The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a public hearing, work session and meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members attending were Marcia Joseph, Don Franco, Bill Edgerton, Linda Porterfield, Thomas Loach, Vice Chairman and Eric Strucko, Chairman. Calvin Morris and Julia Monteith, AICP, non-voting representative for the University of Virginia were absent.
Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; Claudette Grant, Senior Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; David Benish, Chief of Planning; Mark Graham, Director of Community Development; and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.
Call to Order and Establish Quorum:
Mr. Strucko called the regular meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. and established a quorum.
ZMA-2008-00007 ATNA Building (Signs 15 & 17). PROPOSAL: Rezone .7866 acres from CO zoning district which allows offices, supporting commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre) to C1 zoning district which allows retail sales and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre). Existing building on site will house an animal emergency care clinic. This proposal also includes one concurrent special use permit SP-08-067, a request to allow a veterinary services clinic on the property. PROFFERS: No. EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Neighborhood Density Residential - residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses. ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes. LOCATION: 1540 Airport Road/Southeast corner of the intersection of Dickerson Rd. and Airport Rd. in the Community of Hollymead. TAX MAP/PARCEL: 32/48 Lot A. MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio
SP-2008-00067 ATNA Building (Signs # 15 & 17). PROPOSED: Request a special use permit to operate a veterinary services clinic in the existing building on the site. This proposal also includes a concurrent rezoning request (ZMA 2008-007) to rezone .7866 acres from CO zoning district to C1 zoning district. ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: CO Commercial Office - offices, supporting commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre). SECTION: 22.2.2(5) Veterinary office and hospital and 5.1.11 Commercial Kennel, Veterinary Service, Office or Hospital, Animal Hospital, Animal Shelter. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Neighborhood Density Residential - residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses. ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes. LOCATION: 1540 Airport Road/Southeast corner of the intersection of Dickerson Rd. and Airport Rd. in the Community of Hollymead. TAX MAP/PARCEL: 32/48 Lot A. MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio (Claudette Grant)
Ms. Grant presented a PowerPoint presentation and summarized the staff report. (See Staff Report)
Purpose of Hearing;
The applicant is requesting to rezone property (.7866 acres) located at 1540 Airport Road from CO zoning district to C-1 zoning district. This request includes proffers that would limit the use to CO uses and a few C-1 uses that are less intensive and appropriate for this location, including a veterinary hospital. A special use permit is also being requested because the applicant is proposing to relocate and expand the V.E.T.S. Animal Emergency Care Clinic, which has been located at 370 Greenbrier Dr. to this location. The existing building at this new location will house the animal clinic. The applicant has indicated that this location is centrally located for her existing clients, as well as potential new clients, and that V.E.T.S. is currently the only after–hours animal emergency care facility in Albemarle County.
The special use permit utilizing the existing building will allow the applicant to relocate and expand her growing business into a larger space. This is proposed to be a 24-hour emergency animal critical care and referral facility. The applicant has temporarily relocated this facility to another location until the rezoning and special use permit have been processed.
Staff has identified the following factors favorable to the rezoning and special use permit requested:
1. The rezoning and special use permits are consistent with the Land Use Plan.
2. The rezoning and special use permit will provide the veterinary hospital use an opportunity to expand and relocate to a central location convenient for clients.
3. The veterinary hospital will provide a 24 hours/day service instead of the current hours, which are only after business hours.
The applicant has proposed proffers that would limit the use of this property to CO uses and a few C-1 uses that are less intensive for this location. As mentioned in the staff report there is also a portion of sidewalk on the west side of the entrance road to the applicant’s property that is incomplete. The applicant has agreed to complete the sidewalk system up to her property line. While there are no substantive changes needed to the proffers they are in need of technical changes. Staff believes the changes to the proffers can be made between the Planning Commission and the Board public hearing if the Commission is satisfied that they do not need to see the proffers in their final form.
Staff has just identified the following factors unfavorable to this request:
1. The proffers need to be technically accurate.
2. Pedestrian access is not complete to this facility. However the applicant agrees to provide a proffer that will address the pedestrian access.
