COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

 

Project Name:  ZMA 06- 12 UVA Foundation

Amendment for ART Building Annex

Staff:  Rebecca Ragsdale

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

November 7, 2006

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

December 13, 2006

Owners:  University of Virginia Foundation

Applicant: University of Virginia Foundation

Acreage: 5.9 acres

Rezone from: CO with proffer to CO with amended proffers.  

TMP:   76-17B

Location: Fontaine Research Park on Ray C. Hunt Drive on Fontaine Avenue Ext.

By-right use:  Office/Research Park Zoned CO and approved for up to 535,000 square feet

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Proffers:     Yes            

Proposal:  Amend proffers to allow additional building space of  30,000 square feet.

Total Requested Square Footage:  565,000

DA (Development Area): Neighborhood 6

 

Comp. Plan Designation: Office Service

Character of Property:  Research Park and open space

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Research park and open space immediately; residential to the east of park.

Factors Favorable:

1.      The building expansion can be accommodated by the existing site plan, without adverse impacts to the physical environment, other activities on the site, or nearby properties and neighborhoods.

2.      The research park is located within the urban area, close to the City, and concentrating office and research activities in this location places jobs close to areas of dense population.

 

Factors Unfavorable:

Staff has not identified factors unfavorable to this request

RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends approval of ZMA 2004-010, provided that proffers are revised based on staff recommendations and that a Certified Engineers Report is submitted with approval of a final site plan for the proposed building annex.

 

 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                              Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION DATE:                                                   November 7, 2006

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DATE:                                                December 13, 2006

 

ZMA 200 UVa Research Park amendment

 

PETITION:

PROJECT: ZMA 2006-12 UVA Foundation-Advanced Research & Technology Building Annex   
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.                 
PROFFERS:  Yes                                                                                                                                      
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.
ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes                                                                                                                       
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.
TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 76-17B, 17B6                                                                                                
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA:

Fontaine Research Park has seven existing buildings, primarily involved with medical services or health-related research, with the exception of AIMR and the front building which houses the University’s development office.  Beyond the park boundaries but accessed via Ray C. Hunt Drive are the Forestry Building and associated warehouse.  Nearby are the Nob Hill subdivision, Buckingham Circle neighborhood, Piedmont housing area (UVa) within the County and the Fry’s Spring and Jefferson Park Avenue neighborhoods within the City.

 

SPECIFICS OF THE PROPOSAL:

The applicant is seeking to amend an existing proffer approved with ZMA 2004-10, to allow additional square footage within the University of Virginia’s Fontaine Research Park for research and laboratory space.   Attachments B-E explain the applicants request and provide a tally of square footage within the research park as well as exhibits showing the Advanced Research and Technology (ART) building.  An existing proffer limits total buildings in the park to 535,000 square feet. (Attachment E)  If approved, this proffer amendment would add 30,000 square feet, increasing total park capacity to 565,000 square feet.  The proposed expansion will add additional research space for the approved ART facility and will be located in basement annex underneath an approved parking area. Because research equipment typically occupies a larger spatial area than standard office furnishings, a larger research building may generate the same number of people (and cars) as a smaller office building.  Zoning has determined that parking should be adequate and specifics will be addressed with the site development plan.

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR REQUEST:

The proposed expansion is to add a basement annex to an existing approved building in the park called the Advance Research and Technology (ART) building for additional research space and will have limited traffic impacts. (Attachment B)

 

PLANNING & ZONING HISTORY:

In June 1992 the property in question was rezoned (ZMA 92-03) from PD-SC and R-10 to CO Commercial Office with proffers and a proffered plan of development.  A special use permit (SP 92-13) for supporting commercial uses, research and development activities, including experimental testing was also approved with a condition that a Certified Engineers Report be provided to ensure compliance with the provisions of Section 4.14 of the Zoning Ordinance. Medical and pharmaceutical laboratories was also approved in 1992 with the rezoning.  Since then, the site has been subdivided to provide individual parcels for each of the institutional uses referenced above.  In September 2000 amendments to the original ZMA and SP were approved, allowing an additional 106,000 square feet and bringing total research park square footage to 495,000. In October 2004, a rezoning was approved (ZMA 2004-10) that allowed an additional 40,000 square feet of for a current maximum of 535,000 square feet of building area.

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

 

Land Use Plan

The park is recommended for Office Service in Neighborhood Six of the Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan.  Recommended Office Service uses include the following:

The applicant’s proposal is also consistent with the preliminary findings and recommendations of the Southern Urban Area B Study (accepted by the PACC but not yet adopted by the County), which identifies Fontaine Research Park as an existing Neighborhood Center and acknowledges and supports the potential for additional development within the park, both employment related and supporting commercial.  Similarly, the applicant’s proposal does not conflict with any of the connector road alternatives between Fontaine Avenue and Sunset Avenue Extended identified and evaluated by the study.  The 1988 JPA/Fontaine Area B Study, predecessor to the current study, stated that these [Research Park] parcels should be considered for rezoning, after completion of feasibility studies by the University.

