COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

With Revisions and Corrections from PC Meeting of 3-20-07

 

Project Name:  ZMA 06-05 Avinity

Staff:  Elaine K. Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

March 20, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

April 11, 2007

Owners:    Avon Properties, LLC; Donna Jordan

Applicant: Mark Keller, Terra Concepts

Acreage: 9.35 Acres

Rezone from: R-1Residential to PRD Planned Residential District.  Property is in EC.

TMP:  91-14, 90-35I 90-35J, & 90-35K (See location map – Attachment A)

By-right use:  Up to 13 dwelling units using all density bonuses

Magisterial District:  Scottsville

Proffers:  Yes

Waivers:   Yes

Proposal:  Mixture of townhouse and apartments

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  124

DA (Development Area):  Neighborhood 4

Comp. Plan Designation:  Urban Density Residential (6 – 34 units/ac)

Character of Property:  Mostly wooded and undeveloped

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Cale Elementary School, rural residential, residential across Avon Street

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of the rezoning with minor wording modifications to the proffers.  Staff recommends approval of the waivers with conditions.

 

 

 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                              ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                          MARCH 20, 2007

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                                           APRIL 11, 2007

Revised from 3-20-07 Planning Commission Meeting

 

 

ZMA 06-05 AVINITY

With PC Waiver Requests for Sections 14-409, 410, 14-422 B. and 14-422 D. of the Subdivision Ordinance and Sections 18-4.2.1.  Administrative Waiver Requests for Sections 18-4.7.2 and 4.16.2

 

PETITION 

PROJECT: ZMA 06-05 Avinity

PROPOSAL: Rezone approximately 9.5 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre) to PRD Planned Residential Development (3-34 units per acre with limited commercial use) for a maximum of 124 units at a density of 13.26 units/acre, with proffers.

PROFFERS: Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses in Neighborhood 4.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: Avon Street Extended (Route 742) approx. 1/2 mile south of intersection with Mill Creek Drive

TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 91-14, 90-35J, 90-35K, 90-35I

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Scottsville 

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA

The property is located adjacent to the south of Cale Elementary School which is located at 1757 Avon Street Extended.  The site is wooded and hilly.  Rural residential homes are located to the south and to the east.  Mill Creek subdivision is across Avon Street from the site.

 

SPECIFICS OF PROPOSAL 

Avinity is an apartment and townhouse development proposed for 9.35 acres on a private road in the Development Areas.  The rezoning is proposed from R-1 to PRD. 

 

The rezoning plan (Attachment B) shows the desired layout which contains townhouses at the entrance, two streets or drives on the perimeter of the property with units and an amenity area internal to the development.  The amenity area contains passive and active areas.  Stormwater management is proposed under the “open green space” shown on the plan. 

 

This plan is a revision to a plan previously seen by the Commission in a worksession on April 18, 2006.  The plan last seen by the Commission requested 113 units on 8.81 acres.  Approximately a half acre of land was added to the proposal, along with 9 more units.  The addition of this property allowed for more flexibility in design as well as the ability to increase density on the site.

 

In addition to the plan, the applicant has submitted proffers indicating a commitment to provide 15% affordable housing, allowance for a water main to be constructed to the property for use by adjoining parcels, $3200 per unit for capital improvements to the area, and construction of a path to Cale Elementary school.   Proffers are provided as Attachment C.

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST

The applicant has said that the property is located in the Development Areas and is available for development.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

This rezoning request is the third request made over the last five years.  The prior requests, ZMA 02-07 and ZMA 04-04 were withdrawn.  There is no other planning or zoning history.

 

BACKGROUND

As previously stated, the Commission reviewed this proposal on April 18, 2006. A copy of the plan reviewed at that meeting is provided as Attachment D.  At the meeting, the following questions were asked and the answers provided below:

 

Is the proposed development sufficiently in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan?  In general, the Commission agreed with staff’s opinion that, in terms of density and use, the development is in keeping with the Land Use Plan; however, the Commission believed that density is closely tied to form and that the form is not sufficiently in keeping with the Neighborhood Model to justify the density with the design proposed.

