Albemarle County Planning Commission

April 22, 2008



The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Members attending were Marcia Joseph, Bill Edgerton, Eric Strucko, Jon Cannon, Vice-Chairman; Thomas Loach; Linda Porterfield and Calvin Morris, Chairman.  Julia Monteith, AICP, non-voting representative for the University of Virginia was absent. 


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Summer Frederick, Senior Planner; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; Megan Yaniglos, Planner; Jay Schlothauer, Director of Inspections; Mark Graham, Director of Community Development; Glenn Brooks, County Engineer; Amelia McCulley, Director of Current Development & Zoning and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. 


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Mr. Morris called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.


SP-2007-00054 SOCA-All Weather Synthetic Field-Belvedere (Sign # 16 & 49)

PROPOSED:  Soccer Field and associated parking and spectator seating adjacent to Belvedere and accessory building near soccer fields in the floodplain


SECTION:  Section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows athletic facilities for fill in the R4 District

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


LOCATION:  At the northern end of Belvedere Drive off of East Rio Road

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Portion of 62A3-1 and 62-2A


(Elaine Echols, Summer Frederick)


SP-2007-00058 SOCA-Belvedere/Flood Plain Field (Sign # 16 & 49)

PROPOSED:  Floodplain disturbance 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 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.


LOCATION:  adjacent to south bank of the South Fork Rivanna River at the northern end of Belvedere Drive which is off of East Rio Road

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


(Elaine Echols, Summer Frederick)


Ms. Frederick presented a power-point presentation and summarized the staff report.  (See staff report)


Project Name: SP-2007-00054 SOCA -All Weather Synthetic Field – Belvedere and Critical Slopes Waiver

Acreage: Approximately 7.5 acres

Special Use Permit for: Section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for athletic facilities, associated parking and accessory structures in R-4, Residential zoning district.

Proposal:  The applicant purposes to construct two (2) facilities located at different sites; one (1) full sized all-weather synthetic turf soccer field and two (2) mini-soccer fields, with seating for 500 and a

structure to include a concession stand, locker rooms, manager’s office, trainer’s treatment room and equipment storage. This location will also have associated parking.


RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with conditions.


Factors Favorable:

1. The facility will provide a community oriented, community-wide athletic facility serving the new neighborhood and other parts of the County.

2. The facility is proposed within the County’s designated development areas.

3. The facility will augment recreational facilities already planned for the neighborhood.


Factors Unfavorable:

1. The scale of the use is greater than would be typically expected in Neighborhood Density Residential


2. Public streets are intended to provide on-street parking for the use. As currently planned, the streets are not wide enough to accommodate the onstreet parking. Staff is recommending a condition to address this.  Staff anticipates 65 on street parking spaces will be needed.  As approved in ZMA-2004-007 for Belvedere, streets are designed at 28’ wide, which staff has determined is not wide enough for on street parking per VDOT standards.

3. Timing of construction of the public streets is not tied down, such that construction of the synthetic field

     could take place before the streets are built. Staff is recommending a condition to address this.

4. Pedestrian access from the end of the public streets to the facility does not appear to be provided. Staff is recommending a condition to address this.


Critical Slope Waiver Request

In conjunction with this special use permit, the applicant has applied for a waiver of Section 18-

4.2.5. Staff review of the waiver request is as follows:


A modification to allow critical slopes disturbance is necessary to allow the construction of an access road on the property for the synthetic fields and to the proposed fields in the floodplain.  The request for a modification has been reviewed for both the Engineering and Planning aspects of the critical slopes regulations. Section of the Zoning Ordinance restricts earth disturbing activity on critical slopes, while Section 4.2.5(b) allows the Planning Commission to waive this restriction.


This request is to disturb approximately 0.3 acres of critical slopes. The critical slopes in the area of this request do not appear to be man-made. Staff has reviewed this waiver request with consideration for the concerns that are set forth in Section 4.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled “Critical Slopes.” These concerns have been addressed directly through the analysis provided in the staff report, which is presented in two parts, based on the section of the ordinance each pertains to.



