Albemarle County Planning Commission

August 19, 2008

 

 

The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, August 19, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

Members attending were Marcia Joseph, Thomas Loach, Linda Porterfield Eric Strucko, Jon Cannon, Vice Chairman, Bill Edgerton. and Calvin Morris, Chairman.  Julia Monteith, AICP, non-voting representative for the University of Virginia was present. 

 

Other officials present were Phil Custer, Engineer; Amy Pflaum, Senior Engineer; Glenn Brooks, County Engineer; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Ron Higgins, Chief of Zoning; Claudette Grant, Senior Planner; Francis MacCall, Counter Planner; Gerald Gatobu, Senior Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. 

 

Call to Order and Establish Quorum:

 

Mr. Morris called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.

 

Deferred Item:

 

SP-2007-00001 Four Seasons Learning Center (Sign # 10 & 28)

PROPOSED: Amend special use permit to increase maximum number of children in daycare from 40 to 64.  No residential units proposed.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: PUD Planned Unit Development which allows residential (3 - 34 units per acre), mixed with commercial and industrial uses

SECTION:  20.3.2.1, which allows for child care facilities

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential (6-34 units/acre) in Neighborhood 1.

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No

LOCATION: 254 Lakeview Drive, at the corner of Four Seasons Dr and Lakeview Dr.

TAX MAP/PARCEL:  61 X1, Parcel 5 

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio

(Elaine Echols)

DEFERRED FROM THE JUNE 24, 2008 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

 

Ms. Echols presented a power-point presentation and summarized the staff report. (See Ė power-point presentation)

 

        The special use permit proposal for Four Seasons Learning Center is to increase the number of children from 40 to 64.  The request was deferred from the June 24, 2008 Planning Commission meeting.  At the last meeting the applicant provided a traffic study and agreed to defer this public hearing at the Planning Commissionís recommendation so that staff could look at the submitted traffic study.  Staff was also asked to verify that parking was sufficient.

        Since the Planning Commission public hearing the traffic study has been analyzed.  There were a lot of questions about the traffic study because there seemed to be a lot of very different numbers. The applicant provided a study based on vehicles per hour at the peak hour and staff had analyzed it based on vehicles per day.  Staff has reviewed the information provided by the applicant.  The applicant confirmed there was a total of six staff members at the facility, which meant that parking could be provided both on and off the street and their parking was adequate.

        Staff did a recalculation of the maximum number of students if they used the non-grandfathered standards from Social Services.  It was previously listed in the staff report as 51.  The applicant asked staff to double that number.  Staff now thinks that the correct number is 58, although, as noted in the staff report, they have not gotten verification of that number. Staff did additional research into typical stand-alone facilities for daycare in the development areas. 

        The County Engineer analyzed the traffic data and concluded that the current peak hour trips are 84.  The proposed peak hour trips would be 123, which represents a 46 percent increase in the number of peak hour trips.  Previously staff said that was only a 12 percent increase, but used different kinds of numbers.  Therefore, staff concludes that there is a pretty significant increase in the number of vehicle trips that would occur as a result of the increased enrollment. 

 

Mr. Morris invited questions for staff.  He asked if based upon the request by the applicant that there will be no change in the footprint of the existing building and the parking is sufficient.

 

Ms. Echols replied that is correct.

 

Mr. Cannon asked if there was enough parking if they include on-street parking and that the parking is not all on site.

 

Ms. Echols replied yes, that is correct.

 

Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Planning Commission.

 

John Simpson, attorney for the applicant, said that all his client really wants is a fair shake and to have the decision made based on the facts. 

 

Mr. Morris invited questions for the applicant.

 

Mr. Loach asked if he had numbers and percentages for siblings and car pooling.

 

Mr. Simpson pointed out that the owners were present.  His understanding was that since they started operating this facility the groups of siblings in the school usually are three or more.  He pointed out that Mr. Sliwinski has some data to provide concerning the need for daycare in the county.

 

Mr. Cannon asked for their basis for the dispute regarding the number of the 46 percent increase in peak hour trips on Lakeview Drive.   He asked if the 104 trips would include the additional students.

