COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SDP 2006 – 0071 Gillispie Preliminary Site Plan

Staff:  Gerald Gatobu, Senior Planner; Allan Schuck, Civil Engineer II

Public Hearing:  December 12, 2006

 

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:  Not applicable

Owners:  Gillispie, Brian B. and Jennifer M

Applicant: Clark Gathright

Acreage: 1.71 Acres

Rezone from: NA

Special Use Permit for:  NA

TMP:   061K0-10-00-000A0 and 061K0-10-00-000A2

Location: At the end of Inglewood Drive, near its intersection with Hydraulic Road (Route 631)

By-right use: R4 Residential

Magisterial District:  Jack Jouett

Proffers/Conditions:  No

Proposal:  Request for Preliminary Site Plan approval to allow the construction of two (2) residential condominium units totaling 16,023 square feet and 7 total dwelling units on 1.71 acres; will require a waiver of Section 32.7.2.7 of the Zoning Ordinance, which requires use of curb and gutter, and Section 4.2.3.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, which restricts earth-disturbing activity on critical slopes.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  Seven (7)

 

DA (Development Area): Yes

RA (Rural Area): No

Comprehensive Plan Designation:

Neighborhood Density in Urban Area 7

Character of Property:  The property is mostly wooded with trees and areas of critical slopes. There is a house/dwelling on the property.

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Single Family Residential dwellings

Factors Favorable:

(See report)

 

Factors Unfavorable:

(multiple – see report)

RECOMMENDATION: Denial

 

 

STAFF PERSON:                               Gerald Gatobu, Senior Planner; Allan Schuck, Civil Engineer II

PLANNING COMMISSION:                 December 12, 2006

 

AGENDA TITLE:                                 SDP 2006 – 071: Gillispie Preliminary Site Plan

 

APPLICANT:                                      Clark Gathright

PROPERTY OWNER(S):                      Gillispie, Brian B. and Jennifer M.                               

 

APPLICANT’S PROPOSAL:  

 

Request for Preliminary Site Plan to allow the construction of two (2) residential condominium units totaling 16,023 square feet, and 7 total dwelling units on 1.71 acres, zoned R4 (Residential).  The property is described as Tax Map 61K, Parcels 10-0A and 10-0A2, and is located in the Jack Jouett Magisterial District at the end of Inglewood Drive, near its intersection with Hydraulic Road (Route 631). Preliminary site plan approval will require two waivers; a curb and gutter waiver, and a critical slopes waiver. The applicant has requested a waiver of Section 32.7.2.7 of the Zoning Ordinance, which requires the use of curb and gutter within sites in the development areas requiring 8 or more parking spaces, and a waiver of section 4.2.3.2 which restricts earth-disturbing activity on critical slopes.

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density in Urban Area 7.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY: 

SUB 1998020 – Peter Williams Family Division – Signed October 20th, 1997.

VIO-2006067 – There was a violation on the property for operating a business out of the existing house/dwelling that has since been abated by Albemarle County Zoning Inspector II, Lisa Green.

 

REASON FOR PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEW:

 

A)      Curb and gutter in parking areas and along travelways are required per County Code section 32.7.2.7, and section 4.12.15g.  The applicant has requested a waiver from the construction of curb and gutter for a portion of the northern travelway section in accordance with County Code Section 32.3.10.

B)       The applicant has also requested a waiver of section 4.2.3.2 of the Zoning Ordinance which restricts earth-disturbing activity on critical slopes, in accordance with section 4.2.5.b of the Zoning Ordinance which allows the Planning Commission to waive this restriction.

 

A) REVIEW OF MODIFICATION OF SECTION 32.7.2.7 (Curb and Gutter)

 

The applicant has requested the curb and gutter design not be used for approximately the last seventy (70) feet of the northern portion of the travel way (Attachment D).  The applicant has stated that the purpose for leaving the northern side of the travel way without curb and gutter is to accommodate concerns from a neighborThe neighbor’s concern is the retention of a parking area at the entrance to this site.  This is an unsafe location, and with the intensification of use, the parking area should be removed.  The neighbor has a driveway for on-site parking as well as traditional on-street parking.  The County Engineer can only waive this curb and gutter requirement if deemed necessary to accommodate stormwater management /BMP facility design, or existing uses located in the Rural Areas (RA) zoning district.  Neither condition is applicable for this preliminary site plan.  Engineering cannot administratively waive this requirement. The site runoff in this area can be handled more effectively by using curbing as opposed to using the existing ditch section proposed by the applicant. Engineering recommends the use of curb and gutter for the entire length of the travelway for this site plan. The construction of the curb and gutter could end at the existing asphalt driveway located just east of the existing fire hydrant and water meter.

