Albemarle County Planning Commission

April 18, 2006



            Work Sessions:


ZMA-2005-017 Biscuit Run (formerly Fox Ridge) – Signs #52, 56, 63

PROPOSAL:  Rezone approximately 920 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre), R-2 Residential (2 units/acre) and RA--Rural Area: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to NMD Neighborhood Model District - residential (3 - 34 units/acre) mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses. Maximum number proposed residential units: 4,970. Commercial uses proposed also.


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.


LOCATION: Tax Map and Parcels 90-5, 90-6D (portion), 90-17D, 90-A-3, 90-A1-1, 90-A1-1E, 90-15A, 90A-1A, 90A-1B, and 90A-1C. Between the east side of Old Lynchburg Road and the west side of Route 20; adjacent and to the south of the Mill Creek subdivision, adjacent and to the west of the intersection of Avon Street, Extended and Route 20.


STAFF:  Claudette Grant


Ms. Grant summarized the staff report.



The first in a series of work sessions was held on March 21st, 2006. This work session provided discussion on general conformity of the proposed rezoning to the Comprehensive Plan.  During the work session, the Commission agreed that:

·            The proposed non-residential uses would be appropriate and consistent with the Comprehensive Plan as long as these uses are provided at a neighborhood scale and the Code of Development reflects this description for non-residential uses.

·            It is  appropriate for the applicant to use the proposed transect district description similar to what is used in the Crozet Master Plan regarding density and the clustering of density.

·            The proposed density is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, but, the Commission is not able to support the maximum density proposed until the results of the traffic study have been completed and reviewed.

·            Since the traffic study has not been completed, the next work session should be devoted to site planning that respects terrain.


The Commission discussed the proposed location of the school and park in the rural area and whether this was appropriate and consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. No consensus was achieved or decisions made regarding this issue.



The purpose of this work session is to discuss environmental issues; site planning that respects terrain, and other related topics. The work session will also be used for the Commission to advise the applicant on any problematic areas or changes needed for the rezoning.



The project site is rich with important environmental features and protection of these resources is important to the well being of the community and to ecosystems in the rural areas.   While staff believes that the applicant has shown a level of commitment to preserving some of the environmental features on this site, more protection is needed for development of the site. Disturbance and encroachment should not occur in the stream buffers. A different layout for streets and lots should be considered that doesn’t impact grades as severely.  Disturbance for utilities should be as minimal as possible. The Commission is asked to articulate for the applicant, staff, and the public whether or not disturbance of the environmental features discussed in this report are acceptable and appropriate for the development of this project.


Future discussions with the Planning Commission are expected on the following topics since detailed discussion will not be possible at the April 18 meeting:


1. Transportation issues

2. Neighborhood Model issues

3. Traffic Study

4. Historic Resources/Entrance Corridor

5. Build out/Phases

6. Impacts to schools, fire-rescue, and police


Alia Anderson, with Alliance for Community Choice to Transportation, made a brief power point presentation about the Safe Routes to School Program.


Scott Collins, representative for the applicant, made a power point presentation and explained the environmental aspects of the proposed project.  Steve Blaine, attorney, was present to represent the applicant.


In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZMA-2005-017, Biscuit Run to discuss the environmental issues, site planning that respects terrain and other related issues. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal with staff and the applicant, and then responded to the preliminary questions posed by staff. The Commission provided the following feedback on the issues mentioned in the staff report as follows:



Should disturbance of the significant environmental features shown on the Open Space Plan be allowed for the development?


·         All but one of the Commissioners said that the disturbance of the significant environmental features shown on the Open Space Plan as the circled areas on the plan should not be allowed for the development.  These areas need to be protected and the applicant should find alternative ways to do storm water management. 


·         One Commissioner questioned if grading the four circled areas for storm water management was worse than leaving it natural.  She noted that in three cases, disturbance was adjacent to tributaries to the streams.  She said that the stream closest to the west or towards Old Lynchburg Road, is a less sensitive area than the other three because of its proximity to Biscuit Run.  Its adjacency is more isolated.  She felt that the applicant could work with the other three areas using them for mitigation or beefing them up for mitigation versus leaving them in a truly natural state.   She said that the applicant could preserve them and not run roads through them and that sort of thing.  The fourth stream valley closest to the road is a critical point because it provides connections to the main road. She said she would be receptive to disturbance of that area because it is not in direct proximity to Biscuit Run.  But, the Commission would have to closely study the plan to make that determination.  The Commissioner said that in the other three areas the applicant could do a better job to minimize the disturbance.


How should ecosystems in the Rural Areas affect the decision on whether or not the school and park area should be located in the Rural Areas?


·         All commissioners agreed that the school should be located within the development.


·         There was no agreement reached on whether a park should be in the Rural Area.  There were several viewpoints as noted below.






How should woodlands be dealt with on the site?



Should a different layout of the site be considered that would lessen the impacts and level of grading proposed with the existing plan?


It was the consensus of the Commission that a different layout of the site should be considered that would lessen the impacts and level of grading with the existing plan to be a little more sensitive.


Go to next set of minutes

Return to exec summary