 

Does the layout and design sufficiently support use of the retaining walls at the perimeter of the property? In general, the Planning Commission did not think that the layout and design sufficiently supported use of the retaining walls at the perimeter of the property. The Commission asked the staff to work with the applicant to help reduce the height and mass of the 20’ retaining walls. The Commission believed that some redesign was necessary to create better lot-to-lot relationships.

 

Where should interconnections take place? In general, the Planning Commission preferred the interconnection recommended by staff on the south side and shown by the applicant on the plan.

 

Are there impacts to community facilities which should be mitigated with this rezoning? Because of the level of increased use in the property from 12 potential units to 113 units, the Planning Commission agreed with staff and felt that there should be some contribution or cash proffers to mitigate the impacts. Contributions to the CIP for a future library and transportation improvements need to be worked out with staff.

 

In addition, the Planning Commission added the following comment:  The Commission asked staff to work with the applicant on fencing to keep the dogs off the school property and security issues.

 

ARB REVIEW

This proposal was reviewed by the ARB on December 4, 2006 and December 18, 2006.  The ARB asked that the units along Avon street face Avon street without a berm and the units along the entry-way face the entry-street without a berm.  The ARB said that heights should be limited to 2-stories along Avon Street and 3-stories for the middle set of condominiums.

 

The ARB was concerned with the units that faced Avon Street because the entrances to the units would be significantly higher than the grade of Avon Street.  Some of them were also concerned that Block 22-28 doesn’t respond to the proposed topography.  The ARB asked for elevations and sections for their next review.  The staff report for that review is included as Attachment E.  The ARB will review this proposal on March 19.

 

CHANGES TO THE PLAN FROM THE APRIL 2006 PC REVIEW: 

Since the April meeting, the applicant has made the following changes: 

1.                  Added acreage that diminishes some of the grading requirements at the northwest corner of the plan. 

2.                  Changed the orientation of the units at the northwest corner of the development.  Townhouses now line Avon Street and the entrance road to the site, showing a face to the two streets. 

3.                  Removed retaining walls on the northeast part of the development. 

4.                  Terraced retaining walls on the south side of the development. 

5.                  Switched the request from public streets to private streets within the development. 

6.                  Added a proffer for $3200 for capital improvements. 

7.                  Removed a proffer to provide an interconnection to the south and showed the connection on the application plan.

 

The following analysis includes these changes.

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan

 

Land Use Plan -- Applicable statements from the Comprehensive Plan relevant to this site are identified below .  Staff comments relative to the recommendations of the Land Use Plan follow each statement:

The primary recommendations of this study were the construction of east-west connecting roads within Neighborhoods 4 and 5, including the Avon-Fifth Street Connector road (Southern Parkway), Avon-Route 20 Connector road (constructed), and an Avon-Fifth Street connector road north of I-64.  The connectors south of I-64 were considered higher priorities. This 8.8 acre parcel does not provide an opportunity for either of these connecting roads, although a contribution towards construction of the road may be appropriate.   

 

·        Due to increased development in this area, including the construction of the new Monticello High School, upgrade Avon Street Extended and Route 20 and construct bicycle facilities and walkways in conjunction with these upgrades. Determine the right-of-way requirements for these road upgrades and obtain and/or reserve right-of-ways as necessary.

 

An asphalt path has been constructed on the west side of Avon Street from the Southern Parkway to South Mill Creek.  The CIP calls for a walkway to be constructed from the Southern Parkway to the City limits within the next 5 years.   No widening for bike lanes are planned or funded at this time. 

 

·        Locate a library branch in or near Neighborhood Four.

 

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has proposed the construction of a new library in the southern urban areas to adequately serve this area although there has not been any site selection yet. The library needs approximately two acres of land for the 15,000 square foot facility. The County owns large acreage near the high school and fire station off of Mill Creek Drive which may be appropriate, although some of the property is hilly and not the best for development. Site selection and land acquisition, if necessary, is scheduled for 2012/13 and construction in 2014/15. 

