COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SP200800024 Earlysville Service Center

Staff: Joan McDowell, Principal Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

May 19, 2009

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

To Be Determined

Owner: M.O. Whyte

Applicant:  M.O. Whyte

Acreage: 11.833 acres

Special Use Permit: 

TMP:  31-14

Location:  West side of Earlysville Rd. (Rt. 743) approx. 775 ft. north of Reas Ford Rd. (Rt. 660)

 

Existing Zoning and By-right use:

RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre

Magisterial District:  Rio

Conditions: Yes

DA (Development Area)

RA (Rural Areas): X

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                           

Proposal: Special Use Permit to relocate an existing vehicular repair garage from the east side of an 11.833 acre parcel (zoned C-1 Commercial) to the west side of the subject parcel (zoned RA Rural Areas); the existing garage structure currently located on the property would remain, but the garage use would be abandoned.

 

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (0.5 unit/ acre)

Character of Property: Partially wooded, contains an existing residence and the existing garage building

Use of Surrounding Properties:   Residential and commercial

Factors Favorable:

  1.  The public garage is an existing operation that provides a service to the community.
  2. The proposed garage would provide an interior space to repair cars and provide adequate, organized parking arrangements.
  3. The use is consistent with the Rural Area with the mitigation of impacts.

Factor Unfavorable:

The proposed garage site would be closer to an existing residence on an adjacent property and would be across the street from a residential subdivision

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this Special Use Permit with conditions.

           

STAFF PERSON:                        Joan McDowell, Principal Planner

PLANNING COMMISSION:    May 19, 2009

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:    Date to Be Determined

 

SP200800025 Earlysville Service Center

 

Petition: 

Special Use Permit Application

PROJECT: SP 200800025 Earlysville Service Center

PROPOSED:  Special Use Permit to relocate an existing vehicular repair garage from the east side of an 11.833 acre parcel (zoned C-1 Commercial) to the west side of the subject parcel (zoned RA Rural Areas); the existing garage is currently located on the property would remain, but the garage use would be abandoned.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots); C-1 Commercial - retail sales and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre)

SECTION: 10.2.2 (37) Public Garage

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 density)

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR:  No

LOCATION: West side of Earlysville Rd. (Rt. 743) approx. 775 ft. north of Reas Ford Rd. (Rt. 660)

TAX MAP/PARCEL:  TMP 31-14

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio

 

Character of the Area:   Located in Earlysville, a former Village Land Use Designation in the Comprehensive Plan, the area was determined to be suitable for “Commercial development including general stores to serve convenience shopping for the village and surrounding area..” under that designation.  The character of the area reflects the former Village designation through its mixture of commercial, light industrial, and suburban-style residential development.  The parcel is adjacent to Out of the Box furniture store and across the street from a small grocery store within a small commercial center.  At the edges of the former Village, several larger parcels have been placed into conservation easements and several others are in the Jacobs Run Agricultural / Forestal District, which is located on the opposite side of  Reas Ford Road.  The proposed garage would be further away from the Ag/For District than the existing garage.

 

Specifics of the Proposal:   The 11.833-acre property is divided by two zoning districts:  4.15 acres is zoned C-1 Commercial and the remaining 7.683 acres is zoned RA Rural Areas.  The existing public garage is located on the east side of the property in the C-1 district.  The applicant has requested a special use permit to relocate the garage into an existing wooded area in the RA district on the west side of the parcel.  The garage would occupy approximately two acres of the parcel. Upon completion of the proposed garage, the existing garage use would be abandoned and the occupied residence located in the center of the parcel would remain unchanged.  The applicant has not informed staff what use would go into the building.

 

The existing two-bay garage has a small storage area for parts, but no waiting room or restroom. There are numerous cars parked in the surrounding unimproved area and between the garage and Earlysville Road and some parking is taking place across the street.  The proposed garage would contain approximately twelve bays, an office and waiting area, a restroom and a paved parking area with 46 parking spaces on an approximately 2.17-acre portion of the property.  A three-sided covered storage shed on the rear of the building would provide storage for an air compressor, tires and fluid containers.  The applicant has requested that the proposed garage retain the present hours of operation: 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday.  Parking has been provided for twelve employees. The proposal would eliminate the need to park cars in the areas where they are currently being parked.

