Project Name:  SP2006-00039 Pantops Veterinary Hospital

Staff: Rebecca Ragsdale

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

February 13, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

 March 14, 2007

Owners:  Richard G. & Peggy W. Carter

Applicant:  Dr. Helle M. Stewart

Acreage:  1.32 acres

Special Use Permit: Veterinary Hospital

TMP: TM 78, Parcel 58G3

Location: 1338 Stony Point Road (Route 20) at Rivers Edge Office Park

Existing Zoning and By-right use: C-1 Commercial – retail sales and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre)


Magisterial District: Rivanna

Conditions: Yes

Proposal:  Veterinary clinic within an office building that is currently under construction.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                         


DA (Development Area): Pantops (Neighborhood 3)


Comprehensive Plan Designation: Regional Service – regional-scale retail, wholesale, business and/or employment centers, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre).

Character of Property: Office Park

Use of Surrounding Properties: The subject property is surrounded by commercial uses to the south, an existing office building to the northwest, residential uses to the east, and vacant land to the north.

Factors Favorable:

1.      The Land Use Plan is supportive of the vet use.

2.      The vet use will be located in the ground level of the building and separated from surrounding uses.

3.      There will be no detrimental impacts on surrounding properties

Factors Unfavorable:

There are no unfavorable factors.


RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with conditions.




STAFF PERSON:                                                                                          Rebecca Ragsdale

            PLANNING COMMISSION DATE:                                                               February 13, 2007

            BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DATE:                                                                        March 14, 2007



     SP 2006-00039 Pantops Veterinary Hospital



PROJECT: SP 200600039 Pantops Veterinary Hospital

PROPOSED: Special Use Permit (SP) request for Veterinary Hospital at Rivers Edge Offices

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: C-1 Commercial – retail sales and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre)

SECTION: 22.2.2(5) and 5.1.11

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Regional Service – regional-scale retail, wholesale, business and/or employment centers, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) in Neighborhood 3 (Pantops) Development Area.


LOCATION: West side of Stony Point Road (Route 20), 0.1 miles north of its intersection with Richmond Road (Route 250)





The veterinary hospital is proposed within a two-story office building under construction at Rivers Edge Office Park. There is an existing three-story office building located to the rear of the office park, adjacent to Free Bridge Lane and the Rivanna River. The proposed Charlottesville Power Equipment and McDonald’s are located south of the property. The property located to the north of this site is undeveloped. To the east, across Stony Point road, are commercial uses and adjoining at the northeast corner is a residential property (TMP 78-58G1). (Attachments A-Aerial, Attachment B-Land Use, Attachment C-Zoning)



The applicant is proposing a veterinary hospital within the 3,300 square foot ground floor of a 6,600 total square foot office building that is currently under construction. (Attachment D-Photo of building under construction) The applicant has indicated that there will be minimal outdoor activity, with occasional dog walking but no other outdoor activities or kennels. Operating hours are proposed between 7:30am and 6:00pm, Monday through Friday and 7:30-12:00pm on Saturdays. The expected number of employees will be 6-8, and there may be additional interns or summer employees. There will be no boarding services provided, except for those animals at the vet for treatment. A proposed floor plan is provided as Attachment E.



The 1.32-acre site of the proposed vet building, along with most of Rivers Edge Office Park has been designated C-1 Zoning since 1980 and commercially prior to that. The site plan for the proposed vet office building was approved June 2006 and this site plan showing the building for vet use is provided as Attachment F.





Land Use Plan-

The property is located in Pantops, Neighborhood 3 of the Development Area, and is designated Regional Service in the current Land Use Plan. Uses allowed within this designation include regional-scale commercial, regional malls, medical centers, mixed-use developments, hotel/motel/conference facilities, professional and corporate offices, interstate interchange developments and uses providing retail, wholesale, business, and/or employment services to Albemarle County and the region.  A veterinary use at this location, within an approved office park, would be an appropriate use based on this land use designation.


Neighborhood Model-

The special use permit request is for a vet use within an already approved office building and no site development changes are proposed. The property was developed under its by-right Commercial zoning. As this is within an existing development rather than new development, staff has not undertaken an analysis in relation to the 12 Principles of the Neighborhood Model. Staff notes that there is an internal sidewalk system that will provide for pedestrian connections within the site and is tied to the sidewalk on Route 20.




