COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Request to rezone 15 acres from RA Rural Areas to CO Commercial Office for 178,800 square feet of office space, with special use permits for 120 residential units and to allow research, development, lab uses.
Cilimberg, Echols, Ragsdale
LEGAL REVIEW: YES
August 1, 2007
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
Next Generation LLC (United Land Corporation-Wendell W. Wood) owner; Collins Engineering (Scott Collins, PE/Kirsten Munz, PE, AICP) consulting
A public hearing was held on this rezoning at the Planning Commission on July 10, 2007 and the Commission recommended approval of the rezoning and accompanying special use permits to the Board of Supervisors, This motion for approval was conditioned upon compliance with County proffer policy, as it may be determined by the Board of Supervisors; Commissioners also noted concerns regarding the proposed layout and design of the project and its lack of conformity with the Neighborhood Model. Specific matters that the Commission, in their recommendation of approval, wanted addressed before the Board would act on this application were:
o Cash Proffers-Provision of cash proffers per market rate residential unit in accordance with the County’s cash proffer policy. The Commission noted that residential units in the proposed project will have initial impacts, regardless of the tenants, and that these impacts should be mitigated when the units are constructed and not at a later date when they may be available on the open-market;
o Affordable Housing-The affordable housing provisions that have been proffered by the applicant should be adjusted to meet the current acceptable amount for providing cash in-lieu of providing affordable units; that figure is $19,100 per unit for 15% of the total number of units;
o Boulders Road Typical Section-Provision of a typical section for Boulders Road adequate to meet the Neighborhood Model street requirements;
o Off-Site Right-of-Way for Boulders Road-Provision of right-of-way dedication for the off-site portion of Boulder’s Road, from the northern project boundary of this rezoning to the intersection of Route 29 and Austin Drive;
o Route 29 Improvements-Proffer commitments to improvements on Route 29, satisfactory to VDOT and meeting their requirements of this rezoning, which include analysis of the intersection of Route 29 and Boulders Road, provision of dual left turn lanes on Route 29, and any signalization adjustments.
The applicant submitted a cover letter, revised proffers, and revised application plan following the Planning Commission meeting, which staff received on July 12, 2007. (Attachments A-Letter, B-Proffers, C-Application Plan) The revised application plan and proffers submitted by the applicant satisfactorily address minor issues identified by staff and respond to matters that the Commission wanted addressed before the Board would act on this application, including the provision for Affordable Housing proffers, Boulders Road typical section, off-site dedication of right-of-way for the extension of Boulders Road, and improvements to Route 29.
The applicant has not addressed the Commission’s expectations for cash proffers for the residential component of the project to address impacts. (Proffer #2-Attachment B) The applicant is proposing a 120-unit apartment building, allowed by special use permit in the CO Zoning District. The apartments are expected to be leased to governmental entities, likely housing NGIC employees and functioning more like barracks. Based on this assumption, the applicant has proffered that the cash proffers for the market rate residential units not be provided until leases expire and the apartments are available as market rate units. Information on lease arrangements or time frames has not been provided by the applicant. As noted earlier, the Commission in its action expected the impacts of the units to be addressed by cash proffers at the time of their construction.
The project has 120 units total, but since the applicant has proffered to meet the 15% Affordable Housing goal with 18 units, then the remaining 102 market rate units would result in a cash impact amount of $1,264,800, or $12,400 per market rate apartment unit. The Boulders Road off-site right of way dedication could be considered as a credit toward this cash impact amount since the loop road is identified by the existing Land Use Plan and the draft Places 29 Master Plan. Information provided by the applicant’s consulting engineer indicates the length of that dedication to be 2,743 feet and the proffered width is 100 feet, which is approximately a total area of about 6.3 acres. The assessed value based on County records is $85,500 per acre so the total value amount for the right of way dedication is $538,398, or $5,278 per unit. The benefit of this dedication would be that, should the County have resources, it would allow the road’s construction before the applicant would develop that area himself and build the road as part of that development. This road is not in any current funding plan of the County, so it is unknown if the County would be in a position to build this road before the applicant would otherwise develop this property. Assuming this credit, the total cash proffer amount would be $726,402 or $7,122 per market rate unit. In order to meet the proffer policy established by the Board and for proffers to be acceptable to the County Attorney, the cash proffer amount per unit and the inflation adjustment of the cash amount should be included in the proffer statement.
As the applicant has not addressed all the expectations of the Commission in its recommendation of approval, staff recommends denial. The applicant has considered removing the residential component of the project and may consider requesting approval of only the commercial portion of the project; however, the applicant would like the Board to weigh-in on the cash proffers for the residential prior to requesting that. If the residential is removed from the project, material changes to the proffers would also need to be made and a new public hearing would be required.
C. Proffered Application Plan, titled “NGIC Expansion Project, Application Plan for ZMA 2007-003”, prepared by Collins Engineering, dated June 12, 2007 and last revised July 12, 2007 (on file in Clerk's office)