 

Analysis of Sec. 32.3.10 of the Zoning Ordinance:

Section 32.7.2.7 requires that “on-site parking and circulation shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Section 4.12”.  Section 4.12.15(g) requires the provision of curb and gutter:

g. Curb and gutter in parking areas and along travelways. Curbs shall be established at the edges of parking areas or access aisles in the following circumstances: (1) in all commercial or institutional developments requiring eight (8) or more parking spaces; (2) in all multifamily dwelling and townhouse developments requiring eight (8) or more parking spaces; (3)where necessary to control or direct stormwater runoff; (4) where a sidewalk is located closer than four (4) feet from the edge of an access aisle; and (5) where necessary to contain vehicular traffic to protect pedestrians and/or property. Gutters shall be required where necessary to control or direct stormwater runoff. The county engineer may waive or modify this requirement if deemed necessary to accommodate stormwater management/BMP facility design or existing uses located in the Rural Areas (RA) zoning district.

 

As specified in Section 32.3.10 (each subsection is discussed immediately following the text from the Ordinance):

Any requirement of section 32.7 may be modified, waived, or substituted, in an individual case, as provided herein:

a. The commission may modify, waive, or accept substitution for any requirement of section 32.7 in a particular case upon a finding that requiring such improvement would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public health, safety or welfare; or in the case of substitution, that such alternative would satisfy the purpose of this chapter to at least an equivalent degree as the required improvement.

 

There is no proposed alternative. The retention of a parking area at the entrance to this site does not serve the safety and welfare of the neighbor, and as per engineering review, the parking will be a safety hazard.

 

b. Whenever, because of unusual size, topography, shape of the property, location of the property or other unusual conditions, excluding the proprietary interests of the developer, strict application of the requirements of section 32.7 would result in significant degradation of the site or adjacent properties, the requirement may be modified or waived by the commission; provided that such modification or waiver shall not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, to sound engineering practices, or to adjacent properties

 

The site is not unusual in terms of size, topography, shape, or location.  It has not been determined that the curb and gutter requirement in this case would result in significant degradation of the site. If the requirement is waived, the decision will go against sound engineering practices, and the parking at the entrance to the site will be detrimental to public safety. Requiring curb and gutter also helps enhance development area neighborhood model district principles.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Staff finds that this request is generally inconsistent with the necessary findings of the Zoning Ordinance for granting the waiver.  Staff recommends denial.

 

B) REVIEW OF MODIFICATION OF SECTION 4.2.3.2 TO ALLOW ACTIVITY ON CRITICAL SLOPES.

 

The proposed development includes activity on critical slopes.  Staff has reviewed this request as required by Sections 4.2 and 4.2.5 of the ordinance.  This review is divided into two parts, a review for impact on aesthetic resources and a review of the engineering impacts. 

 

Before this proposal may be approved, a modification to allow critical slopes disturbance is necessary.  The request for a modification has been reviewed for both Engineering and Planning aspects.   

 

Review of the request by Current Development Planning Staff.

 

This review is focused on the criteria in Section 4.2 and the potential loss of aesthetic resources.  The critical slopes on this site are shown on the “inventory map” but not on the composite map for urban area six and seven. The critical slopes on the site are not part of a system, and based on the exclusion of these slopes in the composite map, staff does not view the disturbance of these slopes as a potential loss of critical resources.

 

Review of the request by Current Development Engineering Staff.

 

The critical slope area, within TMP 61K-10-A2 and 61K-10-A, appears to be natural slopes.  The critical slope disturbances are in the form of; accessways, stormwater facilities, and structures. 

