COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

Project Name:SP2007-00014 Rocks Subdivision

Staff: Scott Clark

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

June 5, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

July 11, 2007

Owner/s:  Abdullah, David C Or Connie B

Applicant: Abdullah, David C Or Connie B

Acreage:  106.284 acres

Special Use Permit: 10.2.2.28, Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1

TMP:  Tax Map 74 Parcel 18D

Location:  Dick Woods Road (Route 637), approximately 500 feet west of intersection with on-ramp to Interstate 64 East.

Existing Zoning and By-right use: RA Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre); EC Entrance Corridor: Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; FH Flood Hazard - Overlay to provide safety and protection from flooding

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Conditions or Proffers: Yes

RA: Rural Areas

Requested # of Dwelling Units: Parcel has sufficient development rights to create three additional lots. No new rights are requested.

Proposal:  Amend special use permit for Rural Preservation Development with more than 20 development lots to change condition of approval regarding location of development lots in relation to Ivy Creek. Proposed change would prevent development between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road.

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Area 3: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre)

 

Character of Property: Property is currently an “open space lot,” consisting largely of pastures with partially-vegetated stream buffers.

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Adjacent properties include residential lots, large parcels under conservation easements, and the right-of-way of Interstate 64.

Factors Favorable:

1.        The request and the recommended changes to condition 5 better reflect the true orientation of the property and the intent behind the original condition.

2.        The request would not permit additional residential development beyond what was already approved.

Factors Unfavorable:

1.      The request relates to residential development in the Rural Areas, which is in conflict with Comprehensive Plan goals. However, this residential development has already been approved, and the proposal is essentially a request for clarification of the original intent of that approval.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this Special Use Permit, with amended conditions.


 

Petition: 

 

PROPOSED: Amend special use permit for Rural Preservation Development with more than 20 development lots to change condition of approval regarding location of development lots in relation to Ivy Creek. Proposed change would prevent development between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre); EC Entrance Corridor: Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; FH Flood Hazard - Overlay to provide safety and protection from flooding

SECTION: 10.2.2.28, Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1

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: Yes

LOCATION: Dick Woods Road (Route 637), approximately 500 feet west of intersection with on-ramp to Route 64 East.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 74 Parcel 18D

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller

 

Character of the Area:

 

The property is located in the Ivy Creek stream valley, on the northwest side of the Ragged Mountains below Bear Den Mountain (see Attachment C). The valley is largely open land fragmented by small- and large-lot residential development. The mountains still include some large forested parcels. Interstate 64 is on the northeast edge of the subject parcel. The preservation tract of The Rocks Rural Preservation Development is adjacent to the east, and the parcels across Interstate 64 to the northeast are also under conservation easement.

 

Planning and Zoning History:

 

SP 1990-119: On April 3, 1991, the Board of Supervisors conditionally approved the creation of “The Rocks” Rural Preservation Development with 43 development lots, an “open space parcel” (“Lot 1”) of 114.9 acres, and a 382.82-acre preservation tract.

 

SP 1990-120: On April 3, 1991, the Board of Supervisors approved a request for fill in the floodplain of Ivy Creek (to provide access to the development permitted under SP 1990-119), with conditions.

 

SP 1991-36: On August 7, 1991, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment of SP 1990-119 and SP 1990-120, which permitted the development to use private rather than public roads.

 

SP 2003-79: On June 9, 2004, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to SP 1991-36 to:

Ø      Amend the boundaries of the preservation tract

Ø      Amend the boundaries of some development lots (Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2, and 18C3)

Ø      Amend the access to those development lots, and

Ø      Allot development rights not used in the original proposal

 

It is the latter action that is relevant to the current request. Although SP 1990-119 permitted the creation of an RPD with 43 development lots, the property had the potential for 46 development lots. The development rights for the three unused lots were allocated to “Lot 1” (the subject parcel for the current request) by SP 2003-79. The amendment was approved with 20 conditions. See Attachment G for the Board’s action letter and Attachment H for the minutes of the June 9, 2004 Board of Supervisors meeting.

 

On February 2, 2007, the Zoning division of Community Development issued a determination (Attachment E) that condition 5 of SP 2003-79 indeed limited development of Lot 1 to the small area that was literally east of the Ivy Creek floodplain.

 

On March 30, 2007, the Chief of Current Development wrote an explanatory memo (see Attachment F) reporting on research showing that (1) the intent of condition 5 was to prevent development between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road, rather than placing development east of the floodplain; and (2) that the incorrect wording of the condition resulted from a misreading of a map that was not oriented with north at the top.

 

The proposed amendment is not intended to establish the final locations of any new lots or dwellings on the property, or the details of how those lots or dwellings would be accessed. Those details will be resolved through County actions on subdivision plats (none of which have been submitted) and possibly through private agreements on access easements. However, any future subdivision approvals would be held to the conditions of approval of this special use permit.

