PRIVATE  COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

 

Project Name:  ZMA 04-18 Fontana Phase 4C

Staff:  Elaine K. Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

April 17, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

July 11, 2007

Owners:  Fontana Land Trust

Applicant: A.M. (Tony) Nichols with Terra Engineering and Land Solutions as consulting engineer

Acreage: 17.145 acres

Rezone from: RA Rural Area, R-1, and R-4 Residential (existing zoning) to R-4 with proffered plan and other proffers

TMP:   TM 78E Parcel A

Location: At intersection of Fontana Drive (Rt. 1765) and Via Florence approximately 0.5 miles from the intersection of Fontana Drive and Stony Point Road (Route 20 North) – See Attachments A and B

By-right use:  Theoretically, 34 units using all density bonuses; Applicant has determined 9 single-family detached units in actuality due to terrain.

Magisterial District:  White Hall

Proffers:     Yes            

Proposal:  Single family detached housing at a gross density of 1.98 units per acre

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  34

DA (Development Area): Neighborhood Three - Pantops

 

Comp. Plan Designation: Crozet Master Plan -  Neighborhood Density Residential 3 – 6 units per acre and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses

Character of Property:  Wooded with steep terrain

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Residential (Fontana Subdivision) and undeveloped.  Proposed Cascadia mixed-use development adjoins the property to the west; Proposed Lake Ridge single family development to the north.

Factors Favorable:

1.       The proposed development increases density from 9 units to 34 units in the designated Development Areas.

2.       Cash proffers are provided for all proposed lots in the development to mitigate off-site impacts.  These proffers include the affordable housing units as well as the units which could be built by-right.

3.       North of Via Florence, the proposed street section for Brunello Court will be in keeping with the County’s requirements that reflect the Neighborhood Model.

4.       The development will be able to use the existing recreational facilities and connect into a path system for the rest of Fontana.

5.       Interconnections are appropriately made.

Factors Unfavorable:

1.       The “form” is not in keeping with the Neighborhood Model; however, it is similar to the previously approved Fontana subdivision and is the last phase of that development.

2.       The density is not in keeping with the Land Use Plan, but, it is similar to the previously approved subdivision and is the last phase of the development.

3.       Curb, gutter, and sidewalks on the west side Fontana Drive extended are not proposed.

4.       Off-site drainage improvements in the developed part of Fontana are not appropriately provided to deal with run-off from this new section.

5.       Although bonds are being held in the applicant’s name, the applicant has not agreed to complete all improvements in Phase 4B before beginning on Phase 4C because he has sold the lots in Phase 4B to a builder and no longer controls the ownership.

RECOMMENDATION There are three outstanding engineering issues related to drainage, a proposed street cross-section, and completing improvements in prior phases of the development. The County Engineer is expected to be at the Planning Commission meeting to discuss these issues with the Commission.  Once these issues are resolved, staff can recommend approval of the rezoning provided the following changes to the proffers and rezoning plan are made between the Commission and Board of Supervisor’s meeting:

1.       The cross-sections for Brunello Court and Fontana Drive on the rezoning plan will be changed to meet the County’s requirements for curb and gutter, sidewalks, and street trees on both sides of the street or only for Brunello Court if the Commission grants a waiver for curb, gutter and sidewalks on one side of Fontana Drive.

2.       The rezoning plan will be changed to reflect the Cascadia note for dedication of r.o.w. on demand of the county, and construction of an emergency access-way and pedestrian path within the r.o.w.

3.       The proffers will be corrected for affordable housing to clarify the cash proffer of $2475 per unit, remove the slope protection proffer, and remove the emergency access proffer.

4.       The proffers will meet any other legal wording requirements identified by the County Attorney’s office.

 

STAFF PERSON:                                                      ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                  APRIL 17, 2007

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                   JULY 11, 2007

 

ZMA 04-08 FONTANA PHASE 4C

With Waiver Requests for Sections 14-409, 410, 14-422 B. and 14-422 D. of the Subdivision Ordinance

 

PETITION 

PROJECT: ZMA 04-18 Fontana Phase 4C

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 15.71 acres from RA Rural Areas which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre), R-4 Residential zoning district (4 units/acre) and R-1 Residential zoning district (1 unit/acre) to R-4 Residential zoning district which allows residential uses at 4 units per acre for 31 dwelling units at a gross density of 1.68 units/acre.

PROFFERS:  Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Neighborhood Density Residential - (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses in Neighborhood 3 - Pantops

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No

LOCATION:  At the intersection of Fontana Drive (Rt. 1765) and Via Florence approximately 0.5 miles from the intersection of Fontana Drive and Stony Point Road (Route 20 North)

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 78E-A

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rivanna

              

CHARACTER OF THE AREA

The property is located at the end of Fontana Drive.  It is surrounded by the existing Fontana development and the undeveloped properties proposed as Cascadia (mixed use) and Lake Ridge (single family detached) developments. (See Attachments A and B.)  The site is wooded and very hilly. 

 

SPECIFICS OF THE PROPOSAL 

The rezoning plan (Attachment C) shows the desired layout with thirty-four lots for single-family detached units on both sides of four proposed public streets – Fontana Drive, Brunello Court, Cortina Way and Belluno Lane.  Seven lots are proposed on the existing street Via Florence.  The lots range in size from 0.25 acres to 0.82 acres.  Fontana Drive is shown as a future extension to the northern property line to provide access to the Lake Ridge development.  An interconnection is provided to the recently approved Cascadia development to the west.  A proffer has been made to allow emergency access to Cascadia for a period of five years, with the ability to convert the r.o.w. to a permanent interconnection after that time.

 

Lots 12- 18 on Via Florence would have been platted previously except for a prohibition against rezoning properties above the 600 foot elevation until public water was available.  They were shown as “open space” on the now-expired preliminary plat.  Portions of the proposed lots are currently zoned RA.   Public water has become available and the development would be the last phase of the Fontana subdivision.  Waivers to interconnections, curb/gutter, sidewalks and planting strips are proposed by the applicant for Belluno Lane and Cortina Way.