Staff recommends approval of the critical slopes waiver and approval of the special use permit with the conditions as listed in the staff report. 


Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.


Ms. Joseph said that with the recommended condition four staff is only considering pedestrian access to the synthetic field and not the one in the floodplain.


Ms. Frederick replied that was correct.


Ms. Joseph asked if there was any reason for that.


Ms. Frederick replied that the special use permit boundaries for this particular special use permit only include the synthetic field.  The synthetic field was not in the floodplain.  The building will be in conjunction on the same site as this field.


Mr. Edgerton said that going back to the original work sessions with the developers of Belvedere one of the original requests was a relocation of the Meadow Creek Parkway.  The original Meadow Creek Parkway, if the northern end gets built, would be called the Northern Free State Connector Road.  That name change had something to do with this.  But, the original Meadow Creek Parkway alignment went right through the middle of the Belvedere property.  The applicant came in and asked for permission to relocate that to go along the western edge of the Belvedere property.  He noticed that the proposed access road as part of this special use permit goes into the area that they had dedicated as the future right-of-way for the Meadow Creek Parkway/Northern Free State Connector Road.  He was wondering if they approve the special use permits and approve a road to go through that area that has been committed to a right-of-way by the developer are they in fact doing away with the ability to have that right-of-way if there is a future plan to extend Meadow Creek Parkway.


Mr. Kamptner noted that on sheet 1 of Attachment A, which shows the alignment of the future right-of-way for the Meadow Creek Parkway, it is designated and almost touches the side of the field.  It is in the same proximity.  The problem is that this portion of the Meadow Creek Parkway is merely a concept.  It is depicted on the plan, but is not expressly reserved.


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that the proffer did not go that far north.


Mr. Edgerton noted that it said future right-of-way of Meadow Creek Parkway and none of the Belvedere community was allowed to go into that right-of-way.


Mr. Kamptner said that the Belvedere developer agreed to keep development out of the right-of-way, but it is not reserved and it is not for future dedication.


Mr. Edgerton asked if putting an access road in there be putting development in the right-of-way.


Ms. Frederick said that the reason that this special use permit is before the Commission is because this is in a portion of the neighborhood that was not part of the rezoning.  The proffer for the 100’ reservation only went up to the rezoning line.


Mr. Edgerton asked what the right-of-way was.


Mr. Cilimberg replied that it was the access to the rear fields.


Mr. Edgerton noted that it was a 100’ right-of-way, which was originally committed by the developer.


Mr. Cilimberg said that the commitment through proffer was to the zoning line only.  This is being depicted, as Mr. Kamptner said, as the remaining portion that could be provided in the future.


Mr. Edgerton said that if they allow a road in an area that has been committed for a future right-of-way they are in fact doing away with that commitment. 


Mr. Kamptner noted that at least on this part of the property it was not part of the rezoning so there is no express commitment in this part of the property.  He would need to go back and review the proffers.  But, it was not part of the rezoning and they were merely depicting it on this particular plan for illustration purposes. 


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that the Board of Supervisors removed the Meadow Creek Parkway form the six year plan in this area.  They referred to Northern Free State Road, but they did not any longer commit to an alignment.  So this is a reservation that could allow for it, but it is not a committed alignment any longer because there is some uncertainty as to whether or not this road will ever be built beyond Free State Road in the reserved area.  In fact, in Places 29 that is part of the discussion they are having about transportation.  This location does not preclude the Parkway from continuing north or Northern Free State Road continuing north.  If it were ever constructed what would happen is that this particular rear field area would take access from that road.  The Board has said that this will not be a limited access facility.  So in essence if it gets built that far north and even crosses the river it will have access to it.  One of the access points in the future would be the rear field area.  So in a sense this road is a provision that could be replaced by a full blown public road that provides access in the future. 


Ms. Joseph noted that she was looking at this as a good thing that this road was going through there.  Most of the problems that they see are areas that have become developed and then a road wants to go in and people don’t want to see it.  But, if this thing is in there and it might not be as wide as is going to be needed in the future, but at least it would be there.


