Albemarle County Planning Commission

October 16, 2007

                                        

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, October 16, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

Members attending were Jon Cannon, Bill Edgerton, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Marcia Joseph, Chairman; Eric Strucko; Duane Zobrist and Pete Craddock. Mr. Craddock arrived at 7:25 p.m. Mr. Strucko left at 7:33 p.m.  Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent. 

 

Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; Claudette Grant, Principal Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Lee Catlin, Community Relations Manager; Harrison Rue, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Ms. Joseph called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

 

ZMA-2007-00005 Avon Park II

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 5.17 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre) to R-6 Residential (6 units/acre) the proposal is to allow development of 31 townhouse and single family units.

PROFFERS:  Yes

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.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: Avon Street Extended, approx. 1,000 feet north of the intersection of Avon Street Ext. and Route 20, south of existing Avon Court

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 90, Parcel 31

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT:  Scottsville

(Rebecca Ragsdale)

 

Ms. Ragsdale presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report.  (See Staff Report)

 

Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.

 

Frank Pohl, with Weatherhill Development, said that basically this was a Service Authority easement for sewer and water.  They do have grinder pumps on this project, which also are in this easement that is in this street.  That is the logical location for any type of utilities.  When they move this sidewalk this they have to basically angle for a 7’ and not a 6’.  There is not enough room in this area with this 3.5’ easement extending into the strip.  Therefore, they think that 7’ would be required.  Then they can provide 19’ to the front buildable area.  That still exceeds the minimum standard of 18’ for parking and not overhanging the sidewalk.  They ask the Commission.   There is a 7’ planting strip as provided.  The sidewalk is not adjacent to the street, however, it would be on the lot and it would provide an easement over this sidewalk which was done in phase 1.  Street trees are within the green planting strip and not on individual lots.  Therefore, they have flip flopped those.  The sidewalks would need to be in an access easement.  There would be shorter driveways with smaller front yards on lots, which they felt was important for this neighborhood being that the lots are already small.  The trees are 30’ apart that may require a higher degree of maintenance on the trees. With regards to the slope on the road he knew they were recommending approval, but just in case the Commission had any questions on it. They looked eliminating that and going to 10 percent on that road.  It would basically raise the end of the road approximately 3’ at this point.  That would create a further challenge to maintain 3:1 slopes or less.  They would potentially have to add some more walls in this area, which may become an issue for the ARB.  The maximum is 13.5 percent at the center or somewhere right in this area.  Then it tapers back to the 10 percent at the edges of this area that is in the hatched area.  The native grades are 14 to 15 percent, which is why they are fighting the grade a little bit coming down the hill.  They are really trying to make the existing house on 31 fit into with this neighborhood.  If they have to raise this road 3’ it will do the opposite.

 

Ms. Joseph invited public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Morris noted that he had a question on the planting strip.  Since they have underground utilities with the sewer, etc. and they have curb and gutter 7’ back and then 6’ back there is the sidewalk.  What does that do to the chances of the survival of the tree roots with large of amount of concrete.

 

Ms. Echols pointed out that the applicant is proposing 7’ and there is a standard 6’ planting strip standard. It is the standard that they use and there are different ways that they can deal with the root system to protect the root system in that particular circumstance.  The Planning Commission and Board considered that when they made the Subdivision Ordinance changes and made that a requirement.  The proposed alternative is actually from the standpoint of the Neighborhood Model a preferable alternative because you get the appearance and feeling that the buildings are actually closer to the street than they really are.

It is something that makes Parkside Village work in terms of the location of their sidewalks on the lots in an easement.  There is an alternative here that makes for a better design.  The 6’ planting strip is what was established as being viable for street trees in this area.  She pointed out that Mr. Edgerton helped draft the Subdivision Ordinance amendment.

 

Mr. Craddock arrived at 7:25 p.m.

 

Mr. Edgerton agreed with Ms. Echols.  The planting area between the sidewalk and curb will make for a much better design and it will appear to be nicer.  The applicant’s proposal to add an extra foot to the planting area will only help with the health of the trees. The concern was the addition of the grinder pumps in the easement.  But, he did not have any problem with adding the additional foot.  When we were considering this and the applicant was reading from the Neighborhood Model his recollection of their discussion at the DISC II Committee was that if there was already an existing sidewalk that there should be a planting strip behind, but that was not being proposed as an viable alternative.

 

Ms. Echols said that the Planning Commission had a lot of discussion on what the preferred form was, which was what went into the Subdivision Ordinance.  The other one was more of an exception if it could not physically be provided.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that was plan B, which was his recollection.

 

Action on ZMA-2007-00005 Avon Park II:

 

Motion:  Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve staff’s recommendation for ZMA-2007-00005, Avon Park II, as amended.

