The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members attending were Calvin Morris, Bill Edgerton, Linda Porterfield, and Eric Strucko, Chairman. Absent were Marcia Joseph, Don Franco, Thomas Loach, Vice Chairman; and Julia Monteith, AICP, non-voting representative for the University of Virginia.
Other officials present were Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; Claudette Grant, Senior Planner; 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 6:05 p.m. and established a quorum.
Public Hearing Items:
ZMA-2007-00002 Hollymead Town Center (TIKI)
PROPOSAL: Rezone 1.021 acres from PD-MC Planned Development Mixed Commercial - large-scale commercial uses; and residential by special use permit (15 units/ acre) and HC Highway Commercial - commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/acre) to PD-SC Planned Development Shopping Center - shopping centers, retail sales and service uses.
EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Town Center -- Compact, higher density area containing a mixture of businesses, services, public facilities, residential areas and public spaces, attracting activities of all kinds. (6.01-34 dwelling units per acre) and 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: 450 feet West of the intersection of U.S. Route 29 and Timberwood Boulevard within the Hollymead Town Center, directly behind the existing CVS Pharmacy in the Community of Hollymead.
TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 32, Parcel 41 R (portion) and Tax Map 32, Parcel 41D1
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rio
Ms. Grant presented a PowerPoint presentation and summarized the staff report.
Mr. Strucko invited questions from the Commission.
Ms. Porterfield noted that she could support the request. She did not have a problem with the application. She had a problem because staff has identified a dangerous turning movement using the cut through section that is located a little further to the west of the CVS property. There are cars coming through there and then going down the wrong way to get into CVS. Personally it would be difficult to vote to approve this because they have identified a bad situation. She had been looking to see if there was a way they could make a bad situation better. Since it is an offsite improvement she understood that they canít ask the applicant to handle this. From talking to staff this afternoon she wondered if they could at just erect some signs that would indicate what they donít want people to do. She took pictures of the signs that have been erected on Glenmore Way because they had the same problem there where people were going the wrong way on the wrong side of the street. Ms. Grant has those pictures if the other Commissioners were interested.
Mr. Strucko noted that the cut out in the median is across from the south building.
Ms. Grant pointed out on a slide the area that is going to be developed on the other side as well as this site. She pointed out the property that goes to the proposed hotel across street and the area in question. She had been told by the engineering staff that they have worked out something with VDOT and the applicant across the street for the hotel site in which they would make further improvements to this opening so it would hopefully eliminate the bad turning movements currently going on. It would eliminate that from happening in the future.
Mr. Strucko said that if he was heading east bound, which he assumed was Timberwood Boulevard, the only way he could access CVS is to go through the intersection and do a U-turn. There is no way to access the CVS parking lot from the side of the road where the arrow is located on the slide.
Ms. Grant replied that one would have to go through the roundabout and go through the development that is adjacent to the Timberwood Commons site. CVS could be access through that site by going around.
Ms. Porterfield asked if that is available right now, and Ms. Grant replied that it is not available right now, but only when that site is developed.
Mr. Strucko agreed that signage is needed in the mean time.
Mr. Edgerton pointed out that on the by pass there was a cut in the median near the childrenís pool that created problems. There were some posts put up to discourage this activity. He asked if that could be required as part of this rezoning.
Mr. Kamptner replied that the applicant could proffer that.
Mr. Edgerton noted that the roundabout was put there for the hotel development. He asked if the developer of the hotel was different from this site.
Ms. Grant replied that the developers were different.
Mr. Strucko opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.
Jo Higgins, representative for the applicant, thanked the Commission for accommodating their request to go first.
Mr. Strucko asked if there were any questions.
Ms. Porterfield said that they need a couple of signs.