 

The property has split-zoning.  Rural Areas (RA) zoning exists on 4.4  acres, R-4 zoning exists on 3.34 acres, and R-1 zoning is present on 9.21 acres.  The request is to rezone the area to R-4 with proffered plan.  Additional proffers are made for overlot grading, affordable housing, cash for fire and police, adding trees to lots, and pedestrian paths shown on the plan.  The final proffer commits the applicant to finish all prior phases of Fontana with bonds being released prior to applying for final plat approval of the last phase of Fontana, with the exception of one phase. (See Attachment D.)

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST

The applicant has said that the property provides residential infill in a designated growth area as the justification for the request.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

The zoning on the property stems from ZMA 94-06 Upper Pantops Land Trust rezoning in which 108.2 acres were rezoned from R-1 and R-15 to R6, 62 acres were rezoned from RA to R-4, and 154 acres were rezoned from RA to R-1.  The split zoning results from a prior zoning action.  This action rezoned a portion of the property under consideration as R-4.  Land above 600 feet in elevation was left as RA because at the time it could not be served by public water.  The remaining land in the development area was left as R-1 property for a future rezoning.  Public water is now available to properties above 600 feet in elevation.  The Board denied the applicant’s request to rezone 2.4 acres from R-15 to C1 and the request to rezone those areas above 600 feet in elevation. 

 

A preliminary plat for the Fontana development initially was approved December 19, 1997 (SUB 97-036) then was extended to June 18, 1998.  The preliminary plat expired in 2003 and some of the sections of Fontana had to be re-approved with a new preliminary plat.  The preliminary plat for this section of Fontana expired and no new preliminary plat has been submitted.

 

A copy of the rezoning staff report for the last rezoning and approved proffers are included as Attachments E and F.  The expired preliminary plat is shown on Attachment G.  All Fontana lots except those under consideration for the rezoning have been platted.

 

Essentially this same proposal was under review in August of last year.  A staff report was distributed; however, the applicant requested deferral to reconsider his proposal.  After several months, the applicant has resubmitted all but Lot 118 for rezoning.  Lot 118 is owned by the applicant and contains his residence.

 

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Land Use Plan recommends the area for neighborhood density residential at a density of 3-6 dwelling units per acre.  Phase 4C of Fontana would result in a density of 1.98 units per acre which is less than the minimum density recommended in the Land Use Plan.  The applicant has said that he wishes to continue the form of development previously approved for and built in Fontana.  Staff believes that, due to the terrain and the fact that this development would be the last 34 lots of a 183 lot development, approving density that is lower than the Plan recommends is acceptable.

 

The Land Use Plan makes the following statements relative to this development in Neighborhood Three (Pantops):

 

·     New development and redevelopment along Route 250 East and Route 20 should

be designed in a manner that is sensitive to its location within Monticello’s viewshed and along a designated Entrance Corridor Roadways. Utilize the voluntary guidelines outlined in the Neighborhood Three Study for development within the Monticello viewshed.

 

This part of Fontana is within the Monticello viewshed.  To address concerns raised during the time of the original rezoning, the applicant is continuing to proffer planting of ten trees per acre to reduce some of the visual impact associated with construction of new homes.  The applicant could commit to limiting house and roof colors and roof designs in accordance with the Monticello Viewshed Guidelines for Developers, but has not done this.  As the remainder of Fontana was not limited by any architectural standards, staff believes that limiting the remaining 30 lots would not be as advantageous as it would have been when the property was originally rezoned.

 

·                    Provide Community level park service to the eastern portion of the Neighborhood

by installing Community park facilities at Darden Towe Park.

 

Cash proffered to the County includes the ability to use the money for upgrading Darden Towe Park.

 

·                    Consider the recommendations of the Neighborhood Three Study for the location of walkways, streetlights and bicycle facilities

 

Walkways are proposed on the plan.  Streetlights are not proposed for the development.  No bicycle facilities are recommended in the study for this area.

 

The Neighborhood Model:  Conformity with the Neighborhood Model is assessed below. 

 

Pedestrian Orientation

A pedestrian orientation was never established with the Fontana development.  The existing subdivision was created using rural cross-section streets and a path system to lead to the community center.  All parts of the path system have not been installed and pedestrian access in the development is limited at present.  The applicant is proposing a path adjacent to Belluno Lane as a substitute for the sidewalk requirement of the subdivision ordinance.   More discussion of pedestrian paths takes place in the “Waiver” section of this report. 

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Neighborhood friendly streets and paths are characterized by street trees, sidewalks, and houses with shallow setbacks.  The applicant proposes a rural cross-section with no street trees or sidewalks and with front setbacks of 35 feet on two of the cul-de-sacs.  On two other streets, the applicant proposes an urban section.  The cross-section for Brunello Court meets the County’s standard.  The cross-section for Fontana Drive is not shown meeting the County’s cross-section; however, the applicant has indicated that he will revise the plan so show the standard cross-section. This principle is met.

 

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The property connects with the prior phases of Fontana from Fontana Drive and extends to the Lake Ridge subdivision (See Attachment H.)  The Subdivision Ordinance requires interconnections to adjacent parcels.  An interconnection to the west to Cascadia is shown on the plan.  The applicant will need to modify the application plan to reflect the same language as was approved with the Cascadia plan.  Further discussion of the proffer for emergency access takes place later in the report. 

Three cul-de-sacs are proposed within the development.  Two of the cul-de-sacs are short and could not reasonably connect with another street.  Brunello Court, which is a longer cul-de-sac, could connect with Via Florence, but, staff is persuaded that the grading necessary to make the vertical curve would create very steep slopes and, as a result, staff does not recommend this interconnection.  Belluno Lane could connect to Ashcroft; however, this part of Fontana is at the edge of the development area and an interconnection at that location is not recommended.  This principle is met.

