COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

The Old Crozet School Arts Lease of the Old Crozet Elementary School

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing for a proposed lease agreement between the County and the Old Crozet School Arts for a portion of the Old Crozet Elementary School

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Herrick, Shadman, Freitas, and Shepherd; and Ms. Ragsdale

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 3, 2009

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The Old Crozet Elementary School was built in 1924 and was used as a public school until 1990.  From 1991 through 2007 the Charlottesville Waldorf School leased the facility.  The Old Crozet Elementary School has been vacant since September 2007 when the Charlottesville Waldorf School lease expired.  A reuse study was conducted and the final report was presented to the Board of Supervisors on September 3, 2008.  The Board directed staff to continue to explore long term uses, as well as interim uses of the property, until a long term use of the building is determined. 

Virginia Code § 15.2-1800 requires that the Board advertise and hold a public hearing prior to leasing County-owned property.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 4:  Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development

Master Planning Directional Statement:  “Adapts and reuses sites rather than abandoning them.”

 

DISCUSSION:

In pursuing the Board’s request to explore an interim use of the Old Crozet Elementary School by the private sector, staff solicited and received five proposals.  Staff evaluated those proposals based on the following criteria:

•           use in relation to proximity to elementary school and residential area

•           R-2 zoning compatibility

•           proposed space needs (square footage)

•           compatibility with desires of community per reuse study

•           maintenance responsibilities

•           utility costs

•           sub-leasing proposed

•           use of grounds

•           proposed term of lease

•           proposed rental fee

•           compatibility with Crozet Master Plan

•           facility upgrade needed/required

•           full time vs. part time use

•           timeliness to occupy building

 

Based on these criteria, two proposals were deemed potentially suitable and advantageous to the County’s goals:  the Field School of Charlottesville and the Old Crozet School Arts (“OCSA”).  Because neither entity proposes to use the entire facility, it is possible to lease to both, maximizing the use of the facility.  On May 6, 2009, the Board approved a lease with the Field School of Charlottesville for a portion of the Old Crozet Elementary School.

 

After discussions with the OCSA, staff drafted the attached lease agreement to lease 3,955 square feet of the building space for an annual rent of $15,068.55.  That figure is based on an annual square footage rental rate of $2.79 plus a utility rate share of $1.02 per square foot.  Though OCSA had requested free use of the facility and paying only for utilities, the lease rental rate is the same as the Charlottesville Waldorf School’s rental rate increased by the adjustment formula in that lease.  It is also the rate charged to the Field School of Charlottesville.  Staff decided to use this methodology to determine the rental rate for several reasons:

•           consistency with previous and current leasing practice for this facility

•           the lack of features associated with a modern school building (e.g., central air conditioning, fire suppression system) that would command a higher rate

•           the lack of comparable facilities

 

Proposed lease provisions include:

•           one-year term with option to renew

•           landlord to provide water, sewer, electricity, and heating services

•           tenant to provide telephone, janitorial, garbage disposal, snow removal and all other services

•           tenant to provide routine maintenance and repairs, not to exceed $2,500.00 in any one year

•           tenant may make minor alterations and aesthetic improvements to the facility with County permission

            and at the expense of the tenant

•           tenant may deduct from the rent certain pre-approved costs incurred in making alterations, additions, and improvements during the first term of the lease

 

The intended use of the facility will require an amendment to the existing special use permit, which currently prohibits students from driving themselves to school.  The proposed amendment was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on May 5, 2009.  That recommendation will come before the Board for consideration during the June 3, 2009 Board meeting.  Approval of the lease would be contingent upon obtaining that amendment to the special use permit.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Approval and implementation of this lease would result in a gross increase in revenue of $15,068.55.  Coupled with the Field School of Charlottesville lease, the County would realize a gross increase in revenue of $57,778.65. The County currently spends approximately $29,214.25 annually from the Department of General Services operating budget for routine maintenance and utilities.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After the public hearing, staff recommends that the Board approve the lease with the OCSA (contingent upon obtaining the amendment to the special use permit) and authorize the County Executive to sign the lease on behalf of the County.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A – Old Crozet School Arts Lease Agreement

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