Albemarle County Planning Commission
August 29, 2006
The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and work sessions on Tuesday, August 29, 2006, at 4:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 235, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Pete Craddock, Eric Strucko, Jon Cannon, Bill Edgerton, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman and Marcia Joseph, Chairman. Pete Craddock arrived at 4:16 p.m. Cal Morris arrived at 4:20 p.m. Absent was Jo Higgins. Julia Monteith, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia, representative for David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia was absent.
Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; David Benish, Chief of Planning; Elaine Echols, Senior Planner; Ron White, Director of Housing; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Lori Alllshouse, Strategic Management Coordinator and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.
Call to Order and Establish Quorum:
Ms. Joseph called the work session to order at 4:00 p.m. and established a quorum.
Affordable Housing: Work session to review the County’s strategic goal regarding affordable housing, provide a brief overview of current initiatives to address affordable housing concerns including information from partner groups, and receive input for future actions. (Mr. Ron White)
In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session to review the County’s strategic goal regarding affordable housing. The Commission received a brief overview in a power point presentation of current initiatives to address affordable housing concerns from Ron White, Housing Director, which included information from several non-profit housing partner groups. (Attachment A – Staff Report with Power Point Presentation FY 07 – FY 10 Strategic Plan – Work Session Affordable Housing) Information on the impact of its operations and its assessment of supply and demand for affordable housing in Albemarle County was provided from the following individuals representing partner groups:
· Peter W. Loach, Deputy Director of Operations for Piedmont Housing Alliance (Attachment – Letter dated August 29, 2006 to Planning Commission from Peter Loach in reference to PHA Report on Affordable Housing and related information);
· Overton McGehee, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville (Attachments – Two brochures from Habitat for Humanity);
· Theresa Tapscott, Director of Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (Attachment – business plan dated August 2006 for AHIP) and
· Noah Schwartz, Executive Director of Charlottesville Redevelopment & Housing.
The Commission discussed, asked questions and made comments to explore ways to find creative solutions for these complex problems for future actions.
Other persons present at the work session were:
· Albemarle County Housing Committee: Jim Fitzgerald and Valerie L’Herrou
· City Planning Commissioners: Sherry Lewis, Mike Farruggio and Karen Firehawk.
The Planning Commission recessed at 5:45 p.m. for a dinner break and the meeting reconvened at 6:00 p.m.
Call to Order and Establish Quorum:
Ms. Joseph called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.
Other Matters Not Listed on the Agenda from the Public:
Ms. Joseph invited comment from the public on other matters not listed on the agenda. There being none, the meeting moved on to the next item.
Approval of Planning Commission Minutes – July 11, 2006
Motion: Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Craddock seconded, that the consent agenda be approved.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0. (Ms. Higgins was absent.)
Ms. Joseph stated that the consent agenda has been approved.
County Strategic Plan Update (Lori Allshouse)
In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session to discuss the County Strategic Plan Update. Lori Allshouse presented a power point presentation to explain the strategic planning cycle. She explained the Board’s objectives that they adopted and what is coming up next in the strategic planning cycle. The Commission discussed, asked questions and provided comments to staff. One question raised was the effect that proffers have on the CIP. The Commission asked for periodic updates on the County Strategic Plan, particularly after the Board’s retreat on September 15.
ZMA-2001-008 Rivanna Village at Glenmore – Work session to discuss street sections, proposed interconnections, building heights, “White Gables” product, firm elements of the plan and elements for which there are several options, and uses as proposed in the Code of Development (Elaine Echols)
Mr. Craddock recused himself because he was on the Board of Directors of the East Rivanna Fire Department. He left the room at 6:31 p.m.
Ms. Echols summarized the staff report. (Attachment – Staff Report for ZMA-2001-008, Rivanna Village at Glenmore)
In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZMA-2001-008, Rivanna Village at Glenmore, to discuss street sections, proposed interconnections, building heights, “White Gables” product, firm elements of the plan and elements for which there are several options, and uses as proposed in the Code of Development. The Commission provided comments and suggestions and answered the questions posed by staff.
Question for the Planning Commission: Is it acceptable to have a continuous sidewalk from the back of the curb rather than a separation between the curb and sidewalk by using street trees along the private commercial streets?
The Commission concluded that a continuous sidewalk, as an option, was approvable at 7 feet, provided the sidewalks were widened to 9 feet in front of buildings that front the street. Trees, as shown on the General Development Plan, should be planted along the street. Grates were viewed as an acceptable way of incorporating both sidewalks and street trees in this area.
Question for the Planning Commission: Are three connections to adjoining properties sufficient and are the locations shown appropriately?
The Commission said that the three connections shown on the plan were located appropriately. A fourth connection was requested through Block C, to the adjoining property through the parking lot shown on the plan near the adjoining parcel to the south. The street could be a rural cross-section; however, it must have sidewalks and street trees. It could be either public or private. The connection could be a private access easement.
A pedestrian connection was viewed as essential between Block C, through Block F (the Fire Station parcel) to the rest of the development, especially Block E and the park. Staff said it was working with the East Rivanna Fire and Rescue Company on this issue already.
Question for the Commission: What is the appropriate height for buildings in the area under review for the rezoning?
The heights may go to 55 feet for residential buildings in Block E; however, they should be limited to 4 stories. For non-residential buildings in Block E, the limitation was 45 feet and 3 stories. The table indicating maximum building heights should contain both maximum heights in feet and maximum stories or floors.
