Project Name: 

ZMA 2007-14  Watkins Landscaping  
& Waiver of Section Buffer/Screening requirements


SP 07- 60 Outdoor Storage in the Entrance Corridor


Rebecca Ragsdale




Margaret Maliszewski

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

January 22, 2008

Board of Supervisors:

March 12, 2008

Owners:  Scott & Caroline Watkins

Applicant: Watkins & Company, Inc. Landscape Contracting; Rieley & Associates consulting


Acreage: 3.00 acres


Rezone:  R-1 to HC Highway Commercial


TMP: Tax Map 56, Parcels 107C and 98D


By-right use: R1 Residential, potentially up to 3 single family units


Magisterial District:   White Hall


Proffers:  Yes

Proposal: Rezone to HC Highway Commercial, with proffers to restrict uses, to allow for a landscaping business that will include outdoor storage of plants and plant materials


Requested # of Dwelling Units:  None proposed

DA (Development Area): Community of Crozet

Comp. Plan Designation:  CT 3  Urban Edge

Character of Property: Single Family residential, some outbuildings


Use of Surrounding Properties:   Clover Lawn Commercial/town houses, Blue Ridge Building Supply, and rural/undeveloped

Factors Favorable:

1.                                    The rezoning is generally consistent with recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan


Factors Unfavorable:

1.                               There are several minor corrections and notes needed to the proffers and application plan, which the applicant has agreed to address.

Recommendation: Staff recommends approval of ZMA 07-16 if outstanding technical issues with the proffers and application plan are addressed. Approval of the waiver to screening requirements is also recommended. Staff does not support the site plan waiver request. SP 07-16 is recommended for approval with conditions.





STAFF PERSON:                                                                                         Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                                         January 22, 2008

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                                      March 12, 2008


ZMA 07-16 Watkins Rezoning (Route 250)



PROJECT: ZMA 2007 - 00016 Watkins Route 250 Rezoning

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 3.0 acres from R1 - Residential (1 unit/acre)

to HC Highway Commercial which allows commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre) for a Landscape Contracting business


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Community of Crozet; CT-3 Urban Edge: single family residential (net 3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses


LOCATION: 5168 Rockfish Gap Turnpike/Route 250 West, east of Radford Lane & adjacent to Clover Lawn

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 56, Parcels 107C & 98D



Planning & Zoning History


October 30, 2007 Planning Commission Work Session

The applicant submitted an application to rezone this property from R-1 Residential to HC Highway Commercial for a landscaping contract business at the end of August. This rezoning was reviewed by the Planning Commission in a work session on October 30 to discuss the following topics related to the rezoning proposal:

o        Is the proposed use appropriate at this location?  What additional uses, if any, should be permitted?  (Specific Use - Landscape Service – Home Business)

o        Should the applicant be required to connect to public water and sewer?


In response, the Planning Commission was split on the issue of whether the use was appropriate for a landscape service – home business on this site but recommended that that the applicant proceed with the review process and further refine their concept, particularly as it relates to buffering along Rt. 250 and adjacent to the Rural Area and residential uses in Clover Lawn.  They also indicated they would want to see the allowable uses under the proposed zoning be restricted to the landscaping business. Traffic impacts were also noted as a concern by the Commission. The Planning Commission was generally concerned about the public water and sewer issue, but could not provide guidance on the issue of mandatory connection to public sewer until staff provides additional information.  Public comment was heard at the work session and concerns were expressed by a nearby resident about impacts to Clover Lawn and Scenic 250 spoke to convey their concerns. Minutes from the meeting with detailed public comment are attached. (Attachment A)  


December 11, 2007 Public Hearing

Following the Planning Commission work session, the applicant submitted a revised application plan and site section illustration, received on November 13 for a December 11 public hearing.  These revisions were reviewed by staff and provided positive responses to some of the Commission and staff review comments, however there were still outstanding issues to be addressed prior to staff making a positive recommendation. A Planning Commission public hearing for this rezoning was advertised for December 11. On November 30, 2007, the applicant requested deferral of this public hearing due to these outstanding issues. On December 5, after the deferral was listed on the Commission’s December 11 tentative agenda, the applicant requested that the public hearing not be deferred. So, the Planning Commission held the public hearing on this rezoning request. The Commission had discussion on the project and took public comment. At the meeting, the applicant requested deferral, to address all outstanding issues from staff review and those that were noted in discussion by the Commission at the December 11 meeting. This staff report reflects review of the applicant’s revisions, which were submitted January 2, 2008.



