

If staff interpretation is applied—

 

65 units – 45 units = 20 units x 50% = 10 affordable units/65 units = 15% affordable units 

 

During the Board of Supervisor's review of the Liberty Hall project last month, the Board took the more literal interpretation of the statement in Table 1 of the Master Plan, establishing 4.5 units/acre as the maximum density for CT 3 unless 50% of all units are accessory.  This interpretation was affirmed when the Board approved Liberty Hall in which the CT3 section did not exceed 4.5 units/acre and no accessory or affordable units were provided in that section of the development.

 

Therefore, the appropriate density for the CT3 sections in Wickham Pond Phase II and other Crozet developments will be different depending on which interpretation is applied and the number of accessory or affordable units that are provided.  Application of staff’s interpretation means that this project falls within the density guidelines of the Master Plan.  Application of the more literal interpretation means that it does not.

 

The previous table (page 6) indicates the range of suggested dwelling units based on the recommended density in the Master Plan. The maximum density suggested by the Plan if the 50% accessory apartments are not provided is indicated as Mid in the table and is 39 units. Based on the Board’s requested changes in interpretation of the 6.5 units/acre density provision, expectations in density for Wickham Pond II beyond 4.5 units/acre would mean 28 units, half of the proposed units for the development, should be provided as affordable/accessory. The applicant proposes that eight units as affordable units in the CT3 area. 

 

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. However, the plan does place an emphasis on the redevelopment and invigoration of the downtown area of Crozet as an immediate focus.

 

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.

 

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

 

The proposed Eastern Avenue and the Lickinghole Bridge are not located on this property. Once constructed, though, they will take pressure off of the intersection of Route 240 and Route 250. The road is not yet in the CIP for construction but is eligible to become part of the CIP.

     

 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 any 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. The project will generate 16 students who would likely attend a new elementary school.

 

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 near this development but not adjacent to or on the property proposed for the development. As previously mentioned this road will help take pressure off of the intersection of Routes 240 and 250. Although the road is not in the CIP, it could be eligible for the CIP in the future.                                                           

 

Open Space Plan/Green Infrastructure Map: The Open Space Plan does not identify any significant environmental resources on the site with the exception of a proposed greenway. The applicant is providing a pedestrian pathway in this area.

 

The Neighborhood Model: Conformity with the Neighborhood Model is assessed in the table below. All applicable principles of the Neighborhood Model are met.

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Sidewalks and paths are provided thoughout the development. All streets will include sidewalks with connections provided to sidewalks on adjacent parcels. Sidewalks will be provided along Route 240 to connect to the sidewalks included in the approved Wickham Pond Phase I to the east. Staff believes this principle is met.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Low speed limits and sidewalks buffered with street trees will help create a safe environment throughout the new streets within Wickham Pond Phase 2. This principle is met.

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

There is a street pattern in the development that will eventually connect into adjacent properties. An east west road connects  Wickham Pond Phase 1 through Wickham Pond Phase II to the adjacent property to the west. North-south connections are provided with the new main road into the development, which loops to the east-west street This principle is met.

Parks and Open Space

 

The applicant is proposing to provide approximately 7 acres in open space and amenities for residents, including an open field for recreation uses, a tot lot and a community garden in Block 2. Block 1 will include the pond in its open space and a scenic trail for pedestrians. Access to the pond trail will be provided along the rear of several lots in Block 1. This principle is met.

Neighborhood Centers

A center for this development is proposed in the mixed use section of Block 2. There will be plazas and open spaces for people to gather as well as various small, neighborhood scale commercial uses, such as dentist offices, and a restaurant located in this block. Sidewalk connections are provided throughout the development, which will help make these neighborhood centers relatively easy to get to. A center was proposed for this area on the Master Plan. The Commission previously embraced the concept of a center at this location to help provide localized services. Staff believes this principle is met.