 

Raina Rosado replied that the 104 trips include the additional students.  In the executive summary there was a statement that the daycare generates 104 trips.  The analysis is done on the worse peak hour case scenario.  The worse case hour is 52 trips with the requested number of students and not the 104 trips.  In the traffic report there was a sheet that included a piece of the ITE Manual, which gives the distribution of cars entering and exiting.  That is how they distribute the traffic.  It is not to say that 52 cars are all coming all from one point. When they do an official traffic study it would show the patterns.  They would count the cars and see if 40 percent of the traffic was coming from the northbound or 60 percent is coming from the southbound. Therefore, that is how they analysis the numbers as a whole.  So these ITE numbers are just one part of the whole.  Therefore, 52 is the number and not 104.

 

Mr. Cannon asked how many trips in her calculation are attributed to the school at the present level.

 

Ms. Rosado replied it would be 34 trips.

 

Mr. Cannon asked what percentage of increase was 52 over 34.

 

Mr. Strucko pointed out that it was a 53 percent increase.

 

Ms. Rosado noted that the problem is that there are all these numbers floating out there that have not been applied appropriately.  She noted that they canít just look at the ITE Manual.  They have done a study and collected data from similar sets and come up with this model, which is how this was generated. Then it has to be applied to the specific situation with realistic numbers.  What they did was question whether a traffic study was warranted.  They said no based on the 527 VDOT guidelines a traffic study is not warranted based on these numbers.  Then if they really wanted to see what was the effect the traffic had to this intersection and if it was detrimental was to do a count, apply the numbers and distribute them.  But, they did not do that.  Her understanding was that a full traffic study was not requested by Albemarle County.

 

Mr. Strucko said that they know that there will be a 60 percent increase in the number of students if the request prevails. It will have a traffic impact.  They know the destination is at that intersection regardless of the origin. 

 

Ms. Rosado said that it will have a traffic impact.  What has not been done here is they have not analyzed the intersection, but just saying they are going from 30 trips to 50 trips.

 

Mr. Strucko noted that they would be going from 40 students to 64, which would have a traffic impact at that intersection.

 

Ms. Rosado noted that they analysis the traffic on a scale of capacity. What she was saying was that they donít know what the capacity of the intersection is right now.  When she had done studies it has to be done for build and no build.  The no build situation, which takes into consideration the growth rates, it is still bad even without the introduction of these vehicles.  This information has not been provided to them.  These numbers are good information, but it is better when it is accurate.

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that he was confused about the 52 to 64 since the first gentleman said 51.  Staff has said the 104 was for two vehicle trips with one in and one out.  He asked if her number of 52 reflects bringing in 64 children with 26 trips.

 

Ms. Rosado replied yes.  She noted that they were talking about the worse case scenario.  She noted that they only had one-half the story.  The a.m. and p.m. numbers were exactly the same of 51 and 52.  That is why they were getting both the numbers of 51 and 52. 

 

Mr. Simpson pointed out that he thought that Ms. Rosado misunderstood the question.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked how they would get 64 children into the facility with only 51 or 52 trips.

 

Mr. Simpson replied that they would not because this is looking at the peak hour or the worse hour.  He noted they misheard that it is within one hour.  The reality is that the children are not dropped off in a one hour period, but over a three or four hour period.  It is not that all of the children are coming in these 26 cars, but it is the worse case scenario for an hour.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that their study only looked at peak hours.

 

Ms. Rosado replied that the standard basis for a traffic study is to look at the peak hour.

 

Mr. Edgerton noted that if children are going to be dropped off at other times during the day that is going to have an impact on the neighborhood, which probably needs to be addressed.

 

Ms. Rosado noted what she was saying is that they donít have that information and staff has not provided that information either.  The numbers in front of them do not reflect that.

 

Mr. Strucko asked what information was provided in her traffic study.

 

Ms. Rosado said that what she was asked to do and her understanding to provide was whether a traffic study was warranted under 527 VDOT guidelines.  Based on VDOT 527 guidelines one does not generate 100 trips per hour. Otherwise if they did do the 100, then they would be doing 527.   But, they donít need that.

 

Mr. Cannon said that her focus in that determination is the impact of the adequacy of that intersection or that section or road to carry the traffic. It is not focused on secondary impacts on people living on that road.

