Project Name:  SUB 06-375 Ashcroft West – Private Street waiver and Open Space approval

Staff: David Pennock, Allan Shuck

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

May 1, 2007

Board of Supervisors Hearing:


Owners:  Pantops-Lakeridge, LLC

Applicant: Pantops-Lakeridge, LLC

Acreage: 253.34

(103.33ac. R -1, 61.83ac. RA, 89.15ac. PRD)

Rezone from: Not applicable

Special Use Permit for: Not applicable

TMP:  Tax Map 78, Parcel 57 (in part)          

Location: proposed access from Summit Rdige Trail [Private] via Lego Drive [Private]

By-right use: RA, R-1, and PRD – Single-family residential

Magisterial District: Rivanna

Proffers/Conditions: no

Requested # of Dwelling Lots: 28

DA –                            RA – 89 of 150 acres

Proposal: Applicant proposes subdivision containing open space and served by Private Streets.  Previous approval has expired.

Comp. Plan Designation: The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as, in part, Neighborhood Density in Development Areas Neighborhood 3 and, in part, Rural Areas in Rural Area 1.

Character of Property:  This property is mostly wooded and fairly steep.  No existing structures are on the site.

Use of Surrounding Properties: Adjacent to multiple residential subdivisions, including Franklin, Ashcroft, and proposed Lakeridge.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval to the Commission of the requested waiver to allow private streets and the finding of appropriateness for the open space areas.



STAFF CONTACT:                           David E. Pennock, AICP; Allan Shuck, EIT;

PLANNING COMMISSION:          May 1, 2007


AGENDA TITLE:                             SUB 2006-375: Ashcroft West – Private Street authorization request


PROPERTY OWNER:                      Pantops – Lakeridge, LLC

APPLICANT:                                     Pantops – Lakeridge, LLC


Applicant's Proposal:

The applicant has requested preliminary plat approval to create 28 lots on an 89 acre Planned Residential District (PRD) zoned portion of a 253 acre parcel.  The property, described as Tax Map 78, Parcel 57, is located in the Rivanna Magisterial District on Summit Ridge Trail [Private] at the end of Lego Drive [Private] in the Ashcroft Subdivision.  This request is for authorization to allow improvement and extension of the existing private street, Summit Ridge Trail.  In addition, the current proposal includes portions of open space, which must be approved by the Planning Commission.



The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as, in part, Neighborhood Density in Development Areas Neighborhood 3 and, in part, Rural Areas in Rural Area 1.  Areas higher than 700 feet elevation (including all of this portion of the property) fall within the Mountain Resource Overlay District.  However, the approval of the Planned Residential District zoning designation for this property and the application plan associated with that rezoning predates the creation of the Mountain Resource Overlay District.



This parcel included a very large area; thus, much of the history is now associated with other projects.


ZMA 1994-006 – North Pantops, LLCPortions of the property were zoned to R-1.  Property over 600 feet in elevation was not; elevations over 600 feet are now considered to be in the Rural Areas.

SUB 2004-103, SUB 2005-180, SUB 2006-163 – Lakeridge – A preliminary subdivision plat proposing 104 lots was approved April 17, 2007 by the Planning Commission.


SUB 1997-036, SUB 1998-062, SUB 1998-273, SUB 1999-082, SUB 1999-088 – These are the approvals for the preliminary and final plats for Fontana, Phases 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B, which were formerly part of this property.


SP 1997-034 – Special Permit approval for Frost Montessori School

SDP 1997-078 – Preliminary Site Plan approval for Frost Montessori School


ZMA 1979-027, ZMA 1988-004, ZMA 1996-014[sic]Initiated and twice amended a plan for the Planned Residential Development (PRD) (formerly known as RPN); this area is the segment that is part of this request.  The application plan approved with the ZMA predates many current ordinance requirements.

SUB 2005-091, SUB 2006-375 – Ashcroft West – This is a preliminary subdivision plat for the PRD zoned portion of the property.  This subdivision plat received preliminary approval for 28 lots July 6, 2005.  That approval was valid for one year, and has since expired.



The Planning Commission will need to act on the waiver request, and make findings on the appropriateness of the proposed Open Space (Attachment D).  This staff report is organized to address the issues separately.  The Commission must act on both items.  The items to be addressed are:


Subdivision Ordinance

1.   Section 14-234 – waiver to allow private streets

Zoning Ordinance

2.   Section 4.7 - approval of Open space


This item has previously been before the Planning Commission on two occasions, most recently on July 26, 2005.  At that meeting, the preliminary subdivision plat was approved, including a waiver to allow private streets and a finding by the Planning Commission that the proposed open space was appropriate.  The previous approvals expired July 26, 2006 because no final subdivision plat or street construction plans were filed within one year.  The applicant has resubmitted the preliminary subdivision plat with substantially the same layout as the previously approved version.





