CPA-2004-002 Pantops Master Plan - This work session was focused on transportation and neighborhood connections, including roads, transit, and pedestrian and bike goals and recommendations of the Pantops Master Plan, as well as an update on transportation studies that are underway outside of this master plan. Also, this work session was intended to include a review of previous work sessions on the Pantops Master Plan draft elements and include a discussion of the next steps in the master plan process. (David Benish/Rebecca Ragsdale)
In summary, the Planning Commission held the third work session on CPA-2004-002, Pantops Master Plan, with a focus on transportation issues and how connections between places in Pantops will be improved. Staff reviewed the staff report and went through the public concerns regarding transportation to provide a brief overview of what staff has heard. Transportation has emerged as the highest priority issue to be addressed in Pantops and a great deal of public response during the master plan process has been focused on transportation issues.
Staff focused on the following issues:
· Public Concerns on Transportation – Roads, Transit, Pedestrian and Bikes
· Studies – Summary of relevant studies that have been completed or are underway regarding transportation in Pantops
· Planned Road Improvements in Pantops
· Pantops Master Plan Preliminary Recommendations for Transportation
· Public Input on the Preliminary Recommendations for Transportation
· Richard Spurzem provided input regarding new information on a recent land purchase that he had made in reference to the relocation of Hansen Mountain Road through the Gazebo Plaza site to Glenorchy Drive. He noted that they have been working with VDOT regarding this problem along the Route 250 Corridor as part of the final site plan he has under review with the County for the project. Mr. Spurzem provided the Commission a copy of the road relocation plans.
The Planning Commission discussed staff’s recommendations regarding transportation and provided comments and suggestions.
· Infrastructure is needed for pedestrian access. An emphasis should be placed on the consideration of pedestrian overpasses or cross walks in the Pantops area. Language should be included to suggest the County make a commitment through the development process to figure out how to get pedestrians safely to their destination
· The Commission expressed concerns regarding possible additional widening of Route 250.
· There was support of Route 250 having a boulevard character to provide sidewalks and street trees to slow down traffic.
· Bus stops need to be shown along Route 250, particularly in the park and ride areas.
· The Commission directed staff to provide more specific recommendations with regard to interconnections proposed to existing residential areas with rural roads and lack of pedestrian facilities. (Such as Fontana and Glenorchy) The Commission would like to see stronger language and priority placed on improving the rural sections and upgrading.
· In follow up on the Commercial Mixed Use Corridor shown on the Framework Plan (red area on map) from last week, the Commission voiced concerns about the wide range of uses allowed from residential to commercial to industrial uses.
o Staff noted that the Commercial Mixed Use designation (red area on map) calls for mixed use development and would encourage re-development that was not necessarily highway oriented. This category allows for a broad range of commercial uses such as car dealerships that currently exist in that area. It does not discourage those types of uses and encourages redevelopment.
o A suggestion was made to add design control, possibly corridor specific, to foster change in the Commercial Mixed Use Corridor and ways to encourage people to look for more creative ways in form to accommodate the social need for these types of services, such as car dealerships. An example was to make better use of the topography. It was suggested that staff borrow language from the Neighborhood Model.
o Monticello’s view shed, or lack of visibility of this Commercial Corridor from Monticello, was considered by staff in designating the Corridor Commercial Mixed Use. The Commission had questions as to what maps or studies were available on Monticello’s view shed. Staff noted that there is a study and that is available should the Commission want to review it, but was not recently prepared and is not in the County’s GIS system.
o The Planning Commission directed staff to provide a report summarizing all three work sessions prior to moving forward with the Master Plan process
The Planning Commission liked the idea of establishing a community council for Pantops, as has been done for Crozet, and emphasized that a Planning Commissioner should be part of that council.
Mr. Benish said that next staff will come back to the Commission in a short work session or under a new business item where they would summarize all of the recommendations and clean them up based on what staff heard from the Commission so that they could have an understanding of what they are writing from. At that time staff will provide some preliminary build out capacity numbers. The 20 year growth projections will be provided at a later date.
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