 

While the site might be suitable for a library, with its proximity to Cale Elementary School and potential for shared parking, staff believes that a contribution to construct the library would be equally suitable to mitigate some of the impacts of the new residential development. 

 

·        Participate with the City to construct the eastern branch of the southern water loop. This loop will link the Avon Street and Pantops Mountain Water tanks and improve water distribution in the Neighborhood. Build another smaller water tank on Avon Street to increase flow to Neighborhoods 4 & 5.

 

The Albemarle County Service Authority’s construction of the 20” Southern Urban Transmission Main has occurred and the remaining parts of the loop are the responsibility of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.  The construction of the transmission main as well as addition of the Avon Street and Pantops Mountain Water tanks have improved water distribution. 

 

·        Provide additional water storage in the southern portion of the Neighborhood to support demand and ensure adequate fire flow.

 

Storage tanks have been developed as part of the Avon Park and Mosby Mountain development that will provide water storage and address fire flow issues for this area. 

 

·        Extend the Biscuit Run Interceptor to provide capacity for the entire drainage basin.

 

The Biscuit Run interceptor was extended close the Biscuit Run property as part of the improvements provided to serve the Mosby Mountain development off of Fifth Street.  According to the Albemarle County Service Authority, the improvements are sufficient for this small development. 

 

·        New development and redevelopment along Route 20 and Avon Street Extended should be designed in a manner that is sensitive to its location within the Monticello viewshed and designation as Entrance Corridor Roadways.

 

The proposed development is not in the Monticello viewshed.

 

Open Space Plan -- The County’s Open Space Plan shows no significant environmental resources on this property. 

 

Principles of the Neighborhood Model -- Conformity with the Neighborhood Model is assessed below: 

 

 

Pedestrian Orientation

A sidewalk will be provided across the frontage of the lot to provide access to Cale Elementary School.  Sidewalks are shown along Avon Street and internal to the development, connecting different buildings to the amenities and to other buildings.  Pedestrian access is shown to Cale Elementary School which Planning staff believes is very advantageous to this development. Planning staff has coordinated with the Schools division which has no problem with the applicant extending an asphalt path to the school property line.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Street trees are shown adjacent to Avon and the entry street into the development with a sidewalk adjacent to the tree lawn.  On Avon Street, overhead power lines are not proposed to be placed underground and, as a result, there may be difficulty with the street trees.  The applicant is showing medium shade trees as the street trees and utility lines across the individual yards.  Staff would prefer that the utility lines be underground; however, staff understands that the line across the property is part of a larger overhead system which is not proposed to be replaced.   Landscaping of this area will be reviewed by the ARB at the site plan stage.

 

Internal to the site, street trees are shown along the entry street and one side of the private streets on the north and south sides. Because of retaining walls on the north and south sides of the development, providing street trees will be difficult.  As the private streets act as the “back” of the units, though, staff believes the street trees shown on the plan are appropriate.

 

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

Opportunities for interconnections exist on all sides of the property.

Attachment F shows staff’s ideas, presented at the April worksession, for an interconnected street network in the area.  It is important to note that the network shown on Attachment F has no standing and is only staff’s concept of how a system could work to provide an overall network in the southern part of the County through properties currently owned by the County.

 

The applicant has responded to the Commission’s recommendation that an opportunity for an interconnection be made available on the southeast portion of the site. 

 

Parks and Open Space

 

Amenity and recreation areas are features of the development that reflect an excellent response to this principle of the Neighborhood Model.  The PRD zoning district requires 25% open space; the plan shows 27% open space.  The Neighborhood Model concentrates on quality more than quantity of open space and the development plan shows a central recreational area and amenity as well as open space.  Staff believes that the quality and location is excellent.  In addition, should the need for playground equipment be important to the residents of the development, the school next door can provide the facilities when school is not in session.