Characteristics of the Site & Area

The property consists of two parcels zoned R1 Residential and is three acres in size with an existing house and outbuildings that are set back from Route 250/Rockfish Gap Turnpike more than 300 feet. Adjacent to the site to the east is a mostly wooded, open property in the Rural Areas and zoned R1 Residential. To the west is the Clover Lawn development zoned Planned District Mixed Commercial, which includes commercial development on Route 250 with townhomes behind the commercial buildings.  Properties across Route 250 from the site are zoned Highway Commercial, including the proposed Blue Ridge Shopping Center, which will include a grocery store, and the Blue Ridge Builder’s Supply which is located to the east of the proposed shopping center. (Attachment B-Aerial Map, Attachment C-Zoning Map)



By-Right Use of the Site

The property is zoned R-1 and is 3 acres in size. Under R-1 Zoning District regulations up to 4 units would be permitted using bonus/clustering provisions at a density of1.45 units/acre.


Specifics of Proposal

This proposal is to rezone two parcels totaling 3 acres from R1 Residential to HC Highway Commercial for a landscaping business, which would be relocated from another property in the County on Route 20 South (Scottsville Road). The applicant intends to use the existing house and outbuildings on the property for the landscaping business office and storage of plants and no longer proposes construction of new buildings. The applicant would also like to rent as residential any portions of the existing house not used as office for the business, consistent with their current business operation on Scottsville Road. Improvements are planned to the entrance, travelways, and parking along with extensive landscaping as, shown on the concept plan.


The applicant has submitted a more detailed proffered concept plan that shows topography and conceptual grading, proffers, site plan and buffer/screening waiver requests, and letter of intent from the adjoining property owner to allow off-site landscaping at Clover Lawn for the Commissions January 22, 2008 public hearing on the rezoning and special use permit. (Attachments D , E ,F, G) The Special Use Permit (SP) in accordance with Section of the Entrance Corridor Overlay district regulations to allow Outdoor Storage in the Entrance Corridor has been reviewed by the ARB and recommended for approval with conditions.



Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan


Crozet Master Plan


The Crozet Master Plan designates this property as CT3 Urban Edge in a Neighborhood, on the edge of the Development Area/Rural Area boundary. (See inset below)   

Text Box: Site


Text Box: Interconnection





The CT3 land use designation indicates that the primary uses recommended for this property are residential. However, other non-residential uses are included in Table 2 of the Master Plan such as small retail building and first floor retail with residential over (cornerstore) and also greenhouses. (Attachment M-Table 2)There is also a buffer or CT 1/2 designation along the Route 250 frontage of the property.


The Crozet Master Plan recommends that the Downtown area of Crozet be the largest and most important center in the Crozet Development Area. The master plan also designates other centers of activity and neighborhoods in Crozet, however, the master plan says that new commercial activity should focus on the redevelopment and invigoration of the downtown area before more outlying areas.  County implementation efforts have been very focused on Downtown, with streetscape projects, the new library, stormwater plan, and zoning projects.


In addition to the recommendations for Downtown, the master plan recognizes the existing Neighborhood along Route 250 West, including the applicant’s property.  The master plan supports, with additional areas designated as CT 4 and CT3, the retention and expansion of that Neighborhood as a focal point of activity in Crozet.


Although the proposed rezoning to a commercial designation is not in Downtown Crozet, staff believes that the proposed landscaping business at this location is not counter to the goals of the master plan for Downtown Crozet. This use is not one planned as a primary use for Downtown since a landscape business is a more land-intensive service use that would be developed with a more rural character. A landscape business could not take on an urban form of 2-4 stories with reduced setbacks as would be expected for Downtown.



