COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
SP 07-01 Four Seasons Learning Center
Increase enrollment from 40 children to 64 children at 254 Lakeview Drive on TMP 061X-00-00-00500
October 8, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
On August 19, 2008, the Planning Commission held a second public hearing on the Four Seasons Learning Center proposal to increase enrollment. Although staff did not recommend approval as requested by the applicant, the Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions recommended by staff modified to include one limiting the enrollment to 50 (the applicant requested 64) and one requiring that all staff park on-site in the parking lot. The recommended conditions are in the Action Letter (Attachment 1A). Staff notes that the applicant’s attorney disputes that the Planning Commission recommended approval with the 11 conditions. He believes that the Commission only recommended the enrollment limitation and the condition for staff parking on-site.
The major concerns of the neighborhood expressed at the Planning Commission meeting were increased traffic and on-street parking by staff at the day care. The major concerns of the parents of children who attend the center expressed at the meeting related to higher child care fees if the applicants were not allowed to expand the facility to bring in more children. The discussions are found in the draft minutes of the Commission’s meeting (Attachment 2A).
Since the Commission’s public hearing, the applicant has provided an updated traffic study using actual traffic counts at the site (Attachment 3A). With this information, the County Engineer has accepted the traffic study as adequate and affirmed that all levels of service are met and no VDOT improvements are required. It should be noted that two diagrams in the report which identify existing and proposed conditions suggest that the traffic on Lakeview Drive will approximately double as a result of the increase in enrollment to 64 students. (The applicant did not provide analysis on the impact of an increase in enrollment to 50 students as recommended by the Planning Commission.) Although persons may agree or disagree on traffic numbers, ultimately, whatever traffic increase may occur will most directly impact Lakeview Drive and its intersection with Four Seasons Drive. For residents of Lakeview the current traffic situation is problematic, so any increase will only worsen the situation in their view. After applicant and public comment, the Planning Commission concluded that an increase of 10 students was an acceptable level of traffic increase on these streets.
If the Board accepts the Planning Commission’s recommendation, including conditions for a limitation to 50 students and that all parking spaces for staff members be provided on-site, the County’s parking requirements can be met provided that there are no more than eight (8) total staff. There are nine (9) spaces in the current parking lot which will accommodate up to eight (8) staff and at least one (1) student drop-off and pick-up space. The rest of the student drop-off and pick-up parking can be provided with the four (4) spaces available on the street. However, if the facility were to have 64 children as requested by the applicant and more than seven (7) employees, there would be no additional parking on-site and a shared-parking arrangement would be needed.
Staff does note that the County does not have the means to readily enforce the condition that employees-only park in the lot on-site. Enforcement would be limited to signage in the lot that would restrict up to eight (8) spaces for employee-use only. If employees were to park on the street as occurs now, the County could not take action against the facility since there are no restrictions on who can and cannot park on a public street.
Staff recommended that there be no increase in enrollment at the day care facility due to the impact of increased traffic to Lakeview Drive. The Planning Commission recommends approval of the special use permit for a lesser number than requested by the applicant, inclusive of conditions #1 - #6 and #8 - #12 below. Staff has added condition #7 to further reflect the Planning Commission’s intent and recommends it be included should the Board of Supervisors choose to approve this special use permit.
Conditions #1 - #7 below apply to the nursery/day care center:
1. The building, parking and access shall be as shown (with noted dimensions) on the “Plat Showing As-Built Survey Parcel A-Patio House Section Four Seasons Learning Center 254 Lakeview Drive” by David C. Blankenbaker, L.S., dated July 21, 2008.”
2. There shall be submitted, no later than sixty (60) days after the date of approval of this special use permit, an as-built site plan which meets the requirements of Zoning Ordinance Section 32.6 Final Site Plan Content, except for those items waived by the Agent as not applicable. The as-built site plan shall meet all of the requirements of Section 32.6 and be approved by the County’s site plan agent prior to occupancy of the nursery/day care center by more than forty (40) children.
3. The number of children occupying the nursery/day care center shall not exceed fifty (50) or the number approved by the Department of Social Services, whichever is less, at any time.
4. A twenty foot buffer shall be maintained between the property and TMP 61X1-AA-B.
5. The concurrent use of the property for a nursery/day care center and a residential use is prohibited.
6. All employees of the day care center, including owners and directors, shall park on-site and signage shall be provided onsite which designates employee spaces.
7. The maximum number of employees, including owners and directors, on-site during hours of operation shall be limited to 8 and signage shall be provided onsite which designates employee spaces.
Conditions #8 - #10 below apply to the use of the facility as offices:
8. The maximum number of employees shall be ten (10).
9. A twenty foot buffer shall be maintained between the property and TMP 61X1-AA-B.
10. The concurrent use of the property for an office and a residential use is prohibited.
Conditions #11 & #12 below apply to any use of the property:
11. The concurrent use of the property for a nursery/day care center and an office use is prohibited.
12. The small evergreen tree on the Four Seasons Drive frontage at the corner of the parking shall be relocated toward the building, as recommended by VDOT, a sufficient distance to prevent future line-of-sight problems.
ATTACHMENT 1A: Action Letter from Planning Commission for August 19, 2008
ATTACHMENT 2A: Draft Minutes of Planning Commission Meeting for August 19, 2008
ATTACHMENT 3A: Plat Showing As-Built Survey parcel A-Patio House Section Four Seasons Learning Center 254 Lakeview Drive, Albemarle County, July 21, 2008
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