JOINT MEETING OF BOS/PC/ARB May 21, 2008
ARB comments and Selected Discussion Topics
1. ) Boards need to be careful when making decisions based on idealistic, but often unrealistic images and presentations. Some of those presentations can actually misrepresent what will be built.
(Hollymeade Town Center fountain is Target mudhole; mountains illustrated as backrop will actually be
obscured by development at Crozet Station.)
2.) Boards should be careful in approving projects that exceed the maximum capacity of the site to include not only building and parking, but all required landscaping , clear of utilities and other easements. Frequently ARB comments have had to indicate that the building, and thus the required parking, are too big for the site to accommodate the landscaping required to make the project appropriate for the Entrance Corridor.
3.) Some decisions that are made are made for general terms, and when translated into motions or action memos can result in restrictions to the ARB that may have not been intended. (Leyland cypress were required to be part of screening tree mix per special use permit/rezoning drawings, even though that species was preferred to be excluded by ARB. Likewise, the two, tall evergreen trees were required to be preserved after new project developed at Luxor Park could have benefited from alternative plantings at that location).
4.) Regulations without adequate and effective enforcement will be disregarded, and violated, by those most likely to have the worst impact. Ineffective enforcement also makes Boards’ efforts meaningless (e.g., ARB has had to initiate actions regarding chain link fences and signs installed without review; other site issues include grading or building first and “asking forgiveness later” sadly negates efforts for any tree preservation).
5.) Should the ARB purview extend to buildings that will transform the county’s skyline, even when those properties are beyond the 500’ or contiguous boundaries established for the EC review? (E.g., at Hollymeade Town Center, Area A2, 3/07, only C2 and D2 were in ARB boundaries, while adjacent zones of C1 and D1 were outside that review process, even though those zones originally had also applied for 84’ and 100’ tall buildings).
Also, should the ARB’s review extend to all Albemarle County building projects? Regardless, any ARB review should be initiated earlier in the process (e.g., North Fork Firestation).
6.) Fees for review should correspond to review time required. Why should a 17 or 20 building project that requires significantly more board review time and staff allocation be the same as for a single, small building?
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