Albemarle County Planning Commission

June 13, 2006



            Work Session:


ZMA-2005-017 Biscuit Run (formerly Fox Ridge) – Signs #52,56,63

PROPOSAL:  Rezone approximately 920 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre), R-2 Residential (2 units/acre) and RA--Rural Area: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to NMD Neighborhood Model District - residential (3 - 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Maximum number proposed residential units: 4,970. Commercial uses proposed also.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Neighborhood Density Residential-residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses.


LOCATION: Tax Map and Parcels 90-5, 90-6D (portion), 90-17D, 90-A-3, 90-A1-1, 90-A1-1E, 90-15A, 90A-1A, 90A-1B, and 90A-1C. Between the east side of Old Lynchburg Road and the west side of Route 20; adjacent and to the south of the Mill Creek subdivision, adjacent and to the west of the intersection of Avon Street, Extended and Route 20.


STAFF:  Claudette Grant


Ms. Grant stated that during the last work session the Commission requested to see the scope of the traffic study once staff, VDOT and the applicant had agreed with it.  The primary intent of this  work session is provide the Commission with this requested information and to provide some general information regarding transit ready and transit oriented development.  City and County staff, VDOT and the applicant have been in discussions to determine what should be included in the traffic impact analysis since November.  What the Commission has in the report is a result of these meetings.    As a result the traffic study is currently under way and Steve Blaine from the development’s team will discuss the status momentarily. Staff welcomes the Commission’s thoughts and comments regarding the scope.  The presentation format is a little different this evening.  The applicant’s consultant Eric Strohager and Juan Wade, the County Transportation Planner will provide additional information with a power point presentation.  This additional information will include information about what a traffic analysis is, details regarding the scope of the traffic impact analysis, what happens next and information regarding transit developments.  Before getting into the power point presentation Stephen Blaine would like to bring us up to date on the status of the study and introduce Eric Strohager from his team. Staff will be happy to answer questions.  (Attachments – Copy of Staff Report for ZMA-05-17 Biscuit Run – Review of Traffic Impact Analysis Scope)


Stephen Blaine, representative for Forest Lodge LLC, pointed out that it would be a logical question on where are we on the traffic study.  As you heard, there has been quite a number of sessions and time spent in just agreeing upon what the proper scope would be and what that entails. That was really just tied up some weeks ago.  He was happy to report that the raw data has been compiled and they will hear a little bit more about what goes into a traffic study analysis from Eric.  What they thought that they would do with this program was lay the ground work for when the study is actually submitted. They were talking about it and were using terms that sometimes they can’t assume that everybody understands what they mean.  So they were going to have a little bit of a traffic analysis one on one. This could really be a survey course of many hours, but they were going to try to condense it down into a few minutes and obviously open it up for questions.  They thought that this would be beneficial to everyone in anticipation to the traffic study, which they would like to submit when they are further along on the plan.  They have taken some of the feedback that they have heard in these work sessions and from meetings with neighbors to look at and work on the land plan.  They were trying to respond to some of the Commission’s comments about the land form and the uses. They would like to do the traffic analysis one time.  They are not necessarily saying that the changes in plans when they resubmit them will change the traffic study, but they would like to be sure before they submit those revised plans.  So it may be some weeks off.  They will continue to keep the Commission updated on the status of that.  Eric Strohager is a licensed civil engineer in Virginia and North Carolina.  He was educated at North Carolina State University.  Eric and his firm, Wing and Kemp Associates, are very familiar with our area and our transportation network.  They have been involved with projects up at the north end of the County such as Hollymead Town Center and Albemarle Place. They have a great deal of experience in this.  He turned it over to Eric Strohager to give them some background on what goes into a traffic analysis.


