Albemarle County Planning Commission
March 13, 2007
The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Jon Cannon, Eric Strucko, Duane Zobrist, Pete Craddock, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman and Marcia Joseph, Chairman. Ms. Joseph arrived at 7:05 p.m. Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia, was present.
Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning; Jack Kelsey, County Transportation Planner; Elaine Echols, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.
Call to Order and Establish Quorum:
Mr. Morris called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. and established a quorum.
ZMA 2001-00008 Rivanna Village at Glenmore (Signs #16, 17, 19, 20, 21)
PROPOSAL: Rezone approx. 93 acres from RA -- Rural Areas which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) residential (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses and PRD Planned Residential District which allows residential (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses to NMD Neighborhood Model District which allows residential (3 - 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. A maximum of 521 dwellings is proposed with an overall gross density of 5.6 units/acre.
EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Neighborhood Density Residential - residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses and Community Service - community-scale retail wholesale, business and medical offices, mixed use core communities and/or employment services, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) in the Village of Rivanna.
ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes
LOCATION: Intersection of Glenmore Way and Route 250 East
TAX MAP/PARCEL: a 4.583 acre portion of Tax Map 93A1, Parcel 1 and a 0.741 acre portion of Tax Map 93A1-1 zoned Glenmore PRD; Tax Map 93A1, Parcels 2, 3 & 4; Tax Map 80, Parcel 46, 46A, 46C, 46D, 46E, 50,and 55A all zoned RA Rural Areas; and Tax Map 79 parcel 25A zoned R-6 with proffers.
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Scottsville
STAFF: Elaine Echols
Mr. Craddock recused himself and left the meeting since is on the Board of the East Rivanna Fire Department.
Ms. Echols summarized the staff report and presented a power point presentation.
§ This is ZMA-01-08 Rivanna Village at Glenmore with requests for waivers and modifications. She presented the general development plan that the applicant has been working on for years. In the last year and a half the Planning Commission has held several work sessions. The Commission has talked about the general layout of the development, the internal components, the park, the appropriateness of uses, the scale, some of the architectural elements and the streets. The staff report is very lengthy and will go to the Board of Supervisors. Much of that information the Commission has seen before. There are other aspects of it that the Commission has not seen, including a full waiver analysis at the back. Also, a copy of the Code of Development was sent that goes along with this Neighborhood Model District.
§ There is a range of 348 to 521 residential units of all different types, a minimum of 71,500 square feet of non-residential uses and a maximum of 49,000 square feet of non-residential uses, which does not include the fire station. The non-residential uses are commercial, office, civic and recreational. There is an 18 acre park proposed to be a community park.
§ CPA-01-03 was approved May 15, 2002. There have been 5 work sessions with the Planning Commission. A great deal of work has been done with the public and with the applicant. The proposed plan looks like the plan displayed, although it is not exact. The orientation has changed from a major entry way from Glenmore Way to Route 250 East. The Code of Development is almost in an approvable form. They have a number of pages of minor things to be fixed before the request could be approved. The proffers are almost in an approvable form. The plan appears to meet the Planning Commission‘s requests from the prior work session. The outstanding issues to be resolved prior to action by the Planning Commission are listed in the staff report.
Staff reviewed the following outstanding questions.
§ Do the fixed and optional elements shown on the new exhibit represent the PC’s understanding of the project?
§ Is a perimeter buffer/screen needed where the development abuts existing single family development such as the Magruder Subdivision?
§ Is the perimeter buffer needed at the south of block G?
§ Is the landscape buffer across Route 250 sufficient given the ARB concerns?
§ Should stand alone and structured parking be allowed by right and not by special use permit?
§ Should a greater commitment be made by the Fire Department, which is a co-applicant for the rezoning for easements for paths, sidewalks, a public street and storm water management facilities? That particular question is one that the applicant wants to discuss with the Commission. So staff will talk a little bit about it, but most of that discussion will come from the applicant on it.
§ Fixed Vs. Optional elements
Are these features the PC expects to see when the plan is built out?
§ Staff received this plan today. Therefore, no one has seen this plan before. It is a greater refinement of the application plan than the Commission received in their packet. With the Neighborhood Model Districts staff has tried to be clear on what the fixed elements are in the development.
§ The light yellow on the perimeter represents single-family detached housing, which was a fixed feature. There will not be any other housing type in that area. There is a wall enclosure shown around block E. There will be no exposed parking lots. There will be buildings or street walls. Especially along Main Street there is a high degree of spatial enclosure. The park location is not moving. In block C there are 3 buildings shown, which are representing a transition from the Glenmore development into this more compact and more intense development. It is the “White Gables Product” that they have talked a lot about. In block A there are 2 buildings, which represent a civic use and a tourist lodge, bed & breakfast or a single-family use, which is the building that is the closest to Route 250 in block A. Is this your understanding of what was intended where the commitment was made for this particular plan?
Mr. Edgerton said that the first element discussed about block E that shows enclosure all the way around is a little different than what is shown on the actual plan. He liked the enclosure around the parking on the north side. He asked if this is a change from what the rendering shows.
Ms. Echols replied that it is really not a change. What the rendering shows more than anything else is an illustration of how this plan could be developed using the Code of Development. When it was created it was the applicant’s best guess. It was how he wanted to develop the property. Market conditions change so that is why the Code provides for some options. The idea on this is that it is not all buildings necessarily and the Code of Development speaks to that. There would be architectural or vegetative walls (hedges), but they would create a wall around the block to help create the enclosure. This is the governing document if it is adopted.
Mr. Edgerton questioned if there are a few significant gaps shown in the schematic plan that would leave about ½ of that parking exposed to the north unless there are a lot more trees than he would guess. The enclosure does not appear to be on the schematic. That is the reason that he was asking. He preferred the enclosure that speaks to relegated parking to minimize the visual impact of parking.
Ms. Echols noted that there is a statement in the Code that says they can’t have any exposed parking.
Mr. Zobrist said that the Code of Development requires all parking to be screened.
Mr. Edgerton said that he could therefore ignore this.
Mr. Cannon asked if that was a fixed versus an optional element.
Ms. Echols said that what they just saw was a fixed element, but we may still be reading this document differently from what she was hearing from the applicant. She suggested that the Commission ask the applicant to explain that. Staff will make sure that the Code represents adequately what the expectation is. This is a little bit representative of why staff was looking for the image that indicates what is fixed and what is not. It looks like the expectation is that will be blocked. But, they will have the applicant talk about that.
Mr. Edgerton noted that it says medium degree of spatial enclosure. The applicant has two different renderings there. It looks like the western/northern side is the medium degree of spatial enclosure according to the legend and then a high degree of spatial enclosure on the south and on the east.
Ms. Echols agreed. Except for this particular one are there other features that you expected to see a commitment being made to
Mr. Morris asked staff to state what is in block A.
