PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

Project Name:  ZMA 2007-006 Three Notch’d Center

Critical Slopes Waiver & Waiver of 20 Foot Buffer

Staff:  Rebecca Ragsdale

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

September 18, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

December 12, 2007

 

Owners:    Jeffrey Sprouse

Applicant: Jo Higgins, Project Development Ltd.

Acreage: approx. 2.3 acres

Rezone from: LI Light Industrial

TMP:   TMP  56A3-9 and 56A3-11

By-right use Industrial, office, and limited commercial uses (no residential use)

 

Magisterial District: White Hall

Proffers:    Yes

Proposal:  Rezone to PDSC Planned District Shopping Center to redevelop the property into two buildings, a total of 40,460 square feet.  

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  None

DA (Development Area):  Community of Crozet

Comp. Plan Designation:  CT 5 Urban Center in the Crozet Master Plan

Character of Property:   Currently developed with a 11/2 story frame house as a restaurant and a two-story cinder block building with service/office uses

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Music Today, self storage, and undeveloped

Factors Favorable:   

1.       The rezoning is consistent with the Crozet Master Plan recommendations.

2.       The applicant has provided an application plan that meets Neighborhood Model design expectations.

 

 

Factors Unfavorable:

1.       A conceptual grading plan has not yet been provided but the applicant is working to respond to this request.

2.       Minor revisions and notes are needed to proffers and the application plan.

 

However, the applicant has indicated they intend to provide revised proffers and an application plan to address these outstanding issues listed. 

 

RECOMMENDATION:   

Staff can recommend approval only after conceptual grading is provided that satisfactorily addresses Entrance Corridor and critical slopes considerations and minor revisions to the application plan and proffers are made.

 

 


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                         REBECCA RAGSDALE

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                         SEPTEMBER 18, 2007

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                                        DECEMBER 12, 2007

 

 

ZMA 07-06 THREE NOTCH’D CENTER

Critical Slopes Waiver & Section 21.7.3 20 Waiver of 20 Foot Buffer Zone Adjacent to Residential/Rural Districts

 

 

PETITIONS 

PROJECT: ZMA 2007-006 Three Notch'd Center

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 2.3 from LI Light Industrial, which allows industrial, office, and limited commercial uses (no residential use)to PD-SC Planned Development Shopping Center, which allows for shopping centers, retail sales and service  uses; and residential by special use permit (15 units/ acre). The proposal is to redevelop the site with two office/commercial buildings with a total of 40,500 square feet.

PROFFERS:  Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  CT5 Neighborhood Center in the Crozet Master Plan which allows for a mix of uses and residential types at net densities of up to 12 units per acre; up to 18 units per acre if in a mixed use setting.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: 5368, 5374, and 5382 Three Notch'd Road, located on the northside of Three Notch'd Road approx 500 feet west of its intersection with Parkview Drive.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 56A3, Parcels 9 and 11

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall

            

 

CHARACTER OF THE AREA

The site is approximately 2.3 acres in size and is zoned LI Light Industrial. It is located in Community of Crozet along Route 240/Three Notch’d Road. There are currently two aging structures, a 1928 house that is currently occupied by Teresa’s café, and a two-story cinderblock building with uses such as video rental, laundermat, and some offices above. Adjoining the site to the west is the Crozet Self Storage recently constructed and Music Today and Star Hill occupy the former Con-Agra complex across Route 240. Most surrounding properties are zoned industrial, with the exception of the Rural Area zoned undeveloped property to the east.  (Attachment A-Aerial, Attachment B-Zoning Map)

 

 

SPECIFICS OF PROPOSAL 

The applicant has provided an application plan (dated August 15, 2007) which shows two buildings, including one three-story building and one two-story building totaling a maximum of 40,500 square feet,  with 140 surface parking spaces located to the side and rear, along with green space and outdoor gathering areas surrounding the buildings. (Attachment E-Application Plan) Existing buildings on the site will be demolished.

 

The proposal as shown on the plan is with the approval of a parking reduction by the Zoning Administrator, in accordance with Section 4.12.2 c (1) of the Zoning Ordinance.  This approval constitutes an 8.5% reduction in required parking based on the following:

 

 

APPLICANT’S JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST

The applicant has indicated that redevelopment of this site will enhance the Route 240 corridor, allow for neighborhood services near employment centers, and will provide for better consistency between zoning on the site and the Crozet Master Plan, while better accommodating the existing uses that are already occurring on the site.

 

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

The site has been zoned LI Light Industrial since the adoption of the 1980 Zoning Ordinance. Prior to 1980, it was zoned R2 Residential. LI districts are primarily intended to permit industries, offices and limited commercial uses which are compatible with and do not detract from surrounding districts. Supporting commercial uses are allowed by special use permit and are limited in terms of expansion opportunities and must bear a direct relationship to the industrial uses.