Mr. Edgerton said that it may work out to be a good thing.  He remembered very distinctly sort of the negotiations going back and forth between the applicant of Belvedere and the Planning Commission. He had said he would rather put it up along the edge of the project instead of cutting it in half and make better project.   The Commission felt that made sense.  But now they were saying that they were just kidding.  But, it sounds like they are covered as far as the Board is concerned. 


Ms. Joseph invited Mr. Brooks to address the Commission.  She asked what is the possibility that sometime in the future that some improvements could be made.


Mr. Brooks pointed out that he had recommended that this road be here. The alternative on the other side of the property went down the property line of the neighbor of Belvedere.  That had a lot of impacts on the neighboring property and the critical slopes.  It was a difficult road. This is not an easy road, but it was in an alignment that was perhaps to be disturbed in the future anyway.  It was a public road and the impacts were not as big of a concern. 


Mr. Edgerton asked if he saw it as a problem.


Mr. Brooks replied no, but if they felt that way they could make a condition on the special use permit that when a public road comes through there in the future that it would replace their access road.


Mr. Strucko asked if the applicant has expressed any future plans for making these lit fields with lighting or perhaps putting the synthesis field under a roof at some point in the future.


Ms. Frederick replied that lighting has been discussed and there is a note on the application plan that indicates that when the applicant proposes to light the field that they will abide by whatever lighting ordinance is in place at the time of construction of the lighting.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that the Board has passed a resolution of intent to amend the ordinance regarding the lighting of fields.  That was an initiative of the Board with the idea of trying to allow for a taller light pole to light fields.  Obviously they will have to meet our dark sky provisions in doing that.  That matters needs to come to the Commission before the Board hears it.


Mr. Strucko asked if there were plans to put the synthetic field under roof at some point in the future.


Ms. Frederick replied that she was not aware of any.


Mr. Loach said that this is not a Neighborhood Model project because it is on a much larger scale.  He asked if this area is part of Places 29 and are there any recommendations.


Ms. Echols replied that it is part of Places 29 and the recommendation is for Neighborhood Density Residential in this particular area.


Mr. Loach asked if Places 29 covered recreational facilities in the plan.


Ms. Echols replied that it was not like that.


Mr. Cilimberg said that it has not gotten down to that level.


Mr. Strucko asked if someone had to join a league or pay fee to play on these fields. 


Ms. Frederick replied that the applicant will be able to answer that more specifically.


Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Chris Schooly, with Stonehaus, said that he represented Bill Muller, Executive Director of SOCA, and Bob Hauser, representative for Belvedere, and many of their consultants who have worked diligently to find a solution for this issue. He presented a power-point presentation and explained the request. 



Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for the applicant.


Ms. Joseph asked why they decided to use a synthetic field.


Mr. Schooly replied that the synthetic field would allow for more public use for the residents of Belvedere.  Basically this will be open as a high school football field.  When SOCA is there and using it they would have rights to it. 


Ms. Porterfield noted concerns about the spilling over of parking into the residential area with the seating capacity of 500.  She asked if he was thinking in terms of resident parking permits and signs that indicate that no one without a permit can park on those streets. 


Mr. Schooly replied that when they say that they are going to designate parking in the dark gray for SOCA their intention is to put up signs that say SOCA parking and have times such as 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.  That is a fairly standard way to designate parking. 


Ms. Porterfield said that she was not worried about that area, but was worried about the parking spilling over into the residential area.


Mr. Cilimberg said that there are going to be some limitations to what could be done on the Belvedere Streets because they are public streets.  There is no permit parking capacity for the county on public streets.  They don’t know what the size of the facility is ultimately going to be.  They gave a figure that sounds like it may be more than they anticipate that they will actually need.  The special use permit condition was structured so that if parking was necessary on street to support the facility, then they would get the adequate design of the street to accommodate that.  If it is not necessary because they are not going to have that number of people, that condition is not going to require the streets be upgraded for parking because it would be a limitation as to the size and the number they will have gathering there.   That gets determined at the site plan stage when the facility is in with the real specific design.  That is where they can make the judgment of whether the parking is adequate on site and no off site parking will be necessary on the street.  Or, this could be conditioned such that the size is to be no more than what can be accommodated by on site parking if they don’t want that possibly at all off site. 


