COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  CPA2006-00003/ZMA 2006-00019 Willow Glen,

Request for Critical Slopes Waiver

Staff:  Judith Wiegand, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

August 14, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

October 10, 2007 (work session scheduled for September 5)

Owners: Dickerson Ridge, LLC

Applicant: Sugaray Two, LLC

Acreage: 23.681 acres

 

Rezone from: Rural Areas (RA), which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses;  residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to Planned Residential District (PRD), which allows residential (3-34 units/acre), with limited commercial uses, for a maximum of 234 units.

 

Comprehensive Plan Amendment: from  Industrial Service, which allows warehousing, light industry, heavy industry, research, office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre), and Urban Density Residential, which allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses to Urban Density Residential, which allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses.

TMP:  TM 32, Parcels 49F, 49G, 49I, 49J, and 49K

Location:  property is east of Dickerson Road (Rt. 606) across from Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport and approximately 1500 feet south of the intersection with Airport Road (Rt. 649)

By-right use:  Rural Areas—agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses. Ten (10) residential lots would be permitted under the current zoning.

Magisterial District:  Rio

Proffers:  Yes

Proposal:  A residential development of 234 units.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  234

DA (Development Area)Community of Hollymead

Comp. Plan Designation:  Industrial Service and Urban Density Residential

Character of Property: Parcels consist of rolling topography, undeveloped except for three scattered residences.

 

 

Use of Surrounding Properties: Property is directly across Dickerson Road from the airport. Other industrial property is to the north along Dickerson. The Deerwood subdivision is to the north and east. Property to the south is largely undeveloped, up to the Forest Springs Mobile Home Park. The Abington Place residences in the Hollymead Town Center are a short distance to the east on the other side of the stream.

Factors favorable to this request:

·         Locates residential uses near workplaces and retail areas.

·         Provides 15% (35 of 234 units) of affordable housing. It should be recognized that 15% would be expected with any residential rezoning.

·         Provides 10% (24 of 234 units) of moderately priced housing.

·         Provides four price tiers of housing—two market-rate tiers beyond the affordable and moderately priced.

·         Includes a mix of unit types, along with a clubhouse and other amenities.

·         The applicant has proffered a connection to Towncenter Drive, and shows a future connection to the north and south of the development.

·         Is consistent with other residential uses along the southern and eastern edges of the site. It should be recognized that the mobile home park on the south side may convert to nonresidential use in the future.

Factors unfavorable to this request:

·         There are still a number of outstanding issues to be resolved.

·         The amount of the Housing Loan Fund and the transit contribution leaves only about one-third of the cash proffer funds for the County’s capital needs. The cash proffer also states that the funds should be used in the vicinity of the development, which restricts the County’s ability to use those funds for the community’s benefit. Further, the applicant is only proffering one-half of the desired amount for the 24 moderately priced units.

·         Does not create a significant amount of affordable and/or moderately priced housing beyond what would be expected in a typical residential rezoning.

·         The affordable units are very small.

·         The regraded slopes around the perimeter and near the single-family units across the road from the tot lots may be problematic.

·         The issue of sewer capacity to serve the development still has to be worked out.

·         The layout of the development puts most of the parking in front of the units where parked cars and cars pulling in and out of spaces will conflict with pedestrian activity.

·         Places a residential development across Dickerson Road from the Airport in an area that may have a long-range negative impact on airport expansion and/or expansion of airport-related uses.

RECOMMENDATION ON CPA: the CPA is being recommended for approval as part of the Places29 Comprehensive Plan Amendment process.

 

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

 

RECOMMENDATION ON CRITICAL SLOPES WAIVER: Based on the review below, there are no engineering concerns which prohibit the disturbance of the critical slopes as shown. If the Planning Commission recommends approval of the rezoning, then staff can recommend approval of the Critical Slopes Waiver.


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                              JUDITH WIEGAND

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                          AUGUST 14, 2007

 

CPA 2006-00003/ZMA 2006-00019 Willow Glen

 

PETITION

PROJECT: CPA200600003/ZMA 2006-019 Willow Glen

PROPOSAL:  Amend Comprehensive Plan from Industrial Service which allows warehousing, light industry, heavy industry, research, office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) uses to Urban Density Residential which allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses. Rezone 23.681 acres from Rural Areas which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to Planned Residential District which allows residential (3 – 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses for a maximum of 234 units

PROFFERS:  Yes X   No 

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Industrial Service which allows for (see uses above) in the Hollymead Community.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes____No  X

LOCATION: property is east of Dickerson Road (Rt. 606) across from Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport and approximately 1500 feet south of intersection with Airport Road (Rt. 649) in Hollymead Community.

TAX MAP: 32 PARCELS: 49F, 49G, 49I, 49J, 49K

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio

 

PROPOSALS

The applicant applied for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) and a Zoning Map Amendment (ZMA) concurrently on September 5, 2006. The CPA is being recommended for approval as part of the Places29 Comprehensive Plan Amendment. The primary focus of this staff report is the ZMA.

