COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:  ZTA-2008-02 Amendment to PD & NMD Regulations

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Request to amend the zoning ordinance to bring titles and other references in conformity with current Community Development job titles and current zoning references, to clarify how amendments to PDs can be made, to address vesting of old projects to change timing for a parking study, and to reduce the architectural information required for NMDs.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):  Cilimberg, Echols

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

July 1, 2009

 

ACTION:               INFORMATION:   X

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:            INFORMATION: 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

BACKGROUND: 

The Planning Commission initiated this zoning text amendment on April 22, 2008.  They discussed the amendment on July 29, 2008, September 30, 2008, December 9, 2008, February 17, 2009, March 24, 2009, and April 14, 2009.  Over the last year, the Commission proposed the changes, revised the amendment, received public comment, held a public hearing, made changes, and discussed the changes twice more before making a recommendation for approval on April 14, 2009.  Copies of staff reports for the July 29, 2008, March 24, 2009, and April 14, 2009 meetings are attached with this Executive Summary.  Not all attachments to those reports, such as earlier versions of the ordinance amendment, are included with this Executive Summary to avoid confusion and to reduce copying costs.  Staff reports and attachments for all of the Commission meetings at which this topic was discussed are available on-line.

 

July 29, 2008 Planning Commission Work Session report 

September 30, 2008 Planning Commission Work Session report

December 9, 2008 Planning Commission Work Session report

February 17, 2009 Planning Commission Public Hearing report

March 24, 2009 Planning Commission Work Session report

April 14, 2009 Planning Commission Public Hearing report

 

At their meeting on April 14, a Planning Commissioner asked that his comments be read into the record related to variations.  The comments are included with the minutes from that meeting.  With his comments, the Commissioner has asked that the Board broaden the opportunities for variations to planned developments.  This Commissioner is worried that, over time, changes in environmental regulations will affect the site layout on application plans and commitments for a minimum density in codes of development. He would like to see a modification added to the list of available variations so that reductions in density could be allowed without requiring a rezoning.  The variation would be available if conditions outside of the control of the developer, such as new environmental regulations, result in a smaller area available for development on a site.  Alternatively, he would like to see a reduction in the amount of information required on an application plan.

 

DISCUSSION:

The zoning ordinance amendment recommended by the Planning Commission is Attachment I.   At the Board of Supervisors worksession, staff will highlight the Commission’s recommended changes and answer questions.  For ease in identifying the specific changes and the rationale for the changes, a reference table is provided as Attachment II.  

 

Regarding the issue raised by the individual Planning Commissioner, staff sympathizes with the Commissioner regarding new regulations, especially environmental regulations, which could affect existing application plans and codes of development.  The example which the Commissioner has discussed with staff relates to Rivanna Village at Glenmore, although there may be others.  The developer of Rivanna Village at Glenmore committed to a minimum density for that development.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stream preservation regulations and Virginia stormwater management regulations will likely require changes to the plan which will reduce available area for development.  Limitations on building heights will likely preclude the ability to move density around on the site to achieve the minimum density required for the development.  Because a minimum density constituted a firm commitment through the rezoning, the Planning Director and County Attorney have advised that this type of change must be done through the rezoning process.  The developer would prefer to not open up the original rezoning for what he considers a minor change resulting from conditions outside of his control.  However, the state code is fairly explicit with regards to changes that require rezonings.  Some commitments made through rezonings cannot be “undone” without going through a public hearing and legislative action. 

 

The alternative suggested by the Commissioner is less information provided with a rezoning application.  The Commissioner is correct that the more vague an application plan is, the greater the flexibility.  The downside to this is that important features, such as areas to be preserved on a site, commitments to design which reflect principles of the Neighborhood Model, or even the location of specific uses might not take place.  In the case of Rivanna Village at Glenmore, some of these important features were preservation of a quarry which is to be incorporated into the park design, the specific location of commercial areas, having non-commercial uses adjacent to Route 250, and having single family homes backing up to single family homes on adjoining properties.

 

The zoning ordinance amendment recommended by the Planning Commission is Attachment I.  The section dealing with variations is Section 8.5.5.3.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board discuss the proposed amendment including this issue during their worksession and provide any additional input necessary before scheduling the amendment for a public hearing.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

ATTACHMENT I:         Proposed Zoning Text Amendment dated June 16, 2009

ATTACHMENT II:        Proposed Changes to Planned Development Section of Zoning Ordinance and Neighborhood Model Section of Zoning Ordinance, June 16, 2009

ATTACHMENT III:        Executive Summary for Planning Commission dated April 14, 2009

ATTACHMENT IV:       Staff Report dated March 24, 2009

ATTACHMENT V:        Staff Report dated July 29, 2008
View PC minutes of April 14, March 24, and February 17, 2009, December 9, September 30, July 29, and April 22, 2008

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