Ms. Porterfield said that she had problem with thinking that all those streets could literally become parking areas for a soccer field that could run at all hours at the day and night if it gets lights on it.   She questioned if there was no other area where they could build a bigger parking lot.


Mr. Schooly said that there is going to be a limitation that SOCA has with Belvedere in that they can only run lights until 9:30 p.m.  They feel that it is adequately parked as proposed and there is no need for a bigger parking lot. 


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that they would not know the particular size until site plan stage.  The Commission could consider a condition that it is only sized to what can be accommodate on the site if they want.  He felt that the condition that is being offered is one that would require adequate street size width if they are going to count on parking those people attending on those streets.


Mr. Morris noted that is where the 32’ would kick in.


Mr. Cilimberg agreed if it was necessary to support their parking.  The applicant is indicating that they will not need that because of the facility size and that can be determined during site plan.


Mr. Schooly apologized for the confusion of the 500 people. Clearly that has caused some gray areas and it was something that they should have caught before they sent it in.  They honestly don’t think that would ever happen.


Mr. Morris invited public comment.


Heidi White, resident of Albemarle County, supported of the South Fork Soccer Park and asked that the Planning Commission grant the special use permit.  SOCA will make sure that the field is not used past 9:30 p.m. so it will not impact the Belvedere neighborhood and surrounding areas. 


Clark Coleman, resident of Albemarle County, parent and occasional coach at SOCA, believed that in all of the alternatives they will have to look primarily to develop new athletic fields in the designated growth area where they have the ability to handle the traffic.  But, not all subdivisions within the designated growth area are equally suitable.  In Belvedere they don’t have prior residents who would be caught by surprise that suddenly they are going to have an athletic complex.  This was announced months ago that this land was being donated for this use and there are several months before the first residents move in.  He could not imagine where they would come across in the future a better combination of circumstances than to have a growth area subdivision that has not started yet with a developer that wants it there and with residents not having any expectations that it would not be there.


Bob Forsyth resident of Albemarle County said that he had lived for the last 18 years Forest Lakes North.  He has been a volunteer coach for SOCA for the past four or five years.  This county does not have enough field space to accommodate the growing needs of the young.  He volunteers at Hollymead School and there is a growing problem of young children getting a lot larger than he remembered when he was their age.  SOCA with the help of Belvedere is stepping up to provide a way to minimize the obesity factor in this area.  He asked that the Commission grant the special use permit.  During Memorial Day when all of the fields are used the South Fork Soccer Park parking lot is not overflowing.  Lighting is a significant issue, but it can be addressed in the future.


Patrick Grant, resident of the Charlottesville/Albemarle area, spoke in support of the SOCA proposal because of the desperate need for playing fields in this community.  He hoped that the fields would be built so his children could play on them.  He supported the use of the fields by the entire community and not just SOCA.  He represented three other families in the Still Meadow community who would be thrilled to be able to potentially walk or bike to the facility.


Don Mathes, resident of Dunlora and the father of four children involved in SOCA, spoke in favor of the request and the ability for the community to use the fields at any time.  He reiterated that this will be a big plus to Belvedere and the surrounding community.  He did not see an issue with noise.  The lighted field is a plus as long as they use appropriate controls, which sounds like SOCA has taken that into mind.  The SOCA staff are very good stewards to the community and the children.


Gavin Rose, resident of 2405 Northfield Road, spoke in support of the facility.  He was currently a referee for SOCA.  He has three children that play soccer and love it.  They need more facilities like this.


Stephen Coss, resident of Charlottesville, said that he was on the Board of Directors for SOCA.  He spoke in support of the request.  SOCA would be a great asset to the community.


There being no further public comment, Mr. Morris closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.


Mr. Strucko questioned when so they look at some of the restrictions for the use of these fields with respect to the neighborhood.  He did not see anything in the staff report about decimal levels or hours of operation.


