Albemarle County Planning Commission

May 8, 2007

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Pete Craddock, Duane Zobrist, Bill Edgerton, Eric Strucko and Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman.  Absent were Marcia Joseph, Chairman and Jon Cannon. Julia Monteith, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent. 

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; John Shepherd, Chief of Current Development; Gerald Gatobu, Senior Planner; Tamara Ambler, Natural Resources Manager; Scott Clark, Senior Planner; Allan Schuck, Senior Civil Engineer; Glenn Brooks, County Engineer; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. 

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Morris called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

Other Matters Not Listed on the Agenda from the Public:

 

Mr. Morris invited comment from the public on other matters not listed on the agenda.  There being none, the meeting moved on to the next item.

 

Review of Board of Supervisors Meeting – May 2, 2007.

 

Mr. Cilimberg summarized the actions taken by the Board of Supervisors on May 2, 2007.

 

Consent Agenda:

 

Approval of Planning Commission Minutes:  August 22, 2006; January 9, 2007; March 20, 2007; April 10, 2007.

 

Mr. Morris asked if anyone wanted to pull an item from the consent agenda.

 

Motion:  Mr. Strucko moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded, for approval of the consent agenda.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.)

 

Mr. Morris noted that the consent agenda was approved. 

 

                  Regular Item:

 

SDP 2006-071 Gillespie – Preliminary

Request for Preliminary Site Plan to allow the construction of two (2) residential condominium units totaling 16,023 s.f., and 7 total dwelling units on 1.71 acres, and is 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).  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Density in Urban Area 7. (Gerald Gatobu)

 

Mr. Gatobu summarized the staff report and gave a power point presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for Mr. Gatobu.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that on page 3 of the staff report in the review of the modifications of Section 4.2.3.2 staff notes the critical slopes are shown on the inventory map, but not on the composite map.  He asked staff to help him understand the omission.

 

Mr. Gatobu noted that staff has the composite map and inventory map.  The inventory map shows the critical slopes in terms of an inventory taking into account where all the critical slopes are.  The composite map show the critical slopes that of a value that they do not want disturbed.   

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if there has been a judgment that these critical slopes are not as valuable, and Mr. Gatobu replied that was exactly correct.

 

There being no further questions for staff, Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.

 

Clark Gathright, with Daggett and Gregg Architects, said that they worked on the preliminary site plan and submitted it to the Commission back in December.  It was denied and then they appealed it to the Board. The Board deferred the request with a recommendation that they work and resolve this with the engineering staff.  They have done so and feel that they have addressed all of the issues at hand.  He would be happy to answer questions.

 

There being no questions for the applicant, Mr. Morris invited public comment. 

 

Dale Chadwick, resident of 101 Inglewood Court, questioned the contour and whether it would be in front of the apartments and go down the drive way across his neighbor’s front yard.  On his property there is a 30” tube that runs down where the creek runs into his property.  He also has another 20” tube from the other side of the house and he has no idea how big the tube is that goes across the road. He was very concerned whether this pipe that goes across the road can handled the volume of water.  He appreciates the fact they will move his bushes over because it was a problem.  He also appreciated that they finally moved Ms. Cohen’s house where it is 15.5’ from the property line.  There is a berm where the white house use to be to keep the water from running over on her house.  There is a loose rock wall there that right now is the property line that water runs down and ends up leaving leaves and waste at that wall.  They are concerned about that.

 

Tom Szuba, resident of 1703 Solomon Road, said that he appreciates the work that was done on the critical slopes.  That will alleviate what has historically what has been a lot of water damage at the bottom of that hill.  He was still somewhat disappointed at the size of the project.  They are talking about a 16,000 square foot structure.  He was here with the Hessian Hills Neighborhood Association, which represents this area.  They represent single-family homes and duplexes in their community.  They range from below 2,000 square feet to about 3,000 square feet for any given home or duplex.  They are talking about a building that is greater than 5 times as big as any other building in the neighborhood association and certainly those 12 to 15 houses that surround it and look down into that area as their back yard.  The size of the structure is a concern.  They are very reasonable people.  They accept that there will be development there.  They had about 15 people here in December with comments.  The plan tonight shows that clearly 2/3 of that land is critical slopes.  Some of it will be developed.  They are talking about 1/3 of the lot being prime development.  It is zoned R-4.  At what point if the lot was all critical slopes would they need to talk about making the size of the structure smaller.  At some point there is the rule of the zoning and at some point the rule of common sense.  .At the end of the December meeting the
Chair said that the developer should come back with a smaller project.  He was very excited about that because if it was a smaller project the community would not have these concerns.  He passed along his contact information to the developer in December.  It seems like they had some communication issues between the community and this development plan.  They have heard nothing and have had no communications.  They want to see this land developed responsibly.  They have very much a concern about a building of this size.  He asked the Commission to weigh the community’s interest against an individual interest.