 

The applicant has proposed a site design that is sensitive to its Rural Areas environs through the following measures (Attachments A and B)

·        the limited clearing of existing trees, landscaping around the impervious area;

·        offsetting the garage and parking from the access;

·        a 20-foot wide undisturbed buffer and a 10-foot wide evergreen screening planting buffer (with landscape materials relocated from the area being cleared, if possible) between the adjacent neighbor to the west and the parking area;

and around the garage site; and

·        a 75-foot front setback that will include retention of a portion of the existing wooded area buffer between the garage and Earlysville Road.

 

Planning and Zoning History:

·        1970 Comprehensive Plan -- Earlysville was one of the original 14 Villages designated in the Comprehensive Plan (including the subject parcel);

·        1977 Comprehensive Plan -- Earlysville Village Land Use Designation;

·        1982 Comprehensive Plan -- South side of  Route 743 (including the subject parcel) was deleted from the Earlysville Village land use designation, since it drains into the South Fork Rivanna River Watershed, and was designated Rural Areas;

·        1989 Comprehensive Plan -- Earlysville Village (across Earlysville Road from the subject property) continued as a village designation;

·        1996 Comprehensive Plan -- all the Villages were removed as land use designations and became Rural Areas with the exception of Rivanna; and

·        ZMA 79-07 -- approved rezoning of a 2-acre portion of the property from A-1 (Agricultural) to B-1 (Commercial); the remaining portion remained in the A-1 (Agricultural) district; the B-1 was later changed to C-1 (Commercial); the existing garage is in this rezoned 2-acre portion of the property.

·        RA public garages – previously approved public garages in the Rural Areas (Attachment C).

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan: As noted earlier, the Comprehensive Plan designates the subject property as Rural Areas emphasizing the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources as land use options.   While the proposed garage is not consistent with these goals, it does provide a service to the local community and has been in use on this property since the 1930’s, according to the applicant.  The current business has been in operation for approximately 30 years. The land use patterns of this area evolved over time and were reflected in the former Village designation.  Although the designation is now Rural Areas, it is important to consider that this is an existing business that would be relocated approximately 550 feet to the west on the same parcel.  Although the scale of this proposed facility is unusual for the Rural Areas and would not generally be encouraged, the small size of the existing facility improvements exacerbate the number of cars being parked in the unpaved area next to the garage and across the street. The relocation would permit more cars to be worked on at one time inside the building, would provide adequate parking around the building, and would allow naturalized landscape materials in keeping with the rural character to screen the facility from the road and adjacent Rural Areas.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

Staff addresses 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,

The relocation of the proposed garage would cause it to be closer to several residences.  It would be visible from two residences across Earlysville Road on Ridgeway Road and closer to the residences on its west and south sides. 

A wooded area would separate the garage from the residences to the south.  : 

 

·          Entrance offset so that there is not a direct, uninhibited view down the driveway of the garage from Ridgeway Road and from Earlysville Road

·          Wooded area between the garage and the Earlysville Road would remain

·          Row of evergreen landscaping on both sides of  the driveway and circling the garage facility

·          A minimum six-foot high fence is recommended to be constructed between the garage and the TMP31-14H property line, in the location shown on Attachment B/Condition 4)

·          All work on vehicles would take place inside the building

·          Outside storage would be shielded from the street and from the adjacent neighbor by trees/landscaping and/or by the storage shed walls

 

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby

Characterized by the mix of uses within this former village, the garage has existed on this property since the 1930’s.  Its relocation on the same parcel would allow space to organize the garage functions and provide safe access and parking for customers.   The garage would have landscape buffers separating it from residences. 

 

Although no longer designated a Village, the immediate area remains zoned for, and still functions as, a rural scale center for essential services to the surrounding community.

