COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:

SP200800031 Old Dominion Equine Barn & Riding Ring

SDP200800149 Old Dominion Equine Barn & Riding Ring - Waiver

Staff:  Scott Clark, Senior Planner

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

September 22, 2009

 

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

TBA

Owner/s:  ODEA Holdings LLC

Applicant: Old Dominion Equine Associates

Acreage:  1.653 acres

Special Use Permit: 10.2.2.18, Veterinary services, animal hospital (reference 5.1.11 and subject to performance standards in 4.14).

TMP:  050000000020D0

Location:  6539 Gordonsville Road (Route 231) at the intersection with St John Road (Route 640)

Existing Zoning and By-right use:   RA - Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots); EC Entrance Corridor - Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access.

Magisterial District:  Rivanna

Conditions: Yes

RA (Rural Areas)  

Requested # of Dwelling Units: n/a  

Proposal:  Relocation of barn and addition of riding ring for existing veterinary practice.

Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas

 

Character of Property: The property is largely open, with some large trees. It was formerly a country store.

Use of Surrounding Properties: Immediately adjacent properties are residential. The surrounding area is largely made up of farms.

Factors Favorable:

 

1.        This equine veterinary use supports agriculture in the Rural Areas.

2.        The proposed amendment would meet the applicants’ needs without significantly increasing impacts on the area.

Factors Unfavorable:

None.

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

 

 

Petition: 

 

PROPOSED: Amendment of special use for existing veterinary practice, to relocate and enlarge barn and to add riding ring.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA - Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre in development lots); EC Entrance Corridor - Overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access

SECTION: 10.2.2.18, veterinary services, animal hospital (reference 5.1.11 and subject to performance standards in 4.14)

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: Yes

LOCATION: 6539 Gordonsville Road (Route 231) at the intersection with St John Road (Route 640).

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 50 Parcel 20D

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rivanna

 

Character of the Area:

 

The area (see Attachment A) is largely made up of large farms, with large open pasture areas and extensive hardwood forests (especially at higher elevations). However, the veterinary office (see Attachment B) is located within an area of small residential lots. The property is included in the Southwest Mountains Rural Historic District. Many of the surrounding and nearby properties are under conservation easements held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The property is with 1,500 feet of the Blue Run Agricultural & Forestal District and 2,750 feet of the Kinloch Agricultural & Forestal District. Gordonsville Road is an Entrance Corridor.

 

Planning and Zoning History

 

On April 14, 2004, the Board of Supervisors approved SP200300082, which permitted the current equine veterinary practice, with the following conditions:

 

1.       The site shall be developed in general accord with the conceptual plan titled Old Dominion Equine Associates Concept Plan, revised 2/16/04, and prepared by Muncaster Engineering;

2.       The applicants shall provide a preliminary landscape plan that reflects the surrounding rural landscape to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board;

3.       The applicants shall provide landscaping along all parking areas to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board;

4.       Any outdoor lighting shall be designed to be appropriate to the rural environment to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board; and

5.       The applicants shall grant sight-distance easements on Route 640 to the satisfaction of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

 

The conceptual plan for that showed the office located in a former corner-store building along Gordonsville Road, an entrance on St. John Road, and a 20 by 40-foot barn. Following the approval of the special use permit, the applicants obtained the Architectural Review Board and VDOT approvals required in conditions two through five, so those conditions have been previously satisfied. See Attachment E for the staff report for SP200300082, and Attachment F for the minutes of the Commission’s discussion of the request on March 2, 2004.

 

On May 11, 2004, the Planning Commission approved a site plan waiver, SDP200400020, for this use.

 

 

Specifics of the Proposal:

 

The proposal (see Attachment C) includes the relocation of the original proposed barn (which has not yet been built) to allow for easier horse-trailer turns, increase of the proposed barn from 20 by 40 feet to 40 by 60 feet for an additional examination room (to reduce waiting times, so that horses and trailers will spend less time on the site), and the addition of a 50-foot diameter covered riding ring for the examination of horses’ gaits. The hours of operation would not change. Nighttime uses would only include occasionally keeping horses in the paddocks when needed.

 

Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan:

 

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area. Large-animal veterinary services, such as this equine facility, are supportive of the County’s goals for maintaining the viability of agriculture and open-space uses in the Rural Areas.

 

STAFF COMMENT:

 

Special Use Permit SP200800031

 

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,

 

During the review of the original special use permit, staff found that the use would not have detrimental impacts on adjacent properties. The proposed amendment would not change the scale or impacts of the uses, except that more of the use would be accommodated indoors.

 

Staff has recommended the addition of the now-standard condition of approval that is intended to prevent lighting impacts on adjacent properties.

 

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

 

Compared to the approved plan for this use, the proposed amendment would not create any significant impacts on the character of the district.

 

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

 

This use supports the intent of section 10 of the Zoning Ordinance, which calls for the “[p]reservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities.”

 

with uses permitted by right in the district,

 

Equine veterinary services support agriculture, which is by-right in the district. Residential uses are also by-right in the district, but this use is not expected to have significant impacts on those uses. Horse noises will occur, but are an expected part of   . The two closest residences were built after the veterinary practice opened.