Crozet Master Plan Green Infrastructure Map


The Crozet Master Plan includes a Green Infrastructure plan which depicts the system of environmental

resources that should be protected, along with greenways. The northeast corner of the property is designated

for resource protection, including bands of critical slopes. There is also a Scenic Byway Tree Buffer shown

along Route 250 West on the frontage of the property.


The proffered concept plan submitted by the applicant shows a landscaped buffer along the frontage of the

property and storage of plant materials between the existing house and Route 250. Any landscaping installed

will be reviewed by the ARB.  Staff believes the recommendations of the Plan for Route 250 are provided with

the applicant’s proposal.


The revised proffered concept plan includes topographic information and conceptual grading. The plan shows

that the critical slopes/buffer area in the northeast corner of the site will be protected.



Neighborhood Model

The Neighborhood Model describes the more "urban" form of development desired for the Development Areas. The following is an assessment of this proposal’s consistency with the Neighborhood Model’s 12 principles:



Pedestrian Orientation

Typically, staff would recommend that provisions for pedestrians be provided to adjoining properties in the Development Areas. However, considering that this property is on the edge of the boundary with the Rural Area and that there will be buffering and screening along the property lines, staff does not recommend that in this case. This principle met.


Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths

This property is fronting on Route 250 West. While an urban section would normally be recommended, it is not recommended on this property because of the Scenic Byway designation and previous actions by the Board of Supervisors related to the appearance of Route 250 at this location. Clover Lawn was approved without curb, gutter, and sidewalks.


Interconnected Streets and Transportation Networks

The applicant has provided for a future interconnection that could extend over and tie in with the planned Liberty Hall street network. This is noted on the proffered plan, north of the existing house and extending east from the proposed parking lot. This connection is shown on the Crozet Master Plan; please see the interconnection labeled on the insets above. This principle is met.


Parks and Open Space


The applicant intends to provide for the green strip across the frontage of the property and resource protection, as recommended by the Crozet Master Plan Green Infrastructure Plan. This principle is met.

Neighborhood Centers

This site is located adjacent to a neighborhood center as designated in the Crozet Master Plan and this principle is met.

Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale

The existing residence on the property will remain and no new buildings are proposed. The site is intended to be developed with a rural character and this principle is not applicable.


Relegated Parking

The location of proposed parking on the site is behind the existing house and this principle is met.

Mixture of Uses


This proposal is for a landscaping business. Given the other residential and commercial uses in this neighborhood of Crozet, this principle is met.

Mixture of Housing Types and Affordability

The proposed rezoning does not include new residential uses and the applicant would like to allow for rental of the remainder of the house not used for the landscaping businesses office. Staff believes that this principle is not applicable because of nearby residential development.


This project represents redevelopment from a residence to small-scale commercial use. This principle is met.

Site Planning that Respects Terrain

The applicant has provided conceptual grading and there are no concerns. This principle is met.

Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas

This property is located on the edge of the Crozet Development Area boundary and the abutting property to the east is in the Rural Areas. However, it is zoned R1 Residential. Staff believes that less intense small-scale non-residential uses, such as landscaping/greenhouse uses; are appropriate on the edge of the development area at this particular location.




Economic Development Policy

The Business Development Facilitator (BDF) has provided comments on this rezoning as it relates to the economic goals of the Crozet Master Plan and the Economic Development Policy of the Comprehensive Plan. The BDF notes that a major goal of the Crozet Master Pan is to foster a stronger jobs/housing balance, since over the last 20 years, much of Crozet’s local employment base has declined. The loss of ConAgra (890 jobs), Acme Visible Records (220) and some local farming has impacted the local residents who relied upon these employers for making a living as well as those who provided employment via supporting business such as the Crozet Print Shop. Currently several new employers are expanding in Crozet, however the aggregate employment number of employees is not close to what existed 20 years ago. At the same time residential development has increased and there is concern that Crozet may become what was discouraged in the master plan, a bedroom community. The BDF believes that this rezoning offers an important opportunity to help Crozet gain ground in achieving more of a jobs/housing balance. Relevant policy objectives of the Crozet Master Plan:

Local Businesses and Community Economic Development: County staff and officials must engage in public/private partnerships with local businesses to realize the development of Crozet as more than a ‘bedroom community’ to the City of Charlottesville.  Jobs that keep residents of Crozet working in Crozet will be key to revitalizing downtown and mitigating a deteriorating traffic condition on Routes 240 and 250. (Page 5)

Business Community: Recommendations

The Master Plan anticipates that the private sector will build many of the features outlined within the Master Plan as a part of new development in Crozet.  Two aspects of desired community development identified by the residents rely on the business community in particular: local economic diversification and neighborhood development.  Successful implementation of the Master Plan will depend on the support of local business and on a collaborative relationship between county staff and the private sector.