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

 

Conformity with the Crozet Master Plan

The Crozet Master Plan (CMP) designates this property as CT 5 Urban Center in a Neighborhood. CT5 areas are intended to serve as focal points with a mix of uses, residential types and amenities. Office, service, and retail uses are supported by the CMP in these areas. The master plan recognizes the existing Neighborhood Center and supports, with additional areas designated CT5, the retention and expansion of that Neighborhood Center. This center serves the nearby employment uses such as Music Today and Star Hill, along with existing and anticipated future residential uses in the area.

Text Box: Location  of subject site

 

 

Open Space Plan/Green Infrastructure Map: The Green Infrastructure Map does not identify any significant environmental resources on the site. A stream buffer is shown for protection on the adjoining property to the north, TMP 56A3-7.

 

Neighborhood Model

The Neighborhood Model describes the more "urban" form of development desired for the Development Areas. The following is an assessment of this proposal’s consistency with the Neighborhood Model’s 12 principles:

 

 

Pedestrian Orientation

Pedestrian connections have been well provided both internal to the site, connecting buildings and parking areas, and to the external sidewalk along Three Notch’d Road.  Staff has recommended an additional pedestrian connection to the applicant as a minor revision to the plan, reflecting a central pedestrian way through the center of the parking lot at the rear of the building, which the applicant has addressed. This principle is met.

 

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

The applicant is proposing improvements along the frontage of the property adjacent to Route 240, including a planting strip with landscaping and street tress. This principle is met.

 

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The applicant has provided for a shared entrance and interconnection to the adjoining property to the east. The property to the west is the self storage facility and a place where a connection can occur has been provided should the property redevelop in to a use without security concerns.  This principle is met.

 

Parks and Open Space

 

Outdoor green space and gathering spaces appropriate for the proposed use have been provided on the application plan.  This principle is met.  

 

Neighborhood Centers

This site is designated as a neighborhood focal point in the master plan and the neighborhood service uses proposed are appropriate. This principle is met.

 

 

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

Buildings are proposed for 2-stories and 3-stories in height, consistent with the Crozet Master Plan recommendations in CT 5 for buildings at 1.5-3.5 stories from street level. The ARB has no objection to the height of the buildings either. This principle is met.

 

Relegated Parking

The majority of the parking on the plan is located behind the building, with the exception of 23 spaces located to the side of the building, behind the façade, to the west of the site. This principle is met.

 

 

 

Mixture of Uses

 

The Crozet Master Plan anticipates a range of uses in the CT 5 areas of this neighborhood, including all attached, detached, and mixed use residential, along with hotels, corporate & neighborhood offices, shop, and civic uses. Since this rezoning will allow for a range of neighborhood scale shops and offices, and allows for an SP for residential in the future, this principle is met.

 

 

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

No residential uses are proposed and the Crozet Master Plan supports buildings with entirely non-residential uses. Staff did suggest to the applicant that apartments above the retail should be considered and although they are not proposed with this rezoning, the special use permit for residential has not been excluded from the permitted uses on the property.

 

Redevelopment

This project represents redevelopment of an older site to accommodate existing businesses better and allow for additional square footage. The applicant has indicated that redevelopment of this site will bring the project into conformity with current ordinance requirements for parking areas, landscaping, and stormwater management.

 

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The project area does have some small areas of critical slopes and a waiver has been submitted and approval is recommended by the County Engineer. However, conceptual grading has not been provided. The County Engineer does not anticipate issues but staff has asked the applicant to provide the grading plan so that it can be verified that there are no unexpected concerns with the Engineer and ARB.

 

The applicant has indicated, the existing grading on Sheet 2 of 3 reflects the preliminary grading.  The existing grades across the front of the site are consistent with the elevation of Rt. 240, to the west the grades match the existing new self storage facility, and with the sewer line across the rear of the site - it prevents any significant lowering of the grades.  

 

 

 

 

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

This property is located within the Crozet Development area and does not border the boundary with the Rural Area, which is located ¼ mile to the north and east of this property. This principle is met.

 

     

 

 

 

Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district

 

The Zoning Ordinance indicates PD-SC districts are created and may hereafter be established by amendment of the zoning map to permit the development of neighborhood, community and regional shopping centers in accordance with standards set forth in the comprehensive plan. PD-SC districts are intended to serve areas not conveniently and adequately provided with a broad range of commercial and service facilities. Regulations provided are intended to encourage planned commercial centers with carefully organized buildings, service areas, parking areas and landscaped areas. PD-SC districts shall be located in areas served by both public water and sewer systems; provided that neighborhood shopping centers may be permitted in areas not served by public water and/or public sewer systems where adequate alternative water supply and/or sewerage disposal systems are available. PD-SC districts shall have direct access to public streets adequate to accommodate traffic generated by the development.