 

Specifics of the Proposal:

 

Condition 5 of the most recent special use permit for this Rural Preservation Development specified that “[a]ll dwellings and development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek.” This condition has become difficult to interpret and enforce, as Ivy Creek runs east through the property (see Attachment C). Thus, the condition could be taken to mean that only the portion of the parcel adjacent to Interstate 64 could be developed.

 

Staff research (see Attachment F) indicates that the Board’s intent in setting condition 5 was not to restrict development to the area “east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek,” but to prevent development between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road. The difficulty appears to come from a misreading of the map used during the review process, which was not oriented north-up, and gave the impression that Ivy Creek runs more northeast than east (see map in Attachment F). A condition that directly stated that development should not occur between the creek and the road would have more accurately reflected the intent of the restriction.

 

This intent is also reflected in condition 6, which states:

 

6.        All future development lots subdivided from Lot 1 shall be no larger than 3.26 acres in area, shall be located in a manner consistent with, and be integrated into the overall design of the other development lots in The Rocks; (emphasis added)

 

Development between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road would not be consistent with the clustered pattern of the subdivision.

 

The applicant has requested (see Attachment D) that SP 03-079 be amended to clarify that the permitted amount of residential development may occur on “Lot 1” as long as it is not located between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road.

 

If the amendment is approved, the applicants will still need to resolve the specifics of access and lot location, which will require County actions on any subdivision plats and possibly private agreements regarding access easements. This amendment is not intended to resolve the exact locations of any eventual lots or dwellings.

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan:

 

This amendment would affect an existing subdivision and not create more residential development in the Rural Areas than was already anticipated. However, the subdivision in question is a Rural Preservation Development, and clustered subdivisions are a more appropriate form of residential development according to the Rural Areas section of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

31.2.4.1: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

 

This request would clarify the intent of an earlier approval, and does not create new impacts on neighboring properties.

 

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

 

The surrounding district is already fragmented by residential development. Approving this change would not increase the amount of allowable development in the area.

 

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

 

Residential development is not in harmony with the stated purposes of the RA zoning district as listed in section 10.1 of the Zoning Ordinance:

 

10.1 INTENT, WHERE PERMITTED

This district (hereafter referred to as RA) is hereby created and may hereafter be established by

amendment of the zoning map for the following purposes: (Amended 11-8-89)

-Preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;

-Water supply protection;

-Limited service delivery to the rural areas; and

-Conservation of natural, scenic, and historic resources. (Amended 11-8-89)

 

Residential development not related to bona fide agricultural/forestal use shall be encouraged to

locate in the urban area, communities and villages as designated in the comprehensive plan where

services and utilities are available and where such development will not conflict with the

agricultural/forestal or other rural objective. Where development does occur, rural residents

should expect to receive a lower level of service delivery than will be provided to residential

developments in designated growth areas. In relation to residential development,

agricultural/forestal activities shall be regulated only to the extent necessary to protect public

health and safety. (Added 11-8- 89; Amended 10-3-01)

 

In regard to agricultural preservation, this district is intended to preserve the county's active farms

and best agricultural and forestal lands by providing lot areas designed to insure the continued

availability of such lands for preferential land use tax assessment in order to enhance the economy,

and maintain employment and lifestyle opportunities. In addition, the continuation and

establishment of agriculture and agriculturally-related uses will be encouraged, and landowners

will be encouraged to employ Virginia State Water Control Board best management practices.

(Amended 11-8- 89)

 

However, residential development is a permitted use in that district, and the proposed change would not increase the amount of development from what has already been approved. Preventing development and residential land management in the floodplain of Ivy Creek is in harmony with section 10.1, which calls for protection of water supply and natural resources.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

 

Residential development is a by-right use in the Rural Areas. Although such development conflicts with agricultural, forestal, and conservation uses, this request would not increase the already-permitted level of residential development.

 

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

 

There are no supplement regulations in section 5.0 that apply to this use.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

The proposed change in condition 5 would still prevent creation of new lots in the floodplain of Ivy Creek, thus limiting flood impacts on downstream properties and erosion and sedimentation impacts on the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, which lies downstream.

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The request and the recommended changes to condition 5 better reflect the true orientation of the property and the intent behind the original condition.

2.       The request would not permit additional residential development beyond what was already approved.

 

Staff has identified the following factors unfavorable to this application:

1.       The request relates to residential development in the Rural Areas, which is in conflict with Comprehensive Plan goals. However, this residential development has already been approved, and the proposal is essentially a request for clarification of the original intent of that approval.