Staff will address each provision of Section of the Zoning Ordinance as follows: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,


There is no expected detriment to adjoining properties and the supplemental regulations in Section 5.1.11 of the Zoning Ordinance discussed below address potential impacts unique to a vet use, such as noise affecting nearby residential properties or compatibility with other adjacent commercial uses.


that the character of the district will not be changed thereby and

There will be no change to the commercial character of the district as there are no proposed site development changes or new buildings on the property to accommodate this use. Applicable supplemental regulations have been addressed.


that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

The C-1 Zoning District was established to permit selected retail sales, service and public use establishments, including offices, restaurants and other service uses. The proposed vet at this location is consistent with this district.  


with uses permitted by-right in the district,

There is the potential for conflicts between vet uses and other by-right uses in the C-1 Zoning District, which why is this use is by special use permit and there are supplemental regulations required by the ordinance. Based on the location of the vet within the building, proposed entrances and exits, and location of any limited outdoor activity that may take place, there are no anticipated conflicts with other by-right uses at Rivers Edge.


      with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

Section 5.1.11 is applicable to the proposed vet use and each regulation is addressed below. The applicant has not proposed any modifications to these requirements, as may be granted by the Planning Commission.


Section 5.1.11 COMMERCIAL KENNEL, VETERINARY SERVICE, OFFICE OR HOSPITAL, ANIMAL HOSPITAL, ANIMAL SHELTER Each commercial kennel, veterinary and animal hospital shall be subject to the following:


a. Except where animals are confined in soundproofed, air-conditioned buildings, no structure or area occupied by animals shall be closer than five hundred (500) feet to any agricultural or residential lot line. For non-soundproofed animal confinements, an external solid fence not less than six (6) feet in height shall be located within fifty (50) feet of the animal confinement and shall be composed of concrete block, brick, or other material approved by the zoning administrator; (Amended 11-15-89)


Animals will be confined to the building while receiving treatment at the vet.


b. For soundproofed confinements, no such structure shall be located closer than two hundred (200) feet to any agricultural or residential lot line. For soundproofed confinements, noise measured at the nearest agricultural or residential property line shall not exceed fifty-five (55) decibels; (Amended 11-15-89; 6-14-00)


The building in which the vet would be located is more than 200 feet from the adjoining residential lot line to the northeast. The vet will be located within the ground level of the building, mostly within the hillside, and based on the type of construction the noise level requirements will be met. The residential property line is across Route 20 and, with the existing topography and traffic on Route 20, noise from the vet should not be an issue.


c. In all cases, animals shall be confined in an enclosed building from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

(Amended 11-15-89; 6-14-00)


The applicant has indicated that this requirement will be met based on proposed business hours, by appointment, between 7:30a.m. and 6:00p.m. There would be no outdoor activity outside these hours.


d. In areas where such uses may be in proximity to other uses involving intensive activity such as shopping centers or other urban density locations, special attention is required to protect the public health and welfare. To these ends the commission and board may require among other things: (Amended 11-15-89)


-Separate building entrance and exit to avoid animal conflicts;

(Added 11-15-89)


The applicant is proposing separate entrances and exits from their level of the building and they will be separate from the upper level tenant; this is also a recommended condition of approval.


-Area for outside exercise to be exclusive from access by the public by fencing or other

means. (Added 11-15-89)


The applicant has explained that there is not a need for the proposed vet business to have a defined fenced-in area as the only outdoor activity will be occasional walking of dogs. Nevertheless, staff feels that the area of outdoor activity should be specified with the special use permit and has recommended a condition of approval that separates this activity from public access.


and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The public health, safety, and general welfare of the community are protected through the special use permit process which assures that the proposed uses are appropriate in the location requested. The Fire Marshall and Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) offered no additional comments, having provided site plan approval. VDOT provided comments and identified that the veterinary use is a slightly higher trip generator than the previously proposed office use at this site. VDOT also noted the needed off-site improvements at the intersection of Route 250 and Route 20, along with widening Route 20. However, the minimal additional anticipated impacts from the proposed veterinary use are not substantial enough to warrant mitigation of these off-site needs.



Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.      The Land Use Plan is supportive of the vet use.

2.      The vet use will be located in the ground level of the building and separated from surrounding uses.

3.      There will be no detrimental impacts on surrounding properties.


Staff has identified not identified unfavorable factors to this application.  



Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of Special Use Permit 2006-39 with the following conditions: 


  1. The plan shows the building to be 3,300 square feet. Any additional square footage of the veterinary office and hospital use will require an amendment to this Special Use Permit (SP-2006-00039).
  2. No overnight boarding use, other than for those animals under medical care shall take place at the veterinary hospital.
  3. The building shall be sound-proofed and air-conditioned.

4.      The outside area for walking of animals shall be separated from access by the public and shall be limited to the flood plain area adjacent to the building as identified in Attachment F.

  1. A separate entrance and exit shall be provided for the clinic in accordance with Section 5.1.11d;
  2. No outdoor exercise area shall be permitted.



A.      Location Map-Aerial

B.     Location Map-Land Use Plan

C.     Location Map-Zoning

D.     Photograph of proposed building under construction for vet use, February 2, 2007

E.     Floor Plan of proposed veterinary hospital

F.      Final Site Development Plans of Rivers Edge Office, Lot 3-A portion of TMP 78-58G, prepared by Dominion Development Resources

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