January 31, 2007



Todd Gordon

The Cox Company

220 East High Street

Charlottesville, VA 22902



RE:      SDP 2006-081 Black Cat Road Service Station – Preliminary Site Plan Waiver Requests

Tax Map 94, Parcels 38 and 39



Dear Mr. Gordon:


The Albemarle County Planning Commission, at its meeting on January 23, 2007, denied the applicant’s request for SDP-2006-081, Black Cat Road Service Station to construct a convenience store with fuel pumps and the two waiver requests for critical slopes disturbance and disturbance of the buffer between zoning classifications for the following reasons.


Regarding Waiver of Section 21.7.3 – clearing of buffer between incompatible zoning classifications:

  1. Proposed planting easement is almost entirely on the RA zoned land, rather than on the C-1, as required by Ordinance. 
  2. The depth of the planting strip in the cemetery area is reduced to approximately 15 feet, rather than the 20 feet required by Ordinance.  The plant separation is reduced in this area to approximately 12 feet on center, rather than the 15 feet required by Ordinance.
  3. When required for screening, the minimum standards in Section require that evergreen trees be at minimum 4 to 5 feet in height, rather than the 24 inches proposed by the applicant.


Regarding Waiver of Section 4.2.5 – disturbance of critical slopes:

1.       Based on the location within the Entrance Corridor and the comments provide in the Engineering review section of the staff report, there are aesthetic concerns that have not been addressed.

2.       The requirements of the Ordinance do not unreasonably restrict the use of the property.  The preliminary site plan shows excessive grading activities, with some fill areas exceeding 20 feet, on the rural area portion of TMP 94-39 that is not required to support the preliminary site plan. 

3.       Granting the modification would not serve a public purpose of greater import than would be served by strict application of section 4.2.


Regarding Section – Approval of the preliminary site plan:

  1. The current design is not possible without the previously discussed waivers.  Applicant must either obtain the waivers as requested or amend the site plan so that the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance are satisfied without waiving the requirements under Sections 4.2.5 and 21.7.3.
  2. Staff recommends a preliminary review by the Architectural Review Board, as detailed in Margaret Malisewski’s comments of August 4, 2006 and January 12, 2007.  A Certificate of Appropriateness is required prior to final site plan approval.


This decision may be appealed to the Board of Supervisors by filing a written request with the Director of Community Development along with a fee of $240 within ten calendar days of the decision. (Zoning Ordinance Section – Prelim SDP)


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Please contact me at your earliest convenience if you have any questions or require additional information.






David E. Pennock

Principal Planner

Zoning and Current Development Division