 

In order to clarify this approval, staff recommends changing the wording of condition 5 from:

 

5.        All dwellings and development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located east of the floodplain of Ivy Creek;

to:

 

5.        No dwellings or development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located in the floodplain of Ivy Creek or between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of Special Use Permit 2007-14 under the following conditions:

 

1.        Except as otherwise provided herein development of The Rocks shall be in accord with the “Special Use Permit Plan…” prepared by Thomas B. Lincoln Land Surveyor, Inc. dated April 2, 2004. For purposes of these conditions the plan shall heretofore be referred to as “The Application Plan;”

2.        Except for minor boundary adjustments, (as determined by the Agent), the boundaries of Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 may be modified only as shown on “The Application Plan;”

3.        Within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1, there shall be allowed a total of four (4) dwelling units or four (4) lots. Before a building permit is issued for a second dwelling unit, or before a subdivision plat is approved creating a new lot(s) within the boundaries of Lot 1, a new application plan shall be reviewed and approved administratively by the County authorizing the dwelling units or lots. For purposes of these conditions the term “subdivision” shall also mean family divisions;

4.        All subdivisions within the boundaries of Revised Lot 1 shall meet the design standards and special provisions set forth in Section 10.3.3 of the Zoning Ordinance. This includes the requirement that it be demonstrated that the additional lots combined with the other approved lots do not exceed the actual number of lots that could have been achieved by conventional development of the total property;

5.        No dwellings or development lots within the boundaries of Lot 1 shall be located in the floodplain of Ivy Creek or between Ivy Creek and Dick Woods Road.

6.        All future development lots subdivided from Lot 1 shall be no larger than 3.26 acres in area, shall be located in a manner consistent with, and be integrated into the overall design of the other development lots in The Rocks;

7.        A minimum of ten (10) trees per acre shall be provided on the development lots, including those permitted by condition three (3), in accordance with Section 32.7.9.5 of the Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of providing screening from Interstate 64 and Route 637. Trees shall be installed within two (2) planting seasons of the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the dwelling on the lots;

8.        Clearing of land shall be limited to the minimum amount necessary for the construction of access roads, dwellings, and septic fields;

9.        Building siding and trim shall be of colors and materials that blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning. Highly reflective colors or surfaces, or light colored roofs, as determined by the Director of Planning, are prohibited;

10.     Concrete driveways visible from off-site shall be darkened to blend with the surrounding natural environment as determined by the Director of Planning;

11.     The bridge shall not be constructed until the approvals in conditions twelve (12) through fifteen (15) have been obtained;

12.     Department of Engineering issuance of an erosion and sediment control permit;

13.     Department of Engineering approval of bridge design;

14.     Department of Engineering approval of hydro geologic and hydraulic calculations to ensure compliance with Section 30.3. of the Zoning Ordinance;

15.     Department of Engineering approval of private road plans and drainage calculations. Private roads shall be designed to Virginia Department of Transportation mountainous terrain standards. This condition is only applicable to the private roads constructed to access and provide frontage to all the lots in the Rocks development except the Rural Preservation Tract and revised Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3 as shown on “The Application Plan;”

16.     The extension of Newcomb Mountain Lane as a private road is subject to Planning Commission approval. The Planning Commission shall establish the standard of the private road extension at the time of review;

17.     The existing road, shown entering from Rocks Farm Drive, parallel to Interstate 64 and meandering through the Preservation Tract shall not be improved or widened except for agricultural and/or forestry purposes. The need for such improvements shall be reviewed by the Public Recreational Facilities Authority. If the Public Recreational Facilities Authority deems that the improvements are warranted, construction shall not commence until a road plan and an erosion and sediment control plan has been reviewed and approved by the County Engineer;

18.     Prior to the approval of any plat modifying the boundaries of the Rural Preservation Tract, the rural preservation easement shall be amended to allow the modification; amendment to the easement is subject to the review and approval of the County and the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority. Approval of this special use permit in no way implies or guarantees approval of a modified easement by the County or the Albemarle County Public Recreational Facilities Authority;

19.     Prior to the approval of any plat providing access to Newcomb Mountain Lane an amended road maintenance agreement shall be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney. This agreement shall be recorded with the plat; and

20.     Provide evidence to the County that the Rosemont Homeowner’s Association consents to the Newcomb Mountain Lane extension to serve as access to Tax Map 74, Parcels 18C, 18C1, 18C2 and 18C3.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – Location Map

Attachment B – Detail Map

Attachment C – Map of The Rocks RPD

Attachment D – Applicant’s Request Description

Attachment E – Determination Letter from Zoning

Attachment F – Memorandum from Chief of Current Development regarding intent of condition 5

Attachment G – Board of Supervisors action letter on SP 2003-79

Attachment H – Minutes of Board of Supervisors Meeting, June 9, 2004

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