ALBEMARLE COUNTY PLANNING

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SDP 07-048: Crozet Gateway Center – Final Site Plan Appeal

Staff:  David Pennock, Bill Fritz

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

December 11, 2007

Board of Supervisors Hearing:

Not applicable

Owners:  Yousef, LLC

Applicant: Same

Acreage: 2.110 Acres

 

Rezone from: Not applicable

Special Use Permit for: Not applicable

TMP: Tax Map 56, Parcels 32 and 32A

Location: The northeast corner of the intersection of Route 240 (Brownsville Road) and Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike)

By-right use: HC, Highway Commercial uses within the EC, Entrance Corridor

Magisterial District: Whitehall

Proffers/Conditions: Yes

Requested # of Dwelling Lots: n/a

DA –    X                                RA –

Proposal: Request for final site plan approval for the construction of two (2) buildings for commercial and office use.  This request includes a request for a waiver in order to allow shared parking within the site. 

Comp. Plan Designation: Crozet Community, CT-5 (Urban Center)

Character of Property:  This is currently the site of a convenience store with several outbuildings and gas pumps.

Use of Surrounding Properties: This property is surrounded on all sides by public streets.  The parcels on the opposite sides of each of these streets are residential.

Factors Favorable: (see report)

Factors Unfavorable: (see report)

RECOMMENDATION:

Based on the analysis by the Chief of Zoning, Staff cannot recommend approval of the requested parking modification and thus recommends denial of the site plan.  However, should the Commission approve the parking modification, Staff recommends the conditions presented in the staff report.

 

 

       

 

     

 

STAFF PERSON:                              David E. Pennock, AICP; Bill Fritz, AICP

 

PLANNING COMMISSION:               December 11, 2007

 

AGENDA TITLE:                             SDP 07-048: Crozet Gateway Center Final Site Plan (Appeal)

 

APPLICANT/OWNER(S):                Yousef, LLC

                      

APPLICANT’S PROPOSAL:

Request for final site plan approval for the construction of two (2) buildings for commercial and office use on 1.99 acres zoned HC, Highway Commercial and EC, Entrance Corridor (Attachment B).  This request includes a request for a waiver in order to allow shared parking within the site.

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as part of the Crozet Community, with recommended CT-5, Urban Center land use.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY:

VA 1978-041, VA 1981-043, VA 1988-050, VA 1998-010 – Four variances have previously been approved on this site relating to the locations of various items on the site.  The most recent approval was for the location of the canopy over the gas pumps.

SDP 06-075 – The Preliminary Site Plan for this project was approved in late 2006.  At that time, issues regarding parking were addressed through a note on the approved plan that “The parking requirements will be finalized at the final site plan stage when the building footprint and design has been finalized.  The building outline and are shown hereon is approximate.  The final building outline and area will not exceed the totals shown hereon”.

SDP 07-048 – The Final Site Plan was previously before the Planning Commission in June, 2007.  At that time, a critical slopes waiver was granted for the proposed site plan. 

 

REASON FOR PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEW:

This proposal is a by-right site plan, and so would typically be reviewed and approved administratively.  However, the applicant has requested to reduce the number of parking spaces that would otherwise be required through the use of shared parking (Attachment C), in accordance with Section 4.12.2.c. and Section 4.12.10 of the Zoning Ordinance.  This modification request was denied by the Chief of Zoning (Attachment D).  As a result, the applicant has requested that the Planning Commission consider the modification as part of its review of the site plan, as specified in Section 4.12.2.d. (Attachment E).  The Planning Commission must act on the final site plan, including the requested modification, as presented below.

 

PARKING REDUCTION / SHARED PARKING:

Section 4.12 – Parking. Stacking, and Loading

 

4.12.2 c. Modification or waiver. The limitation on the maximum number of parking spaces required by subsection 4.12.4(a) and the design requirements in sections 4.12.15, 4.12.16, 4.12.17, 4.12.18 and 4.12.19 may be modified or waived, and in any commercial or industrial zoning district the minimum number of parking spaces required by section 4.12.6 may be modified in an individual case if the zoning administrator finds that the public health, safety or welfare would be equally or better served by the modification or waiver and that the modification or waiver would not otherwise be contrary to the purpose and intent of this chapter.[EMPHASIS ADDED]

 

Section 4.12.2.c. of the Zoning Ordinance allows the Zoning Administrator to consider a reduction in the minimum number of parking spaces required for a use in any commercial or industrial zoning district.  Each such reduction request must be justified with a parking study, anticipated trip generation rates, and other data, as specified in subsection 1 of this Zoning Section.  The applicant provided this information.  In addition, one of the justifications supplied by the applicant indicated that parking between uses on site – in this case, office and retail – could be shared, as allowed by Section 4.12.10.  A summary table is presented below:

 

Use

Required by Zoning Ordinance

Estimated Need 

(Data from Applicant)

Provided on Site Plan

Retail Space:

13,812 s.f.