Questions for the Commission: Is the product type, form of development, and building height appropriate in Block C?
The Commission was satisfied with the multifamily buildings, the “White Gables” type of development and maximum building heights of 45 feet with 3 stories.
Question for the Commission: Should commitments be made to other plan elements or is this level of flexibility acceptable?
The Commission was satisfied with the list of fixed elements shown on the plan. They expressed the need for greater, not lesser densities and asked the applicant to increase the minimum number of units by block in the development for all but Blocks B, H, and K (the single-family residential blocks), Block A (the entrance with the church and bed and breakfast), Block F, the fire station, and Block I the park. It was suggested that the applicant commit overall to a minimum of 4 dwellings per acre. Staff said it would work with Zoning and Current Development to find the most appropriate way to make this commitment.
Question for the Commission: Are the proposed uses acceptable in the locations shown on the plan?
Staff noted that the need to limit some of the accessory uses for the Fire Station was being worked on between staff and the Fire Company. All of the other uses were viewed as satisfactory and appropriate.
Frank Cox, Steve Runkle and Michael Fenner, representatives for the applicant, were present to answer questions.
The Commission took public comment at the end of the session.
Dennis Ordinov, head of the Master Planning Steering Committee in the Village of Rivanna, said that they submitted a Comprehensive Plan Amendment that was rejected because the Commission said that it was informative for future use. One of the things that they emphasized in the CPA was the protection of the historical area, which comprises Glenmore and the Village of Rivanna. There is an equestrian horse path there. This is also the entrance to Glenmore. For what it is worth, everything that Mr. Runkle said tonight was factually true with regards to some people coming to him and saying that they wanted the White Gables product. But, that was never voted on by the people in Glenmore. Subsequently, they ran a survey and people were overwhelmingly against it because it interferes with the scenic and historical area. However, they have talked with Mr. Runkle, had a meeting with Bob Tucker and other persons and were wiling to accept it because there is no other place to put it. It would be an economic setback to them if they did not have it. However, they don’t want the roofline of any of these units to be seen from an area, which would then have it jut out and disturb that area even with a 100’ setback. They realize that in the winter time these units would be seen. But, the height of the roofline above the trees is what bothers us. They are concerned about what they discussed and that height being set before they clearly understand whether the roofline will be seen above the tree line. It will upset the scenic view of that particular vista. The other thing that he might mention to the Commission with regards to density is that they have been in discussions with the developer and the County Parks and Recreation supports them in line with their original discussion to preserve as much of this as possible and not have playing fields. There is a possibility that this could be a practice field. Then they would have essentially 14 acres of parks instead of fields in this area. He did not know if that was done with the minimum densities required and whether that would doom that possibility. Parks and Recreation’s preference is for a larger park because as they say they would have larger flexibility. He said that he just wanted to bring that to the Commission’s attention.
There being no further public comment, Ms. Joseph thanked everybody for coming.
Ms. Echols said that additional work sessions will be scheduled to discuss transportation, the Entrance Corridor, proffers and affordable housing.
The Planning Commission took a ten minutes break at 7:55 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 8:02 p.m.
Mr. Craddock returned to the meeting at 8:02 p.m.
CPA-2004-002 Pantops Master Plan - Work session to discuss the preliminary draft recommendations and maps of the Pantops Master Plan, with an emphasis on the Framework Plan (land use and place types). (Rebecca Ragsdale)
Ms. Ragsdale presented the staff report and a power point presentation. (Attachment – Staff Report) She distributed larger maps, which were requested at the last meeting. The focus of tonight’s discussion is the framework plan, place types and land use designations related to the center types. She highlighted the points in the staff report. This is the second of the three work sessions staff scheduled with the Commission. Last week staff gave an overview of the draft Master Plan elements that they had developed. Tonight was to have a focused discussion to get into some details regarding place types and land use designations.
Staff would like the Commission to provide some input in if they are heading in the right direction, what are some things that they would like to add and then address the questions staff gave in the report. Those two primary questions:
· Are the place types (the center in the neighborhood types, corridors and districts) appropriate for Pantops?
· Do you agree with the land use designations as staff organized them within the place types and around the neighborhood centers on the framework plan? (Of course, these are supposed to incorporate the guiding principles.)
Last time they talked more about the public’s priority with this Master Plan addressing scenic vistas and open space, respecting the existing neighborhoods that are in Pantops and adjoining while providing for some more housing choices and pedestrian friendly environment; specific guiding principle in regards to density; and that it must incorporate additional natural areas. Staff will show the Commission how they think they have addressed these guiding principles when she describes the framework land use map and again, convenience and transportation. Next week the Commission will get a chance to delve into transportation in a little more detail. The other guiding principle is public facilities. At this stage of the plan with these draft elements staff is trying to establish the goals and set the direction and get direction from the Commission prior to drafting a full master plan document that would have more of the actions and implementation strategies and establish priorities. They hope that they have begun to address the guiding principles and public input themes and having incorporated the Neighborhood Model principles as they are appropriate for Pantops.
