SP-2006-023 Luck Stone Quarry Flood Control Berm (Sign #50)

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 Resource - overlay to allow natural resource extraction; EC Entrance Corridor - overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access


COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestall, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (0.5 unit/ acre); Parks and Greenways - parks; greenways; playgrounds; pedestrian and bicycle paths


LOCATION: One (1) mile East of the US Route 250 / I-64 Interchange (Shadwell Exit 124) on Route 250 (2611 and 2905 Richmond Road, Charlottesville)



STAFF:  Tamara Ambler


Ms. Ambler summarized the staff report. 


·         This application is to construct an earthen flood control berm along Barn Branch, which is a stream that feeds into the Rivanna River.  The berm will be constructed at the existing Luck Stone Quarry that is located on Route 250.  The intent of the berm is to remove the quarry from the 100-year flood plain.  The new flood plain mapping that was effective in 2005 shows the quarry in the floodplain now.  The floodplain is marked on the display.

·         The applicant has shown, and the County Engineer confirmed, the fact that the quarry area is in the floodplain and is a consequence of back water from the Rivanna River and the years of excavation.  It is not needed for the carrying capacity for flood waters of the Rivanna. 

·         The construction of the berm along Barn Branch will not affect the 100-year flood plain or affect adjacent properties.  The berm is not readily visible from Route 250 due to a number of factors:

o        The distance of the berm to the road.  The berm will not begin until about 400’ from the road.     

o        The elevation difference between Route 250 and the property. Route 250 is about at the elevation of 320’ and the top of the berm is going to be 309’. 

o        There is a lot of tree cover along the stream in between where the berm will be and the road that obscures the views.

·         The Architectural Review Board did not want to fully review the request, but staff will have the Design staff review the mitigation plan.

·         The applicant plans to plant riparian vegetation along Barn Branch to mitigate the placement of the berm in the stream buffer.  In addition, the applicant is in the process of establishing an easement for a greenway trail along the Rivanna.  Dan Mahon has been coordinating with the applicant and can add a few more comments about that. 

·         Staff is recommending approval of this with the five conditions listed.  The conditions basically deal with approval of grading and erosion sediment control plans prior to the activity, approval of the planting plan for mitigation along the buffer area on the property and coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency that do the mapping. They will get a conditional letter of map revision and copy the County Engineer on all of that required administrative correspondence.


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any questions for Ms. Ambler.


Mr. Cannon said that Ms. Ambler had made a reference to back water in addition to the flood area that had increased as a result of not only the mining that took place on the property.


Ms. Ambler replied that it came from the water back up from the flood waters of the Rivanna backing up into Barn Branch.


Mr. Cannon asked if that was a situation that did not exist in past times.


Ms. Ambler replied that the new modeling done for 2005 now shows that.


Mr. Cannon asked if the water back up into the Barn Branch in the time of floods was to a greater extent than previously thought.


Ms. Ambler agreed as previously modeled.


Ms. Joseph asked if when the berm goes up if that blue area goes away or does that become less.  She asked if the floodplain area changes as a result of it.


Ms. Ambler replied yes, that once they keep the water from getting there, then it would not be considered to be in the floodplain anymore because of the elevation.


Ms. Joseph said that they were building a little band to move that floodplain back towards the creek.


Ms. Ambler replied that was correct.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that condition 3 was about that because it would be a map revision.


Ms. Ambler said that is correct.  Basically, what would happen is that the FEMA maps will be changed and they will have that letter of revision from FEMA.


Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to speak.


Ben Thompson, on behalf of Luck Stone Corporation, said that this issue was brought to their attention once the review was ongoing for the second permit, which the Commission will be hearing this evening.  Frankly, it was pretty much a surprise and was due to the fact that the FEMA maps were remodeled within this past year.  When FEMA remodeled those maps their extraction area entered the 100-year floodplain.  It is very important just for the sake of our operation that they remedy that in a responsible manner.  Staff proposed this berm to solve that problem.  The berm, which will tie in, is roughly 2’ to 9’ of an average build up and will tie into the existing grade on both ends.  As part of this project FEMA will be providing all necessary review documents and ascertain whether it correctly removes that pit from the 100-year floodplain without negatively impacting the water way system. Luck Stone is acceptable to all conditions that staff has proposed.  Others present tonight include Cory Otis, of the Timmons Group and Scott Cook, of Luck Stone. They would be happy to answer any questions the Commission might have.


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any questions.


Mr. Craddock asked who is responsible in years to come for the berm after the quarry is finished and the property is sold. Also, does the berm have to stay there forever?


Mr. Thompson replied that if anything would happen to that berm it would have to come back before this group.  It is earth work within that 100’ setback off of Barn Branch and any earth work within that area has to come before this group.  Personally, he could not see why anyone would want to disturb the berm because then they would be creating a larger floodplain for themselves. 


Ms. Joseph invited public comment.  She invited Dan Mahon to come forward and speak since he was the first person on the sign up sheet.


Dan Mahon, Greenway Planner with Parks and Recreation, said he has been working on getting a greenway system in that area with Luck Stone even prior to this application. It is important to acknowledge corporate partners or the folks who make willing dedications.  It is a real good example for the community to see.  That section through there has got some sections that have evidence of the old Toe Path where the boats were hauled up the river.  There is a portion down near the bridge that has remnants of the old canals. Part of the work that they will be doing in establishing the greenway is to clean it up and restore those things.  He wanted to make that comment and have it in the record that Luck Stone has proactively been working with him to make this dedication and he wanted to thank them for it.


Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Mahon if he might work with staff to find some time that they might have a slow meeting that he could come and tell the Commission about all the pathways that he has out there.  She would like to know where they are, what condition they are in, what is walkable, what is missing and what is connected.


Mr. Mahon agreed that he would work with staff on that.


There being no further public comment, Ms. Joseph closed the public hearing to place the matter before the Commission. 


Mr. Craddock felt that it was a good application because it is critical for this berm to be there in order for the next application to be able to see the light of day.


Mr. Kamptner asked staff if the FEMA condition will include the requirement that the berm will be maintained in a particular condition.


Ms. Ambler replied yes, that the condition 5 would include that.


Mr. Kamptner acknowledged that condition 5 addressed Mr. Craddock’s question about the maintenance of the berm.


Mr. Morris noted that in working with a client near Scottsville that he recognized the value of a well planned berm during flooding.


Motion: Mr. Craddock moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve SP-2006-023, Luck Stone Quarry Flood Control Berm, with staff’s recommended conditions:


1.    County Engineer 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.    County Engineer 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.


The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.  (Commissioner Higgins was absent.) 


Ms. Joseph stated that SP-2006-029, Luck Stone Quarry Flood Control Berm, would go to the Board of Supervisors on October 4 with a recommendation for approval.


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