Ms. Echols replied that there is a bed & breakfast or tourist lodging or a single-family detached home. This building is representing a civic use. It could be a religious institution or another kind of community activity center.
Mr. Morris noted that right now it is flexibility.
Ms. Echols replied that was correct, but the flexibility is not as great as would be found in block E.
§ Should there be a perimeter buffer or screen around the development?
Ms. Echols noted in the last staff report staff did not believe that it was going to be necessary to provide any kind of screening around the perimeter where single-family abuts single-family. But, in looking at some past minutes from the Planning Commission there was a lot of concern expressed especially about this area. From those discussions a lot of concern was expressed about this area in maintaining the existing vegetation along that boundary. It was critical to the adjoining owners. But, it also seemed to be very important to the Planning Commission. The policy is such that staff does not recommend single-family residential to be screened adjacent to single-family residential. From time to time the Board or Commission will ask that the policy not be adhered to and there should be some screening. She did not know if that was the case here. Staff wanted to bring this matter to the Commission’s attention and ask if there should be a perimeter buffer or screen around the development. What that means is where it abuts single-family detached houses. They would discuss block G next, which has a variety of uses that could occur there.
Mr. Edgerton noted that he concerned very early on about this. He believed that there is a drainage swale running through there and some existing vegetation that provides a natural buffer. He was concerned about the drainage swale being destroyed with the development. It is sort of the dividing line in the rear of those existing home sites and the property line.
Ms. Echols said that some of it is on that dividing line and some of it is on either side of the property.
Mr. Edgerton noted that he would like to see some effort made to leave that intact if they could.
Mr. Cannon asked if that was a screening concern or about a concern about conserving the natural functions of the swale.
Mr. Edgerton replied both of the concerns.
Mr. Zobrist noted that is shown on the master plan on the right screen. This is a much higher density use than back behind. He has a farm next to Old Trail and he planted 300 trees already and was going to plant some more. He thought that these people were entitled to some kind of a privacy screen there as Mr. Edgerton said without destroying the natural area. This will be a more intensive use. The neighbors will probably be planting trees along there anyway.
Ms. Echols said that this is the more desirable plan for the applicant. She assumed because the green was being shown in that location that it meant a commitment was being made to it. That was something that the applicant said no that they were not committing to that and they really don’t need to do that because the County’s policy is that single-family residential is not screened from single-family residential. The applicant is right. But, there was the previous discussion. Part of that discussion took place because the original plan showed a great big parking lot at that location. Then it changed to town houses and she thought that there might have been some parking behind there in one of the versions of the plan. Now it has gone to a lower density, although not anywhere near as low as what is behind it.
Mr. Strucko asked what the Commission’s justification was for granting the exemption to that policy.
Ms. Echols replied that it was in the comprehensive plan amendment discussion. There was a discussion about the different uses abutting one another. When that discussion took place there was a higher intensity non single-family use shown on the CPA plan. But, there was still the discussion about the drainage area, the ravine and the existing vegetation that Mr. Edgerton brings to the table. She felt that was part of the discussion, too. It is not written in the comprehensive plan amendment that has to be preserved. The words do not exist in the comprehensive plan amendment.
Mr. Strucko asked if single-family detached homes are a fixed element in block B now.
Ms. Echols replied yes.
Mr. Edgerton pointed out that there are 22 of them lined up against another 6. He felt that justifies some sort of screen.
Ms. Echols said that block G has a number of uses that can occur such as assisted living. When they were talking about the perimeter and whether there needed to be a perimeter vegetative screen or buffer the applicant was concerned that this particular area lent itself in a future rezoning into a more intensive use potentially and that screening along this buffer, except for objectionable uses, might not make sense in the long run. Staff was still concerned about the perimeter screening issue and is not sure about that and wanted to bring that one to the Commission as well. The applicant wants to speak to some of these issues. Therefore, the Commission might want to defer their decision until after they have heard from them. It may make a difference in what they conclude.
The Commission decided to defer their decision on this question until after they heard from the applicant.
§ Is the landscape buffer across route 250 sufficient given the ARB concerns?
Ms. Echols said that as noted in the staff report and in the Code of Development what the applicant has proffered has to change.
§ The applicant has proffered 100’ of buffer area in a portion of which 80’ of which if Route 250 is ever widened would go away. The 80’ would be made available for right-of-way for the widening of Route 250 leaving about 20’ in this particular area. That is not a great width for landscaping.
§ The end units would be apartments over garages that would relate to the townhouse development. But, as noted in the Code this particular block does not necessarily have to be developed as townhouses. It has a number of other residential options that would be available in this area. The applicant could not commit to what would be built in this area and did not want to commit to any kind of a landscape treatment until they are ready to develop it to know what would go in there.
§ This is a difficult discussion to have because the master plan has not been done for this area. As part of the master plan staff will be working on what the exterior of that development area should look like. What those areas would be and how they would look and be landscaped or buffered would really be decided through the master planning process. It has not taken place here. They don’t really know whether that entry way should have a rural feel or if it should be more urban or even suburban because there is a lot of suburban development with Glenmore.
§ The ARB asked what the County’s policy is right now. Currently Rivanna Village is an independent village. It is a little satellite area embedded in a rural area. Staff’s expectation right now on the edges is that it would have a rural look and feel and inside the village it was suppose to be oriented inward. Because of that the ARB said that if it was supposed to be oriented inward, then it needs to have a large landscaped buffered area that would allow them to put a rural landscape treatment along 250 after the dedication takes place.
§ Counter to the ARB that is difficult to do and achieve the density that the Commission has been asking the applicant to achieve. It puts the applicant in a bind. No one knows what the best answer is. Of course, that is why staff brings it to the Commission. There are potentially two competing interests right now for that area. Staff does not have a recommendation relative to that because they have the ARB recommendation. They are very sensitive to the issue of density. They are sensitive to the ARB’s concern that 20’ is not a lot of area to create a landscape treatment especially if there are garages backing up to it.
§ Staff does not have a solution to this problem. If the Commission says that density is more important, then what the applicant will have to do is when a site plan is ready for this particular area they will have to create a landscape treatment across the front that is acceptable to the ARB.
Mr. Strucko asked if that was the boundary of the designated growth area.
Ms. Echols replied that Route 250 was, but not to the east. The boundary goes all the way over to Running Deer.
Mr. Strucko noted that was a northern boundary. The side of Route 250 in this particular area is a growth area. Immediately on the other side of Route 250 is a rural area. He pointed out that the issue of density can be addressed in a variety of ways and not necessarily the amount of square footage available for development in this particular area, but changing the housing product in other areas as well in the project.
Ms. Echols agreed that it could be done, but the higher density and the taller products would need to have sufficient parking. She asked that the applicant speak to the Commission about the different possibilities for that area. She noted that there was a possibility of what the mix might be.
Stand alone or structured parking in blocks in blocks c, g, e, d f?