 

Neighborhood Centers

Cale Elementary School, which adjoins the property, acts as a center to this area and a place to which the residential units can relate.

 

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

Attachment G shows the anticipated architecture for the development.  The scale of the buildings appears to be appropriate and access to the sidewalks on Avon Street and the entry street is good. 

 

The ARB conducted a preliminary review of the proposal at the end of last year and provided comments.  Numbers of stories suggested by the ARB are reflected on the application plan.  A follow-up ARB review will take place on March 19.  Staff will provide verbal comments to the Commission after that meeting.   

 

Staff notes that the elevations and landscape plans shown are conceptual only and not intended to supercede any ARB requirements.

 

Relegated Parking

In most areas, parking is appropriately located.  The only area of where parking is not relegated is in front of units 22-28.  Staff believes that because of the few number of units involved, relegating this parking may not be necessary.  With the plan under consideration, parking lots that face the street near the entrance to the site will be much lower than the streets.  

 

Mixture of Uses

 

No mixture of uses is provided, nor is any viewed as necessary because of the relationship to the school on the adjoining property.  A commercial center is approximately a half-mile away at the intersection of Mill Creek Drive and Avon Street Extended.

 

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The mixture of housing types is viewed as appropriate and the applicant has committed that 15% of the units will be affordable.

 

Redevelopment

The existing houses on the site are proposed to be demolished.  They are both 20th century buildings; however, the Historic Resource Planner has indicated that the structures appear to have little architectural value.

 

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

As previously indicated, the property has some topographical challenges.  The property slopes to the middle of the site forming a gully that extends to the property to the east.

 

On a flat plain, the design appears to be an excellent response to providing for a mixture of housing types, relegated parking, open space and amenity areas and relationships of buildings to the street.  Applied to the topography, though, the development results in fairly severe differences in grade near property boundaries such that large retaining walls are necessary. 

 

Responding to the Commission and staff concerns, the applicant replaced the 15 foot wall on the south side of the development with two 6-foot retaining walls that are terraced.  He has shifted a portion of the street so that less grading is needed at this location.  The retaining walls to the north near the school have disappeared.  Reconstructed slopes in this area are proposed to have groundcover with landscape materials suitable for the slopes. 

 

Regarding the slopes to the rear, the applicant has lowered the 20’ retaining wall to 13’.  The 13’ wall does not extend the length of the rear property line, though.  The mean height is 7’.  Staff believes that an alternative construction that retains the design and density shown on the plan is not possible.  Fort this reason, staff supports use of the retaining wall at the rear of the development.

 

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

Not applicable.

 

 

STAFF COMMENT

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

 

The PRD is intended to

-encourage sensitivity

-- toward the natural characteristics of the site

-- toward impact on the surrounding area in land development

-promote

-- economical and efficient land use

-- improved level of amenities

-- appropriate and harmonious physical development

-- creative design consistent with the best interest of the county and the area in which it is located

 

To these ends, the PRD provides for flexibility and variety of development for residential purposes and uses ancillary thereto. Open space may serve such varied uses as recreation, protection of areas sensitive to development, buffering between dissimilar uses and preservation of agricultural activity.

 

While a PRD approach is recommended for developments of any density, it is recommended but not required that the PRD be employed in areas where the comprehensive plan recommends densities in excess of fifteen (15) dwelling units per acre, in recognition that development at such densities generally requires careful planning with respect to impact.

 

Staff believes that the proposed zoning district provides the proper approach for this proposal because it provides for an economical and efficient land use, improved level and location of amenities, and creative design.  Open space is used for recreation and a formal gathering area.  The natural characteristics of the site make it difficult to preserve many features and achieve density. 

 

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 conforms to the Comprehensive Plan and responds well to the Neighborhood Model.

