COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SP2008-00048 Matheny Development Right Request

Staff: Scott Clark

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

April 21, 2009

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

June 10, 2009

Owner/s:  Ronald E & Janie A Matheny

Applicants: Ronald E & Janie A Matheny

Acreage:  4.936 acres

Special Use Permit: 10.2.2.28, Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1

TMP:  Tax Map 84 Parcel 14E

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

Existing Zoning and By-right use:  RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots)

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Conditions: Yes

RA (Rural Areas)  

Requested # of Dwelling Units: 1

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

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre in development lots)

Character of Property: Residential

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Residential lots on west side of Craigs Store Road; large forest and farm parcels in the vicinity

Factors Favorable:

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

 

Factors Unfavorable:

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.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this Special Use Permit, with one condition.

 

 


 

Petition: 

 

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: 10.2.2.28, Divisions of land as provided in section 10.5.2.1

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)

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: No

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

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller

 

Character of the Area:

The area is located to the northwest of Heard’s Mountain, and is characterized by small residential parcels along the road and large areas of forest and pasture.

 

Specifics of the Proposal:

The applicants are requesting an additional development right for the purpose of giving a grandchild approximately 2 acres of land (out of their 4.9-acre parcel) for a new home. The new parcel would be added to a group of five small residential parcels on the west side of Craigs Store Road, all belonging to members of the same family. Those fives parcels contain all the acreage of the single parcel that was distributed to family members. See Attachment C for a sketch plan of the proposed division—an arrow indicates the location of the proposed lot. (Please note that, if this special use permit is approved, a more detailed subdivision plat meeting the County’s subdivision requirements would be required before the lot could be created.)

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan:

The Comprehensive Plan designates the site as part of the County’s Rural Areas, where land-use policies focus on the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources. The Plan states that:

 

To be consistent with the Guiding Principles, the County's land development policies must be changed to stop the ongoing trend toward fragmentation and loss of rural character. New policies should focus on protecting existing large parcels from fragmentation, preserving a general pattern characterized by farms, forests, and habitat corridors, and reducing the potential overall level of residential development and loss of rural character.

 

While this proposal does not directly support those goals, the addition of one dwelling to a group of family residences is not expected to have significant impacts.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Staff will address each provision of Section 31.2.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

31.2.4.1: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

 

Residential uses are permitted by right in the Rural Areas zoning district, and the additional lot would match the existing pattern of the surrounding lots.

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby and

 

The addition of one house to the existing grouping of homes will not significantly change the pattern of land use in the area.

 

and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

 

Although section 10.1 (“Intent”) makes it clear that residential development is not a preferred use in the Rural Areas zoning district, this proposal is intended to accommodate a family member in an existing residential area. In order to ensure that the additional development right would be used for this purpose, staff recommends a condition requiring that the subdivision be done through the “family subdivision” provisions of the subdivision ordinance. Section 14-212(B) of the Subdivision Ordinance would require that the land remain in family ownership for at least four years after the recordation of the subdivision plat. The applicants have stated that their intention is for the new parcel to be used long-term as a residence for their grandchild.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

 

Residential uses are permitted by right in the district.

 

with additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

There are no supplemental regulations in section 5 for this use. However, section 10.5.2 requires the following analysis for special use permits requesting additional development rights in the Rural Areas zoning district:

 

10.5.2 WHERE PERMITTED BY SPECIAL USE PERMIT 10.5.2.1 The board of supervisors may authorize the issuance of a special use permit for more lots than the total number permitted under section 10.3.1 and section 10.3.2; provided that no such permit shall be issued for property within the boundaries for the watershed of any public drinking water supply impoundment, and further provided that no such permit shall be issued to allow more development lots within a proposed rural preservation development than that permitted by right under section 10.3.3.3(b). (Added 11-8-89; Amended 5-5-04 effective 7-1-04) The board of supervisors shall determine that such division is compatible with the neighborhood as set forth in section 31.2.4.1 of this chapter with reference to the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan relating to rural areas including the type of division proposed and specifically, as to this section only, with reference to the following: (Amended 11-8-89)

 

1. The size, shape, topography and existing vegetation of the property in relation to its suitability for agricultural or forestal production as evaluated by the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service or the Virginia Department of Forestry.

