COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name: SP 2008-07 Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Staff: Joan McDowell, Principal Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

May 13, 2008

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

June 11, 2008

Owner: Lebanon Presbyterian Church

Applicant:  Lebanon Presbyterian Church

Acreage: 5.75 acres

Special Use Permit:  Sec. 10.2.2.(35)

TMP:  70-2 and TMP 70-2A

Location: North side of Route 250 in the Greenwood area  at 8312 Brooksville Road

Existing Zoning and By-right use:

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

Magisterial District:  White Hall

Conditions:  Yes

RA (Rural Areas): X

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                           

Proposal: Bring existing church and cemetery into conformance with the zoning ordinance and construct a new storage building

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

Character of Property:  Existing historic church and cemetery located hilltop overlooking Blue Ridge Mountains and eastern Albemarle; mostly lawn with some groves of trees

Use of Surrounding Properties:   This area of Greenwood includes a mixture of residential lots, wooded areas, and farmland.

Factors Favorable:

1.           The special use permit will bring the non-conforming church into conformance with the zoning ordinance.

2.           The proposed storage building will be located in an area of the property that will not affect the existing historic church and would be constructed using colors that will be less visible from Route 250. 

 

Factors Unfavorable:

None

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

     

 

STAFF PERSON:                         Joan McDowell, Principal Planner

PLANNING COMMISSION:      May 13, 2008

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:      June 11, 2008

 

PROJECT: SP 2008-07 Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church

 

PetitionSpecial Use Permit to bring an existing church into conformance with the zoning ordinance and to allow the construction of a storage building

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

SECTION: 10.2.2 (35)  church building and adjunct cemetery

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

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes

LOCATION: 8312 Brooksville Road; north side of Route 250 West; approximately .10 mile east of Plank Road; in the Greenwood area

TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 70-2; TMP 70-2A; TMP 70-3A

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall

 

Character of the Area: This area is characterized by rolling terrain containing farmland, hedgerows, scattered residential, several churches, and forestland.  The property faces a major east-west highway, Route 250, but is accessed from a side, parallel road, Brooksville Road. Farms of significant historic importance are located in this area of the County.

 

Specifics of the Proposal:  After inquiring about the construction of a storage building on this site, church leaders were advised that since this c.1850 church existed prior to the zoning ordinance, a special use permit would be required to bring the church and the cemetery into conformance with the zoning ordinance, as well as to allow construction of the new storage building.  Expansion of a non-conforming use is not permitted. The proposed  20’ by 31’ by 9’ high storage building would be located to the rear of the church.  The concept plan for the existing church, adjacent manse and the proposed storage building is included as Attachment A.  A photograph of the proposed storage building is included as Attachment B.

     

Planning and Zoning History:  No previous applications are on file for this church

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan designates the subject properties as Rural Areas emphasizing the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources as land use options.   Churches are integral to the historic context of rural communities.

 

 

STAFF COMMENT:

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

 

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

The church has occupied this site since the mid-1800s.  This special use permit would bring the existing church and adjacent cemetery into conformance with the zoning ordinance and would allow construction of a new storage building behind the church.  The proposed storage building would be visible to the residential property to the rear of the church.  The owners of adjacent properties have received notification of the application, but they have not contacted staff with any concerns.  As the building is similar to storage buildings in residential neighborhoods, staff does not anticipate that the surrounding properties would be adversely affected.  The storage building will not increase activities associated with the church.

 

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

This application has been reviewed by the Architectural Review Board staff, as it is adjacent to an Entrance Corridor.  In response to staff’s concern that the storage building would be visible from Route 250, the applicant agreed to change the color of the storage building from tan to brown with a charcoal roof.   It is the opinion of the Design Planner that the darker colors would be less obtrusive in this location.  Otherwise, the church is an established use in the district.

 

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

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

-Preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;

-Water supply protection;

-Limited service delivery to the rural areas; and

-Conservation of natural, scenic, and historic resources.”

 

Lebanon Presbyterian Church is an established component of the Greenwood Community.  The church buildings, parking, and access would not be changed.  The addition of a storage building on the rear of the property would not conflict with the intent of the RA District.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

The church currently exists within the context of by-right uses and the proposed storage building would not otherwise affect the uses permitted by right in the RA District.

 

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

There are no additional regulations in section 5.0 of the ordinance that govern churches.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Health Department have reviewed this application and have not offered any concerns or recommendations.  No changes to the access have been proposed or will be required.

 

 SUMMARY:

 Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

 

1.    The special use permit will bring the non-conforming church into conformance with the zoning ordinance.

2.    The proposed storage building will be located in an area of the property that will not affect the existing historic church and would be constructed using colors that will be less visible from Route 250. 

 

Staff has not identified any factors unfavorable to this application:

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends

 

1. Special Use Permit SP 2008-07 Lebanon Presbyterian Church shall be developed in general accord with the concept application plan, provided by the applicant and received February 11, 2008 (Attachment A.)  However, the Zoning Administrator may approve revisions to the concept application plan to allow conformance with the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

2. The color of the storage building shall be brown and the roof color shall be charcoal, as agreed by the applicant. 

 

3. There shall be no day care center or private school on site without prior approval of a separate special use permit.

 

4. There shall not be an increase in the sanctuary without prior approval of an amendment to this special use permit.

 

5.  All outdoor lighting shall be arranged or shielded to reflect light away from the abutting properties.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Attachment A -     Concept application plan

Attachment B –    Photograph of storage building

Attachment C -     Photographs of site

Attachment D –    Location Map

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