Eric Strohager said what he would like to get into tonight is just what a traffic study does, how they perform it and what the result is of the traffic study.  Ms. Grant will run through some slides as they go through this.  He will highlight some things that are specific to the Biscuit Run project.  Right now he would like to stay in the general scope of what a traffic study is.  The purpose of a traffic study is to essentially assess what the site access will be.  In that light, they have to determine first at what point they will tie into the existing roadway infrastructure that surrounds the site.  Then they need to figure out the capacity those facilities need to be in order to handle the future traffic conditions that the site will generate.  After they figure out where their access is and determine what the impacts of the access are they spread out from the site and go to the surrounding roadway infrastructure key points around the site to determine what the off site impacts would be to the roadway infrastructure.  Beyond that the community as a whole can use these studies as a planning tool for any kind of future development that goes beyond the site.  The method for conducting a traffic study to take care of these issues includes determining the traffic conditions to find out the relevant traffic conditions. From that they can analyze the critical roadway infrastructure facilities.  What you find out more often than not is that the critical roadway infrastructure facilities get to the intersections.  That is typically the limiting factor on any roadway because that is where you have points of conflict.  They have to share the roadway essentially with somebody else.  So that becomes a very key element to the capacity of the surrounding roadway infrastructure.  The elements in a traffic study essentially are where they come together with the community, the staff and the review jurisdictions to start trying to figure out how they want to structure the traffic study for the specific site.  The study area is a key element.  As shown on the map on the board, each one of the red dots signifies an intersection that is part of the traffic study for Biscuit Run.  (See Attachment C.)  Basically, the development team relies on the community as a whole.  The staff in Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville and VDOT knows the roadways as well as anybody in this area.  So they know where the key elements or key points of access will be.  They know where the significant conflicts will be so that. 


Juan Wade, County Transportation Planner, presented a power point presentation regarding the Biscuit Run Traffic Analysis Scope agreed on by the applicant, County staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation.  The following are items to be noted from the analysis:


·         One point of interconnection to Mill Creek from Biscuit Run will be analyzed.  There are four access points planned for Biscuit Run, two on Old Lynchburg Road and two access points on Route 20.  The four access points are assumed to make up nearly all traffic in the area.  The Traffic Analysis will also consider the Southern Parkway.

·         The study did not incorporate the future development proposals for the Brass and Granger sites.  The information was not included primarily due to timing.  Application proposals for the Granger and Brass sites have not been submitted to the County.  The Granger site needs a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) and both sites need Rezoning.  It would be difficult to determine what assumptions to include in the Biscuit Run Traffic Impact Analysis.  The transportation information from the Biscuit Run Traffic Impact Analysis will be included in the traffic impact studies that would be required for the Granger and Brass site.

·         The Biscuit Run Traffic Analysis will analyze the impact of transit.  The applicant has committed to developing the site as a transit “ready” development.

·         The Southern Area B Report has been provided to the applicant for consideration.  This Report is currently being considered by the Planning and Coordination Committee (PACC).  A major recommendation proposed in the Southern Area B Report is the Sunset Connector.  The Sunset Connector will be considered as part of the Granger Site proposal.


In summary, the Planning Commission held the fourth work session on ZMA-2005-017, Biscuit Run (formerly Fox Ridge), to review and discuss the scope of the Traffic Impact Analysis and to receive a brief synopsis regarding transit “ready” development, which the Commission expressed an interest in.  Stephen Blaine brought the Commission up to date on the status of the traffic study, which has not been completed or submitted.  Eric Strohhacker, a traffic consultant for the applicant, and Juan Wade, County Transportation Planner, presented a power point presentation, which included what a traffic analysis is, details regarding the scope of the traffic analysis, what happens next and information regarding transit developments.  No public comment was taken.  Once the study is completed, the results will be provided to the Planning Commission after review by County, City and VDOT professionals. The Commission plans to hold an open house in the future after receipt of the traffic study to take public comments.  No formal action was taken.


            Old Business:


Ms. Joseph asked if there was any old business.  There being none, the meeting moved on to the next item.


            New Business:


Ms. Joseph asked if there was any new business.



There being no further new business, the meeting proceeded.


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