 

There being no further public comment, Mr. Morris closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Craddock asked Mr. Schuck to respond to the water run off concerns expressed by the neighbors.  In your analysis in lay terms it looks like it is a lot better than the plan in December.  He asked if that is correct.

 

Allan Schuck said that he was the engineer who reviewed the plan.  Regarding the 30” pipe on the speaker’s property he felt that the drainage from his property will adequately be taken care of through the driveway with the new proposed system. He did not anticipate any drainage problems from the new development onto the neighbor’s property as shown on the plan.  They will have engineered plans for the drainage system to provide for the storms that are required by County Code.  Those will be taken care of with the final site plan.  The previous drainage issue was where they were piping the water behind.  That has been adequately addressed with this plan.  They are proposing a natural retaining wall, but leaving the natural channel in its existing condition.  That was one of staff’s major concerns as well.  They feel that has been adequately addressed with this plan.

 

Mr. Craddock asked if the existing 30” pipe was large enough to handle whatever runoff comes off of this.

 

Mr. Schuck said that he did not know the exact drainage area that goes to that particular area.  It may or may not be.

 

Mr. Strucko asked if his analysis take into consideration any aggravation of the drainage problem with the critical slopes disturbance.

 

Mr. Schuck replied that they take it into consideration with two measures.  One is making sure that they have enough room to provide enough adequate perimeter controls for erosion and sediment control when they are moving the dirt during construction.   The applicant has provided room. They have asked for at least 5’ off the property lines to adequately provide a diversion ditch, silt fence or whatever would be required.  The other requirement is adequate storm water management facilities.  They feel that they will get that as well with this plan.  They have to meet the detention requirement as well as the water requirement as per County Code.  With the analysis of the critical slopes with this slope they will be adequately addressed with the final site plan.  Staff has not seen final design computations on those yet.  But, those will be reviewed accordingly when they are submitted. 

 

There being no further comments, Mr. Morris closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Zobrist said that he could not reach the point of making the findings required.  He was not certain where all of the water was going to go. 

 

Mr. Strucko said that his primary concern was the sensitivity of this particular parcel, its location and the nature of it.   He recalled back in December when they had the first public hearing on this and they received a delayed history of this area and how sensitive it is to runoff problem.  He appreciates the applicant’s changing of the water management, but he was still concerned about the critical slope disturbance.

 

Mr. Zobrist added that it was going to change the character of the property by the removal of the natural shrubs and vegetation.  It is just too much for the site.

 

Motion: Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, for denial of SDP-2006-071, Gillespie - Preliminary, as proposed based on the grounds that the three findings cannot be made as set forth and required by the ordinance, as follows:

 

1.       The first finding could not be made, as noted in the staff report, because 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.       Regarding the second finding the Commission was unable to make that finding for the reason that the degradation of the area would be overreaching for the area and that they could reduce the size of the disturbed area. This proposal is developing the project to the maximum extent possible under the R-4 zoning.  Therefore, the applicant could scale back the scope of the project. 

3.       Regarding finding 3 the Commission could not find any immediately identifiable reasons that would be considered as a greater import in granting the waiver as noted in the staff report.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.) 

 

Mr. Morris stated that SDP-2006-071, Gillespie – Preliminary was denied.  The applicant has ten (10) days from the date of the decision to appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

 

            Public Hearing Items:

 

SP 2007-003, North Pointe Stream Crossing – Middle Entrance (Signs #40, 74): 

PROPOSED: Fill in the floodplain of Flat Branch Creek for a road crossing to provide access for the North Pointe development.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE:  PD-MC  Planned Development - Mixed Commercial with which allows large-scale commercial uses; and residential by special use permit (15 units/ acre); FH Flood Hazard Overlay District – agricultural, recreational, and utility location uses which will not pose a danger to life or property in the event of a flood; EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District – overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access.

SECTION: 30.3.05.2.1 (2) of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for fill in the floodplain.

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

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes.

LOCATION: East Side of Route 29 North (Seminole Trail) across from Northside Drive.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 32-20, 32-23.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rivanna

STAFF:  Tamara Ambler

 

Ms. Ambler summarized the staff report and gave a power point presentation.

 

 

 

·         Staff recommends a number of conditions of approval.

 

Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.