 

Parks and Open Space

 

No parks or open space are provided within this portion of the development, but residents will have access to the Fontana community center which contains a swimming pool.  The preliminary plat previously approved for Fontana showed open space in areas that are now shown as lots.  Staff does not know if the Fontana residents expected the open space at this location to be permanent or if they knew that it might some day be converted to lots.  Staff believes that the lot sizes in Fontana and the community center were intended to meet the open space needs of the community and provision of open space in this part of the development is not essential.  This principle is met.

 

Neighborhood Centers

The closest neighborhood center is the community center which is less than ¼ mile away.  The next closest centers will be in Avemore and, a pedestrian connection will be made to Cascadia.

 

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

This development proposes a conventional single-family detached development with minimum front setbacks of 35 feet.  Heights are also restricted to 35 feet.  This principle is not met; however, as this development is the last portion of a larger development created with a different form, staff does not believe it needs to be met.

 

Relegated Parking

No commitments to relegate parking are made.  As previously mentioned with other principles, staff does not believe that the principle must be met because the remainder of the development was built with a different form and changing the form for the remaining units may not make sense.

 

Mixture of Uses

 

No mixture of uses is provided and this principle is not met; however, it does not appear necessary for this principle to be met with this small single family development after much of the Fontana development with a single-use has occurred.

 

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

A single type of housing is proposed and proffers are made for cash in lieu of units to meet the County’s affordability goal.  With only 34 units provided, staff believes it is not necessary to provide a mixture of housing types.  Staff will comment on the affordability aspect later in the report.

 

Redevelopment

The site is currently undeveloped and this principle does not apply.

 

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The site has many topographic issues; however, the applicant has proffered to provide an overlot grading plan.  This principle is met in that grading will be done which creates more gentle slopes than allowed currently by ordinance.

 

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

The project is located entirely within the Development Areas so this principle is not applicable.

 

   

 

STAFF COMMENT

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district:  The following section is an excerpt from the Zoning Ordinance.

 

This district (hereafter referred to as R-4) is created to establish a plan implementation zone that:

 

-Provides for compact, medium-density, single-family development;

-Permits a variety of housing types; and

-Provides incentives for clustering of development and provision of locational, environmental, and development amenities.

 

R-4 districts may be permitted within community and urban area locations designated on the comprehensive plan.  (Amended 9-9-92)

 

Fontana is not providing compact, medium density development; however, the remainder of Fontana is zoned R-4 and two-thirds of the proposed lots are less than a half acre.  For these reasons, staff believes that R-4 is the appropriate zoning district for the development.

 

Public need and justification for the change:  The County’s Comprehensive Plan supports rezoning proposals which are in conformity with recommendations for use, density, and form.  The proposal is in conformity with use but not in conformity with density recommendations.  This does not appear to be problematic, however, given that the development is the last portion of a larger development to be built.  

 

Impact on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources – The County’s Open Space Plan shows this area to have important wooded areas.  As with the rezoning in 1994, the wooded areas were important for the Monticello viewshed.  To deal with the viewshed, the applicant had proffered and continues to proffer to retain or provide ten trees per acre on the site. 

 

Regarding cultural and historic resources, the following resources are located within one mile of the project area and are considered to be historic (fifty years old or older) and/or historically significant according to the Commonwealth’s Division of Historic Resources:

 

a.                   002-0037 – Franklin, c. 1790 colonial dwelling and outbuildings.

b.                  002-0130 – Pantops Farm, c. 1936 Colonial Revival dwelling.

c.                   002-0363 – Town & Country Motor Hotel, c. 1950 motel and restaurant.

d.                  002-1038 – Wilton, c. 1900 Victorian era farmstead.

 

Wilton, formerly located to the east of Route 20, has been lost to development and historic resources located along the Route 250 corridor such as Town & Country Motor Hotel and Pantops Farm will not suffer any additional adverse impact as a result of this project due to existing development in the Pantops area. However, the physical location of Fontana Phase 4C makes it visible from Monticello and Franklin.

 

Although Albemarle County has not established historic resource regulations, the County does encourage voluntary preservation measures to maintain the important historic character and significant architectural and archaeological resources of the County and provided the following recommendations to the applicant:

 

a.                   Locate building sites outside of the viewshed of the historic resources identified above.

b.                  For building siding and trim, use colors and materials that blend with the natural environment, do not use highly reflective colors or surfaces, or light colored roofs.

c.                   Pavement visible from off-site should be darkened to blend with the natural environment.

d.                  Minimize clearing and grading.

e.                   Retain natural vegetation when possible.

f.                    Replant cleared and graded areas with informal plantings that at maturity will blend with natural vegetation.

 

As indicated previously, the applicant has not offered any architectural restrictions on the houses, but, in keeping with the previous proffers, has committed to retain or replant 10 trees per acre.

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services:

Streets:  Fontana Drive was designed to accommodate the trips generated from this development.  The owner of the development also installed the traffic signal at Route 20.  Staff believes that impacts of traffic were mitigated with installation of the signal.  VDOT comments in relation to the final plan submittal were sent via email.  They are included as Attachment I.

 

Schools – The development will generate approximately thirteen additional students who will attend Monticello High School, Burley Middle School, and Stoney Point Elementary School.  Projects and expenses anticipated for the schools serving Fontana include construction of a new auditorium at Monticello High School ($5 million), an energy conservation/lighting upgrade for Stoney Point Elementary ($147,000), HVAC replacement at Stoney Point Elementary ($265,000), and general computer upgrades ($1 million).  These improvements, though not the sole responsibility of the applicant, total $6,512,000. 

