Project Name:  ZMA 2006-11 Whittington PRD Amendment

Staff:  Scott Clark

Planning Commission Public Hearing:  February 20, 2007

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:  April 11, 2007

Owners:  Whittington LLC

Applicant: Whittington LLC

Acreage:  182.58 acres

Rezone from: PRD

TMP:   Tax Map 89 Parcel 95; Tax Map 90 Parcels 3, 45, 46, 47, 48

Location:  Old Lynchburg Road [Route # 631] approximately 500 feet north of the intersection with Forest Lodge Drive

By-right use:  Residential development with 104 acres, as approved in original PRD zoning

Magisterial District:  Samuel Miller

Proffers/Conditions:  Yes  

Proposal: Replacement of the original 104-lot application plan and conditions of approval with a 96-lot application plan meeting current requirements of section 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  96


RA Rural Area 4

Comprehensive Plan Designation:  Rural Areas

Character of Property:  East-facing side of a ridge, mostly in deciduous forest dominated by tulip poplar and oaks. Some areas of pine and cedar. An existing gravel road crosses the property from east to west, and a large cleared area for a transmission-line corridor and water-line easement follows the western edge of the property.

Use of Surrounding Properties:  Small and large-lot residential uses. The property to the east, a large farm and forest parcel, is currently being reviewed under the Biscuit Run zoning map amendment (ZMA 2005-17).

Factors Favorable:

·         The proposal has been made to meet current zoning requirements, and does not propose increased development in the Rural Areas over that already permitted.

·         The number of proposed lots has been reduced from 104 to 96, thus slightly reducing the amount of residential development occurring in the Rural Areas

Factors Unfavorable:

·         This proposal is not consistent with Rural Areas policy. However, as noted previously, it slightly reduces the number of lots from that allowed under current zoning.

RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends approval of this rezoning with the submitted application plan and proffers. Staff also recommends that the Commission find that the uses proposed within the open space are appropriate under the standards set by section 4.7 of the Zoning Ordinance.



STAFF PERSON:                                                               Scott Clark

tc  \l 1 "STAFF PERSON\: ELAINE K. ECHOLS, AICP"PRIVATE PRIVATE PLANNING COMMISSION:                                               February 20, 2007

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:                                           April 11, 2007tc  \l 1 "PLANNING COMMISSION\: OCTOBER 27, 1998"






PROPOSAL:  Rezone 182.58 acres from Planned Residential Development (PRD) to PRD with an application plan (see Zoning Ordinance §  The PRD district allows residential uses at a density range not to exceed 35 units per acre.  The proposed application plan would allow 96 residential units and a residential density of approximately 0.53 residential units per acre.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5  unit/ acre)


LOCATION: Old Lynchburg Road [Route # 631] approximately 500 feet north of the intersection with Forest Lodge Drive.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 89-95, 90-3, 90-45, 90-46, 90-47, 90-48




The surroundings are largely wooded, and the area is characterized by small and large lot residential uses. The subject property and the property to the east (in Neighborhood 5, and included in the Biscuit Run rezoning request) are currently in open-space uses (forest in the case of this property; forest and pasture on the Biscuit Run property), but are proposed for development.



The proposal was made in response to a zoning determination (Attachment A) stating that the approval of any site development plan or subdivision plat for this property is subject to the approval of an application plan that meets the provisions of section 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. This is based on the finding that the application plans associated with ZMA 77-18 and ZMA 80-07 did not meet the standards set in section 8.


The determination also states that the applicants have the choice of having their eventual subdivision plat for this use reviewed under the subdivision ordinance in effect in 1980, or the current regulations. The applicant has stated that they intend to choose the earlier ordinance. However, two features of the plat will need to be reviewed under current standards—the public roads (which must meet current VDOT standards), and the stormwater management features (no stormwater management regulations existed in 1980). These issues will be addressed during the subdivision plat review.



The applicants have proposed an updated application plan (Attachment C) for this PRD showing 96 development lots; open space with trails; and stormwater management features on 182.58 acres.




ZMA 77-18: Rezoned the property from A-1 to RPN/RS-1 (a planned development), permitting 104 lots.


ZMA 80-07: Amended a condition of ZMA 77-18.


The property was rezoned to PRD as part of a comprehensive rezoning of the County on December 10, 1980.


ZMA 2004-13: Rezoned 14.176 acres of the PRD to RA.




