COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name: 

ZMA 04 – 022 Treesdale Park

Staff:  Elaine K. Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

November 13, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

December 12, 2007

Owners:  Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP)

Applicant: AHIP represented by Joyce Dudek and Mike Fenner representing the Cox Company

Acreage: 6.60

Rezone from: R4 to PRD

TMP:   Tax Map 61, Parcels 182, 183, and 183A

By-right use: 26 (39 with density bonus)

Magisterial District:  Rio

Proffers:    Yes

Proposal:  Rezone 6.6 acres from R-4,  Residential to PRD, Planned Residential Development

Requested # of Dwelling Units: 

90 at a density of approximately 14 units per acre

DA: Neighborhood Two

Comp. Plan Designation:  Urban Density Residential (3-6 units / acre)

Character of Property: 

The property has 450 feet of frontage along Rio Road. The property slopes downhill away from Rio Road and west. Roughly 350 feet from Rio Road the slope increases significantly. The property has a narrow strip of land, roughly 60’ wide and 650 long that the applicant proposes to tie into the future greenway trail along the Meadow Creek Parkway.

Use of Surrounding Properties: 

Adjacent to this project to the north is the Village Square subdivision which includes a mix of single family detached, duplexes, triplexes, and townhouses. Further north is the Waldorf School, Pen Park Drive and the River Run development. Charlottesville Catholic School is across Rio Road from this project. Single family homes line Rio Road toward the south. The entrance to the Stonehenge neighborhood lies 1,500 feet to the south of this property along Rio Road.

Factors Favorable to this Rezoning:

1.                  The proposed plan provides affordable housing at a level of 100% which is significantly greater than that the County’s policy of 15% of proposed units.

2.                  The density and use are in keeping with the County’s Land Use Plan.

3.                  The proposal meets many of the principles of the Neighborhood Model including pedestrian orientation, neighborhood friendly streets and paths, interconnections, relegated parking, buildings and spaces of human scale, parks and open space, and redevelopment.

 

Factors Unfavorable to this Rezoning:

1.                  Two very tall retaining walls (25 feet and 15 feet in height) are proposed at the edge of parking lots.  Although guard rails will be provided concerns exist for the safety of children in this development. A note could be added to the application plan indicating that terraced walls will be provided to reduce the retaining wall heights at the places where they are proposed at 25 and 15 feet in height on the plan.

2.                  Architectural commitments requested by the Planning Commission have not been made.

3.  The County cannot guarantee the City portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway will be built as soon as the County portion of the Parkway will be built; however, the County portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway is the top street construction priority for the County.

4.  Staff is concerned that additional blasting provisions will not be enforceable.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff finds the use, density and basic concepts of this proposal to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  As there are design aspects of the project that still need to be addressed, staff recommends the following actions before action is taken by the Board to approve this rezoning:

1.                  An agreement with the adjoining property should be provided for pedestrian access and a vehicular interconnection between the Stonewater development and Treesdale property to ensure that the Treesdale project can be accomplished.

2.                  Architectural commitments should be made.

3.                  The drawing on the front page of the Application Plan should be removed or statements made that qualify its purpose.

4.                  The Application Plan should include a note which says that terraced walls will be provided to reduce the retaining wall heights at the places where they are currently shown at 25 and 15 feet in height on the plan.

5.                  A statement in the proffers indicating that the greenway easement could be provided on the adjacent property should be added.

6.                  Modifications should be made to the wording of the proffers in keeping with County Attorney comments.

7.                  A decision should be made on the appropriateness of the “blasting proffer” and, if it is deemed to not be necessary, removal of the proffer should occur.


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                                      ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                  NOVEMBER 13, 2007

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                 DECEMBER 12, 2007     

 

PROPOSAL

The Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) is requesting a rezoning from R-4 to PRD to allow for three multi-family buildings containing 90 units on 6.6 acres with proffers. In order to address traffic impacts from this development, the applicant is proposing to participate in the costs for signalization and upgrade of the intersection of Pen Park Lane and Rio Road. The applicant also proposes a right-in, right-out entrance onto Rio Road at the north end of the property. The applicant is proposing 100 % of the units will be affordable using the County’s definition o affordable housing.  The applicant plans to apply for assistance from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, a federal program that serves families at or below 60% of the Area Mean Income.  Attachment A is the Application Plan, Attachment B contains proffers and Attachment C is the action memo from the previous work session.  Attachment D contains relevant portions of the Jones and Jones Study for the Meadow Creek Parkway, which was adopted into the Comprehensive Plan in September 2001.

