STAFF PERSON:                                                                              Rebecca Ragsdale

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                              December 13, 2005

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                                           January 11, 2006



ZMA 2005-00013 Inn at Monticello




PROJECT: ZMA 2005-013 Inn at Monticello (Sign #78,79)

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 4.6 acres from R-4 Residential (4 units per acre) to amend proffers to allow an additional dwelling unit & possible expansion of the existing inn. This property is also in the Entrance Corridor (EC) Overlay District and Flood Hazard Overlay District.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:   Neighborhood Density Residential-residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and other small-scale non-residential uses

LOCATION:  Tax Map 77E1, Section 1, Parcel 1; 1188 Scottsville Road (Rt. 20) & Willow Lake Drive (Rt. 1135)




Character of the Area: 

There is an existing residence on the property in which the property owners both reside and operate the Inn at Monticello, which has five guest rooms.  The property is a 4.6 acre lot that, despite its location in the Development Areas, is rural in character and is setback from Route 20 more than 300 feet. Adjoining properties to the north are zoned R1, including the Lakeside subdivision; properties to the west and south of the site are zoned R4. The properties along Route 20 east of this site are rural in character and are zoned Rural Areas. (Attachment A and B)



By-right Use of the Property

The property is zoned R4 with a proffered application plan which limits the number of dwellings on this property to one.  (Attachment C)  



Specifics of the Proposal

The property owners are requesting to add another dwelling with 6 bedroom suites and required parking. The location of the proposed dwelling is shown on a sketch prepared by the applicant. (Attachment D) If the second dwelling is used to expand the inn, the total parking requirement for the site will be fourteen spaces. R4 zoning allows 4 dwelling units per acre with setbacks of 25 feet in the front, 10 feet on the sides, and 20 feet in the rear. The height limit for the R4 district is 35 feet. The applicants have proffered to limit the total number of dwellings on the property to two. (Attachment E)  The applicant may potentially use the additional dwelling to expand the inn so this request has been reviewed and analyzed based on the potential for activities of a commercial nature. The Zoning Ordinance refers to the bed and breakfast/inn use as tourist lodging. Based on the Zoning Ordinance regulations, the second dwelling must be occupied by an employee/innkeeper to allow its use for tourist lodging. The definition and supplemental regulations for tourist lodging are:


Tourist Lodging: One or more rooms located within a single-family dwelling which is actually used as such, which rooms are used secondarily to such single-family use for the temporary accommodation of transients in return for compensation, whether or not such rooms are used in conjunction with other portions of such dwelling.



The zoning administrator shall issue a zoning compliance clearance for tourist lodging provided that the Albemarle County fire official and the Virginia Department of Health issue their approvals for the use, and all other applicable requirements of this chapter are satisfied. (Amended 10-3-01)




Applicant’s Justification for the Request:   

The applicants would like the opportunity to add another dwelling and potentially expand the inn use. They do not have a relationship to the Willow Lake Subdivision, as they are a distinctly separate property, and would like to no longer be tied to the proffers and application plan for ZMA 1984-01. (Attachment C)



Planning and Zoning History:  

The house on the property was constructed in approximately 1856. It was part of the 47.62 acres rezoned  to a R4 clustered development in 1984 with ZMA 1984-1 of Willow Lake development which allowed single family homes and town houses at a density of 3.84 dwelling units per acre.  The application plan and proffers associated with this rezoning included the applicant’s property as part of the open space associated with the development. (Attachment C) The Willow Lake development would still have 18.156 acres in open space and meet the requirement for 25% open space if the inn property is rezoned.



Comprehensive Plan:

An analysis of conformity with the Neighborhood Model finds that most of the 12 principles are not met with this site. This request involves a unique property whose characteristics reflect a rural condition that is very unlikely to change due to the large portion of the property that is in the flood plain across the front and due to the location of critical slopes in the back of the property against Willow Lake Drive.


Staff does find that this request to be consistent with three principles of the Neighborhood Model: Parks and Open Space, Relegated Parking, and Mixture of Uses. This site is an appropriate site to preserve in predominate open space within the Development Area, as maintaining the current setting is important given that the property is historic and due to the natural environment. Parking will be relegated on site because it is mostly screened from adjoining properties and Route 20. Existing parking is located to the side of the existing inn and will likely be located to the side of the new residence/inn. The inn use on this site does add to the mixture of uses in the neighborhood which includes residential, educational at Piedmont Virginia Community College, and the Monticello Visitors Center.