The applicant would like in A, C, G, E, D and F stand alone or structured parking in these blocks.
§ Staff goes through a lot of analysis on when to have stand alone or structured parking. One of the benefits of the Neighborhood Model District is that they look at those issues up front. If they think that it can be taken care of in a way that is suitable, then they would not necessarily need a special use permit for structured parking. But, they have never talked about this. Therefore, she was not comfortable to say that they potentially could have structured parking in those areas.
§ The applicant has said that mostly in block A that it would be a stand along product. In block C they might want to have some structured parking as it relates to these particular units. Staff could see it for block E with no problems. But, blocks G and D would be more of a medium density meaning the intensity of use and it might be appropriate. In block F there could be a parking structure or stand along parking potentially. Would the Planning Commission be comfortable with them because there are architectural standards that the applicant has proposed? Those architectural standards apply to every building.
§ It is those people who would buy into the development not knowing that structured parking could go across the street from them or in a particular location that they were not expecting that might catch them off guard and be of concern.
Mr. Edgerton said that from past experiences he thinks it should be required by special use permit.
Mr. Zobrist agreed.
Mr. Kamptner noted that the problem is the way that the Neighborhood Model District is set up. There are only two particular uses that are allowed by special use permit under the Neighborhood Model regulations. Every other use that they want to put into the district is by right. But, the Code of Development allows the applicant and the County to impose restrictions in terms of conditions. Essentially it works the same way, but it is put into the Code rather than the applicant coming back later in a separate process asking for a special use permit. It can be done by right with additional terms and conditions put into the Code of Development.
Mr. Zobrist asked if they could require a special use permit for structured parking.
Mr. Kamptner replied no, that the way the district is set up is that the applicant needs to identify and the Board needs to approve all of the uses that are going to be allowed in the district. All of the uses are by right. Any particular use can have terms of conditions imposed upon that use. Those terms are placed in the Code of Development.
Mr. Zobrist asked if it could say they could have structured parking, but the County gets to approve the architectural design.
Mr. Kamptner replied that the applicant proposes them in the Code of Development and the Planning Commission and the Board approves those terms and conditions.
Ms. Echols noted that the question is not whether it should be a special use permit. The question is should it be by right with conditions. If so, then what conditions do they feel would be important if it is a by right use.
Mr. Kamptner said that is correct. The only two uses that are allowed by special use permit in the Neighborhood Model District are the drive through windows serving or associated with permitted uses and outdoor storage display and/or sales. Every other use is designated by right.
Mr. Zobrist said that if there is going to be structured parking Mr. Edgerton and Mr. Strucko feel it can’t be done in such a way as to throw a curb at the people. The people who buy these units do not think about what is going to happen tomorrow. That is exactly what they heard in the other instance where they had 140 people come in and say they were suppose to have town homes across the street and now it was going to be structured parking. Therefore, they could ask the applicant to make his parking terrace look like a row of town homes so they got exactly what they bargained for.
Mr. Edgerton agreed that was exactly what they were talking about. If he was hearing correctly in the legal interpretation that they could ask for a condition for structured parking and that they bring it back for approval from the Commission.
Ms. Echols replied that she did not think that was correct because the Commission could not bring it back for approval.
Mr. Kamptner noted that they could ask for conditions in terms of the use. They could put in the Code of Development some criteria as to the façade of the structure such as the height of the parking structure, its particular setback and any particular provisions dealing with lighting.
Mr. Edgerton asked how that condition would be imposed. Would that be administratively imposed?
Ms. Echols replied that is correct.
Mr. Kamptner said that the conditions would be written into the Code of Development.
Mr. Zobrist asked if Zoning would enforce those conditions.
Ms. Monteith asked how does that work in block L where some of the uses have been determined and some of the uses have not been determined.
Ms. Echols replied that was one of the difficulties that the Commission is bringing up about the fixed and the optional elements.
Mr. Cannon asked if staff has in mind a set of appropriate conditions that would allow this issue to be managed appropriately in the Code or Development. Or, is that something that they just don’t know how to do right now?
Ms. Echols replied that staff can come up with some conditions.
§ There are other special use permits that have been approved in the development areas that have had conditions that have been imposed on them. Staff can look at some of what those are and talk with the applicant to come up with what would work there and bring it back to the Commission. That is one of the conditions that the applicant might want to talk to the Commission about.
§ The Planning Commission liked structured parking, but wanted it to be sympathetic to what is next door. That can be done with façade treatment, scale and some of the things Mr. Kamptner has mentioned.
Ms. Monteith noted that in looking at the plan there are a lot of different uses. So just to put a blanket statement on the plan may be a little bit challenging.
Mr. Cannon said that their choices were to either attempt some set of conditions that would be applicable through a range of different possibilities or to punt. Or, they could just say no to structured parking.
Mr. Zobrist requested that staff and the applicant figure out a way to be able to allow the structured parking so that it fits into the community so it won’t upset the home owners.
The consensus of the Planning Commission was that structured parking is an acceptable use in the development if restrictions are also provided that will protect residential units across the street. These restrictions/conditions need to ensure that the structured parking doesn’t have negative impacts on other residential uses also.
Should a greater commitment be made by the Fire Department (co-applicant) for the rezoning) for easement for paths, sidewalks, a public street and a storm water management facility.
Ms. Echols said that staff will allow the applicant to discuss this with the Commission.
The next steps:
Ms. Echols said the answers to the Commission’s questions would be next. There is a public hearing tonight and the Commission needs to decide on whether or not they can take action tonight. Before the Commission takes an action they need to discuss the waivers that are at the end of the document. If the Commission decides to take action on the rezoning, then staff would also want them to take action on the waivers.
Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.
Mr. Zobrist questioned how they could keep the process moving and still get these things resolved.
Mr. Kamptner replied that the Commission can conduct the public hearing tonight and have a discussion, reach a consensus on some issues and give direction to staff. Assuming they have reached the time limit on when the Commission needs to make its recommendation to the Board, the Commission can ask the applicant if they wish to defer. They could come back and take action at a later date once these other remaining issues have been resolved.
Ms. Echols said that if the Commission feels comfortable that they don’t need to see it again and the outstanding issues can be worked out between the applicant and staff, then they would take action tonight and move it on.
Mr. Morris suggested that they check the last paragraph on page 23 of the staff report. There is one thing that has not been brought up yet. On page 22 of the staff report in #3 architectural standards he asked where the interaction with Monticello is regarding the view shed and so forth as they move forward.
Ms. Echols replied that the applicant has indicated that they have been working with Monticello. The applicant is trying to come up with some suitable language in the architectural standards that would address Monticello’s concerns. As a County they have not asked Monticello to do design review on any of the County projects. There is a set of design standards that Monticello has asked staff to ask the applicants to abide by. She asked for Mr. Benish’s comment.
Mr. Benish replied that they would contact Monticello so they can work directly with the applicant.