Rural Areas

Planned Residential Developments in the Rural Areas are not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan policy stating that:


To be consistent with the Guiding Principles, the County's land development policies must be changed to stop the ongoing trend toward fragmentation and loss of rural character. New policies should focus on protecting existing large parcels from fragmentation, preserving a general pattern characterized by farms, forests, and habitat corridors, and reducing the potential overall level of residential development and loss of rural character.


However, this amendment is an amendment of existing zoning that is not consistent with this policy, and is required to update the existing PRD’s application plan.  Also, the proposal slightly decreases the number of lots originally approved for this property.


Although this property is on a ridge, it is not included in the Mountain Protection Area identified in the Comprehensive Plan.




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


The following section is an excerpt from the Zoning Ordinance:



PRD districts may hereafter be established by amendment to the zoning map in accordance with the provisions set forth generally for PD districts in sections 8.0 and 33.0, and with densities and in locations in accordance with the comprehensive plan.


The PRD is intended to encourage sensitivity toward the natural characteristics of the site and toward impact on the surrounding area in land development. More specifically, the PRD is intended to promote economical and efficient land use, an improved level of amenities, appropriate and harmonious physical development, and creative design consistent with the best interest of the county and the area in which it is located.


To these ends, the PRD provides for flexibility and variety of development for residential purposes and uses ancillary thereto. Open space may serve such varied uses as recreation, protection of areas sensitive to development, buffering between dissimilar uses and preservation of agricultural activity.


While a PRD approach is recommended for developments of any density, it is recommended but not required that the PRD be employed in areas where the comprehensive plan recommends densities in excess of fifteen (15) dwelling units per acre, in recognition that development at such densities generally requires careful planning with respect to impact. (Amended 8-14-85)


The overall design in the proposed application plan is not significantly different from the original plan. However, the new plan provides more detail on recreational amenities and removes six lots from the southwestern corner of the property where they would have impacts on the adjacent properties.


Section 4.7 of the Zoning Ordinance states that the Planning Commission should consider  proposed open-space uses for their effectiveness in:


-Provision of active/passive recreation;


The proposed open space would include trails, pocket parks, and an observation tower to provide for active and passive recreation.


-Protection of areas sensitive to development;


The proposed open spaces would include critical slopes, streams, and remnant wooded areas.


-Buffering between dissimilar uses; and


The adjacent properties are primarily residential; therefore there are no significant areas of dissimilar uses to buffer.


-Preservation of agricultural activity.


No agricultural uses will exist within the RPD. There are no adjacent farms, except for the Biscuit Run property, the adjacent portion of which is located in a Development Area.


The applicants have requested that the Commission find that the proposed open space (65.8 acres in total) shown in Attachment C meets the standards of section 4.7. Staff supports such a finding.


Public need and justification for the change: The change is required to make the application plan for the PRD consistent with section 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. Staff has reviewed this plan and finds it in compliance with section 8.


Anticipated impact on public facilities and services: The site is in the Albemarle County Service Authority jurisdictional area for public water service, but not for sewer service. The applicants had requested extension of the Albemarle County Service Authority jurisdictional area for sewer service, but on November 1, 2006 the Board of Supervisors declined to hold a public hearing to consider that request. Extension of sewer service in the Rural Areas would be inconsistent with Public Water and Sewer policy in the Land Use Plan.


Impacts on road facilities and emergency services would be slightly reduced by the reduced number of lots in this proposal as compared to the original zoning. Proposed public roads would need to meet VDOT’s current standards. VDOT staff has reviewed the application plan, and has advised that the specifics of the road designs will be addressed during the review of the subdivision plat for the site.


Anticipated impact on natural, cultural, and historic resources: The overall extent of impacts has not significantly changed with this proposal. Application of current stormwater management regulations during the subdivision review will lead to better water protection.


The extent of critical slopes disturbance is essentially the same as that proposed under the 1977 plan. During the review of this plan, the applicants changed the lot layout in order to avoid increasing the area of critical-slope disturbance beyond that proposed in 1977. Condition 5(a) of the previous rezoning permitted the critical-slope disturbances shown on the plan, provided that engineering staff administratively approved the site work. However, there were no guidelines for what site work should be approved. Under the current proposal, proffer 4 (see Attachment D) sets out standards that the applicants much meet for such an administrative approval to be granted.