Staff recommends approval of this rezoning provided that the proffers (as noted in Attachment E of the staff report) are revised and are technically and legally acceptable prior to the Board of Supervisors public hearing, which would also include a commitment to complete the sidewalk on the west side of the entrance to the applicant’s property line.
Staff recommends the following conditions for approval for the requested special use permit, should the rezoning be approved:
Staff also recommends approval of two waivers that are proposed with this request, as follows.
Mr. Strucko invited questions for staff.
Mr. Loach asked since this is a 24-hour building if there are any limitations on the lighting.
Mr. Cilimberg replied that the lighting was covered as part of the existing site plan.
Mr. Loach noted condition 5 says that no animals shall be boarded overnight or groomed except for those animals under medical treatment at the veterinary hospital. He assumed that except for animals that are patients no other animals can be accepted just to stay overnight.
Ms. Grant replied that is correct.
Mr. Edgerton noted that the map shows two parcels and asked if the request is to rezone both parcels.
Ms. Grant replied that the request is to rezone the one parcel with the building on it.
Mr. Edgerton noted that the Commission just went through a revision of parking on this.
Mr. Cilimberg replied that the Commission went through an allowance for off-site parking, which was associated with another building that has not yet been built.
Mr. Edgerton noted that on page 3 under the zoning and planning history the last item on the list goes back to 1993 with a request to rezone this property to C-1 that was denied. He questioned why that was denied since that is sort of what the Commission is being asked to do.
Ms. Grant replied that she did not remember all of the details.
Mr. Edgerton noted that rezoning would have been from RA to C-1.
Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that the C-1 generally would have been a wide range of uses, but here they are proffering their C-1 to be uses that are consistent or less intensive than CO.
Mr. Edgerton noted that his last question was on page 4 about the anticipated impacts on public facilities under utilities. It says the building is currently not connected to public sewer. However, the applicant has committed to making sure that the building is served by public sewer prior to commencing use. He asked if that is included in the proffers.
Ms. Grant replied yes, that it was part of one of the special use permit conditions.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that it was #6 under the special use permit recommendation.
Mr. Edgerton asked if that was something the applicant could do relatively easy or do they need to get permission from the Sewer and Water Authority to expand the district.
Ms. Grant replied that is correct. The applicant is actually in the process of working with the Service Authority to obtain this.
Mr. Edgerton suggested that perhaps the applicant could address that issue when they come up.
Ms. Porterfield asked if the good side of the fence was going to face the residential use. If it is a fence that is board on board and has two good sides that is one thing. But if it is a fence that only has one good side in her past experience they always required that to go toward the residential that it is buffering.
Ms. Grant said that it is a treated wood fence and will be stained an approved color that was approved by the Architectural Review Board. But she did not know if the fence was stained on both sides.
Mr. Strucko pointed out what Ms. Porterfield was saying is that the side with the framing exposed is the bad side.
Ms. Joseph pointed out that staff had said that the Architectural Review Board had reviewed and approved the fence.
Ms. Porterfield asked that they make sure that the good side of the fence faces the residential because an 8’ fence is a very big fence. She asked if there has been discussion with the neighbors about the height of the fence and if they were happy with it being 8’ tall.
Ms. Grant replied that the applicant has had discussions with the neighbors and could explain the level of outreach she has done. As far as she knows the neighbors did not complain about the fence location.
Ms. Porterfield said that there is a limit that the walking area for the animals can’t be used before 6:00 a.m. She thought that was a little early and wondered how the residents felt about that. She suggested limiting it to a reasonable time when people would be up perhaps somewhere around 7 and 8 a.m. before taking animals outside and then have the animals back in at a certain point at night. Staff listed how to limit the by-right uses under 22.2.1 and 22.2.2 and are limiting any other use on this property to the specific items listed. She questioned if staff was removing the items that were noted. From her read of 22.2.2 it appeared that 1, 4, 5, 8, 12 and 13 were still in there for use on the property. She asked if staff meant that those uses be excluded.
Ms. Grant asked if she was referring to the proffers, and Ms. Porterfield replied yes.