Ms. Echols asked to talk about transportation. When the CPA went through via a traffic study that was done to identify what the impacts would be from the development, the traffic study gave us some information. Staff looked around at different projects on Route 250 for which funding could be provided or specific improvements to Route 250 that could be made. Because the Board of Supervisors had not adopted a plan yet, staff did not feel comfortable advising the applicant to put money towards any particular improvement. Since that time the applicant has updated their traffic study. As it turns out the updating of the traffic study has been reviewed by VDOT at the same time that they have been reviewing the Biscuit Run Traffic Impact Study. It is a number of years later and VDOT is out of money. They are concerned that the County not miss an opportunity to get developer participation in Route 250 improvements. In some ways they are no different than they were back in 2002 because the Board of Supervisors has not seen or adopted a plan that money could be attributed to. On the other hand they do have a more current study that gives us some ideas of what recommendations would be from that plan. The day she wrote the staff report she received the memo from Chuck Proctor concerning the improvement that he believes that Rivanna Village could contribute to, which would be a road widening from Route 22 up to Glenmore Way. He has put a price tag on that particular widening and given this development its proportionate share of that. This would be going down a different path than they have gone before with this particular project. From a transportation improvement standpoint a lot of things change over time. There is no cash proffer policy. This is a rough question to try to answer. Staff has obviously not given the Commission much guidance because they don’t know how to advise them on this particular item. Staff leaves that with the Commission. The applicant might want to speak to that.
Ms. Joseph arrived at 7:05 p.m.
Ms. Echols noted that there has been a study going on for some time. When the traffic impact analysis came back in she was under the impression that what they were doing was just updating the numbers. But, VDOT felt compelled because of their recommendations on Biscuit Run to treat similar projects similarly. Even though it has been out for some time and even though they headed down one particular path with VDOT they felt that they would not be doing their duty if they did not bring it to the same standard that they were holding Biscuit Run to right now. Staff received the information on the same day the staff report went out. Therefore, staff has not had a chance to analyze a whole lot of what it means.
Mr. Cannon said that he wanted to make sure that he understood the numbers correctly. The 7.5 million dollars would represent what VDOT would say would be the applicant’s proportion and share of improvements to Route 250 occasioned in part by the increased demand from this development.
Mr. Edgerton noted that it said 7.2 million earlier in the paragraph. The last sentence talks about a railroad bridge widening at an intersection and they put a price tag of 7.5 million on that. A littler higher in the paragraph it talks about the estimated cost for widening improvements. This would require approximately 7.2 million as the development’s pro-rata share of these improvements.
Ms. Monteith said that she would be interested in what the definition of transit ready is once the applicant comes to speak.
Mr. Edgerton noted that in the staff report Ms. Echols has ongoing concerns about private versus public roads in the project and the interconnectivity issue. He hoped that the applicant can address that issue as well. That has been an issue from the beginning.
Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.
Don Franco, of KG Associates, said that he
would like to start over with the presentation about the project tonight. The
discussion so far has focused in on the fact that they have an illustrious plan
that they have spent the last six years designing, planning and working with the
public to balance their interest as well as the stated public policies that
exist out there. They believe that this plan represents that vision. It
represents the balance of those objectives out through there. Since the December
Commission meeting they have been trying to figure out how to implement that
plan. So it has really been a refinement of the details of that plan in the
creation of the regulating documents, which includes the Code of Development and
the General Development Plan that has been their focus with staff. In order to
get to those questions he asked to focus in on the park. Last time they had a
brief presentation at 12:30 a.m. He never heard the Commission say at the end
that the park that they are proposing meets the Commission’s vision and it is
consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Therefore, they have an abbreviated
version of that presentation so that they can get that out on the table. Then
he would like to allow the public to come in and talk and then come back and
answer the Commission’s questions. If the Commission is okay with that format he
asked to turn it over to Will Rieley, who they have been working with on the
parks. He asked that the Commission focus in on what the park is all about and
make a determination on whether the park is consistent with the Comp Plan. Then
they can use that knowledge to begin to talk about what are the fixed and
important features with respect to the park that need to be in our Code of
Mr. Rieley said that as Mr. Franco said the last time they got together they were all blurry eyed. He did show the Commission at that time some preliminary thoughts about the park. Since that time they have met with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Obviously, this part of the project is developed to a greater level of specificity because this item is an item to be proffered. He presented the overall plan of the proposed park in a power point presentation to orient the Commission to the park’s location. One of the things that they have always felt was a great amenity for this park is the fact that relatively dense housing, even though some of it is single family, is bordered by park. The other side of that is the park is bordered by a built environment. The area is a little less than 20 acres. It has a stream that runs through the middle with several branches off of that with houses and businesses along the perimeter. He presented the features of the property.
Mr. Franco requested that public comment be taken and then they could come back and discuss the questions.
Mr. Morris invited public comment
Dennis Ordinov, head of the Master Planning Steering Committee in the Village of Rivanna, noted that last July they submitted a CPA to the Planning Commission, which was rejected because it was deemed that it would cause confusion between the master plan and this amendment. They still don’t have a master plan. They may start early this summer. When the master plan process starts they will deal with only 12 percent of the entire Village of Rivanna because 88 percent of it will be under consideration or will have been completed. They have a problem, as they did in the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, with Community Service Designation for the Village of Rivanna. The Comprehensive Plan Amendment of 2002 dealt with the Village of Rivanna and not Rivanna Village. This designation leaves the door open for more commercial development on the remaining rural acreage. The developer will agree to a Neighborhood Density designation for Rivanna Village provided that they allow the square feet that he has already asked for in commercial. Residents agree with that. They are overwhelmingly in favor of that. They are concerned about what happens after that. So please listen to the request expressed by the residents and find a way to change the designation to Neighborhood Services allowing the present ZMA to go forward. Secondly, in a previous work session the Commission suggested a minimum density of 4 to 6 dwellings per acre instead of 3 to 6 as is designated in the Land Use Plan. The Commission also stated that they had no interest in how this was going to be measured in meters. So the obvious question they have is what compelling reason they have to tighten the reins from 3 to 6 up to 4 to 6 dwelling units especially since they were dealing with the possibility of increased buffers on Route 250. They are 20 minutes away in response time to the nearest rescue squad and having an advanced medical technician. The East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Department serves their community well, but it does not have an advanced medical technician. They would like to see a cash proffer for the East Rivanna Fire Department for training and qualification of 3 advanced medical technicians. They are 25 minutes away from the nearest library. They would like to see a proffer that would donate space in the Village Center to be used as a library branch. They are very happy with the park design. They are very happy with the cooperation they have had with the Parks Department and the developer in creating this. They think that it is a vast improvement over originally what was there. Basically, the design of Rivanna Village with the improved park is satisfactory to the residents. They would really like the County to look at the Neighborhood Service Designation.
