STAFF PERSON:                                                                  DAVID BENISH

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                              FEBRUARY 1, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS                                               FEBRUARY 9, 2004




Applicant's Proposal: Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (DKE) plans to expand its existing fraternity house on the University of Virginia Campus.  The land under which the existing house and the addition is currently unzoned.  In order for the fraternity to make the building addition, the property must be zoned.  The applicant has requested R-6 zoning for a boarding house use, which is by-right in the R-6 residential zone.  Proffers have been included to limit the use to the boarding house use in conformity with the concept plan submitted.  (See Attachments A & B.)


Petition:  The petition is a request to rezone 0.22 acres, which is currently unzoned, to R-6 Residential to allow expansion of a boarding house (fraternity house).  The property, described as Tax Map 76A Parcel C5 is located in the Jack Jouett Magisterial District at 173 Culbreth Road behind Campbell Hall at the University of Virginia. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Institutional in Neighborhood 7.  Attachment C contains the Tax Map showing the parcel number for the fraternity house.


Character of the Area: The fraternity house is located on Carr’s Hill Road which has other fraternity and sorority houses.  The surrounding property is the University of Virginia.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff has reviewed the proposal and associated proffers for conformity with the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance and recommends approval.


Planning and Zoning History:  The parcel upon which the DKE house sits is currently not zoned because of a unique lease situation.  DKE owns the house but leases the property from UVA.  The DKE building has a separate County tax parcel which corresponds directly with the exterior walls of the building.  Typically, land under ownership by the university and used for university-related purposes are exempt from local land use regulations.  Because the building is privately owned, it falls under the jurisdiction of Albemarle County. 


Specifics on the ProposalThe building addition is approximately 3700 square feet in two levels.  It consists of five new bedrooms on the second story and a “commons” (large meeting/social function room) and restrooms on the first story.  Attachment A shows the building addition plans.


By-right Use of the Property: The property is unzoned; however the existing building is grandfathered.  Additions to the building are not possible without the rezoning.  University of Virginia uses, however, are permitted. 


Comprehensive Plan and The Neighborhood Model:  Requests for rezonings in the Development Areas are assessed for conformity with the Neighborhood Model and the Land Use Plan.  The Land Use Plan shows this property for Institutional Use.  Institutional uses are described as “public and private schools, universities and colleges, and ancillary facilities such as the University of Virginia’s polo grounds, golf courses, stadiums, and indoor sports facilities. Also included are public facilities and utilities, including police, fire and rescue stations, libraries, solid waste facilities, major public water and sewer facilities, and public recreational and sports facilities. This land use designation also includes undeveloped land reserved or dedicated to future public use. It may include a mix of commercial and residential uses, depending on the compatibility with the institutional uses.  The scale of the facilities in the Institutional designation should be in keeping with the design characteristics promoted in the Neighborhood Model. Of particular importance are the principles of pedestrian access, interconnected streets and transportation systems, and site planning that respects terrain.”


The fraternity use conforms to the intent to have university related facilities in the Institutional land use designation.  Because of the uniqueness of the rezoning, i.e., only a building is being expanded and the remainder of the site is not considered as part of the rezoning, no assessment for conformity with the Neighborhood Model is made.



Relationship between the application and the purpose and intent of the requested zoning district


According to the Zoning Ordinance, the R-6 zoning district is intended to



Fraternity and sorority houses are considered as boarding houses as defined by the County’s Zoning Ordinance.  The uniqueness of the use and housing type is not appropriate to lower density residential districts.  The R-6 district accommodates the medium density residential aspects of the use and is the lowest density residential district which allows boarding houses by-right.


Public need and justification for the change -- The applicant has said that the public need and justification is to provide clean and safe facilities for the DKE fraternity at the University of Virginia.  Staff believes that expansions of housing facilities related to the University of Virginia are expected as part of the on-going university function in the community and that the expansion serves a public need.  Staff also believes that the fraternity house is appropriately located on the University of Virginia campus rather than placed in a non-university neighborhood in the County.


 Anticipated impact on public facilities and services


No impact on transportation, water and sewer, or stormwater management is expected with this rezoning.


Anticipated impact on natural, cultural, and historic resources


The County’s Historic Preservation Planner has said that the subject parcel is located within the boundary of the Rugby Road and University Corner Historic District (DHR #104-133) and that the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Historic Resource Data Sharing System has identified the Delta Kappa Epsilon House (1914) as historic and contributing to the Rugby Road and University Corner Historic District.  She has further said that, due to the historic significance of the Delta Kappa Epsilon House and its location within the Rugby Road and University Corner Historic District, modifications to the building should not detract from the historic structure or conflict with the character of the historic district. The Historic Preservation Planner has recommended that the plan be reviewed and approved by DHR to ensure an appropriate design.


The applicant has provided a letter indicating it’s the proposed plans will be submitted to the Department of Historic Resources (DHR) for review.  Initial contact with DHR has already been made by the applicant.


No other impacts on natural or cultural resources are anticipated.



The applicant has proffered that the use of the building will be limited to Bordering House (fraternity) and that the use will be limited to the improvements as shown proposed concept plan (titled “Delta kappa Epsilon House at the University of Virginia, by McKee Carson, dated 12/20/04).   (See Attachment B.)  The proffer has not yet been reviewed by the County Attorney’s office, but does ensure that the use will be limited to the fraternity use shown on the concept plans.



Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this rezoning request:


·        The existing use and the proposed expansion are consistent with the Land Use recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.

·        The applicant has proffered to limit the use to the existing boarding house/fraternity use.


Staff has not identified any unfavorable factors with this request.




Staff recommends approval of the ZMA 04-021, with the attached proffers.




Attachment A – Delta Kappa Epsilon House at the University of Virginia Proposed Layout Plan dated 12/20/04

Attachment B – Proffers dated January 25, 2005 (unsigned)

Attachment C – Tax Map showing property

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