Albemarle County Planning Commission

January 6, 2009


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 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, Bill Edgerton, Linda Porterfield, Eric Strucko and Calvin Morris. Absent was Jon Cannon and Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent. 


Other officials present were Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; Megan Yaniglos, Senior Planner; Summer Frederick, Senior Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. 


SP-2008-00042 Keswick Hall/Club (Sign # 3 & 31)

PROPOSED: Amend SP 2000-33 to allow modifications to the master plan related to the timing (phasing) of development: move 5 guest rooms from Phase I to Phase II; a larger spa moved from phase II to phase I; add two tennis courts and amend condition of approval to allow spa to be open to the public.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA Rural Areas - agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots)

EC Entrance Corridor - Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access

SECTION: 10.2.2(2) Clubs, lodges, civic, patriotic, fraternal (reference 5.1.02)

and SECTION 10.2.2 (27B) Restaurants and inns that are: Nonconforming uses, provided the restaurant or inn is served by existing water and sewerage systems having adequate capacity for both the existing and proposed uses and facilities without expansion of either system

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (.5 unit/ acre in development lots)


LOCATION: 701 Club Drive; east of Louisa Rd. (Rt. 22) at Hunt Club Dr. and east side the intersection of Hunt Club Dr. and Keswick Rd. (Rt. 731)

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 80-8Z and TMP 80-09


(Joan McDowell)


Ms. McDowell presented a Power-point presentation and summarized the staff report. 


The request is to construct a 13-room spa to be open to public and Keswick Club guests in Phase I; defer construction of five guest rooms to Phase II; construct two tennis courts in Phase I and omit wing to existing Inn to construct six guest villas containing multiple guest rooms


Since 1978 the Keswick Inn and Club has received approval of several applications as shown in the attachments to the staff report.  The property has a 75-room inn, golf course, restaurants, spas, tennis courts, swimming pools and subdivisions for 111 single-family lots.  It has a central water/septic system that serve the Keswick properties.  There is a conservation easement on the south side that separates the Keswick property from I-64 and from the residential to the south.   


What is being proposed with this application is to construct a larger spa in a separate building away from the Inn itself to allow for 13 treatment rooms and change the phase II that was approved with the Master Plan in an earlier application to be part of phase 1, which is current phasing.  It would allow the spa to be open to the public because it was restricted to Keswick guests and members in the Master Plan.  It would defer construction of five guest rooms that were allowed with phase I to go into phase 2 and to allow construction of two of the tennis courts in phase 1 instead of phase 2.  The area is wooded and virtually invisible from any adjacent lots.   


Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The proposed construction of a larger spa, two tennis courts, and the modification of phasing would not cause an expansion of the central water system or require that road improvements be completed with Phase I instead of Phase II construction.

2.       The buildings proposed with this special use permit would not be visible from the public right-of-way or from adjacent residential properties.


Staff has not identified any factor unfavorable to this application.




Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP-2008-00042, subject to the conditions as listed in the staff report.  Amendments to the conditions approved with SP 2000-33 are shown as underlined (new) or strikethrough (deleted). 


Mr. Strucko asked if there were any questions for staff.  There being none he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Richard Carter, attorney representing the applicant, agreed with the staff report.  Currently they have four spa rooms at the club building.  Keswick Inn is not only a first class but a world class hotel.  Therefore, they need to provide more spa rooms for people who are going to be there.  Originally they were approved for the spa, but that was going to be in phase 2. Now they would like to move the spa into phase one.  In order to do that they would give up five rooms that were approved in phase one and move those five rooms to phase two.  The spa, as the report shows, will not generate any traffic.  Anyone getting a spa treatment at the prices being charged will not create any rush hour traffic to get one.  There is no water problem.  Water has been an issue in the past for Keswick.  But, they have hit a huge aquifer that they are very proud of and water is not an issue there anymore.  The spa rooms will use very little water.  Therefore, there is no traffic or water problem.  The spa will be first class.  He offered to answer any questions.  Others present to answer questions include Mr. Brent, Director of the State Development, Marilyn Gale of Roudabush and Gale and their engineer.


Mr. Strucko invited public comment.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.  


Ms. McDowell pointed out one change in the conditions because engineering is not a separate department anymore.


Ms. Porterfield noted that the Keswick Country Club was one of the country clubs that helped Glenmore Country Club out when they were redoing their greens.  Glenmore members were allowed to go over and use Keswick.  She asked if the county is going to look at that as invitees or do they need to make sure that they can do this in the future to help out another club in the area when they are closed.  She was looking at the terminology in condition 5.  She noted that a number of the clubs in the area helped Glenmore out for about eight months while the course was closed.


Mr. Carter asked to speak to that issue.  He pointed out that the three major clubs in the area Glenmore, Farmington and Keswick have always had a receptacle agreement.  They have always taken the position that people from other clubs would be invitees. 


Ms. Porterfield agreed as long as the applicant was happy with that language.


Motion:  Ms. Porterfield moved and Mr. Morris seconded, for approval of SP-2008-00042 Keswick Hall/Club subject to conditions as set forth in the staff report, as amended


  1. The Keswick Estate shall be developed in general accordance with the plan titled Keswick Estate Conceptual Long Range Master Plan, prepared by Roudabush, Gale and Associates, dated December 18, 2000, as amended by Keswick Hall Master Plan, prepared by Train & Partners + Mario di Valmarana, received September 14, 2008. (Attachment A).

2.       No building permits shall be issued for Phase II improvements beyond those improvements approved with SP 00-33, as shown on the plan titled Keswick Estate Conceptual Long Range Master Plan prepared by Roudabush, Gale and Associates dated December 18, 2000, and as amended by SP2008-42 and as shown on the plan Keswick Hall Master Plan, prepared by Train & Partners + Mario di Valmarana, received September 14, 2008.until all road improvements described by the Virginia Department of Transportation letter from R.P. Ball dated February 21, 2001, and included as Attachment B have been completed (not bonded) to the satisfaction of the County Engineer and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

3.       No unplatted property shall be subdivided and no approved subdivision plat shall be recorded unless the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission, that the existing central water system, approved under Permit Number 2003400 issued by the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Water Supply Engineering, dated January 7, 1998, or as such permit is amended or such subsequent permit approved by the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Water Supply Engineering, and the Board of Supervisors, is available and adequate to serve all of said lots, as well as all existing improvements, associated uses, and platted lots, without compromising on-site and adjacent off-site well water supplies. Nothing herein shall guarantee approval of such amendment or permit.  In making this demonstration, the applicant shall use test procedures approved by the Virginia Department of Health and the County Engineer;

4.       If the central water system must be expanded to meet existing or future demand, the applicant shall seek and obtain all necessary approvals for expanding the system from the Virginia Department of Health and the County Board of Supervisors;

5.       Except for any restaurant and spa on the property open to the general public, Keswick Hall and its associated facilities shall be used only by the guests of the inn and their invitees, and members of the Keswick Country Club and their invitees; and

6.       Each plat of division of any lands shown on the plan titled “Keswick Estate Conceptual Long Range Master Plan”, prepared by Roudabush, Gale and Associates, dated December 18, 2000 shall include the following statement if those lands are not within a jurisdictional area and will not be served by a public water or sewer system: “On the date of approval of this plat by the agent, the lands being divided are not within a jurisdictional area and public water and sewer service are not available.”


The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.


Mr. Strucko noted that SP-2008-00042 Keswick Hall/Club would go before the Board of Supervisors at a date to be determined with a recommendation for approval.


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