COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SP 2007-10 Cutright

Staff: Joan McDowell

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

June 19, 2007 (Deferred from June 5, 2007)

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

July 11, 2007

Owner/s:  Arley E. Cutright, Jr. and Patsie H. Cutright, Trustees of the Cutright Family Trust

Applicant: Patsie Cutright

Acreage:  9.620 acres

Special Use Permit: SP 2007-10

TMP:  08800-00-00-006A1

Location:  3544 Red Hill School Road; southeast corner of Red Hill School Road (RT. 760) and Monacan Trail Road (RT 29) - North Garden

Existing Zoning and By-right use:   Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)

 

 

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Conditions or Proffers: No

RA (Rural Areas)  10.2.2 (28) Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1.

and Section 10.5.2.1 Where permitted by Special Use Permit

 

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  One additional dwelling unit that is not permitted by-right     

Proposal:  Special Use Permit to acquire two additional development rights to construct one dwelling unit and donate approximately 2 acres to the Albemarle Fire Department

 

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre); Entrance Corridor - Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; Flood Hazard - Overlay to provide safety and protection from flooding

 

Character of Property:  Residential with large area of cut lawn and pond

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Residential and agricultural

Factors Favorable: (Updated)

1.       The Department of Fire Rescue has indicated that a proposed land donation to the North Garden Fire Department would benefit fire rescue service by providing permanent access to an existing dry hydrant/pond.

 

 

Factors Unfavorable:

1.       This application does not represent a unique circumstance that would permit a favorable recommendation.

2.       Approval of this application would set an unwanted precedent.

3.       An additional residential structure would cause added demand for services.

4.       The proposed subdivision would increase rural area density above the by-right density.

5.       The proposed subdivision would further increase fragmentation of land.

6.       The proposed subdivision for an additional residence would increase impervious surfaces in the rural areas

7.       The Fire Department has not indicated that they would accept the land donation, but have expressed a concern for the increased service demands of additional dwelling units.

 

 


 

UPDATE:  This item was deferred from the June 5, 2007 Commission meeting to resolve conflicting comments received from the County’s Department of Fire Rescue and the North Garden Fire Department.  Attachment G is the revised comments from the County’s Department of Fire Rescue regarding the proposed donation of land to the North Garden Fire Department.  Staff has reviewed this proposal based on the new information and modified the report appropriate.  Updated information in this report is provided in blue and underlined or strikethrough print.

 

 

PETITION:  PROJECT: SP 2007-10 Cutright - Development Right

PROPOSED: Special Use Permit to acquire two additional development rights

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)

SECTION: 10.2.2 (28) Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1.

and Section 10.5.2.1 Where permitted by Special Use Permit

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre); Entrance Corridor - Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access; Flood Hazard - Overlay to provide safety and protection from flooding

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes__X__No____

LOCATION: 3544 Red Hill School Road; southeast corner of Red Hill School Road (RT. 760) and Monacan Trail Road (RT 29) - North Garden

TAX MAP/PARCEL:  88-6A1

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller

 

Character of the Area:  The area primarily contains agricultural uses, and includes scattered residential structures.  The property is accessed by a gravel road.  Both a property under the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program and several properties in the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District are in the area.    

 

Specifics of the Proposal:  The applicant, Patsie Cutright, has requested two additional development rights on 9.62 acres in order to create a minimum 2-acre parcel to establish a residence for herself.  Mrs. Cutright also intends to donate approximately two additional acres that contains an existing pond/dry hydrant and fronts Route 29 to the North Garden Volunteer Fire Department, as this portion of the property has been used for an annual fund-raiser picnic by the Fire Department.  Her existing 1,600 finished square foot residence would be sold.    (Attachments A and B).

 

Planning and Zoning History:  No previous planning applications or zoning history has been found for this property.  However, two parcels have been created from the subject parcel, extinguishing the allowable development rights on the parent parcel:

TMP 88-6A2    subdivided in 1985; 2-acres; residence constructed in 1986

TMP 88- 6A6   subdivided in 2004; 2.355-acres; undeveloped

 

Since 1981, 19 applications for additional development rights have been considered

·         9 applications approved

·         10 applications denied

The Board of Supervisors typically based its approvals on finding that the applications adequately met the criteria of Sec. 10.5.2.1, such as a location next to a development area or existing development, for a family member, or some unique circumstance.  (Attachment C)

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan:  The proposed additional development rights are not consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan that consistently guides development, specifically, residential development toward the Development Areas to “…facilitate economical service delivery in those areas…and to conserve the Rural Areas.”  The Growth Management Plan also recognizes that the loss of resources to development is irreversible and irreplaceable.  Further, the Plan states, “In the interest of this growth management strategy, residential development is considered a secondary use in the rural area.”  The Land Use Plan provides guidance for development that will be harmonious to the natural and man-made environments and consistent with the County’s Growth Management goals – which are to channel development into designated Development Areas while conserving the balance of the County as rural areas.”  A goal of the Rural Areas section of the Plan states, “Reduce the level and rate of residential development in the Rural Areas, and minimize the impact of permitted development.”

