COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

Project Name:  SP 2006-23 Luck Stone Quarry Flood Control Berm

Staff:  Tamara Jo Ambler

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

September 5, 2006

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

October 4, 2006 (Day)

Owners:  Rivanna, LLC c/o Charles Luck

Applicant: Luck Stone Corporation

Acreage: 127.797 acres

Special Use Permit for:  Request for fill in the floodplain fringe to allow for a flood control berm in accordance with Section 30.3.05.2.2(1) and 30.3.05.2.1(1) of the Zoning ordinance

TMP:   79-7, 7B

Location:   One (1) mile east of the U.S. Route 250/I64 Interchange (Shadwell Exit 124) on Route 250.

Conditions:  Yes

Existing Zoning and By-right use:  RA Rural Areas   - agricultural, forestall, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre);  NR Natural Resources Extractions Overlay District – overlay to allow natural resource extraction; FH Flood Hazard Overlay District – agricultural, recreational, and utility location uses which will not pose a danger to life or property in the event of a flood; EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District – overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; all uses permitted by right in the underlying districts

Magisterial District:  Scottsville

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  N/A

 

DA (Development Area):

RA (Rural Area):  X  

Proposal: The applicant proposes to construct a flood control berm to provide protection to a currently operating quarry site.

Comprehensive Plan Designation:  RA -- Rural Areas: preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (.5 unit/ acre); Parks and Greenways: parks; greenways; playgrounds; pedestrian and bicycle paths

Character of Property:  The site is an operating quarry.  It is adjacent to the historic Thomas Jefferson Shadwell quarter farm and within the Monticello viewshed.

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Stone Robinson Elementary School is located on the east; Shadwell quarter farm, owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (under Historic easement) is on the west; CSX Railroad and the Rivanna River is on the south; agricultural uses on the opposite side of Rt. 250 on the north.

Factors Favorable: 

1.    No impact to neighboring properties is expected as a result of this special use permit

2.   No increase in flood levels will result from the construction of the flood control berm

Factors Unfavorable: 

Staff has not identified any factors which are unfavorable to this request.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with conditions.


 

PETITION:

PROJECT: SP 2006-23 Luck Stone Quarry Flood Control Berm

PROPOSED: Request for fill in the floodway fringe to allow for a flood control berm on a 127.797 acre parcel.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre); FH Flood Hazard – Overlay to provide safety and protection from flooding;  NR Natural Resources Extraction – overlay to allow natural resource extraction; ; EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District – overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; all uses permitted by right in the underlying districts

SECTION: 30.3.05.2.2(1); 30.3.05.2.1(1)

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas – preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (.5 unit/ acre); Parks and Greenways - parks; greenways; playgrounds; pedestrian and bicycle paths

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes_X_No____   Location:   One (1) mile east of the U.S. Route 250/I64 Interchange (Shadwell Exit 124) on Route 250.

TAX MAP/PARCEL:   79-7, 7B

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT:  Scottsville

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA:  The area contains a mixture of residential, industrial, commercial, the Stone Robinson School, and agricultural properties.  It is adjacent to the historic Shadwell birthplace of Peter Jefferson, owned by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, and it is within the Monticello viewshed.  The property is also within view of the historic Auburn Hills Farm, across the Rivanna River.  It is situated between the Rivanna River, Route 250 and south of I64.  It is approximately one-mile south of the Southwest Mountains Historic District.  The quarry faces Route 250, which has been identified as an Entrance Corridor by the Comprehensive Plan. 

 

SPECIFICS OF THE PROPOSAL:  A special use permit is being requested to construct an earthen flood control berm adjacent to the north streambank of Barn Branch at the existing Luck Stone quarry.  The berm will measure approximately 935 feet in length and will raise the existing streamside elevation by two to nine feet in height.  The intent of the berm is to remove the quarry operations area from the 100-year floodplain.  When originally opened in 1936, the quarry was not within the 100-year floodplain limits.  Floodplains are remapped periodically, and designated floodplain limits can change. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps were recently remapped, with the new mapping effective on February 4, 2005.  The new mapping now shows a large portion of the active quarry area with the 100-year flood plain. 

 

Construction of the flood control berm will reduce the risk for flooding of the quarry operations area.  Photographs #8, #9, and #10 in the applicant’s proposal (Attachment B) illustrate the effects of flooding at the Boscobel Plant, where remnants of Hurricane Agnes impacted that quarry in 1972.  In addition, removing the quarry area from the floodplain will accommodate the relocation of the existing asphalt plant, for which a special use permit is also being requested (SP2005-26).

 

The flood control berm will be located within the required vegetative stream buffer for Barn Branch.  This buffer area has been significantly compromised by years of quarry operations.  The applicant has proposed to mitigate these impacts by planting vegetation suited to riparian areas throughout the buffer area for Barn Branch.  In addition, the applicant is in the process of establishing a conservation easement along the Rivanna River that will permanently protect a portion of the river’s riparian area.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY:  The Luck Stone Quarry has been in operation since 1936 and predates the County’s planning and zoning requirements.  Therefore, there are no County files regarding the planning and zoning considerations of the use of the property as a quarry.  In 1999 the County approved a site plan (SDP99-063) that included construction of new quarry facilities including a shop, a scale office, equipment washing facility, and a storage building at the property.  While unrelated to the current request, staff also identified two rezoning requests in the 1960’s and 1980’s, respectively, and a special use permit request in the 1990’s for other Luck Stone property to the southeast of the quarry property.  The rezoning in the 1980’s, ZMA 85-31, was approved to rezone 29.512 acres from RA to RA with Natural Resource Extraction Overlay on TM 79-20, 23D and 23E adjacent to the main quarry site.  The rezoning was subject to the following proffers:

1.  Luck Stone shall limit the use of Parcels 23D and 23E to filling and reclaiming.

2.  Luck Stone shall abide by Albemarle County Zoning Ordinance Section 5.1.28-Borrow, Fill or Waste Area to accomplish the subject filling and reclaiming.