 

with additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,

 

Animal hospitals are subject to the regulations in section 5.1.11:

 

5.1.11 COMMERCIAL KENNEL, VETERINARY SERVICE, OFFICE OR HOSPITAL, ANIMAL HOSPITAL, ANIMAL SHELTER (Amended 6-14-00)

Each commercial kennel, veterinary service, office or hospital, animal hospital and animal shelter shall be subject to the following:

a. Except where animals are confined in soundproofed, air-conditioned buildings, no structure or area occupied by animals shall be closer than five hundred (500) feet to any agricultural or residential lot line. For non-soundproofed animal confinements, an external solid fence not less than six (6) feet in height shall be located within fifty (50) feet of the animal confinement and shall be composed of concrete block, brick, or other material approved by the zoning administrator; (Amended 11-15-89)

b. For soundproofed confinements, no such structure shall be located closer than two hundred (200) feet to any agricultural or residential lot line. For soundproofed confinements, noise measured at the nearest agricultural or residential property line shall not exceed fifty-five (55) decibels; (Amended 11-15-89; 6-14-00)

c. In all cases, animals shall be confined in an enclosed building from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Amended 11-15-89; 6-14-00)

d. In areas where such uses may be in proximity to other uses involving intensive activity such as shopping centers or other urban density locations, special attention is required to protect the public health and welfare. To these ends the commission and board may require among other things: (Amended 11-15-89)

-Separate building entrance and exit to avoid animal conflicts; (Added 11-15-89)

-Area for outside exercise to be exclusive from access by the public by fencing or other means. (Added 11-15-89)

 

These requirements largely apply to confined small animals, such as dogs, which would be a nuisance to nearby residences. Horses, however, are an expected feature of rural Albemarle, and their sounds are not expected to create a nuisance.

 

During the review of the original special use permit for this use, the Planning Commission approved a waiver of section 5.1.11. The applicants have again requested a waiver of this section.

 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

 

The proposed changes to this site would not create any new impacts on public health or safety. The existing parking and entrance would remain. (The existing entrance location on St John Road was required by VDOT during the original special use permit review.) The applicants have shown conceptual stormwater-management facilities for the new structures to the satisfaction of the County Engineer.

 

 

Site Plan Waiver SDP200800149

 

The applicant has requested Planning Commission approval of a site plan waiver.  The conceptual plan submitted in support of the special use permit application does not contain all of the information required on a full Site Development Plan. However, the plan contains adequate information to determine that the physical design requirements of the ordinance (setback, access, parking design, stormwater, etc.) are being met. 

 

The Zoning Ordinance was recently amended to allow for either administrative approval or Planning Commission approval of a site plan waiver, Chapter 18, Section 32.2.  The initial request for a waiver was received prior to the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and the request was not processed as necessary to allow for administrative approval.  Therefore, this request must be acted on by the Planning Commission. 

 

The ordinance allows for the waiver to be granted:

 

“upon a finding that the details waived would not forward the purposes of this chapter or otherwise serve the public interest; provided that no such waiver shall be made until the commission has considered the recommendation of the agent. The agent may recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the waiver. If the agent recommends approval of the waiver with conditions, he shall state the relationship of the recommended condition to the provisions of this section. No condition shall be imposed which could not be imposed through the application of the regulations of section 32. The waiver shall identify the details otherwise required by sections 32.5 and 32.6 that are waived.”

 

This plan has been reviewed and submittal of a more detailed plan will not further the public interest.  The scale of development is relatively small and the building size is consistent with the scale of development in the Rural Areas.  Other buildings in the Rural Areas of this size are approved with only a building permit which has less information than has been submitted for this project. 

 

Attachment D identifies those provisions of Sections 32.5 and 32.6 that have been waived in whole or in part. Staff finds that approval of the site plan waiver is appropriate with the following conditions:

 

1.       Architectural Review Board issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

2.       Approval of Water Protection Ordinance application, to include Erosion and Sediment Control Plan and Stormwater Management.

3.       Health Department approval.

 

SUMMARY:

 

Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

 

1.        This equine veterinary use supports agriculture in the Rural Areas.

2.        The proposed amendment would meet the applicants’ needs without significantly increasing impacts on the area.

 

Staff has identified no factors unfavorable to this application.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: 

 

Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 03-082 with the following conditions:

 

1.        The site shall be developed in general accord with the conceptual plan titled Old Dominion Equine Associates Concept Plan, revised 2/16/04, and prepared by Muncaster Engineering “Tax Map 50 Parcel D Proposed Improvements”, revised April 2, 2009, and prepared by Roudabush, Gale & Associates, Inc.

2.        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 all property lines to no greater than 0.3 foot candles shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator or their designee for approval.

3.        The applicants shall provide a preliminary landscape plan that reflects the surrounding rural landscape to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board;

4.        The applicants shall provide landscaping along all parking areas to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board;

5.        Any outdoor lighting shall be designed to be appropriate to the rural environment to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board; and

6.        The applicants shall grant sight-distance easements on Route 640 to the satisfaction of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

 

Staff also recommends that the Commission approve the requested waiver of section 5.1.11 of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

Staff also recommends approval of the site plan waiver, SDP 2008-00149, with the following conditions:

 

1.       Architectural Review Board issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

2.       Approval of WPO application, to include Erosion and Sediment Control Plan and Stormwater Management.

3.       Health Department approval.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – Area Map

Attachment B – Detail Map

Attachment C – Conceptual Plan

Attachment D – List of Site Development Plan requirements requested to be waived

Attachment E – Staff Report for SP200300082

Attachment F – Planning Commission Minutes, March 2, 2004

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