 

The applicant wishes to have a rezoning approved in order to construct Willow Glen, a Planned Residential Development of 234 dwelling units on a 23.681 acre site off Dickerson Road (See location map, Attachment A). The mix of dwelling unit types shown in the application includes 22 single-family detached homes, 12 duplex units, 106 townhomes, and 94 apartments as condominium units. The applicant describes Willow Glen as offering affordable, moderately priced, and market-rate housing. There is also a large central green, a clubhouse, a pond, walking and biking trails, and parking. See Willow Glen: A Unique Housing Community (Attachment B).

 

The  proposal includes housing units planned to sell in four different price ranges. In addition to the affordable units (Tier 1), the proposal includes moderately priced units (Tier 2), and market-rate housing in two higher price ranges (Tiers 3 and 4). As part of the proffers, the applicant is proposing a “Self-Replenishing Housing Loan Fund.” See the Proffer Statement (Attachment C) and the Willow Glen Proffer Summary (Attachment D). The proffers are discussed in more detail below.

 

BACKGROUND 

Prior to this public hearing, the Commission has considered the Willow Glen proposal at a series of four worksessions on the comprehensive plan amendment (CPA) and the zoning map amendment (ZMA).

 

The first two preapplication worksessions were held on February 1, 2005, and November 22, 2005. These worksessions focused on the appropriateness of the CPA to change the land use designation from Industrial Service to Urban Density Residential. The Commission also addressed the features of the proposed development, the level of affordability, and the coordination and timing of the CPA and ZMA approval processes. Minutes of those two worksessions are attached (Attachments E and F, respectively).

 

The formal application for the CPA and ZMA for Willow Glen was submitted on September 5, 2006.

 

At the third worksession on December 5, 2006, which followed submission of the CPA/ZMA application, the Commission addressed the five criteria for amending the County’s Comprehensive Plan. The County’s Comprehensive Plan shows most of the area as Industrial Service, with a portion shown as Urban Density Residential. At the time staff was preparing for the December worksession, the draft Places29 Master Plan Framework Map showed the area as split between Light Industrial and Urban Density Residential. At the conclusion of the worksession, the Commission voted 4 to 2 (one member was absent) to request staff to prepare a Resolution of Intent to amend the Comprehensive Plan to reflect the area as all Urban Density Residential. The minutes from the relevant portion of that worksession are included as Attachment G.

 

The Resolution of Intent (ROI) was presented to the Commission on January 23, 2007, and adopted by a vote of 5 – 2. A copy of that Resolution is included as Attachment H. It is staff’s understanding that the Planning Commission wishes the CPA to be processed with the Places29 Master Plan.

 

The fourth worksession was held on February 6, 2007. The Commission gave direction to staff on several questions, as summarized below (the draft minutes are in Attachment I):

 

Are the number and types of units appropriate for this area and this type of development? Does the Commission find the percentage of affordable units and moderately price units acceptable?

 

The Planning Commission felt that the mix and type of units was fine, but could not reach consensus on the size of the affordable units. Several Commissioners shared staff’s concern about the small size of the affordable units. It was the consensus of the Commission that the percentage of affordable units was consistent with the existing policy.

 

In view of the size and type of the proposed development, is a contribution in the amount of $696,500 sufficient? Would the Commission prefer the traditional CIP contribution (Alternative #1) or the Self-Replenishing Housing Assistance Fund supplemented with a smaller CIP contribution and a transit contribution (Alternative #2)

 

The Planning Commission said they needed more information, such as a fiscal impact analysis and a traffic study, before it could answer this question. The Commission needed to know what the external costs would be to the community as a result of the development.

 

Does the Commission believe that a full traffic study should be performed in order to assess the impacts adequately?

 

The Commission felt that it is essential that a complete traffic study be performed to determine the impacts of the traffic generated by the project.

 

Should the interconnections recommended by the County’s Traffic Engineer be made?

 

The Commission agreed that the provision for eventual connections to the north and south of the development be made.

 

The Commission believed that the interconnections recommended by the County’s Traffic Engineer are important and should be made, but acknowledged the applicant’s concerns about the difficulty of the connection of Road E to C and Road D to G.  The Commission agreed with the applicant’s suggestion to make those connections pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

 

Should the development be allowed to proceed if the connection to Town Center Drive cannot be made?

 

The Commission felt that it was essential for the connection to be made to Town Center Drive, but acknowledged that it did not know how the timing would work between the Willow Glen project and Hollymead Town Center, Area A.

 

Is parking appropriately relegated or should the design of the development be modified to place parking behind the units through the use of alleys, drives, and parking lots?

 

The Commission indicated that the market would determine whether parking should be relegated; if the market analysis shows that the units will sell without the relegated parking, then relegation wasn’t necessary. The Commission was concerned about Roads E, D, C and F and the impact connecting them would have on open space and the additional amount of pavement that would result.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

There is no zoning or subdivision history on the five parcels zoned Rural Areas (RA).