 

Valerie Long, attorney for the applicant North Pointe Charlottesville, LLC, stated that others present are Steve Hopkins, with North Pointe Charlottesville and Ron Keeney, the project architect and manager. Staff did a great job of summarizing all of the issues and taking some very technical issues and summarizing them down into laymen terms.  As staff indicated, this is the second special use permit for a stream crossing at North Pointe.  They anticipate that it will be the final one.  They don’t require one for the southern most crossing because it does not cross the stream at that point.  They hope this will be the last time they have to come before the Commission with these technical issues.  Staff is correct that the time that it takes to prepare the road plans and work with the state and federal agencies and obtain the water quality permits is the reason for the request for the five year period to commence construction of the use as opposed to the standard two year period.  That is consistent with the prior approval for the first special use permit that they obtained earlier this year.  They appreciate this flexibility so that they can work with the County Engineer on the roads and not have to come back again for revisions to the permit.  They would be happy to answer any questions.

 

Mr. Morris invited public comment.  There being none the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that he was struggling with why they need be making a decision on this before VDOT or the federal and state water quality permitting agencies have weighed in on it.  He was trying to figure out what benefit to the community there is in moving ahead with it now rather than waiting until they have that information.  There seems to be a lot of unanswered questions.  They have worked very hard to try to figure out a way to make sure that all of those issues are covered.  But, he was really struggling with what the urgency is on this in not waiting until VDOT signs off.  The applicant has shown the Commission two alternatives, but they don’t know if either one of them are going to be accepted by VDOT.  There may be a whole different configuration that will be required.  He questioned whether they will have an arch culvert or a box culvert.  The Commission does not have that information yet.  If VDOT is not going to let them do an arch culvert, he would like to know that before they issue the special use permit.

 

Mr. Morris agreed that a great deal of time and effort has been put in by the applicant and staff on this.  It is an excellent proposal, but an awful lot of unanswered questions.  He asked that the applicant come back up and address this.

 

Ms. Long pointed out that this is how they handled the special use permit for the northern entrance as well, which was approved earlier this year.  The conditions of approval are nearly identical, except for a few minor revisions and changes that were more specific to this particular application. Similarly with the special user permit that was approved earlier this year the conditions of approval state very clearly that the final road plans, the final computations and designs have to be approved by the County Engineering staff. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if she could answer the question of why is it important to do this now.

 

Ms. Long replied that as she understands it, and she would defer to staff for their response, that the level of detail that they need to make the determination of whether it is appropriate or acceptable to allow the fill in the flood plain as proposed that there does need to be some minimal amounts of information provided in some basic design carried out and conducted, which they have done.  But, that they do not require full blown road plans to be prepared and all of the permits to be issued in advance.  This is consistent with how many other special use permits for stream crossings have been reviewed and approved by the Board with other projects in the community.  They don’t require all of that detail up front.  They allow the applicant to have the comfort of knowing that the special use permit is approved before they engage engineers and water quality experts and others to go forward to work to obtain all of those permits.  They have actually engaged already water quality firms.  The Williamsburg Environmental Group has been involved in the North Pointe project. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked when the applicant plans on having this information.  When will VDOT and the state and federal water quality permitting agencies provide what they are going to require. 

 

Ms. Long replied that she did not know exactly. She would defer the question to Mr. Kenney.  The road plans and the crossing that is shown in the application and the design of the road network shown in the application were identical to the road plans that were submitted with the rezoning and approved as part of the rezoning.  It is the same land configurations, the same street trees and plantings in the median and so forth.  The conditions of approval will reiterate that.  They don’t expect to have a problem obtaining VDOT approval.  There may be questions. They want to make sure that the design of the road across the dam is going to meet their requirements.  That has been covered by the conditions of approval.  They have worked very closely with the staff, particularly Mr. Brooks in the Engineering Department, to make sure that all of the issues were covered and they are confident.  There is more work to be done.  Those details are yet to be resolve.  But, that does not the impact the final determination by the staff, which is that the fill in the floodplain at this location with the information they have provided they are confident with what they have provided combined with the conditions of approval that require the staff to sign off on the final drawings is sufficient information to make the determination that the fill in the floodplain is warranted in this location.  She asked Mr. Keeney to response more specifically to the question.

 

Mr. Keeney replied they have to get approval from about 4 or 5 agencies, which includes the County.  The other four are very technical.  He displayed the profile of the culvert. VDOT concern about this was the fact that they are ultimately going to own the road way; and, therefore become responsible for the culvert.  So they are concerned about the footings under that culvert and how the footings are put in and the soil at those pointes.  That is an example of where they believe engineering and soil borings and things are going to be done that have to satisfy VDOT, which are probably beyond what the Commission are concerned about in terms of generally approving this. So they are trying to move forward with all five steps as they can. They are actively working with DEQ.  He felt that are fairly close with them.  VDOT is going to want to know which culvert they are actually putting in. 