Last week they went through the existing conditions of the urban neighborhoods in the County adjacent to the City of Charlottesville that has some pretty intense zoning. They have a more conventional land use plan at the moment with no lacking guidance as was identified in terms of the street network. Our goals in the beginning of the recommendations for the framework plan and land use they touched last week on a major development area removal of a parcel of 77 acres and focusing on neighborhood centers. They tried to help establish a mix of uses and a balance of the commercial and residential. There is not a good mix in some areas of Pantops. There are segregated land uses. Then they addressed some highway oriented uses in trying to encourage walk ability. Some of the language with regards to place making in terms of the direction that they have been going with these Master Plans and the Neighborhood Model established that they were organizing development form and land uses based on place types orienting people, providing added convenience and having the intentionally designed open space with the hope that quality of life is improved and that people have destinations that they can walk to. That is really pretty much out of the Crozet Master Plan and the Neighborhood Model.
What they have is the framework plan, which staff described last week in terms of having seven neighborhoods with the various centers identified with the little icons and then the land use designations organized around those centers. They have a corridor that they have identified with this regional commercial between Pantops Shopping Center and the top of the mountain and the Rivanna River Corridor and the employment district. Staff wants to go into more detail a little more about those neighborhoods and give some more background as to why they felt that was appropriate place type designations. They are organized around centers. There are three center types that they have shown in the Pantops Framework Plan. They are trying to have the plans have some level of consistency with Places 29. In the report staff included the Places 29 table. Some of those place types, centers types staff felt were too large and not appropriate for Pantops. But, staff wanted to have them there as part of the discussion if the Commission felt otherwise. So there are three of the smaller place types:
· The civic green center (called out in Pantops, but not in Places 29). It is the smallest and is a component of the other two centers. These are used primarily in the residential neighborhood.
· The Neighborhood Service or a cluster of a more mixed use center type and having the urban open space component within the quarter mile walk ability.
· Community Center that has the greatest level of retail service mix. This includes having a grocery store, a larger component that may draw from a larger market. This would have additional services and a mix of uses and then is integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Staff will show the Commission where they think those are in Pantops. These designations came from the Pantops plan. In this case more mixed use categories, the urban commercial mixed use and employment mixed use. So within there like with urban mixed use staff would expect a more even mix between residential and then service office uses. Commercial mixed use is having a wider range of commercial possibilities, with employment obviously. With these two other commercial and employment mixed use categories the level of residential they would be more cautious in terms of where it might be appropriate. It would not be as high a percentage expected in those areas with employment uses, office research and development and maybe some light industrial. These are land use concepts that they are moving along with Places 29. In terms of defining them further staff does not have specifics. Densities range in these mixed use categories would be expected between 6 and 34 dwelling units per acre. She would talk a little more specifically about how that might be applied when she goes through the slides. Primarily there are two residential land use categories: Neighborhood Density and Urban Density. Those are in the current Comprehensive Plan. Institutional is a more single use land use category. The Parks and Green Space categories make up three neighborhood types, with residential being the first of those types. It might be more meaningful if she shows on the map what she is talking about. For reference to describing things in the plan, these place types are roughly a quarter of a mile circle represents walk ability. She mentioned the transect idea in the report. The idea being that closest to these centers that land uses would be more intense. Then the edges would be less intense and not define the specific bands of the transect, as the Commission as seen with the Crozet plan. It is not at that level of specificity. In this particular area one of the areas that staff wants the Commission to weigh in on is the Wheeler property, which is recommended for removal. One of the questions is what about this neighborhood density residential and what makes sense in this edge of the Development Area. Should they allow for some development there if it redevelops? This property is part of Darden Towe Park, Lewis and Clark Exploratory and then property that would be preserved as the property owner has expressed interest in a conservation easement. She noted the Franklin resource and Franklin Farm. At the more central point, moving back into the development area they have Cascadia recently approved. One of the neighborhood focal points identified when they had the Pantops meeting was the Broadus Memorial Baptist Church. She pointed out Lake Ridge where they were showing neighborhood density residential. Some of this is consistent with what is in the Comprehensive Plan. In another area they are showing neighborhood density where urban density was adjacent to the Park. In this neighborhood there is limited new development potential in terms of properties not development. The most redevelopment or infill is in the area adjacent to the Elks Lodge. She pointed out that they have not shown land uses for the flood plain. The flood plain will be considered Parks preserve area. The question came up in the Crozet Master Plan about the issue of net density or gross density. Essentially they have done some netting since they would assume if the new land use plan was adopted that acreage would not count towards density. So this property shows less density than what is currently in the Land Use Plan. One thing staff heard from the public comment was questioning having any center along 20. The public was very concerned about preserving Route 20. Staff heard the comment that they did not want to see any more development. She recommended one revision that they not include this strip of urban density mixed use. She felt that was misleading and that having the center designation of neighborhood service recognizes those uses that are there with Avemore and are expected with Cascadia. The Montessori School is located there.
Mr. Morris felt that they needed to move slowly on that portion of the road or area. They need to wait for the results on the Eastern Connector studies. He would not want to have anything planned there that would destroy the possibility of that connector.
Mr. Benish felt that was good input. What staff has begun to wonder about is that with the Wheeler property added it still leaves an appendage out here. Beyond the Eastern Connector staff wonders what the utility is for showing that for 3 to 6 dwelling units. If it is developed it is at a low density rural type scale. There are a couple apartments.
Mr. Edgerton said that it is interesting that Lewis and Clark is proposing a series of trails in that area. He believed that little narrow skinny thing above it is where Clark’s birthplace is located.
Mr. Cannon said that is historical. But, from the map it looks like there is some open space or water shed protection that showed up in there. It would be nice if that comes under easement particularly with a connection to Darden Towe Park. That makes a nice corridor.