Betty Batten supported the Neighborhood Services Designation. The Comprehensive Plan describes Villages as consisting of mixed service and residential uses. It states that such uses shall be limited to Neighborhood Services. But, in 2002 when the Comprehensive Plan was amended to allow for Rivanna Village a Neighborhood Model Development within the Village of Rivanna the amendment specified Community Services instead. Last summer the Commission decided not to consider the comprehensive plan amendment relating to Rivanna Village offered by the residents of Rivanna Village. They stated that they would treat the amendment as public input instead. Our CPA calls for Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation in Rivanna Village. At their community meetings they have asked for the Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation. In their surveys the respondents have asked for the Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation. They have emailed and written to the Commission asking for the Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation for Rivanna Village. They are told that the developer would be willing to entertain the change from Community Services to Neighborhood Services provided the development is approved for 125,000 square feet that he asking for. David Benish of the Planning Department has stated that although Neighborhood Services calls for 40,000 square feet of non-residential uses, the County could be flexible about this. With the community, the developer and the Planning Department in basis agreement about the Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation for Rivanna Village they are here to ask for the Neighborhood Services Land Use Designation again tonight. They respectfully ask the Commission to approve this important change for us.
Carol Milkus, property owner in the Magruder Subdivision adjoining the north side of the proposed Village development, spoke about the concerns of this adjoining property. First, she was concerned about the large number of hardwood trees on the Village property. She hoped that the Kessler Group will find a way to keep as many of these trees as possible, especially those that border the existing residential homes. She also requested that the developers keep to their plan as shown in the latest maps to put screening trees between the existing residential homes and the new development. They bought their property years ago because they wanted to be in the country with the peace and quiet that this area afforded. They also wanted to enjoy the beauty of the county side. They are now being forced to be part of a dense Village that they did not ask for and they do not want. It will go a long way in being good neighbors for the developers of Rivanna Village to provide good screening trees. She submitted some photographs to the Commission that were taken along the border of the existing property of Running Deer that shows what the folks from Running Deer see in the Q-2 development without screening trees. The Magruder development lots are ½ the size of Running Deer and the screening would be even more important to the residents in order to provide some protection there. Secondly, she was concerned about the process of clearing the land of existing trees and brush. She has heard form neighbors on Running Deer that they had to suffer many days of discomfort from the burning of trees on the Q-2 Glenmore property bordering their backyards. There were also days when the burning was left unattended adding to the possibility of wild fires. Due to the large number of trees that are likely to be removed in the area bordering the Magruder Subdivision she would request that some other solution be sought to remove the downed trees and brush. In this age of environmental concerns the trees could serve many uses instead of being wasted for burning and pollution. The last concern has to do with storm water management. Several lots in Magruder Subdivision get a lot of storm water runoff from Route 250 passing across our yards. During heavy storms my backyard has a nice size stream running the full length of my property front to back. She wants to make sure that whatever system is devised will adequately handle the heaviest of storm water at the point it leaves her property and flows into the Village. She was concerned that it not back up at her property line and that the drainage system will not be a hazard to any youngsters playing in the area.
Neil Means, resident of Village of Rivanna, asked to second everything that the previous speakers have said. The plan that has evolved here is looking good. They have done a lot of hard work. He particularly liked the proposed park plan. He would like to see a library, which would be a good amenity. He asked that the burning issue be addressed. It should be Neighborhood Services. It says in the Comprehensive Plan that it should be Neighborhood Services. There has been no master planning for this area. There are a lot of people that want to participate in the master planning process if the County is willing to do it.
Paul Accad, resident of Glenmore for 12 years, raised a question from page 17 and 18 of the staff report regarding utilities that he would hope would be answered. It talks about the Village of Rivanna is served by a package sewage treatment plant at Glenmore. It says that Glenmore Associates paid for the construction of the sewage treatment plan. According to the ACSA Glenmore will be responsible for the costs of necessary expansions for their development. He was hoping that was a typo and that the word Associates is supposed to be in there. He would like that answer before this request gets approved. The second issue in on page 18 regarding cash proffers for the development. He has not been able to find proffers like these. He has spent a lot of time on the County’s web site. These proffers are not specific and say that the monies can go to the schools or the roads. He has never seen that before and does not think that is a good idea. He lives in Glenmore and they have proffers for schools and roads. When the building permit is issued $1,000 goes into an account for the schools and $1,300 goes into the account for the roads. There is a person in the County that can give the balance in those accounts today to the penny. That is very valuable. They are talking about possibly 450 units of about $3,000, which will not do much for the roads over 10 years. He asked that the proffered amount be broken up and separated into two accounts for the roads and schools just like Glenmore has. It would also aid accountability. If they have a fund that they can call up and get the amount, then they can tell the principle at their children’s school that there is a certain amount in the fund. If the playground is looking bad and they know there is $65,000 n the fund, then they would be able to do something. But, they are not going to widen 250 with $65,000. The nature of CIP projects takes a long time to develop the idea. They need the money segregated in a fund.
Bob Livengood said that he would be concerned about the lack of a buffer at C and G areas. He lived adjacent to that area. They need some buffer at least during the general construction. He would also have some concerns about a band stand being in the area.
Linda Herrald said that she drafted the Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the Village of Rivanna. There are a couple of housekeeping items. On page 15, they referred to a fiscal impact analysis, but she has not seen it or heard it referred to tonight. Also, on page 17 it says water capacity is sufficient to serve the development. She thinks that the capacity and the pipes to bring the water to development is probably okay, but our County’s reservoirs are not adequate to serve the needs of the public going forward with all of this growth. So she thinks there ought to be some proffers to expand expansion of the reservoir. On page 20, it says the sunset on Glenmore proffers for 250 and Glenmore Way is XXX. She felt that somebody meant to put a date in there. She thought that they were talking about April 10, 2010. The other comments are substantive. She asked to reiterate what was said earlier that some of the public facilities are not adequate to the development. The rescue square is certainly an issue. It took 23 minutes for the rescue squad to get to her house from McIntire Road for emergency service to her house. Due to the growth on Pantops and the fact that Free Bridge is a very narrow place to get through it would be great to provide some improved services to this area. The Police need a presence in this area. There are no natural barriers entering Glenmore. The Glenmore Community pays $300,000 a year for security. It basically had porous borders. Now they were going to put an urban environment right next to them. There is not adequate parking for the community park. They need to take a look at that. The land use is not in conformity with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. It says that it should meet the functional description of Villages described in the plan. The plan says commercial shall be Neighborhood Services. It is not an option, but is mandated. It says shall be. She asked that the County look at the new legislation that would allow them to get proffers for improvements that are not immediate to the project. That would tie into VDOT’s 7.5 million. Back in 1989 and 1991 when Glenmore was being approved they were told that there would never be any commercial out there. Then in 1996 there were going to be a few small shops. In 2001 it was changed to Community Level Services. She felt that someone makes a promise they ought to keep it unless there is some compelling reason to make a change. When someone puts in writing what they say they do, then they ought to do that. Therefore, she expects it to be Neighborhood Services as it says on the County’s website.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Planning Commission.