 

PETITION

PROJECT: ZMA 2004-0022, Treesdale Park

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 6.60 acres from R4 zoning district which allows residential uses (4 units per acre) to PRD (Planned Residential District) - which allows residential uses (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses. This request proposes a total of 90 units and no commercial uses. Density is proposed at approximately 14 units per acre.

PROFFERS:  Yes

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential (6.01-34 units/acre).

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No

LOCATION: The property is located in the Rio Magisterial District at 640 E. Rio Road, south of Towne Lane on the west side of East Rio Road.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 61, Parcels 182, 183, and 183A

 

BACKGROUND

This project was first reviewed by staff during the Fall of 2004. During the past three years, the applicant has made several revisions to their original plan in response to staff’s comments and changing affordable housing needs in the community.  In October 2006 and August 2007, the Commission held work sessions on the request and gave the applicant direction on a number of items including ways to reduce impacts on adjacent neighbors, reduce the overall massing, and integrate the proposal into the neighborhood as much as possible. Since the work sessions, the applicant has retained the same number of units proposed, but reoriented the location of buildings to reduce their overall impact on the Village Square neighborhood.

 

At the August work session, the Planning Commission made the following comments about Treesdale.  Bold italics indicate whether the applicant has addressed the Commission’s comments:

 

1.      Provide an access easement for the greenway to provide a public access easement for pedestrians connecting the greenway trail dedication acreage to Rio Road. Done – a commitment is made in the proffers.

2.      Identify trees for preservation and make a commitment to preserve them. Done --limits of grading are shown on the plan.

3.      Look at the feasibility of removing some of the units on the upper floors near the houses next door. The applicant has limited building heights to 35 feet.

4.      Make a commitment to certain architectural elements/features such as materials, massing, and scale.  No information has been included with the submittal.

5.      Make provision for transit. Done through a transit “pull-out” on the plan and proffers.

6.      Tie the development to a "built" Meadow Creek Parkway, not a "plan" for the Meadow Creek Parkway. Not done – this issue is discussed later in the report.

7.      Have proffers that guarantee that the project will be an affordable housing project, even if the tax credits aren't achieved. Done.

8.      Make sure that dynamite/blasting concerns of neighbors are addressed. Done – this issue is discussed later in the report.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY

Prior to 1980, the property had an R-2 zoning classification. In 1980, the zoning classification was increased to R-4. The property is currently zoned R-4.

 

In 2000, as a response to a special use permit request for Charlottesville Catholic School and other rezoning requests proposed along Rio Road, the Planning Commission said that it is not appropriate to intensify the development along Rio Road until the Meadow Creek Parkway is complete or underway. This was due largely to the fact that Rio Road carries a much higher traffic volume than it is designed to, impacting safety and convenience for users, particularly those who reside along the road. The Parkway is scheduled to go to bid in 2008. The Parkway is targeted for completion in the spring of 2010.

 

CONFORMITY WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

 

County’s Open Space Plan

The Open Space Plan identifies no significant features on this property. 

 

Land Use Plan

The subject property is located in Neighborhood Two and contains an Urban Density Designation. This designation provides a residential density of 6-34 units per acre. Urban Density Residential areas are intended to accommodate all dwelling types as well as institutional uses such as places of worship, public and private schools, and early childhood education centers including day care centers and preschools. The applicant is proposing a density of 13.63 units per acre in three multifamily buildings with a community center. The proposal is within the density range anticipated in this area.

 

Another specific recommendation from the Comprehensive Plan is:

 

Consider the land use and park/open space recommendations of the Meadow Creek

Parkway Final Report, May 2001, by Jones and Jones, for the areas adjacent to or near the Meadow Creek Parkway/Rio Road corridor.

 

Developable portions of the area along Rio Road studied for the Meadow Creek Parkway were recommended to increase in density due to the transportation system the Parkway will provide and the proximity to the City of Charlottesville. (See Attachment D for the relevant portions of the Jones and Jones Meadow Creek Parkway study). Given the significant slopes at the rear of this property, the area closest to Rio Road (where the applicant is proposing development) was given the Urban Density designation. Due to the steep slopes to the back of the subject property, the area to the back was recommended to be open space. The density and residential type with supporting use (community center) is in conformity with the Land Use Plan and the Jones and Jones study.

