PRIVATE COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

Revised 7-31-01

 

Project Name:  ZMA 07-0001 Hollymead Town Center Area A-2

Staff:  Elaine Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

July 24, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

September 12, 2007 (work session scheduled for 8/8)

Owners: H M Acquisition Group, LLC

Applicant: H M Acquisition Group, LLC represented by J.P. Williamson

Acreage: 44.5 acres

 

Rezone from: RA (Rural Areas) 0.5 acres from C-1 Commercial, 0.07 acres from PD-MC Planned Development Mixed Commercial, and 0.4 acres from NMD (Neighborhood Model District)to NMD to NMD  to construct 1,222 dwelling units, 104,000 sq. ft of retail, 179,000 sq. ft. of office, and an 80,000. ft. hotel (363,700 sq. ft of non-residential total).

 

TMP:   TMP 32-42A, 42C, 44(portion), 45 (portion) and TMP 46, Parcel 5

By-right use:  7 residential lots or agricultural uses.

Magisterial District:  Rio

Proffers:  Yes

Proposal:  To rezone 47 acres from RA to NMD to construct 1,222 dwelling units, 104,000 sq. ft of retail, 179,000 sq. ft. of office, and an 80,000. ft. hotel (363,700 sq. ft of non-residential total).

 

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  1222

DA (Development Area)Hollymead Community

Comp. Plan Designation:  Town Center

Character of Property: The subject property lies west of Route 29, south and west of Area B of the Hollymead Town Center (Harris Teeter and Target) and north and east of a tributary of Powell Creek which flows from the location of the Deerwood subdivision toward Route 29. The terrain rises up from behind Target and Harris Teeter to a ridge and slopes downward to a tributary of Powell Creek. A half section of Meeting Street has been constructed on the property. The majority of the area has been cleared, graded, and prepared for development.

 

Use of Surrounding Properties: Area B, to the east, contains Target and Harris Teeter. Area D, to the north and west, has been subdivided into 94 town house lots with another 60 subdivisions anticipated in the near future. Area C, to the north, is bounded by Route 29 and takes primary access off of Timberwood Boulevard. In Area C to the north,  a number of site plans are under review or projects have begun construction to bring 55,000 square feet of office and retail, 7,800 square feet of restaurant space, a 67,000 square foot assisted living facility, and 42 townhouses, with a number of other Area C projects in the planning stage. Deerwood subdivision lies to the West.

RECOMMENDATION: Without resolution of a number of outstanding issues, staff cannot recommend approval. Should the PC wish to recommend approval of this proposal to the Board, staff recommends that this recommendation be based on resolution of outstanding issues before the Board acts on this rezoning.


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                   ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                JULY 24, 2007

Revised 7-31-07

 

ZMA 07-01 Hollymead Town Center – Area A-2

 

PROPOSAL

H.M. Acquisition Group is proposing that a total of 78 acres (the Rural-Area zoned land remaining in the area designated as the Hollymead Town Center (HTC)) be rezoned to two different zoning classifications. These areas have been separated into Area A-1 (31 acres south of Town Center Drive) and Area A-2 (the remaining area in the town center generally laying to the west of Area A-1 and Area B (Target and Harris Teeter). On April 3, 2007 the Planning Commission recommended approval of Area A-1 to be rezoned for RA to PDMC (Planned Development Mixed Commercial).

 

With Area A-2, the applicant would like to rezone 44.5 acres from RA, C-1,  PD-MC, and NMD to NMD  to allow for 1,222 dwelling units, 104,000 sq. ft of retail, 179,000 sq. ft. of office, and an 80,000. ft. hotel (363,700 sq. ft of non-residential total). Attachment A is an overall map of the Town Center, Attachment B is the Code of Development including renderings and block identification plan, Attachment C is proffers.