Local Businesses and Community Economic Development

County staff and officials must encourage public/private collaboration in order to support the development of Crozet as something more than a “bedroom community” to the City of Charlottesville.  In particular, the expansion of existing and development of new small businesses in Crozet is essential to increase the vitality of the downtown, provide employment opportunities, meet residents’ needs for goods and services, and reduce increasing  traffic impacts to Routes 240 and 250.  


With regard to the Economic Development Policy of the Comprehensive Plan, the BDF has noted the following objectives which appear relevant to this rezoning request:


Objective V-Provide local business development opportunities.


As the landscaping business has grown over time, it has expanded to where it is no longer considered appropriate for the Rural Areas, as a home occupation activity. Therefore, it is important to facilitate a location in the development area.


Objective VI-Provide work force development opportunities.


This location offers Watkins landscaping an opportunity to grow by increasing employees – a clear limitation of the “Rural Area Home Occupation business license.” Commercial landscaping, in particular, offers jobs for those with college degrees and those without, with jobs such as account manager, sales, accounting, and planting crew.


The BDF has also noted how this rezoning is relevant to Strategic Plan’s strategy for achieving economic vitality is to support the creation and retention of knowledge-based jobs, one specific action item to achieve this strategy is to promote green building across industries (suppliers, manufacturers, and specialized contractors). This would include retaining a local landscaping company who would be much more familiar with our local environment and County environmental protection policies than an outside company. This type of company can provide better environmental stewardship with their local expertise:

o                                Knowledge of local soils, and climate for specific, indigenous plantings

o                                Knowledge of our local environmental policies for stream buffer protections

o                                Serving Western Albemarle, with local trips, Albemarle County in general, reducing trip traffic that would develop from a move outside the county.



Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district


The applicant is proposing a landscaping business, which is permitted under the Home and business services such as grounds care, cleaning, exterminators, landscaping and other repair and maintenance services category in the HC zoning district. The list of all permitted uses in the HC Zoning District is provided as Attachment G. Staff believes that the proposed land use is consistent with the land use designation to allow for limited non-residential service-type uses, if kept to a small scale.  However the majority of HC uses would not be appropriate at this site and the applicant has agreed to limit uses on the property through proffers. (Attachment F-Proffers)

These proffers allow for home and business services such as grounds care, cleaning, exterminators, landscaping, and other repair and maintenance services, along with other uses required in all districts, as by-right districts. Since the applicant would also allow rental of a portion of the existing house, staff advised that Section 24.2.1 (41), which allows one dwelling unit if the residences is limited to owners or employees of establishments, including night watchmen, would allow for rental of the house. The applicant has also restricted uses that would be allowed by special use permit and has provided for residential uses or Tier III personal wireless facilities by special use permit.


Impact on Environmental, Cultural, and Historic Resources


Environmental-There is an intermittent stream to the east and north of TMP 56-98D. A portion of the required buffer would encroach onto that parcel, this is the protection area shown on the Green Infrastructure map of the master plan.  It appears from the applicant’s proposed proffered concept plan that any new construction or disturbance would not impact the buffer. The applicant has shown the existing woodland edge and indicated intent to preserve the existing woodland edge with a note on the plan.


The existing house dates to 1958 according to real estate records.  It has not been identified as a significant historic resource and will be reused for the landscaping business.


Entrance Corridor- Route 250/Rockfish Gap Turnpike is an Entrance Corridor and Scenic Byway. Since the outdoor storage component of the applicant’s proposal requires a special use permit for outdoor storage, those impacts are discussed under the SP 2007-60 section of the report below.