 

Ms. Rosado agreed that it did not.  If met the VDOT 527 guidelines, then they would have sat down with VDOT and a scoping would have been had that most likely they would have counted at Four Seasons Drive and Lake View and gone all the way up to Rio Road.  But, it did not strike that.

 

Mr. Cannon said that there is significance from a capacity standpoint. But, there is another kind of significance that they are wrestling with here. He felt she had been helpful in showing what relevance or lack of relevance that her numbers might have to that significance.

 

Ms. Joseph invited Glenn Brooks to discuss if he did the analysis for the staff report.   She asked if there is anything that he wants to add to this discussion.

 

Mr. Brooks, County Engineer, said that he had been blind sighted.  He met with the applicant, the traffic engineer, Ms. Echols and the attorney.  They talked about traffic for ten minutes and he thought it was over.  This is a surprise.  He believed that it was not that relevant because they get the same percentages whether they use one-half the numbers or double the numbers.  They doubled the number because he understood it as a trip end.  A trip end is a generation from a point and you pass it once coming in and coming out, which is how it got to 104.

 

Mr. Morris invited public comment. 

 

Jan Sprinkle, resident of Lakeview Drive for 21 years, spoke for herself and husband, Jim.  They both agree with the conclusions of the staff report.  This requested increase in enrollment will have a big increase on their cul-de-sac street, which has 19 houses.   Therefore, they are asking the Commission to deny any increase in enrollment.  With the 40 children they have already seen detrimental effects with the increased traffic, noise, traffic at that intersection and parking issues. The parking issues on the street are bad.  The proposal is out of scale for their little neighborhood.  The intersection is already dangerous due to visibility problems when leaving Lake View Drive.  That is why VDOT has restricted the parking.  No one park on Four Seasons Drive adjacent to the day care center.  There are children at school bus stops on both sides of Four Seasons Drive at that intersection.  She requested that the Commission not consider approval at all.  If they consider approving the request, she asked that they require all employees to park in the lot on the site and use the parking spaces on the street for drop off and pick up.

 

Steve Harris, resident of 251 Lakeview Drive across the street from the Four Seasons Learning Center, expressed his formal opposition to the proposal to increase the capacity of the daycare center.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Four Seasons Patio Homes Association.  He has listened to many concerns by residents on Lakeview Drive and the Four Seasons community expressing the same concerns he has.  His concerns are an increased level in the traffic already on a dead-end road.  There is a frequent blocking of the mailboxes, a battle for on-street parking and increased noise.   The increase in the enrollment would only add to these existing problems and add to their frustration.  It is a dangerous intersection and is an accident about to happen.

 

Linda Terry, resident of 262 Lakeview Drive, spoke in opposition due to the issue of the increased traffic and noise.  It has lowered the value of their homes.  The traffic has increased going down to the end of the cul-de-sac.  There has been an increase in the parking issues.  The employees do not use the parking lot on site.  They block their mailboxes.  She works at home and has to get her mail.  It would make the situation worse with an increased enrollment.

 

Refel Lumbar, a member of the community and son of the owners, said that Four Seasons Learning Center provides a high quality low cost environment for children.  Affordable daycare is needed by many members of the community.  For every parent here there are many others that have been denied daycare.   He asked that all persons, including many parents of children in the daycare center, stand in support of the request.  (Note:  There were 20+ persons that stood in support of the request.)

 

Martha Wood, resident of 264 Lake View Drive, asked the Commission to deny the special use permit request.  She noted that the request has nothing to do with the quality of the daycare or the need in the county, but the impact of the increased enrollment on the residential nature of Lakeview Drive.  She supported the emails sent by her neighbors and asked again that they deny the special use permit.

 

Gary Hawthorne, resident of 142 Four Seasons Drive, introduced his daughter Isabelle that attends Four Seasons Learning Center.  He noted that they walk to school everyday.  He works at home and most of his days are carbon neutral because he does not go anywhere except on foot or bicycle.  He supported the concept of day care for his daughter that also provided a very high level of academics.  By increasing the enrollment the school would not have to raise the cost for the existing students.  He lives across the street from Charlottesville Day School and that generates what he would call a lot of traffic.  As more families move into the area there is need for additional daycare with the possibility of more walkers.  He supported approval of the request.