Mr. Strucko asked to hear from the applicant.
Mr. Franco said that they want the Commission’s input on the questions. He asked if the park is consistent with their goals. Then they have a list of questions similar to Ms. Echols of the important questions that need to be answered.
Mr. Morris asked what the Commission’s opinion was about the park.
Mr. Cannon said that the park appears to be a winner.
Ms. Joseph asked if they were willing to build every single thing that they saw put up on the screen.
Mr. Franco replied that if they look at the Code of Development it itemizes the items that are proposed in and through the park area. It should be consistent with the illustrious plan through there. That is the balance that they are asking the Commission about.
Ms. Joseph asked if he felt that the Code of Development reflects everything that they saw.
Mr. Franco noted that on page 35 of the Code of Development they tried to be very specific as to what the requirements will be and what they see as being on that plan. He asked if they have described it significantly in enough detail so that it can be enforced by the Zoning Department.
Mr. Morris said that it was a real winner and was beautiful.
Ms. Joseph asked if staff feels that what they have seen represents something that can actually be done.
Ms. Echols replied yes.
Mr. Franco noted that they have to work with other agencies for other approvals. There is some flexibility in the plan that some of the features could go away if the CORPS of Engineers does not approve. If not, they will have to get approval from the Planning Director and Parks. Their purpose is to define the fixed and important are with some flexibility. They are trying to create a range that high degree of enclosure means 65 percent of enclosure and above. Medium enclosure would mean that they would have less than 65 percent of buildings creating the enclosure. Parking will be screened from the row with hedges and shrubs.
Mr. Zobrist screening asked about the issue of screening along block B.
Mr. Franco said that they heard the Commission say that they wanted the use changed to single-family as a transition to the adjacent property. The intent was not to create a tree buffer, but to use the single-family use. The intent they heard from staff was that no similar uses need to be buffered. As Ms. Echols said the County policy is not to buffer similar uses in and through there.
Mr. Zobrist felt that the density between those two uses is not the same. He suggested that they ought to be good neighbors and provide screening because the subdivision was more rural and those residents should not have to look at those town homes every day.
Mr. Franco noted that it was not their understanding that the swale was to be totally preserved.
Mr. Edgerton said that it sounds like the applicant does not want to provide a buffer. Is there anything you can do to address it? There were at least four other Commissioners this evening that expressed the desire to have come screening.
Mr. Franco replied that they can work with staff to try to address that. They will try to preserve trees on the edge that they can and if they have to come back and augment.
Mr. Edgerton asked that they preserve as many trees as possible and then fill in. The Commission is looking for some sort of visual buffer so that the adjacent owners will not be so negatively impacted.
Mr. Franco agreed that revegetation was something they can address.
Mr. Zobrist said that it was in blocks C and D.
Mr. Franco agreed that it was in block C on the bottom edge.
Ms. Joseph said that this seems to be more like a work session than a public hearing. She questioned what their goal was tonight.
Mr. Morris said that staff had indicated that due to the new things on the table tonight that they wanted some questions answered. That is what the applicant has asked for.
Mr. Zobrist suggested that the Commission act on the request if there was a way they could feel comfortable delegating these issues to staff. Staff is comfortable if they have concurrence with the applicant on these issues, but needed a little bit of direction from us. Staff would prefer to go to the Board on the date and not defer if possible.
Mr. Franco said that they would defer the Board meeting date to work this out, but in general he felt that they all agree on this vision and they are trying to write the document that implements it in clear guidance. If there are components of their plan, such as public roads, they can get it in there, but just need to know what they are.
In summary, the Planning Commission discussed the following items and provided advice to the applicant to use in making changes to the plan, the code, and the proffers:
1. The General Development Plan shown at the meeting adequately illustrates the “fixed” and “optional” items. The plan which has been titled, “ZMA Master Plan” is acceptable as an illustration of the General Development Plan.
2. Where the boundaries of the development abut single family residential lots, the developer should retain the existing mature trees to the greatest extent possible. Where existing trees cannot be maintained and accomplish the proposed plan, replanting is necessary to establish a buffer between the surrounding properties and the development.
3. The “landscape area” along Route 250 East may be diminished to 20 feet if the r.o.w. is ever needed for widening of that road. Detached single-family residential should not be placed in Block L in the areas that are visible from the Entrance Corridor and under the jurisdiction of the ARB.
4. The 100’ landscape area along Route 250 actually will be less than 100’ because of the need to measure the landscape area from the edge of the r.o.w. and not from the pavement.
5. Rather than extend the time period to find a qualified purchaser for an affordable unit, it is acceptable to proffer to pay $16,500 in cash in lieu of an affordable unit if, at the site plan stage, the Housing Director says that the cash is preferred rather than the unit. This would be in addition to units for which cash-in-lieu of units has already been proffered.
6. Accessory-type units should be limited to 30% of the maximum units provided.
7. Structured parking is an acceptable use in the development if restrictions are also provided that will protect residential units across the street. These restrictions/conditions need to ensure that the structured parking doesn’t have negative impacts on other residential uses also.
8. The VDOT comments reflect concerns of VDOT. The Board of Supervisors will need to deal with whether cash proffers are sufficient to mitigate off-site impacts, including traffic impacts. The Commission did not advise the applicant that the cash proffers were insufficient.
9. The proffers and the Code relating to the park are sufficient to address earlier concerns of the Commission.
10. Proffers relating to the need for future easements from the Fire Department and County for storm water management, street and sidewalk construction are acceptable.
11. Transit needs to be addressed.
The Planning Commission took a ten minute break at 8:50 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 9:00 p.m.
Mr. Morris asked if any Commissioner had anything that they wanted to cover at this particular time.
Mr. Cannon said that this was just to ensure that they have covered the comments that were raised by the public. There were several comments made that the Community Services provided for should be Neighborhood Services. He was not sure what that distinction means. But, he also understood that was a designation which was still intended to accommodate the floor space or the square footage that they were seeking, but with a somewhat different designation. They were represented as being okay with that. The County staff was represented as being okay with that. He was interested that if all three parties are okay with it in determining if the Commission is okay with it.
Ms. Echols felt that what some of the questions were about had to do with the comprehensive plan designation. What she got from it was that they were being requested to change the Comprehensive Plan designation through this rezoning. The Comprehensive Plan allows for community service. The level of activity that the applicant is requesting relative to square footage of commercial uses is diminished from what the Comprehensive Plan would allow. That is where the commitment is. Staff believes that it is sufficiently restricted. If there was a need to change from Community Service to Neighborhood Service that is a question that would be answered during the Master Plan process and not through this rezoning. But, staff believes that the amount of commercial and non-residential use square footage is appropriate to this location and it is lower than what the Community Service would allow.