Anticipated impact on public facilities and services


Streets – The applicant is proposing to relocate and upgrade the existing entrance into the site from Route 250. The applicant provided a detailed description of vehicle activity for the proposed use, which indicates around 20 vehicle trips per day or less:


Daily Flow:

6:45-7:00 a.m. - Crew and I arrive.  Usually 3-5 cars. 


7:00-7:15 -  Leave shop for job site;  Usually 1-2 trucks.   Trucks are 1 ton dualies.   Our largest truck is a Ford F-550.


During the day, I may make 1-2 trips to office in my pickup,  or none. 


3:30-4:30 - Crew returns from job site; usually gone by 5:00 p.m.


Deliveries/Other Traffic:

- 0-2 deliveries per week, usually dump trucks with mulch, or boxtruck with plants.   Practically all plant deliveries arrive 6:45-7:15 a.m. to coincide with our presence at the shop.   We have circulation problems at our current location, and have made a deliberate effort to work with vendors who do not ship on tractor trailers. 


- Once weekly trash pickup


- Occasional UPS and FedEx deliveries of parts, supplies, etc.

 Provided by Scott Watkins


VDOT has provided comments requesting entrance upgrades to commercial entrance standards. (Attachment D)The County Engineer recommended that a right turn lane on Rt. 250 be considered as an improvement for this project , however, the Planning Commission did not recommend that as a requirement of this rezoning in their December 11 discussion about this project. Through other  rezoning approvals and traffic analysis, a stop light is expected when it is warranted, either at the intersection of Radford Lane (a portion of which will be upgraded to a public road)/Route 250, or to the west at Cory Farm/Route.

Route 250 West Task Force- The Task Force is a 5-member group, with representatives from Scenic 250, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Piedmont Environmental Council or other similar type of organization, and business community representatives.  It was established to review and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors with regard to all transportation improvements on the Route 250 West corridor (250 Bypass to the Yancey Mill interchange). The Task Force reviews, with public participation, projects considered for the  Six Year Secondary and Primary Road Plans, short-term projects recommended in the Route 250 West Corridor Study, and other transportation or development proposals that may be presented by residents and businesses affecting the Route 250 West Corridor.

The Route 250 West Task Force reviewed Mr. Watkins proposal at their September 2007 meeting and did not object to the proposal based on three conditions outlined in their comments. (Attachment E) The Task Force strongly recommends that access to the site be via Radford Lane. Should that interconnection not be feasible, the group suggests relocating the existing entrance to the site further to the west on Route 250. The Task Force also recommends limiting land uses on the site to reduce traffic impacts to Route 250, which the applicant is proffering.


The applicant is not able to achieve access to the site via Radford Lane and cannot relocate the existing entrance west. The land uses have been limited on the site through proffers.


Schools – No additional development is proposed so no impacts are anticipated.


Fire, Rescue, Police – The Crozet Volunteer Fire Station and the Western Albemarle Rescue Station provide fire and rescue services to the area.  The planned Ivy Area Station will also augment services provide by the two existing fire and rescue stations Crozet.  The service objective of the Community Facilities Plan is to achieve an average response time (how long it takes once the call is dispatched from ECC until a fire apparatus arrives on scene) to fire emergency calls of five minutes or less in the Development Areas and an average response time to rescue emergency calls of four minutes or less in the Development Areas.


Albemarle County Fifth Street Office Building contains the County’s Police Department, although police patrol all areas of the County. The service objective of the Community Facilities Plan is to achieve an average response time of five minutes or less to all emergency calls 85 percent of the time in the designated Development Areas. This achieved through their sector/beat system. Police satellite offices are recommended within a service sector to help achieve these desired response times to all police emergency calls and there is a small police office located within The Meadows Community Building, although not staffed at all times. The possibility of an additional fire/rescue/police station is under consideration for the area in 2012.


Utilities – Albemarle County Service Authority indicates that water and sewer service is available to the site.  The applicant desires to use a well and septic system for the proposed use and adjoining property owners who utilize wells have expressed concerns about the groundwater supply. County policy is that all properties in the Development Areas should be served by public water and sewer. The applicant desires to use the existing well and septic system on the property for the proposed use, especially for watering plants.  The greatest use of water would be for irrigation, for which sanitary or treated water is not needed.  If the well does not produce enough flow for the landscaping business, an underground storage tank would be installed to provide additional storage of the excess water that the well produces when not in use.  According to the applicant, this is a common system, and would likely save the applicant a considerable amount of money compared with fees associated with hookup, and metered usage by the Albemarle County Service Authority. 