 

  1. The grading on lot 28 will not exceed 3:1 slopes or less and that if retaining walls are needed, they will be low in height and terraced.
  2. To accept staff’s recommendation to reject the planting strip waiver. The applicant presented an alternate street section that met the ordinance requirements, which the Commission recommended be reflected on the revised plan.

3.       The Commission suggested the applicant consider adding additional proffer language to the Affordable Housing proffers, to address the situation if there is not a person to occupy the affordable housing that the appropriate amount would be paid to the County for affordable housing.

  1. The Commission suggested the applicant consider adding additional proffer language to further address storm water management impacts of the rezoning, using a standard of 80 opposed to the 60 percent standard.

 

Mr. Strucko said that he remained concerned about adding density in this area.  Biscuit Run is just to the south of this proposal with 3,000 new homes.  He was still concerned that they don’t have what he felt were proper policies for the Rural Area in place.  He was concerned that they can’t even get a stream buffer or a critical slope ordinance in place.  He was more comfortable with the by right use of this property than the proposed rezoning.

 

Ms. Joseph noted she could not support the request because of the way the affordable housing proffers are written. It is extremely important that affordable housing does not go away and it stays there in some form.  There should be a cash proffer for affordable housing if they can’t sell the property as affordable housing.  She shared Mr. Strucko’s concern that anything that comes before them that is not really adding value to the community she could not support.

 

Amended Motion:

 

Mr. Zobrist amended the motion to add that the proffer on the affordable housing be consistent with what they have done in the recent areas whereas if there is not a person to occupy the affordable housing that the appropriate amount would be paid to the County for affordable housing.

 

Mr. Edgerton seconded the amendment.   If that is the most recent affordable housing standard, then the Commission should apply that to this rezoning request as well.

 

Ms. Joseph supported the amendment.  She was having a real hard time with everything that has been going on this area, too.  She would like to have some sort of confirmation that they don’t have another scorched earth happening in this area and that there is some way they can make sure that the erosion and sediment control is such that to prevent that.  That is the other proffer that the Commission has seen recently regarding erosion and sediment control in that it is 80 percent captured instead of the normal 60 percent. 

 

Mr. Zobrist said that he did not think that they could add that as a condition since it has to be done by way of a proffer.

 

Mr. Kamptner replied yes.  Biscuit Run and the recent Hollymead Town Center Area A both have that standard as a proffer.

 

Mr. Zobrist invited Ms. Long to address the applicant’s intent on that.

 

Valerie Long, attorney for the applicant Weather Hill Development, said that they were not aware of any concerns about erosion and sediment control here. The applicant would be happy to take a look at and consider the language referenced by Mr. Kamptner.  They are very willing to use the new standard language on the affordable housing.

 

Mr. Zobrist questioned if that meant that they could add that as a condition to the motion to approve.

 

Mr. Kamptner relied yes.

 

Amended Motion:  Mr. Zobrist amended the motion for approval to be conditioned upon the applicant’s proffer reflecting 80 percent of the erosion as opposed to the 60 percent as the standard. 

 

Mr. Edgerton seconded the amendment.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:1 with the following conditions.  (Mr. Strucko voted nay.)  (Mr. Craddock abstained.)

 

  1. The grading on lot 28 will not exceed 3:1 slopes or less and that if retaining walls are needed, they will be low in height and terraced.
  2. To accept staff’s recommendation to reject the planting strip waiver. The applicant presented an alternate street section that met the ordinance requirements, which the Commission recommended be reflected on the revised plan.

3.       The Commission suggested the applicant consider adding additional proffer language to the Affordable Housing proffers, to address the situation if there is not a person to occupy the affordable housing that the appropriate amount would be paid to the County for affordable housing.

  1. The Commission suggested the applicant consider adding additional proffer language to further address storm water management impacts of the rezoning, using a standard of 80 opposed to the 60 percent standard.

 

Action on Public Street Waiver Request for ZMA-2007-00005 Avon Park II:

 

Motion:  Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve the waiver to allow a private street instead of a public street.  This was because of the slope and the parking at the end.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:1.  (Mr. Strucko voted nay.)  (Mr. Craddock abstained.)

 

Ms. Joseph stated that ZMA-2007-00005 Avon Park II will go before the Board of Supervisors on November 14, 2007 with a recommendation for denial.

 

Mr. Strucko left the meeting at 7:33 p.m.

 

The Planning Commission took a 10 minute break at 7:33 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 7:44 p.m.

 

(Recorded and transcribed by Sharon Claytor Taylor, Recording Secretary.)

 

Go to next attachment

Return to PC actions letter