The site is located within Neighborhood 4 of the Comprehensive Plan and is designated for Neighborhood Density, 3-6 dwelling units per acre. In this area, Scottsville Road (Route 20) is the Development Area Boundary and the Rural Area is across from the site. Recommendations in the Land Use Plan for Neighborhood 4 relevant to this rezoning request include:


Provide a buffer between any new residential development in the Neighborhood Density designated areas and Route 20. (page 57)


The existing house and the applicant’s proposal for an additional home meet this recommendation. The dwellings are/would be setback over 300 feet from Route 20. Due to the location of the flood plain on the property, a buffer exists between the road and the existing home, along with the proposed location for the new dwelling. Additional buffering is provided by mature trees on the property.


New development and redevelopment along Route 20 and Avon Street Extended should be designed in a manner that is sensitive to its location within the Monticello viewshed and designation as Entrance Corridor Roadways. Consider the following volunteer design guidelines when reviewing development proposals:


The Scottsville Road (Route 20) is a State designated Virginia Byway. A Virginia Byway is an existing road with relatively significant aesthetic and cultural values, leading to or lying within an area of historic, natural, or recreational significance. A Virginia Byway designation does not place any restrictions upon properties along the Byway. The primary purpose is to give formal recognition to deserving roads and to further the creation of a system of roads to promote tourism and public appreciation of natural and historic resources.


This proposal was reviewed by the Design Planner and ARB for impacts to Scottsville Road, which is an Entrance Corridor, and historic resources. The request was evaluated based on the location of the proposed dwelling shown by the applicant and discussions with the applicant when visiting the site. The following comments were provided:


Architectural Review Board

At their meeting on October 3, 2005, it was the general consensus of the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board that full ARB review was not required for this proposal due to the anticipated limited visibility from the Entrance Corridor. The ARB asked staff to ensure (through a condition, notes on the plan, etc.) that the new structure will be compatible with the existing building in terms of scale, materials, and general character. 



Historic Preservation

1.       It is recommended that the applicant pursue National Register listing for the existing resource.

2.       The applicant shall consult with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and County staff regarding the design of the proposed structure to ensure its compatibility with the existing resource in terms of form, mass, scale, material, and overall character. Building design and location are subject to Design Planner approval of the site plan (if a site plan is required) and the building permit.


The applicant has addressed these comments with the proffers submitted, specifically #5. (Attachment D) Prior to construction of another residence, the applicant will consult with staff and the Department of Historic Resources regarding compatibility of the proposed structure with the existing historic inn. The applicant has provided a concept plan that shows the intended location of the proposed new dwelling which has been determined not to be visible from Scottsville Road. (Attachment F) The concept plan has not been proffered; however, if the location of the building changes such that it is visible from the entrance corridor, the ARB will review the site plan.



Staff Comment:



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


This rezoning is not a request to change the zoning district but to amend proffers. The R-4 Zoning District is intended to provide for compact, medium density, single family development with a variety of housing types and incentives for clustering and provision of locational, environmental, and development amenities. The density on this property, which was originally intended as open space with the clustered Willow Lake Development, will be less than the 4 dwelling units per acre in the R4 Zoning District regulations. However, as noted earlier, this property is somewhat unique.

Anticipated impact on public facilities and services


Existing access to the site is from Scottsville Road (Route 20) via a bridge over Cows Branch. The Virginia Department of Transportation reviewed and commented on the request. VDOT had no objection, indicating that the existing entrance is adequate and meets site distance requirements.


Engineering and Fire Rescue did raise concerns with current access to the site. Engineering has indicated that since the current driveway is located in the flood plain it would not be accessible during flooding. Engineering has recommended that the driveway be upgraded to remain free of flooding, or an alternative entrance free of flooding be provided on Willow Lake Drive. Upgrading the existing drive and bridge may require a special use permit for fill in the flood plain. Fire Rescue has indicated that if access is to remain via the existing bridge, it should be verified that the bridge is designed to support the loads of fire apparatus. The applicant does not want to address these issues at this time but has proffered site plan approval and evaluation of the bridge prior to expanding tourist lodging use of the property. Fire Rescue and Engineering have indicated the site plan process should address their concerns and staff feels that this is an appropriate solution.


