COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:   SP 2007-47 Graceworks

Staff: Joan McDowell, Principal Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

January 15, 2008

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

February 13, 2008

Owner: Judith Bailes Baker

Applicant:  Julie Baker

Acreage:  58.469

Special Use Permit:  Section 10.2.2 (5) private schools

TMP:  TMP 58-82; TMP 58-76B;

TMP 58-77

 

Location:  1040 Owensville Road

Existing Zoning and By-right use:

RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Conditions: Yes

DA (Development Area)

RA (Rural Areas): X

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                           

Proposal:  Amend SP 2001-24 for a private school to expand the days of operation from 2 days/week to 4 days/week and to increase enrollment

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (0.5 unit/ acre)

Character of Property:  partially wooded, fields, pond, stream, residences

Use of Surrounding Properties:   residential on varied sized lots, agricultural

Factors Favorable:

1.         The proposed additional children enrolled in the after school care program would provide a service to the community.

2.         The proposed additional days of operation from two days per week to four days per week would not compromise the integrity of the community or the Rural Area.

3.       No additional structures would result from the proposed expansion.

 

 

Factor Unfavorable:

1.         Land disturbing that is related to activities for the children has resulted in stream sedimentation.

 

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this Special Use Permit with conditions.

     

 

           


 

                  STAFF PERSON:                                     Joan McDowell, Principal Planner Rural Areas

PLANNING COMMISSION:      January 15, 2008

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:      February 13, 2007

 

Petition:  PROJECT: SP 2007-47 Graceworks Expansion

PROPOSED: Amend SP 2001-24 to expand after school care from 2-days/week to 4-days/week; increase enrollment (max. 10 per day); on three parcels with total of 58.469 acres

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)

SECTION: 10.2.2.(5) Private Schools

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre)

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No

LOCATION:  1040 Ownesville Road (Route 678), west of Andrew Lane

TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 58-82; TMP 58-76B; TMP 58-77

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller

 

Character of the Area:   The area is characterized by a mixture of residences, wooded areas, streams, and agricultural fields.  The Meriwether Hills subdivision in located on the opposite side of Owensville Road and the Lewis Hill West subdivision is location on the north side of the property. 

 

Specifics of the Proposal:  The applicant has requested approval of an amendment to SP 2001-24 Baker After School Care, allowing a private school after school program for two days per week between the hours of 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM for a total of 15 underprivileged children.  The children are transported to the site by a privately owned van or by a school bus on its regular route and they are taken home by van.  The children participate in the care of farm animals, riding, crafts, swimming and other activities under adult supervision.

 

With the current application, SP 2007-47 Graceworks, the applicant originally requested an increased enrollment to allow “an additional 10 disadvantaged kids.”  The 10 additional children would potentially increase the enrollment from 15 (allowed with SP 2001-24) to 25 children.  However, the applicant clarified the request by explaining that the school has never had more than 10 children attending at a time and is not requesting more than 10 children at a time.  Therefore, the applicant is not requesting an enrollment that would increase the daily attendance, but she would like to increase the enrollment in conjunction with the additional two days per week they have requested, in order to serve additional children.  When reviewing the potential impacts of this after school operation, staff determined that that the potential for impacts would not result from the number of children enrolled but, instead, the potential for impacts would be due to the number of children attending each day.  Therefore, the condition of approval (number 1) has been rewritten to address the daily attendance and reference to the enrollment has been removed.   The total number of children to be served is not known, but the number of children at the site would be a maximum of 10 children. 

 

No additional structures would result from the proposed expansion.

 

 

      Planning and Zoning History:

Commercial Entrance – A commercial entrance was required by Virginia Department of Transportation when a commercial riding / boarding stable was contemplated by the property owner.  The commercial entrance was constructed, but the commercial stable was not and is not under consideration at this time.

SP 2001-24 Baker After School – approval of a private school after school operation for 15 children, 2-days per week.  The conditions of approval are included in the conditions recommended with SP 2007-47 Graceworks.

