COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Kirtley Property/University of Virginia - Request to amend the existing Jurisdictional Area designation for Sewer Service.
Set a public hearing to amend the Jurisdictional Area Service designation and associated conditions to provide sewer service through a non-gravity line to the existing warehouse building on Tax Map 59, Parcels 23B1. The property is located on the north side of Route 250 West, adjacent to the Northridge Building.
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Kamptner, Cilimberg, Benish
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
September 3, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The applicant is requesting an amendment to the current ACSA Jurisdictional Area designation to allow an existing warehouse building to be served by a pumped sewer line as opposed to a gravity sewer line as required by the conditions of approval for the existing Jurisdictional Area designation. The property is located on Route 250 West, between the Northridge Building and the Volvo of Charlottesville site. The property is zoned C-1, Commercial and is designated as Rural Areas in the County Comprehensive Plan.
The Board of Supervisors amended the Jurisdictional Area designation for this parcel in 1984, granting conditional sewer service to this parcel and the adjacent parcels to the east (Tax Map 59, Parcels 23B, 23C1, 23D, 23F). The Jurisdictional Area designations were approved with a condition that “sewer service is approved only for the portions of these parcels which can be totally gravity fed…” Parcels 23B, 23C, 23D, and 23F have subsequently each demonstrated that the whole parcel can be served by gravity fed sewer.
The recently submitted preliminary site plan for the Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) (located on portions of Parcels 23B and 23B1) demonstrated that both the LTACH building and the existing warehouse building on the Kirtley property can be served by a gravity sewer line running along the northern boundary of the Kirtley and Northridge parcels, generally parallel to the railroad right-of-way, consistent with the existing Jurisdictional Area designation. However, the applicant would prefer to pump the sewer uphill and intercept the public sewer line serving the LTACH facility as opposed to installing a lengthier and more expensive gravity line downhill to the warehouse. Aside from the benefit to the applicant, the relocation of the line would provide protection of existing trees and vegetation that would otherwise have to be removed to run the gravity line. The maintenance of this vegetation would allow for better screening of the LTACH and Northridge sites from several adjacent residential properties located in Farmington (the site is visible from at least one home).
2. Protect 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, public 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. Sewer 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 result in further extension of lines from the fringe of the existing Jurisdictional Area and into the Rural Areas, potentially straining limited sewer capacity.
This request to modify the Jurisdictional Area designation is not consistent with the strict reading of the policy regarding changes to the Jurisdictional Area for Rural Areas properties because there is no health or safety reason for the requested modification. However, the applicant has demonstrated that the existing warehouse building can be served by a gravity sewer line consistent with the current conditions of the Jurisdictional area designation. Therefore, the requested change will have no impact on the level of sewer service provided to this site or to the Rural Areas.
This request to modify the Jurisdiction Area would allow for the warehouse to be served by a pumped sewer line. While gravity service is preferred over pumped lines because of: 1) the greater potential for pump systems to fail due to power outages and breakdowns, and; 2) the higher level of maintenance necessary for a pumped system over the long-term life of the facility; this would be a private line and the responsibility for maintenance would be the property owner’s.
Installing the pumped sewer line would prevent the loss of approximately 30 trees, mostly mature white pines, along the Northridge parking lot. These trees would have to be removed with the installation of a gravity line. This site appears to be visible from at least one adjacent residence. New landscaping would be planted to replace these trees, although locating the new landscaping will be more difficult to achieve in this area due to the new easement for the sewer line (placement of trees within a utility easement is discouraged).
The property owner would bear all of the costs for connection to public water service.
Based on the findings noted above, staff recommends that the Board hold a public hearing to amend the Jurisdictional Area designation to Water and Sewer Service for Tax 59, parcel 23B1, which would eliminate the condition that the site be served by gravity sewer service only.
ATTACHMENTS:A – Location Map and Jurisdictional Area Designation