Mr. Morris noted that there was a good trail in there now that was wonderful to walk.
Ms. Joseph felt that the piece of green should stay in the growth area. She asked about the density.
Mr. Edgerton questioned why leave it in the growth area if it was designated as park land.
Ms. Joseph said that part of it was that Lewis and Clark is sort of an appendage of that.
Ms. Ragsdale replied yes, that the trails, log fort and look out tower describe the Lewis and Clark activities. The center itself is 1,500 square feet, which was approved for an historical center. Then they would cross the creek referred to as Trevillians. There were a series of trails where they would have an historical interpretation. They were going to build a log fort and a lookout tower, which were not part of the park.
Mr. Morris said that it was doable. But, his point was that they should go slowly now because he would not want any more to impede the Eastern Connector.
Mr. Benish said that the current Comp Plan calls for that area shown in green to be neighborhood density, which was for 3 to 6 dwelling units per acre. That is currently what our proposed plan indicates. It is the same. Staff’s question was if there is any reason to be more aggressive south of the properties to consider something with a special caveat.
Mr. Edgerton noted that the only concern that he had about pulling out Ms. Wheeler’s property was if they reduced the size are they putting more pressure on the other parts. Do they try to compensate there? He did not feel that they should on the park land beside of the river.
Ms. Joseph asked if in the floodplain they might be able to have additional parks. They have turned their backs to the river in this area except for Darden Towe Park. She asked if it was possible for them to put other pieces of the darker green closer or is it something that the topography won’t allow. It is great that they have these civic spaces, but according to what they were telling them it was more architecturally built. They are not natural areas. They have an opportunity to have some sort of natural green spaces that are connected by the trail. Is that possible or not? She acknowledged that the topography in some of these areas is very rough in places.
Mr. Benish said that one of the themes that they heard from the community was emphasized with one of the things they were trying to do, which was to emphasize and continue development with emphasis on river oriented development and green space development. One of the newer things that they were adding to it hopefully by the end of the process is more of a commitment to make perpendicular connections from neighborhoods to that greenway. But, he felt what she was asking about was along the floodplain and river emphasizing more formal development.
Ms. Joseph asked if that was possible without damaging the environment.
Mr. Benish noted that there is narrow topography in some parts of the area the further down stream you go. But, there are certain opportunities around the shopping center where they might be able to do a little bit more.
Ms. Joseph said that she wanted all of the green connected and the green trail. She would like to see more passage space as a park in that area. It would be nice to have some natural areas if at all possible. If it is narrow down there, they don’t want to do that because of the damage done to get down there. But, if it is possible they have this green trail and it would be great if they could have this trail connected to the other green spaces in there if possible. But, she did not want to cause any environmental problems.
Mr. Benish said that he thought they were trying to achieve to have it integrated and theoretically loop the greenways and trails. They might need to articulate the expectations.
Ms. Ragsdale said that they were working closely with Dan Mahon in Parks. What they would expect with the next generation is to say that this is an area that would stay a natural area and this is the type of park facility they would expect. That is something they did in Crozet as far as the hierarchy and what areas were suitable for parks and also working on getting them connected.
Ms. Joseph said that if they were back beside Darden Towe with the neighborhood center that she thought staff was correct in maybe removing it because it looks like they are asking for the same sort of treatment that they have along Route 250 and Route 20. She did not think that was anybody’s intent.
Ms. Ragsdale replied that was correct.
Mr. Edgerton asked if the shopping centers were not already there if the master plan would be suggesting that this be the location.
Ms. Ragsdale replied that a lot of what staff had done is recognizing existing development. She felt that with the Pantops Shopping Center that area of Pantops is more conducive out of Monticello’s view shed. Rivanna Ridge was built before.
Mr. Edgerton pointed out that it had caused an environmental nightmare with the drainage from that parking lot. They can’t do anything about it right now, but what this plan is going to do will have a whole lot to do with what happens with redevelopment. In this particular master plan exercise they should think about that because when redevelopment comes the question would be how does it comply with the master plan that is now part of the Comprehensive Plan? If it was a bad place to have a lot of congestion right now, then his initial reaction would be that they should not show it as a center and try to urge people to put the density there. He would rather put the density in the neighborhood commercial mixed use if they could work that in the community a little further east on Route 250. But, at the same time he was not in on the community meetings and the issue of the view shed of Monticello.
Mr. Benish said that the focus of the community meetings was to identify what they felt were the best centers, which sort of gravitated to what is on the ground now. He felt that the Pantops Shopping Center, if they consider all of the issues that the community and staff have looked at, there are some negatives about it, but he thinks on balance better locations of a center because of its visibility and in part to its proximity to the city and does allow for a close in modular extension that might support an infrastructure extension. Last week staff met with our storm water management folks and one of the things that they heard was to make sure that future development brings existing areas for redevelopment in compliance with the current standards or expected new technology that they understand for development. They talked about that in great detail. They mentioned this particular site and it does not meet our current standards. Any redevelopment or rezoning brings the opportunity to bring it up to the current standards and they might expect a little more out of some of these areas. They did recognize that. He was not sure about Rivanna Ridge, which was where they would focus in on a commercial center because of its visibility of the view shed.
