Albemarle County Planning Commission

April 21, 2009



ZTA-2009-00007 Temporary Construction Headquarters, Yards (Section 5.1.18) – Resolution of Intent

The work session was for review of a resolution of intent for a zoning text amendment for deletion of the 18-month time limit for construction headquarters and provisions for consistent administrative regulation of both temporary construction headquarters and temporary construction yards (John Shepherd)


John Shepherd and Sherry Proctor were present to present the ZTA. 


Mr. Shepherd presented a PowerPoint presentation and summarized the staff report. 

·         This amendment seeks to delete the 18-month time limit and provisions for consistent administrative regulations of temporary construction headquarters and construction yards.  Section 5.1.18 allows construction headquarters to be located on a site until 30 days after completion of a project.  Section restricts temporary construction yards to a period not to exceed 18 months. There is a conflict between the two.  Both of these uses are currently designated as mobile office trailers and are permitted with a building permit. 

·         The two uses are similar and should be administered consistently.  The proposal also shifts the review from a building permit to a zoning clearance process.  For a larger construction project the 18-month time frame really is not adequate.  For a large project like Martha Jefferson Hospital they would be coming back asking for a modification of the regulations from the Planning Commission, which is the basis of Mike Mathew’s support of the ZTA that was forwarded by email.

·         Provisions being proposed include:

1.       Delete the 18-month limit for temporary construction yards.

2.       Limit the headquarters on the yards to a time period limited to 30 days prior to commencement of the project and a termination date 30 days after completion of the project or the end of active construction activity.  The point is that there were different dates across the board for these different uses.  Staff is suggesting making it consistent.

3.       The review should be done by a zoning clearance process and not a building permit.  There would still need to be building permits for the location of a mobile office trailer, installation of power and sewer, etc.

4.       The term “within the recorded subdivision” should be replaced with the word “site”.  There is also some reorganization and clarification of the regulation to make it easier to follow.



·         There also was a question from Ms. Joseph to add definitions to the regulations as well.  Typically with uses they define them with the definition section and then add supplemental regulations to further regulate uses.  In this case these uses are actually defined both in terms of the duration and their location in their being called temporary in the supplemental regulations now.  There is a concern that if they try to define them they might just set off unintended consequences that make staff reluctant to do that.  Staff thinks that the definition for storage yards does clearly state that storage yards are off site and these are clearly defined as being on site. 


Staff requests that the Planning Commission approve the resolution of intent and seeks any advice that they might have.


Mr. Strucko asked what if there is a hotel project where suddenly the partnership falls apart and financing fails and the construction site is affected.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that staff still needs to come up with a definition for active construction because that is when the headquarters and the yard need to be removed.  Over the years staff may have come up with a working definition that they use when active construction is deemed to stop, but they will need to come up with something to insert so that in that situation the construction yard and the mobile home have to go away.


Ms. Porterfield suggested instead of granting an approval forever that they stick with the 18-month expiration with the ability for staff to extend the time so that it does not have to come back to the Planning Commission.  Staff would have the right to extend it.  That way staff would know what is going on at the site and could give an extension that is appropriate for the construction project that is happening at the time.


Ms. Joseph suggested that Mr. Franco could address this better.  She noted that during construction sometimes things happen that are hidden on the site which takes a lot more time.  She felt that the way it is written is fine.


Ms. Porterfield noted that obviously they are setting this up for Martha Jefferson Hospital to a certain extent.  She asked how many things are like that which staff could administratively go ahead and extend the permit without having to come to the Commission.    She asked if that was possible.


Ms. Joseph said she did not want to hire more staff to do one more thing that they could just change the ordinance language as Mr. Kamptner was saying to define active construction.


Ms. Porterfield pointed out that somebody is going to have to go out and make sure that project stays active.


Ms. Joseph said that staff will know if they stop working on the project.


Mr. Franco said that if it was site construction there is going to be an E & S Officer out there at least once a month.  If it was building construction he would imagine they would be getting permits and inspections for that as well.  Therefore, there is going to be someone out there on a routine basis.  He did not think they would have an issue about staff not knowing what is going on out there.


Mr. Shepherd noted that zoning inspectors are also on the sites. With the zoning clearance they have the opportunity to add conditions if there was a particular aspect of a project that warranted it.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that there is a different zoning text amendment that the Commission has already seen regarding the Enforcement/Administration which clarifies what a zoning clearance is and what the zoning administrator can do.  So in any given circumstance the zoning administrator can impose conditions to deal with any particular circumstances. 


Ms. Porterfield noted that she would go along with Mr. Franco’s suggestions.


Motion:  Mr. Edgerton moved and Mr. Franco seconded for approval of the attached resolution of intent for ZTA-2009-00007 Temporary Construction Headquarters, Yards – Section 5.1.18. 


The motion was approved by a vote of 6:0.


Mr. Strucko noted that the resolution of intent for ZTA-2009-0007 was approved.




WHEREAS, Sections 5.18, Temporary Construction Headquarters, Yards, 5.18.1, Temporary Construction Headquarters, and 5.18.2, Temporary Construction Yards, of the Zoning Ordinance establish regulations pertaining to temporary construction headquarters and yards serving a project while construction is ongoing; and


WHEREAS, it is desired to amend Sections 5.1.18, and to revise the duration during which temporary construction headquarters and yards may remain on a site, to revise terminology, and to reorganize those sections.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT for purposes of public necessity, convenience, general welfare and good zoning practices, the Albemarle County Planning Commission hereby adopts a resolution of intent to amend Zoning Ordinance §§ 5.1.18, and and any other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance deemed appropriate to achieve the purposes described herein; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on the zoning text amendment proposed by this resolution of intent, and make its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, at the earliest possible date.


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Mr. Shepherd said that a public hearing will be scheduled on both ZTA-2009-0007 and ZTA-2008-0006.



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