Anticipated impact on nearby and surrounding properties:  The proposed plan will have substantially the same impacts on most neighboring properties, as the general level and location of development are very similar to those shown in the original PRD plan. However, some lots originally proposed to be adjacent to RA-zoned properties have been removed from the southwest corner of the property. Two more lots (11 versus 9) would abut the Mosby Mountain subdivision to the north.




The most recent conditions of approval for this property, from ZMA 80-07, state:


1.       Approval is for a maximum potential of 104 single-family residential lots, however, the number of lots finally approved shall be governed by conditions of approval established in this petition. Open space is to be dedicated in proportion to the number of lots platted. In the event a proposed lot shall not be approved for building development, such lot may be combined with another lot or may be added to common open space upon a finding by the Planning Commission that such action is compatible with the overall development plan;

2.       County Attorney approval of homeowners’ agreements for maintenance of open space and private roads.

3.       Lots are to be 40,000 square feet or greater in area.

4.       All lots shall use internal roads as the sole means of ingress/egress. Direct access from lots to Route 631 will not be permitted.

5.       Health Department certification that each lot is adequate for two septic systems (one main system and one back-up field) prior to final plat approvals;

a.       No dwelling is to be located on slopes of 25% or greater without County Engineering Department approval of site work. Septic tank drainfields may be located on steep slopes only upon written approval of the Health Department which specifically acknowledges the previous statement of Edwin S. Roseberry to David Breeden concerning Whittington Subdivision.

b.       In the event that either a main septic system or back-up drainfield shall require pumping to adequately service a dwelling, such requirement shall be stated on the plat and in the contract of sale for such lot.

6.       Impacts from this development (i.e., school enrollment impact, traffic) will be considered in future approval for other properties and requirements for improvements will be made accordingly.

7.       Subject to Highway Department approval of public roads and Engineering Department approval of private roads.

8.       Fire Official approval of: access to and locations of impoundments and dry hydrants; other emergency access provisions; locations of dwellings; locations of appurtenances for future possible hydrants on central well system. Central well system including all line sizes and appurtenances shall be designed in accordance with Albemarle County Service Authority design standards and approved by the Service Authority for future possible acceptance. Connection to be made to the Albemarle County Service Authority when public lines become available.

9.       All lots are to be served by a central water supply (as defined by 16-18.02 of the Albemarle County Zoning Ordinance) and approved in accordance with the code of Albemarle, the Code of Virginia, and all other applicable law. The central water supply system shall be located on the parcels contained in the application for ZMA-77-18 and such system shall serve only the single-family residential units constructed on such parcels. No further approvals or reviews, including grading plan, drainage, and road plan reviews, by any department of Albemarle County shall be given until said central water system shall have been approved as set for in this condition.

10.   Only those areas where a structure, streets, utilities, pedestrian trails, and other improvements are proposed shall be disturbed; all other land shall remain in its natural state.

11.   The minimum setback from all interior roads shall be thirty feet.

12.   Dedication of 55 feet from the centerline of Route 631 in accordance with recommendation of the Virginia Department of Transportation. All dwellings shall be setback 75 feet from the resulting right-of-way line.


Those conditions would be replaced by the proposed proffers (see Attachment D), which address essentially the same issues, but which have been drafted to be consistent with current practices.


The Zoning division and the County Attorney’s office have reviewed these proffers and found them satisfactory.



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

·        The proposal has been made to meet current zoning requirements, and does not propose increased development in the Rural Areas over that already permitted.

·        The number of proposed lots has been reduced from 104 to 96, thus slightly reducing the amount of residential development occurring in the Rural Areas.


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

·        This proposal is not consistent with Rural Areas policy. However, as noted previously, it slightly reduces the number of lots from that allowed under current zoning.



Staff recommends approval of this rezoning with the application plan dated 11/22/2006 and the proffer form dated February 8, 2007.


Staff also recommends that the Commission find that the uses proposed within the open space are appropriate under the standards set by section 4.7 of the Zoning Ordinance.




Attachment A – Zoning Determination dated March 21, 2006

Attachment B – Application Plan for ZMA 77-18 and ZMA 80-07

Attachment C – Proposed Application Plan for ZMA 2006-11

Attachment D – Proffer Form for ZMA 2006-11, dated February 8, 2007

Attachment E – Application Letter for ZMA 2006-11, dated January 24, 2007

Go to PC minutes

Return to PC actions