 

Mr. Edgerton said that he would like to know, too.  Back to his original question, when do they expect to have this information from VDOT and the federal and state water quality control agencies?  When will they have a final determination from them?

 

Mr. Keeney replied that from the DEQ it will be within 3 to 4 months.  VDOT is going to go right down to actual soil borings under the footings of the culvert before they will agree to accept the culvert. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked when that would be.  He asked when VDOT would have enough information to make a decision.  Staff is working with the applicant, but the Commission has to make this decision.  The Commission’s responsibility is to make a recommendation to the Board.  He was struggling with making a recommendation not knowing what he is recommending.

 

Mr. Keeney replied that engineering is going to submit all of their information the way they want it and the VDOT approval is probably going to be the very last thing they get.  At that point they will have DEQ approval and local staff approval.  They hope to have the Commission and Board approval.  They are waiting to get the foundation right under the culvert so that VDOT will eventually accept the road way.

 

Mr. Zobrist asked if they could tentatively approve a crossing here and call it back for when these other questions are open.

 

Mr. Kamptner replied that the special use permit will be acted on by the Board of Supervisors. The Commission is only making a recommendation.

 

Ms. Long suggested that she articulate her response a little bit better.  The question for the Commission and the Board is the fill in the floodplain at this location permissible.  That becomes a question of what is the impact on the floodplain if this fill is put in place as proposed. Staff analyzed the issue and confirmed that there will be some very minor impacts on the floodplain.  It will increase and expand in some areas.  It will decrease slightly in other areas.  But, all of those impacts are contained within the project area.  There will be no adverse impacts on any off site properties.  They can address any potential impacts that might result through a variety of mitigation measures and a variety of design alternatives.  The design perimeters that they ultimately utilize do not change the answer of can those impacts, if any, be mitigated.  Can they be controlled and addressed?  Is there any impact on adjacent properties?  The fundamental question for the special use permit is what the impact is on the floodplain if this fill is carried forward as proposed.  Staff has said that minor changes to the floodplain are all manageable provided that they comply with the conditions of approval.  They obviously will do that and don’t have a concern.  She appreciated Mr. Zobrist’s proposal because they really need to have the special use permit approved so that they can move forward. 

 

Mr. Zobrist agreed with Mr. Edgerton that he did not understand the hurry, and Ms. Long replied that they have a number of the state and local permits to obtain.  Until they know with absolute certainty that the special use permit is approved it is difficult to expend the significant financial resources and to move forward and continue working on the project.

 

Mr. Morris noted that part of the applicant’s concern involved obtaining VDOT’s approval in a timely fashion.

 

Ms. Long agreed and noted that staff has been very cooperative and forward thinking about that issue.  Staff has been smart in the way they drafted the conditions in saying that they shall use a culvert, but if VDOT won’t approve this type of culvert staff wants to be used, then these are the perimeters that they will allow.  Meetings have been held with VDOT and they are comfortable with the language.  They have worked very hard to consider all of those issues.  They are optimistic that VDOT will be supportive of the culvert.  The question is not so much about design, but in making sure that the footings are not going to be washed away by the stream.  Those are the only technical issues they are prepared to address and make sure they are comfortable with.  But, if for some reason they can’t get them comfortable with the specifics, the staff has specified some fall back language in designs that they, too, can be comfortable with as an alternative if that is the case.

 

Mr. Zobrist said that part of the reaction is that the Commission is pushing a lot of stuff to the staff they think is our decision.  The Commission loses control of the conditions.

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that the applicant was granted a rezoning last August based on a schematic plan.  Now they are finalizing the plan and part of that requires certain approvals from this body.  The rezoning showed a crossing in this location.  It is conceivable that VDOT is going to say no that it won’t work.  At which point he starts to wonder what foundation they have laid down for this.  Personally, he was not going to be comfortable on this until he was absolutely certain that VDOT is going to approve a crossing in this location and to give us the specifics of what kind of a crossing it will be.  The rezoning showed a crossing, but not the engineering or what kind of culvert would be used.  He did not understand why the Commission needs to jump through hoops before receiving the information needed to make a reasonable recommendation.

 

Mr. Keeney said that in a meeting with staff and VDOT that VDOT’s concern at that point was of the particular culvert that had been shown initially, which was a double culvert.  They specifically requested a different style culvert.  They are coming back and putting that culvert in.  That culvert is shown, which is the one VDOT is requesting at this point. One of the issues staff had was about the fact that this was a long culvert, which was 190’ of a straight line.  The stream does not run in a straight line for 190’.  They are going to have to straighten it out as it goes through the culvert.  VDOT has said that if they put that culvert in and they can get all of the footings and things right or the technical engineering underneath so that the culvert does not settle, then they believe that they are quite comfortable saying that this crossing can occur at this point.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that he would like to see that information before he makes a decision.   He would like to have some assurance from VDOT and especially from the federal and state water control agencies that they are comfortable with the crossing in this location and how it will be accommodated.