 

BACKGROUND

The applicant brought this proposal to Planning Commission work sessions on December 5, 2006 and March 6, 2007. At that time, the staff report outlined a number of outstanding issues and oversights that the applicant agreed to address. (See Attachment D for the December 2006 and Attachment E for the March 2007 action memos). With a commitment to resolve those issues, the applicant requested guidance from the Commission as to the appropriateness of uses proposed on Meeting Street, at the core of the Town Center. The Commission provided guidance and requested that the applicant reduce the number of townhouses fronting on Meeting Street and to achieve traditional Main Street form on Meeting Street with a majority of the lower floors fronting Meeting Street to contain non-residential uses. The applicant has responded to this direction and other direction detailed in the action memos. The applicant’s current proposal is reviewed specifically later in the report.

 

When the Area A-1 request was heard by the Board on June 13, 2007, the Board requested that both the A-1 and A-2 proposals come to the Board together in a work session and public hearing. Area A-1 and Area A-2 are scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors in a work session on August 8. Both requests are tentatively scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors for public hearings on September 12, 2007.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

In 1998, a comprehensive plan amendment for the HTC was submitted. In 2001, this Comprehensive Plan amendment was approved with the “Conceptual Master Plan and Design Guidelines for the Hollymead Town Center” (hereafter referred to as “the Guidelines”.)

 

Four rezonings for separate sections of the HTC were submitted in 2001 and 2002 and three of the four were approved in 2003. The applicant for the portion not rezoned (Area A) requested indefinite deferral of action on Area A in 2003. Due to the high residential density and mixture of uses directed by the Guidelines, the applicant for Area A requested to break this 78 acre rezoning request into two different proposals: Area A-1 with 31 acres to be rezoned to Planned Development Mixed Commercial (to be developed similarly to Area B along Route 29 as prescribed by the Guidelines) and Area A-2 with 47 Acres to be rezoned to Neighborhood Model District to allow for higher residential density and to better accommodate the form of development envisioned with the Guidelines.

 

In addition to the construction of 300,000 square feet of commercial space already developed in Area B (Harris Teeter and Target), site plans for the other rezoned portions of the town center are under review or have been approved. Area D, which lies across the western boundary of Area A (Lockwood Drive), has been subdivided into 94 townhouse lots with a number of townhouses under construction and additional building permits issued. Another subdivision of 60 townhouses lots is anticipated in the near future. Several site plans are in the process of being reviewed or are awaiting ARB approval or have been approved in Area C and D to bring 55,000 square feet of office and retail, a 7,800 square feet of restaurant uses, a 67,000 square foot assisted living facility, and another 42 townhouses.

 

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Land Use Plan shows that the subject property is located in the Hollymead Community and is designated as Town Center, defined as a compact, higher density area containing a mixture of businesses, services, public facilities, residential areas and public spaces, attracting activities of all kinds at a density of 6.01-34 dwelling units per acre. In addition, the Town Center designation is accompanied by the “Conceptual Masterplan and Design Guidelines for the Hollymead Town Center” a document that was approved with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment that allowed the Town Center. The Guidelines provide limits to the development potential the Town Center can support based on the extensive traffic study performed with the Comprehensive Plan amendment.

 

The number of dwelling units approved with rezonings in Area B, C, and D total 332. The total permitted in the Town Center is 1,680. That leaves 1,348 units that could be absorbed by Area A. The applicant proposes 1,222 dwelling units in Area A-2, 126 fewer than the Guidelines allow. The total amount of non-residential square footage permitted in the Town Center is 1,297,944. Previous rezonings in Areas B, C, and D requested the development of 625,000 square feet of non residential. 278,000 square feet of non-residential uses are proposed in Area A-1. That leaves 394,944 square feet of non-residential space to be developed. The applicant is proposing that Area A-2 contain up to 363,700 square feet of non-residential uses, which is 26,244 square feet under the maximum allowed.

 

South of Powell Creek, in an area not included in the Town Center Comprehensive Plan designation, the applicant is showing development in Blocks A1, B3, and B4. The Comprehensive Plan designates this area as industrial service. The area can be included in the A-2 rezoning request, however, the applicant was asked to remove any provision of residential uses in these blocks and only request uses of an industrial service nature for those blocks, given the industrial service designation in the Comprehensive Plan. The requested changes were made in part. This is the type of oversight which will need to be corrected. At the end of this report, staff has compiled a list of such oversights and outstanding issues that should be made by the applicant prior to the Board work session in August if the Commission should recommend approval with this understanding.

