COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

 

Project Name:  SP 2007-58 SOCA Fill in the Floodplain

Staff:  Elaine K. Echols, AICP

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

April 22, 2008

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

May 14, 2008

Owners:  Belvedere Station Land Trust; Robert M Hauser & Stan C Manoogian Trust

Applicant: Chris Schooley with Stonehaus Development

Acreage: Approximately 12 acres

Special Use Permit for:  Request for fill in the floodplain for soccer fields in accordance with Section 30.3.5.2.2.3 of the Zoning ordinance

TMP:   portions of 62-2C, 62A3-1, and 62-2B

Location:  At the end of Belvedere Drive (currently under construction) off of East Rio Road.

Conditions:  Yes

Existing Zoning (of all parcels) and By-right use: R-4 (4 units/acre) and Neighborhood Model District (residential [3 – 34 units/acre] mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses); FH Flood Hazard Overlay District – agricultural, recreational, and utility location uses which will not pose a danger to life or property in the event of a flood

Magisterial District:  Rivanna

Comprehensive Plan Designation:  Neighborhood Density Residential – residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses.

DA (Development Area): X

RA (Rural Area):  

Factors Favorable: 

1.       No impact to neighboring properties is expected as a result of this special use permit

2.       No increase in flood levels will result from the construction of the access road or fields.

Factors Unfavorable: 

1.                                                      There are no factors unfavorable.

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with the conditions.


 

STAFF PERSON:                                                               ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                               APRIL 22, 2008

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                           MAY 14, 2008

 

SP2007-058 SOCA Soccer Fields at Belvedere

 

Applicant's Proposal: SOCA (Soccer Organization of Charlottesville Albemarle) has requested permission to do grading in the floodplain for cut and fill, to create 5 soccer fields and associated parking adjacent to the Rivanna River in the Belvedere development.  The location of the proposed fields, parking, and accessway to the fields is shown in Attachment A.  A proposed all-purpose building outside of the floodplain is also shown on the plan which is an accessory use to the soccer fields.  The all-purpose building will have storage, restrooms, and a small concession area.

 

The fields would be accessed by a drive from the end of Belvedere Lane.  This drive would extend past the driveway for the Levenson property (Tax Map 62 Parcel 2A) and down the hill to the floodplain.  The accessway is not part of the special use permit application except where grading will take place in the floodplain for access to the parking lot.  The majority of the accessway is outside of the floodplain in an area reserved by the applicant for the Northern Free State Connector Road, should the County decide at some point in the future that such a road is desired at that location.  

 

Petition: 

PROPOSED:  Fill in the floodplain for 5 soccer fields

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE:  R-4 (4 units/acre) and Neighborhood Model District (residential [3 - 34 units/acre] mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses); FH Flood Hazard Overlay District - agricultural, recreational, and utility location uses which will not pose a danger to life or property in the event of a flood

SECTION:  Section 30.3.5.2.2.3 of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for fill in the floodplain

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Neighborhood Density Residential - residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses in Neighborhood 2.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR:  No

LOCATION:  at the end of Belvedere Drive, adjacent to south bank of the South Fork Rivanna River 

TAX MAP/PARCEL: portions of 62-2C, 62A3-1, and 62-2B

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT:  Rivanna

 

Character of the Area: The area surrounding the floodplain is currently undeveloped; however, construction activities are taking place adjacent to the floodplain area in association with the Belvedere development.  Across the floodplain are low density residential uses and undeveloped land.  (See Attachment B.)

 

Planning and Zoning History:  In October 2005, ZMA 04-07 Belvedere was approved as a Neighborhood Model District which allowed for 775 units and a small commercial area.  Since approval of ZMA 04-07, There have been at least 21 subdivision plats have been approved, primarily as boundary line adjustments and easement plats.   Because of their number, they are not all listed here.  Zoning for the parcel and they are shown in Attachment C.

 

Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan shows this area as Neighborhood Density Residential in Neighborhood 2 (see Attachment D).  The Open Space Plan shows the area under consideration for the soccer fields as Major and Locally Important Stream Valleys and Adjacent Critical Slopes.  The Greenways Plan shows the area for a greenway which was proffered with the Belvedere rezoning.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

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,

 

Although it is not shown clearly on the plan, according to the County Engineer the floodplain increases appear to be minimal such that placement of fill in the floodplain should not have a significant effect on the floodplain limits or elevations at this location or in downstream areas.  The fields are located in an area of FEMA detailed study, and a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) may be required.  At this juncture, there is no specific information regarding FEMA acceptance of these changes, but, staff does not anticipate issues related to receiving a LOMR. 

 

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

The Neighborhood Model District and the Flood Hazard Overlay Zones are the zoning districts in which the fill would occur.  The Belvedere Code of Development allows for athletic fields by-right at the location shown in this request.  Because the floodplain increases are expected to be minimal, there does not appear to be any change in character of the Flood Hazard Overlay Zone at this location. 