 

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Land Use Plan shows that the subject property is located in the Community of Hollymead and is designated Industrial Service and Urban Density Residential. Industrial Service allows warehousing, light industry, heavy industry, research, office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, along with supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) uses. Urban Density Residential allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses, such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office, and service uses.

 

At the December 5, 2006 Planning Commission worksession, the Places29 Master Plan Framework Map (the current draft at the time this application was received) showed the subject property as split between Light Industrial and Urban Density Residential. Light Industrial allows light industry, research and development, research laboratories, warehousing, contractor storage yards, and auto service commercial, and supporting uses including incidental related offices and wholesale warehouses. Urban Density Residential  allows residential uses at 6.01 – 34 units per acre.

 

From the worksessions and recommendations of the Planning Commission, staff directed the Places29 consultant to change the land use designation to all Urban Density Residential. The current draft of the Places29 Framework Map (May 11, 2007) shows the subject property as Urban Density Residential, which allows residential uses at 6.01 - 34 units per acre.

 

 

Comprehensive Plan Recommendations

 

 

 

Land Use

 

·        Hollymead is intended to be a mixed-use community that allows people to live in close proximity to their workplace, shopping and service areas. A wide variety of housing types, services and jobs are anticipated. Community-wide automobile dependence should be reduced by encouraging transit-oriented development and providing a full range of pedestrian and bicycle facilities such as walkways and bike paths that connect residential and transit nodes to the employment/shopping and service areas.

Willow Glen is proposed as a neighborhood of mixed housing types. It is intended to provide residences for those working in the Hollymead Community, as well as elsewhere in the County.

·        The area west of Route 29 North is intended for industrial and office uses as a large employment area. It is expected that these uses will be “basic” employment generators and potentially of a large scale and with an airport orientation. The Office Service area consists of approximately 25 acres along Airport Road and 40 acres West of the Regional Service area on me West side of Route 29 North. The balance of the employment generating area is Industrial Service.

The proposed Willow Glen development is residential in nature. It is intended to provide homes for those working in the Hollymead area, as well as the rest of the County. It will replace a portion of the area that is currently designated Industrial Service.

·        No additional commercial uses are to be established in the southern portion of the Community on either side of Route 29 from the South Fork of the Rivanna to the entrance of the Hollymead subdivision.

The proposed Willow Glen development does not include any commercial or retail uses. It is strictly residential. 

·        Development plans along Route 29 North are to be sensitive to its status as an Entrance Corridor Roadway.

Willow Glen faces Dickerson Road, which is not an Entrance Corridor. It also has access to Town Center Drive, also not an Entrance Corridor. The entrance to Willow Glen is planned to be attractive and informative.

·        Provide linkage between neighborhoods within the Hollymead Community (including nonresidential areas) through the use of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, greenways /linear parks, roads, and transit alternatives. The emphasis is on linkage between development areas, not just within each development.

Willow Glen contains sidewalks and walking trails throughout the development. The applicant has not agreed to construct a sidewalk or bike path on the east side of Dickerson Road as part of the development.

The development does have a proposed location for a bus stop and is being designed to be transit-ready.

Housing

 

·        Encourage a full range of housing types and costs within the Hollymead Community. Large employers should work with the Albemarle County Housing Committee to determine what employee housing assistance programs can be implemented. Target opportunities for employees at the lower income level and employees hired locally.

The proposed Willow Glen development is providing housing in four price ranges: affordable, moderately priced, and two tiers of market price units. A total of 234 units as single-family detached, duplex, townhome, and condominiums are planned, along with open space and other community amenities. 

·        The Urban Density Residential area of approximately 50 acres west of Route 29 is intended for the location of a mobile home park accommodating a minimum of 100 mobile homes. This area is intended to provide affordable housing in the area and is intended to be exclusively for the location of a mobile home park for a period of not less than fifteen years from the start of development. Because of its proximity to areas designated for commercial and industrial use, new development shall provide an effective vegetative buffer around the mobile home park. Consideration should be given to cooperating with, and utilizing, area human service agencies in providing support services to residents as needed.

The proposed Willow Glen development is to be constructed north of the Mobile Home Park. A portion of the property that was redesignated Urban Density Residential for the Mobile Home Park, but has not yet been built on, separates Willow Glen from the Park.

Transportation

 

·        Development along Route 29 North is to have controlled access to the roadway. This can be accomplished through joint entrances, collector roads parallel to Route 29, and roads internal to the development.

The proposed Willow Glen development will not have access directly from US 29. Its main access will be from Dickerson Road, along with a secondary connection to Town Center Drive. A traffic impact analysis has been completed and shows that the development will have minimal impact on the adjacent roadway network due to the high level of background traffic.

·        Phasing of road improvements necessitated by new development which increases traffic on Route 649 (Airport Road), Route 606 (Dickerson Road), and Route 29. This will include the construction of interchanges at Route29 and Route 649, and Route29 and the northern most access point to the area now referred to as the North Fork Research Park, once they are warranted. Necessary improvements should be accomplished by fair-share contributions from new development.