The request for a private road, Summit Ridge Trail, in the Ashcroft West Subdivision, submitted according to Subdivision Ordinance section 14-234A.1, has been reviewed.  The road profiles and grading have been analyzed as follows: 


Description of private road1:



Public Road

Private Road

Length in miles



Width of section (ft) pavement+shoulder+shoulder

20+4+4= 26'

20+4+4 = 26'2

Right-of-way or easement width



Maximum Grade



Side slope (horizontal:vertical)



Maximum fill height (ft)



Maximum cut height (ft)



Volume of fill (cubic yards)



Volume of cut (cy)



Volume of Earthwork (cy)



% increase in earthwork

100[(36960-19178)/19178]= 93%  * Please see below



1These figures are based on the applicant's computations.  The applicant has not supplied field run profiles for this analysis as required by Section 14-234A.1. 


2This analysis assumes a 20’ width throughout - Note that the pavement width for Road D was decreased to 18’ from 20’. 


Compliance with Subdivision Ordinance section 14-232A.1;


14-232A.1 (i) property in the Rural Areas or Village Residential zoning district:  

The property is zoned PRD.


14-232A.1 (ii) private road would alleviate a clearly demonstrable danger of significant degradation to the environment: 

The applicant has shown that the proposed private road would have less earthwork than a public road.


14-232A.1 (iii) no alternative public street alignment is available:

There are possible alternative alignments.  It appears alternative alignments could bring the volume difference below 30%.  The proposed road could be divided into two separate areas. The first area from approximate Stations 11+50 to 15+50:  The road could be realigned along this stretch of 12% grades or simply graded at 10% (2% less than proposed).  At the area from Station 15+50 to end:  There should be no grading difference along this ~3000’ section of road.


14-232A.1 (iv) no more lots are proposed on the private road than could be created on the public road:

The difference in right-of-way width and vertical alignment does not affect the lot yield in this subdivision.


14-232A.1. (a) the total volume of grading for construction of a public street would be thirty (30) percent or more than that of a private road in the same alignment:

The applicant has demonstrated that a public road along the same alignment would increase earthwork by more than 30%.  However, the earthwork difference is achieved mainly through differences in vertical grades in approximately 400’, Stations 11+50 to 15+00 and 37+00 to 41+50, of the proposed 3350’ of road.  For these two areas, the 2% grade difference is not significant enough to warrant a private road over a public road.  The vertical grades could be lessened from Station 37+50 to 41+50 to eliminate a significant amount of cut from the total excavation.  Both the public and private road profiles attempt to follow the existing ridgeline. The earthwork differences are exaggerated, especially from Station 37+50 to 41+50.


14-232A.1. (b),Environmental impacts including, but no limited to, erosion and sedimentation, stormwater runoff, surface water pollution, loss of tree cover...:

In this case, environmental impacts, other than volume of earthwork, will not be significantly different between a public road and private road along the same alignment.  Stream buffer and critical slope disturbances would be roughly the same. 


The applicant has demonstrated that the total volume of grading for construction of a public road would be thirty (30%) percent more than that of a private road in the same alignment.  The engineering review recommends approval to the private road request.


SECTION 14-234(C):

Per Section 14-234(c), the Commission may authorize one or more private roads to be constructed in a subdivision if it finds that one or more of the circumstances described in section 14-232 exists and that:


1.      The private road will be adequate to carry the traffic volume which may be reasonably expected to be generated by the subdivision.

It has been demonstrated that the street will be adequate to carry the traffic volume expected to be generated by the creation of these 28 new lots.


2.      The comprehensive plan does not provide for a public street in the approximate location of the proposed private road;

The Comprehensive Plan does not provide for a public street in the location of this private street.


3.      The fee of the private road will be owned by the owner of each lot abutting the right-of-way thereof or by an association composed of the owners of all lots in the subdivision, subject in either case to any easement for the benefit of all lots served by the road;

Section 14-317 of the Subdivision Ordinance requires that a maintenance agreement be submitted for review by Planning Staff and the County Attorney in all situations where improvements are required to be maintained.  If this request is approved, a road maintenance agreement will be required for approval prior to final plat recordation. 


4.      Except where required by the commission to serve a specific public purpose, the private road will not serve through traffic nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location; and

The private road will not serve through traffic, nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location.


5.      If applicable, the private road has been approved in accordance with section 30.3, flood hazard overlay district, of the zoning ordinance and other applicable law.

Not applicable.



This request is nearly identical to the application reviewed and approved in 2005.  As such, many of the same issues have been considered.  For example, a potential connection point to the recently approved Lake Ridge subdivision was again considered.  However, due to the concerns expressed in the past by Ashcroft residents, as well as the stated goal of the Neighborhood Model not to provide direct street connections that might enable perceived expansion of the Development Areas (of which Lake Ridge is a part), this connection is not being pursued.  In addition, as the existing portion of Lego Drive serving this property includes more than a mile of private street, creation of a public street in this location would require upgrading and dedicating that entire portion of roadway.  Again, the concerns of the residents previously indicated a desire to avoid this potential expense.  Based on these factors, as well as the analysis of Section 14-234 presented above, Staff recommends re-approval of the private street request as submitted.