Ms. Higgins noted that what is happening out is illegal but there is no police enforcement. That could be put into place by the board. Regarding the signage there is a bond in place being held by the county. VDOT is the overseer of that and they could require the road to be built or temporarily close it because the entrance it is serving is a dead end. Unfortunately the pavement is not owned by VDOT. The curb and gutter is not owned until it is taken into the state system. From her experience if there was an issue like this that developer and that benefactor of that cross over would have to step up to the plate. For another developer to enter their property and punch holes in their pavement or modify their curb and gutter would create problems. It is not the property of her clients, Dr. and Mrs. Valente. Their hands are tied because they would have to take responsibility at the road acceptance for any damage. That gets into another issue. They donít like that it occurs either. This is not a long term problem because the people in block 9 can go around the roundabout and enter CVS through Timberwood. It would relieve the pressure from that cross over and the illegal turns.
Ms. Porterfield noted that her problem is the words in the long term. She asked staff if they can do the things she is suggesting.
Ms. Echols replied that staff can look into the signage. Because it is privately owned right now, even though it probably has been dedicate, it is in an odd situation. But staff can look into the signage.
Ms. Porterfield asked what about putting bollards in the center and closing it off completely for the time being. She asked if they could get one or the other.
Ms. Echols replied that she was not sure.
Mr. Benish noted that staff could look at the options available to us. He could not tell them specifically what mechanisms can be used given the circumstances.
Ms. Porterfield voiced concern with approving this knowing there is a very dangerous traffic pattern existing right now.
Mr. Strucko pointed out that he did not think that this application would change that one way or the other. If this application was to go through and there were buildings there would be no access onto Timberwood Boulevard onto their parcels. So it is not going to alleviate or acerbate that because they have no control over that.
Ms. Higgins said that in the Hollymead Town Center area C there was a proffer in the final draft for Timbrwood Drive from the Route 29 intersection to Airport Road to be taken into the state system before any COís in area C could be issued. Therefore she thought between this and the intermediacy of the hotel that something is going to happen. VDOT has the authority to request this because it was not shown on the road plans if the county pursued it.
Mr. Strucko invited public comment. There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter was before the Planning Commission. He asked staff what recourse they have to fix this problem.
Mr. Benish said that VDOT does not control the property. Since this is a new issue he asked the Commission to give staff time to review the proffers to see what kind of enforcement mechanisms are there and what kind of options are available. He felt that staff could find a way to address the issue.
Ms. Porterfield agreed that they would not have more people accessing the property because there is no opening, but they will have more traffic going west because they have to go down farther to access that property. So they could get slammed into by the people going the wrong direction. She would feel good if they could solve the problem.
Mr. Morris said that the Commission has to ask staff to look at this very seriously and take action on what they find. But they canít hold the current applicant hostage on this. He asked Mr. Graham to address the issue.
Mark Graham said as the Director of Community Development he wanted to make sure everybody understood that this is not a new issue for staff. The County Engineer and others have been looking at this for quite some time. The road does have a performance bond on it. It is a public right-of-way. They need the road accepted by VDOT. VDOT ultimately decides what kind of signage losing of the cross over or whatever will happen to be able to accept it for state maintenance. Ultimately it is VDOTís decision. They are working with VDOT to come up with a decision that works for everybody for the public safety. It is still out there and something on everybodyís radar.
Motion: Mr. Morris moved and Mr. Edgerton moved for approval of ZMA-2007-00002 Hollymead Town Center (TIKA) with conditions/proffers.
Ms. Porterfield asked to put it on record that the Commission asked staff to see what they can do about the traffic issue and that they all recognize that they have a traffic issue.
Mr. Strucko replied that he thought that was agreeable and asked that the record show that.
Ms. Porterfield noted that issue ought to be front and center on this particular motion.
The motion passed by 4:0.
Mr. Strucko said that ZMA-2007-00002 Hollymead Town Center (TIKA) would go before the Board of Supervisors on December 9, 2009 with a recommendation for approval.
Motion: Ms. Porterfield moved and Mr. Edgerton seconded for approval of the waiver request to Chapter 18, Section 2.7 (a) to allow the front setback of 5 feet for the building fronting on Timberwood Boulevard.
The motion passed by a vote of 4:0.
Mr. Strucko noted that the waiver was approved.
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