Mr. Cannon said that he had the same reaction to Rivanna Ridge and agreed about the ridge. He assumed it was in the view shed of Monticello, which was the premiere site down into the valley and the site from the valley up. He felt that was very unfortunate. He knew they could not reverse it. But, if there was a way they could moderate that over time or take steps over time to recapture that as such a strategic location visually, he felt it would be good.
Mr. Strucko felt the most visual problem of the area is the traffic congestion. If he was to relocate a shopping center he would put it on the other side of Route 250 where the urban density and neighborhood density exists and alleviate the need for those folks that are living in the Fontana area to get in a vehicle and cross over a four lane highway to go shopping. He would look at it for the convenience of the uses.
Ms. Joseph asked if he would flip the uses.
Mr. Strucko replied yes, for future redevelopment because the primary users are on the other side of Route 250.
Mr. Cannon said that he was sure there were good reason why not to disrupt it. But, they were looking 30 years into the future and where would you want the centers to have migrated and assuming that there was some capability to do that. He asked what data they have which might suggest what their preference might be.
Mr. Strucko said that he would love to see the people in Westminster Canterbury have access to walk to a grocery store or drug store.
Mr. Benish said what they have to be careful about is that designation. He thinks that the de-emphasis for that would be to replace or exchange it and not to add to. The message that they were creating was very clear that designation without those sorts of controls theoretically could indicate further development and the community does not want that. They already have enough of certain types of commercial. Staff feels that they have to be careful about the intensity of the visibility. The residential in the future would emerge at these centers in order to put people closer. Then some of the smaller or more specialized uses would be identified. The Commission is right if they went back and started again. But, the biggest difficulty with this site Rivanna Ridge is that it is brand new. But, with Pantops Shopping Center it has been a good one for 20 years and was established under Planned Development zoning.
Mr. Morris felt that was the frustrating thing that he had heard from the people at the work sessions. The people at the work session asked what the County wanted them to plan because it was all done. He felt that they were trying to put the best light on a bad situation, but it was a day late and a dollar short.
Ms. Joseph suggested that if they were going to keep the things where they were that possibly this was where low impact design comes in. So they start trying to think about how they are dealing with storm water. Maybe this is where they talk about sustainability and green buildings. She suggested that they might be able to get this kind of information into the Comprehensive Plan so that even though these areas are exactly where they want them that there will be other things that they get in return for this.
Mr. Edgerton felt that was an excellent idea, but he would rather introduce a Comprehensive Plan amendment that would apply to all areas and not just this master plan.
Ms. Joseph suggested that they start with this master plan in starting to think this way.
Mr. Edgerton noted that in two weeks the Board is going to get a report from Sean Dougherty about what they can do to add a green building initiative to the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Benish said to go back to Mr. Strucko’s points raised, which was very good, concerning the close proximity of services to the people. They will get to a discussion about the red area, which was the commercial mixed use. Once staff explains what commercial mixed use is he felt that the Commission might not want to go with that concept at that location. He felt that within this section of the plan they can make more specific comments about sustainability as it relates to expectations in this particular area.
Mr. Craddock asked if the green area shown on the plan was forever or just a snapshot at this particular time.
Ms. Ragsdale replied that there are two different greens shown on the plan. One green is shown behind the shopping center with the trail. Staff is trying to show connected systems of green space. Staff would hope based on what they have shown would stay green. Some of the ways that they determine that is the topography and natural features and where it would make sense to have connected systems of green space. She said that staff could not answer to infinity and beyond.
Mr. Craddock noted that when the hospital comes it will put a lot more pressure on more medical offices and everything else coming up through that area.
Ms. Ragsdale said the next question for the Commission regarded Gazebo Plaza, which was not constructed yet. She asked what the Commission thought should be shown in the plan. Should they be planning for the shopping center that was anticipated? They talked with the property owner and they don’t think that would be appropriate because Mr. Spurzum had concerns about misleading the public. But, this plan is trying to address long term vision and what they heard what the public wanted. But, it is zoned Planned District Shopping Center and they have the final site plan under review. That is one of staff’s questions to be addressed.
Mr. Benish noted that the application is in litigation, but it has to do with the site plan approval. The case is not closed technically. They are reluctant to sit down and discuss this with staff. What conversation the applicant has had with staff is that he is not interested in any other option other than his site plan.
Mr. Morris said that until the litigation is settled this is a moot point other than the Commission would really like to have this area as a park.
Mr. Benish said that the concept here shows Neighborhood Density residential with the center a park, but it is completely inconsistent with what the owner will potentially be able to develop shortly.
Ms. Joseph asked what about the dark green triangular piece. Is that part of his property?
Ms. Ragsdale replied no. The site plan is concentrated pretty much on half of the site. It is about 900 parking spaces and then it is about 40,000 square feet and is broken up between the two. The remainder is gas pumps and some sort of gas station. But, it is all located on this half. With the topography, the slopes and this half there might be some opportunity there.
Ms. Joseph said that there is a stream buffer.
Ms. Ragsdale said that is the edge of the development area and it was just a buffer. There is a historic resource adjacent.
Ms. Joseph said that the green triangle could be connected with the other green space, and Ms. Ragsdale replied that it could.
Mr. Benish noted that is an area visible from Monticello.
Mr. Edgerton said that as a future vision he would like to see more residential and green.
Ms. Joseph noted that it was the civic green and the Urban Density Residential that the Commission agreed with.
Mr. Edgerton asked where the hospital was located.
