Albemarle County Planning Commission

June 19, 2007


            Work Session:


ZMA-2007-00004 Oakleigh Farm (Sign # 62)

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 8.8 acres from R-6 Residential zoning district which allows residential uses at 6 units per acre to Neighborhood Model Zoning district which allows residential uses at 6– 34 units/acre mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses.  A maximum of 101 dwellings are proposed with a density of approximately 12 units per acre.

PROFFERS: No (to be submitted later)

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses


LOCATION: Rio Road West (Route 631) directly across the street from Woodburn Road (Route 659) in Neighborhood 1



(Sean Dougherty)


Mr. Dougherty gave a power point presentation and summarized the staff report.  (See Staff Report.)  In summary, the applicant’s additional questions for Commission consideration include:


Ms. Joseph asked if there were questions for Mr. Dougherty.


Mr. Strucko asked if there would be a public central green behind buildings K and L or private property.


Mr. Dougherty replied that it would be shared as open space for the community.  There was a subdivision plan in the Code, but off hand he could not answer that.  The applicant might be able to do a better job.  The land itself would not be public, but it would be public in terms of public property and would be shared open space.  It appears that those would be individual lots adjacent to the common area or shared open space.


Mr. Edgerton noted that staff had mentioned the ARB’s concern about the parking between building B and Rio Road.  Is that the area that the ARB is concerned about?


Mr. Dougherty replied yes.


Mr. Edgerton noted that conveniently lines up with the non-relegated parking on the adjacent property, Berkmar Crossing.  He asked if Berkmar Crossing was developed before the Neighborhood Model.


Mr. Strucko replied yes, it was developed many years before the Neighborhood Model.


Mr. Morris asked where staff and VDOT would like the applicant to move the entrance.


Mr. Dougherty replied that when there are two intersections that come somewhat in close proximity to each other when a new entrance is proposed generally for a host of reasons the intersections would be lined up.  VDOT and the County Engineer both recommended that to be lined up.  There has been some confusion from the applicant, but staff wants to make sure if the Commission affirms that the applicant gets a clear message that needs to occur.  That will probably generate the need for some redesign.  As a rule intersections are to line up to each other.  This will be a public road that provides access to the back of this property.  Woodburn is a public road.  For a number of reasons those intersections need to be lined up, which staff is requesting the applicant to do. In response to a question on the plans for Woodburn Road staff pointed out the following:

§         Woodburn Road defines the edge of the development areas to the east and the rural areas to the west.  It is also the boundary of the water shed for the Rivanna River.  Uses to the west will remain those of a rural nature, i.e. residential development and agriculture.  To the east of the road there is Agnor Hurt Elementary School and some older homes.

§         The need for a traffic light is not warranted by the vehicle trips to be generated by this proposal.  Agnor Hurt Elementary School does not connect to Woodburn Road and has access off of Berkmar Drive.


Ms. Echols added that the shifting of that driveway is not huge, but it does start to change things at the front of the site as well as what the Commission may recommend relative to that parking lot.


Ms. Joseph invited the applicant to address the Commission


Valerie Long, representative for the applicant, Oakleigh Albemarle, LLC.  Others present include:  George Ray, principle with Oakleigh Albemarle. LLC as well as Marilyn Young; Mark Keeler, Terra Concept – the land planning and engineering firm; and David Roseen, with Van Yahres Tree Company – the arborist who will prepare the tree preservation plan.   Mr. Dougherty covered all of the major issues in terms of the layout and design.  In a power point presentation she walked the Commission through the major components of the project. 

§         To address one of the comments regarding the alignment of the main entrance into the project with Woodburn Road, they are more than willing to take a look at working out a way to shift the entrance for the project so that it does align with Woodburn Road.  The land planning consultants feel fairly confident that they can do that without having a major impact on the design on the design of the property in the front.  They are certainly willing to use their best efforts to look into that if that helps address that question.

§         In the front of the property are buildings A and B with combined non-residential space of 28,800 square.  It is proposed to be mixed use buildings each with commercial or office space on the first 2 floors and residential on the top floors.  Currently they are looking at planning on having as many as 8 in that area to make best use of those buildings.

§         Buildings C & D are residential condominium building. 

§         Buildings K & L along the central green are 2 cottages essentially single-family detached units. 

§         The buildings along the outer edges, building I and J are townhouses.

§         Buildings G & E are townhouses.