Fire, Rescue, Police – Fire Service is provided by the City of Charlottesville and Rescue is provided through the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad.  The Community Facilities plan indicates that a new fire station is needed in Neighborhood Three.  The applicant has proffered $3000 per unit for all units, including the units for which cash is paid for affordable housing, for fire, police, rescue, and parks.

Utilities – Albemarle County Service Authority indicates that water and sewer service is available to serve the site.  Comments provided in November 2004 are included in this packet as Attachment J.  Staff is awaiting updated comments from ACSA concerning the last rezoning plan submittal which will be provided at or before the Planning Commission meeting.

Stormwater Management - Stormwater management is provided on-site and a proposed pipe system is shown on the plan to convey drainage through the existing Fontana development.  The County Engineer has asked that the proposed pipe system be continued further to address concerns for stormwater management and adequate channels.  The applicant has responded that “the storm water system currently consists of several rip rap lined channels in accordance with previously approved plans.  The as-built channels are adequate for conveying the design storm runoff.  One rip rap channel section provides drainage for runoff on Via Florence and is positioned between two lots.  The main rip rap ditch is located at the bottom of the hill in a natural drainage way (between Via Florence cul-de-sac and Treviso Lane) and, as constructed, has a low probability of backing up water and causing flooding during major storm events.”

“Our concern is that placing pipe into and filling this ditch with soil will cause the stormwater to flow unnaturally, in a forced way, to surface inlets.  This would place a high dependence on some entity (likely the homeowners association) to maintain the drop inlets regularly to remove leaves, sticks and other debris.  Normally, in a subdivision, this would not be an issue since most watershed areas are typically small.  In this case, the natural channel in the low area conveys stormwater from a large 27 acre off-site area in Ashcroft.  (A drainage area map showing the 27 acres was delivered last week as requested).  The offsite area consists of paved roads and rooftops, with the vast majority in a natural state containing surface debris from trees including large and small tree limbs, sticks and leaves.  Rapid runoff from large storms will likely carry this debris from Ashcroft into Fontana, thus clogging inlets.  Due to this unusual circumstance, we recommend that the natural channel, as lined with Class I rip rap, remain in its current state, unless otherwise required to be modified for adequacy at the time of final plan review and approval.” 

 

The County Engineer disagrees with this conclusion and has said, “The applicant has provided information on off-site areas draining through the channel in the common area of phase 3.  In view of this information, the piping of upstream development drainage is recommended to be discontinued at this point.  On the current plan, this means the piping system should continue to the rear of the phase 4B lots (96-97).”

 

Fiscal Impact Analysis:  A fiscal impact analysis was done previously when the proposal was for only 30 lots.  The analysis used the applicant’s conclusion that only 9 lots could actually be created. The summary of the fiscal impact analysis revealed a negative net fiscal impact.  This situation was not unusual in that almost all residential projects result in a net negative fiscal impact. 

The applicant recently increased the number of lots to be created and modified the area to be rezoned.  Planning staff also ascertained from the Fiscal Impact Planner that the analysis should have been based on the number of theoretical units available, not the number of units which the applicant said actually could be built.  Under the most recent proposal, the number of theoretical units and the number of proposed units is exactly the same.  For these reasons and because of time constraints of the Fiscal Impact Planner, an updated FIA was not done, nor was the earlier one included in this packet.

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties:  The Fontana subdivision is the closest developed property.   As the proposal is for single-family residential use and the surrounding uses are either undeveloped or single-family residential, no negative impact is expected on surrounding properties.

PROFFERS

Attachment D contains the current proffers.  The County Attorney’s office has reviewed the proffers and indicates that wording changes are necessary.  Some of the changes involve using standard language from other approved rezonings.  Individual proffers are described below:

 

Proffer 1: Conformity with Plans – The applicant is proffering the rezoning plan.  This proffer is appropriate and will need to be updated with the last revised version of the rezoning plan.

 

Proffer 2:  Final grading plan:  An overlot grading plan is proffered which is acceptable to staff.

 

Proffer 3:  Affordable Housing:  The applicant is proffering to provide cash in lieu of affordable housing units which is acceptable to the Housing Director.  Although the proffer is not written correctly, the applicant has indicated he will be providing $2427 per unit which equals which is equal to $16,500 for 5 units (15% of the total units proposed).  The Housing Director believes that it would be more advantageous to the County if half of the money was provided up-front at the time of building permit and the other half when the 16th unit is permitted; however, it is acceptable as proffered. 

 

Proffer 4:  Slope Protection:  This proffer is not necessary because the zoning ordinance allows for critical slopes waivers.  The history of the proffer may be useful to the Commission and Board, though.  Existing proffers for the property include a prohibition against building on any critical slopes and prior proposed amendments sought to retain the proffer.   Staff pointed out to the applicant during several reviews of the plan that there would be no way to avoid building on critical slopes with the lots shown on the plan.  Staff also indicated that none of the critical slopes was part of a system of slopes related to a stream valley and likely could support a waiver. 

 

The applicant has not requested a critical slopes waiver with this submittal; however, a critical slopes waiver request could be processed with the subdivision plat in the future.  Staff recommends that the proffer be removed and critical slopes disturbance for building sites be considered with the subdivision plat.   

 

Proffer 5:  Trees:  As indicated in Attachment F, a prior proffer required that ten trees per acre be provided or retained on all lot designated areas on the final plan.  The purpose of this proffer is to try to provide for visual buffering from Monticello by retaining or replanting trees.  It is acceptable. 

 

Proffer 6:  Pedestrian Paths:  The owner has indicated he will build the pedestrian paths shown on the rezoning plan according to standards in the Design Standards Manual.  The proffer says that the owner will not request a building permit for the 9th house until the paths are completed to the reasonable satisfaction of the Department of Community Development.  This proffer will need to be wordsmithed; however, it is generally acceptable.

 

Proffer 7: Cash Proffer:  The owner is proffering $3000 per unit for 34 units for parks, fire, rescue and police.  The proffer value would be $102,000. 

