SP-2008-00048 Mathney Development Rights

PROJECT: SP-2008-00048 Matheny Development Right Request

PROPOSED: Request for one additional development right for a family subdivision.

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

SECTION:, Divisions of land as provided in section

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: 2839 Craigs Store Road (Route 635), approximately 2000 feet south of the intersection with White Mountain Road (Route 736).

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 84 Parcel 14E


(Scott Clark)


Mr. Clark made a power-point presentation and summarized the staff report.

         Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The proposal can be accommodated without significant health or safety impacts on the area.

            Staff has identified the following factors unfavorable to this application:

1.       Additional development rights are not normally in accord with the purposes of the Rural Areas zoning district. Staff proposes to address this concern with a condition of approval that would require the subdivision to be processed as a family subdivision, which would keep the land in the family for at least four years.

         Staff recommends approval of Special Use Permit SP-2008-028 with the one condition listed in the staff report.

1.       The proposed subdivision of Tax Map 84 Parcel 14E shall only be permitted as a ďfamily subdivisionĒ as provided by Chapter 14 of the Albemarle County Code.


Mr. Strucko invited questions for staff from the Commission.


Mr. Edgerton asked how many of the previous parcels given away to family members have been built on and Mr. Clark replied all of them.


Mr. Edgerton said that the owner has used up all the development rights they have and there are no development rights left.  He questioned if they would be asked to give two more development rights. He was struggling with why they would want to give additional development rights and thought it was a terrible idea.  He asked if a family division needs development rights


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that for the parcel requesting this additional right there is not enough land to do more than one more additional division because that particular property only has 4.9 acres.  So as a family division for that particular property there is only one more possible division.


Mr. Edgerton noted that Parcel 64-14E, which was one of the parcels cut off from the original parcel, used up a development right.


Mr. Cilimberg said without the special use permit they canít do anything.   If the Board ultimately grants a special use permit the applicant could only do one more division with the allowance through special use permit of an additional development right.


Mr. Edgerton said that he did not have anything against trying to help family members out, but at the same time they have some larger parcels in the back and they may be asked later, too.   This is totally contrary to everything in the Comp Plan. He did not have anything against the concept, but he did have a hard time in the rural area adding development rights to existing parcels that have already used up their development rights.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that the Commission and Board have been very strict about that.  He believed if they go back in history about the only times in the recent years that has been an added development right has been for a family member.  There were other requests which were not granted.


Ms. Joseph pointed out that a development right was given to a family, but there was also land that was given to the fire station.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that ended up being one additional development right and the land that was given to the fire station. 


Mr. Strucko asked if in order to do a family subdivision there has to be an unused development right.


Ms. Joseph replied that was correct.


Mr. Cilimberg said that was the subject of the special use permit and the Board had to grant the additional development right before the applicant could even do it. 


Mr. Strucko opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to come forward to address the Commission.


Ms. Janie Matheny, property owner, said that the request is for their 21 year old grandson that needs a place to live.  They had this one place where there is enough land they could give to this one grandchild to build on.  Rent and everything is so high now it is hard for a person to make it, especially if they are not married.   They would also like to put it with his dadís name on it so that he could not sell it.  The other lots they gave to their four sons.  She built a house and lived on one of the lots, lot 4, because one of their sons preferred to live in Crimora. They would like to give their grandson part of the lot.  They feel like that is the best thing they could do for their grandson so that he would have a place where he could go out on his own and be there with family.  She asked the Commission to grant the special use permit.


Mr. Strucko invited questions for the applicant.


Mr. Loach asked if all of the other subdivisions that were divided are currently occupied by family members, and Ms. Matheny replied yes.


Mr. Strucko invited public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.


Ms. Joseph agreed with Mr. Edgerton.  She found it very difficult to grant this because she did not see any compelling reason to grant this at this time.


Mr. Loach understood their objections, but also understands family and the fact that all of the other divisions are now occupied by family and given the fact that this is being retained in the family.  There is a lot of credibility that this is being about keeping family together in hard times.  He would be very honest that he understands where they are coming from, but this is one he could support.


Mr. Franco said that he had the same opinion as Mr. Loach.  He struggled with this when he first read it because of the development of the rural area.  He asked if there is a way that they could allow a second unit to be built on the parcel but not have a subdivision. 


Mr. Clark said that they would still need a development right.


Mr. Franco said he was not sure if it accomplishes anything, but in his mind it keeps it from creating one more lot in the rural area.  It probably would keep it so it would be more difficult to sell.  What they are trying to do is house a family member so selling the property is not as much of an issue.  He felt that would be a better safeguard if that was possible.


Mr. Kamptner said that the development right is needed to add the second dwelling. The way that zoning looks at it is that they when they analyze the second dwelling they want the dwellings situated so it complies with all the zoning regulations in the event that there was a division.  So a development right is needed.


Mr. Cilimberg said the question was whether they could issue a special use permit granting the development right with a condition that it not be divided.


Mr. Franco replied that is the questions, but he was not sure if that does anything for us. 


Mr. Kamptner replied that legally they could impose that condition.  But whether or not that works for zoning in their analysis he was not sure.  The other problem that they often hear is that it is going to be very difficult for the owners to get financing.


Mr. Franco said that he was not sure if the owners agree with that or if it even made sense.  He knows that it will be hard to get financing to build it and it creates a lot of other issues.  But it does not create another lot.


Ms. Joseph said that it is not just the lot. The fact is that there would be another dwelling on there.  There would be more wheels on the roads.  There will be more children in the schools, etc.  There will be another well and septic.   She felt that would not make any difference.

Mr. Franco agreed with Mr. Loach.  He struggled given the fact that there are 5 lots and they are all still occupied by family members is very compelling.


Mr. Strucko said that this one is tough for him as well.   First he is a strong component of the principle that they donít want to encourage or expand development in the rural areas.  However, they have always been respectful of family subdivisions.  However, this particular situation the existing development rights were all utilized.  That is what he sees as the legal capacity of the existing parcel. So this grants something new.  He was thinking of the longer term impacts as well.    So as difficult that this would be he could not support this proposal.


Ms. Porterfield said she could not support this proposal for basically the same reasons as Mr. Strucko and only supported the use of the allowed number of development rights.  She did not want to set a precedent in voting for it.


Motion:  Ms. Joseph moved and Mr. Edgerton seconded to deny SP-2008-00048, Mathney Development Rights.


The motion passed by a vote of 4:2.  (Loach and Franco voted nay.)


Mr. Strucko said that SP-2008-00048, Mathney Development Rights would go to the Board of Supervisors on June 10, 2009 with a recommendation for denial.


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