§         Building F and H are condominiums. 

§         Building H has underground parking.  Buildings G, F and E have some underground parking and garages.  The same can be said for buildings I and J.  The units in buildings C and D and A and B will share parking among the surface parking shown around those buildings.  They will also share parking with the non-residential uses, the commercial office space.  That will work very well to be able to have those mixtures of uses there together and share the space.

§         The key feature of the property is the central green that is sited around the existing trees that the arborist has identified as the trees that are most worthy of protection and that are most likely to be able to survive the construction project.  They have designed the project and the site layout around those trees.  The 39 trees shown on the plan are to be preserved and are indicated as such in the Code of Development.


Ms. Joseph invited other public comment.  There being none, staff was requested to lead the Commission through the questions.


The Planning Commission reviewed the questions posed by staff and provided their comments as noted in the following summary of the meeting.


In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZMA-2007-00004, Oakleigh Farm to discuss the major considerations listed in the staff report. Staff presented a power point presentation, summarized the information associated with this project and posed several questions for the Commission.  Staff pointed out one change to the staff report that the applicant is considering potentially adding 8 development units to the front of the property, which would increase the unit count from 101 to 109 or 115.  The applicant’s representatives, Valerie Long and George Ray, gave a power point presentation, explained the proposal and answered questions. Public comment was taken.  No formal action was taken. The Commission provided feedback to the discussion questions posed by staff, with 3 additional questions posed by the applicant, as follows:


  1. Does the Commission Support the applicant’s approach to residential density, open space, and non residential uses?


The Planning Commission supports the applicant’s approach to residential density, open space and non residential uses and the applicant’s proposal to limit the retail commercial use to 14,400 square feet.  The non residential uses need to be worked out. 


Several concerns were expressed including:


a.       The applicant has agreed to work with VDOT on the reconfiguration of the entrance.  The reconfiguration is going to make Building B larger, which could potentially become more retail area. The applicant has committed to the 14,400 square feet of retail commercial space.  The scale of non-residential use and how much of that space should be there is a concern.  There is a concern about how much retail has been approved in rezonings and the absorption rate of 20 to 30 years.   Should additional retail space be added to that in this project?  The Commission was struggling with all of those things.   The major concern was the parking located in front.  Relegated parking was preferred to on street parking. 


b.       Woodburn is a public road and the roads in Oakleigh, including the entrance road, are being proposed as a private road. 


  1. Should the applicant be providing a buffer along the common property line with Heritage Hall (where existing wooded areas are located) so that if screening of the backs of townhouses proposed there would be possible should Heritage Hall expand and remove existing wooded areas.


Four Commissioners (Joseph, Edgerton, Morris and Strucko) agreed with staff that a parking-driveway setback of 10 feet and a continuous screening buffer would allow for screening in the future should the existing wooded areas on the Heritage Hall property be eliminated.


Two Commissioners (Craddock, Zobrist) were in favor of the applicant not providing a buffer.



  1. Given the applicant’s detailed analysis of existing trees and plan to preserve those identified, should the applicant make a commitment to bond trees to ensure their survival.


The Planning Commission agreed that the applicant should make a commitment to bond trees to ensure their survival and requested staff to investigate what has been done in the past.    


  1. Should the applicant attempt to provide a pedestrian connection to Berkeley?


The Planning Commission agreed that the applicant should attempt to provide a pedestrian connection to Berkeley by meeting with the residents of Berkeley to determine the feasibility.  The Commission supports interconnectivity.


  1. Should the massing of the two buildings proposed to front Rio work relate better to the neighboring properties along Rio Road?


The Planning Commission felt that there was not enough information submitted to answer the question.  The applicant needs to submit drawings and elevations to be reviewed prior to the Commission commending on this question.  This request has not been before the ARB.  Due to the lack of elevation drawings the Commission requested that the ARB review this request and provide their recommendation to the Commission. 


Other Matters


The Commission provided the following responses to the additional questions.


  1. The Commission agreed with VDOT and the County Engineer that the entrance road should align with Woodburn Road across the street. 
  2. There is a slip ramp the applicant has shown.  Engineering has requested to remove it.  The applicant has said they might want to retain the slip ramp as an emergency entrance.  The Commission asked for input from Fire Rescue on whether the slip-ramp would be beneficial as an emergency access only.  The Commission asked staff to verify with VDOT that it was possible for the slip-ramp to be an emergency only access.


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