Attached is a map indicating where current water and sewer lines are located in relation to the applicant’s property. (Attachment L) Water and sewer are located approximately 150’ feet west of the applicant’s property line on the Clover Lawn site but utilities were not extended all the way to the applicants property line with development of Clover Lawn. (Attachment K-Clover Lawn Utility Plan) Staff supports continued use of the well for irrigation purposes and believes there is some justification in this case not to require the applicant to connect to public utilities, since only limited small scale land uses are recommended for the property. However, staff has not found a public need or justification in this case for allowing an exception to policy.


Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties                                         

There are residential uses and rural properties on either side of the applicant’s property. There is a 20’ required buffer and privacy fence on the Clover Lawn property against the applicant’s western property line. The nearest residence is a townhouse unit in Clover Lawn, located 30’ from the applicant’s property line. A 20’ buffer is required on the applicant’s property against the R1 zoned property to the east and an alternative standard to the buffer screening requirements is requested and discussed below. The applicant has provided additional landscaping along both property lines to provide screening.


The applicant has attempted to address outstanding issues that were identified by the staff and the Commission at the December 11, 2007 public hearing and led to the applicant’s request for deferral. Each issue is noted below with staff comments on how the applicant has responded to that item in bold italics:


Special Use Permit Application- is needed for outdoor storage as proposed on the applicant’s application plan. An SP application was received December 4 and was to be reviewed by the ARB at their December 17, 2007 meeting and comments were expected to follow from that meeting that could result in requested modifications to the application plan. The Special Use Permit application had not been advertised for public hearing yet, as it had just been received and needed to be reviewed by the ARB. The special use permit has been reviewed by the ARB with a recommendation for approval with conditions, which are attached.


Waiver- Submittal of a waiver for Buffer Screening Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance Section is needed. The Commission recommended that the buffer/screening along the eastern property line (Waff property) be further enhanced. The applicant has submitted the request for this waiver and proposed supplemental landscaping on the plan.


Application Plan- revisions (not including what the ARB may request at their 12/17 meeting) were needed:

o                                Provide for stormwater management by showing workable concepts on the application plan.

o                                Show the Route 250 right of way in relation to required entrance/Route 250 improvements. The Commission recommended that the right-turn lane into the site as recommended by the County Engineer should not be required.

o                                The note that appears on sheet L-2 regarding the nursery stock being stored on the ground should be revised to make it clear that this note corresponds to all proposed nursery stock storage areas.

o                                Clarification as to what is meant by “preserve existing woodland edge” as noted on the plan.

o                                The applicant should provide approval from the adjoining property owner to the west (Clover Lawn) to assure that the off-site landscaping shown on that property and the application plan can me installed.

These revisions have been made to the concept plan.


Proffers-  Proffers were received prior to the Commission public hearing but had not been reviewed. The Commission noted that, in order to recommend approval, the proffers should restrict most all by-right uses except for the landscaping business. The Commission noted that any uses allowed by Special Use Permit would require future applications and further evaluation prior to approval and likely amendments to the rezoning since the application plan would be proffered. Staff noted that expectations with the future interconnection should be further clarified in proffers and on the plan. Minor changes are needed to the proffers.






Section 21.7.3 of the Ordinance requires a 20 foot undisturbed buffer or screening adjacent to residential zoning districts and is applicable along the eastern property line of the project against the Waff’s property and on the western property line not being developed. This section of the ordinance specifies that screening shall be provided as required in section 32.7.9. Except, the commission may waive this requirement in a particular case where it has been demonstrated that grading or clearing is necessary or would result in an improved site design, provided that minimum screening requirements are met; and that existing landscaping in excess of minimum requirements is substantially restored. The applicant is requesting a waiver along the eastern property line. The plan shows that the existing woodland edge will not be disturbed and additional plantings are proposed. The applicant would like to provide a more naturalistic buffer, as suggested by the ARB, and not be required to disturb the buffer to install a fence. SCREENING