Mr. Kamptner replied that decimal levels would typically be addressed just through the Noise Ordinances. 


Mr. Cilimberg suggested that the hours of operation could be included as a condition of the special use permit if the Commission chooses.


Mr. Cannon said that this is a good project and the goal is to work towards something that they all could agree to. The parking issue has been raised.  He would take it that it would be appropriate to place a condition in the motion in approving this that would require at the site review phase that necessary parking is accommodated on site.  That is what the applicant thinks they can do and that would be subject to a demonstration at the site review phase. 


Mr. Cilimberg said that the Commission did not want to have on-street parking occurring in association with the parking structure.


Mr. Cannon said that was not an issue because he heard the applicant saying there won’t need to be parking on the streets of Belvedere.  He heard the Commissioners saying that they did not want parking on the streets.  Therefore, he did not see the conflict.  So there ought to be a way they can condition that so that does not have to occur and the applicant will be able to make that demonstration.  There is a series of recommendations that he wants to make sure that they have looked at.  The conditions include that the synthetic field be developed in accordance with some specification.


Ms. Echols noted that the conditions that are shown in the staff report are slightly different from the ones shown on the screen.  Mr. Kamptner had not had a chance to look at the conditions before they went into the staff report. 


Mr. Cannon asked if the second proposed condition had been taken care of.


Ms. Frederick replied that it had not been taken care of.  It is the issue of the streets that are shown in the area adjacent to the proposal.  There are not plans under review for those streets.


Mr. Cilimberg said that the conditions actually intended to make sure that the streets that provide access to the field are constructed as part of the public use of the field.   It is just to address the issue.


Ms. Porterfield suggested that condition two be changed to “be constructed prior to construction of the field.”  The streets would be put in first and then they could build the field.


Mr. Kamptner suggested that it read, “Shall be constructed prior to public use of the field.”


Ms. Joseph noted that once they start construction they want to do it all at once instead of disturbing twice.  They can disturb it once and get it stabilized.


Mr. Strucko asked if public use means SOCA use.


Mr. Kamptner replied no, that he would consider that to mean that it is open to the public.


Ms. Joseph suggested that it should strike “public” use.


Mr. Cannon noted that condition three would not be an issue if there was no on street parking in Belvedere


Mr. Cilimberg suggested that condition three be replaced with what they had been talking about if they were intending to make it all on site parking.


Mr. Schooly asked to make sure that it is clear.  The areas in gray on the site plan would be dedicated to parking.  There is one street that is adjacent to the fields that has on street parking that would be included, which would be 32’ wide.  Condition three as written is fine, but they don’t expect any parking to happen on the streets in Belvedere that are more narrow.


Ms. Frederick noted that a separate sheet had been passed out with the revised conditions listed.  Staff has another topic to address once they go through the conditions.


Mr. Cannon asked if others have comments on these conditions or can they take these with the converting “public use” to “use” and adding an additional condition which relates to a demonstration that adequate on site parking will be provide to avoid the necessity of parking on the Belvedere streets.


Ms. Joseph asked that a condition be added for the hours of operation.  Also, the applicant talked about capacity, but she did not know if that was enforceable.  They talked about 500 and 200 people.


Ms. McCulley noted that it would have to be assumed to be self enforcing.  That would be extremely difficult to enforce.


Mr. Morris invited the applicant to come forward to address the hours of operation.


Mr. Schooly said that they normally start on week days at 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. and on weekends at 9:00 a.m.  In the summer they end at 9:00 to 9:30 p.m.


Bill Newark Executive Director of SOCA, noted that games are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on weekends, but that people will start arriving to warm up typically one-half hour prior to that.  Therefore, the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. would be acceptable.


Mr. Schooly said that they would prefer if the condition just said the time that the lights need to go off.  This is a public use for people in Belvedere.


Ms. Joseph noted that her concern was about the lighting and the soccer games themselves and not someone walking their dog.


Mr. Morris noted that it would be 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. for formal operation for SOCA events.