  

Conformity with the Neighborhood Model

 

The following section outlines staff’s updated analysis of the Neighborhood Model.

 

 

Pedestrian Orientation

In keeping with the Guidelines for the Town Center, the application plan shows a Linear Park that begins in Area B (Target) and extends across Area A and Area D. This park creates a walkable connection from primarily residential areas to Meeting Street and the larger commercial areas along Route 29. The applicant has widened this park through Area A-2, providing a 100X 300’ park bordered with sidewalks, adding to the character and variety of quality spaces proposed along the Linear Park throughout the Town Center. The largest parking area in Block A is bisected by a landscaped pedestrian connection that leads from the greenway trailhead around a proposed pool and clubhouse at the greenway’s edge, across the parking area toward an intense mix of uses. (The trailhead in Area A-2 is complimented by a separate trailhead the applicant proposes at the southeast corner of Area A-1). This same area of parking includes a curved pedestrian connection that is bounded on either end by a pocket park. These connections provide convenient and intuitive pedestrian facilities that will support pedestrian orientation Across Block B. To complete this connection across Meeting Street into Area A-1, the applicant has extended the median far enough south of the traffic circle on Meeting Street to provide a sheltered crossing. Where pedestrian movements are funneled toward streets, the applicant is providing sheltered crossings by extending the park and pedestrian network into the streets and providing mid-crossing pedestrian zones within the 10-foot wide planted median at the center of Meeting Street. This principle is met.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Streets on the application plan include sidewalks, planting strips, street trees, and on-street parking. Along Meeting Street, the application plan shows coordinated crossings with hardscape amenities. The applicant is illustrating the Linear Park with a sidewalk a minimum of 10 feet wide through the park (separating into two 5-foot wide sidewalks to surround the Linear Park’s largest open space). This principle is met.

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The applicant has responded with a mix of streets and the linear park that responds to this principle of the Neighborhood Model and generally reflects the Masterplan Guidelines. Traffic will be funneled to Meeting Street (the widest thoroughfare proposed in the Town Center) as it connects into Timberwood Boulevard and leads to Airport Road. Meeting Street includes on-street parking, a bike lane, and a travel lane in each direction. As a last resort, the on-street parking on Meeting Street could be removed in the future, if necessary, to facilitate traffic movement on Meeting Street. Parking on-street could also potentially be prohibited during rush hours. The applicant is proffering to complete a road connection between Route 29 and Dickerson Road by extending Town Center Drive. The applicant is also showing a future connection to Willow Glen, a proposed rezoning along Dickerson Road and adjacent to Town Center Drive.

Regional transportation findings resulting from the Places 29 Masterplan that impact Area A-2 are discussed immediately after the Neighborhood Model analysis. This principle is met.

Parks and Open Space

The applicant proposes that 10.7 acres or 20 % of Area A-2 be left undisturbed or developed as open space and amenity areas. The application plan includes the inclusion of a large usable open space in the Linear Park (100’X300’) and a 105’X105 level area along the greenway to include a basketball court and small dog park. The application plan also includes smaller tot lot areas, pocket parks, and three formal plazas areas around the traffic circle that connect through or between buildings and other portions of Area A-2. The applicant proposes to dedicate to the County a 7.6 acre area with a minimum of 50 feet of buffer along the edge of a tributary of Powell Creek in Area A-2. This area is delineated on the application plan and includes 5 acres. The Zoning Ordinance requires certain fixtures such as tot lots when applying for the residential density the applicant proposes. The applicant has submitted a request to waive the Open Space and Recreation Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance in substitution for amenities detailed in the Code of Development. To serve 1,222 units, the zoning ordinance would require that approximately eight tot lots and four full court basketball courts be built to supply the development with recreation amenities. These are guidelines that the Commission is allowed to vary. The current proposal includes greenway area, 2 tot lots, pocket parks, pool and clubhouse, basketball court and dog park which will provide a variety of recreational uses. The form of development allowed through the Town Center Guidelines prescribes a more dense and urban form. Therefore, full recreation requirements prescribed by the Zoning Ordinance for more conventional districts cannot be achieved. Prior to the Board of Supervisors moving forward with a proffer policy, staff had estimated that an additional $600,000 would be needed to address recreational impacts not provided on the site for facilities such as baseball fields and other open space uses. The applicant has proffered an additional $600,000 ($500 / unit), in keeping with staff’s estimate. Given this additional commitment, it appears the applicant has successfully amended his proposal to provide a variety of outdoor amenities and cash to support off-site recreational demands this development creates. Parks and Recreation have one minor concern: the applicant has located a dog park adjacent to a basketball court. These uses need to be separated. With the applicant adjusting the Code of Development and plan prior to Board review, this principle will be met.