3.  Fill material shall be hauled across Luck Stone property and not on public roads to get to the subject fill area.

4.  Other than seeding and planting activity, work on the fill area shall be limited to winter months (November 15 through March 15), summer vacation period (June, July, August), and any day school is not in session.

5.  Access to 729 from Parcel 20 shall be limited to light vehicles (autos and pickups) and emergency needs.

 

SP2005-26 is being processed concurrently with this request, and is requesting the on-site relocation of the existing asphalt plant.

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan:  The Mineral Resources section of the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets chapter of the Comprehensive Plan recognizes the mineral production in Albemarle.  However, the Plan cautions, "that mineral resource production should not conflict with adjacent land uses and that mineral resources extraction should be accomplished without adverse effects to other environmental resources."  This caution is followed by a referral to the Natural Resource Extraction Overlay District regulations in the Zoning Ordinance.  It is staff's opinion that the raising of the ground elevation adjacent to Barn Branch to create a flood control berm to protect the quarry conforms to the Comprehensive Plan.

 

The Greenways section of the Plan has the objective to establish a network of greenway trails which may be fulfilled by an action initiated before the filing of this special use permit application.  The applicant is in the process establishing an easement for a greenway trail on a portion of the property between the railroad and the Rivanna River.  This section of trail is one of the few outstanding links that would complete the Old Mills Heritage Trail that begins at Darden Towe Park and extends to the Milton Bridge. 

 

STAFF COMMENT: 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance

 

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 County engineer has reviewed the flood study, flood maps, and hydraulic stream modeling for the Rivanna River from the revised FEMA mapping and has concluded that the flooded area of the quarry is not a factor in the flood carrying capacity of the river, but rather is a consequence of the backwater from the Rivanna River and the excavated depth of the quarry.  The raising of the ground elevation adjacent to Barn Branch to create a flood control berm to protect the quarry and its operations will not impact the 100-year flood elevation, and will not detrimentally affect adjacent properties.  The applicant’s proposal to plant vegetation suited to riparian areas throughout the buffer area for Barn Branch will improve water quality both on site and downstream.

 

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

The proposed flood control berm would not change the character of this Rural Area and would allow the quarry use that has existed on the property for approximately 70 years to continue.  The proposed flood control berm would not change the character of the Entrance Corridor.  The Architectural Review Board indicated that a full review of the proposal was not necessary, but did recommend that Design Planning staff review the stream buffer restoration plan for appropriate planting to mitigate any negative impacts. 

 

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

The purpose and intent of the Rural Areas zoning is to preserve agricultural and forestal lands and activities, to protect the water supply, to limit service to rural areas, and to conserve the natural, scenic, and historic resources of the County.  The Flood Hazard zoning has the purpose and intent of restricting development in the floodplain which may result in danger to life and property, public costs for flood control measures, public costs for rescue and relief efforts, soil erosion and sedimentation, pollution of water resources, and general degradation of the natural and man-made environment.  The purpose and intent of the Natural Resource Extraction zoning is created to provide for the utilization of spring water for outside consumption, sand, gravel, stone, or other mineral deposits within the county in a manner compatible with adjacent land uses.  The purpose and intent of the Entrance Corridor zoning is to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access.

 

The construction of an earthen berm to prevent the quarry from inundation during flood events protects the existing quarry use, which is in harmony with the purpose and intent of the Rural Area zoning with the Natural Resource Extraction overlay zoning.  The berm and stream buffer area will be revegetated and the planting plan will be reviewed by County Design Staff, as requested by the ARB, to ensure that the plantings are appropriate for the Entrance Corridor overlay zoning.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

By right uses in the Natural Resource Extraction overlay district include removal of soil, sand, gravel, stone, or other minerals by excavating, stripping, quarrying, or other mining operation.  The installation of a flood control berm to allow the continuation of these uses would appear to be in harmony with the other uses permitted by right in the district.

 

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

There are no supplementary regulations relating to the construction of a flood control berm in Section 5.0 of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The County engineer has reviewed the flood study, flood maps, and hydraulic stream modeling for the Rivanna River from the revised FEMA mapping and has concluded that the flooded area of the quarry is not a factor in the flood carrying capacity of the river, but rather is a consequence of the backwater from the Rivanna River and the excavated depth of the quarry.  The raising of the ground elevation adjacent to Barn Branch to create a flood control berm will protect the quarry and its operations.  The flood control berm will not impact the 100-year flood elevation and will not detrimentally affect adjacent properties.

 

 

SUMMARY:

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

 

1.  No impact to neighboring properties is expected as a result of this special use permit

2.  No increase in flood levels will result from the construction of the flood control berm

 

Staff has not identified any factors which are unfavorable to this request.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Staff recommends approval of the request with the following conditions:

 

1.   Engineering Department approval of a grading and an erosion and sediment control plan prior to the issuance of a grading permit for activity in the area of the flood control berm.

2.   Natural Resources Manager and Design Planner approval of a mitigation plan for the restoration/enhancement of the stream buffer prior to the issuance of a grading permit for activity in the area of the flood control berm.

3.   Applicant shall obtain a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and copy the County Engineer on all correspondence.

4.   Engineering Department approval of as-built drawings for the completed flood control berm, including geotechnical engineer certification of the adequate compaction of the fill.

5.   Upon completion of the flood control berm the applicant will comply with the conditions identified in the CLOMR issued by FEMA and will copy the County Engineer on all correspondence related to this matter.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment A – Proposal from applicant

Attachment B - Location Map

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