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

This development with its single-family, apartments, and multifamily residences with office and retail below, will not exceed three stories in height. The proposed size of the lots and yards will also help to keep the community on a human scale. All of these elements are included in the Code of Development. The mixed use buildings fronting on Route 240 will be a maximum of two stories in height to help keep this portion of the development in scale with the existing development on the corridor. This principle is met.

 

Relegated Parking

A majority of the residences will have garages. There will be an alley in the middle of the development in block 1 that will provide rear access to the residences in the middle of the development. Other residences in this block. Parking for the multifamily building will be on-street. Block 2 will have shared sub-surface parking garages. There will also be some on-street parking available throughout the development.  This principle is met.

Mixture of Uses

 

There is a mixture of office, retail and residential uses proposed for this site with additional retail uses and civic uses within close proximity. This principle is met.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

There is a variety of housing types within this development including single-family, apartments, and mixed use multifamily units. The developer is also providing 16 affordable units. The number of affordable units meets the 15% goal. This principle is met.

Redevelopment

This principle is not applicable.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The streets and proposed lots have been designed to follow the contours of the land. This principle is met.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

The project site is entirely within the Crozet Development Area boundaries. The Rural Area boundary for the Neighborhood is to the north of the site and across Route 240. A development area preserve, which will act as a buffer is located at the boundary of this project at the front of this site, and adjacent to Route 240. This principle is met.

             STAFF COMMENT

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district: The purpose and intent of the Neighborhood Model (NMD) district is to establish a planned development district in which traditional neighborhood development, as established in the County’s Neighborhood Model, will occur. The NMD provides for compact, mixed-use developments with an urban scale, massing, density and an infrastructure configuration that integrates diversified uses within close proximity to each other within the development areas identified in the comprehensive plan. The existing Rural Area (RA) zoning district provides for 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.Staff believes that the proposal meets the intent of the NMD.

Public need and justification for the change: The County’s Comprehensive Plan supports development in the designated development areas that is consistent with use, density, and form recommended in the Plan.  Wickham Pond II’s uses and form are viewed as being in conformity with the Comprehensive Plan.  Staff believes that density is in conformity if the Commission and Board agree with staff’s interpretation.

 

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.  The trees at the entrance to the site will be retained to the extent possible and supplemented as a hedgerow, in keeping with the Master Plan recommendation for a rural landscape along Three Notch’d Road at this location.

 

PRIVATE Anticipated impact on public facilities and services:

tc  \l 2 "Anticipated impact on public facilities and services"Streets and Roads: The primary impact will be to Three Notch’d Road and Route 250 West. The applicant provided a traffic study that staff and VDOT have reviewed.  The applicant has responded to staff comments by providing proffers related to improving the intersection of Route 240/250.  While the proffers have not yet been fully analyzed, staff believes that they should be expanded to provide opportunities to use the cash for transportation improvements as a whole which would allow for allocation to Eastern Avenue and the Lickinghole Bridge. The applicant has indicated a willingness to modify the proffers in this way.

 

Schools: The development is expected to generate approximately 31 students broken down as follows: 16 elementary school students, 7 middle school students, and 8 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 are built.  To help address 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 provided by the two existing fire and rescue stations in Crozet. Albemarle County 5th Street Office Building  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.

Stormwater Management: A stormwater facility is shown on the pond located partially on the subject site and on the adjacent property.

 

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

Fiscal Impact Analysis: Attachment F contains the Fiscal Impact Analysis. The summary reveals a negative fiscal impact.  Most mixed-use projects have either no fiscal impact or a positive fiscal impact.  In this situation, the commercial area is too small relative to the residential area to influence the fiscal impact in a positive way.  Almost all residential projects result in a negative net fiscal impact.

