Crozet Downtown Zoning

A review and discussion of the Crozet Downtown Zoning District project, including a discussion on regulations for a single Downtown Crozet Zoning District and potential boundaries for a County-initiated rezoning. (Rebecca Ragsdale)


In summary, a work session on the Crozet Downtown Zoning was held by the Planning Commission.  In a power point presentation, Ms. Ragsdale reviewed the proposed regulations for a single Downtown Crozet Zoning District and potential boundaries for a County-initiated rezoning.  The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal, answered the questions posed by staff and made comments and suggestions.   No formal action was taken. Public comment was taken from the following persons:


o        Ross Stevens, resident of White Hall, noted that the front of Carter Street needs to support downtown Crozet.  With the proper buffer and screening that will be required it will be a good method of protection.

o        Mike Marshall, Chairman of the Crozet Advisory Council, spoke.

o        Dr. Martin Schulman asked that the Planning Commission withdraw the by-right proposal for veterinary offices in downtown Crozet.

o        Ashley Cooper, representative for Atwood Architects, asked that consideration be given to the parking setbacks and the wording that it must be located behind the rear façade of the building.  She expressed concerns from the perspective from a planner working on projects in the area and the 10’ setback.


The Planning Commission made the following comments regarding the questions posed by staff:


Potential boundaries of a County-Initiated Rezoning - 


·         Regarding the area shown in red on West Carter Street, the Planning Commission agrees that the Master Plan can cover future rezonings.  They will not initiate a rezoning there now.  It is recognized that those properties are designated in the Master Plan as CT-6 and could come in for a rezoning. 

·         It was the general consensus of the Planning Commission that the lumber yard will not be included as well, excluding Mr. Edgerton who felt that the lumber yard should be included.


Proposed By-right & Special Use Permit Uses - Staff would like the Commission to consider whether several of the uses stated as special use permit (SP) in the draft ordinance should be considered by-right uses to allow for additional employment uses and economic vitality in Downtown.


·         Regarding the special use permit question, the Planning Commission generally agrees they don’t want residential to be the predominant use.  The Commission wanted the ordinance to provide that any residential use be secondary to commercial use.  They want the ordinance to provide that. 

·         The Planning Commission likes the idea of mixed use, but wanted the residential to be located above the first floor and the residential use has to be in the same building as the commercial use.  

·         The Planning Commission agreed that the veterinary office should remain a use by special use permit.

·         The Planning Commission supported the by-right uses proposed excluding pure residential.

·         Research and development activities including experimental testing should be special use permit.


Buffer/Screening Requirements Adjacent to Residential Districts – The Commission is asked to advise, considering recommendations regarding the boundary area of a County-initiated rezoning, whether the buffer/screening provisions appear adequate to mitigate impacts to residential properties adjoining the potential Downtown District.


The Planning Commission agreed that the buffer/screening requirements adjacent to residential districts seems to be addressed by the way the boundaries for the initial zoning change have been proposed, understanding that any additional rezoning under the CT-6 for the Downtown District is going to have to address further how the adjacent area is treated in terms of height of building, spacing, setback and such.  It will be addressed through the rezoning because the two most sensitive areas are not going to be included in the boundary. 


Entrance Corridor & Architectural Review Board (ARB) - Is there anything that the Commission expects regarding the Entrance Corridor provisions since this district is going to supersede some guidelines.  Some guidelines could still be in effect.  Does the Commission have any strong feelings about the Entrance Corridor through this area on Route 240. 


It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that it was important for it to remain within the ARB review. 


Affordable Housing – The Commission has expressed an interest in providing an incentive to encourage affordable housing within the new Downtown Zoning district. 


The Commission agreed with staff that the recommended residential densities do not create an opportunity to apply an affordable housing density bonus, since the draft ordinance would allow up to 36 dwelling units per acre.  So this will have to happen as it will.


Parking Requirements for By-Right and Structured Parking:


It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that structured parking would be by-right and stand alone parking by special use permit.


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