Ms. Ragsdale pointed out that the hospital was shown in blue, which they had given an institutional land use designation. Staff did hear from Peter Jefferson Place and they met with the hospital last week. This is primarily consistent with the Peter Jefferson Place Master Plan. They have shown the road connection. Staff did suggest a grid parallel to State Farm and some Urban Mixed Use in this area. There are some areas where again the long term vision if they wanted to come back and infill a little bit they could. Staff heard from the public how they liked this site developed in the campus style and the Worrell Peter Jefferson folks do not anticipate deviating from that within the near future. What they would anticipate is that they have the museum use and a potential museum use at the Worrell Offices of Wildlife Art Museum and the little Pantops farm house there. So staff does not feel like they deviated from it that much, but they did show some areas where they don’t have a development approval for. The hospital is going in this area. So they have mimicked the road connections with the suggested grid and then what would be happening in the corner of the site.
Mr. Benish said that along State Farm Boulevard would continue with the campus feel.
Mr. Edgerton said that the parallel road or the western edge would become the transition to a more Neighborhood Model.
Ms. Ragsdale said that staff heard from the hospital. In terms of adjacent residential the hospital was not in favor of it on this side of State Farm showing residential is in proximity to the hospital. Also, again, the Worrells suggested that it be consistent with their Master Plan. But, this area is not entirely consistent. Staff has tried to anticipate the existing approval for the office buildings and doctor offices. The brown color is the office mixed use for uses that are supportive of the employment center with State Farm and the hospital right there. State Farm owns all of the property in their immediate area except for two properties. Staff talked with them and they want to hold on to their properties for their long term expansion needs. They need parking. They did not say no, change this. Staff met with them and explained the land use colors. Staff thinks that it is something that would fit. Again, they talked about the park component earlier. So those properties are primarily controlled by one owner. But, within that area they would anticipate something like that. She asked if the Commission has any specific comment. She gave them a list of comments based on what staff heard and what they would recommend. Staff is looking for what kind of specific changes they would like to see or not see in this area. Staff raised the question of appropriate land uses for some of these areas not necessarily shown on the slide here, but places like the American Legion, the schools, civic uses, which in most cases they consider supporting to the residential. The museum and the office building here are commercial mixed use and urban mixed use. Staff reviewed the specific questions with the Commission as follows. First, they started off adjacent to the Wheeler property. Staff heard some direction in terms of river orientation there, but it was not clear what they could like to see with that piece that is left over between Dorrier Drive and Route 20.
In consensus the Commission made the following comments:
· The Commission felt that they should go slow and that area should be left the way it is in the development area.
· The brown strip along Route 20 with the Neighborhood Service should be removed.
· The Commission wanted to know about the access to Elks Lodge.
Ms. Ragsdale asked if the centers are correct. They were looking at this in terms of two different neighborhoods. One is more residential in character and the other being the mixed use neighborhood community center. Staff heard the Commission’s comments regarding the concept of flip flopping them. This is Luxor Commercial that has 80,000 square feet approved with it for an office, bank drive through and a vet. Then the Pavilions townhouses of 300 plus would be there. Staff would anticipate that. But, the Commission was thinking in terms of redevelopment opportunities. She asked if the Commission had any specific direction with the Rivanna Ridge parcel or any type of infill that would be appropriate that was more environmentally and view sensitive than the shopping center that went in there.
In consensus the Commission agreed about the redevelopment opportunities for infill with the neighborhood sensitivity to residents in close proximity.
In consensus, the Commission wanted to see Gazebo Plaza the way it was shown and they don’t anticipate any higher intensity centers for Pantops.
Ms. Ragsdale said that the mixed use neighborhood they did not talk specifically about this one and did not show it on the map. Staff’s concept was that they would have a river corridor defined. In this case they have the blue that is the floodplain and the greenway trail as shown on the infrastructure map.
Ms. Joseph asked if there were two little green parks.
Ms. Ragsdale said that they think of the blue as green. The questions that she had for the Commission in this area were since where they put these centers was going to define where the most intense activity is should it be shifted this way and away from the river.
It was the consensus of the Commission that the intense activity should be shifted away from the river.
Ms. Ragsdale asked what the adjacent land uses should be on Free Bridge Lane where the river can be seen. The Urban Density Mixed Use is shown at the corner of 20 and 250. Urban Density Residential Mixed Use is shown at the River’s Edge Office there. Staff wanted some input from the Commission in terms of the river. Charlottesville Power Equipment is one of the buildings shown there, but she was not sure of the status.
Mr. Morris pointed out that one of the deciding factors for Charlottesville Power is that the view down to the river is of the buildings in the city.
It was the consensus of the Commission that they should try to respect the river corridor with any development and try to make improvements for the short term and long term vision.
Mr. Benish noted that staff needs input on going to that circle tan color of Urban Density Residential. The hospital and Peter Jefferson Place are concerned and have asked that no residential go on their side of State Farm Boulevard and abut the institutional use.
Mr. Cilimberg said that they could continue the brown for the Urban Mixed Use, then it certainly would serve the office support need and still be potentially residential.
Mr. Edgerton asked if he was suggesting that the three tan colors become dark brown going 11 o’clock from the green circle.
Mr. Cannon said that would not prevent residential and would not address their concerns.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that it would also support an office use and they would not be committed one way or the other.
Mr. Edgerton said that he was more concerned about establishing a grid, which staff has done with the parallel road. He wanted to have a sympathetic scale.
Ms. Joseph asked if they wanted to respond to Martha Jefferson and say that it does not have to be residential, but the possibility is there.