 

The table below compares the recently approved residential rezonings with cash proffers.

 

Rezoning

# of Units

Cash Proffer

ZMA 03-12 Stillfried Lane Townhouses

    26

$3000/unit for capital improvements or affordable housing programs; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA 05-14 Poplar Glen (currently scheduled for a BOS hearing on July 5, 2006)

   28

$3200/unit for capital improvements and $66,000 for affordable housing program in lieu of providing four affordable units; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA 04-24 Old Trail Village

2275

$50,000 Cash proffer for park projects, Cash proffer for schools: $1000/sfd unit; $500/th unit; $250/apt.; Cash proffer for public faculties:  $1000/sfd unit; $500/th unit; $250/mf unit; and physical improvements including completion of Western Avenue and dedication of land for Western Park.

ZMA 05-05  Liberty Hall

43

$3,200 per unit cash proffer for public facilities; no physical improvements or land for future public facilities.

ZMA  02-04  Cascadia

330

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $3,000 /sfd, $2500/th, $2000/mf unit.

ZMA  05-07 Haden Place

36

Cash proffer transportation projects in the CIP: $3200 sfd/ market-rate units and $2700/sfa; off-site road improvements to Haden and Killdeer Lanes approx. $40,000.

 

ZMA 05-18 Wickham Pond II

 

106

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $4500/market-rate unit

 

ZMA 06-01Westhall V

34

Cash proffer for schools and other public facilities: $1000/market-rate unit; $3000/market-rate unit for Eastern Avenue; Spot improvements to Park Road (approx $7500); $3000 for a pedestrian bridge; on-site greenway trails, parking area for trailhead, and off-site temporary easement for greenway

 

ZMA 06-05 Avinity (PROPOSED)

124

Cash proffer for projects in CIP: $3200/market rate unit.

 

ZMA 01-08 Rivanna Village at Glenmore (PROPOSED)

521

Cash proffer for transportation or schools for market rate units:  $3200/sfd; $3000/sfa; $2500/mf; dedication of r.o.w.; park improvements.

 

 

 

ZMA 04 – Fontana Phase 4C (PROPOSED)

30

Cash proffer for projects in CIP: $3000/unit.

 

       

Note: sfd = single family detached, th = townhouse, mfd = multifamily

 

Regarding adequacy of the proffers, staff believes that, based on its actions on recent residential rezonings, the Board has set an expectation for offsets to impacts caused by residential developments.  Different types and levels of rezonings will have different impacts.  The location of the proposed development also plays into the amount and type of offsets needed. As such, staff must rely on previous actions of the Board as guidance to applicants on expectations for off-sets to impacts of new development and thus, believes that the amount of money to be applied towards fire, rescue, and police is generally consistent with previous actions.  

 

Proffer 8:  Cascadia Subdivision Emergency Access:  This proffer provides a 50’ r.o.w. for emergency access with minimal grading to be used exclusively by law enforcement and fire and rescue vehicles to Cascadia for a five-year period.  Because the subdivision ordinance requires interconnections, an applicant cannot proffer a substitute. 

 

The applicant has agreed verbally to drop this proffer, add an identical note to the rezoning plan as exists on the Cascadia General Development Plan indicating that the r.o.w. will be dedicated on demand and will provide for emergency access and a pedestrian path until that time.  If the rezoning plan is approved with this note, as with Cascadia, then an administrative waiver to construct the path will be granted during the subdivision process.  The applicant will need to bond construction of a future street as required in the subdivision ordinance.  

 

Proffer 9:  Final Approval:  Proffer 8 says that the owner will not submit an application for an erosion and sediment control permit until all improvements in Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4a of the Fontana subdivision have been completed.  

 

There are a number of outstanding bonds being held on Fontana for improvements that need to be completed, including the pedestrian paths.  The applicant has begun work on completing the pedestrian paths and is working out an arrangement with the Subdivision Agent to relocate paths that cannot be built as shown on the approved subdivision plats.

 

The proffer ensures that the paths and all other improvements in previous phases will be built before the applicant starts on this phase.  Staff has asked that all of Phase 4 be included with the proffer.  The owner has indicated that he has sold the property in Phase 4b and does not have control over it.  Staff notes that the Phase 4 bonds are in the name of Fontana Land Trust and recommends that they be included in proffer 9.

 

WAIVERS

With this development, the applicant is requesting waivers for curb and gutter, sidewalk and street trees on two short cul-de-sacs and curb and gutter and sidewalks on one side of Fontana Drive.  The applicant is also asking that the interconnections to the south and to the north be the only required interconnections. 

 

Waiver to Section 14-409 for interconnections:

 

In reviewing a request, the Commission is to consider the following:

 

(i)                  the engineering requirements for coordination and connection:  There is no existing or proposed street to which the connection could be made because of the existing development and topography.  It would be difficult, but not impossible, to extend a street to the east.

 

(ii)              whether the need for coordination and connection outweighs the impacts on environmental resources such as streams, stream buffers, steep slopes, and floodplain:  There would be impacts on streams and steep slopes. 

 

(iii)            whether the street would and should be extended into the rural areas:  If the street were extended to the east, it would be extended into the rural areas.

 

(iv)             whether there is an alternative street connection from another location in the subdivision that is preferable because of design, traffic flow, or the promotion of the goals of the comprehensive plan, including the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan: There are three other interconnections proposed – Fontana Drive extended to the north to Lake Ridge, Cascadia to the west, and Fontana Drive into the rest of Fontana to the south.  The proposed master plan for the Pantops area does not include an interconnection to the east from Fontana to Ashcroft. 

 

(v)                whether the waiver would enable a different principle of the neighborhood model to be satisfied to a greater extent so that the overall goals of the neighborhood model are more fully achieved:   Granting the waiver would not enable any of the neighborhood model principles to be more fully achieved.