 

 

Areas

Acres

Total site in Project

1.79

Critical slopes

Approx. 0.65

Approx. 36.3% of development

Critical slopes disturbed

0.41

63% of critical slopes

 

 

 

Below, each of the concerns of Zoning Ordinance section 18-4.2 is addressed:

 

1.       “Movement of soil and rock”:   Required drainage items are located within five (5) feet of the adjacent properties.  Adequate perimeter erosion and sediment control measures to protect the neighboring properties will be needed. 

2.       “Excessive stormwater run-off”:   The site development creates several potential drainage problems.  The conceptual SWM facility creates a concentrated flow from a 30” pipe that flows directly into the adjacent property, TMP 61K-05-D-04.  Staff has requested a letter of intent for the easement that is necessary on the downstream property. The applicant has not acquired a “letter of intent” from this adjacent property owner.  This new development will increase the volume of water discharging onto the property.  The applicant has not provided measures for adequate channels at this location.  Also, the build-out of the site as proposed will create additional problems at the entrance location onto Inglewood Drive. 

3.       “Siltation of natural and man-made bodies of water”:   There are no existing streams located on the property.  There is an existing swale that traverses the property, and the offsite drainage in this swale is being intercepted by a headwall and pipe system.  As shown, it is not possible to provide adequate perimeter erosion and sediment control measures without encroachment onto neighboring properties.

4.       “Loss of aesthetic resource”:   This site is visible from adjoining property owners in this community.  The site has existing wooded areas throughout the property.  It appears that the loss of aesthetic resources will be necessary with the proposed plan.

5.       “Septic effluent”:   Septic systems or drainfields are not proposed in this project.  This site is accessible to the public sanitary sewer system.

 

This site does not drain into a waterway that is a public drinking water supply for Albemarle County.  No portion of this site plan is located inside the 100-year flood plain area according to FEMA Maps, dated 04 February 2005.

 

Based on the above review, if the critical slope waiver is recommended for approval, the applicant cannot provide adequate perimeter erosion and sediment control measures for the adjacent properties.  The new development will increase the water volume and will potentially create drainage concerns for the adjacent property owners.  Staff has requested a letter of intent for the easement that is necessary on the downstream property. The applicant has not acquired a “letter of intent” from the adjacent property owner.  

 

There are engineering concerns that prohibit the disturbance of critical slopes as shown on the plans. Engineering does not recommend approval of this critical slope waiver request.

 

Section 4.2.5(b):

Section 4.2.5 establishes the review process and criteria for granting a modification of Section 4.2.3.2.  The preceding comments by staff address the provisions of Section 4.2.5a.  Staff has included the provisions of Section 4.2.5b (in italics) here, along with staff comment on the various provisions.

 

  

b. The commission may modify or waive any requirement of section 4.2 in a particular case upon finding that: (Amended 11-15-89)

 

1.         Strict application of the requirements of section 4.2 would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public health, safety or welfare, or that alternatives proposed by the developer would satisfy the purposes of section 4.2 to at least an equivalent degree; or (Added 11-15-89)

 

            There are no proposed alternatives presented by the developer that would satisfy the purpose of section 4.2 to at least an equivalent degree.

 

2.         Due to its unusual size, topography, shape of the property, location of the property or other unusual conditions, excluding the proprietary interest of the developer, the requirements of section 4.2 would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the use of the property or would result in significant degradation of the site or adjacent properties. Such modification or waiver shall not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to the orderly development of the area, or to adjacent properties, or be contrary to sound engineering practices; or (Added 11-15-89)

 

            As per engineering review, the new development will increase the water volume and will potentially create drainage concerns for the adjacent property owners. Engineering has also noted that the applicant cannot provide adequate perimeter erosion and sediment control measures for the adjacent properties. Therefore, granting the critical slopes waiver could result in significant degradation of the site or adjacent properties. Strict application of section 4.2 would not effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the use of the property.

 

3.                   Granting such modification or waiver would serve a public purpose of greater import than would be served by strict application of section 4.2. (Added 11-15-89)

 

There are no immediately identifiable reasons that would be considered of greater import.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Staff finds that this request is not consistent with the criteria of Section 4.2.5a for granting a modification. Additionally, the waiver does not conform to sound engineering practices. Therefore, staff is not able to recommend approval to the Planning Commission for the modification of Section 4.2.3.2.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A.                  Vicinity Map

B.                  Site Plan

C.                  Applicant’s Request Letter

D.                  Photo Exhibits
Return to pc actions letter