(based on Architectural Plans)

1 space/100 s.f. for 1st 5,000 s.f.   =            =

1 space/200 s.f. >5,000 s.f.          =

 

50

44

94

 

Weekday      =

Weekend     =

 

50

55

 

Commercial Space:

12,171 s.f (gross)

(based on 80% gross floor area)

1 space/200 s.f.                          =

 

49

Weekday      =

Weekend     =

46

5

 

Total

 

143

(Peak)

96

98

Reduction or Share Requested

 

 

 

 

45

 

 

 

As shown above and in the attachments, the data provided by the applicant indicated that the parking on-site would be adequate to serve the proposed uses.  However, the total number of spaces proposed would have required a substantial sharing of parking or a sizeable reduction in the minimum number of required spaces based on the Zoning Ordinance.  The Chief of Zoning reviewed this request to determine if the provided parking would equally or better serve the public health, safety, or welfare, as specified above.  In addition, the considerations of subsection 3 were examined:

 

Sec. 4.12.2.c.3. In granting a modification or waiver, the zoning administrator may impose such conditions as deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare. In granting a request to modify the minimum number of parking spaces required by section 4.12.6, the zoning administrator may also require that the developer reserve an area on the lot equal to the reduced number of parking spaces for a specified period, and under conditions, imposed by the zoning administrator.

 

The Chief of Zoning denied this request because there were no unusual circumstances identified that indicated that the requirements of the Ordinance were incorrect and because there were no areas available for provision of additional parking in the event that the spaces provided proved to be inadequate in the future.  In response, the applicant modified the site plan and proposed to limit a substantial portion of one of the buildings to storage only.   The amended parking summary is below:

 

Use

Required by Zoning Ordinance

Information on Site Plan

Provided on Site Plan

Retail Space:

15,149 s.f.

(based on 80% gross floor area)

1 space/100 s.f. for 1st 5,000 s.f.   =            =

1 space/200 s.f. >5,000 s.f.          =

 

50

36

86

 

 

50

36

86

 

Commercial Space:

7,944 s.f (gross)

(based on 80% gross floor area)

1 space/200 s.f.                          =

 

32

 

 

32

 

Storage

                                                  =

2

 

0

 

Subtotal

 

120

 

118[sic]

99

Reduction or Share Requested

 

Approved by Chief of Zoning

 

2

Remainder

Needed

 

19

 

 

 

Based on the revised request, the Chief of Zoning was able to grant a reduction of two spaces to allow the sharing of the storage use with the other uses on the property.  However, the request for a modification to allow the reduction or sharing of the additional 19 required spaces was denied for the same reasons as the previous request – no unusual characteristics were identified that indicate the Ordinance requirements were incorrect and no additional area were available for future parking in the event the reduced number of spaces was deemed to be inadequate.

 

REVIEW OF FINAL SITE PLAN:

The applicant has asked that the Commission consider the final site plan, including the request for a parking modification, in accordance with Section 4.12.2.d.:

 

Sec.4.12.2.d. Review of modification or waiver. The denial of a modification or waiver, or the approval of a modification or waiver with conditions objectionable to the developer may be considered by the commission as part of its review of: (1) a plat, as provided in sections 14-220 and 14-225 of the Code; (2) a site plan, as provided in sections 32.4.2.6 and 32.4.3.6; or (3) a special use permit.

 

This section references Section 32.4.3.6, which specifies the considerations for the commission in review of a final site plan.  In part, this section states:

 

Sec.32.4.3.6 In the case of commission review, the commission shall give due consideration to the recommendations of the site review committee and the statement of the developer in response to such recommendations and the comments and recommendations of the agent. In addition, the commission may consider such other evidence pertaining to the compliance of the final site plan with the technical requirements of this chapter as it deems necessary for a proper review of the application.

 

This project was reviewed for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and has been reviewed by the Site Review Committee.  The applicant has worked with other members of the Site Review Committee to resolve issues presented during the review of the site plan.  In summary:

 

The largest remaining item to be addressed is the resolution of the parking reduction, which may necessitate changes to the current design and could jeopardize previously granted approvals.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Based on the analysis by the Chief of Zoning, Staff cannot recommend approval of the requested parking modification, and thus recommends denial of the site plan.  However, should the Commission approve the parking modification, Staff recommends the following conditions:

 

The final site plan shall be subject to these conditions:

□ 1.   The Current Development Division shall not accept submittal of the final site plan for signature until tentative final approvals for the following conditions have been obtained. The final site plan shall not be signed until the following conditions have been met:

□ a.               Current Development Planner approval to include:

                                               □ i.      A conservation checklist (available on Community Development website) shall be added to the plan and signed by owner.

                                              □ ii.      Parking counts, areas for each use, and impervious area calculations must be updated to reflect any modifications to parking or layout.

□ b.               Current Development Engineer approval to include:

                                               □ i.      The plan is acceptable as shown.  Bond amounts for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management are available and must be posted.

□ c.               Please provide evidence of Albemarle County Service Authority approval.

□ d.               Virginia Department of Transportation approval to include:

                                               □ i.      The applicant must address the comments issued by AJ Hamidi on November 9, 2007.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A.   Vicinity Map

B.   Final Site Plan

C.   Requests for Modifications

D.   Chief of Zoning Decision

E.   Appeal to Planning Commission

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