 

In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring coordination would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, to sound engineering practices, and to the land adjacent thereto.  From an engineering perspective, an environmental perspective, and a rural area policy perspective, it makes no sense to extend a street to the east.  A more orderly development pattern is actually achieved by not making the connection.  Staff does not believe that granting the waiver would be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare of the community.  Staff recommends that the waiver to interconnect to Ashcroft be granted.

 

Waiver to Section 14-410 for curb and gutter for Cortina Way and Belluno Lane and one half of Fontana Drive:

 

In particular, the applicant has requested a half-rural/half-urban section for the following reasons:

1.                  Only one lot (lot 118) exists on the west side of Fontana Drive.  With this rezoning only one additional lot is being requested.  Thus, only two lots which are large in size compared to the other R-4 lots shown along Brunello Court, are positioned along a stretch of road more than 1,000 feet in length.  Thus, the use demands little to no need for a western sidewalk.

2.                  Comparatively, of the 16 lots proposed in this area of the rezoning, 15 are positioned to the east side of Fontana Drive and only one to the west.  Thus foot traffic is derived from the east side, not the west.

3.                  The apex of the hill along Fontana Drive occurs at Fontana Court/Verona Drive intersection.  The next full (cross) intersection is planned in Lake Ridge after crossing a major ravine.  These two full intersections provide a logical transition in the road cross-section.

4.                  Street trees can be provided along the west side without curb and gutter and sidewalk on that side.

5.                  Stormwater runoff will be minimal since the drainage area is limited to a narrow strip (one half of road on the west side) defined by the crown or centerline of road.  The land west of the road lies at and predominately below the road.  Unlike the east side, no drainage is directed to the road.  Thus, a western gutter pan with curb drop inlets is not necessary to handle the minimal runoff.

 

The applicant has respectfully requested that the planning commission provide support of a modified urban road section.

 

The County Engineer has said that on Fontana Drive the ordinance should be adhered to, and an urban curb-and-gutter section should be used.  The half-and-half section is not supported.

 

In reviewing a request, the Commission is to consider the following:

 

(i)                 the number of lots in the subdivision and the types of lots to be served –Eleven lots are proposed on Cortina Way and Belluno Lane.  The applicant wishes to continue the character of the existing Fontana development which has similarly sized lots.  The smallest lot is 0.28 acres and the largest lot is 0.58 acres.

 

From Fontana Drive northward into Lake Ridge, considerably more lots are proposed.  Although in Fontana, there are only 3 new lots which would take access from Fontana Drive, there are 97 development area lots and 7 RA lots in the Lake Ridge subdivision, all of which require access from Fontana Drive. 

 

(ii.)      the length of the street – There are two streets for which the rural section is requested – a 125 foot long cul-de-sac (Cortina Way) and a  400 foot long cul-de-sac (Belluno Lane).  Staff believes that the short length of these two cul-de-sacs helps to justify use of a rural section.  Fontana Drive through Lake Ridge is 1745 feet which is considerably longer.

 

(ii)              whether the proposed street(s) or street extension connects into an existing system of streets constructed to a rural cross-section –  The two cul-de-sacs extend from an existing rural cross-section street – Via Florence.  Fontana Drive would extend from a rural cross-section street into an urban section being provided by Lake Ridge.

 

(iii)            the proximity of the subdivision and the street to the boundaries of the development and rural areas – The lots to be served by the cul-de-sacs Cortina Way and Belluno Lane are on the edge of the development area.  The 110 lots being served by Fontana Drive extended (Lake Ridge and lots in Fontana 4C) are almost all in the development area.

 

(iv)             whether the street terminates in the neighborhood or at the edge of the development area or is otherwise expected to provide interconnections to abutting lands -- The two cul-de-sacs terminate in the neighborhood and these are at the edge of the development area.  Fontana Drive extends into Lake Ridge, most of which is in the development area.

 

(v)                whether a rural cross-section in the development areas furthers the goals of the comprehensive plan, with particular emphasis on the Neighborhood Model and the applicable neighborhood master plan;  South of Via Florence, the development is a conventional development which does not further the principles of the Neighborhood Model, except that some pedestrian access is proposed.  North of Via Florence, new residential development is proposed with curb and gutter, sidewalks and street trees on both Brunello Court and in Lake Ridge.

 

(vi)             whether the use of a rural cross-section would enable a different principle of the Neighborhood Model to be more fully implemented; Use of a rural cross-section would not help a principle of the Neighborhood Model to be more fully implemented.

 

(vii)           whether the proposed density of the subdivision is consistent with the density recommended in the Land Use Plan section of the comprehensive planThe density of the proposed subdivision is inconsistent with the density recommended in the Lands Use Plan.  Gross density is 1.98 units per acre; the Land Use Plan recommends as least 3 units per acre.  When this consideration was added to the list of considerations, the recommending committee to the Board was concerned that applicants might decline to develop in accordance with the densities of the Comprehensive Plan and seek waivers to do conventional development.  The committee thought that providing low density inside the Development Areas was not a sufficient reason to grant a waiver for curb and gutter.  If the Commission did not grant the waiver, developers might choose to provide greater density to help recoup their cost for the added infrastructure and provide a form of development more in keeping with the Neighborhood Model.

 

(viii)        In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring curb or curb and gutter would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, to sound engineering practices, and to the land adjacent thereto.  Staff believes that requiring curb and gutter on the Cortina Way and Belluno Lane is not essential due to the length and the location of the two cul-de-sacs on the edge of the development area.  It will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to sound engineering practices and the land adjacent thereto.   

 

Staff believes that requiring curb and gutter on both sides of Fontana Drive extended would serve the public health safety and welfare by providing a consistent street section into Lake Ridge and a consistent method for handling runoff from the street.  The applicant has indicated to staff that there will be major difficulty in meeting VDOT requirements for horizontal curvature and that requiring a street section similar to the one proposed for Lake Ridge will cause difficulty in street alignment for Lake Ridge.  To date, the County Engineer has not agreed with the applicant.  At this juncture, staff cannot recommend approval of the waiver for curb and gutter on one side of the street for Fontana Drive.  