 

Nancy Bowie introduced her daughter Rebecca who attends Four Seasons Learning Center.  She supported Four Seasons Learning Center and asked that the request be approved.  She suggested that if they want to talk about traffic problems that they go down to ACAC or Charlottesville Day School where she almost got hit.  She has never had a problem coming out of Four Seasons Learning Center.  She felt that the people who work there should be able to park on street.  She asked that they allow them to increase their enrollment.  She suggested that the children be allowed to get out of the car on site and not on the street.  If they raise the prices by not allowing an increase in enrollment they are going to price them out of daycare.  They rent a house in the county because they canít afford to buy one.  She asked that they not continue to price people out of the area by not allowing them to have affordable housing and/or affordable daycare.  She asked that they please allow the increased enrollment at the school.

 

Mary Hackett said she had just completed four years on the Board of Directors of Four Seasons.  She said that the children are a delight.  This is the first time she has heard anything about the economy and scale of the daycare center being shut down if they were not allowed to increase the enrollment by 40 percent.  It is a good daycare center and they take care of the children. But, it is the increase in size that is the problem.  She pointed out that ACACís parking lot alone is longer than Lakeview Drive and shared with no residents.  The neighbors have said over and over again that Chris and Barbara are good people and they donít have problem with their daycare.  Following the last meeting one of their employees verbally assaulted an elderly widow who lives across the street.  Also, their attorney has accused some of the neighbors of shutting the daycare center down.  That is also untrue.  When they have this kind of attitude coming out of the situation it is not going to make it any easier for the neighbors to live with it.  Currently there are six employees, and she believes that they project ten.  This will increase the need for parking in the neighborhood.  She suggested that hard numbers be provided regarding the number of siblings and students that are carpooling.  She just wanted to raise some of these issues.

 

Shannon Laurencin said that her son has attended the school for 2 Ĺ years.  During that time she has never had a problem with parking for drop off or pick up.  Two of the employees park in the lot in the morning and afternoon.  If the employees are required to park in the lot it would require them to drop their children off in the circle, which would cause more problems.  She pointed out that there is a traffic problem at the ACAC intersection.  There have been multiple times that they have had overflow parking on Four Seasons Drive.

 

Lauren Root, Assistant Director and pre-kindergarten teacher, said she had been working at the school for four years. There is a real need for daycare in the community.  There is not enough quality daycare in the community. Regarding traffic, she had not seen a build up of traffic or a problem with the parking. She has seen neighbors deliberately park their two cars in front of the center taking up their parking spaces.  Several employees have been asked by neighbors to move their cars off the street.   It is unfair.  The street belongs to everybody. She spoke in favor of the request and asked for its approval.  There are several siblings that attend the school and one teacher that lives in Four Seasons.  She invited everyone to visit the school.

 

Megan Antonany said that her daughter goes to the daycare center.  She understands what the neighbors are saying and the issues with traffic.  However, she has never gone to the center and had a problem with the traffic or parking.  The issue comes down to affordable daycare in Albemarle County.  They are not trying to battle with the neighborhood, but just want to keep the prices down and allow our children to have an excellent education in the center.  She supported the request for the increase in enrollment.

 

Nicole Milson spoke in support of the request.  It is not about the noise or traffic. These parents need affordable daycare and a place for their children to get comfort love and support.  That is what Ms. Barbara and Mr. Chris so.  They support the parents and love the kids.  She asked that the request be approved.

 

Rebecca Cruise, a teacher in the City, said that as a single mom it was very important to be able to afford daycare on a single salary, particularly in a place that was clean, safe and wonderful.  She understands that there are some resident issues, but that never once since January has she ever had to wait for a parking space inside the development.  When she drops her child off at 7:30 a.m. the parking on the street is already taken by other residents.  She has never had an issue with parking when she picks up her child.  The teachers do park on the street at times, but before the residents get home the teachers are usually gone. She would prefer that the daycare center stay small with small classrooms, but she understands that people have to make money.  The children are not all taken outside at the same time.  She supported the request and asked that it be approved.  It is a nice clean environment.

 

There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed to bring the matter before the Commission.

 

Mr. Cannon asked as a follow up to the traffic engineer he would assume that it is still based on the numbers as he heard them at 52 trips projected at the new level.  That is a 53 percent increase as noted by Mr. Strucko.  He asked if that in their view one fair measure of the significance of the impact.