It was the consensus of the Commission that they have no problem going with the darker brown.
Ms. Ragsdale said that the Commission did not seem to have any problems keeping State Farm as a district. The Route 250 Corridor is also known as the car dealership motor mile. This particular area is zoned Highway Commercial and was the boundaries of the commercial corridor, which is recognized as a corridor at this point. Staff described the commercial mixed use opportunities for residential with the caveat given the Highway Commercial if they were compatible. Staff gave an example of a recent redevelopment within the development of the old Moore’s Lumber site, which will be Pantops Office and Virginia National Bank. Staff feels with this designation they were allowing the opportunities for what they would want in the future for additional employment or office, and service uses. This has the broadest range of commercial possibilities in terms of land use designation.
Mr. Edgerton suggested that instead of tying it to the existing center he would like to move the center to a location that makes more sense. They talked about shifting the center a little up the hill.
Mr. Benish said that right now with the red area it allows this area to remain as a commercial corridor, but it also allows for redevelopment like Pantops Place. The highway oriented uses would still potentially be acceptable.
Mr. Strucko noted that area had the regional level of service. Therefore, there were people coming from all areas.
Ms. Joseph asked if staff had commercial mixed use defined some place?
Ms. Ragsdale replied yes, that they do. She provided the land use descriptions in the report as well on page 4. The land uses would be the range of retail, commercial services, office, hotel, motel, conference facility and wholesale uses with scale appropriate for neighborhood and community center expected. In this case they would need to define that a little bit more. Some Light Industry might be considered in these areas such as research, warehousing, incidental related office and then residential uses with urban densities.
Ms. Joseph replied that it would include everything.
Ms. Ragsdale said that if they were anticipating where they would want the more intensive commercial going into Pantops, then this is where the plan says that it would go. She pointed out that the plan recognizes the existing uses.
Mr. Morris said that gives them the most flexibility.
Mr. Edgerton said that it certainly does, but are they encouraging development on that corridor that is going to choke it off even more. Transportation is already an issue.
Mr. Strucko said that he would like to hear the community’s perspective adjacent to the river in the environmental sensitive areas on where they want to put the neighborhood level activities and whether and it is residential or commercial. As they move closer to the infrastructure that facilitates regional commercial, which he was talking about I-64, is that where they want to local their car dealerships, hospitals and facilities and activities that bring people from adjacent counties and regionally. If they were able to they could flip the uses. He recognized that reality is very different because what is there now is what is there now.
Mr. Edgerton noted that it was not always going to be there. That is what a master plan is for.
Mr. Benish said that one good thing about the red area is it was sort of down the hill and off to the side. From Monticello’s perspective it is less visible there. When you get to the higher area next to I-64 you start getting to a higher visible area. There are certain blocks and areas that would be visible from Monticello. They wanted to preserve the views and vistas.
Mr. Strucko said that if they want to alleviate the problems that would cause, then they would be getting closer to the river. They were talking about transportation networks and road grids or some other way of moving traffic to deal with the congestion problem and relief the access to employment and recreational facilities.
Mr. Benish said that staff is stepping the Commission through the land use first. But, they might want to come back and revisit it by the time they are done with this after looking at the transportation. Next week they will go over the transportation issues.
Mr. Edgerton said that if they put something out there that would allow any kind of development right up next to the highway that could exasperate the traffic problems.
Mr. Strucko noted that local traffic has to cross that bridge and boom they are right there in the regional commercial district and are battling traffic not only from this area but from Fluvanna, Green, Nelson and where ever else. All the local people want to do is get home.
Mr. Benish pointed out that staff is actually proposing a second stream crossing that goes through the center area. Pantops Boulevard would continue through to High Street. It was also brought to their attention the importance of designating the shopping center as the center area for redevelopment as they get that road built. They mentioned earlier the age of that facility and the potential for redevelopment as opposed to other areas.
Mr. Cilimberg said that they may be finding in the actual implementation of the master plan that there is going to be a real emphasis on centers as the starting point for real conversion in redevelopment. The centers may actually be the lynch pen of these areas. They are the locations where they really want to reinvent and re-identify there. The Pantops Shopping Center basically has a big shopping center. That is likely to become more of a mixed use development and it actually is not going to have a detrimental impact on the river because it has been a parking lot. It may actually be an improvement. By putting people close to the river they might want to walk to the park. As they increase the density there they actually increase the opportunity for public transportation that would improve the road system. They may not actually be exasperating the problem, but actually helping it. The other shopping center at the top of the hill he questioned how they ever allowed a shopping center to go there because it had great views for residential uses. If they were able to start with a clean slate that is where they would want to have a mixed use with a focal point for people to live and shop. Again, there is a huge parking lot. That could be the second center where they might have a real market opportunity for redevelopment. He felt that the way this identifies the location of the center actually makes a lot of sense in terms of the opportunities to recreate the location. The car dealerships are not going to give them the same opportunity. They are smaller pieces of land with separate ownership.
Mr. Craddock said that it could feather out to I-64.
Mr. Edgerton noted that they broke their rules when they allowed Eckert to be built on the other side of Route 250.
Ms. Ragsdale asked if the Commission wanted to take the clean slate approach to this corridor area and revisit it next time in terms of what might be better than encouraging more Highway Commercial or intensification.
Mr. Morris agreed that was a good idea for the time being.
