Albemarle County Planning Commission

September 19, 2006


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, September 19, 2006, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Eric Strucko, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Pete Craddock, Duane Zobrist, Jon Cannon and Marcia Joseph, Chairman. Julia Monteith, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia, representative for David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia was absent. 


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; David Pennock, Senior Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; David Benish, Chief of Planning & Community Development; Amelia McCulley, Director of Current Development/Zoning Administrator; Mark Graham, Director of Community Development; Francis MacCall, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.


Other Matters Not Listed on the Agenda from the Public:


Ms. Joseph invited comment from the public on other matters not listed on the agenda.  There being none, the meeting moved on to the next item.


Review of Board of Supervisors Meeting – September 13, 2006.


Mr. Cilimberg summarized the actions taken by the Board of Supervisors on September 13, 2006. 


Consent Agenda:


a.       CPA 2004-002 Pantops Master Plan:  Summary of work session discussions on the Pantops Master Plan draft elements.  (Rebecca Ragsdale)


b.       Places29 Master Plan Update:  Brief update on the status of the Places29 Master Plan.  (Judith Wiegand)


Ms. Joseph asked if any one would like to pull an item off of the consent agenda.  She asked that CPA-2004-002, Pantops Master Plan, be pulled off of the consent agenda for discussion.  She had a question about the one Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center/Luxor area on Route 250.   She asked that the Planning Commission direction on center-types and recommendations for these areas be clarified and whether or not they had all agreed to move the Community Center from Rivanna Ridge to the Luxor area.  She acknowledged that the Commission talked about it, but did not know that they had come to that conclusion.  It was on the bottom of page 5 of the staff report. 


Mr. Strucko recalled that the Commission discussed that Route 250 is a barrier for pedestrians to cross and that most of the residential development is north of Route 250, which would require crossing that road.  Encouraging more pedestrian access to the commercial centers is very important.  Right now the situation is such that residents have to get in their vehicles to cross Route 250 because there is no pedestrian access.  That was the scope of his comments.  As the Pantops area evolves and as opportunities for redevelopment occur, consideration should be given to moving the commercial areas closer to the residential areas. They should facilitate more pedestrian access to them and to help alleviate the traffic congestion along Route 250 if the more regional commercial activities are going to be to the west of this area because of the Monticello view shed.  That was his recollection.


Ms. Joseph recalled that the Commission talked about if the zoning of Giant stays the way it is and they encourage more intensive zoning across the street are they going to have these two centers battling each other.  That is the only thing that she remembers.  If the Commission agrees that it should stay as it is stated on page 5 that these things are switched, she just wanted to make sure that they were all good with that because she remembered that part of the conversation also.


Mr. Edgerton noted that he had read the minutes and felt that Ms. Joseph was right on target.  He also wanted to discuss the Route 250 Commercial Corridor. On page 6 in the bottom blue box, it says that the Commission has concerns about the wide range of land use possibilities allowed with the recommended land use designation.  He recognized that there was a need for some of those types of uses in the County.  He recalled that this was referring to the red zone that was open to Highway Commercial uses.  He felt that they need to come up with some stronger language because there was a lot of concern expressed about not being able to restrict that corridor in such a way and that more intense land use would make the traffic situation worse.  Certainly, he did recall talking about how that was down lower to the west from the Montessori School and out of Monticello’s view shed.  It is probably an area where more intense development should occur.  He remembered a lot of concern about not directing in the Master Plan uses that would add a lot more regional traffic to the corridor.


Mr. Morris agreed.  He recalled that they were concerned about the size of the red block and they were hoping to move it, but where are they going to move it. 


Ms. Joseph agreed.  They all recognize the need for some of these activities in this area.


Mr. Cannon asked if there was a question of certain land uses that generate more trips or generate more traffic impacts to Route 250.  He was trying to determine whether it is a question of intensity of use or more specifically traffic related and ingress and egress related.


Mr. Edgerton said that his concern was to be directing the kinds of commercial activity that would have a regional impact that would actually be drawing traffic in from outlying regions that would then become our problem.  He did not know what the designation would be, but certainly it was not a Neighborhood scale.


Mr. Morris said that it was a regional scale.


Mr. Cannon asked if there were different classes of regional or non-neighborhood scale.


Ms. Joseph asked if Mr. Benish if he could come up with some language that would reflect that.


Mr. Benish noted that what the Commission was providing staff with was guidance.  Staff wants to be clear what their recommendations are.  Then staff would come back with their response to some of these concerns.  He understands that there is an intensity of activity that the Commission is concerned with and they may be able to address through a recommendation for types of forms or regional draws as opposed to more community oriented draws, but they are still relatively large scale.  He was not sure how exactly they would respond to it.  But, he understands what the general concern is. 


Mr. Edgerton said that they certainly do need some place for commercial activity to occur whether it is directed to the Charlottesville/Albemarle community or to the central Virginia community.  There needs to be a distinction there because the latter will bring in a lot of regional traffic, which will then start to choke our corridor as well.


Mr. Benish said that the Commission also addressed the form, which they understand is the built environment.  But, also related to the form is the issue of accessibility.  So traffic generators and ones that create a lot of in and out activity, such as auto deliveries, the importance of a parallel road system may be a way to address the intensity of activity there.  Staff will see how they can address that in what they come back with to the Commission.  Staff is trying to come to a consensus of what the Commission’s advice to staff is as they move forward with the next version of this plan and draft the text for it.  There are some changes that staff would like to come back and revisit with the Commission, particularly regarding these centers.  Staff will think through what the Commission’s recommendations are and maybe bring back some other points.  Staff just wants to understand where the Commission would like them to go with it.  But, staff will revisit some of these center issues and make sure they are comfortable with where they are going, including the shopping center areas.


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any other comments or suggestions.


Mr. Morris asked to state publicly to Ms. Ragsdale and Mr. Benish that they have done a wonderful job in really bringing together what they have heard at the public sections and what they have done for the last three weeks.  It is well done.


Ms. Joseph asked to say one thing about the relationship of the river to this area.  She felt that staff touched on it in the very first staff report.  She did not know whether they want to get real detailed in that and say things like they want cafes that relate to the river or that they want to have places that rent canoes or whatever.  She questioned how detailed they need to get.  But, she felt that it was real important that they not turn their back to the river not just for recreation, but for the aesthetics of the river.


Mr. Benish said that staff would definitely try to address that. 


In summary, the Planning Commission held a discussion with staff to clarify several items discussed at the previous work sessions prior to approving the consent agenda. 



Staff will come back with their response to some of these concerns.  Staff understands that there is an intensity of activity that the Commission is concerned with.  They may be able to address this through a recommendation for types of forms or regional draws as opposed to more community oriented draws, but they are still relatively large scale.   



Ms. Joseph asked if the Commission wanted to go ahead and address the consent agenda.


Motion:  Mr. Edgerton moved, Mr. Morris seconded, that the consent agenda be approved.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0. 


Ms. Joseph stated that the consent agenda has been approved.



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