 

Ms. Echols replied that is it difficult to measure impacts.  What staff was trying to do is to see what would be different with the additional students.  That is one measure of the impact.  It is one of the things the Commission considers.  She felt what they have heard tonight is that there are a lot of numbers.  The numbers can be used in a lot of different ways.  She felt Mr. Brooks was right that when one looks at the increase it really does not change because it is just different numbers and how they are comparing it.  When they look at special use permits they are looking at more than just what the physical improvements can support.  They are looking at whether the use is appropriate in the location it is proposed.  That is a determination that the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors have to make based on what their impressions are of the impacts.  The traffic impact and the scale impact are the things that concerns staff the most.  To answer the question it is one of the ways to measure the impacts.  It is one of the things they have to look at.

 

Mr. Cannon asked if scale impact was something different.

 

Ms. Echols replied that it was a matter of how much was going on at a particular place that is part of the scale issue.  The traffic plays into it.  They also look at what else that particular use is producing.  The neighbors think that there are impacts other than traffic that are important that relate to the scale.  Staff has given the Commission some measures for scale, which are only for comparison.   This is a tough decision to make, which is why staff does not make it. 

 

Mr. Loach asked what would be the increase in the number of employees and would it be possible to handle all of the employee parking on the site as requested by the neighbors.

 

Ms. Echols replied that they would be going from four to six employees. It is not possible to handle all of the required parking on site. Some of the parking will need to be provided on the street in order to meet the parking requirements in the zoning ordinance.

 

Mr. Strucko asked if the daycare center has three parking spots on the street.

 

Ms. Echols replied that the parking was only on Lakeview Drive across the frontage of their property.  It is not on Four Seasons Drive.  That is a decision that the zoning administrator makes about whether or not they will count parking on the street as part of the requirement.  The Zoning Division has said that they will.  That is why they can provide the required number of parking spaces.

 

Ms. Porterfield requested to ask the applicant how many employees there are right now and where they park.

 

Mr. Sliwinski replied that the number of employees will be seven all of the time in the daycare with 64 students.  This is the highest number if they get to 64 students.

 

Ms. Porterfield said that if the number is increased to 64 where the employees would park.

 

Mr. Sliwinski replied that four employees would park on the street and three in the parking lot.  That leaves six parking spaces for the students or parents.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out that the surveyorís drawing done by Arthur Edwards in 2000 shows nine parking spaces on site.  He asked if that was an inaccurate drawing.

 

Ms. Echols asked Ron Higgins, the Zoning representative, to address that issue because he has been on site and has measured everything.

 

Ron Higgins said that all nine parking spaces were available on the site.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that it was conceivable to have enough spaces to park all employees on site.  The only issue that he heard about that was that would require somebody to stand out there to receive the children as opposed to parking on site.

 

Ms. Joseph noted that condition one references a drawing by David Blankenbaker.  She asked if that was in the packet.

 

Ms. Echols replied no, that it was not in the packet. It was a drawing that the applicant showed staff that was a part of the zoning when it was brought to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Essentially it is more accurate.  Page 12 is the approved site plan, but not the one referenced in the conditions.

 

Ms. Joseph noted that one of the conditions was referencing a drawing they donít have.

 

Ms. Echols replied that was correct.  Essentially it was what they were seeing here, but a survey has been done with more accurate dimensions on it.

 

Ms. Joseph said when they do Neighborhood Model District rezoning they look at the roads, capacity and the different uses.  They want to have businesses like this in neighborhoods at a certain scales. This neighborhood was done in the Ď70ís or early 80ís.  At that time it was very progressive because there were a lot of different uses in Four Seasons.  There is some commercial on Hydraulic. This particular daycare was approved in the Ď80ís and has been around for a long time.  She felt that they were now more careful about where they are placing these things.  They want to make sure that the roads and intersections can handle it.  It is interesting that there were several references to the existing traffic problems at ACAC.  So she was not sure how this would not be exacerbating another problem. It is another entity, but it is right around the corner.  There is never going to be any guarantee that if they make more spaces available that the cost will stay down.  She felt these parents are concerned about that, which she totally understands.  She felt that this site is too small to support that many more children. Therefore, she could not support the request.  She understands the emotions on both sides.  It was great to hear that this is a facility that people really love and the teachers are dedicated. But, it is also important that they have established neighborhoods, which need to be protected also.