Ms. Porterfield questioned how the condition could be worded so that the facility can only be built to the size that the on site parking will accommodate.


Ms. Frederick replied that condition had been revised to address that issue.


Mr. Cannon said that the condition would be that at the point of site plan approval the applicant would be required to show that sufficient on site parking was provided to handle the expected people without the requirement of parking off site.


Ms. Summer noted that this was a conversation staff had with applicant and one that has just started to get some ground.  There is a signal that is proposed at the intersection of Rio Road and Belvedere Boulevard that is in county plans.  Staff has started discussions about proportionate payment into the fund to pay for the construction of that signal.  The exact dollar figures have not been figured out.  But, that is a conversation that can be ironed out between this meeting and this application going to the Board of Supervisors.  The Commission should be aware of that and should consider putting a condition on the special use permit that would address it. 


Mr. Edgerton agreed that should be a condition and addressed before it goes before the Board. But, he also wanted to add one condition that if in fact the North Free State Road becomes a reality that the right-of-way would be available even if a private road has been built on it.  From a planning perspective he did not want to close that option.


Mr. Kamptner noted that staff would look at that condition between now and the Board date.


Mr. Morris asked if it was the right time to put a condition on this for that traffic light in that it was just in the discussion phase at this particular time.


Mr. Cilimberg said that the issue is that the traffic light is off site and this would be a special use permit that would be contributing potentially to the need for that light. Getting the proportional share established would be part of the special use permit, which is the only place to get this project to pay.  They could not do it at the site plan stage.  It is also a light that is only going to be put in when the warrants are met.  So they don’t know when that light is going to be installed.


Mr. Morris asked the applicant to come forward and advise if they have any concerns about this.  He asked if he was aware of the discussions that are going on and does he have any problems with that in working out a fair share.


Mr. Schooly replied that they don’t have any problems with the discussion.  Working out a fair share is something that they would like to discuss with the Board.  There seems to be slight confusion about on site parking and on street parking.  There is going to be on street parking that is adjacent to the site.  There is a graphic that shows the parking in gray that is where they are going to park this project.  There is a street.


Mr. Cannon asked if the street is in the Belvedere Subdivision.


Ms. Frederick noted that the gray area is where they have 26 parking spaces in one area and then 17 parking spaces on either side of an access way, which is parallel parking.  She felt that Mr. Schooly was saying that the confusion is when they say on street parking they are considering these 17 parallel parking spaces on both sides of the street.  Staff has considered these spaces as on street and on site.  The public street is proposed to end in the location so that they would consider those spaces as on site.  With the conditions, as written, is that when they come in with their site plan application that the size of their facility would be dictated by how many on site parking spaces they can provide to accommodate the use. 


Mr. Cilimberg said that the on site parking would include on street parallel parking.


Mr. Cannon said that if they make the condition refer to on site parking that is showing sufficient on site parking capacity to handle their expected use.  That would be consistent with their understanding of what on site means.


Mr. Schooly agreed since there are minutes kept of the meeting.


Ms. Porterfield said that there would be no public street parking for this facility.


Mr. Schooly noted that they expect that those could become public streets.  That is why he wanted to make sure that this is clear.


Ms. Porterfield said that they were saying that they can’t use those streets to calculate the parking.  They have to put the parking right here on site, on street.  If they don’t have enough they have to find some more spaces there or they have to down size the facility.


Mr. Schooly said that they don’t agree to that.


Ms. Frederick said that the applicant has agreed to put the parking spaces on this portion of the street.  The confusion is that Mr. Schooly and Stonehaus anticipates in future time that this street will become a pubic street.  She believed it was when the Northern Free State Connector Road is built and connects to this access into Belvedere that this would become a public street.


Mr. Schooly said that they have 50 acres of R-4 land that they may or may not rezone.  If they do not rezone they would expect both of those streets to become public. 


Mr. Cilimberg said that staff can work out the wording of the conditions before the Board meeting.  He felt that they were trying to write conditions.  He reiterated that the Commission was willing to accept what is shown on the plan.


Mr. Cannon agreed that was the intent of the information he had put forward.