The following requirements shall apply to screening:

a.                   When required, screening shall consist of a planting strip, existing vegetation, a slightly opaque wall or fence, or combination thereof, to the reasonable satisfaction of the agent. Where only vegetative screening is provided, such screening strip shall not be less than twenty (20) feet in depth. Vegetative screening shall consist of a double staggered row of evergreen trees planted fifteen (15) feet on center, or a double staggered row of evergreen shrubs planted ten (10) feet on center. Alternate methods of vegetative screening may be approved by the agent. Where a fence or wall is provided, it shall be a minimum of six (6) feet in height and plantings may be required at intervals along such fence or wall.

The applicant is requesting a waiver along the eastern property line to provide an alternative method of screening. The plan shows that the existing woodland edge would not be disturbed and additional plantings are proposed. The applicant would like to provide a more naturalistic buffer, as suggested by the ARB, and not be required to disturb the buffer to install a fence. Staff believes that the applicant’s plan will provide screening and meet the intent of this ordinance requirement. Therefore, staff recommends approval of this waiver request.                                                                                                   


The Zoning Ordinance addresses the need for a site plan in Section 32.2.1. This project requires a site plan due to the proposed changes to the entrance only.  If no changes to the entrance were proposed or required this project would not require a site plan.  The other changes to the site, building expansion, do not create the need for a site plan as it does not occasion the need for additional parking. 

The Zoning Ordinance does permit the waiving of the site plan requirement in Section 32.2.2 which states:

32.2.2 The foregoing notwithstanding, after notice in accordance with section, the commission may waive the drawing of a site plan in a particular case upon a finding that the requirement of such plan would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; provided that no such waiver shall be made until the commission has considered the recommendation of the agent. The agent may recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial of such waiver. In the case of conditional approval, the agent in his recommendation shall state the relationship of the recommended condition to the provisions of this section. No condition shall be imposed which could not be imposed through the application of the regulations of section 32.0. (32.2.2, 1980; Amended 5-1-87)


Staff has analyzed this project and is not recommending approval of a waiver of the drawing of a site plan at this time, based on the improvements that are needed, including entrance upgrades, significant landscaping, including off-site landscaping and parking requirements. 




Staff has found the following factors favorable to this rezoning request:

1.      The rezoning is generally consistent with recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.


Staff has found the following factors unfavorable to this request:


1.   There are several minor corrections and notes needed to the proffers and application plan.





ZMA 07-16

Staff recommends approval of ZMA 07-16, conditioned on the applicant addressing the outstanding technical issues listed above with the proffers and proffered concept plan.


Waiver of Section for Buffer/Screening Requirements                                                          Staff recommends approval of the modification of screening requirements of Section along the eastern property line.

Site Plan Waiver

Staff does not recommend approval of this waiver.



STAFF PERSON:                                                                           Margaret Maliszewski

SP 2007-00057 Watkins Landscape Storage


PROJECT: SP 2007-060 Outdoor Storage of plant materials (concurrent with ZMA 07-16 Watkins Route 250 Rezoning)

PROPOSAL: Request to allow outdoor storage of nursery stock and plant materials associated with a landscape contracting business in the Entrance Corridor.

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Community of Crozet; CT-3 Urban Edge: single family residential (net 3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses

SECTION: Section Outdoor storage, display and/or sales serving or associated with permitted uses, any portion of which would be visible from an EC street

ZONING:  Proposed rezoning from R1 - Residential (1 unit/acre) to HC Highway Commercial which allows commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre)


LOCATION: 5168 Rockfish Gap Turnpike/Route 250 West, east of Radford Lane & adjacent to Clover Lawn

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 56, Parcels 107C & 98D





A concurrent special use permit application is needed for the applicant to have any  outdoor storage as shown on the application plan. The applicant proposes to establish a landscape contracting business. The proposal includes the outdoor storage of nursery stock and related materials (mulch, topsoil and compost) in four areas (see below for details) situated between the existing house on site and the Entrance Corridor. The front (southern) portion of the site would be filled to provide a more level storage area. The existing driveway to the residence would be realigned to parallel the eastern property line and extended to provide access to a new 9-space employee parking area located north of the residence. Cedars and hollies are proposed to be under-planted along the eastern property line. Trees are also proposed to be added along the south (EC) side of the property, and along the west side of the parcel, extending from the existing buildings south to the EC. Some of the proposed trees are shown off site, both along Route 250 and on the Clover Lawn parcel.