 

The recommendations of the Jones and Jones study also indicate that Pen Park Lane should continue to the west across Rio Road extending to and stopping at park space along the Meadow Creek flood plain. This recommendation also includes a road that runs roughly north/south and parallel to Rio. A pending subdivision plat to the south shows the Pen Park Lane extension west across Rio Road. At present, the greenway would need to cross a portion of the property to the south to reach the Treesdale project.  This issue is discussed later in the report in the section related to proffers.

 

Conformity with the Neighborhood Model

 

Pedestrian Orientation

This principle is addressed.  The applicant is providing sidewalks along the Rio Road frontage. These sidewalks lead to the interior of the property with sidewalks perpendicular to Rio Road in three locations. The applicant is also proposing to dedicate land to the County for a connection from the property to the greenway trail that is planned with the Meadow Creek Parkway.  In response to concerns from staff about having stairs for a public trail, the owner has proposed to move the “public” portion of the greenway to the adjoining property so that access to a light and crosswalk will take place through that property.  The adjoining owner has indicated he has no problems with this proposal.  An agreement from or written agreement with the adjoining owner is needed prior to the rezoning

Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

This principle is addressed.  The applicant proposes installing sidewalks along Rio Road. The applicant’s proposal to tie into the Meadow Creek Parkway greenway trail represents a neighborhood friendly path.  The revised proffer exhibits show areas for dedication of right-of-way and an internal vehicular and pedestrian connection to the adjoining property.  An agreement from or written agreement with the adjoining owner is needed prior to the rezoning.

Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

This principle is addressed.  The applicant proposes connecting into the proposed Stonewater development to the south. Connection to the north and Village Square have been determined to be infeasible given that Village Square is built out and the only potential connection is topographically challenging and contains a sewer line that would significantly constrain any road design. The connection to the south providing a second means of access and access to a signalized intersection requires construction on the adjoining property.  The applicant has proffered that no occupancy permit will be issued until construction has been completed for the connection to the adjoining parcel and improvements to the intersection at Rio and Pen Park Lane necessary for the Treesdale development have taken place. An agreement from or written agreement with the adjoining owner is needed prior to the rezoning

Parks and Open Space

This principle is addressed.  The applicant proposes two areas of common open space that will act as community greens. Limits of disturbance are shown on the plan to indicate areas where trees will be protected and preserved.  An easement for the greenway trail is also identified on the plan and the proffers describe how it will be dedicated. 

Neighborhood Centers

 

This principle is addressed. The applicant proposes a community center that would be available for meetings, neighborhood functions, and may potentially offer day care. Other centers in the area include Pen Park, Charlottesville Catholic School, Waldorf Montessori School, Charlottesville First Assembly and Covenant Church of God. The proposal to connect to the greenway along the Meadow Creek Park way through this site, beginning near the proposed community center, increases the functionality of the center and would support a activities associated with the Meadow Creek Parkway greenway and park.

Building and Spaces of Human Scale

This principle is addressed in part.  The application plan shows building footprints and height limitations of 35 feet, which is the limitation in most residential districts.  At the last worksession, the Planning Commission asked for commitments to architectural aspects of the buildings that have not been provided.  An image is shown on the front page of the application plan which may or may not be intended as a commitment.  It does show massing and articulation.  It appears to show heights greater than 35 feet.  Proffers do not include any architectural commitments. 

Relegated Parking

This principle is addressed. The applicant proposes underground parking, which will completely relegate that parking. In other areas, the applicant has relegated parking behind buildings or to the side, which is considered relegated in terms of the Neighborhood Model.  Staff notes neighborhood concerns about the ability to provide underground parking given the amount of rock in the area.  Blasting issues are discussed later in this report.

Mixture of Uses

 

This principle is addressed. The applicant is proposing residential uses with a community center. Given the context and existing conditions, this principle is met.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

This principle is addressed. The applicant is proposing that 100% of the housing be affordable. No mixture of housing types is necessary since this development is near residential developments with different types of units. 

Redevelopment

This principle is addressed. The site currently contains two houses which will both be removed. The applicant has sufficiently documented each structure and has proposed to utilize what might be salvageable.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

This principle is addressed, in part.  The applicant proposes minimal grading by using the grade to provide underground parking. The applicant is not proposing to significantly impact the critical slopes that lie to the rear of the property. A waiver of critical slopes has been requested for slopes that are not shown on the County’s Open Space Plan.

 

One result of the minimal grading, however, will be two very tall retaining walls at the edge of the parking lots.  One will be 25 feet and one will be 15 feet in height.  Guard rails will be necessary at these locations; however, staff does have concerns about the appropriateness of these tall walls with a high population of children in the development.