The traffic impact analysis conducted for Willow Glen shows that the development will have minimal impact on the adjacent roadway network. The County may elect to use some of the cash proffer funds to assist with these road improvements.

·        Provide bicycle facilities and walkways in conjunction with all major road improvements.

The applicant has declined to provide a bike lane on the east side of Dickerson Road in front of the development. Bicycles may be ridden on the development’s internal roads.

·        Develop alternative modes of transportation to serve the Hollymead Community, particularly, large employment generating areas. This may be accomplished through the partnership between developers of large employment generating areas and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Possible extension of transit service north from its current terminus south of the South Fork of the Rivanna River is being considered. At this time no definite routes have been established. The site does have a planned transit stop and the road network has been designed to accommodate buses.

Utilities

 

·        Water treatment is provided by the North Fork Rivanna River treatment plant and storage is provided by the Piney Mountain storage tank. The treatment plant has a capacity of 2.0 million gallons a day. A maximum 800,000 gallons per day can be withdrawn from the North Fork of the Rivanna. This flow is not adequate to meet the needs of the service area at build-out. To increase available water supply there are three options available which are discussed in detail in the Utilities section of this chapter. The method utilized to serve this area depends, in part, on the ultimate size of the Hollymead Community north of Route 649 and the Piney Mountain Community.

Water capacity is available for the park.

·        Sewer service is currently provided by the Camelot treatment plant. The capacity of the plant is 365,000 gallons per day. This treatment is not adequate to meet the needs of the service area at build-out. The Albemarle County Service Authority has guaranteed an upgrade of the existing system once capacity has reached 90%. Options for providing additional service are discussed in detail in the Utilities section of this chapter.

Recent communications from the Albemarle County Service Authority indicate that sewer capacity to serve Willow Glen is inadequate. The applicant has been advised to work directly with the ACSA.

Public Facilities

 

·        Public Facility Improvements include:  Locate a police substation in or near the Hollymead /Piney Mountain area to reduce response times to the northern urbanized portion of the County.

The fire/rescue station now under construction off of Airport Road will include a satellite office for the Police Department.

·        Locate a joint fire/rescue station in or near the Hollymead/Piney Mountain area to reduce response times and increase fire and rescue capabilities to the northern urbanized portion of the County.

A fire and rescue station is under construction just north of Airport road on University of Virginia Research Park property.

·        Locate a library branch in or near the Hollymead /Piney Mountain area to serve the northern urbanized portion of the County.

A branch library is proposed at North Pointe.

·        The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, which includes the existing facilities, the southern runway, approach zone, and areas east of Route 606 owned by the airport for future expansion and location of airport related services.

Airport officials have been consulted about locating a residential development near the airport. They have indicated that noise impacts will be minimal and that the development is outside the “crash zone” around the airport.  Due to the possibility of airport expansion, the applicant has stated that all deeds for property in Willow Glen will contain a statement that the property is  in close proximity to the airport.

 

The County’s Comprehensive Plan supports rezoning proposals which are in conformity with recommendations for use, density, and form. At present, the proposal does not conform to the Land Use recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. The Commission has approved a Resolution of Intent to amend the Comprehensive Plan. If the Places29 Master Plan is approved with the uses currently shown on the draft Framework Plan, the proposal will be in conformity with use, density, and form recommended in the amended Land Use Plan.

 

 

CONFORMITY WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD MODEL

 

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

 

Pedestrian Orientation

The application plan shows sidewalks throughout the proposed development, including along the public streets and in front of the units. Parking is located in front, rather than behind, most units which causes the sidewalks to be interrupted by  driveways or parking pads. It would be preferable for the sidewalks to be located so that they could be continuous, rather than broken up for vehicular access. The applicant has not included a sidewalk along the east side of Dickerson Road. Walking trails connect many parts of the development, including the different residential areas and the community recreational amenities. This principle will be met if the sidewalks can be made continuous and if a sidewalk is added along Dickerson Road.

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

Streets on the application plan include sidewalks (although they are interrupted—see Pedestrian Orientation above), planting strips, street trees, and on-street parking.

Road C, as well as parts of Road E, G and F will have so many driveways that a curbed section will not be possible as shown on the application plan and in the project narrative. In addition, the onstreet parking shown on the inside of the curve on Road C will block adequate sight distance.  It would seem more practical to have perpendicular parking along this street, similar to a parking lot travelway. The only way a neighborhood model type street could be achieved in these dense areas would be to provide onstreet parallel parking without individual driveways, except on the inside of the curve of Road C. To do this causes redesign or perhaps a different housing type along Road C. This principle is not met.

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The application plan includes a mixture of public and private streets. The proposed roads are connected as much as possible considering the terrain and the layout of building sites. In addition to the main entrance from Dickerson Road, the applicant has proffered to connect the proposed development to Town Center Drive and has shown the connection on the application plan. The applicant has also shown future interparcel connections to the north and south, as requested by the County.

The applicant has included a location for a proposed bus stop and has designed the development so that a bus could loop through the development, thereby making the development transit-ready.