Neighborhood Centers

The Guidelines identify Meeting Street as the Neighborhood Center and as where the greatest mix of uses is expected. With its vehicular traffic, intensive mix of uses, on-street parking, sidewalks and street trees, and connection with the Linear Park, Meeting Street offers a mix of amenities, retail, and residential uses unified across the street. These elements will allow Meeting Street to serves as the center of the Hollymead Town Center, as intended by the Guidelines. The smaller parks, along with the pool and clubhouse provide additional neighborhood centers. This principle is met.

Building and Spaces of Human Scale

The applicant met with the Architectural Review Board on June 4, 2006 where the applicant agreed to make recommended revisions. The primary issue was the height and variation of the taller building proposed. The applicant has reduced the maximum height from 100’ to 65’. The applicant has also made recommended revisions with respect to how the ultimate height of buildings adjacent to or across the street from each other would be coordinated. All other human scale issues have been previously addressed. This principle is met.

Mixture of Uses

 

The applicant proposes 1,222 dwelling units, an 80,000 sq. foot hotel, 179,700 of office space, and 104,000 of mixed-use commercial uses. This approach allows the Town Center to function much like a town, in close proximity to the regional service uses provided in Area A-1 and Area B. This is in keeping with the Guidelines. This principle is met.

Relegated Parking

 

The applicant has worked to relegate parking from streets by proposing buildings that line the street and provide surface and structured parking behind. Also, the applicant is working with the topography to provide one level of parking below the ground / street level of larger buildings along the eastern side of Meeting Street and residential buildings in Block B-2. In conjunction with the applicant’s plan to provide structured parking, the Code of development provides guidelines for where such structures will be situated, the maximum number of spaces they will contain, and design detail. This is approach is appropriate for the zoning district requested. This principle is met.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The applicant is providing a variety of housing types including townhouses, condos, and apartments. The applicant is proffering to provide 20% affordable housing with at least 40% of that for sale. This would equate to 244 affordable units total with 98 of those being offered for-sale. This is amount of affordable housing in an increase since the Commission reviewed this proposal and in excess of the Board’s goal. However, the applicant has also proffered a buyout provision. Through the proffer, the applicant is only guaranteeing that 5% of the units will be built as affordable. The buyout provision would allow for the remaining 15% to be covered with they “buyout” provision at the applicant’s discretion. The Housing Director has said that this is not an acceptable rezoning for such an extensive use of the buyout provision.This principle is not met.

Redevelopment

This principle does not apply.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The area proposed for development was mass graded with land sloping toward the rear of the property along a tributary of Powell Creek through a provision of the Zoning Ordinance as it applies to land zoned Rural Areas. The applicant is proposing to work with the terrain created through previous earth moving by building terraced townhouses and other building forms into the grade. This principle is met.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

This principle is not applicable on the site under review for rezoning.

 

 ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD COMMENTS

On June 4, 2007, The Architectural Review Board voted to forward the recommendation of no objection to the Planning Commission, noting strategies to help limit the visual impact of the proposal. Some of those strategies, such as limiting the building height to 65 feet are reflected in the Code of Development. However, the applicant has failed to address the following ARB directives:

 

1.                  Articulate building facades with bays, projections, and recesses; use building forms that include stepped heights within individual buildings; step building heights between buildings to reduce scale and transition better to shorter buildings below Meeting Street; use upper story setbacks.