 

Impacts on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources – The site contains wooded areas and areas of slopes in excess of 25%.  The woods would be removed and the slopes graded in order to accomplish the plan proposed.  Neither the wooded areas nor the critical slopes are shown on the County’s Open Space Plan.  A spring appears to help form a streambed in the center of the property.  The spring and streambed were almost dry when observed on March 28, 2006.  Care will need to be taken with the head of the spring so that any water flowing from the spring is appropriately accommodated.  There are no cultural or historic features on the site.  The site is not visible from Monticello.

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services:

Streets – The development will generate an additional 727 average weekday trips on Avon Street Extended which provides primary access to the site.  Traffic counts are not available at this location although north of Mill Creek Drive; the street has 10,306 Average Daily Trips (ADT) with a Level of Service E.  Regarding Avon St. Extended, the hope is that the road can continue to function as a 2-lane (with turn lanes), lower speed (35-40 mph) road that can stay more in keeping with a neighborhood oriented, multi-modal type of collector road.  It was anticipated that east-west street connections (Willoughby connector, Southern Parkway) would help distribute traffic to the larger regional road network (Fifth Street, Route 20) that currently almost have to travel on Avon to reach almost any city/university destination.   There are no planned improvements to Avon Street related to traffic.

 
Schools
The development is expected to generate 31 students broken down as follows: 15 elementary school students, 9 middle school students, and 7 high school students.  These students will attend Cale Elementary School, Walton Middle School, and Monticello High School.  Cale will be renovated in 2006 to add classrooms.  The renovation will replace the portable units currently in use and also accommodates the growth from development of this adjoining site.

There is an additional elementary school proposed in the CIP for the Southern Urban Areas to address growth in the Southern Urban Areas.  At present, an elementary school is being considered in conjunction with the Biscuit Run development.

Fire, Rescue, Police – Fire, Rescue, and Police facilities are located nearby in buildings south of I-64.  The Monticello Fire Station located near Monticello High School provides fire and rescue services to the area.  Albemarle County 5th Street Office Building is contains the County’s Police Department, although the police patrol all areas of the County regardless of the location of the station.  No impact to these facilities is expected.

Utilities – Albemarle County Service Authority indicates that water and sewer service is available to the site.  The site was designed to allow a water main through the property to serve the Kappa Sigma development on Route 20 South to the east of the site.  A reciprocal arrangement existed for Kappa Sigma to allow hook-up to the sewer being installed for Avinity.   The utilities are now in the ground and no proffer is needed to ensure that activity happens.

Stormwater Management – Stormwater management will be provided underground.  The County Engineer has approved this methodology for the project.

Fiscal Impact Analysis:  A fiscal impact analysis is included as Attachment H.  As with all purely residential developments, the analysis shows a negative net fiscal impact.

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties:  No negative impact is expected on nearby and surrounding properties.  A fence is proposed adjacent to the school if and when it is needed.  The Schools Division is requesting that the proffer be revised to clarify that a fence should be provided for a part of the development along with the construction of the development.  If the fence needs to be extended further, the Schools division could ask for it at any time, according to the proffer.

Staff has been concerned that the retaining wall to the south will create a poor lot-to-lot relationship.  The Planning Commission disagreed and said that use of the wall would not be problematic.  To date, none of the adjoining owners has raised concerns about the proposal.

PROFFERS

As indicated in Attachment C, the applicant has made 5 proffers which are described as follows:

 

1.      Affordable Housing -- provides for 15% for affordable units as either for sale or for rent.  Staff believes that at least 40% should be for sale.  Work is needed on the wording of the proffers including rethinking of how to deal with any unexpended funds.  The Board’s policy is to have the money go to the County rather than be returned to the owner.  These two substantive changes are needed.  Wordsmithing will also be needed before this proffer is acceptable.

 

2.      Cash (CIP) Proffer – provides for what looks like two different ways to deal with the same money for offsite impacts.  In substance, the proffer is offering $3200 per unit for the CIP for off-site impacts.  Wording will need to be modified.  As with the first proffer, unexpended funds should go the County.