 

Mr. Morris asked Mr. Brooks to come forward and address the Commission.

 

Glenn Brooks, County Engineer, said they do have VDOT’s nod on this project.  It is the County that would like the applicant to provide the arch with the footings.  The County is the one pushing that for environmental reasons. It is better for the stream.  VDOT won’t tell us a go on that until the contractor is on the ground and digging the footings and they have tested the soil.  It is not going to be realistic to have them give a seal of approval at this point.  If they want a seal of approval they will use a box culvert.  VDOT will give that a seal of approval, but it would be worse from an environmental standpoint.  That is why they don’t do that.  They would like to try the arch, but may end up with boxes. It is hard to push an environmental agenda through VDOT, but they are trying.  So that is the VDOT question.  The CORPS and DEQ permit it is a risk they take.  If the ARY CORPS and DEQ say no they don’t want them to disturb this much stream, then they have to come back and revise their permit.  |

 

Mr. Zobrist asked if VDOT has not raised any issues about that particular crossing.

 

Mr. Brooks replied no, that staff has had them involved in meetings and have been a part of the process since the rezoning.  All of the people staff has talked with at the local residency have said yes that they are okay with this. 

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if VDOT has given staff an indication that they are comfortable with a crossing in this specific location, and Mr. Brooks replied yes.

 

Mr. Zobrist suggested adding a condition about the culvert.

 

Mr. Brooks noted that they have a condition to that effect.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that he would want to see the arch culvert.

 

Ms. Ambler noted that staff has stated that preference.  The comments received back from an engineer review were basically technical issues. 

 

Mr. Cilimberg said that the special use permit enables the applicant to move forward in achieving what they want to achieve in this project.  Without the special use permit, then they can’t do that.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that they can’t do borings without a special use permit.

 

Mr. Cilimberg replied that it would be disturbing the floodplain.

 

Mr. Kamptner asked Mr. Brooks if the alternate was either the box or arch culvert.

 

Mr. Brooks replied yes, that the first two alternatives discussed would be either an arch or box culvert.  The bridge was another alternative they have not talked about.  The fourth alternative was, as Mr. Edgerton indicated, was relocating.  A bridge would require a lot more maintenance.  The arch culvert could be more maintenance if the footings are scoured by the stream.  That is what they are careful of.  If everything works to our advantage and the soils test well, then they will be allowed to install the arch culvert.  If the soils do not test well they will ask for a box culvert or a bottom put on the arch.

 

Mr. Zobrist suggested that they could eliminate language and say box culverts may be used.

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested that it say subject to Planning Commission review.

 

Mr. Kamptner noted that would be fine to add.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if they are not even allowed to go into a boring to find out how stable the soil is.

 

Mr. Brooks replied that it was a possibility that they cold so that.  He was not sure how much disturbance was required in those sorts of borings.  It usually is not more than a 2’ X 2’ area for a couple of spots.

 

Mr. Morris noted that it is in a floodplain.

:

Mr. Brooks noted that it is an expense, too, which was a concern.

 

Mr. Zobrist asked that the conditions raised by staff be included and provide that condition 5 shall delete “the approval of county staff” on the last line on page 6 and replace with “subject to Planning Commission review and approval.”  In addition condition 12 should be added.

 

Motion: Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Craddock seconded, for approval of SP-2007-003, North Pointe Stream Crossing – Middle Entrance, with staff’s recommended conditions, as amended.

 

  1. The applicant must obtain a map revision, letter of revision, or letter of amendment as required from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and copy the County Engineer on all correspondence, since changes to the floodplain are proposed.

 

  1. County and VDOT approval of the final lane configuration for North Side Drive over the stream crossing with the final road plans

 

  1. County approval of hydrologic and hydraulic computations for the dam, culvert crossing and channels is required prior to issuance of grading permits.

 

  1. Unless otherwise permitted by the County Engineer, there shall be no disturbance within 50 feet of the stream channel, exclusive of the dam, the culvert under North Side Drive East, and walking trails.  (In the Figure 2 above, the grading shown at points 1 and 2 must be eliminated, and where proposed contours are shown closer than 50’ to the stream, such as at point 3, the grading must be pulled back.)