 

2.                  Provide large trees along both sides and in the median of Meeting Street. Provide large trees, and sufficient planting area for the large trees, between Area A2 and Area B.

 

Through review of the site plan and certificate of appropriateness, the ARB will review the applicant’s proposal for addressing item #1 above. However, the application plan does not show landscaping between Area A-2 and Area B (where the greatest difference in height between buildings will be visible from the Entrance Corridor). Further, the area remaining between A-2 and Area B for such plantings is only a 20-feet wide slope. The applicant has not made a revision to the plan to show the plantings requested by the ARB and it appears sufficient room will not exist to provide the plantings requested. The plantings are intended to soften the difference between Area B buildings (all one story) and area A-2 buildings (up to 65’ tall on the ridge).

STAFF COMMENT

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district: 

The NMD is intended to provide for compact, mixed-use developments with an urban scale,

massing, density, and an infrastructure configuration that integrates diversified uses within close

proximity to each other within the development areas identified in the comprehensive plan.

 

The proposal meets the intent of the Neighborhood Model District.

 

Public need and justification for the change: 

The County’s Comprehensive Plan supports rezoning proposals which are in conformity with recommendations for use, density, and form.  The proposal is in conformity with use, density, and form recommended in the Land Use Plan. The land proposed for development has been mass graded through a provision of Rural Area land zoning. It has sat in a denuded state for over two years, allowing for erosion and generation of sediment.

 

Impact on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources: 

The proposal does not impact cultural and historic resources. With respect to impacts to the natural environment, the plan delineates required buffer setbacks along Powell Creek (100 feet for perennial section and 50 feet for the intermittent tributary thereof).

 

Public need and justification for the change:

Given the amount of undeveloped retail square footage already approved in the County by rezoning, staff does not readily identify a public need or justification for the rezoning. Development of the property and associate biofilters and stormwater management facilities will provide run off with less sediment.

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services 

 

Transportation

The initial traffic study for the Town Center anticipated a two-lane cross section for Meeting Street. The Places 29 Master Plan traffic modeling is indicating that future traffic volumes in the Town Center would increase significantly if Berkmar Drive crosses the Rivanna River and Meeting Street and Berkmar Drive connect. Therefore, the County’s Traffic Engineer and VDOT have expressed a desire for the full cross section of streets projected as needed by the traffic modeling to be accommodated with this plan. The Berkmar – Meeting Street parallel road has been modeled as part of Places 29 as a two-lane and four-lane facility. That is, traffic modeling has been performed to illustrate the effects on the overall transportation network if the road is built as a two-lane road or a four-lane road. The modeling suggests that a four lane facility works to capture more traffic from U.S. 29. VDOT is recommending that the road be a four-lane facility. However, staff believes the road can function as a three-lane facility: a travel way in each direction with a turn lane in the middle. The applicant has accommodated a four-lane section for Meeting Street from Timberwood Boulevard to Abington Drive (southernmost intersection of Meeting Street within the Town Center). This tapers down to three lanes as it crosses Powell Creek (one lane in each direction and a middle turn lane).

 

The applicant has proffered to build or bond the remaining transportation improvements identified with the initial Town Center traffic study. It is critical, given the significant number of uses provided in the Town Center, that the infrastructure improvements remaining at the Town Center are built prior to additional commercial square footage being approved. As discussed in more detail under proffers below and given the poor performance of proffered road construction at the Town Center to date, staff is recommending that the improvements outlined in Proffer 2 be completed within one year of zoning approval for Area A-2. Staff also recommends that the applicant commit to request no building permit until both streets have been constructed and completed. 

 

 It should be noted that the applicant is providing a form of development specifically directed by the Comprehensive Plan that will provide a significant number of County residents with the ability to live close to mixed-use and regional commercial and office services and generate less traffic on roads and alternative facilities outside of the Town Center.