 

Waiver to Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for sidewalks.  The applicant has asked for a waiver to provide an asphalt path on one side of the street instead of sidewalks on both sides of the street for Belluno Lane and no sidewalks on Cortina Way.  The applicant has proposed a sidewalk on the east side of Fontana Drive only.

 

The reason for the applicant’s proposal for a sidewalk on the east side of Fontana Drive follows:

“We have a hardship on Fontana Drive.  Three lots (112, 113, and 118) are recorded lots with built houses.  The front right-of-way lines are based on the original Fontana Preliminary Plat road alignment (showing a 50’ right-of-way).  This road alignment is made up of reverse curves with no tangent sections.  To avoid misalignment of the road centerline with the existing Fontana Drive, it is necessary to position the centerline of proposed Fontana Drive 25 from lots 112 and 113.  The urban street sections have been revised to meet the County’s minimum requirements and are depicted on the plans.  The west side of Fontana Drive has only two lots (likely to be combined into one at a lager date) and an emergency access.  Thus a waiver is requested to construct this side without curb and gutter and sidewalk.

 

For these waiver requests, the following analysis is made:

 

In reviewing a request to waive the requirement for sidewalks, the commission shall consider whether:

 

(i)        a  waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted - A waiver for a rural cross-section has been requested on Cortina Way and Belluno Lane.  A pedestrian path is proposed along Belluno Lane.  An asphalt path could be considered in keeping with the rural cross-section.  The applicant has also requested a half-rural/half-urban section on Fontana Drive extended to the boundary with Lake Ridge where an urban section is proposed.  The rural section is proposed without a sidewalk.

 

(ii)       a surface other than concrete is more appropriate for the subdivision because of the character of the proposed subdivision and the surrounding neighborhood – Asphalt is proposed for the path on Belluno Lane.  Other paths in Fontana are asphalt as well as primitive.  No sidewalk is proposed on the west side of Fontana Drive extended.

 

(iii)      sidewalks on one side of the street are appropriate due to environmental constraints such as streams, stream buffers, critical slopes, floodplain, or wetlands, or because lots are provided on only one side of the street - No environmental constraints are identified and lots are provided on both sides of the street for the two cul-de-sacs.  Although slopes exist on the west side of Fontana Drive extended, they are expected to be graded substantially with installation of the Fontana Drive.  Lots are proposed on both sides of the street.

 

(iv)             the sidewalks reasonably can connect into an existing or future pedestrian system in the area - A pedestrian system was planned for all phases of the Fontana development which is currently under completion.  Where paths cannot be constructed as shown on the approved final plats for Phases 1 - 4, the applicant will be providing alternatives acceptable to the subdivision agent. Once constructed, the pedestrian path on Belluno Lane will connect into an existing pedestrian system as well as connect to Lake Ridge.

 

For Fontana Drive extended, sidewalks on both sides of the street could connect into a consistent street section being proposed for Lake Ridge.

 

(v)                the length of the street is so short and the density of the development is so low that it is unlikely that the sidewalk would be used to an extent that it would provide a public benefit--The applicant is requesting a waiver of the requirement entirely on Cortina Way which is so short that most people would not use it.  An asphalt path would be used on Belluno Lane on at least one side of the street.  

 

As previously stated, the length of Fontana Drive is considerably longer than the two cul-de-sacs proposed for a rural cross-section.  In Fontana 4C, Fontana Drive extended is 675 feet long.  Having sidewalks on both sides of the street extending into Lake Ridge provides the benefit that pedestrians would not have to cross the street to get to a sidewalk system when walking from Lake Ridge to Fontana and vice versa.

 

(vi)       an alternate pedestrian system including an alternative pavement could provide more appropriate access throughout the subdivision and to adjoining lands, based on a proposed alternative profile submitted by the subdivider -- Staff believes that for Belluno Lane, an asphalt path meeting standards in the County’s Design Standards manual would be appropriate.  A sidewalk on on-side of the street only is proposed by the developer for Fontana Drive extended.

 

(vii)     the sidewalks would be publicly or privately maintained – With the street sections proposed for Belluno Lane and Cortina Way, the asphalt path would need to be in a private easement rather than in the r.o.w.

 

(viii)    the waiver promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the Neighborhood Model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan – The waiver for a sidewalk on Cortina way does not promote the goals of the Comprehensive Plan or Neighborhood Model; allowance for a path on only one side of Belluno Lane helps to achieve the principle for a pedestrian orientation.  Providing for a sidewalk on only one side of the street on Fontana Drive extended does not forward the goals for a pedestrian orientation for the new section of Fontana and Lake Ridge.

 

(ix)      and waiving the requirement would enable a different principle of the Neighborhood Model to be more fully achieved.

A different principle of the Neighborhood Model would not be more fully achieved by waiving sidewalks, requiring them on one side of two streets, or by modifying the surface.

 

In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring sidewalks would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, to sound engineering practices, and to the land adjacent thereto.

 

Staff believes that granting the waiver for a sidewalk on Cortina Way would not be detrimental because the sidewalk likely would not be used due to the short length of the cul-de-sac and arrangement of lots.  Staff recommends approval of the sidewalk waiver for Cortina Way.  Also Staff believes that granting the waivers to allow an asphalt path on one side of the street on Belluno Lane would not be detrimental to the public health safety and welfare.  Requiring a sidewalk on one side of the street would be an improvement in pedestrian access over the previously approved phases of Fontana which did not require sidewalks or paths on either side of the streets. 

 

Staff believes differently for Fontana Drive extended.  Having a sidewalk on both sides of the street serves the new section of Fontana Drive as well as Lake Ridge.  A section with curb, gutter, and sidewalks on both sides of the streets connects more cleanly with Lake Ridge, than a half urban, half rural section.