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties: Surrounding properties are already experiencing a change in character as new development has already occurred around them with Wickham Pond Phase I soon beginning construction. With residences on the east and west sides of Wickham Pond Phase II, it is important to protect these residential uses from roads and commercial/recreation uses adjacent to them in Wickham Pond Phase II. Landscape screening is one way to do this that staff recommends. Some residents are interested in developing their property also, but the Crozet Master Plan designates some of the adjacent property to Wickham Pond Phase II as CT 1 and 2, with a smaller portion designated CT3. It is important that the areas designated CT1 and CT2 are protected from adverse impacts. At the February 7, 2006 work session, the Planning Commission discussed at length the interconnection to the west of Wickham Pond Phase II. Although the interconnection will be adjacent to CT 1 and 2 areas, the Commission felt it important to show the interconnection as an option, should development occur in the future on the CT3 area next door. Wickham Pond Phase II shows its CT 1 and 2 areas as open space.

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD

The ARB reviewed Wickham Pond Phase II on May 1, 2006. They had no objection to the request for rezoning as long as their requests were addressed in the Code of Development. (See Attachment G). Staff has reviewed the revised Code of Development and finds the revisions acceptable regarding the ARB request. This project will also receive ARB review during the site plan stage.

 

PROFFERS

 

The following discusses the substance of the proffers:

 

Proffer 1: Proportionate Share for Intersection improvements: The applicant is offering a cash contribution in the amount of $37,000 towards the improvement of SR 240/SR250 intersection. This figure represents Wickham Pond II’s expected proportionate share (7.4%) of intersection improvements.  Staff and VDOT estimated the full cost to be around $500,000.

 

Proffer 2: Traffic Analysis of Routes 240/250 Intersection: The owner is committed to providing a traffic analysis of the Routes 240 and 250 intersections. The study will include some options for design, and the feasibility of each option. The study will also identify estimated construction cost of each option and conceptual designs. Estimated cost is $40,000.

 

As previously mentioned, these proffers will undergo change to include the option to use the money for Eastern Avenue.

 

Proffer 3: Combined CIP and Schools Cash Contribution: 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 commitments in the form of cash proffers to help offset the impacts of the development. 

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 proffering to make a cash proffer for schools and other public facilities for each market-rate dwelling unit at $2,370 per unit for 90 units. Based on the applicant’s proposal, this would amount to roughly $213,300.  The applicant has proffered to reduce this contribution if the cost for the transportation study is more than the estimated $40,000.  Staff does not support the “if/then” language, but notes that the proffer could be altered using language similar to the Wickham I proffers.   

 

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)

34

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

ZMA 04-17 Wickham Pond I

107

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $3225.81/ lot.

ZMA 05-18 Wickham Pond II

(PROPOSED)

106

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $2370/market-rate unit. $37,000 for Routes 240/250 intersection improvements. Total cash payment for traffic analysis of Routes 240/250 intersection. Estimated cost is $40,000 for traffic study.  $3225/market rate lot.

ZMA  06-01 Westhall V (PROPOSED)

36

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 family 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.  Based on the previous proffers, it appears that the proffers are similar to Wickham Pond I which was viewed as adequate by the Board.

 

Proffer 4: Phasing of Buildings C and D within Block 2: The applicant has commited to restricting the Certificate of Occupancy for residential units (20 units) in buildings C and D in Block 2 to no earlier than the three-year anniversary of the County’s approval of the first final site plan; A restriction also applies to Certificates of Occupancy for ground floor commercial/retail space not being issued earlier than the five-year anniversary of the County’s approval of the first final site plan.  Although the commercial uses in Wickham Pond II are not expected to compete with downtown due to their size and localized nature, the phasing of the commercial buildings will help to remove that worry and will also give some relief to the traffic impacts.

 

Proffer 5: Affordable Housing: The applicant commits to 15% affordability on the maximum number of units constructed within Wickham Pond Phase II.  Based on the proposal, the total affordable units will be 16 units available for rent or sale. Eight units are to be built within Block 1 and eight units are to be built within Block 2. The current owner or subsequent owner shall create units affordable to households with incomes less than 80% of the area median income. Incomes less than 80% of the area median income are consistent with what the County considers the income of a person needing affordable housing. Pertinent documents or persons needing assistance for these units may be approved by the Albemarle County Office of Housing or its designee. The Chief of Housing finds both the number of units and the proposed program for administering the proffer acceptable.