Mr. Strucko said that it is between Neighborhood Service and Neighborhood Service. It is some where in between.
Ms. Echols replied yes, that the Comprehensive Plan designation says Community Service. What is being offered in this rezoning is not as great as what the Community Service would allow. It is more than the Neighborhood Service would allow.
Mr. Cannon asked if it was more in the sense of square footage.
Ms. Echols replied yes.
Mr. Strucko said that the square footage as the ratio to residential.
Mr. Franco noted that in Neighborhood Services the scale is 40,000 square feet total. What was in the Comp Plan was 250,000 square feet total. Where they are is some where in between that. What is on table right now is support to this level of development or non-residential stuff out that intensity is fine. What they are looking for is added assurance that the Comp Plan will be amended so that if in the future someone wanted to come back and do a higher density that they would have to rezone and change the Comp Plan.
Mr. Cannon said that in the absence of that change the assurance that they would be able to offer would be the Code of Development itself that limits them to those. But, that at some point could be changed just as the Comprehensive Plan could be changed.
Mr. Franco agreed.
Mr. Struckco said that they also heard from the public that the potential use that they would like to see is library services. Could block A offer that potentially?
Mr. Morris noted that Jefferson Madison Regional Library has no real extensions of putting a new branch out on the eastern part of town at this particular time. The next branch will go towards the south after Crozet.
Mr. Franco said that he was confident that in Block A that they have the ability to accommodate that use if it comes up in the future.
Ms. Joseph noted that the library bus stops in front of the Keswick Post Office on Wednesday mornings.
Mr. Morris asked if the Commission wanted to go through waivers.
Mr. Strucko asked if they were going to talk about whether they have exhausted the subject of 7.2 million dollars for road improvements.
Mr. Cannon noted that they did not exhaust it. He would be interested in the applicant’s response to it. This is a late in the game deal. He was not sure he understands exactly what that means. They don’t have a full staff analysis of it. He asked if the applicant has offered proffers, including proffers related to transportation.
Mr. Franco replied that they have to a value consistent with what has been happening. Personally, he felt that this was part of the knee jerk reaction of VDOT to what is going on in Richmond in and through there. But, again he would propose that the Commission push this to the Board and say that they recommend approval of this project subject to that cash proffer being appropriate to compensate the impacts.
Mr. Cannon said that he was in favor of that, but does not have enough confidence in this VDOT response so late in the game and not well anal sized to say that is an appropriate term.
Mr. Franco pointed out that one thing to keep in mind is that the number that they are proposing based on the density they are proposing they are talking about $20,000 a unit. The affordable housing is $165,000 is not at $145,000 with that proffer on it. When they start throwing in development and everything else if they could produce that house for $20,000 he felt that they could meet that criteria. But, that is all what is part of what is there.
Ms. Echols asked to make two comments. One is about the fiscal impact analysis. She was glad that Ms. Harold pointed that out. Staff was supposed to receive that today to bring to the meeting. But, she did not receive that. Therefore, staff does not have that information for the Commission. If it is relevant, then the Commission can wait. The information will show that the commercial activity plays in to the ability of this development to support itself because a mixed use development has less of a fiscal impact on the County than a solely residential development.
Mr. Strucko speculated that analysis would contain a commentary on the impact this development would have the schools, roads, fire/rescue, libraries, parks, water, sewer and affordable housing. He felt that the Commission had touched every one of those subjects. The cash proffer per unit was mentioned in the staff report as covering schools. They just talked about the roads. Staff was correct that a residential unit offers a surplus to the County where as a residential unit on the whole offers a deficit. To have the two in a development like this together that one could offset the other.
Ms. Joseph said that one of the speakers talked designating it instead of having it go into to a pot, but splitting it to designate part of it for schools and roads. She asked if staff or the applicant had any thoughts on that.
Ms. Echols said that if it was given as lump sum, then the Board can decide through approval of the CIP which projects it wants to attribute that money to. It gives the Board of Supervisors greater flexibility in terms of how to spend that money. So if they find that the immediate need is schools, they could spent it all on schools. If they find that the immediate need is transportation, then they could spend it all on transportation. Or, they could split it up any way they wanted to. Leaving that to the Board’s discretion makes sense to staff. It could also go the other way. It just depends.
Mr. Strucko agreed that the Board should have that flexibility. He would like to see in the future if they were going to that X number of dollars per dwelling unit as a cash proffer, he would like to see that X number of dollars itemized for the various services that this particular development would impact. Through a fiscal impact analysis in this particular area of the County they know that a development of this nature they have X number of dollars impact on fire/rescue, the schools are at current capacity or have access capacity and can handle, the parks and recreations needs, etc. He knows that is coming down the road and that is the intent of the Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee to do that. To assure the public that the County is looking at the devising a cash amount per unit that will be justified by line itemizing what each dollar increment is for each service.
Mr. Morris asked what the Commission’s preference was as far as action for this particular item.
Mr. Strucko asked if they were going to discuss the waivers.
Ms. Echols said that if the Commission wanted to review any of the waivers specifically that staff would be glad to talk to them about them. Because of the lateness of the hour and staff has vetted these waiver requests many, many times and gotten down to this particular list they are comfortable with the waivers they are recommending. But, staff is very glad to talk to the Commission about them. In terms of the public/private street request that is in here, what staff was proposing was that they were punting the decision to the site plan or subdivision phase where the Planning Commission would then make that decision. It would be a last resort. There would not have to be a rezoning that would have to take place in order for them to get a private street. Staff feels certain that they have Culpeper’s buy in on this and that they are going to be successful at this. It could be that the way the Commission dealt with this is in the rezoning say public or private, but the private street has to come back for approval through the Planning Commission. If the Commission felt certain that this was the way that they wanted to go, then it would be a very quick and easy action through the Commission. But, the private street approval is the Planning Commission’s decision.
Ms. Joseph said that she would like to see whatever proffers are proposed for the private roads. Or, for Mr. Kamptner and our other attorneys to look at the language to be a be able to tell the Commission that this looks like it could work in terms of the easement itself and the maintenance. The real concern is the maintenance. She could understand the easement. She would like to see how the affordable housing proffer is crafted. What Ms. Echols is saying is if it comes back they have been through all this. She asked that the request come back to the Commission one more time as a public hearing and just have this as a work session. She was just not ready to vote on it right now. She hears what everyone is saying, but she would like to see the words written down in proffer statements.
Mr. Zobrist felt that the Commission should move the request along and put the reliance on our staff. He felt that staff has done a great job. He has complete confidence that they are probably in agreement with each other. He has great confidence in Mr. Kamptner’s ability to review any documents that are prepared to implement our concerns. He would be willing to make a motion for approval if the Commission was ready for it. They might want to have some more discussion, but he was ready to move the request forward.