 

Staff believes that the intent and expectations listed here for PDSC districts are met with this rezoning proposal as it is serving an employment area with commercial services.  

 

 

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services

 

Streets – The development will generate approximately 2,800 vehicle trips per day as provided in the applicant’s trip generation estimates. (Attachment E) VDOT and the County Engineer have reviewed the information and the applicant has provided for a right turn lane into the site. VDOT has indicated that a left turn lane is not necessary with the rezoning.  The layout provided is adequate and the details and other comments we provided on the rezoning request can be handled with the site plan. (See VDOT comments-Attachment D)

 

Schools – No residential uses are proposed so no impacts to schools are anticipated.

 

Fire, Rescue, Police The Crozet Volunteer Fire Station and the Western Albemarle Rescue Station provide fire and rescue services to the area.  The planned Ivy Area Station will also augment services provide by the two existing fire and rescue stations Crozet. Albemarle County Fifth Street Office Building is contains the County’s Police Department, although the police patrol all areas of the County. Current policy of police services recommends an average response time of 10 minutes for all Development Areas. To this end, police satellite offices are recommended within a service sector to help achieve these desired response times to all police emergency calls. The possibility of an additional fire/rescue/police station is under consideration for the area in 2012.

Utilities – Albemarle County Service Authority indicates that water and sewer service is available to the site.  Comments are provided as Attachment E)

Stormwater Management – The County Engineer has not indicated any concerns with the proposed stormwater management concepts provided and has suggested that there are opportunities, through proffers, to provide enhanced stormwater on the site through the applicant proffering to provide at-the-source treatment in addition to the end-of-pipe treatment currently on the plan, such as a depressed parking island with biofilter plantings, or to proffer removal rate targets 20% better than might otherwise be required. Staff is still discussing this with the applicant as to what they are willing to provide in proffers.

 

Anticipated impact on cultural and historic resources

Existing buildings on the site will be demolished with this proposal. The submittal has been reviewed for possible impact to known historic (fifty years old or older) architectural resources and known or potential archaeological resources with the following comments provided by the Historic Preservation Planner:

 

1.      The Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ (DHR) has not surveyed the property under review for the presence of historic resources.

 

2.      County Real Estate records indicate the presence of a single family dwelling, located on TMP 56A3-9, and built c. 1928. Since this building is more than fifty (50) years old, it is considered historic. A second building is also located on the property, but no build date was found. Both buildings are currently used for commercial businesses.

 

Based upon the proposed plan and the information, documentation of the existing buildings is desired, but as this will occur with the Crozet Historic Resources Survey, it is not necessary for the applicant to proffer this. The comments have been satisfied.

 

 

Entrance Corridor Impacts

The applicant presented this proposal informally to the ARB on March 5, 2007 and the design planner has reviewed the rezoning application for impacts to the Entrance Corridor, considering the input received from the ARB. The applicant submitted revisions addressing these comments and the Design Planner has indicated that the treatment along the EC appears to be acceptable and specific comments have been provided. (Attachment F) most of which can be addressed at the site plan stage as they relate to building materials and architecture or specific site plan details. The following revisions to the application plan are necessary prior to approval of the rezoning:

 

Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties

Adjacent properties are industrial in character and intended to continue as employment uses. The property to the east that is undeveloped is shown as CT 5 also in the Crozet Master Plan so no detrimental impacts are anticipated to surrounding properties.

 

Public need and justification for the change

The change in zoning is consistent with the CT5 designation of the Land Use Plan and provides neighborhood scale uses within walking distance of existing employment uses and anticipated future residential.

 

PROFFERS

The applicant provided proffers to exclude undesired land uses on the site. There are no substantive issues with the proffers and minor format revisions are needed by the County Attorney. (Attachment G) Additional proffers to address storm water are recommended by staff and the applicant has indicated a willingness to include that in the proffers.

 

 

WAIVERS

 

CRITICAL SLOPES WAIVER

The critical slope waiver request has been reviewed.  The engineering analysis of the request follows:

 

Description of critical slope area and proposed disturbance:

The slopes in question are at the edges of the proposed site where the existing site slopes down to a wooded drainage swale.  It is assumed that the applicant will be placing more constructed slopes in this area at the edges of the proposed parking area and travelways.  However, there is no proposed grading on the application plan.

 

The applicant has indicated, the existing grading on Sheet 2 of 3 reflects the preliminary grading.  The existing grades across the front of the site are consistent with the elevation of RT240, to the West the grades match the existing new self storage facility, and with the sewer line across the rear of the site - it prevents any significant lowering of the grades.  