The applicant has declined to put a bike lane on the east side of Dickerson Road.  Except for the bike lane, this principle is met.

Parks and Open Space

The applicant proposes that 8.427 acres or 27.1 percent of the site be left undisturbed or developed as open space and amenity areas. The application plan includes a large central green and a combination pond/stormwater management facility with a pier and fountain. Staff has concerns about the quality of the pond and the path as an amenity due to the proposed grading. The application plan also includes two smaller tot lot areas, a second pond and several green buffer areas at the edges of the development. This principle is met.

 

 

Neighborhood Centers

The proposed development is also located within walking distance of the Hollymead Town Center’s various retail opportunities. This principle is met.

Building and Spaces of Human Scale

The Willow Glen narrative booklet shows proposed housing styles, as well as a possible design for the clubhouse. The buildings are generally one to four stories in height and are arranged on the site in a way that will be of human scale. The open space and other community amenities will complement the homes and clubhouse.

This principle is met.

Mixture of Uses

 

The applicant proposed four different types of dwelling units, along with a clubhouse and other amenities. The proposed development itself is not mixed use, but its location so close to the Hollymead Town Center means that retail, service, and employment uses are nearby. This principle is met.

Relegated Parking

 

Some of the parking for the condominium units is beneath the buildings while other parking is in parking lots or adjacent to the buildings. The townhouses, duplexes, and single-family units are served by a combination of onstreet parking and pads in front of the units. There are a few onstreet spaces near the clubhouse. Since most of the parking is in front of the units (except for some of the condominium parking), this principle is not met. However, at its February 6, 2007 worksession, the Commission indicated that the members were satisfied with the applicant’s parking arrangement.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The applicant is providing a variety of housing types, including single-family detached, duplexes, townhouses, and condominiums. The applicant is proffering to provide 15 percent affordable housing and an additional amount of moderately priced housing (further discussion is given below in the section on proffers). This would result in 35 affordable units. The Housing Director has indicated that the housing proffers appear to be consistent with other proffers that have recently been approved. This principle is met.

Redevelopment

The three houses currently on the property will be demolished in order to construct the new residential development.

This principle is met.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The applicant has applied for a critical slopes waiver. The County engineer has indicated that there are no engineering concerns which would prohibit the disturbance of these slopes (see complete analysis below). However, while the amount of slopes disturbed meets the criteria for a critical slopes waiver, the regrading of the slopes, particularly around the perimeter and the single-family units behind the tot lots and the clubhouse may be problematic. There are several areas where 2:1 and 3:1 slopes will be created. These regraded slopes are in areas that are proposed as part of the development’s amenities—the walking trails and around the pond. Staff is concerned that these areas are being treated as afterthoughts, rather than integrated into the overall design of the development. This principle is not met.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

This principle is not applicable since the site is not at the edge of the Development Area.

 

STAFF COMMENT

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

The existing Rural Areas zoning would not allow for the density, intensity, or form of development proposed.

 

The Planned Residential District (PRD), which the applicant has requested, is intended to encourage sensitivity toward the natural characteristics of the site and toward impact on the surrounding area in land development. More specifically, the PRD is intended to promote economical and efficient land use, an improved level of amenities, appropriate and harmonious physical development, and creative design consistent with the best interest of the county and the area in which is it located. It will allow the variety of housing types and amenities proposed for the new development.

 

The proposal meets the intent of the Planned Residential District.

 

Public need and justification for the change 

The applicant’s justification for the rezoning is to address a legitimate need for affordable housing in the County. This development will include affordable and moderately priced units,  if the County accepts the proffered proposal for the housing loan fund. Further, there will be market rate units and all are incorporated in a generally well-designed neighborhood.

 

Layout and Design

At the February 6, 2007 worksession, the Planning Commission generally agreed with the basic layout as shown by the applicant at that time. The current application plan is more detailed and includes some elements that are problematic:

§           The townhouses in the blocks labeled “C” have such closely spaced driveways that pedestrian travel along the street will be difficult. There are also parking pads in front of the units so that most of the front of the townhouses are devoted to parking. The same situation exists for the three blocks labeled “D.” While the driveways are somewhat further apart in front of the  single-family units, the sidewalks are still interrupted too often to allow for pedestrian movement. Staff does not see a ready solution to the problems of pedestrian orientation and relegated parking.

§           Staff notes that all of the single-family detached units and townhouses with garages have placed those garages so that they are the most prominent feature of the house at the street or pedestrian level. This is not an attractive design. In other developments, the garages have access from alleys. Staff does not see a ready solution to this problem, but notes that the Neighborhood Model recommends relegated parking and a pedestrian orientation.

 

Impact on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources

The proposal does not impact cultural and historic resources. With respect to impacts on the natural environment, there are no streams or other environmental features on the site that require preservation. As requested by the County, the plan shows stream buffers on an adjacent parcel.

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services 

On October 31, 2006, the Albemarle County Service Authority sent comments to staff and indicated that there was no deficiency in water or sewer capacity for the proposed development.

