Albemarle County Planning Commission

November 7, 2006


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session on Tuesday, November 7, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Eric Strucko, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Jon Cannon, Marcia Joseph, Chairman and Bill Edgerton. Absent were Duane Zobrist and Pete Craddock.  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; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the regular meeting to order at 4:11 p.m. and established a quorum.


ZMA 2006-012 UVA Foundation-Advanced Research & Technology Building Annex (Signs 35,36,40):

PROPOSAL:  Rezoning on CO-Commercial Office (offices, supporting commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit at 15 units/ acre) zoned property to allow an additional 30,000 square feet for a building square footage total of 565,000.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Office Service - office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) in the Development Area.


LOCATION: Ray C. Hunt Drive in the Fontaine Research Park, located on Fontaine Avenue, adjacent to the northeast of the Rt.29/250 Bypass in Neighborhood 6 of the Development Area.



STAFF:  Rebecca Ragsdale


Ms. Ragsdale summarized the staff report and gave a power point presentation.


·        This request by the University Foundation is to increase the approved square footage in the Fontaine Research Park.  The site is zoned Commercial Office.  It was first zoned in 1992, but along with that came a set of proffers and a plan that limit the square footage on the site.  With each space needs increase it has been incrementally increasing since 1992. The Fontaine Research Park is still designated as Office Service in the Comprehensive Plan.  Within the Research Park it is the last building that is under construction, which is referred to as the ART Annex. 


·        The ART building itself has been approved with a site plan.  The applicant is requesting the annex, which would be underneath parking.  The proposal is to increase the total square footage approved in the research park from 535,000 to 565,000 square feet.  Staff provided the Commission with the illustrations that the applicant provided.  The proposal is to add the annex underneath the parking as shown on the previous plan.


·        Staff evaluated the request with each of these increases.  There was one in 2004, which increased from 495,000 up to the 535,000 square feet that is approved.  The Foundation has seen with this particular user that they need more lab space.  So this particular request did not bring with it any impacts that staff was concerned about in terms of traffic or impacts on the site.  It is within the developable area that was approved with the original ART Annex Building.


·        Therefore, staff recommends approval based on that with the two conditions.  The revised proffer statement has not been submitted, which will reflect the square footage increase, and also to update some of the other proffers as recommended by zoning.  Then there is the requirement that was recommended by the County Engineer that calls out the requirement for the Certified Engineer’s Report to describe the uses that go in to the building to make sure that there are no negative impacts from that.  When the property was rezoned for Commercial Office carried with it special use permits for the lab facilities research and development.  As a condition of that special use permit the Certified Engineer’s Report is required.  Staff is recommending that it is something that happens at the final site plan stage for the building.


Ms.  Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Fred Missel, Director of Design and Development for the Foundation, said that this request does extend the opportunity to do state of the art research at the Fontaine Research Park.  He thanked staff for the clear presentation. It does not change any of the uses that are in existence in the Fontaine Research Park currently.  The facilities are rather unique in that it is 100 percent underground with the exception of one area that is used for ventilation that is adjacent to the existing building. The additional parking that is required by this is minimal.  They feel that they can work that out very clearly with the Zoning Department.  He has had conversations with John Shepherd regarding that. In addition, the traffic generation will obviously be minimal as well.  Others present this evening were Tim Rose, the CEO of the Foundation and Tom Marshall, Project Manager.  If there were any questions, he would be happy to answer them.


Mr. Edgerton asked if they were comfortable with staff’s recommendations about the proffers.


Mr. Missel replied yes, they are comfortable with staff’s recommendations.


Ms. Joseph asked if they are ever going to amend this to add some more commercial space so that they can actually have people working in this space that don’t have to leave.


Mr. Missel replied that they have actually looked at including commercial space in the buildings as they stand now.  Honestly, the space for research is so valuable and so limited that it has been found that research has to trump that in this case. As they go forward with the growth of the park there is a good chance that is something that might be needed and will be included in the future plans.


Ms. Joseph invited public comment.  There being none, she closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission for discussion and a possible action.


Motion:  Mr. Cannon moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to approve ZMA-2006-012, UVA Foundation-Advanced Research & Technology Building Annex, subject to staff’s recommended changes to the proffers and that a Certified Engineer’s Report is submitted with approval of a final site plan for the proposed building annex.


The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Commissioners Zobrist and Craddock were absent.) 


Ms. Joseph stated that ZMA-2006-012, UVA Foundation-Advanced Research & Technology Building Annex will go to the Board of Supervisor on December 13 with a recommendation for approval.


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