 

Schools:

Pupils from the new development would attend Baker Butler or Hollymead Elementary Schools, Sutherland Middle School, and Albemarle High School. 

Fire, Rescue, Police:Fire and Rescue service will be provided through the Hollymead Fire Station which is temporarily located near the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport until the station (under construction) is completed later this year. Police officers use this facility as a satellite office when they are on-patrol.

Water and Sewer

The Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) has determined that sufficient capacity for the A-2 development does not exist. The applicant has met with the Authority to determine the extent of the deficiencies in service. The two parties are working on an agreement similar to that prepared for Biscuit Run. The director of the ACSA will be attending the July 24, 2007 Planning Commission public hearing. The ACSA comments are as follows:

 

(1) “The lack of capacity issue remains unchanged as there was very little change in the overall number of residential units and non-residential square footages. We did note a shift in the total non-residential square footage from office to retail space.”

 

(2) “Paragraph 4e under Cash Proffer shall be deleted. The original 10” diameter sewer was constructed using funds from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide wastewater service to the Charlottesville – Albemarle Airport.”

 

(3) “A detailed phasing plan is required showing the number of residential units and non-residential square footages in each section and the schedule for constructing each section.”

 

(4) “The ACSA is in the process of arranging a meeting with Octagon Partners for the purpose of negotiating an agreement for the increase of capacity in the existing sewer system.”

An agreement between the applicant and the ACSA is needed before this rezoning can be recommended for approval to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Stormwater Management

A stormwater management plan was established for the entire Town Center for the construction period. This consists of large ponds that are able to accommodate large volumes of runoff. These ponds will remain and the applicant proposes additional facilities including nearly an acre devoted to biofilters and additional stormwater management ponds to mitigate stormwater runoff from this development.

 

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties:   

The developed adjacent properties include the Town Center, Forest Springs Mobile Home Park, and Deerwood Subdivision. Impacts, other than traffic, light, and noise associated with mixed us development, are not anticipated.

                                                                                                                         

Linear Park and Interconnections

At the last work session, the Commission directed staff to pursue a better transition from very narrow and steep stairs in Area B (Target and Harris Teeter) with those proposed in Area A and the Linear Park and other amenities beyond. Staff discussed the stairs with the County Engineer who concluded that the stairs in Area B are constructed as the site plan indicated they should be. That is, they are constructed to the satisfaction of the County’s site plan regulations. Also, the Building Inspector has determined that because they are not part of any ingress or emergency egress for any structure, they are not governed by the Building Code.

 

Staff worked to set up several meetings with each representative. Unfortunately neither representative was able to meet simultaneously. However, staff has met with each representative individually. The Area A – 2 applicant indicated that he would work to provide a better set of stairs and walkways on his property, but that he did not think it was his responsibility to amend the stairs on his neighbor’s property.  The Area B owner agreed to allow the Area A-2 applicant onto his property to complete improvements to the steps, but has said he would not commit to improving the stairs since the County approved the design. While staff believes improved stairs in Area B are desirable and would better facilitate pedestrian traffic between Area A-2 and Area B, the steps in Area B are acceptable according to County regulations and the obligation of the Area A-2 applicant should be to provide the desired stairs and walkways on their property.

 

 

Urban Heat Island and Sustainability

 

At the last work session, the Commission agreed the applicant’s Code of Development should provide sustainable design strategies. The applicant has added a number of strategies to the Code of Development (Page 37) to address solar orientation and impact, stormwater management, and sustainability generally. The applicant has said he would like to receive a 5% reduction in his per unit proffer for each dwelling unit meeting an EnergyStar or LEED certification. This may be an acceptable incentive for the private development of energy efficient buildings. The Board of Supervisors will have to determine if the applicant’s strategy is acceptable. 

 

Waivers and Modifications

 

The applicant is requesting 13 waivers and modifications of the County Code. These requests are covered in Attachment F. Staff has no objection to the requested waivers and modifications; they are necessary to implement the Neighborhood Model. In many cases, the applicant has provided an acceptable alternative to the County Code. However, minor issues remain with the waivers and modifications. However, these issues are not so great that they cannot be addressed before the Board of Supervisors reviews this request in a work session.