 

This property is also within the Entrance Corridor Overlay District and a Flood Hazard Overlay.  As residential dwellings are exempted from review by the Architectural Review Board, the ARB did not comment on this application.  The area of the Flood Hazard Overly is located adjacent to the pond and would not be affected by an additional residential dwelling.

 

Regarding the proposal to donate one of the two proposed lots to the North Garden Fire Department, the County’s Department of Fire Rescue has provided revised comments supporting this offer (new Attachment G).  Chief Eggleston has indicated that an existing dry hydrant located on site provides an important service to the North Garden Fire Department, and that “it is in Fire Rescue’s best interest to maintain the dry hydrant for fire protection purposes.” The Comprehensive Plan does not identify this site for a public use. While the dry hydrant and pond provides a benefit to fire service in the area, maintaining the Fire Department’s access to the hydrant does not require the creation of two additional lots as proposed in this request.  Permanent access to the hydrant and property can also be secured by means other than subdividing the land (such as an access easement).

 

 

Staff Comment:  The applicant would like to subdivide approximately 2-acres in the area next to her existing house and construct a house with less square footage. The reasons given for this request are as follows:

1.       I would like to build a house with lesser square footage than now owned.  (Taxation and cost of living make it a practical solution to change in economic status.)  I would not build anything that would be a detriment to the valuation of adjacent property.

2.       My husband and I have always felt that we’d like for the local fire company [to] own the corner property. The fire company, in the past, has held a fund-raiser each summer.  Additionally, there are local churches who have used the lot for various activities.

 

Although the applicant only intends to construct one additional residence, this application is for two additional development rights.  The second development right would allow the subdivision of a minimum 2-acre parcel at the corner of Route 29 and Red Hill School Road to be donated to the North Garden Volunteer Fire Department.  The donated parcel would remain undeveloped for the use of the Fire Department for their picnics and other outdoor events. Please see the Department of Fire Rescue’s comments (Attachment G) and staff comments in the Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan (above). However, the Fire Department has expressed concerns regarding the additional demand that would be placed on current resources, should an additional development right be granted for the new house

 

I.  Staff will address each provision of Section 10.5.2.1 of the Zoning Ordinance:

 

1.  The board of supervisors may authorize the issuance of a special use permit for more lots than the total number permitted under section 10.3.1 and section 10.3.2; provided that no such permit shall

be issued for property within the boundaries for the watershed of any public drinking water supply

impoundment, and further provided that no such permit shall be issued to allow more development

lots within a proposed rural preservation development than that permitted by right under section

10.3.3.3(b). (Added 11-8-89; Amended 5-5-04 effective 7-1-04)

The subject property is not in a watershed of any public drinking water supply impoundment or within an RPD.

 

The board of supervisors shall determine that such division is compatible with the neighborhood

as set forth in section 31.2.4.1 of this chapter with reference to the goals and objectives of the

comprehensive plan relating to rural areas including the type of division proposed and specifically,

as to this section only, with reference to the following: (Amended 11-8-89)

1. The size, shape, topography and existing vegetation of the property in relation to its suitability

for agricultural or forestal production as evaluated by the United States Department of

Agriculture Soil Conservation Service or the Virginia Department of Forestry.

The subject property contains mostly locally important with two areas of prime soils and one area of unique soils near the southeast border of the property.  The area of the pond does not contain agricultural soils.

 

2. The actual suitability of the soil for agricultural or forestal production as the same shall be

shown on the most recent published maps of the United States Department of Agriculture Soil

Conservation Service or other source deemed of equivalent reliability by the Soil

Conservation Service.

The soils on this property have been identified as suitable for agricultural production.(Attachment D)

 

3. The historic commercial agricultural or forestal uses of the property since 1950, to the extent

that is reasonably available.

This parcel was part of a 142.54-acre parcel that was operated as “farming properties” at the time of Francis R. Cutright will, dated June 10, 1975.

 

4. If located in an agricultural or forestal area, the probable effect of the proposed development

on the character of the area. For the purposes of this section, a property shall be deemed to be

in an agricultural or forestal area if fifty (50) percent or more of the land within one (1) mile

of the border of such property has been in commercial agricultural or forestal use within five

(5) years of the date of the application for special use permit. In making this determination,

mountain ridges, major streams and other physical barriers which detract from the

cohesiveness of an area shall be considered.

Approximately 61.5% of the land within one mile of the property is in parcels that are enrolled in use-value taxation for agricultural or forestal uses. Enrollment in the tax categories indicates the presence of active commercial agricultural or forestal uses. The parcel is considered to be in an agricultural or forestal area. A farming operation is located on the opposite side of Red Hill School Road. Other farming operations are located within one-mile of the subject property; a property under the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program is within one-mile of the subject property; and it is within one-mile of the Hardware Agricultural and Forestal District.

 

5. The relationship of the property in regard to developed rural areas. For the purposes of this

section, a property shall be deemed to be located in a developed rural area if fifty (50) percent

or more of the land within one (1) mile of the boundary of such property was in parcels of

record of five (5) acres or less on the adoption date of this ordinance. In making this

determination, mountain ridges, major streams and other physical barriers which detract from  

the cohesiveness of an area shall be considered.