 

A series of terraced walls could diminish the height of the walls; however, this would require additional grading of the critical slopes and tree removal.  Given the choice of additional grading/tree removal or 25 foot tall retaining walls, staff recommends the additional grading.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

This principle is not applicable.  The parcel is not close to any edge of the Rural Areas.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

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

The PRD is intended to encourage sensitivity toward the natural characteristics of the site and toward impact on the surrounding area in land development. More specifically, the PRD is intended to promote economical and efficient land use, an improved level of amenities, appropriate and harmonious physical development, and creative design consistent with the best interest of the county and the area in which it is located.  To these ends, the PRD provides for flexibility and variety of development for residential purposes and uses ancillary thereto. Open space may serve such varied uses as recreation, protection of areas sensitive to development, buffering between dissimilar uses and preservation of agricultural activity.

 

The existing zoning district, R-4, would allow for residential uses; however the density of the R-4 zoning district is just under the recommendations for density in the County’s Land Use Plan.  Other zoning districts, such as R-6, R-10, and R-15 could provide for density that is in keeping with the Land Use Plan.  The PRD is the preferred district for residential uses because of the flexibility in setbacks and the requirement for open space.  The PRD is an appropriate district for this rezoning request.

 

Public Need and Justification for the Change

The applicant is requesting this rezoning in order to provide housing that is affordable to persons making 60% or less of the median household income of Albemarle County.  AHIP is a not-for-profit organization which has been working on this rezoning with the County for the past three years.

 

Impacts

 

Environmental and Cultural Resources – The site is wooded and a significant number of trees will be removed for the buildings and parking.  The intent of the applicant is for the construction of stormwater facilities to disturb as little land as possible at the rear of the buildings.  Slopes in excess of 25% will be disturbed; however, these slopes are not part of a system of slopes adjacent to a stream or identified in the County’s Open Space Plan.

 

Two houses exist on the property that will be removed for the development.  Neither of the houses is historically significant.

 

Streambed and wetland – A streambed and wetland exist on the site.  The headwaters of a non-perennial stream exist on the adjacent parcel.  The stream crosses the Treesdale parcel at its most narrow spot.  A small wetland is adjacent to the stream on the Treesdale site.  Some grading near the stream and wetland will be required for stormwater management.  Mitigation of impacts to the wetland will be required during the site plan process.  The plan indicates that disturbance of this area will be minimal.

 

Streets -- As mentioned earlier in the report, Rio Road is significantly impacted by local and regional traffic. 2005 VDOT traffic counts showed that 26,000 vehicles travel the road per day. In general, a road that carries more than 10,000 trips per day would be evaluated by VDOT for upgrades and/or widening. Due to the plan to construct the Meadow Creek Parkway and the existing narrow right of way and rural character of the facility, Rio Road has not been proposed to be widened (excluding sidewalks).

 

Regardless of when the Meadow Creek Parkway is built, there is a need for a directional island at the new entrance from Rio Road.  The County Engineer has noted that this is a compromise.  The only effective means of control is to provide a median on the main roadway.  He cautions the Commission and Board that these islands are not always effective means of eliminating turning movements in entrances. 

 

Regarding impacts to Rio Road, if the property were to be developed by-right with 24 units (assuming townhouse construction), the project would add roughly 230 vehicle trips per day onto Rio Road (based on standard trip generation figures). If developed to the density proposed with the rezoning (90 apartment units), the project would add 585 vehicle trips per day. Without the Parkway, VDOT is concerned that Rio Road is below an acceptable level of service and that adding more vehicles will further degrade the level of service. Currently, the level of service on Rio Road is an E, with A being an excellent level of service and F being the lowest level of service.  Based on discussion with AHIP staff, and depending upon the final outcome of requests for federal funding, AHIP could provide housing in this location no earlier than Fall of 2009. This is slightly ahead of the Meadow Creek Parkway’s projected completion in Spring 2010. At a minimum, VDOT will require the intersection of Pen Park Lane to be improved and that the applicant’s connection to be made.

 

At the last work session, nearby residents and Commissioners expressed concern that the Meadow Creek Parkway might never be built.  Although the County has no control of the portion of the Parkway to be built in the City, the County has made its portion of the Parkway (Phase 1) its highest transportation priority and will advertise for bids in 2008.  Usually construction begins about six months after bids.  This issue is probably the most sensitive one because of the relationship to the City and the high traffic volumes currently being experienced.  Attachment E contains current VDOT comments.