 

  1. The culvert under North Side Drive shall be an arch culvert which leaves the natural stream channel and banks undisturbed for a minimum width of 24 feet.  In the case that VDOT does not approve the placement of footings or the arch span under North Side Drive, box culverts may be used, subject to the review and approval of the Planning Commission.  In this case a minimum of two culverts with one countersunk for base stream flow shall be used, with impacts to the FEMA floodplain equal to or better than for the arch culvert span.

 

  1. County Engineer approval of the following:
    1. The culvert and embankments for North Side Drive shall encroach a maximum of 190 feet along the stream channel.
    2. The dam shall be designed with an emergency spillway (separate from the primary spillway) which will pass the 100 year storm (base flood) under the road which traverses the dam.
    3. The dam shall allow for a continuation of the base flow in the stream.

 

  1. Unless otherwise permitted by the County Engineer, buildings and structural foundations shall be a minimum of 20 feet from the limits of the floodplain.  (This is a precautionary measure, anticipating the reaction of owners or tenants to water levels close to buildings, such as proposed in Area 1 in Figure 2.)

 

  1. Army Corp of Engineers, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and other necessary state and federal agency approvals must be obtained prior to issuance of grading permits.

 

  1. Natural Resources Manager approval of a stream buffer mitigation plan prior to the issuance of a grading permit prior to placement of any fill in the floodplain, and County approval an erosion and sediment control plan prior to the issuance of a grading permit for placement of any fill in the floodplain.

 

  1. Design Planner approval of a landscape plan.  The landscape plan shall be shown on the road plans and erosion and sediment control plans submitted for North Side Drive. The landscape plan shall include a complete planting schedule keyed to the plan and shall provide the following:

 

    1. Existing tree line and proposed tree line to remain, the limits of clearing and grading, and tree protection
    2. Provide an informal planting of mixed tree and shrub species and sizes to compensate for removed vegetation, and low-growing plants to stabilize slopes in the areas of proposed grading and tree removal.  This planting shall occur regardless of the grading proposal (DDR or KCA) chosen.
    3. Provide large shade trees on the north and south side of North Side Drive, along the sidewalk and space reserved for the sidewalk, 2 ˝” caliper minimum at planting, 40’ on center, for a minimum distance of 400’ from the existing edge of pavement of Route 29 North.
    4. Provide large shade trees on the north and south side of North Side Drive, along the sidewalk and space reserved for the sidewalk, 2 ˝” caliper minimum at planting, 40’ on center, for a minimum distance of 400’ from the existing edge of pavement of Route 29 North.

 

  1. Design details of the retaining walls, including column cap design, pier design, stone finish, etc. shall be shown on the road plans and are subject to review of the Design Planner.

 

  1. If the use, structure, or activity for which this special use permit is issued is not commenced within sixty (60) months after the permit is issued, the permit shall be deemed abandoned and the authority granted there under shall thereupon terminate.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.) 

 

Mr. Morris stated that SP-2007-003, North Pointe Stream Crossing – Middle Entrance will go before the Board of Supervisors on June 6, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.

 

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SP 2007-002, Farm Worker Housing (Sign #38):

PROPOSED: Farm worker housing facilities including 5 sleeping cabins and 1 kitchen/bath structure for 10 seasonal workers.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre).

SECTION: 10.2.2.51, Farm worker housing, Class B (more than ten occupants or more than two sleeping structures).

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre).

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No.

LOCATION: 571 Coles Rolling Road (Route 712), approximately 1 mile east of the intersection with Route 713.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 122 Parcel 10.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Scottsville.

STAFF:  Scott Clark

 

Mr. Clark summarized the staff report and gave a power point presentation.

 

·         This is a request for approval of a special use permit for farm worker housing.  In this case it is for a facility with 5 sleeping structures and one separate kitchen/bath structure.  It located on the southeastern portion of the County on Coles Rolling Road east of Route 20.  

 

·         The applicant’s intention is to house up to 10 seasonal farm worker interns on an organic vegetable farm.  The interns will be summer workers and also learning about agriculture on the site.  The 5 sleeping structures were built prior to the adoption of the new ordinance for farm worker housing.  The structures have not been used for farm worker housing or for any other use.  The structures were built and the work ceased as they went through the process to develop the ordinance.  Had the structures been used, it would have been in violation.  But, they have not at this point.  There is a building across the entry way that would be the kitchen and bath building.  Just to the west there is a new parking area for the use as there is no parking existing on the site. 

 

·         The property is under conservation easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.  Staff discussed this proposal with the VOF staff and they have verified that this use is acceptable under the terms of the deed.  The property is also in the Carter’s Bridge Agricultural/Forestal District.  The Agricultural/Forestal District Committee discussed this and unanimously supported the proposal for this use. 