Ms. Porterfield said that the size of the facility has to not depend upon on street parking in their residential areas.


Mr. Schooly asked if it was as shown on this plan does that preclude them from making those streets residential.


Ms. Porterfield asked that the parking not be put into the other sections.


Mr. Strucko said that personally he had not problem with using the residential streets for parking for this facility.


Mr. Schooly said that they could use the residential streets for parking in the R-4 district.  They will not include any Neighborhood Model streets for parking.


Ms. Porterfield agreed that wording made it clear.  She asked that it be clear to the Board.


Mr. Kamptner said that he needed to look at whether or not approving the soccer field generates the need for this applicant to do something with the 100’ strip.  But, if all they are doing is asking that they continue to illustrate it as they have noted on the site plan, then that is fine.  They are not reserving anything and are not giving up any rights.  They are merely depicting it.  If that is all that is being asked, then that is fine.  They are only illustrating it as it has been shown to this point.


Mr. Edgerton replied said that is fine.


Mr. Kamptner noted that the applicant made a comment early on in the presentation that it will take a couple years before they install this particular field.   Since special use permits have a 24 month life he suggested that the applicant might want to request that the 24 month period be extended a little bit.


Mr. Morris invited the applicant to address the question.


Mr. Schooly requested that the special use permit be extended out five years since they have to raise the money to build the fields.


Mr. Morris said that he saw no problem with extending the special use permit for five years.


Motion on SP-2007-054:


Motion: Ms. Cannon moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, for approval of SP-2007-00054, SOCA-All Weather Synthetic Field-Belvedere with the following amendments to the staff recommended conditions:


  1. The location of the synthetic field shall be in general accord with the conceptual plan entitled, “Belvedere – SOCA Special Use Permit:  All Weather Synthetic Turf Field”, and dated March 28, 2008.


  1. Public streets which provide access to the synthetic field and to the parking area shall be constructed prior to public  use of the field.


  1. Public streets which provide on-street parking to accommodate parking requirements for the synthetic field shall be a minimum of 32’ in width or other width as may be required by the County Engineer and approved as a variation by the Director of Planning.


  1. Pedestrian access shall be provided from the end of Belvedere Boulevard. to the synthetic field in accordance with the Albemarle County Design Manual standards for permanent paths.


  1. In conjunction with its review and approval of a site plan or subdivision plat that pertains to or includes TMP 062A30-00-00-00100, the County may require that Belvedere Boulevard be extended to provide public street access to TMP 06200-00-00-002A0.


And the following to be covered by additional conditions (language to be finalized before the Board of Supervisors’ meeting):


  1. The applicant shall demonstrate as a condition of final site plan approval that the on-site parking provided for the use, including on-site on-street parking, is adequate for the proposed use.


  1. The hours of use for organized activities and events are limited to the time between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.  (The language to be worked out prior to Board of Supervisors meeting.)


  1. A pro-rata contribution to the traffic signal at Belvedere Boulevard and Rio Road, the primary access to Belvedere, to be worked out before the presentation to the Board of Supervisors.


  1. The proposed route of Meadow Creek Parkway (Northern Free State Road) to be designated on the site plan consistent with the alignment that is shown in the documents.


  1. If the use or structure is not commenced by May 14, 2013, this special use permit shall be deemed abandoned and the authority granted by this permit shall terminated. 


Mr. Strucko asked for one clarification on the hours of operation for SOCA sponsored soccer events.  He asked if other type events are being planned for this facility other than SOCA for the synthetic field.  He suggested that the condition be amended to say SOCA sponsored events or broader kinds of events.


Mr. Kamptner noted that SOCA might not be here forever.  He suggested that they use language like organized activities and events or something like that.  He would like to work with the zoning administrator to come up with language so that it is not organization specific.


Mr. Cannon accepted the amendment to the motion, which was seconded by Mr. Strucko.


