Zoning Text Amendment 2007-05 Crozet Downtown Zoning District and proposed Zoning Map Amendment




New zoning regulations for Downtown Crozet and a potential County-initiated rezoning to implement new regulations.




Tucker, Foley, Graham, Cilimberg, Ragsdale







March 17, 2008





  ACTION:              INFORMATION: 











The Crozet Master Plan identifies the need for zoning changes in order to fully implement the Planís land use recommendations and goal of economic vitality for Downtown. The Downtown Crozet Zoning Project was initiated by the Board of Supervisors with a resolution of intent and approval of funding to hire a consultant in September 2006. The consultant worked with the Crozet Community over the course of five community meetings to develop recommended zoning changes. These zoning changes were then discussed in a series of five Planning Commission work sessions. The Board received a detailed outline of the public process of the project as information under the Consent Agenda at its March 5, 2008 meeting.



Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents. (Economic Vitality)

  1. Effectively Manage the Countyís Growth and Development.



The Planning Commission has recommended a draft outline of zoning regulations for new Crozet Downtown Zoning, along with boundaries for a potential County-initiated rezoning (See Attachments I and II). The proposed regulations would allow for greater development and redevelopment opportunities in Downtown Crozet by reducing setbacks, requiring a minimum two-story and maximum four-story building heights with some exceptions, reducing parking requirements, reducing buffer/screening requirements, and allowing flexibility in residential and parking uses.


Zoning Text Amendment

Based on the recommendations of the Planning Commission and input from the Board, staff will draft the zoning text amendment language. Staff and the Board have received public comment that supports allowing the broadest range of commercial and residential uses within the downtown district to promote a locally oriented and sustainable economy. Specifically, requests have been made that research & development uses and veterinary offices be allowed by-right rather than require a special use permit, as recommended by the Planning Commission. Public has comment on relegated parking provisions in the draft outline has also been received and is attached. (Attachment III) Also, based on information received from a historic resources survey currently underway, staff will ensure that there is flexibility in the setback regulations to allow for reuse of existing historically important residential structures for commercial uses.




Zoning Map Amendment

The proposed Downtown Zoning District boundary is concentrated around areas of public investment by the County, including the Phase I and II Streetscape projects, the new library, and areas covered by the stormwater master plan for Downtown. In addition, the boundaries take into consideration the underlying zoning of parcels and impacts to adjoining residential areas, some of which are not yet ready to transition to commercial uses.


The recommended Crozet Downtown District boundary is focused on areas already zoned commercial and the block south of New Main Street, north of Tabor Street, and west of High Street. Due to the underlying Heavy Industrial Zoning, which emphasizes the current lumber yard use which is not a permitted use in the new Downtown Zoning District regulations, the J. Bruce Barnes Lumber Yard is not recommended for rezoning at this time.


Staff and the Planning Commission are recommending that to most effectively achieve the intent of the Downtown Zoning District, the County initiate rezoning to the district within the proposed boundaries rather than waiting for landowner-initiated rezonings. While this has some financial implications to the County as it removes the possibilities for receipt of proffers to off-set impacts, it takes a step and cost out of the development process for landowners, which better enables them to develop to the intent of the district.



The Boardís original resolution of intent for this amendment anticipated that the amendment would be developed and forwarded to the Board ďat the earliest possible dateĒ. To allow for important opportunities for public input and Planning Commission consideration, the process to date has taken approximately 11 months since the project kick-off meeting in April of last year. To expedite action on this zoning text amendment, staff suggests the Board hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission once the amendment language has been developed and advertised. This would allow the Planning Commission and Board to both take immediate action after the public hearing if they so desire.




The Board approved $75,000 for consultant fees for the project on September 6, 2006. The consultantís contract for the project has ended. The Fiscal Impact Planner conducted an initial assessment of financial implications of a County-initiated rezoning of the proposed boundaries to compare revenue and expenditure under the existing zoning of Downtown and that possible under the proposed new zoning district. The findings were positive to the Countyís revenue, over a 20-year time frame. This detailed analysis is included as part of Attachment IV. 




Staff recommends that the Board:




                                I.      Draft Crozet Zoning District regulations outline, last revised 3-5-08

                              II.      Recommended Zoning District Boundaries for County-initiated Zoning Map Amendment, last revised

                            III.      Letter dated March 6, 2008 from Ashley Cooper, Atwood Architects

                            IV.      January 29, 2008 Planning Commission Action Memo

                              V.      January 29, 2008 Planning Commission Work Session Staff Report

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