 

·         There is one piece of new information staff received today. The applicants have gotten their approval from the Department of Health for a migrant worker camp, which was required as part of their zoning clearance.  They need to have that state approval.  Unfortunately staff found out today that although the application is for 10 workers the Virginia Health Department has only approved it for 8 workers at the moment.  They indicated that could change once the monitoring is done on the amount of water used on the site. Although the application is for 10 workers for some period of time the Department of Health would only allow 8.  The zoning clearance would allow 8 workers until they come back with a new approval from the Health Department allowing 10.  All of that could be handled through zoning clearance process, is laid out in the supplemental regulations.

 

·         The Virginia Department of Transportation has stated that sight distance at the entrance to the site from Coles Rolling Road is insufficient. Drivers exiting the site cannot see traffic approaching from the right. The applicant has contracted to have the necessary clearing (shrubby vegetation will be removed) and grading done. The use will not receive a zoning clearance to begin until VDOT has verified that the entrance is acceptable (as required in 5.1.44(h)); no additional condition of approval is needed.

 

·         Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

o        The use supports agricultural production in the Rural Areas.

o        The facility would use existing structures, would require minimal changes to the site, and could easily revert to other farm uses.

 

·         Staff has identified the following factors unfavorable to this application:

o        Sight distance along Coles Rolling Road is insufficient for vehicles exiting the site. This problem can be solved with clearing of shrubby vegetation and some grading.

 

·         The property is adjacent to the Pine Knot historic site, and is located within the proposed Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District. However, the proposed housing facility is approximately 2,700 feet from Pine Knot, which is not visible from the site due to the forested state of the Pine Knot property. The Historic Preservation Planner has reviewed the request, and the addition of seasonal farm worker housing to an existing farm is not expected to create impacts on Pine Knot or the proposed District.

 

·         There is an application in this matter for a site plan waiver, which comes about because no parking on site.  Staff felt that a site plan waiver was appropriate given the low impact level of the use.

 

·         Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of Special Use Permit 2007-02 Farm Worker Housing with conditions.  Staff also recommends approval of the site plan waiver, SDP 2007-00032 Farm Worker Housing.

 

Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to come forward.

 

Mathew Holt, Farm Manger of Maple Hill Farm and resident of 7129 Maple Hill Farm, spoke for the application. The big part about having the interns come out on to the farm is that they are a certified organic farm. They can not use conventional methods for organic farming, which is labor intense.  There is also an education part to it.  Most of their workers are grad students who are interested in this for the future and the practical application is really one way for them to understand what they have learned.  That is why they are seeking approval for it.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked what those buildings have been used for and how long have they been there.

 

Mr. Holt replied that the buildings have been there 2 years.  One season the buildings had chickens in them.  The kitchen/bathhouse use to be owned by Mr. Kluge for his kennel.

 

Mr. Morris invited public comment.  There being none the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.

 

Regarding special use permit:

 

Motion:  Mr. Strucko moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded, for approval of SP-2007-002, Farm Worker Housing, with staff’s recommended conditions.

 

1.       The improvements proposed under SP 2007-00002 and the scale and location of the improvements shall be developed in general accord with the conceptual plan entitled “Conceptual Plan for SP 2007-032” (including the attached sheet titled “Conceptual plan for farm worker housing”), revised March 23, 2007, and initialed “SMC”.

2.       Parking spaces shall be delineated by bumper blocks. Bumper blocks shall be constructed of a durable material such as concrete or treated timbers. Each bumper block shall be a minimum length of six (6) feet, a maximum height of five (5) inches, and shall be securely anchored into the ground in at least two (2) places.

3.       The parking area shall be surfaced with gravel. A minimum depth of 6 inches of #57 or #21A stone shall be used to surface the entire parking area.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.) 

 

Regarding site plan waiver:

 

Mr. Strucko moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded, for approval of the site plan waiver for SP-2007-002, Farm Worker Housing.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.) 

 

Mr. Morris stated that SP-2007-002, Farm Worker Housing will go before the Board of Supervisors on June 6, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.

 

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The Planning Commission took a ten minute break at 7:28 p.m.

 

The meeting reconvened at 7:34 p.m.

 

CPA 2007-003, Green Building and Sustainability Amendments:  The proposed amendments would add language to the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets of the Comprehensive Plan in support of the County’s sustainability initiative. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan include text that establish general parameters for achieving goals with respect to green building, address County buildings and operations in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability, and provide support for the development community and the public in general relative to green building and sustainability.  (Sean Dougherty)

 

Mr. Dougherty summarized the staff report.

 

 

 

 

Staff updated the Commission on the following items:

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Strucko noted that for Comp Plan language staff is expressing specific things here.  He mentions the Blue Home Builder Government Affairs Committee.  Should this document be more general in terminology?  He suggested saying regional or local home building organization in conjunction with local government.