 

Mr. Strucko agreed with Ms. Joseph.  Back in 2002 this daycare center increased enrollment 25 percent to the current 40. Given the circumstance with what they have seen happen with the neighbors he felt they were at capacity at this particular site.  He agreed with staffís opinion that a 60 percent increase from their current enrollment of 40 students to 64 is an increase out of scale for this particular neighborhood and street. There are tensions already between the facility and neighborhood, which he felt would get worse if this increase were to happen. He supported the Neighborhood Model concept.  They do want to have some commercial activity in with residential.  He was encouraged that some of the families do walk to the daycare center.  But, there is a limit to the capacity. Affordability of daycare is a real issue. At its capacity for accommodating 40 students it seems to be the limit.  He hoped they can find a way to make the economics work and the children can continue to reap the benefit of a great daycare.  But, it is not right for the increase in this particular situation.

 

Mr. Morris said that he visited the site and the actual daycare center has a lot of unused capacity simply because they want to stay within the regulations. The site could easily accommodate additional people.   That is not addressing the traffic problem.  The site can facilitate 64 students.

 

Mr. Edgerton said that the additional request will increase the traffic on Four Seasons Drive.  It seems that it can technically be accommodated on that road by engineering.  The two big issues are the off-site parking and the traffic. This does in a primitive way in what is being asked for support the Neighborhood Model.  He would like to encourage this type of mixed use activity.  There are lots of ways that these issues can be resolved by design. It could be by collecting students at different locations and bringing them over in a shuttle. Another way is if there are nine existing parking spaces, as pointed out by Mr. Higgins, and a maximum of seven employees. It seems silly that they donít all park on site.  He heard that the pattern is that you park on street and walk your child to the daycare center.  When he sent his children to preschool there was a staff member waiting to receive the child when he drove up.  That might be a design solution that perhaps that might minimize the Lakeview Drive parking situation.   He would welcome a way to make this work if the parking issue could be solved.  They are providing a good service. The facility can accommodate that, which is reinforced by Social Services.

He was really on the fence leaning towards supporting the application if the applicant were willing to condition it to accommodate all needed parking for staff on site.

 

Mr. Loach agreed with Mr. Edgerton.  It is one of process improvement. If there are nine parking spaces for staff and they can accommodate staff on site, then they can remove some of the problems that existed. That would go a long way to get a positive vote. He was sure it was an excellent school and hoped there could be a compromise for a solution that could be put into place to solve the parking problem.  Then he could support the proposal.

 

Mr. Cannon said that he understood the reason the parking lot was not used by the employees since it would exasperate people dropping off and picking up their children.  He questioned if they could require all the employees to park on site without putting the students in danger. 

 

Ms. Echols noted that the parking requirement is 13 with nine spaces on site and four spaces have been counted on the street frontage on Lakeview Drive.  Those are the13 spaces they are talking about. How the applicant chooses to use those spaces is not something staff has been involved with.

 

Mr. Cilimberg noted that the applicant wanted to have as much space as possible on the site for the parents to drop off their children versus the parents parking on the street. It is a trade off issue.

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested having a different format for the drop off and pick up.

 

Mr. Morris noted that was a process problem and wondered if that could be addressed

 

Ms. Joseph pointed out that busing children into ACAC had been used as a means to solve the traffic problem.  She suggested that it might be a possible solution to the neighborhood traffic problem.

 

Mr. Morris said that he would hate to see buses going down to the cul-de-sac and turning around.  He would support vans, but not buses.

 

Mr. Cannon said that the burden on the neighborhood in the present configuration is significant.  It would be nice if they could accommodate the daycare center and the residents in a reasonable way.  Based on what they have before them he did not think they could draft a condition to address it.  They could require parking of staff on site, but it does not solve the process problem.  He has not heard a proposal that he could trust or rely upon.

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested that they ask the applicant if it could be possible.  He asked if there is a reason why what he was suggesting could not be done.  He asked if the drop off and pick up could be possible by having the parents make the loop and have a staff person ready to receive the child without having to park on the site.

 

Mr. Sliwinski replied yes, that they could do that. They could provide four parking spaces on the street and the employees park on site.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if they would accept a condition that all seven staff would park on site.  He asked if there was room for the parents to make a loop without having to park.