 

Regarding the Belvedere Neighborhood Model district, though, the disturbance of the floodplain will affect a portion of a 700’-long section of dry-stone wall bounding the inner edge of the floodplain west and northwest of the proposed flood plain fields.  This wall was identified in the Phase I Archaeological Survey and Geoarchaeological Investigation in Two Portions of the Belvedere Development Property, Albemarle County, Virginia dated February 6, 2008, which was proffered as part of the Belvedere rezoning.  The proposed driveway to the fields will cause removal of a portion of the wall and proposed disturbance in the floodplain for the fields could further negatively affect the wall which is noted as an archeological resource.  For this reason, the Design Planner has recommended that the portion of the wall not disturbed for the driveway be preserved.  Also, the Design Planner recommends that further archeological testing take place in the areas to be disturbed for the fields.  If artifacts are found, the Design Planner has recommended that the applicant provide a plan for treatment prior to additional disturbance.

 

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

The Flood Hazard zoning has the purpose and intent of restricting development in the floodplain which may result in danger to life and property, public costs for flood control measures, public costs for rescue and relief efforts, soil erosion and sedimentation, pollution of water resources, and general degradation of the natural and man-made environment.  The Flood Hazard Overlay Zone allows for recreational activities such as playing fields by-right.  As such, they are considered to be consistent with the purpose and intent of the district.  Grading for the access road, parking lots, and fields will not substantially increase the floodplain elevation which is also in keeping with the Flood Hazard Zone. 

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

As previously stated, recreational uses resulting from this special use permit are allowed by-right in the Flood Hazard Overlay District.  The Belvedere Neighborhood Model District also allows recreational uses.  The fill activity is not expected to affect the permitted residential uses in Belvedere or the Flood Hazard District.

 

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

There are no supplementary regulations relating to the placement of fill in the floodplain in Section 5.0 of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The County Engineer has reviewed the applicant’s proposal and provided the following information.  The floodplain is at elevation 356.  The proposed fields and access are as low as elevation 332. The flood analysis report indicates a flow of 10,000cfs will reach the level of the fields.  A return interval was not estimated.  Using the NOAA data for 24 hour precipitation for different interval storms as a guide, it would appear that the return interval is less than a 2 year storm (in order to reach half the flow of the 10 year interval).  This is important information to consider.  This means the fields can be expected to flood as frequently as every couple of years.

 

A brief comparison to the existing soccer fields on Polo Grounds Road: The fields are at approximate elevation 345’, and the 100 year flood is at 359’, a flooding depth of 14 feet.  The proposed fields at Belvedere are at elevation 336’, and the 100 year flood is at 356’, a flooding depth of 20 feet. 

 

It is recommended that the timing of the flood stage during the expected rainfall amounts be estimated, so that the managers of this facility can be aware of the flooding danger, and can reasonably watch and be prepared for rainfall events which might impact them.

 

SUMMARY

 

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

 

1.   No impact to neighboring properties is expected as a result of this special use permit.

1.      No increase in flood levels will result from the construction of the access road.

 

Staff has identified no factors which are unfavorable to this request for fill in the floodplain.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION

 

Staff recommends approval of the request with the following conditions:

 

1.      The fill in the floodplain shall be as shown generally on the plan entitled, “Belvedere SOCA Special Use Permit:  Flood Plain Fields” prepared by McKee Carson and last dated March 25, 2008.

2.      If required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the applicant shall obtain a map revision, letter of revision, or letter of amendment.   The County Engineer shall be copied on all correspondence related to changes to the floodplain.

3.      Army Corp of Engineers, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and other necessary state and federal agency approvals must be obtained prior to issuance of grading permits.

 

4.      Natural Resources Manager approval of a stream buffer mitigation plan prior to the issuance of a grading permit prior to placement of any fill in the floodplain, and County approval an erosion and sediment control plan prior to the issuance of a grading permit for placement of any fill in the floodplain.

5.      The 700’-long section of dry-stone wall bounding the inner edge of the floodplain west and northwest of the proposed flood plain fields as identified in the Phase I Archaeological Survey and Geoarchaeological Investigation in Two Portions of the Belvedere Development Property, Albemarle County, Virginia dated February 6, 2008, shall be retained and preserved. The wall shall be clearly identified and labeled on the plan of development. The 50’ at the northern end of the wall may be disturbed for the proposed road construction as currently illustrated on the plan. The stone that is disturbed by the road construction shall be used to repair remaining portions of the wall or to extend the wall at its south end. A plan detailing the proposed re-use of the stone shall be submitted for review and is subject to the approval of the Director of Planning prior to the commencement of road construction. Methods for protecting the remaining wall during construction and for preserving the remaining wall following construction shall be submitted for review and are subject to the approval of the Director of Planning prior to the commencement of road construction.

6.      Additional archaeological testing, as recommended in the Phase I Archaeological Survey and Geoarchaeological Investigation in Two Portions of the Belvedere Development Property, Albemarle County, Virginia dated February 6, 2008, shall be conducted to more fully assess the extent of cultural resources in Area B of the Belvedere project area. Based on the findings of this additional testing, additional archaeological studies and/or treatments may be required. The additional testing shall be conducted by a qualified archaeologist who meets the qualifications set forth in the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards. Additional studies required as a result of the findings of the testing shall be completed prior to disturbance of the site. Treatments required as a result of the findings of the testing shall be outlined in a treatment plan that is subject to approval of the Director of Planning.

 

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ATTACHMENTS:

A –  Plan entitled, “Belvedere SOCA Special Use Permit:  Flood Plain Fields” prepared by McKee Carson and last dated March 25, 2008

B –  Location Map

C -- Zoning Map

D – Comprehensive Plan Map

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