The purpose of the special use permit requirement for the outdoor storage, sales and display use is to allow for review of the potential impacts of the storage, sales and display activity on the Entrance Corridor. The ARB reviewed this proposal at their December 17, 2007 meeting to consider its impact on the Route 250 West Entrance Corridor. The ARB had no objection to the request for the Special Use Permit with conditions. (See Attachment J for the ARB’s action.)


Staff will address each provision of Section of the Zoning Ordinance as follows: 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, and that the character of the district will not be changed thereby

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

According to section 30.6 of the Zoning Ordinance, the intent of the EC Overlay District is, in part, to ensure a quality of development that is compatible with the County’s important scenic, architectural and cultural resources through the architectural control of development. The ARB has applied the County’s adopted guidelines for development within the EC to the review of this request and has recommended conditions of approval. (See Attachment J)

with uses permitted by-right in the district,

The outdoor storage of plants and related materials would be in conjunction with the proposed landscaping business and other by-right uses of the HC District would be restricted.

with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance

There are no additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance related to storage, sales or display.


The intent of the special use permit requirement is based on potential visual impacts to the Entrance Corridors. The ARB has reviewed this proposal for its impact on the Route 250 West Entrance Corridor and had no objection to the request for the Special Use Permit provided the site is established in a manner consistent with the conditions recommended by the ARB.

Staff has identified the following factors that are favorable to this request:

1.      The Architectural Review Board has reviewed the request for outdoor storage, had no objection to the request, and recommended conditions of approval.

With the conditions recommended by the ARB, no detrimental impacts to the Entrance Corridor are anticipated.

1.      Staff has identified no factors that are unfavorable to this request. 


Based on the findings contained in this staff report, Staff recommends approval of this special use permit with the following conditions:

1.      Products shall be stored only in the areas indicated for storage on the Watkins & Company Concept Plan sheet L-2 dated November 2007 and revised 1/2/08.

2.      Illumination of the site shall be limited to that which is required for safety and security. 

3.      All nursery stock shall be stored on the ground without use of racks, display stands or other similar items.

4.      Any structure required for separating the mulch, topsoil and compost shall not exceed 6’ in height. The design of such structure is subject to review/approval by the ARB during the site plan review.

5.      The site shall be landscaped according to the following criteria. The planting is subject to review/approval by the ARB during site plan review: I suggest:  ARB approval of landscape plan to include:

a.      A mixed planting of trees and shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous, shall be provided in the 30-foot planting strip along the south side of the site and along the west side of the site from the shed to the EC. The planting shall be continued westward to the retaining wall in all areas disturbed by grading.

b.      A mixed planting shall be provided along the east side of the site to provide screening for the storage areas and to blend with the surroundings.

6.      The parking of trucks for the business beyond the 9-space parking lot shown on the Concept Plan shall be limited as follows: A maximum of 5 trucks may be parked between the mulch/top soil storage area and the 5950 sf nursery stock storage area during the night hours.





A.                  Minutes from the October 20, 2007 Planning Commission work session

B.                 Aerial Map

C.                 Zoning Map

D.                 Letter dated January 2, 2008 from Roxanne Brouse of Rieley & Associates requesting a waiver of Section and a site plan waiver.

E.                 Letter of Intent dated January 2, 2008 from W. Benton Downer III, Manager of Clover Lawn

F.                  Proffer Statement, dated November 30, 2007, signed January 2, 2008

G.                Watkins & Company Concept Plan sheet L-2 dated November 2007 and revised January 2, 2008

H.                 VDOT comments, e-mail from Joel D. Denuzio, P.E.

I.                    Route 250 Task Force comments

J.                  Architectural Review Board comments

K.                 Highway Commercial Zoning uses

L.                  Map of Water & Sewer Lines

M.                Crozet Master Plan, Table 2


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