 

Areas

Acres

Total site

2.3 acres on two parcels

Critical slopes

0.09

4% of site

Critical slopes disturbed

0.09

100% of critical slopes

 

Exemptions to critical slopes waivers for driveways, roads and utilities without reasonable alternative locations:

This disturbance is not exempt.

 

Compliance with Zoning Ordinance 18-4.2:

“movement of soil and rock”

Proper slope construction, control of drainage, and vegetative stabilization will prevent any movement of soil.

“excessive stormwater runoff”

Stormwater runoff will be controlled by the stormwater management plan as required by the Water Protection Ordinance.

“siltation

Inspection and bonding by the County will ensure siltation control during construction. Proper stabilization and maintenance will ensure long term stability.

“loss of aesthetic resource”

This area is visible from the surrounding businesses and Rt.240.  Much of these slopes appear to be from prior site disturbances.

“septic effluent”

This neighborhood is serviced by public sewer.

 

Based on the review above, there do not appear to be any engineering concerns which prohibit the disturbance of the critical slopes as shown.  However, the application plan should be updated to show conceptual grading that satisfactorily addresses critical slope considerations before the waiver is approved.

 

WAIVER OF SECTION 21.7.3-20 FOOT BUFFER ZONE ADJACENT TO RESIDENTIAL/RURAL DISTRICTS

 

Section 21.7.3 of the Ordinance requires a 20 foot undisturbed buffer adjacent to residential zoning districts:

 

21.7.3 Buffer zone adjacent to residential and rural areas districts: No construction activity including grading or clearing of vegetation shall occur closer than twenty (20) feet to any residential or rural areas district. Screening shall be provided as required in section 32.7.9. Except, the commission may waive this requirement in a particular case where it has been demonstrated that grading or clearing is necessary or would result in an improved site design, provided that:

a. Minimum screening requirements are met; and

b. Existing landscaping in excess of minimum requirements is substantially restored. (Added 7-10-85)

 

 

The concept plan submitted with the special use permit requires a modification of Section 21.7.3 to allow for the shared entrance and interconnection to the adjoining property to the east. This property is currently zoned RA Rural Areas and this ordinance section is still applicable.  Staff does not believe that a buffer or screening requirements are needed for the proposed development against this property. It is anticipated that this adjoining property will be rezoned, according to the Crozet Master Plan which designates it CT 5 as well.

 

Addressing sections 27.1.3 of the Zoning Ordinance, minimum screening requirements noted in Section 21.7.3(a) are those that would be established by the Commission in granting this modification. Staff does not recommend screen but supports the ARB recommendation that the eastern portion of the shared drive be landscaped with its initial construction. There is minimal existing landscaping in need of restoration (Section 21.7.3(b)) and the applicant will be providing additional landscaping and working with the ARB at the time of site plan review and approval.

 

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this rezoning and special use permits requested:

1.      The rezoning is consistent with the Crozet Master Plan recommendations.

2.      The applicant has provided an application plan that meets Neighborhood Model design expectations.

 

Staff has not identified factors unfavorable to this request:

1.   A conceptual grading plan has not yet been provided but the applicant is working to respond to this request.

2.   Minor revisions and notes are needed to proffers and the application plan.

 

However, the applicant has indicated they intend to provide revised proffers and an application plan to address these outstanding issues listed.  

 

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:

 

ZMA 2007-006

Staff can recommend approval only after the applicant provides conceptual grading that satisfactorily addresses Entrance Corridor and critical slopes considerations and provides the following revisions to the application plan and proffers:

 

 

 

Critical Slopes Waiver

Staff cannot recommend approval of the critical slopes waiver until conceptual grading has been provided with the application plan and satisfactorily addresses critical slopes considerations. The applicant has responded to this request and will be providing this information.

 

 

 

WAIVER OF SECTION 21.7.3-20 FOOT BUFFER ZONE ADJACENT TO RESIDENTIAL/RURAL DISTRICTS

Recommended Action:

Staff recommends approval of the waiver of Section 21.7.3 to allow construction activity including, grading or clearing of vegetation closer than twenty (20) feet to the adjoining Rural Area zoned property line to the east, in accordance with the concept plan provided as Attachment H. Provided that:

1.      A landscape easement is obtained by the adjoining property owner and landscaping is provided to the satisfaction of the ARB on the adjoining property to the east.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A.      Location Map-Aerial

B.     Zoning Map

C.     Traffic Impact Analysis

D.     VDOT comments

E.     Albemarle County Service Authority comments via e-mail from Gary Whelan

F.      Entrance Corridor comments provided by Margaret Maliszewski, dated August 29, 2007

G.    Proffers

H.     Application Plan titled Three Notch’d Center, dated August 15, 2007, and prepared by NP Engineering

I.        Crozet Master Plan Place Type & Built Infrastructure Map
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