 

Mr. Sliwinski replied yes.

 

Ms. Porterfield asked if they would provide a staff person who will be at the door of the facility to receive every child so the parent will not have to get out of the car.

 

Mr. Sliwinski noted that is against the State license.  The parent has to come in and sign the children in and out. 

 

Ms. Echols said that in recent history she has not experienced a daycare being able to accommodate that request.

 

Mr. Morris said that it looks like the process could be rapidly facilitated.  He heard the applicant say that they were willing to work with this, but they would have to stay within the State regulations with the parents having to take the child into the facility.  He asked Barbara Sliwinski to come forward and address this issue.

 

Barbara Sliwinski, applicant, asked to explain the parking situation on Lakeview Drive.  They already have nine parking spaces.  The parking lot around the building provides six parking spaces for the children.  One parking space is required per ten children.  There are three or four parking spaces on the street.  They still have three parking spaces for the employees. All together they need 13 parking spaces.  They have the 13 parking spaces.  They need seven employees for the 64 children to meet the State regulations.  They will meet the parking requirements with nine spaces on site and three on the street.  That is all they need and all they are asking for.  She did not think that they would have any conflicts with the neighbors if they work together. She would like to clean the towel and promise that there will not be any problems with parking.

 

Mr. Morris asked the community association leader to come forward and give his reaction. 

 

Steve Harris said that his reaction was that he applauded their service.  As a home owner he had strived to work with them.  He could attest to his flexibility.  He did not have any personal problems with Chris or Barbara.  It is a broader issue.  It is an overall impact to a very small residential community.  He agreed with Ms. Joseph that it was not a question about the quality of daycare or capacity, but that this was the area where they live and it impacts them.  The requested number they feel would not be tolerable for the neighborhood.  Personally, he wanted to be friendly with Chris and Barbara, but this affects the community as a whole.

 

Ms. Porterfield said she could not support the proposal at the requested size increase because it was well over a 50 percent increase.  She went out and looked at the site and understands that the daycare is a small area.   Therefore, she could support the request if it was a smaller increase, but 64 students are too many.

 

Mr. Morris asked Mr. Kamptner if they could take an action bringing the number of students down from 64 to 50. 

 

Mr. Kamptner replied yes, that they could approve anything that is less intensive than what was originally applied for and advertised.

 

Mr. Strucko said that personally he could not support an increase because it has been demonstrated that 40 students is basically the number this neighborhood had the ability to physically support and accommodate.  He did not think that the burden on the neighborhood simply was the on-site and off-site parking, but the flow of traffic. The burden is the movement of cars in and out dropping students off that is potentially blocking mail boxes and causing the congestion. 

 

Mr. Edgerton suggested a compromise.  He thought he heard the applicant suggest that they would be willing to live with 50 students rather than 64 and he was convinced from the staff report that this facility can accommodate that much of an increase.  With the condition that the number of students is dropped down to 50 and that all staff be required to park on-site he would like to move approval of the request.

 

Mr. Morris noted that the motion on the floor was for approval with the number of students dropped to 50 and that all staff park on site.

 

Mr. Kamptner asked to clarify the second condition.  He thought he heard the applicant say they need to provide one on-site parking space per ten children, which would mean five on-site spaces.  They have nine on-site spaces, which means that they would not be able to satisfy that condition and comply with State regulations.

 

Mr. Strucko said that there has to be some on-street parking for staff.

 

Mr. Cannon asked if they can condition an approval based on requiring all staff to park on site as opposed to on the street so that other spaces are reserved for other people.

 

Mr. Morris understood that the State Code requires that there be one parking spot on site for each ten children.  If they move it to 50 children that would still apply.

 

Mr. Edgerton pointed out if zoning is allowing four spaces of the required 13 to be on Lake View Drive, then they can park all staff on site.  Then staff will not be permanently taking up space on Lake View Drive all day.

 

Mr. Morris suggested an amendment that all staff would be parked on site leaving the required number of spaces for the children at the level that the State mandates.  But, he did not know what that is.

 

Mr. Edgerton agreed with Mr. Morrisí suggestion.

 

Mr. Cilimberg suggested that the Commission have the applicant speak to the number because they heard 58 and not 50.