 

Recently (July 26, 2007, copy of e-mail included as Attachment J), the ACSA notified the staff that the existing Airport Collector does not have the capacity to handle the additional 63,180 gpd that this project would introduce. The Authority has asked that the applicant meet with them and enter into an agreement to provide the improvements necessary to meet the needs of the project. RWSA will also have to provide capacity certification. An agreement between the applicant and the ACSA is needed before this rezoning can be recommended for approval to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Transportation

The applicant has completed a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA). The results indicated that the development will have minimal impact on the adjacent roadway network due to the level of background traffic.

 

In response to County staff’s request for bicycle lanes and sidewalks along the road shoulder on the east side of Dickerson Road (adjacent to the proposed development), the applicant’s response letter states:

 

As for bike lanes, shoulder widening or any other improvements along Dickerson Road, the Applicant feels these are not necessary or should be required of this development. Should improvements be required along Dickerson Road then the County should earmark/allocate some or all of the funds proffered by the Applicant to these future projects.

 

Comments received from the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT) (see Attachment K)  indicate that:

§         A taper is needed from Towncenter Drive into the site. Typically, on an urban section tapers are not used and a turn lane would be used instead. However, neither of the intersection turn volumes (at Towncenter Drive or Dickerson Road) warrants a left turn lane.

§         The driveways in Road C are so close to one another and consistent that it appears that any needed drainage structures will be very difficult to fit into the street.

§         The driveway lengths for the units labeled “C” are of concern because there appears to be only 18 to 20 feet of space between the garage and the sidewalk. The average car is 19 feet long, so the cars will block the sidewalk. All units labeled “B” provide less space so parked cars will block the sidewalk there, too. VDOT staff recommends the use of alleys in this development.

§         The minimum width of an entrance on a state road is 12 feet. Units “A” that share a driveway are only 10 feet side, so this needs to be changed.

 

There are also several site-related issues raised by the County Engineer that have not yet been resolved:

 

§           Road C, as well as parts of Road E, G and F will have so many driveways that a curbed section will not be possible as shown in the project narrative. In addition, the on-street parking shown on the inside of the curve on Road C will block adequate sight distance. It would seem more practical to have perpendicular parking along this street, similar to a parking lot travelway. The only way a neighborhood model type street could be achieved in these dense areas would be to provide on-street parallel parking without individual driveways, except on the inside of the curve of Road C.

§           Adequate turnaround areas at the end of private streets serving the condominiums appear to be problematic.

 

These issues need to be resolved before staff can support the plan.

 

Stormwater Management

The County Engineer has indicated that he does not have sufficient information to judge whether the stormwater management is adequate for the site. Additional information is needed so staff can verify that all parts of the development will be treated.

 

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties 

The developed adjacent properties include the Hollymead Town Center and the Deerwood subdivision. Impacts, other than the traffic, light, and noise typically associated with residential development, are not anticipated.

 

A resident of the Deerwood Subdivision has contacted staff and asked that the privacy and peace of Deerwood residents be preserved. Staff has noted that, while there is no requirement for buffering between residential areas, the applicant shows some open space between the condominiums and single-family homes that are proposed along the side of Willow Glen adjacent to the Deerwood subdivision. Trees could be planted in this area.

 

PROFFERS

The applicant has provided a set of proffers in Attachment C to deal with the impacts of the development.

 

Affordable Housing. The applicant is proffering 15% of the proposed units as affordable units. The proffer outlines provisions relating to for-sale and for-lease units, the definition of for-lease units, the conveyance of interest, annual reporting, phasing of the units, notification period for the County’s cash option, and inspections of the affordable units. There is an option for the County to request cash in-lieu-of the affordable units, at the County’s discretion.

 

In general, the proffer is acceptable to the Director of Housing, however, several changes are recommended. They include extending the rental period from 5 to 10 years, adding language to indicate that the number of affordable units may not fall below 15% of the units constructed, and a few other minor wording changes.

 

Cash Proffers.  After the Planning Commission’s last worksession on Willow Glen in February of this year, the Board of Supervisors began work in earnest on establishing a cash proffer policy. They set an expectation that all residential rezonings will mitigate impacts to schools, libraries, parks, fire and rescue, and transportation at a level of $17,500 per single family detached unit, $12,400 for each multifamily unit, and $11,900 for each townhouse and condominium unit. It was also the consensus of the Board that, with the exception of affordable dwelling units provided, all new rezonings will pay for the equivalent of their full impact as determined by the per unit cash proffer calculations. 

 

Cash Impact for each Dwelling Unit type:

Total # DUs by type – Affordable DUs by type = net # DUs by type x $ ____/DU by type.

 

Single-Family (no affordable units):        22 - 0 =   22 x $17,500 =      $385,000

Duplex (all to be affordable):                12 - 12 = 0                    =                   0

TH/CONDO (23 to be affordable):  200 - 23 =  177 x $11,900 =   2,106,300

Total:                                                234   35                                 $2,491,300

 

The applicant is proffering cash meeting the Board’s expectation for 175 of the 234 units. 