Ms. Ragsdale said that next time is transportation. She asked if there was anything else that would be helpful. Staff will provide bigger maps.
Mr. Edgerton asked that they follow up on Ms. Joseph’s suggestion. He suggested that staff ask Sean Dougherty for a copy of his draft about green building initiatives to see if could be incorporated.
Ms. Joseph suggested that they do that for Place 29 too.
Mr. Benish noted that there would not be a new staff report for the transportation discussion next week.
In summary, the Planning Commission held the second work session on CPA-2004-002, Pantops Master Plan, with an emphasis on the Framework Plan (land use and place types). In a power point presentation staff provided a more detailed review of each place type identified in Pantops, including each of the seven Neighborhoods, two Corridors, and District identified on the Framework Plan and discussed the preliminary draft recommendations and goals for each of those place types. The Planning Commission discussed the centers, land use designations, and neighborhood types recommended for each of these places in the Framework Plan. Specifically, the Planning Commission provided input on the following:
· Darden Towe Park Residential Neighborhood
· Did not recommend additional changes in the Dorrier Drive/northern end of Darden Towe Park Area of Pantops.
· Agreed with staff recommendation that the Urban Density Mixed Use strip area on the east side of Stony Point Road should be removed.
· Luxor/Westminster Canterbury and Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center Mixed Use Neighborhoods
· The Commission did not find the center-types appropriate and recommended that Rivanna Ridge should be a Neighborhood Service center and that the more intense Community Center should be located at Luxor, within closer proximity to residential areas.
· Gazebo Plaza site/Glenorchy Residential Neighborhood
No changes to the center type or land use recommendations were recommended and the Commission wanted to maintain the long term vision for that area of Pantops.
· Pantops Shopping Center/Riverbend Neighborhood Mixed Use Neighborhood
The Commission agreed with the Core center designation for this center in Pantops.
· The Community Center should be shifted slightly east.
· Revised maps should reflect a river corridor land use designation/place type and the narrative of the plan should provide expectations for the uses adjacent to the river
· Rivanna River Corridor
· The Commission recommended that connectivity to the Rivanna River corridor be improved and illustrated on the plans
· Peter Jefferson Place/State Farm Boulevard
Revise the Framework Plan Urban Density land use designations adjacent to Martha Jefferson Hospital (Institutional land use designation) to Urban Density Mixed use land use category
· Route 250 Commercial Corridor (The Planning Commission did not find the designation on the draft Framework Plan and will provide additional input at the next work session)
The third work session will be held September 5, 2006 and will focus on transportation issues along with a discussion on the next steps in the Pantops Master Plan process. Mr. Benish noted that the staff report for this meeting would be delivered to the Commission later this week.
Ms. Joseph asked if there was any old business.
Appointment to PACTECH Committee:
Due to Ms. Higgins resignation, Mr. Strucko made a motion to appoint Marcia Joseph to the PACTECH Committee, which was seconded by Mr. Craddock.
The motion carried unanimously (6:0).
Ms. Joseph indicated that after the affordable housing work session Dave Phillips asked if the Commission would want developers to come and discuss their position on affordable housing.
It was the consensus of the Commission that it was a good idea for staff to set up a work session on affordable housing in order to hear from the developers.
Mr. Cilimberg mentioned that one of the Commissioners had asked about a question that came up during the Rivanna Village discussion from the community about where Parks and Rec thought the field could go, which the applicant’s plan shows as a residential section. He indicated that is a discussion that has taken place between the community and Parks and Rec. It is in the developer’s hands to decide whether they want to pursue this change. There is an interest in the community to have a more natural park, possibly with a lake, and a larger area of park land there. He felt that Mr. Mullaney was certainly receptive to that concept, but that he was receptive to what will get him park facilities and the opportunity to work with a suitable area.
Mr. Strucko asked what Mr. Mullaney’s priorities are? Does he want an active recreational facility there?
Mr. Cilimberg said that he wants some level field space.
Mr. Strucko said that the soccer field was the issue and a concern between the Glenmore Community Association and the developer.
Mr. Cilimberg asked that the Commission consider what is important beyond what Mr. Mullaney might be looking for from the recreational standpoint. There is also a question of this location being a terminating vista of Main Street in this project. It is not just about what they are doing to address regional recreational needs, but what they are doing at the end of that street that provides an amenity for the community.
Mr. Strucko said that he had heard Mr. Mullaney’s opinion represented here by a member of the community. Based on his recollection, he heard something different at the last work session from Parks and Rec about what their desires are for that space.
Ms. Joseph agreed that they had heard something different. They had heard from a person in the community who wants more park land and less residential.
Mr. Strucko noted that the community representative said that Parks and Rec agreed with them.
Mr. Benish said that it would still call for the ball fields that Mr. Mullaney wants, but losing some residential. It would be getting what Mr. Mullaney wants, but just in a different configuration.
Mr. Strucko noted that Glenmore Associates wanted that field to be on the Fire Company land.
Ms. Joseph asked if it would be helpful if the Commission received an email from Mr. Mullaney.
Mr. Strucko noted that he thought that he had heard two different stories.
Mr. Benish said that he would talk with Mr. Mullaney.
There being no further old business, the meeting moved on to the next item.
Ms. Joseph asked if there was any new business. There being none, the meeting proceeded.
With no further items, the meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m. to the Tuesday, September 6, 2006 meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the County Office Building, Room 241, 401 McIntire Road.
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