 

The parcel to be divided is too small to be viable for commercial agriculture.

 

2. The actual suitability of the soil for agricultural or forestal production as the same shall be shown on the most recent published maps of the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service or other source deemed of equivalent reliability by the Soil Conservation Service.

 

The soils on the parcel are listed as “Locally Important” in the Open Space & Critical Resources Plan. This soil list was developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

3. The historic commercial agricultural or forestal uses of the property since 1950, to the extent that is reasonably available.

 

County records indicate that this parcel was created in 1967. It has been in residential use since at least that time.

 

4. If located in an agricultural or forestal area, the probable effect of the proposed development on the character of the area. For the purposes of this section, a property shall be deemed to be in an agricultural or forestal area if fifty (50) percent or more of the land within one (1) mile of the border of such property has been in commercial agricultural or forestal use within five (5) years of the date of the application for special use permit. In making this determination, mountain ridges, major streams and other physical barriers which detract from the cohesiveness of an area shall be considered.

 

Approximately 84 percent of the Albemarle County parcels within one mile have been in agricultural or forestal use, as indicated by tax records. However, the addition of one family dwelling to the area is not expected to create a significant difference in the character of the area.

 

5. The relationship of the property in regard to developed rural areas. For the purposes of this section, a property shall be deemed to be located in a developed rural area if fifty (50) percent or more of the land within one (1) mile of the boundary of such property was in parcels of record of five (5) acres or less on the adoption date of this ordinance. In making this determination, mountain ridges, major streams and other physical barriers which detract from the cohesiveness of an area shall be considered.

 

Less than 3 percent of the land within one mile is currently in parcels of 5 acres or less. Therefore, much less than 50 percent of that land must have been in parcels of 5 acres or less when the ordinance was adopted in 1980. Therefore, this is not a developed rural area.

 

6. The relationship of the proposed development to existing and proposed population centers, services and employment centers. A property within areas described below shall be deemed in proximity to the area or use described:

 

a. Within one mile roadway distance of the urban area boundary as described in the comprehensive plan; (Amended 11-8-89)

 

The property is not within one mile of an urban area boundary.

 

b. Within one-half mile roadway distance of a community boundary as described in the comprehensive plan; (Amended 11-8-89)

 

The property is not within one-half mile of a community boundary.

 

c. Within one-half mile roadway distance of a village as described in the comprehensive plan. (Amended 11-8-89)

 

The property is not within one-half mile of a village boundary.

 

7. The probable effect of the proposed development on capital improvements programming in regard to increased provision of services.

 

The addition of one lot to this area of existing family lots is not expected to require any significant increase in service provision.

 

8. The traffic generated from the proposed development would not, in the opinion of the Virginia Department of Transportation: (Amended 11-8-89)

 

a. Occasion the need for road improvement;

b. Cause a tolerable road to become a nontolerable road;

c. Increase traffic on an existing nontolerable road.

 

VDOT does not expect that the addition of one new lot will create the need for any road improvements

 

9. With respect to applications for special use permits for land lying wholly or partially within the boundaries for the watershed of any public drinking water impoundment, the following additional factors shall be considered:

 

This section does not apply, as the property is not in the watershed of a public water-supply impoundment.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

The applicants have stated that they want to use an existing driveway to access the proposed lot. The Virginia Department of Transportation has confirmed that that driveway has sufficient sight distance, provided that some minor clearing of vegetation is done.

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

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.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2008-48 Matheny Development Right Request with the following condition:

 

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

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – Area Map

Attachment B – Detail Map

Attachment C – Conceptual Plan

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