 

In addition to the 15% affordable units (35 units), for which no cash proffers are expected or provided and full cash proffers for 175 of the units, the applicant is also proffering to provide 24 moderately priced units, which are described below. The cash proffers have strings attached as do the moderately priced units.

 

Moderately Priced Units.  Twenty-four units are proposed as moderately priced (affordable for to families making up to 120% of the area median household income) and would be for-sale or for-lease. These moderately priced units are proposed as condos or townhouses.  Instead of providing the full $11,900 cash proffer for these units, though, the applicant is proffering $5950 per unit.

 

One of the conditions of the moderately priced units is a requirement that the Board set up a Housing Loan Fund for operation by Piedmont Housing Alliance or another entity designated by the County. Another condition is that the Housing Loan Fund receive approximately 55% of the full cash proffer amount being provided. A third and final condition is that another portion of the cash proffers be used for funding operation of transit service.

 

While the Housing Director supports the provision of the moderately priced units, there are several problems with this proffer. First, only one-half of the amount requested by the Board is being offered for the 24 moderately priced units, or $5,950.00 per unit. Second, the way the applicant has proposed it, the County would only be able to use approximately 32% of the cash for impacts such as libraries, schools, parks, roads, and emergency service capital costs. Third, staff believes that if the proffer is acceptable, the County Housing Office should oversee the fund, to facilitate monitoring compliance. Fourth, the term of the transit proffer is only five years after receiving the last contribution, which may not be a long enough time to establish service in the Hollymead area. Finally, it is not clear what happens to the moderately priced units if the County does not agree to the Housing Loan Fund. In addition, the applicant would still only contribute half of the desired cash proffer amount for the 24 units.

Table 1 below shows the breakdown of money being proffered:

 

Table 1. Cash Proffers Including Housing Loan Fund, Transit, and CIP Amounts

Unit Type

$ for Capital Improvements

(per unit)

$ for Transit

(per unit)

$ for Housing Loan Fund

(per unit)

Total $ per Unit

# of Units

Total Proffered

Single Family Detached

$5,577.50

$2,235.47

$9,687.03

$17,500

22

$385,000

Single Family Attached

$3,792.70

$1,520.12

$6,587.18

$11,900

153

$1,820,700

Single Family Attached Moderately Priced

$1,896.35

$760.06

$3,293.59

$5,950

24

$142,800

Affordable

0

0

0

0

35

0

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

234

$2,348,500

 

The table below shows the difference between the applicant’s cash proffer and that desired by the County.

 

Table 2. Comparison of Board’s Desired Cash Proffer and Applicant’s Cash Proffer

 

Current Cash Proffer

Cash Proffer without Housing Loan Fund

Board’s Requested Cash Proffer Amount

Capital Improvements $

$   748,500

$2,348,500

 

Transit $

     300,000

 

 

Housing Loan Fund $

1,300,000

 

 

TOTAL

$2,348,500

$2,348,500

$2,491,300

 

Connection to Town Center Drive. The applicant is proffering to construct a second entrance to the proposed development from Town Center Drive, if the right-of-way from the adjacent parcel is made available free of charge. He is also proffering to build it within 18 months of the acceptance of Towncenter Drive into the state-maintained system or at another time which has not yet been determined. Staff has spoken to the developer of the adjoining property who has verbally agreed to make the right-of-way available. Changes are needed to the proffers to take the contingency out of the proffers and to clarity the timing.

 

Walking Trails. Staff notes that the walking trails are shown on the plan, so they do not need to be proffered. However, for the amount of use they are likely to receive in a residential development of this size, the trails should be paved. The trails should be Class B, not Class C, which is an earth or mulched nature trail. Staff will work further with the applicant on the appropriate standards.

 

Some of the trails are also marked “Public Nature Trail.” Staff questions whether this means they are going to be dedicated to the County. If so, they do need to be proffered, and the details need to be discussed further with the Parks and Recreation Department.

 

Waivers and Modifications

The applicant is requesting a waiver of the critical slopes. Engineering staff has no objection to the requested waiver, as noted in the analysis below. However, while the amount of slopes disturbed meets the criteria for a critical slopes waiver, the regraded slopes, particularly around the perimeter and the single-family units behind the tot lots and the clubhouse may be problematic.

 

Summary

Factors favorable to this request:

·        Locates residential uses near workplaces and retail areas.

·        Provides 15% (35 of 234 units) of affordable housing. It should be recognized that 15% would be expected with any residential rezoning.

·        Provides 10% (24 of 234 units) of moderately priced housing.

·        Provides four price tiers of housing—two market-rate tiers beyond the affordable and moderately priced.

·        Includes a mix of unit types, along with a clubhouse and other amenities.

·        The applicant has proffered a connection to Towncenter Drive, and shows a future connection to the north and south of the development.

·        Is consistent with other residential uses along the southern and eastern edges of the site. It should be recognized that the mobile home park on the south side may convert to nonresidential use in the future.