 

Staff notes that the County has no cash proffer policy at this time.  The following table shows the amount of cash proffers which the County has recently received for project impacts:

 

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 05-18 Wickham Pond II

 

106

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

ZMA  06-01 Westhall V

36

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

ZMA  05-07 Haden Place

34

 

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 01-08 Rivanna Village at Glenmore (PROPOSED)

Up to 512 units

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

ZMA 06-05 Avinity (PROPOSED)

124

 

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

ZMA 04-18 Fontana 4C (PROPOSED)

30

Cash proffer for projects in CIP: $1882/market rate unit.

 

As previously noted in the staff report the primary impacts from the project are to transportation and library provision.  Relative to the $4000 & $4500 per unit accepted for the two most recently approved projects in Crozet, this project may fall short unless Crozet’s transportation needs are considered to be greater than transportation improvements needed in Neighborhood 4.

3.      Public Water Improvements – This proffer is for public water improvements.  As previously noted, the water line has already been constructed and this proffer is not needed.  If, for some reason the applicant wishes to keep the proffer, the County Attorney’s office indicates it is acceptable.

4.      Pavement – This proffer will provide a 6-ft wide asphalt trail from the development to Cale Elementary School and also provide for the rebuilding of the driveway to the adjoining property. The substance of the proffer is acceptable.  The wording related to the driveway will need to be modified to be legally acceptable.

5.      Fencing – This proffer assures that fencing will be provided between the site and the school if the school notices there are dog problems.  The schools’ division would like for a fence to be erected initially along the northern boundary of the southern school property line between Avon Street the path.  If additional fencing is needed as a result of dogs running on the playfields, the proffer would allow the Schools Division to ask for it.

Changes to the wording of the proffers to address legal and technical aspects is expected between the Commission and Board meeting.

 

Waiver and Modification Requests

The applicant is requesting the three waivers to the Zoning Ordinance and two waivers to the Subdivision Ordinance and private street approval.  Analysis follows:

 

The first waiver is for critical slopes.  The Zoning Ordinance requires the following:

 

4.2.1 BUILDING SITE REQUIRED

No lot or parcel shall have less than one (1) building site. For purposes of this section, the term "building site" shall mean a contiguous area of land in slopes of less than twenty-five (25) percent as determined by reference to either topographic quadrangle maps of the Geological Survey - U. S. Department of Interior (contour interval twenty [20] feet) or a source determined by the county engineer to be of superior accuracy, exclusive of:

 

-Such area as may be located in the flood hazard overlay district or which is located under water;

-Such area as may be located within two hundred (200) horizontal feet of the one hundred year flood plain of any public drinking water impoundment or within one hundred (100) horizontal feet of the edge of any tributary stream to such impoundment; (Amended 11-11-87)

-Such area as may be designated as resource protection areas on the resource protection areas map adopted pursuant to chapter 17 of the Code of Albemarle; provided that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to prevent or impair the water resources manager from exercise of discretion as set forth in that ordinance. (Added 9-9-92)

 

Staff comment: As illustrated on Sheet 1 - Existing Conditions, there are approximately 0.5 acres of critical slope areas gathered in small clusters near valleys located in the center and eastern portions of the site.  None of these critical slopes areas are indicated on the Open Space Plan.  All of the critical slope areas, representing about 5.3% of the site acreage, will be eliminated by the grading activity for this project.

 

Based on previous comments from the reviewing engineer, the designer has now included a “conceptual erosion & sediment control” plan.  The intent is to illustrate the placement and phasing of the erosion & sediment facilities that would be necessary to construct a development of this scale & intensity and prevent the rapid and large-scale movement of soil and rock, as well as the siltation of natural and man-made bodies of water.  The concept presented can be reasonably implemented within the confines of the property.  Therefore, staff recommends approval of the critical slopes waiver request.