 

Waivers to Section 14-422 D of the Subdivision Ordinance for planting strips are requested in for Cortina Way and Belluno Lane.  The following analysis is provided for both areas on the plan:

 

In reviewing a request to waive any requirement for planting strips, the commission shall consider whether:

 

(i)        a waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted--A rural cross-section has been requested for Cortina Way and Belluno Lane. 

 

(ii)       a sidewalk waiver has been granted--Sidewalk waivers are recommended on Cortina Way and Belluno Lane, where Belluno Lane would potentially have an asphalt path. 

 

(iii)            reducing the size of or eliminating the planting strip promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the Neighborhood Model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan--Providing a planting strip on rural cross-section streets becomes very difficult and begs the question of whether an urban section is more appropriate.  Since staff has recommended a rural cross-section street for Cortina Way and Belluno Lane, it accepts that these goals will not be met at this location. 

 

(iv)             waiving the requirement would enable a different principle of the Neighborhood Model to be more fully achieved--A different principle of the Neighborhood Model would not be achieved by eliminating the street tree requirements.

 

In approving a waiver, the commission shall find that requiring planting strips would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; and granting the waiver would not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, and to the land adjacent thereto --Staff believes that, for orderly development of the area and to the land adjacent thereto, planting strips are not necessary along the streets for which rural cross-sections are approved.  Staff recommends approval of a waiver to the planting strip requirement for Belluno Lane and Cortina Way.

 

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION

Staff and the applicant for this rezoning have been working on this project for the last several years.  After much discussion, the applicant has realized the benefit of providing an urban cross-section for Brunello Court.  He has proposed a half-rural/half-urban section for Fontana Drive with curb, gutter, and sidewalks on one side of the street.  The applicant has also agreed to add the same note as Cascadia provided on its plan.  The applicant has also agreed to make proffer changes requested by the County Attorney’s office. 

 

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

1.                  The proposed development is located in the designated Development Areas.

2.                  Cash proffers are provided for all proposed lots in the development to mitigate off-site impacts.  These proffers include the affordable housing units as well as the units which could be built by-right.

3.                  North of Via Florence, the proposed street section for Brunello Court will be in keeping with the County’s requirements that reflect the Neighborhood Model.

4.                  The development will be able to use the existing recreational facilities and connect into a path system for the rest of Fontana.

5.                  Interconnections are appropriately made.

 

Staff has found the following factors unfavorable to this rezoning:

1.                                                                  The “form” is not in keeping with the Neighborhood Model; however, it is similar to the pre-viously approved Fontana subdivision and is the last phase of that development.

2.                                                                  The density is not in keeping with the Land Use Plan, but, it is similar to the previously approved subdivision and is the last phase of the development.

3.                                                                  Curb, gutter, and sidewalks on the west side Fontana Drive extended are not proposed.

4.                                                                  Off-site drainage improvements in the developed part of Fontana are not appropriately provided to deal with run-off from this new section.

5.                                                                  Although bonds are being held in the applicant’s name, the applicant has not agreed to complete all improvements in Phase 4B before beginning on Phase 4C because he has sold the lots in Phase 4B to a builder and no longer controls the ownership.

 

RECOMMENDATION

The three outstanding issues relate to engineering concerns of staff.  The County Engineer is expected to be at the Planning Commission meeting to discuss these issues with the Commission.  Once these issues are resolved, staff can recommend approval of the rezoning provided the following changes to the proffers and rezoning plan are made between the Commission and Board of Supervisor’s meeting:

1.                  The cross-sections for Brunello Court and Fontana Drive on the rezoning plan will be changed to meet the County’s requirements for curb and gutter, sidewalks, and street trees on both sides of the street or only for Brunello Court if the Commission grants a waiver for curb, gutter and sidewalks on one side of Fontana Drive

2.                  The rezoning plan will be changed to reflect the Cascadia note for dedication of r.o.w. on demand of the county, and construction of an emergency access-way and pedestrian path within the r.o.w.

3.                  The proffers will be corrected for affordable housing to clarify the cash proffer of $2475 per unit, remove the slope protection proffer, and remove the emergency access proffer.

4.                  The proffers will meet any other legal wording requirements identified by the County Attorney’s office.

 

WAIVERS

If the Planning Commission recommends approval of the rezoning, staff recommends approval of the following waivers:

1.                  Section 14-409 to require only the interconnections shown on the rezoning plan.

2.                  Section 14-410 to allow for a rural section on Cortina Way and Belluno Lane.

3.                  Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance to substitute an asphalt path meeting standards of the County’s design manual for Belluno Lane.

4.                  Section 14-422 to waive the sidewalk requirement on Cortina Way.

5.                  Section 14-422 to allow for a sidewalk on one-side of the street only on Belluno Lane.

6.                  Section 14-422 (D) to waive the requirement for planting strips on Belluno Lane and Cortina Way.

 

Staff does not recommend approval of a waiver to Sections 14-422 to allow for a rural section with no sidewalk on the west side of Fontana Drive extended.

 

ATTACHMENTS

ATTACHMENT A:   Tax Map

ATTACHMENT B:   Aerial Photo of Fontana 4C

ATTACHMENT C:   Fontana 4C Rezoning Plan prepared by Terra Engineering and dated March 27, 2007

ATTACHMENT D:   Proffers dated March 27, 2007

ATTACHMENT E:    Rezoning staff report for ZMA 94-06

ATTACHMENT F:    Proffers dated January 5, 1995

ATTACHMENT G:   Preliminary Plat last approved June 18, 1998

ATTACHMENT H:   Cascadia/Fontana/Lake Ridge Composite August 2006

ATTACHMENT I:     VDOT Comments by email dated 4/3/07

ATTACHMENT J:    ACSA Comments dated November 8, 2004 and November 18, 2004

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