 

Transit -- Staff has reviewed the proposal with Charlottesville Transportation Service (CTS) staff who indicated that service to the area is not currently anticipated. The applicant has proffered to provide a transit stop and shelter and enough land for a bus to pull off of Rio Road to accommodate transit when and if it is provided to the site. The applicant has also proffered to design the site’s interior to accommodate Jaunt and CTS On-Demand Link type services which use smaller transit vehicles. It is very likely that the target demographic that will reside in the project will be more dependent upon transit. The closest existing transit stop is located at the intersection of Greenbriar Drive and Rio Road, approximately ¾ of a mile from the property and not currently accessible from this site by any pedestrian facility.  The difficulty in dealing with provision of transit at this juncture is that VDOT prefers that transit stops not be placed on through-streets and CTS does not want to take transit through private properties.  The “either/or” scenario in the proffers seeks to respond to future transit needs.

 

Utilities – Indications from ACSA (Albemarle County Service Authority) indicate that water and sewer service is available.  Attachment F contains current ACSA comments.  Additional comments will be provided at the Commission meeting if they are received from the Service Authority.

 

Parks and Recreation – Pen Park, a city park, is located approximately ¼ mile from this site and the Meadow Creek greenway will be located near this site to the west.  A public greenway trail is proffered through this development.  The applicant is proffering the 30-foot easement for the trail shown on the plan.  Because it may be more practical for the trail to be located on the adjacent parcel to the south, staff is asking the applicant to add language which would allow for the greenway trail easement to be placed on the adjoining property if agreeable to the owner of the adjoining property.  Conversations with the adjoining owner indicate a willingness to work with AHIP on the location of at least a portion of the greenway trail on their property.

 

Libraries—Libraries in downtown Charlottesville and Northwood library on Route 29 provide library service to the area.

 

Emergency Services – Fire and rescue service has a five-minute response time from the Seminole Fire Station which meets expectations for the Development Areas.

 

Schools – Students from this development will attend Agnor Hurt, Jack Jouett, and Albemarle High School.  Eighteen elementary school students, 8 middle school students, and 9 high school students would be expected from this development.

 

Architectural Information requested by the Planning Commission – One issue that has concerned the Planning Commission from the beginning has to do with the size, scale, massing, and appearance of the buildings in the development.  This property is not in the Entrance Corridor and therefore will not receive review from the Architectural Review Board.  Comments have also been received from adjoining property owners relative to the size and placement of the buildings.  Over the last several years, changes to the orientation of the buildings and limitations on height have been made. 

 

During the last submittal, the applicant provided renderings that indicated projecting bays on the buildings, stepped-back stories, flat and single-pitched roofs, balconies and pergolas, changes in façade, and use of at least three different façade materials.  At this juncture, however, staff has not received any commitments related to architecture other than to limit the building height to 35 feet, which is the maximum height in most residential districts.  It should be noted that the drawing on the front page of the application plan shows buildings that may be in excess of 35 feet.  For that reason, qualification of the rendering is needed on the plan or the drawing should be removed.

 

Proffers

 

Proffer 1 says that the maximum density will be 90 units.

 

Proffer 2 commits to completion of a connection road between Treesdale Park and the adjacent Stonewater development before a certificate of occupancy is given on any building in Treesdale. The proffer also commits to participate in the costs for signalization at the Stonewater entrance and Rio Road.  The proffer commits the applicant to install all of the frontage improvements shown on the plan and dedicate right-of-way where necessary. 

 

Staff understands that an agreement between the adjoining owner and AHIP is being finalized which ensures that the connection can take place on the adjoining property.  This agreement is essential prior to Board action because it ensures that the project can go forward even if the Stonewater project does not proceed.

 

Proffer 3 makes a commitment to construct 100% of the housing as affordable.  The applicant has provided that rents will be “affordable” for a minimum of 15 years.

 

Proffer 4 makes a commitment to dedicate a 30’ easement to the County for the purposes of connecting the greenway trail proposed behind the development to the Meadow Creek Parkway trail system. Staff believes that the trail might be placed in a better location on the adjacent property and is working with the adjoining owner.  A statement indicating that the easement could be provided on the adjacent property would be beneficial to both the County and the applicant.

 

Proffer 5 commits the applicant to reserve an area for a future bus stop on Rio Road and to construct a bus stop with a small shelter. The applicant also proffers to design the site’s minimal interior circulation network to accommodate smaller transit vehicles such as Jaunt. 

 

Proffer 6 discusses a shared regional stormwater management facility with the adjoining owner.  Stormwater management is a requirement so the proffer is not necessary. 