Mr. Loach said that one of the speakers’ best defined this project as a large scaled sports facility.  He did not agree with the applicant that this has anything to do with the neighborhood model.  The proof of this is that they have been talking about 65 parking spaces plus.  Unfortunately the facility also points out the failure to provide facilities at the neighborhood level.  With that said he would support the project because he believed as the gentleman said that there is an epidemic of obesity and he hoped that this would help in fighting that epidemic.  Finally, he would hope that the approval of this project would not be seen as an endorsement for future facilities of this size, but rather show that they really need to get back to providing facilities at the neighborhood model level.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0. 


Motion on Critical Slopes Waiver:


Ms. Joseph noted that the critical slope was a very small intrusion in this area.


Motion: Ms. Joseph moved, Mr. Cannon seconded, for approval of critical slope waiver for SP-2007-00054, SOCA-All Weather Synthetic Field-Belvedere.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0. 


Mr. Morris stated that the critical slope waiver was approved.  SP-2007-00054, SOCA-All Weather Synthetic Field- Belvedere will go before the Board of Supervisors on May 14 with a recommendation for approval.


Return to PC actions letter on SP-2007-054


SP-2008-SOCA – Belvedere/Flood Plain Field


Ms. Echols presented a power-point presentation and explained the staff report for SP-2008-00058.  (See staff report)





Staff did the normal assessment for fill in the floodplain in looking at the increase of what the flood levels might be as a result of the cut and fill activity in the flood plain. 


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.




Staff recommends approval of the request with the conditions listed in the staff report.


Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions.


Ms. Joseph asked Mr. Brooks what is happening since the plan was so small.


Mr. Brooks replied that there was nothing in the fields themselves.  The fields should be a gradual flattening of the area that is already fairly flat. The particular places staff was looking at with the special use permit had to do with where the little building is along with some of the road way fill.  It is very minor.


Ms. Joseph asked if they have talked about how they will maintain this area in terms of fertilizers.  She asked if that was something the Commission should consider.


Mr. Brooks replied that it was something they could consider through the mitigation plans with the Water Protection Ordinance.  They have not done that extensively so far.


Ms. Porterfield noted that she read in the staff report that these fields could be expected to flood every two years.


Mr. Brooks replied that was generally correct.


Ms. Porterfield asked if there had been any thought of putting in a gate, if it was in a flooding stage, to preclude anybody from driving down and getting into this.


Mr. Brooks replied no, that there has not been any discussion about that.   He assumed it is an idea that the applicant could consider.


Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Chris Schooly, representative for Stonehaus Development, said that regarding the gate that was one of the things that they had discussed with SOCA and Parks and Rec.  The building and associated parking with that building would also function as a trail head for the trail system for public use.  It would be their intention to gate off the road at that point so that people would not have free access to drive down and go onto the fields.  Their goal would be to install a gate at that point so that people could drive down to the building and parking lot to use the trail head, but they could not go down and destroy the fields.


Ms. Porterfield asked if that gate would be opened when the fields were in use because there was parking below the gate.


Mr. Schooly replied yes, the gate would be open during the field use.  SOCA would open the gate while the fields were in use.  There are some issues about vandalism surrounding the gate issue.


Mr. Morris noted that this is a popular four wheel area.


Mr. Schooly noted that there are trails all over the property.


Ms. Joseph asked if they have considered adding a little extra pavement to the road so that people could get their bikes down there.


Mr. Schooly said that the issue is that it gets fairly steep down there on that side.  They would rather encourage people because of the steepness to come around the loop on the east side.  That is a better pedestrian and bike connection.  They hope to open up the trail system and offer all types of trails.


Mr. Morris invited public comment.


Don Mattes, resident of Dunlora, said that one advantage to the neighborhood is to be able to bicycle to these fields. 


There being no further public comment, Mr. Morris closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Planning Commission.


Motion on SP-2007-058:


Motion: Ms. Porterfield moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, for approval of SP-2007-00058, SOCA-Belvedere/Flood Plain Field with the conditions as recommended by staff.


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.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0.


Mr. Morris stated that SP-2007-00058, SOCA-Belvedere/Flood Plain Field will go before the Board of Supervisors on May 14 with a recommendation for approval.


Return to PC actions letter on SP-2007-058