This development proposes the creation of 51.84 acres of open space.  Creation of this open space is required by condition #1 of ZMA 94-14, which states that “open space shall be dedicated in proportion to the number of lots approved”.  Section 4.7.1 of the Zoning Ordinance requires that all open space must be authorized by the Planning Commission.  Section 4.7 of the Zoning Ordinance below requires that appropriateness of open space be assessed as follows:




            Open space provisions are intended to encourage development approaches reflective of the guidelines of             the comprehensive plan by permitting flexibility in design.  More specifically, open space is intended to serve such varied comprehensive plan objectives as:


            -Provision of active/passive recreation;


            -Protection of areas sensitive to development;


            -Buffering between dissimilar uses; and


            -Preservation of agricultural activity.


            To this end, in any rezoning, subdivision plat, or site development plan proposing inclusion of open space             areas, the commission shall consider the appropriateness of such areas for the intended usage in terms of such factors as location, size,  size,  shape and topographic characteristics.


(1)         Nearly all of this property is shown on the Critical Resources and Open Space Plan as an “Mountains”.  However, the zoning of this property pre-dated the establishment of that plan.  As such, the previously approved application plan shows development along this ridgeline.

(2)        The applicant’s open space plan identifies many areas of critical slopes, particularly the steepest and largest contiguous areas, as part of the proposed open space area.  The flattest areas are the steer itself and building sites adjacent to the street.

(3)        There are adjacent portions of the property that are in the Lake Ridge Subdivision.  Several areas of the open space will abut a conservation area in that subdivision. 

(4)        This proposal does not preserve agricultural activity.

(5)     The location of the open space provides protection of critical slopes, and conservation of several areas of existing trees along those slopes.

(6)    The proposal includes approximately 51.84 acres, or 59 percent of the property. 

(7)    The shape of the open space does not appear to pose any detriment to the development.

(8)     The bulk of the proposed Open Space is critical slopes areas.  Much of the preserved area would not be considered buildable without considerable earthwork (and additional waiver).




            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 preserve, 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 6-31-81)


            -Stormwater detention and flood control devices.


There are proposed easements for public water lines and drainage easements located in the proposed open space as well as several small proposed stormwater management facility. 


4.7.3 OPEN SPACE, DESIGN REQUIREMENTS (Amended 11-15-89)  In addition to provisions of section 4.7.1 and section 4.7.2, in reviewing development proposing             incorporation of open space,  the commission may require inclusion in such open space of:

            (Amended 11-15-89)

- areas deemed inappropriate for or prohibited to development such as but not limited to: land in the one hundred year flood plain and significant drainage swales; land in slopes of twenty-five (25) percent or greater; major public utility easements; stormwater detention and flood control devices;  lands having             permanent or seasonally high water table; (Amended 11-15-89)

- areas to satisfy provisions of section 4.16 Recreation Regulations; (Added 11-15-89)

- areas to provide reasonable buffering between dissimilar uses within such development and between such development and adjoining properties. (Added 11-15-89)  The commission may require redesign of such proposed development to accommodate open space areas as may be required under this provision; provided that, in no case, shall such redesign result in reduction of the total number of proposed dwellings unit otherwise realizable under this ordinance for conventional development.  (Added 11-15-89)


(1)        There is no flood plain in the open space or on the property.

(2)        Very large areas of critical slopes are shown in the proposed open space.

(3)        Water lines and drainage easements are proposed through portions of the open space.

(4)        Three small stormwater management facilities are proposed in the open space.

(5)        Recreational areas are not required or proposed.

(6)        The open space for this project circles this development on three sides to a depth of at least 500 linear feet.  This provides a reasonable buffer to all other adjacent subdivisions and other portions of Ashcroft.




Open space in private ownership shall be protected by legal arrangements sufficient to ensure its maintenance and preservation for purposes for which it is intended.  Such arrangements shall be subject to commission approval as a part of the site development plan and/or subdivision plat approval process.


Open space may be dedicated to public use subject to approval and acceptance by separate resolution of the board of supervisors. Open space so dedicated shall be counted as a part of the minimum required open space.


All of the open space shown on the plat is proposed to be in private ownership, and will be maintained by a homeowners association.


The proposed open space for this subdivision will provide protection of almost all of the critical slopes present within this development.  In addition, they allow for the preservation of more than half of the total land in the development through the management of the homeowners’ association.  Based on these items, the analysis presented above, and the previous approval by the Planning Commission, Staff recommends that the Commission find the proposed open space appropriate for the proposed development. 



A -       Tax Map/Location Map

B -       Plan Revision

C -       Previous Zoning approvals of this property

D -       Applicant’s Request and Justification


Go to Attachment B
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