 

Proffer 7 commits to construct the multifamily buildings to “an EarthCraft Standard so as to be rated a minimum of “Certified” under the EarthCraft system”.

 

Proffer 8 commits to tree preservation.  The application plan now shows the limits of disturbance, so the proffer is no longer necessary.

 

Proffer 9 provides for a list of special precautions related to blasting.  Zoning staff has raised concerns that they will not be able to enforce the proffer for blasting.  Staff has talked with the Fire and Rescue Division of the County for input into resolution of the concerns.  The Assistant Fire Chief has indicated that their inspectors issue permits for blasting and, along with their investigators, follow up on any complaints or mishaps. The Statewide Fire Prevention Code requires certain protective measures be taken when blasting.  The Assistant Fire Chief has said that he believes the permitting requirements should cover the precautions needed for blasting.  He will be available at the Planning Commission meeting to answer questions.

 

Critical Slopes Waiver

 

Description of critical slope area and proposed disturbance:

This is wooded area sloping down from Rio Road.  The applicant is proposing to disturb the area with retaining walls, utility pipes, and trails.

 

Areas

Acres

Total site

6.65

Critical slopes

1.3

20% of site

Critical slopes disturbed

0.5

38% 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 wall construction, control of drainage, and vegetative stabilization over utility lines and along trails will prevent any movement of soil.

excessive stormwater runoff

Stormwater runoff due to steep slopes will be reduced in this area, as the slopes will be eliminated, and the site will have stormwater management controls for impervious surfaces.

siltation”

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

 

“loss of aesthetic resource”

Wooded areas will be affected by the grading; however, the wooded areas are not shown on the County’s Open Space Plan and the property is in the Development Areas.

 

“septic effluent”

This neighborhood will be serviced by public sewer.

 

Based on the review above, there are no engineering or planning concerns which prohibit the disturbance of the critical slopes as shown, with the exception of the use of retaining walls which has been discussed already in this report.

 

Conclusions and PRIVATE Recommendations

 

Factors favorable to this rezoning:

  1. The proposed plan provides affordable housing at a level of 100% which is significantly greater than that the County’s policy of 15% of proposed units.
  2. The density and use are in keeping with the County’s Land Use Plan.
  3. The proposal meets many of the principles of the Neighborhood Model including pedestrian orientation, neighborhood friendly streets and paths, interconnections, relegated parking, buildings and spaces of human scale, parks and open space, and redevelopment.

 

Factors unfavorable to this rezoning:

  1. Two very tall retaining walls (25 feet and 15 feet in height) are proposed at the edge of parking lots.  Although guard rails will be provided concerns exist for the safety of children in this development. A note could be added to the application plan indicating that terraced walls will be provided to reduce the retaining wall heights at the places where they are proposed at 25 and 15 feet in height on the plan.
  2. Architectural commitments requested by the Planning Commission have not been made.
  3. The County cannot guarantee the City portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway will be built as soon as the County portion of the Parkway will be built; however, the County portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway is the top street construction priority for the County.
  4. Staff is concerned that additional blasting provisions will not be enforceable.

 

Staff finds the use, density and basic concepts of this proposal to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  As there are design aspects of the project that still need to be addressed, staff recommends the following actions before action is taken by the Board to approve this rezoning:

 

  1. An agreement with the adjoining property should be provided for pedestrian access and a vehicular interconnection between the Stonewater development and Treesdale property to ensure that the Treesdale project can be accomplished.
  2. Architectural commitments should be made.
  3. The drawing on the front page of the Application Plan should be removed or statements made that qualify its purpose.
  4. The Application Plan should include a note which says that terraced walls will be provided to reduce the retaining wall heights at the places where they are currently shown at 25 and 15 feet in height on the plan.
  5. A statement in the proffers indicating that the greenway easement could be provided on the adjacent property should be added.
  6. Modifications should be made to the wording of the proffers in keeping with County Attorney comments.
  7. A decision should be made on the appropriateness of the “blasting proffer” and, if it is deemed to not be necessary, removal of the proffer should occur.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

ATTACHMENT A – Application Plan dated October 18, 2007

ATTACHMENT B – Proffers dated October 18, 2007

ATTACHMENT C – Action Memo from August 28, 2007 Meeting

ATTACHMENT D – Sections from Jones and Jones Study for Meadow Creek Parkway

ATTACHMENT E – Comments from VDOT 11-1-07

ATTACHMENT F – Comments from ACSA 11-5-07

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