 

Factors unfavorable to this request:

·        There are still a number of outstanding issues to be resolved.

·        The amount of the cash proffer that would be part of the Housing Loan Fund and the transit contribution leaves only about one-third of the funds for the County’s capital needs. The cash proffer also states that those funds should be used in the vicinity of the development, which restricts the County’s ability to use those funds for the community’s benefit. Further, the applicant is only proffering one-half of the desired amount for the 24 moderately priced units.

·        This development does not create a significant amount of affordable and/or moderate-price housing beyond what would be expected in a typical residential rezoning.

·        The affordable units are very small.

·        The regraded slopes around the perimeter and near the single-family units across the road from the tot lots may be problematic.

·        The issue of sewer capacity to serve the development still has to be worked out.

·        The layout of the development puts most of the parking in front of the units where parked cars and cars pulling in and out of spaces will conflict with pedestrian activity.

·        Places a residential development across Dickerson Road from the Airport in an area that may have a long-range negative impact on airport expansion and/or expansion of airport-related uses.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS AND PRIVATE RECOMMENDATIONS

The following issues are still outstanding and in need of resolution:

 

The final item above can be worked out between the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors meeting as can several of the wording changes needed to the proffers and the application plan.

 

Without resolution of the other outstanding issues, staff cannot recommend approval. If the Commission, however, wishes to recommend approval, staff requests that approval be conditioned on satisfactory resolution of all of the issues above prior to the Board of Supervisors’ hearing in October.

 

RECOMMENDATION ON CPA: the CPA is being recommended for approval as part of the Places29 Comprehensive Plan Amendment process.

 

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


 

Request for Critical Slopes Waiver

 

The applicant has requested a Critical Slopes Waiver. Staff has reviewed the request for a Critical Slopes Waiver. The engineering analysis of the request follows:

 

Description of critical slope area and proposed disturbance

 

The critical slopes on this property are minor areas at the edges of the property in the front embankment of Rt. 606, and along the intermittent streams leading from under Rt. 606.  The applicant is proposing to grade the entire area for the development.

 

Areas

Acres

Total site

23 acres

Critical slopes

0.2

0.9% of site

Critical slopes disturbed

0.15

75% of critical slopes

 

Exemptions to critical slopes waivers for driveways, roads and utilities without reasonable alternative locations

 

This disturbance is not exempt.

 

Compliance with Zoning Ordinance 18-4.2

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 4.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

These provisions are created to implement the comprehensive plan by protecting and conserving steep hillsides together with public drinking water supplies and floodplain areas and in recognition of increased potential for soil erosion, sedimentation, water pollution and septic disposal problems associated with the development of those areas described in the comprehensive plan as critical slopes. It is hereby recognized that such development of critical slopes may result in: rapid and/or large-scale movement of soil and rock;

Movement of soil from these small areas of critical slopes is not significant.

 

excessive stormwater runoff

Stormwater runoff will be controlled by a stormwater management plan for the development.

 

siltation of natural and man-made bodies of water;

Inspection and bonding by the County will ensure siltation control during construction. Proper stabilization and maintenance will ensure long-term stability.

 

loss of aesthetic resource;

There are no natural or environmental resources identified in the Open Space Plan that need to be preserved. There are forested areas on the site that, because of the density and intensity of the proposed development, will need to be removed. This area is visible from Rt. 606 (Dickerson Road) and the neighboring developments, including the Deerwood Estates subdivision. The applicant is proposing street trees and landscaping along the Dickerson Road frontage of the development. The result will be a well-landscaped entrance with plantings continuing to the property line. The applicant has proposed a green buffer between Willow Glen and the Deerwood Estates subdivision. This should serve as a privacy and sound-diminishing screen.

 

and in the event of septic system failure, a greater travel distance of septic effluent, all of which constitute potential dangers to the public health, safety and/or welfare.

            This neighborhood is serviced by public sewer.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

Based on the review above, there are no engineering concerns which prohibit the disturbance of the critical slopes as shown. If the Planning Commission recommends approval of the rezoning, then staff can recommend approval of the Critical Slopes Waiver.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

ATTACHMENT A – Location Map

ATTACHMENT B – Willow Glen: A Unique Housing Community (project narrative)

ATTACHMENT C – Proffer Statement

ATTACHMENT D – Willow Glen Proffer Summary

ATTACHMENT E – Minutes of Planning Commission worksession, February 1, 2005

ATTACHMENT F – Minutes of Planning Commission worksession, November 22, 2005

ATTACHMENT G – Minutes of Planning Commission worksession, December 5, 2006

ATTACHMENT H – Resolution of Intent, passed January 23, 2007

ATTACHMENT I –  Minutes of Planning Commission worksession, February 6, 2007

ATTACHMENT J –  Copy of E-mail Message from Albemarle County Service Authority, sent/received July 26, 2007

ATTACHMENT K – Copy of E-mail Message from Virginia Dept. of Transportation, received August 7, 2007

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