 

Mr. Dougherty agreed that statement could be more general of an approach and leave it open.  He agreed that things could change within the next few years.  The three mentioned have a solid track record.   That statement could be more general.

 

Mr. Strucko suggested that the statement be left more open ended

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that staff has identified the three independent certification programs that exist right now.  There may be others down the road.  He would not have any trouble adding or comparables. It has taken a long time to develop this.  The LEED has been developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  It has taken forever for them to get their LEED Commercial Interiors program.  They have LEED for homes that have completed a pilot program, which is moving into implementation this fall.  They are officially going to be letting it out of the box this fall.  That does not mean that LEED for home houses have not been built, but they were all part of the pilot program. Energy Star has been funded by the Department of Energy.  It has an energy focus on it.  Earthcraft is a program that was developed in Atlanta by the South Face Institute and focuses not only on energy, but also mold and humidity issues and building materials.  It takes a long time to get these certified.  The most important word in that line is certification because one has to be able to measure how successful the effort is.  Otherwise, it is what they call green washing.  Therefore, he would be delighted to add or comparable.

 

Mr. Strucko said that he liked the idea of specifics because it helps the reader, but then it is left open for other certifications.  Comp Plans are 10 to 20 year documents and no one knows what is going to happen.  He supported the Green Building concept for anything in the CIP.  He liked the financial and environmental efficiencies.  That is something that the community should pursue.

 

Mr. Edgerton thanked Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Temple for all of their hard work.  He was very excited about what they have done.  He felt that they were taking a very positive step forward if they can get the County to adopt this

 

Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited public comment.

 

Jay Willer, Executive Vice President of the Blue Ridge Homeowners Association, said that they are very pleased with what they are doing here.  Staff is doing a great job. They appreciate the County’s leadership on the larger building side of things, just like Blue Ridge Homeowner’s is trying to show some leadership in encouraging builders to build Earthcraft residential units.  His original conversation with Mr. Dougherty about the bullet that they just changed was pretty much what the Commission just said.  He asked that they not specific LEED’s as originally said, but we want to make sure that everybody understands there is no one single approach to these things.  The real impact is encouraging everybody to build energy efficient environmentally sensitive buildings in whatever method they chose to pursue.  They particularly like Earthcraft for residential construction for a number of reasons.  Even within their organization they are trying to be very careful that they don’t create the impression that it is the only way to go.  So, again, they appreciate the Commission’s support for what the County can do to show leadership in the larger part of the building industry while they focus on residential.  On the weekends of June 9/10 and 16/17 they are conducting some open houses to show 12 different Earthcraft homes primarily in Albemarle County, some of which will be completed and others still under construction.  So they can go to these homes and see what it actually means.  On Thursday, June 7 there will be a kick off reception of which the Commission will be invited to where they can talk with the builders and see all of the information about all of those houses.  They are excited about what they are doing to promote Green Building in the residential level.  They are excited about what the County is doing through this kind of approach to encourage the rest of the building industry.  They are happy to work with the County in any way they can to make this all successful.

 

Mr. Morris invited other public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Strucko suggested that staff broaden the statement to say Blue Ridge Homebuilders or other local building advocates.

 

Mr. Willer agreed that for Comp Plan language it should be as broad as possible, but they appreciated being mentioned and did not want the participation limited to them.

 

Mr. Cilimberg suggested that it say Blue Ridge Homeowners Association because the committee is within the association.

 

Mr. Zobrist suggested adding or other similar local groups and take out advocacy.

 

Motion:  Mr. Edgerton moved, Mr. Craddock seconded, to recommend approval of the language for CPA-2007-003, Green Building and Sustainability Amendments, to the Board of Supervisors for inclusion in the Comp Plan with staff’s recommended conditions, as amended.

 

o        Broaden the statement regarding builders and developers to include Blue Ridge Home Owners and similar local groups.

o        Encourage builders and developers to pursue green building certifications, such as Earthcraft and Energy Star, in addition to LEED and other similar certifications.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:0.  (Mr. Cannon and Ms. Joseph were absent.) 

 

Mr. Morris stated that CPA-2007-003, Green Building and Sustainability Amendments will go before the Board of Supervisors on June 6, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.

 

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Old Business:

 

Mr. Morris asked if there was any old business. 

 

There being no further old business, the meeting moved on to the next item.

 

            New Business:

           

Mr. Morris asked if there was any new business.

 

 

 

There being no further new business, the meeting proceeded.

 

Adjournment:

 

With no further items, the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. to the Tuesday, May 16, 2007 meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the County Office Building, Second Floor, Room 320, 401 McIntire Road.

 

 

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