Mr. Cannon felt that they have the outlines of the approvable packet here. He did not know whether they were sufficiently clear and able to vote on. He was not sure what form the vote would take. Would the vote take the form of rejection for following reasons, which if corrected before the Board of Supervisors would result in explicit recommendation of approval or what? He was not sure what their options are.
Mr. Kamptner said that if the Commission is generally comfortable or in support of the project, but there are some issues that just needs to be tied up the Commission can recommend approval on the condition that issues a) through g) be resolved as per your discussions tonight.
Mr. Morris asked if the last paragraph on page 23 give us good guidance for what they want to say.
Mr. Kamptner asked if it was the paragraph that begins with the applicant.
Mr. Morris replied yes.
Mr. Zobrist asked if that could be the motion.
Mr. Kamptner replied yes, but that the one thing that is of concern is that the Board meeting is scheduled for April 11.
Ms. Echols noted that the applicant was willing to defer so that there is sufficient time.
Mr. Kamptner said that would require that everything be wrapped up within the next week or so.
Ms. Echols noted that the applicant was willing to move that on.
Mr. Edgerton asked if staff feels they have gotten enough input and can incorporate that into the discussions.
Ms. Echols replied yes.
Mr. Edgerton asked the applicant if they feel that they will be able to work with staff to address the issues that staff had already addressed and the ones that were brought up this evening.
Mr. Franco replied yes.
Action on ZMA-01-08:
Motion: Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to approve ZMA-01-08, Rivanna Village at Glenmore, contingent upon all of the items listed in the staff report dated March 13, 2007 and all of the issues that have been discussed tonight, which issues should all be resolved prior to the Board of Supervisors public hearing.
The motion passed by a vote of 5:1. (Ms. Joseph voted nay.) (Mr. Craddock abstained.)
Ms. Echols asked for action on the waivers. She asked for clarity on the public/private road waiver and any other ones that the Commission wants to discuss. She encouraged the Commission to look through the list of waivers.
Ms. Joseph pointed out that on the very last page it says that the zoning administrator has been asked to approve a waiver of the requirement to screen the rear of the residences from the right-of-way when double frontage lots are created. Planning staff does not recommend a blanket waiver for to this requirement. She asked staff what that means.
Ms. Echols replied that up above the administrative approval of waivers and modifications the applicant asked us to note those so that it is clear in the future what actions have taken place for future planners who would see site plans and subdivision plats. In the screening section the applicant asked for a waiver to the double frontage requirements so that they would not have to screen potentially the backs of houses. Staff does not feel comfortable with a blanket waiver to that. That is an administrative waiver. So it is something that could happen later on a case by case basis. Because they don’t know exactly what is going where staff is not comfortable with that one.
Mr. Zobrist asked if they were comfortable with where they want screening.
Mr. Echols replied yes, that they were comfortable on the screening.
Mr. Morris asked if they were fairly clear about the public/private roads.
Ms. Echols said that she was not clear on it.
Mr. Cannon said that his sense is that they would be prepared to grant the waiver for private streets, but only on those streets that are not the two streets that Mr. Edgerton identified as being public roads, and on the private streets that would be authorized by the waiver they would want the conditions of an easement granting public access and whatever maintenance provisions would be deemed to be adequate in staff’s view to assure their maintenance.
Mr. Zobrist said all of that is a default in the event they can’t get public streets through VDOT. The preference is public streets through VDOT.
Action on Private Street Waiver:
Motion: Mr. Cannon moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to deny the waiver as to the street for Steamer Way and Entrance Corridor from Route 250 and to grant the waiver as to the other streets with the following conditions:
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0. (Mr. Craddock abstained.)
Mr. Franco asked for some clarity if they were talking about the entrance road to the intersection of Stream Way as it continues on. What they discussed earlier was that if they are not able to get public roads with utilities on those street that the Commission describes in and through there that they will build in flexibility in the plan to deal with this spatial enclosure aspect, which is going to push the buildings back and affect the plan.
Mr. Zobrist noted that the only place that they have to plan for public roads period is the entry way off of Glenmore Way and the entry way off of Route 250 down to where they intersect. If they can’t get a public road within the time frame approved by VDOT, then the Commission is recommending granting the waiver subject to the conditions that have been set forth. Then they won’t have to build the public road.
Mr. Franco said that was not what he heard.
Mr. Zobrist reiterated that these two roads will be public roads. Then the other roads if they can’t work this out with VDOT and staff within a reasonable time that the applicant and staff can agree upon, then those can be made private roads subject to the other conditions.
Mr. Franco said that he was trying to put them on notice that he heard what they were saying and he was hoping that they understand that if the applicant can’t have utilities in the road here and he has to because he has to have VDOT roads. The utilities would then have to go in the front yards of where those townhouses are, but some of their spatial enclosure goals that are represented with this plan may have to change to accommodate that as well.
Mr. Cannon, Mr. Edgerton and Mr. Zobrist agreed with that.
Mr. Edgerton asked if they can’t put the utilities in the right-of-way on a public road is there anything that would prevent them from putting them some where else like through a parking lot. They have a linear parking lot running all the way behind that. Could they run the utilities down?
Mr. Franco replied that they certainly could try to do that. He was happy to explore that, but some of the enclosure might be lost along the street. Virginia Power in discussions has said that they don’t want the utilities in people’s back yard, but want to be between the street and the house. Potentially, it could force those buildings back or the street trees to be lost in and through there.
Mr. Morris suggested that the applicant work with the VDOT staff in Culpeper.
Ms. Echols asked to make one note. Staff misunderstood one of the waiver requests relative to the sidewalk on the private street in Block C. What staff thought that they saw was something that was inconsistent and that they needed to ask for a waiver for the sidewalk on one side of the road. In fact what they were doing was showing an off-road path on one side of the road. So when staff recommended denial of that waiver they did not have full information. Staff would recommend approval with substitution of the path that is shown on the plan for the sidewalk.
Ms. Joseph asked if that meant that staff was recommending approval of all of the waiver requests.
Ms. Echols replied that was correct.
Action on All Other Waivers and Modifications:
Motion: Ms. Joseph moved, Mr. Zobrist seconded, to grant all other requested waivers and modifications, subject to the conditions as recommended by staff with these additions/exceptions.
The motion passed by a vote of 6:0. (Mr. Craddock abstained.)
Mr. Morris stated that ZMA-2001-08, Rivanna Village at Glenmore, would go before the Board of Supervisors at a date to be determined.
Ms. Joseph noted that it is a good plan and that the applicant has worked very hard on this. She felt that it was very sensitive to the environment. The applicant has tried to be as sensitive to the neighbors and Planning Commission as they could. She appreciates that. One of the reasons she voted no is that she really wanted to see the affordable housing proffers before it went to the Board. Those proffers get tweaked and changed and she just wanted an opportunity to look at them. It was not no to the plan. It was that she wanted the opportunity to look at those. She appreciates all of the work that they have done on it.
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