Approximately 4.3% of the land within one mile of the property was in parcels of five acres or less on the Zoning Ordinance adoption date. This area is not considered to be a developed rural area.

 

6. The relationship of the proposed development to existing and proposed population centers,

services and employment centers. A property within areas described below shall be deemed in

proximity to the area or use described:

a. Within one mile roadway distance of the urban area boundary as described in the

comprehensive plan; (Amended 11-8-89)

b. Within one-half mile roadway distance of a community boundary as described in the

comprehensive plan; (Amended 11-8-89)

c. Within one-half mile roadway distance of a village as described in the comprehensive

plan. (Amended 11-8-89)

The subject property is surrounded by Rural Areas land use designation properties; the North Garden commercially zoned property is located over one-mile to the south, at the Plank Road/Route 29 intersection.

 

7. The probable effect of the proposed development on capital improvements programming in

regard to increased provision of services.

The additional residence may not directly result in a need for development of capital improvement programs, an additional residence results in an increased need for future equipment, a concern  raised by the Fire Department. 

 

8. The traffic generated from the proposed development would not, in the opinion of the

Virginia Department of Transportation: (Amended 11-8-89)

a. Occasion the need for road improvement;

b. Cause a tolerable road to become a nontolerable road;

c. Increase traffic on an existing nontolerable road.

Traffic would not be increased to the level that would require improvements; Route 29 is not identified as intolerable in this area.

 

9. With respect to applications for special use permits for land lying wholly or partially within

the boundaries for the watershed of any public drinking water impoundment, the following

additional factors shall be considered:

a. The amount and quality of existing vegetative cover as related to filtration of sediment,

phosphorous, heavy metals, nitrogen and other substances determined harmful to water

quality for human consumption;

b. The extent to which existing vegetative cover would be removed or disturbed during the

construction phase of any development;

c. The amount of impervious cover which will exist after development;

d. The proximity of any paved (pervious or impervious) area, structure, or drain field to any

perennial or intermittent stream or impoundment; or during the construction phase, the

proximity of any disturbed area to any such stream or impoundment;

e. The type and characteristics of soils including suitability for septic fields and erodability;

f. The percentage and length of all slopes subject to disturbance during construction or

upon which any structure, paved area (pervious or impervious) or active recreational area

shall exist after development;

g. The estimated duration and timing of the construction phase of any proposed

development and extent to which such duration and timing are unpredictable;

h. The degree to which original topography or vegetative cover have been altered in

anticipation of filing for any permit hereunder;                                              

 

i. The extent to which the standards of Chapter 17 et seq. of the Code of Albemarle can

only be met through the creation of artificial devices, which devices will:

1. Require periodic inspection and/or maintenance;

2. Are susceptible to failure or overflow for run-off associated with any one hundred

year or more intense storm.

The property is not within a public drinking water impoundment watershed.

 

II.  Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance:

 

31.2.4.1: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

It is staff’s opinion that there would not be substantial detriment to an adjacent property. 

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby and

An additional residence would not change the character of the area; however, the property provides a natural buffer between Route 29 and other properties in this area.

 

that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

The purpose and intent of the Rural Areas zoning is to preserve agricultural and forestal lands and activities, to protect the water supply, to limit service to rural areas, and to conserve the natural, scenic, and historic resources of the County.  This request does not comply with the purpose and intent of the ordinance. As it would allow additional density not permitted in the Rural Areas zoning district by-right..

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

The proposed subdivision and eventual residence would increase the density of this district beyond what is allowed by-right.

 

 

with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

There are no regulations in section 5.0 of this ordinance that apply to this application.

 

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The Department of Fire Rescue has indicated that a proposed land donation to the North Garden Fire Department would benefit fire rescue service by providing permanent access to an existing dry hydrant/pond.

 

However, it should be noted that the donation of land to the Fire Department does not require the subdivision of two lots as proposed in this application.  Furthermore, there are other means of ensuring permanent access to the hydrant and land other than by creating an additional lot (access easements).

 

 

Staff has identified the following factors unfavorable to this application:

1.       This application does not represent a unique circumstance that would permit a favorable recommendation.

2.       Approval of this application would set an unwanted precedent.

3.       An additional residential structure would cause added demand for services.

4.       The proposed subdivision would increase rural area density above the by-right density.

5.       The proposed subdivision would further increase fragmentation of land.

6.       The proposed subdivision for an additional residence would increase impervious surfaces in the rural areas.        

7.       The Fire Department has not indicated that they would accept the land donation, but have expressed a concern for the increased service demands of additional dwelling units.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends denial of Special Use Permit 2007-10.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

A         SP 2007-10 Cutright Application

B         Concept plan on the survey by B. Aubrey Huffman & Associates. LTD, dated April 2, 2004 and received by the Community Development Department on February 22, 2007.

C         Summary of Request for Additional Lots Heard by the Board of Supervisors

D         Agricultural Soils TMP88-6A1

E          Short Review Comment

F          Location Map

G         (NEW) Department of Fire Rescue Comments (June 8, 2007), updating prior comments from the Department noted provided in Attachment E

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