 

PROFFERS (Attachment C)

 

1. Affordable Housing: The applicant is proposing to provide 20% of the units proposed as affordable units. This includes a commitment to offer 40% for-sale and the remainder for-rent. However, this proposal is in conjunction with a buyout provision that would allow the applicant to actually construct 5% affordable housing and pay for the rest (through cash contributions to the County toward affordable housing programs). The Housing Director has said that the Hollymead Town Center is a place where affordable housing should be constructed and that the applicant needs to commit to actually providing more than 5% of the units as affordable housing. This proffer is not yet acceptable.

 

2. Road Improvements: The applicant has proposed a loose proffer that falls short of committing to build the remaining roads included in the HTC Comprehensive Plan Amendment traffic study. The applicant proffers to build or bond the remaining road improvements anticipated at the Town Center. Staff does not support the option to bond rather than build the roads. The option of bonding rather than building the roads is unattractive because, should the County call the bond, it would require extra County engineering staff resources to manage the project, along with all other ongoing legislative reviews. A firmer commitment to build the roads prior to additional square footage being approved appears suitable given the track record of previous proffered improvements at the Town Center. Staff recommends that this request should not move forward unless the applicant is committed to constructing the remainder of the roads (identified in the proffer) within one year of this request being approved by the Board. This proffer is not yet acceptable.

 

3. Public Transit Stops: The applicant proffers to complete “at least two public transportation stops” to include 200 square feet of paved area and two benches on the subject property. The location of these stops will be determined at the site plan stage. Though the applicant is not proffering any cash for transit service in Area A-2, the applicant’s proffers for Area A-1 include a $50,000 per year for 10 years for transit service.  (The applicant has responded to the Commission’s request that the area be designed transit-ready.) This proffer is acceptable.

 

4. Cash Proffer: The applicant is proffering to meet the Board’s target figures for cash proffers to address the impacts of new development. This project contains only townhouse/condo and apartment dwelling units and the applicant is proffering the appropriate figures, $11,900 and $12,400 respectively. The applicant’s proffer includes an itemized list of credits he feels he has earned through other improvements and commitments. The proffers are an unacceptable vehicle for a proffer credit analysis and cannot work as proposed. With two exceptions, none of the credits the applicant is requesting are eligible for a credit under the Board’s policy. See cash proffer credit summary at the end of this analysis. The proffer amount is acceptable; the inclusion of various credits proposed by the applicant is not acceptable.

 

5. Greenway: The applicant proposes to contribute 7.6 acres along a tributary along Powell Creek. This land, though adjacent to the creek, is developable. The applicant proffers a minimum of 50 feet on either side of the Powell Creek tributary. This proffer is acceptable.

 

6. Community Park: The applicant proffers a 10,000 square foot (approx. ¼ acre) park in Blocks A-1, B-3, B-4, or C-6. As these blocks are located at the edge of the development, this proffer is not that valuable. Further the amount proffered would provide enough room for a pocket park, not a community park. Further, should the applicant want to provide a pocket park in the locations identified, the detail and commitment for such a park should be contained in the Code of Development, not a proffer. This proffer should be removed. Staff asked the applicant to provide for the small pocket park at the end of Lockwood Drive to be reserved for dedicated to the County upon demand by the County for the future use for civic displays such as a memorial or statue. However, the proffer states that the dedication is on the periphery and not the pivotal location staff identified. This proffer is not acceptable. 

 

7. Recycling Center: The Capital Improvements Program identifies a need for a recycling center to be constructed in the northern Development Area. The applicant has proffered to provide 35,000 square feet (nearly an acre) for the facility to be located at the Town Center. This is the amount of space identified by the Chief of Planning as needed accommodated the center. However, the applicant is asking for a credit for three acres in conjunction with the proffer. He is proffering over two acres less than that. Staff believes the applicant needs to commit to either 35,000 sq. feet or three acres and so the appropriate credit can be determined. The proffer needs to clarify that the applicant owner shall pay for the survey of the land to be dedicated and that the land may be used for County purposes other than a recycling center should the land not be needed for that use in the future. This proffer is acceptable so long as the applicant understands that he will only be credited for 35,000 sq. ft. of land (and not 3 acres as he proposes to be credited for).

