COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
AGENDA TITLE: SP 2007-00034 First Church of the Nazarene
SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST: Updates on proposed church as directed by the Planning Commission at their November 9, 2007 meeting.
Wayne Cilimberg, Joan McDowell, Scott Clark
LEGAL REVIEW: No
AGENDA DATE: November 7, 2007
ACTION: Yes INFORMATION:
REVIEWED BY: McDowell, Cilimberg
At their October 9, 2007 meeting, the Planning Commission recommended approval of this special use permit request with the conditions listed below. The Commission reviewed a design for the site shown in Attachment I. The portions of the conditions shown in bold were added to staff’s recommended conditions by the Planning Commission. The Commission also directed staff to determine whether or not VDOT would recommend a left-turn lane or other improvements (beyond the right-turn lane, already required by condition) for the entrance.
Action on SP-2007-00034 (Church):
Motion: Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Zobrist seconded, to approve SP-2007-00034, First Church of the Nazarene- Church, with the conditions recommended in the staff report, as amended.
Note: The Planning Commission requests that a left hand turn lane on Route 22 be strongly considered by the Board of Supervisors. Prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting staff needs to work with VDOT to make sure what they are recommending.
1. The church’s improvements and the scale and location of the improvements shall be developed in general accord with the conceptual plan entitled “Conceptual Master Plan, Charlottesville First Church of the Nazarene”, prepared by TCS Engineering Co., LLC, and dated “15AUG07.”, provided that:
a. Entrance improvements shall be approved by VDOT prior to final site plan approval, and shall include a right-turn lane at the entrance.
b. All parking setbacks and undisturbed buffers required by Zoning Ordinance section 21.7, Minimum Yard Requirements, shall apply; and
c. The number of parking spaces shall not exceed 150 without amendment of this special use permit. Relegated parking should be used to the greatest extent possible.
2. The area of assembly shall be limited to a maximum 374-seat sanctuary.
3. Facilities on the site shall be used for church activities and shall not be rented or used for separate commercial uses available to the public.
4. All outdoor lighting shall be arranged or shielded to reflect light away from the abutting properties.
5. Virginia Department of Health approval of well and septic systems before final site plan approval.
Also at the October 9 Planning Commission meeting, a member of the public raised concerns about possible groundwater contamination near the site. This issue was raised after the Planning Commission staff report was distributed. Staff and the applicant provided information regarding this matter. Two locations near the proposed church site—the GOCO Oil facility and Stone-Robinson Elementary School—have had separate and unrelated fuel spills in the past that have led to groundwater contamination. Both sites are now on public water. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which regulates petroleum-spill sites, considers both of these cases to be closed. However, this only means that no existing water supplies or structures were considered threatened at the time of file closure. DEQ does not consider impacts on possible future land uses when closing a case. No further information on the extent of groundwater contamination in the area is available from DEQ, and would not be unless they receive new reports of contaminated wells.
Relegated Parking: The plan seen by the Planning Commission showed 180 parking spaces, including parking on both sides of the travelway in front of the Church. Staff recommended that parking be limited to 150 spaces. Comments from Design Planning staff recommended that parking be moved behind the building to limit impacts on the Entrance Corridor. The Planning Commission acknowledged the applicants’ stated need to have parking at the front, but altered condition 1[c] to direct that parking at the front of the building be relegated to the greatest extent possible.
On their revised conceptual plan (Attachment II), the applicants have removed 30 spaces. The number of spaces in front of the building has been reduced from 48 to 29. All 29 spaces have been moved to the side of the travelway nearest to the building, and farthest from the Entrance Corridor. Another 11 spaces have been removed from the rear of the lot. Staff feels that this change provides a minor improvement in the visual impact of parking on the site. Further reduction of parking in the front of the building would be more effective, but would not meet the applicant’s stated need for parking in that location. The revised arrangement is safer, as attendees would not need to cross the travelway to reach the building. Therefore staff has altered condition 1 in its recommendations to refer to this revised plan, and struck through the reference to relegated parking in condition 1[c], as the applicant’s proposal better addresses the Commission’s desire for relegated parking in light of the applicant’s need to retain some parking in front of the church, which was acknowledged by the Commission.
Entrance Improvements: VDOT has confirmed that the proposed entrance and a right-turn lane would be sufficient for this use. The entrance location was selected by the applicants in cooperation with VDOT in order to create maximum sight distance and to avoid conflicts with the planned intersection improvements for US 250 and Route 22.
VDOT is not recommending a left turn lane in this location for two reasons. First, creating a left-turn lane for the church site would reduce the space available for the more critical left-turn lane planned for the US 250/ Route 22 intersection. Second, the peak traffic times for the church (Sunday mornings) would occur during lower traffic levels on Route 22. VDOT feels that traffic at those times would not warrant a second left-turn lane.
Therefore staff has not recommended additional entrance requirements in recommended condition 1[a] below.
Groundwater: Although the Planning Commission did not recommend any additional action regarding groundwater for this use, the applicants have been conducting water tests to determine the suitability of the wells on site for drinking, and to check for petroleum contamination. Information on the results of those tests will be made available at the Board’s hearing.
Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors approve SP 2007-00034 First Church of the Nazarene with the following conditions:
I. Conceptual Plan dated August 24, 2007
II. Conceptual Plan dated November 7, 2007
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