 

 The Neighborhood Model

The Neighborhood Model, an adopted part of the Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan, sets forth twelve principles for evaluating development proposals within the Development Area. Neighborhood Model principles are not strongly reflected in this research park, which pre-dated the County’s current policy and embodies a more suburban approach to development.  Those which are reflected to some degree in this proposal and/or in the park are:

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Although the organization and dimensions of the research park do not make it an easy pedestrian environment, there is a sidewalk network linking buildings within the park, and linking the park network to Fontaine Avenue which has a pedestrian facility.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Landscaping and streetscaping make many of the internal streets attractive for pedestrians.  

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The applicant has an existing proffer to construct a bus shelter for transit riders to improve waiting conditions.   Currently, the site is served by JAUNT and a hospital van shuttle. The recommended bus shelter would serve the CTS route when it commences.   

 

Mixture of Uses

The proposed site and adjacent parcels are characterized by a limited mixture of uses including office, laboratory, clinical/medical and institutional/educational.  Residential uses are located nearby.

Neighborhood Centers

The park serves as an employment-oriented neighborhood center, and has the potential to become a better center with the addition of supporting commercial uses.  It is an important regional employment center.

 

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

Development in the park has been oriented away from sensitive environmental features

Parks and Open Space

 

The design of the research park includes a central green element and preservation of natural areas on the edges of the site. The applicant previously proffered to dedicate land along Morey Creek for a greenway.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

No residential uses are proposed in the research park but a variety of residential uses are located nearby.

Redevelopment

This proposal will add building square footage underneath a proposed parking lot. It is not redevelopment, but is expanding within the same developable area determined with the master plan for the park.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district

The applicant is requesting an amendment to the existing proffers to allow additional office use in a CO Commercial Office district. The purpose and intent of the CO district is to permit development of administrative, business and professional office and supporting accessory uses and facilities.  The district is intended as a transition between residential districts and other more intensive commercial and industrial districts.  The proposal meets the intent of the CO Zoning District.

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services

Roads- No adverse impact to roads is anticipated with the addition of 30,000 square feet to the Fontaine Research Park as it is anticipated that the research and laboratory uses will have lower occupancies.

Water and Sewer- Adequate water and sewer are available to serve the site. The Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) commented on the site plan (SDP 2005-00121) for the ART building and referenced those comments. A site plan amendment will be needed for the proposed basement annex and the ACSA will also review those plans. (Attachment G)

Stormwater Management- Since this facility will be primarily underground and located beneath the previously approved parking area, there are no other significant issues (ex. stormwater management, grading, critical slope impacts, etc.). 

Schools- There will be no impacts to schools.

Fiscal Impact- A fiscal impact analysis was not requested since the additional square footage does not significantly change employment numbers, but is more to accommodate spatial needs of the ART building.

 

Anticipated impact on cultural and historic resources

No impact is expected on cultural or historic resources.

 

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties

There may be some waste products generated by the research lab and vivarium.  It is the intent of the University Foundation that this facility will be occupied by the University of Virginia and operated by the University Occupational Health and Safety and the Facilities Management departments. The County Engineer has recommended that prior to the approval of a final site plan, the applicant shall submit a letter and supporting documentation addressing the performance standards of Code 18-4.14, to the satisfaction of the county engineer.  This shall include the University Occupational Health and Safety and the Facilities Management department standard procedures and related documentation for the storage and disposal of chemicals and waste products associated with the operation and maintenance of this facility.

 

Public need and justification for the change

The University’s medical research program would benefit from the building expansion, ultimately benefiting the general public as well as other University affiliates. 

 

PROFFERS:

The existing proffers for the research park, which were updated with ZMA 2004-10 are attached. (Attachment F) The applicant intends to amend Proffer 5 to increase the total development on the site to 565,000 square feet of floor area. Staff has also recommended that Proffers # 3 and Proffer #4 of ZMA -2004-10 be revised to make the approval of the site plan for this addition to the ART Building subject to the greenway dedication and completion of the pedestrian system in the research park. The applicant has not yet submitted revised proffers, which would replace the previously approved proffers, for review but intends to do so in time for the Board of Supervisors meeting in December and agrees with the staff recommended revisions.

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this rezoning request:

  1. The building expansion can be accommodated by the existing site plan, without adverse impacts to the physical environment, other activities on the site, or nearby properties and neighborhoods.
  2. The research park is located within the urban area, close to the City, and concentrating office and research activities in this location places jobs close to areas of dense population.

Staff has not identified factors unfavorable to this request.

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends approval of ZMA 2004-010, provided that proffers are revised based on staff recommendations and that a Certified Engineers Report is submitted with approval of a final site plan for the proposed building annex.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A – Vicinity Map

B – Applicants Justification and Gross Square Footage summary letter to Elaine Echols dated July 27, 2006

C – UVA Fontaine Research Park ART Building exhibit

D – UVA-ART Life Sciences Annex-Basement Level Plan for annex

E – UVA ART Annex Schematic Design

F – Existing Proffers approved with ZMA 2004-10 for the UVA Fontaine Research Park

G – Albemarle County Service Authority from Gary Whelan to David Pennock dated November 29, 2005

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