_____________________

 

The second waiver/modification is to allow for disturbance of open space.  The zoning requirement follows:

 

4.7.2 USES PERMITTED IN OPEN SPACE

Unless otherwise permitted by the commission in a particular case, open space shall be maintained in a natural state and shall not be developed with any man-made feature. Where deemed appropriate by the commission, open space may be used for one or more of the following uses subject to the regulations of the zoning district in which the development is located:

-Agriculture, forestry and fisheries including appropriate structures;

-Game preserves, wildlife sanctuaries and the like;

-Noncommercial recreational structures and uses;

-Public utilities;

-Wells and septic systems for emergency use only (reference 4.1.7) (Amended 6-3-81)

-Stormwater detention and flood control devices.

 

The applicant would like for the Commission to allow open space to be disturbed for recreational structures and uses, utilities, and if needed, any water quality measures.  Technically, this is not a waiver, but, rather permission to disturb, which is a usual request in the development areas.

 

Staff comment:  Staff recommends open space be allowed to be disturbed as the property is in the development areas and none of the property has resources that are shown on the open space plan.

______________________

 

The third modification would allow for a substitution of recreational amenities.  This is an administrative action; however the staff report is used to record that action.

 

4.16.2 MINIMUM FACILITIES

The following facilities shall be provided within the recreational area:

 

4.16.2.1 One (1) tot lot shall be provided for the first thirty (30) units and for each additional fifty (50)

units and shall contain equipment which provides an amenity equivalent to:

One (1) swing (four (4) seats)

One (1) slide

Two (2) climbers

One (1) buckabout or whirl

Two (2) benches.

 

The applicant has requested an administrative waiver to substitute the amenities shown on the site.  The amenities are a pool, park-like setting, and clubhouse.  The Planning Director has authorized this substitution.

_____________________

 

Waivers to Subdivision Ordinance, Section 14 and Private Street Authorization

 

14-233 When private streets in development areas may be authorized

 

The Subdivision Ordinance allows for private streets to be authorized in the Development Areas.  Because this street is part of a multi-family development, Section 14-233 B allows for staff to approve private streets for multi-family development.  Staff has undertaken the required review and will approve the private streets if the Board approves the development.  Staff is confident in its decision because the applicant, staff and the Commission have discussed the arrangement of the development and its corresponding street needs.  After the Commission affirmed that the design of the development, they made the decision that private streets were needed. 

 

_________________

 

 

14-409  Coordination and Extension of Streets

 

The applicant has requested to be able to provide a private interconnection at only one location on the site.  In reviewing a request, the Commission is to consider the following regarding the other possible locations:

 

(i)                 the engineering requirements for coordination and connection;

 

A different layout of the development could result in interconnections to the east and several places to the south.  Because the Planning Commission affirmed the development as shown, there is only one interconnection opportunity.  It is located at the southeast corner of the site.

 

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

 

There are no environmental resources on the site that are shown on the Open Space Plan.

 

(iii)            whether the street would and should be extended into the rural areas;

 

The street would not extend 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; and

 

As said previously, a different design would allow for a public street which could interconnect to adjoining parcels.  At a worksession held in April 2006, though, staff showed the Planning Commission ideas for a public street system to which this private travelway could connect.

 

(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.

 

This criterion is not met; however, the overall design of the plan represents many aspects of the neighborhood model. 

 

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.

 

Staff comment:  At the worksession on this project in April 2006, staff noted that a different design with fewer retaining walls at the perimeter could provide for a residential development that contained public streets.  Such a development, however, might not be able to achieve a similarly attractive design with the density proposed.  As a result, the Commission stated that the design and density work sufficiently to provide for the orderly development of the area.  Staff does not believe that granting the waiver for additional interconnections would be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, to sound engineering practices or to adjacent land.  Other public interconnections to public streets are possible for all adjoining parcels, even if some parcels require private access to get to the public streets.

 

Staff believes that this waiver can be supported and recommends approval.

_______________________

 

14-422 Sidewalks and planting strips.

 

The applicant is showing sidewalks and planting strips on only one side of the streets at the north and south boundaries of the property rather than sidewalks and planting strips on both sides.  In considering a wavier request, the Commission is required to consider the following:

 

(i)                 a waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted

 

A rural cross-section has not been requested.