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan: Comprehensive Plan designates the subject property as Rural Areas emphasizing the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources as land use options. The after school care provides an exposure for children to the County’s rural areas and gives them experiences with agricultural activities.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

Staff addresses each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance:

 

31.2.4.1: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

The after school care program has not received any zoning complaints since its inception in 2001.  However, land disturbance activities related to building ponds, fields, and roads have resulted in erosion that precipitated neighbor complaints.  Since the land disturbances were claimed as agricultural activities, they were exempt from the County’s Water Protection Ordinance.  Recent site visits have confirmed the extent of the ongoing grading activities.  No evidence was observed to indicate that the ponds and fields have any existing commercial agricultural use.  The applicant has indicated that they are considering planting orchards in some of the graded areas.  However, the graded areas appear to be an integral part of recreational activities for the residences and the school. Staff has offered a condition of approval that would link future land disturbing activities with a requirement to obtain County Erosion and Sediment Control permits, a mechanism that would provide mitigation for any more stream buffer disturbances.  In addition, the County would be able to assist the property owners with appropriate E & S practices, prior to their commencement. These E & S mitigation measures would also give the children an opportunity to learn more about methods of protecting our water supply.

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby and

The number of children attending each day would remain at the existing 10 children.  As the transportation for the children will be provided by private van and most of the activities are be on the interior of the parcel, the additional days of operation are not anticipated to adversely affect the district.

 

that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

Section 18, Chapter 10 of the Zoning Ordinance outlines the purpose of Rural Areas zoning: “This district (hereafter referred to as RA) is hereby created and may hereafter be established by amendment of the zoning map for the following purposes:

-Preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;

-Water supply protection;

-Limited service delivery to the rural areas; and

-Conservation of natural, scenic, and historic resources. (Amended 11-8-89)”

 

The additional days of operation would continue to allow a use on the property that would provide opportunities for children to experience the rural countryside and agricultural activities. The children also participate in the planting, tending, and harvesting of a garden located near the “barn” building.  The applicant has indicated that they may be planting fruit trees in the future. 

 

A condition of approval is offered to mitigate impacts of future land disturbing activities.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

The proposed four days of operation would not impact the by- right uses in the RA district.

 

with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

There are no regulations in section 5.0 of the Zoning Ordinance that apply to private schools.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The children are transported to and from the site by private van, thereby, limiting the number of vehicle trips to the site.  A commercial entrance has been installed by the property owner. The Health Department and the Virginia Department of Transportation did not offer any objections to this application.

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The proposed additional children enrolled in the after school care program would provide a service to the community.

2.       The proposed additional days of operation from two days per week to four days per week would not compromise the integrity of the community or the Rural Area.

3.       No additional structures would result from the proposed expansion.

 

Staff has identified the following factor unfavorable to this application:

1.       Land disturbing that is related to activities for the children has resulted in stream   sedimentation.

 

 

      RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

The amendments to the conditions approved with SP 2001-24 Baker After School Care Program are reflected by underlines to identify additional language and strikethroughs to identify deletions. 

 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2007-47 Graceworks Expansion, subject to the following conditions. 

 

1. The maximum number of children enrolled in the private school shall not exceed 15 at any time,A maximum of 10 children shall be allowed on the site at any time.

2. A minimum of Tthree adults shall supervise the children at all times.

3. The children shall be transported to and from the property as a group.  The pick up and drop off of individual children shall not be permitted except for medical, family and weather-related emergencies.

4. The days of operation shall be limited to two four days per week, Monday through Thursday, and the hours of operation shall be limited to 2:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. on the days of operation.

5. Expansion of the facilities for the private school shall require an amendment to this

         special use permit.

6. Approval by the Health Department for the private school shall be required prior to commencement of the private school.

6.   Prior to all earth disturbing activities 10,000 square feet or greater, and/or for the excavation of a pond, and/or for the construction of a dam, an Erosion & Sediment permit    shall be required.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Attachment A – SP 2007-47 Graceworks application

 

Attachment B – Location map

 

Attachment C – Site photographs

 

Attachment D -  SP 2001-24 Baker After School Care staff report with conditions of   approval

 

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