Water and Sewer

This property is located in the Albemarle County Service Authority’s Jurisdictional Area for water and sewer and service is available to this site.

Stormwater management, School, and Fiscal Impacts

No stormwater, school, or fiscal impacts were identified with this rezoning request by staff. Staff did receive a call from a property owner in the Lakeside subdivision north of this property on Debenham Court with concerns about stormwater runoff. Debenham Court is a private road and the property owners along that road have had some flooding issues. The applicants are proposing one additional single family dwelling and additional parking spaces will only be needed if they wish to expand the inn.  If they do expand the inn, a site plan is proffered that will include stormwater calculations and management issues will be reviewed and approved by engineering.


Anticipated impact on natural, cultural, and historic resources

A natural resource that could be potentially impacted includes a perennial stream (Cow Branch) that bisects the property and associated flood plain. A 100-foot buffer is required from the stream. However, the proposed dwelling does not appear to encroach within the buffer.  If the bridge stream crossing will be upgraded or replaced, this can be authorized, but a stream buffer mitigation plan will need to be submitted and approved as part of the site plan review process. A special use permit may also be necessary for land disturbing activities in the flood plain. These impacts will be fully evaluated and mitigated during the site plan review process.


Impacts to the historic house/inn, referred to as the Willow Lake Manor house or St. Gabriel,  are expected to be minimal as the applicant is proposing only one additional dwelling and has proffered additional review by historic resources experts prior to construction.


Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties

No additional impacts are expected from this rezoning request. The applicant intends to build the additional house within the context of the trees, the existing house, and the surrounding development. No significant traffic increase is expected from the additional dwelling or tourist lodging.  An additional dwelling generates 10 vehicle trips per day.  With tourist lodging, if all rooms were occupied 100% of the time daily trips could be as much as 22 vehicle trips per day.  Tourist lodging is rarely occupied 100% of the time and tourists often occupy more than one room when a family is traveling and visiting sites.  The Zoning Ordinance recognizes the similarity in traffic generation as reflected by the "by-right" status of tourist lodging in all residential zoning districts. 


Public need and justification for the change

Approval of this rezoning would potentially allow an additional residence for tourist lodging to be built in the Development Area rather than in the Rural Area.  Additionally, the proximity of the tourist lodging to the historic sites and resources in the Rural Areas allows for the new use to occur in the Development Area while helping to promote the tourism activities of Monticello, Ashlawn, and Michie Tavern.




The applicant has submitted five proffers which are intended to address reviewer comments and potential impacts associated with this rezoning. These proffers have been revised from the original version submitted by the applicant in November but have not been reviewed for final approval by the County Attorney. (Attachment E) These proffers limit the number of dwellings on the property to no more than two.  Prior to a building permit for an additional dwelling unit the owners will consult with staff and the Department of Historic Resources. Also, prior to expansion of the inn use into the new dwelling, the applicant would be required to meet all requirements of the Site Plan section of the Zoning Ordinance. The site plan review process would include evaluations of the existing access drive and bridge to the property, parking requirements and improvements, and impacts to the flood plain.  A site plan would not otherwise be required by the Zoning Ordinance for two single family homes or as part of the provisions for tourist lodging.


Factors Favorable to this request


Factors Unfavorable to this request




Staff recommends approval of ZMA 05-13 of to rezone 4.6 acres with the proffers submitted. The applicant has addressed issues of concern raised by reviewers and the request has been found to have minimal impacts to adjoining properties given the limits proffered.  


PRIVATE Attachments:

A.      Zoning and Location Map

B.     Aerial of Property

C.     ZMA 84-1 Proffers and application plan

D.     Applicant’s description of rezoning request and floor plans for proposed dwelling

E.     Proffers for ZMA 05-13

F.      Photos of property submitted by applicant with concept plan

G.    Subdivision Plat of Willow Lake Residential Community with proposed dwelling

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