 

(ii)              a surface other than concrete is more appropriate for the subdivision because of the character of the proposed subdivision and the surrounding neighborhood

 

A different surface is not requested.

 

(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.

 

Lots/units are proposed on only one-side of the street.  The Cale Elementary School playground is on the north side of the property.  A retaining wall is proposed on the south side of the property.

 

(iv)             the sidewalks reasonably can connect into an existing or future pedestrian system in the area

 

 

Sidewalks on only one side of the streets connect into the proposed pedestrian system.  Sidewalks on the other side of the streets could not connect into another system.

 

(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

 

It is unlikely that the sidewalk would be used because of the retaining wall on the south end and the school use on the north end.  No public benefit would be achieved by having a sidewalk on both sides of the street at the northern and southern boundaries.

 

(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

 

A pedestrian system is provided through the development.

 

(vii)           the sidewalks would be publicly or privately maintained.

 

The sidewalks are proposed to be privately maintained.

 

(viii)          the waiver promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the Neighborhood Model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan

 

The waiver promotes some of the design goals of the Neighborhood Model.  There is no neighborhood master plan yet.

 

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

 

Waiving the requirement for sidewalks on both sides does not allow for a different principle of the Neighborhood Model to be more fully achieved.

 

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 Comment:  Staff believes that granting the waiver for sidewalk on one side of the street would not be detrimental to the public interest, public health, safety or welfare or to the orderly development of the area.  It would not be contrary to sound engineering practices or to providing pedestrian access to the adjoining parcel.

 

Staff recommends that the waiver be granted to allow sidewalks on one side only.

___________________________

14-422 Sidewalks and planting strips.

 

The applicant is showing planting strips on only one side of the streets at the north and south boundaries of the property rather than sidewalks and planting strips on both sides.  In waiving the requirement for planting strips on both sides of the street, the Planning Commission is required to consider the following:

 

(i)                 a waiver to allow a rural cross-section has been granted

 

An urban section has been requested.

 

(ii)              a sidewalk waiver has been granted

 

A sidewalk waiver has been requested on one side of the street.

 

(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

 

Eliminating the planting strip, in and of itself, does not promote a goal of the Comprehensive Plan or Neighborhood Model.  There is no neighborhood master plan yet.  The design of the development, however, does help to promote density.

 

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

 

This criterion is not met.

 

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 Comment:  Staff believes that there is no need for a planting strip on the north side of the street on the northern side of the property and no need for a planting strip on the south side of the street on the southern side of the property.  On the northern side, the adjoining school use does not necessitate a sidewalk on the private street.  On the south side, a retaining wall precludes the opportunity for a planting strip.  Staff recommends approval of this waiver.

 

SUMMARY

 

Factors Favorable to this request

§         The applicant has provided a generally workable plan in response to many of the site’s constraints which respond well to the Neighborhood Model principles.

§         Density is provided at 13.26 units/acre with an attractive design.

§         The applicant is committing to providing 15% for-sale affordable housing in a manner that is generally acceptable to the Chief of Housing.

 

 

Factors Unfavorable to this request

§         Cash proffers may be considered low in relation to other recently approved rezonings; however, absent a cash proffer policy, staff is unable to assess whether sufficient cash is provided to off-set impacts.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends approval of the rezoning with minor wording modifications to the proffers. Staff recommends approval of the waivers and modifications, including disturbance of open space requested with the qualifications and conditions described in this staff report.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Attachment A – Location Map

Attachment B – Rezoning Plan dated 1-16-07

Attachment C – Proffers dated 10/25/06 Amendment 2.0

Attachment D – Prior Rezoning Plan dated 2-27-06

Attachment E – ARB Report dated 3-12-07

Attachment F -- Possible Interconnections Map dated 4/11/06

Attachment G – Architectural Elevations

Attachment H – Fiscal Impact Analysis dated April 2, 2007

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