 

8. Recreational Facilities: The applicant is proffering $500.00 per unit for recreational impacts, in addition to the Board’s per unit contribution to address the impacts of new development. This would amount to $614,000 if every dwelling unit proposed at the Town Center is constructed. This contribution would be in addition to the variety of recreational facilities that applicant is providing within the Town Center and the per unit proffer expected by the Board.  This contribution would help to fund the expansion and maintenance of off-site recreational facilities, such as Chris Green Lake Park. This proffer is acceptable.

 

9. Phasing Plan: The applicant proffers a phasing plan that addresses the A-2 project by proffering to obtain 100 building permits for A-2 prior to authorizing construction of any non-residential space. The applicant proffers to obtain 600 building permits prior to the authorization by the County to complete 200,000 square feet of non-residential space. This phasing plan makes an attempt to guarantee that non-residential development will not grossly outpace residential construction. However, when Area A-1 request was heard by Board of Supervisors on June 13, 2007, the Board directed the applicant to tie the non-residential development in A-1 to the residential development in A-2. The applicant has not responded to this request with the most recently submitted proffers. Staff will work with the applicant to provide the appropriate solution. This proffer is not yet acceptable.

 

The following information describes the status of proffers for this project based on the current Board proffer policy intent:

 

BOS PROFFER EXPECTATION LESS VALUE OF CURRENT PROFFERS

$14,078,400 - $107,392 = $13,971,000

Cash Proffer Policy Expectation   =           $14,078,400 (1222 units (townhouse, condo, multi family) less 61 (5% affordable units the applicant is committing to provide) = 1161 X cash proffer by unit type:

TH                   136       X $11,900 = $1,618,400

MF                   525       X $12,400 = $6,510,000

CNDO             500       X $11,900 = $5,950,000

                        1161                           $14,078,400

Value of Current Proffers =  $107,392

Greenway Land =                     7.6 acres X $12,800 (RA land per acre) = $97,280          

Recycling Center Land =           .79 acres X $12,800 (RA land per acre) = $10,112

                                                                                                            $107,392

The following issues are still outstanding:

 

§                                 VDOT comments conflict with Places 29 proposal for Meeting Street cross section and Powell Creek

 

§                                 A commitment is needed to complete roads in a timely fashion rather than bonding their completion.

 

§                                 A commitment to construct more than 5% affordable housing, or at least give the Housing Director discretion to accept cash in lieu of units.

 

§                                 Water and Sewer service to the area are inadequate and assurances from ACSA need to be provided that appropriate agreement has been reached regarding this development as it relates to water and sewer.

 

§                                 A commitment in the Code and plan or additional landscaping area between Area B and Area A-2 is needed to soften disparity in building heights. (ARB request)

 

§                                 A phasing commitment that ties A-1 and A-2 together was requested by the Board, but is not contained in the proffers.

 

§                                 Additional detail requested to appear in the Code in order to support requested waiver remains unaddressed.

 

§                                 Cash proffers need to be put in an acceptable form that assures the equivalent of the per unit proffer amounts are being provided and any allowable credits to the per unit commitment can be properly administered.

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

RECOMMENDATION: Without resolution of these outstanding issues, staff cannot recommend approval. Should the PC wish to recommend approval of this proposal to the Board, staff recommends that this recommendation be based on resolution of these outstanding issues before the Board acts on this rezoning.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

ATTACHMENT A – Overall Plan of Town Center

ATTACHMENT B – Code of Development

ATTACHMENT C – Proffers

ATTACHMENT D – December 5, 2006 Work Session Action Memo

ATTACHMENT E – March 6, 2007 Work Session Action Memo

ATTACHMENT F – Waiver Analysis

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