 

Proffer 6: Overlot Grading Plan:

The Owner will submit an over-lot grading plan with the application for each subdivision plat. This proffer is especially valuable because of the hilly topography at the site and the compact character of the development.

 

WAIVER AND MODIFICATION REQUESTS

 

Parking Regulations Waiver

Section 4.12.9 (a) requires that on-street parking that is provided for the purpose of meeting minimum parking requirements must abut the lot that the space serves. Section 4.12.2 (c) does not grant the Zoning Administrator the authority to waive or modify the on-street parking regulations of Section 4.12.9. However, Section 8.2 allows the applicant to request a waiver or modification of any requirement of section 4. Therefore, the approval of the on-street parking plan for Block 1 is subject to a Board approval of a modification of Section 4.12.9. The applicant has made a separate request for this waiver in accord with Section 8.2.

 

The 8 affordable, multi-family units require 16 spaces. The plan shows 16 spaces in the vicinity of the multi-family units; 4 on Road A, 6 on the south side of Road B and 6 on the north side of Road B. These spaces meet the minimum parking requirement for the Zoning Ordinance.

 

The commercial and residential uses in Block 2 require, in addition to the 151 garage spaces, 26 on-street spaces. These spaces are shown on the plan. There are 2 spaces on Road C, 4 spaces on the south side of Road B, 4 spaces on the north side of Road B and 16 spaces located on both sides of Road A. These spaces meet the minimum requirement for Block 2.

 

This analysis demonstrates that the minimum number of required spaces is provided. This request does not depend on sharing spaces between the residential and commercial uses based on different peak hours. It is unlikely that all of the spaces will be utilized at one time.

 

The parking analysis on page 29 of the Code of Development notes the potential for the utilization of parking demand management strategies, increased parking space in the parking garage and the possibility for shared parking based on specific uses. These matters can be addressed at the site plan stage.

 

The provision of on-street parking for required spaces requires the approval of VDOT.

 

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 pedestrian orientation, neighborhood friendly streets and paths, parks and open space, interconnection, and relegated parking.

2.      15% for-sale and for-rent affordable housing is proffered.

3.      The proposal creates a new center as contemplated in the Master Plan

4.      Density is in keeping with the Crozet Master Plan, under staff’s interpretation of the Plan

 

Staff has found the following factors unfavorable to this rezoning:

1.       Proffers are in need of revision relative to transportation impacts.

2.       Screening to adjacent parcels should be shown on the application plan and in the Code of Development.

3.       Minor revisions are needed to the Code of Development, Application Plan, and to the proffers relative to form.

 

RECOMMENDATION

If the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors agree with staff’s interpretation of affordability and density, then staff recommends approval with the following provided: 

  1. Revision of proffers relative to transportation impacts as a capital improvements project to which they could apply.
  2. Addition of screening for adjacent parcels on the General Development Plan and Code of Development.
  3. Minor revisions to the Code of Development, Application Plan, and to the proffers relative to form.

 

Staff also recommends approval of the parking waiver.

 

ATTACHMENT A:      Tax Map

ATTACHMENT B:     Location Map

ATTACHMENT C:     General Development Plans, revised June 13, 2006

ATTACHMENT D:     Code of Development, dated June 13, 2006

ATTACHMENT E:      Proffers

ATTACHMENT F:      Fiscal Impact Analysis

ATTACHMENT G:     ARB Letter, dated May 15, 2006

ATTACHMENT H:     Wickham Pond Phases I & II Plan

ATTACHMENT I:       December 14, 2005 Staff Report

ATTACHMENT J:      Wickham Pond Phase II Plan, dated October 27, 2005

ATTACHMENT K:     February 21, 2006 Staff Report

ATTACHMENT L:      Table of existing and potential dwelling units – dated 7/5/2006

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