Ms. Grant noted that was where the technical issues come in to be worked on because there are some uses listed that staff mean to exclude.
Mr. Kamptner noted not entirely because 18.104.22.168 is the veterinary office and hospital. He said that section needs to be cleaned up.
Ms. Porterfield noted that in other words commercial recreation like pool halls, fast food restaurant, the motor vehicle sales and rental and body shop would all be removed. She asked if the animal shelter would dovetail with the animal hospital.
Ms. Grant replied that animal shelter would be one that is removed as well.
Ms. Porterfield asked if that would be the same thing as under 22.214.171.124 that the newsstand/tobacco shops, fire and rescue squad stations and the tailor and seamstress are being removed.
Ms. Grant replied that those would be allowed.
Ms. Joseph wondered why the sidewalk extension was part of the proffers and not part of special use permit conditions of approval. She asked if it was because it was off-site.
Ms. Grant replied it is off-site.
Mr. Kamptner noted that the rezoning is the most legally sustainable approach to the requirement.
Mr. Strucko opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.
Dr. Sarah Salmon, owner and operator, said that the business has been in operation for the past 20 years. She offered the following comments.
· The Service Authority has already given their approval on the sewer. That part is complete. The last part is signing the documents, which they are doing this week.
· The 8’ fence is between two mature tree lines. She would be happy to face the fence whichever way they want. She did not think that the residents would see the fence nor would she be able to see much of it. She had not considered which way the fence would face.
· As far as the timing on walking dogs early in the morning she felt that it would be imperative to understand that they walk dogs one at a time in an additional 8’ X 10’ additional 8’ fenced area. Also 6 a.m. is the time when noises increase due to the airport. In their sound engineer testing the airport made far and above an abundance of noise. It seemed that time would be an appropriate time for walking the dogs.
· The airport location is ideal for several reasons. It is simple for a stressed client to find. Their prior location was difficult to fine, but this site is visible from the airport. To be able to find the business quickly and easily will be helpful to their clients when they are stressed.
· She held two neighborhood meetings, which were not abundantly attended. The fence has not been brought up specifically as a concern. In both letters sent to the neighbors she specifically discussed what they were going to do and that they were planning a fence for their privacy and for the business. Any 24-hour business absolutely has to be concerned about noise. They are concerned particularly because they are an intensive care unit, which is very different from a general practice. The guest practice in which they currently function has 30 dog runs, and they have 4. It is imperative for the critical care business to maintain a quiet environment in the space. They don’t anticipate any impact to their neighbors. There has not been a problem in the past 20 years and they don’t anticipate it in future.
Mr. Strucko invited public comment. There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Planning Commission.
Ms. Joseph felt that this is a great use of the property. They are eliminating the uses in C-1. That area is growing up and is near the airport. She felt that it was an appropriate use. They are using an existing building. They are hooking up to public sewer. The applicant has talked to the neighbors, which is a wonderful thing to do to make sure that everybody knows what is going on. The neighbors are not here tonight. Obviously the neighbors have been informed. They need to figure out a condition. She asked what action should be taken first.
Mr. Kamptner replied that the rezoning should be first followed by the special use permit and then the two waivers.
Ms. Joseph asked if he had any suggestions for the proffer language now.
Mr. Kamptner replied no, that he needed to sit down with staff and work with the applicant as well to finalize the proffer language as far as the uses and with respect to the sidewalk.
Ms. Joseph said that she understands the sidewalk condition, but it was the uses that need to be clarified so that everyone understands what is in and what is out.
Mr. Kamptner noted that if Ms. Grant knows what is in and out and can advise the Commission. Then the Commission as part of its action can direct the applicant to revise the proffers in order to meet their recommendation.
Ms. Joseph asked Ms. Grant to assist the Commission by clarifying the uses.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that staff has the list for both. Staff thought that it would be best to give the Commission the shorter list as being included or excluded so that they don’t have a long list.
Mr. Franco noted that everything that is not CO or the few uses listed is being prohibited.
Ms. Grant noted that the uses in C-1 being taken out are all of the retail sales.
