Clifton Lake PRD- Request to amend the Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) Jurisdictional Area for water service only



Request for public hearing to amend the Jurisdictional Area Boundary to provide water service to Tax Map 79, Parcels 23 and 23F and Tax Map 79C, Parcel 1 located approximately 2,100 feet southwest of the intersection of Rt. 250 and Shadwell Road.



Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Kamptner, Cilimberg, and Benish





September 3, 2008


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   










The applicant is requesting ACSA Jurisdictional Area designation for public water to serve a proposed 39 lot Planned Residential Development (PRD) approved by the Board of Supervisors on January 18, 1978 (ZMA 77-24).  The PRD is located south of the Shadwell Estates subdivision and east of Clifton Inn and Shadwell Road, Route 729 (Attachment A). The site is designated Rural Areas in the County’s Comprehensive Plan and is located in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The original development proposal called for the use of a central water system to provide water service to all of the proposed lots, except two which were to be served by private wells.  The Board’s 1978 re-zoning approval included condition #9, which states: “Final subdivision approval will be subject to the County engineer’s office approval of central water systems.” (Attachment B)  The applicant is now requesting public water service in lieu of a central water system.  Use of a central water system would require both the County Engineer’s and the Board’s approval.  To date, the applicant has not submitted a central water system proposal to the County for review and approval. 


In the general area, Clifton Inn and Stone Robinson School are in the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for Water Only to Existing Structures.  Service was provided to these sites because of documented health and safety issues on those properties (groundwater quantity and quality issues) consistent with the County’s Policies for extending water/sewer service to the designated Rural Areas.  One of the parcels included in this request, Tax Map 79, Parcel 23F, currently is designated for Water Only to Existing Structures.  This designation was placed on this parcel with the approval of an ACSA Jurisdictional Area amendment for Clifton Inn.  This designation does not permit service to any new structure on this parcel.


The Board recently reviewed and denied a somewhat similar request to amend the ACSA Jurisdictional Area to allow public sewer service to the Whittington PRD located on Old Lynchburg Road.  Like Clifton Lake, Whittington is located in the Rural Areas, just south of Urban Area Neighborhood 5.  Whittington was originally approved as a PRD by the Board of Supervisors in 1977 and designated for Water Only service in the late 1970s/early 1980s.  While the applicant requested connection to public sewer, the Virginia State Department of Health indicated that the soils on the site are adequate to support septic systems for the proposed 96 lots, each of which are approximately 40,000 square feet in size.  Based on the Health Department’s determination, providing public sewer would have been inconsistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan utility policies.  As a result, staff did not recommend and the Board did not approve the request to amend the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for Whittington.



2.2 Protect and/or preserve the County's natural resources.



The Comprehensive Plan provides the following recommendations concerning the provision of public water and sewer service:


            “General Principle: Urban Areas, Communities, and Villages are to be served by public water and sewer (p. 114).”  


“Provide water and sewer service only to areas within the ACSA Jurisdictional Areas (p. 130).”


“Follow the boundaries of the designated Development Areas in delineating Jurisdictional Areas (p.130).”


“Only allow changes in the Jurisdictional Areas outside of the designated Development Areas in cases where the property is: 1) adjacent to existing lines; and 2) public health and/or safety is in danger (p. 130).”


By policy, water and sewer services are intended to serve the designated Development Areas where growth is encouraged and are to be discouraged in the Rural Areas because utility services are a potential catalyst to growth.  Water supply and system capacities need to be efficiently and effectively used and reserved to serve the Development Areas.  Continued connections of properties in the Rural Areas to the public systems result in further extension of lines from the fringe of the existing Jurisdictional Area and into the Rural Areas, potentially straining limited water resources and capacity.


There are no lots developed or platted on the subject parcels (only preliminary plat approval has been obtained to date) and there are otherwise no documented public health or safety issues regarding these parcels.  Therefore, designating these parcels as part of the ACSA Jurisdictional Area for public water service would not be consistent with County policy. 


The use of private wells would be most consistent with Comprehensive Plan policies for properties in the Rural Areas.  As previously noted, the prior zoning action in 1977 anticipated the use of a central water system to serve the development. No proposal for a central water system has been submitted to the County by the applicant for review and approval; therefore there is no evidence that a central system cannot safely and appropriately serve the development.  While current Comprehensive Plan policies also discourage the use of central systems in the Rural Areas except in cases where there is a health and safety issue, use of a central water system would be consistent with the existing PRD zoning of the property approved by the Board in 1977. 



The property owner would bear all of the costs for connection to public water service.



This request is not consistent with the principles, objectives and strategies of the Comprehensive Plan for the provision of public sewer service.  The applicant has provided no information that public health and safety would be endangered if public water was not provided.  The prior zoning action anticipated the use a central water system.  No proposal for a central water system has been submitted by the applicant for review and approval; therefore there is no evidence that central system cannot safely and appropriately serve the development.  Based on this information, staff does not recommend approval of this request and recommends that the Board not proceed to public hearing. 



A – Location Map and Jurisdictional Area Designations

B – Applicant’s Request

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