 

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

The purpose and intent of the Rural Areas zoning is to preserve agricultural and forestal lands and activities, to protect the water supply, to limit service to rural areas, and to conserve the natural, scenic, and historic resources of the County.  Although this use does not preserve these resources, public garages are allowed by special use permit in the Rural Areas.  Conditions of approval are intended to keep the scale and intensity of the garage in conformity with the character of the Rural Areas.

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

The garage, as proposed and with approval of the conditions of approval as recommended, is not anticipated to have a negative impact on the uses permitted by right in the district.

 

with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

No regulations for a public garage are in Section 5.0 of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reviewed the driveway entrance location and found it adequate. A permit will be needed from VDOT for construction proposed within the road right of way. The Department of Environmental Quality has reviewed this application and will assist the applicant in achieving compliance with its regulations. 

 

SUMMARY:

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.       The public garage is an existing operation that provides a service to the community.

2.       The proposed garage would provide an interior space to repair cars and provide adequate, organized parking arrangements.

3.       The use is consistent with the Rural Area with the mitigation of impacts.

 

Staff has identified the following factor unfavorable to this application:

1.       The proposed garage site would be closer to an existing residence on an adjacent property and would be across the street from a residential subdivision.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP200800025 Earlysville Service Center, subject to the following conditions:

1.       Development of the use shall be in accord with the conceptual plan titled “Special Use Permit Earlysville Service Center, 4036 Earlysville Road Earlysville, VA 22936”, prepared by DW Enterprises and dated March 23, 2009 (hereafter, the “Conceptual Plan”), as determined by the Director of Planning and the Zoning Administrator.  To be in accord with the Concept Plan, development shall reflect the following major elements within the development essential to the design of the development:

·         The area designated for the special use (public garage)

·         The size, height and location of the proposed building  (no more than 5,000 square feet / maximum 35’ high)

·         The location of the perimeter landscaping and limits of clearing, with the exception of minimum clearing possible to install drainfields and utilities

·         The number of parking spaces (maximum 46 spaces) and general location / arrangement of the parking spaces;

2.    A public garage use in the existing building on the property shall be permanently terminated upon issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy;

3.    Additional landscape materials, either replanted from the area to be cleared for the garage site or new landscape materials, shall be installed in the undisturbed buffer area inside the boundary of the special use permit as may be necessary to achieve very little visibility between the garage site and the public right-of-way and adjacent properties, as depicted on Attachment B;     

4.       A minimum 6’ high fence shall be constructed in the location shown on Attachment B (20’ inside the special use permit boundary and outside the 75’ front setback) to provide an additional buffer for the adjacent property (TMP 31-14H); 

5.       The sale or rental of vehicles or other motorized equipment is prohibited;

6.       Gasoline sales are prohibited;

7.       The outdoor storage of parts, equipment, machinery and junk is prohibited.  All storage shall take place inside the storage shed and/or inside the building;

8.       The sale or rental of vehicles or other motorized equipment is prohibited;

9.       All repairing or equipping of vehicles shall take place inside the existing garage;

10.   Parking of vehicles associated with the public garage shall take place only in the parking spaces depicted on the Concept Plan; 

11.   The hours of operation shall not exceed (earlier or later) than 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday.  These hours do not prohibit customers from dropping off vehicles before or after permitted the hours of operation; 

12.   A maximum of twelve (12) employees shall be permitted on-site at any one time; 

13.   All outdoor lighting shall be only full cut-off fixtures and shielded to reflect light away from all abutting properties.  A lighting plan limiting light levels at the north, west, and south property lines and the east boundary of the area designated to the special use permit to no greater than 0.3 foot candles shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator or their designee for approval;

14.   Approval from the Department of Environmental Quality shall be required prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy;

15.   Approval from the Health Department shall be required prior to issuance of a building permit;

16.  Commencement of SP 200800025 shall begin within five (5) years of the date of its approval by the Board of Supervisors.


ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – Concept Plan

Attachment B – Concept Plan with Fence Location and Undisturbed Buffer Locations

Attachment C – Rural Areas Public Garages

Attachment D – Site Photographs

Attachment E -  Location Maps

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