Lewis and Clark Center – Amended Lease Agreement




Public hearing for amended lease agreement with the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center




Tucker, Elliott, Davis, Herrick, Mullaney







July 11, 2007


ACTION:      X                        INFORMATION:    



  ACTION:                               INFORMATION:   











In 2003, the City and County, as co-owners of Darden Towe Park, entered into a lease agreement with the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center of Virginia, Inc. to allow the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center to be located in the northeast corner of Towe Park.  On January 4, 2006, the Board unanimously approved a special use permit for the Center.  The special use permit review process with the Planning Commission and Board, as well as more defined plans by representatives of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center, has necessitated proposed amendments to the 2003 lease agreement.  Any amended lease agreement must be approved by the Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council, as co-owners of the Darden Towe Park.  On February 21, 2007, the Darden Towe Park Committee discussed the proposed amended agreement, and recommended its approval.  State law requires that the Board of Supervisors hold a public hearing prior to the authorization of a lease of County property.




2.2 Protect and/or preserve the County's natural resources




The proposed agreement would amend the original agreement as follows:


Section 2.1.1 -- More clearly identifies the boundary of the leased area and includes the existing barn and the immediate surrounding area through October 31, 2011.


Section 2.1.2 -- Allows for the relocation of a portion of the dog run if necessary for the entrance road construction.


Section 2.2 -- Allows for the construction of a 20 foot wide internal access road as opposed to the originally envisioned access directly off of Route 20 and allows for relocation of the cross country trail.


Section 2.6 -- Adds a pre-approval requirement by the City and County should the Rivanna Watershed Center wish to locate on the leased area.


Section 2.7 -- Adds “festival” to overflow parking requirements – There are different overflow parking standards for "special events" than for "festivals."  As a result, at the suggestion of County staff, references in the Overflow Parking Section to "special event" have been changed to "special event or festival."


Section 5.1 -- Permits use as “historical center” – The County's zoning ordinance was recently amended to include special provisions for "historical centers."  As a result, again at the suggestion of County staff, the proposed lease references the relevant zoning ordinance.


Section 7.1 -- Allows the Center to furnish, maintain, and pay for its own food service equipment.


Section 7.1 -- Also requires the Center to abide by any duly-adopted policies, present or future, governing the use of pesticides, cleaners or other products at Darden Towe Park


Article XII and Article II Section 2.5 -- Both provide that property can be withdrawn from the leased area for any public transportation purpose with no compensation due the tenant.


The proposed amended lease has been reviewed and approved as to form by the County Attorney’s Office.  The City is expected to consider the approval of the amended lease no later than at its August, 2007 meeting.




The amended agreement has no budget impact on the County. 




Following the public hearing, staff recommends that the Board authorize the County Executive to sign on behalf of the County an amended lease agreement with the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center substantially in accord with the attached lease agreement and approved by the County Attorney.




A - Proposed amended lease between the County, the City of Charlottesville, and the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center

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