COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Request to amend the Albemarle County Service Authority Jurisdictional Area ACSA Jurisdictional Area for Tax Map 55B, Parcel 1

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Review of a request to amend the Jurisdictional Area Boundary to provide Water Only designation to Tax Map 55B, Parcel 1, located on Route 250, just outside Crozet Community.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Cilimberg, and Benish

 

LEGAL REVIEW:    Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

April 2, 2008

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The applicant, Jeff Sprouse, has requested a “Water Only” service designation for a four-acre parcel located on the south side of Route 250, approximately .7 mile east of the I-64 Interchange at Yancey Mills, in the Whitehall Magisterial District.  Although the property is designated as Rural Area in the Comprehensive Plan, it is zoned HC, Highway Commercial (see Attachment A).  This property is currently in the ACSA Jurisdictional Area and designated for “Water Only to Existing Structures,” with the existing structures identified as a “House (old two-story)”. This designation was established in 1983 as part of a comprehensive amendment to the Jurisdictional Area Boundaries.  However, there is no documentation on file specifically noting the reason this property has this designation.  After the applicant purchased the property, he removed the structure from the property because it was in disrepair (see applicant’s letter, Attachment C).  At the time the applicant was unaware of the Jurisdictional Area designation.  With the prior “existing” structure removed from the property, this Jurisdictional Area designation no longer permits service to this property. Service was never provided to the original structure.  The applicant now wishes to modify the Jurisdictional Area designation to allow any future development of the site access to public water service.

 

In general, the comprehensive amendments made to the Jurisdictional Areas Boundaries in the early 1980’s were done in part to make the service areas more consistent with the County’s Land Use Plan and growth management policy at the time which directed that service was to be provided only to Development Areas.  Staff’s understanding is that the “Water Only to Existing Structures” designation was intended to recognize certain properties that were located outside the Development Area boundaries, but located adjacent to existing service lines and that were already developed in a more urban manner, or were already served by public water and/or sewer.  In some cases, this designation may have been placed on properties to honor prior agreements to provide service to a property (negotiated as a part of land/easement acquisitions for service line/facility installations).  The designation was intended to permit service for the existing level of development present at the time of designation, but preclude any additional, or more intensive, development of the designated property from receiving public service without further Board action.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 2:  Protect and/or preserve the County's natural resources

Goal 3:  Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs.

Goal 4:  Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The subject property is located in the designated Rural Areas, and not within a Development Area.  The Comprehensive Plan provides the following concerning water service to the Rural Areas:

 

      General Principle: Utilization of central water and/or sewer systems or extension of the public water or sewer into the Rural Areas is strongly discouraged except in cases where public health or safety is endangered.

      Recommendation: Follow the boundaries of the designated Development Areas in delineating jurisdictional areas.

      Recommendation: Only allow changes to the Jurisdictional Areas outside of the designated Development Area boundaries in cases where property is: (1) adjacent to existing lines; and, (2)    public health or safety is endangered.

 

This property does not meet the criteria for the provision of service to a property within the Rural Areas as there is no documented public health or safety issue on the property.  This request as presented is not consistent with the principles, objectives and strategies of the Comprehensive Plan for the provision of water service outside of a designated Development Area.  Public water service is intended to be provided only to the Development Areas to support the County’s growth management policy of encouraging growth in the Development Areas and discouraging growth in the Rural Areas.  The continued extension of service lines into the Rural Areas can be a catalyst for growth pressures.  Furthermore, providing service to the Rural Areas utilizes valuable water supply and treatment capacities which should be reserved to support the Development Areas.  This property is of a size which could be supported by an on-site well.

 

The applicant has asked that the Board approve public water service for fire suppression purposes only if the Board does not approve the request for “Water Only” to the property for domestic use. The Board has previously denied other requests for properties in the Rural Areas to be provided with water service for the purpose of fire suppression.  With the parcel being currently undeveloped, health or safety issues regarding fire suppression do not exist.

 

Staff can identify only one other case similar to this one, where a property with a “Water Only to Existing Structure” had the building eligible for service removed and there was a subsequent request for a new service designation.  In 2000, the Board approved a change in the Jurisdictional Area designation from “Water Only to Existing Structures” to “Water Only” for a two-acre parcel located off of Georgetown Road.  The property was designated Rural Areas in the Comprehensive Plan and was zoned RA, Rural Areas.  The existing house on the property was in disrepair and the property owner removed it in the mid/late 1980s. In 2000, the owner wished to rebuild a new home on the property and have it served by public water.  Since the property was zoned RA and was two acres in size, it could not be further subdivided and could only have one dwelling located on it.  Further, with its location being outside of a designated Development Area, it was not likely to be rezoned to a more intensive use.  The new home would be of the same intensity of use and have the same level of water demand as the original structure which was eligible for service. The Executive Summary for the 2000 request is provided as Attachment D (Patricia Flowers-Request to Amend the ACSA Jurisdictional Area).

It would be more difficult to treat this property like the Patricia Flowers request because the HC zoning and four-acre size of the parcel in combination with a “Water Only” designation could permit a much more intensive use of the property than designated in the Comprehensive Plan. However, should the Board wish to treat this request in a similar manner as the Patricia Flowers request, the Board could proceed to public hearing to consider “Limited Service” for water only to one (1) house that would replace the prior house.  This would allow for water service to be provided to the equivalent level of use as the existing designation.  However, it should be noted that the more limited nature of this designation is not consistent with the applicant’s request.

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

If approved, the property owner will bear the cost to connect the property to nearby water lines.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board not proceed to public hearing on this request for “Water Only” service designation. If the applicant elects to modify his request, staff can recommend that the Board set a public hearing to consider “Limited Service” for water only to one (1) house that would replace the prior house on Tax Map 55B, Parcel 1, conditioned upon staff further defining the specifics of the designation.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A – Location Map

B – ACSA Jurisdictional Area Designations

C – Applicant’s Request and Justification

D – Patricia Flowers- ACSA Jurisdictional Area Boundary Amendment Request Executive Summary (5/3/07)

 

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