COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
SP 2009-0001 Montessori Community School (Pantops) Extension
Request for extension of time allowed special use permit (SP 06-038) for 48 months
February 17, 2009
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:
March 11, 2009
OWNER/APPLICANT: Montessori Community School of Charlottesville; represented by Hunter McCardle, Water Street Studio
A special use permit (SP 06-038) for new buildings and campus improvements at the Montessori School was approved by the Board on March 14, 2007. The campus improvements include a phased plan to replace temporary modules with permanent classrooms and to develop the site with features such as an amphitheatre, ball field and ball court, playgrounds, gardens, lawns, and other associated site improvements like parking. (Refer to Attachment C-Staff Report for SP 06-038, page 20-Attachment H)There was no increase in enrollment, staffing or change in operating hours associated with SP#2006-038 and it was approved with the following conditions. (Attachment A-Approval letter, Attachment B-PC minutes)
At the time SP 06-038 was reviewed, a zoning violation existed on the site (VIO-2006-239) because a fence was installed without site plan or ARB approval. Most of the fence is chain link and visible from the Entrance Corridor. The applicant agreed, following ARB discussion of the matter at their meeting on February 5, 2007, to address the fence violation. The fence issue has not yet been resolved.
The existing special use permit is due to expire on March 14, 2009 and the applicant has not yet started construction to prevent its expiration. The applicant is requesting an additional four years and is nearing final site plan approval for Phase I of the project. It is uncertain when the school will begin construction on Phase 1 so this additional time is needed. The purpose of the time period provision for special use permit approvals in the ordinance is to allow any ordinance changes to be applied at the time the extension is reviewed. It allows the County to consider whether there have been changes in circumstances such that the granting of the special use permit should be revisited. In the case of this request for extension, there is no reason to revisit the special use permit and there have been no ordinance changes since the SP was approved in 2007. Staff does not foresee any upcoming amendments or changes of circumstance to suggest the use will not be appropriate at this location.
The applicant has gotten preliminary site plan approval and final site development plans are under review for phase 1, which will address the fence issue with the ARB. It is the consensus of the ARB that the new fence shall be erected by September 1, 2009. Alternatively, an extensive landscape plan showing landscaping that will completely screen the fence from the EC can be submitted for review, with the planting to be installed by September 1, 2009. Staff is concerned, however, that the fence issue be resolved to the ARB’s satisfaction in a timely manner. For that reason, an additional condition has been recommended below. (Condition #3)
Staff has found no unfavorable factors to this request, other than the ongoing fence issue, and recommends approval of SP 2009-0001 with the conditions below. These include the same conditions as those previously approved, with #2 modified to use new standard condition language, #4 and #5 are new conditions. (Updates/new conditions in bold italics.)
a. At least forty-eight (48) inches tall;
b. No more than a two (2) inch gap under the fence;
c. Openings shall be small enough that a four (4) inch sphere will not pass through;
d. No ornamental indentations that can be used as a ladder;
e. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences is two and one-quarter (2-1/4) inches; and
f. Maximum mesh size for diagonal lattice fences is one and three-quarter (1-3/4) inches.
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