Ms. Joseph asked for a list of those uses they would be keeping in. They know that they are maintaining all of the CO uses and adding a couple of uses in C-1.
Ms. Grant agreed that was correct.
Ms. Joseph asked what uses in C-1 would be allowed.
Ms. Porterfield asked if they are allowing anything by special use permit under 23.2.2.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that staff would cover both by-right and by special use permit uses.
Ms. Grant said that the things they were keeping were administrative and professional office, financial institutions, churches, libraries and museums and eating establishments.
Ms. Joseph asked if that included restaurants.
Ms. Grant stated that was correct.
Ms. Porterfield noted that those uses are limited to 20 percent of whatever use is there and be accessory.
Ms. Grant noted that it is also allowed in the CO.
Ms. Joseph noted that what Ms. Porterfield was saying was that it was allowed in CO if it was only 20 percent of the area.
Ms. Porterfield said that if there would be something going in such as an eating establishment it has to be 80 percent of something that it is accessory to and it can’t be more than 20 percent. It can’t just be an eating establishment in general.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that he was not sure they can limit it. That is one that they need to discuss the inclusion of. They don’t actually need to keep it in the C-1 if it is allowed in CO already.
Mr. Kamptner said that there is some overlapping. Even though the public uses and the utilities are allowed in the CO it would be clearer if those use classifications that are also in C-1 are expressly allowed so there is no ambiguity for the people who are implementing these proffers down the road.
Mr. Cilimberg said that the point is that the eating establishment under C-1 is not the same as the eating establishment under CO. Therefore, he thought that they would not want to have this. But the others that are the same they should keep. It would include #17 gas and #18 public uses.
Ms. Grant noted that it would include #19, temporary construction uses, and #20 dwelling.
Ms. Joseph asked if these are ones in common, and Ms. Grant replied yes.
Ms. Joseph noted that whatever uses are in the CO are good to go, and Ms. Grant replied yes.
Ms. Joseph said what they are looking for is what is being added to the list of acceptable uses on this property. Staff mentioned eating establishment which raised a questions. She asked what else.
Ms. Grant replied that they then get into the special use permit uses.
Ms. Porterfield suggested that they go back to 22.2.1 by right and if she was hearing correctly it is 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22.
Ms. Grant replied that is correct.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that staff also mentioned B1, administrative professional offices.
Mr. Strucko noted that it included 1, 3, 5, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19 and 20.
Ms. Porterfield asked why they are leaving eating establishment since the underlying one is only 20 percent and it is an accessory use to something.
Mr. Cilimberg said that the Commission needs to decide among themselves whether they want it to be included or not. They mentioned they may not want it to be included. The other uses Ms. Grant needs to discuss would be uses allowed by special use permit, which would be remaining.
Ms. Grant noted that all of A is out.
Ms. Porterfield reiterated the numbers to be included as 1, 3, 5, 12, possibly 14, 17, 18, 19 and 20.
Ms. Grant replied that was correct. She pointed out that they were taking out 1, 4, 8, 12, and 13.
Mr. Strucko noted that they could do a Tier III by special use permit, but are excluded from doing a Tier I and Tier II altogether.
Ms. Joseph noted that her understanding was that they were allowing everything in CO. So if it was in CO it was allowed because the underlying zoning right now is CO.
Mr. Kamptner agreed and noted to be clear and consistent in what they have done the Tier I and Tier II Wireless Facilities should be allowed by right also. Even though they are in the CO they should also be included in C-1.
Mr. Strucko asked that they add b.27.
Ms. Grant pointed out that it should be 26 and 27 since both are in the CO.
Mr. Strucko said that they were saying potentially an eating establishment is okay, but a fast food restaurant is not. He noted that in allowing some things and excluding others there seemed to be some inconsistency. He asked if they were not allowing an animal shelter by special use permit.
Ms. Grant said that they are allowing the veterinary office and hospital.
Ms. Joseph noted that an animal shelter is different.
Ms. Porterfield said that she would make a case to remove eating establishment from the previous one #14 so that the only eating establishments would be what could be in the CO, which would be an accessory use to the major use of the property.