 

Ms. Echols said that that the number of parking spaces that are required is not a State requirement, but a local zoning requirement.

 

Mr. Edgerton asked if zoning cares whether those 13 spaces are on-site or off-site.

 

Ms. Porterfield asked if the three parking spaces in front of the building can be delineated for Four Seasons Learning Center employees Monday through Friday.

 

Mr. Cilimberg replied no, because it was on a public road.

 

Mr. Strucko said that even 50 students is a 25 percent increase over current activity.  He questioned whether Lake View Drive is at capacity now and could handle the 25 percent increase over current activity.

 

Mr. Morris invited the applicant to come forward and give their impression of what they are talking about as far as numbers.

 

Mr. Simpson asked to address one thing that has to do with the traffic impact on Lake View Drive.  He would also like to have Mr. and Mrs. Sliwinski address something else.   He noted that even with the addition of 64 students they are talking about 17 trips during the peak hour, which is one every three minutes.  He was concerned that they are throwing out statistics about percentage increases that misleads people in terms of what the actual reality is.  He said that the reality from the studies is one car every three minutes.  To use their example here, one car drives in or somebody from the public starts to speak and it is not until they are done that another car drives up.  That is the impact that they are talking about.  The other point with respect to Lake View Drive is that this property is right at the corner.   He felt that it is very misleading when they say that the neighborhood is going to be affected because the cars that go in and out of the daycare center donít go down through the neighborhood, but are right at the intersection.

 

Mr. Strucko said that it is obvious that Mr. Simpson is advocating for his client.  He noted that the Commission has disputed facts from the other party.

 

Mr. Morris said that right now they have a motion on the table.  He thanked Mr. Simpson for his comments.

 

Mr. Simpson pointed out that he was not sure about a compromise, but that the owners have suggested 56 children.

 

Mr. Kamptner asked to clear up the parking standard regarding the parking regulations for daycare center:  It is one (1) space per ten (10) children enrolled in the major class or shift plus one (1) space per employee.  If they had 50 children, they would have to have five (5) spaces.  The standard also requires that a pick up and drop off area shall be provided on the site.

 

Mr. Cannon asked if the requirement that all staff be parked on site be inconsistent with the provision of the pick-up and drop-off area capacity on site.

 

Ms. Echols replied that according to the zoning person the answer is no.

 

Mr. Cannon suggested that they could have both.  He asked if the regulations require that the pick-up and drop-off area be located on the site.

 

Ms. Echols noted that was what Mr. Kamptner just said.

 

Mr. Cannon said they would not have to make it a condition because it would be a requirement.

 

Ms. Echols replied that is correct.

 

Mr. Morris said that the motion could stand exactly as it was.

 

Ms. Porterfield asked if the motion was for 50 students, and Mr. Edgerton replied that was correct.

 

Ms. Porterfield seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Cilimberg reiterated the motion that it was for 50 students with all employees to be parked on site.

 

Mr. Morris agreed.

 

Motion: Mr. Edgerton moved and Ms. Porterfield seconded to approve SP-2007-00001, Four Seasons Learning Center as modified for 50 students with all employees to be parked on site with the conditions recommended by staff.

 

Conditions #1 - #5 below apply to the nursery/day care center:

 

1.      The building, parking and access shall be as shown (with noted dimensions) on the ďPlat Showing As-Built Survey Parcel A-Patio House Section Four Seasons Learning Center 254 Lakeview DriveĒ 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 Countyís 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 shall park on-site.

 

Conditions #7 - #9 below apply to the use of the facility as offices:

 

7.      The maximum number of employees shall be ten (10).

8.      A twenty foot buffer shall be maintained between the property and TMP 61X1-AA-B.9The concurrent use of the property for an office and a residential use is prohibited.

 

Conditions #10 & #11 below apply to any use of the property:

 

9.      The concurrent use of the property for a nursery/day care center and an office use is prohibited.

10. 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.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5:2.  (Mr. Strucko and Ms. Joseph voted nay.) 

 

Mr. Morris said that SP-2007-00001, Four Seasons Learning Center was recommended for approval as modified and will be heard by the Board of Supervisors at a date to be determined.

 

The Planning Commission took a break at 7:46 p.m.

 

 

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