Mr. Franco asked if the revised proffer would reference the CO or is it just going to say here are the uses that are allowed.
Mr. Kamptner replied that he thought that it would reference them.
Mr. Franco said that it would reference with saying the uses allowed in CO plus C-1 and this.
Ms. Joseph noted that would be very clear.
Mr. Franco asked if the applicant cares about the eating establishment. He asked if the Commission was comfortable with striking #14 in C-1 and allowing it as accessory in the CO.
Ms. Porterfield said that she was comfortable if everybody else is in agreement, but would love to see the nice side of the fence on the outside on the resident’s side.
Mr. Cilimberg noted that would be in the special use permit section.
Mr. Edgerton noted that his only concern was working contrary to what the ARB has already determined since they have seen a rendering of the fence.
Ms. Porterfield said that the other alternative is if the ARB had seen it the other way then they could ask for a fence that has two good sides. She noted that would take care of the problem.
Mr. Franco on asked what type of fencing is going to be used
John Gorman, with Gorman Architects, said that he had been hired by Dr. Salmon to design the fence. The fence is a 4’ X 4’ post with 2’X 4’ stringers that have vertical boards applied to them. So it does have in the terminology as he had heard here that it had one good side. The ARB saw that with the good side facing the Entrance Corridor. It would be facing towards the parking lot and away from the residence. He echoed as Dr. Salmon said that there will be two rows of mature pine trees that are along the property line adjacent to the residential uses. The fence is designed to run between those rows. There is a fence on one of the resident’s properties that runs a good third of that distance.
Ms. Porterfield asked what if they are going to leave enough room between so that it can be maintained.
Mr. Gorman replied that the fence they are going to put in is going to run typically 5’ off the property line.
Ms. Porterfield noted that maintenance was not going to be a problem, and Mr. Gorman agreed.
Motion on ZMA-2008-00007:
Motion: Mr. Franco moved and Mr. Loach seconded to recommend approval of ZMA-2008-00007 ATNA Building with the proffers noted in the staff report, amended as discussed so that the proffers are corrected before the Board of Supervisors meeting, which would include the addition of the sidewalk along the western side of the entrance.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.
Mr. Strucko noted that there was one issue related to the special use permit concerning the fence.
Ms. Porterfield said that she did not feel very strongly because they don’t have an ordinance, which is a discussion that they need to have in the future. When building a fence the good side should face whoever they are buffering. If they need to have two good sides then it should be a fence that has two good sides. In this case it is a very big fence and she would like to see the good side face the property owners that are abutting knowing that the other part basically just faces the parking lot.
Mr. Franco pointed out that in this particular case seeing that it has gone through the ARB and that there are mature trees on both sides of the fence he was less inclined to mess with that aspect of the plan.
Ms. Porterfield noted that she understands that. Her question is whether the Planning Commission is allowed to overrule the ARB. She did not understand the procedure.
Mr. Kamptner replied that in matters of public health and safety the Commission and the Board can act otherwise.
Ms. Porterfield noted that in aesthetics they may not be able to. She did not have a problem, but would suggest when the Commission has time they should discuss fences to see if they could come up with something that would possibly give the better side of a fence to the buffered portions. The Commission will be discussing these types of issues later on the agenda.
Mr. Loach agreed.
Motion on SP-2008-00067:
Motion: Mr. Franco moved and Ms. Porterfield seconded to recommend approval of SP-2008-00067 ATNA Building concurrent with ZMA-2008-00007 subject to the recommended conditions based on the staff report.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.
Mr. Strucko said that the ZMA-2008-00007 and SP-2008-00067 would go to the Board of Supervisors on December 9 with a recommendation for approval.
Motion on Waivers:
Motion: Mr. Franco moved and Ms. Porterfield seconded for approval of the waiver request for Chapters 18, Section 21.7 (c) and Section 5.1.11 9 (b) of the Zoning Ordinance based on the staff report, as follows.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.
Mr. Strucko said that the two waivers associated with ZMA-2008-00007 and SP-2008-00067 were
approved by the Planning Commission. Waivers do not go to the Board of Supervisors.
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