CPA 2004-02 Pantops Master
Plan: This is
the third of three work sessions scheduled to review the draft Pantops Master
Plan and will focus on Design Principles, Community Facilities & Service, and
Implementation sections of the draft Master Plan. (Rebecca Ragsdale)
In summary, the Planning Commission held the third work
session on CPA-2004-002, Pantops Master Plan. Ms. Ragsdale and Mr. Benish
presented power point presentation and summarized the staff report.
The first was held on
November 7 and the second on November 21 to discuss the draft chapters of
the Pantops Master Plan. On November 7 they moved through the introduction
and background, vision and guiding principles and a portion of the place
types and land use chapter of the document.
Last week they wrapped up
the land use and place types discussion with the Commission noting that they
needed to clarify the Rivanna River Corridor Overlay designation a little
bit. They also moved through the green infrastructure and transportation
chapters of the document.
This evening staff wants to
review a section that they have added to the green infrastructure chapter of
the document, design principles, community facilities and services and talk
about a bit about where they are with implementation and the implementation
the priority areas map that staff has provided.
As they have done
previously, staff would like to move through after giving a brief overview
of the chapters page by page so that they could get the Commission’s
comments and feedback on what they have provided.
Staff added to the green
infrastructure section, which begins on page 29. They added water resources
and storm water management. That was something that they had in the design
principles chapter, but felt that it should be moved up to the green
infrastructure chapter. Basically, that refers to the 2004 Stream
Assessment Data, which has perennial and intermittent streams mapped. This
is recommending additional protection for the intermittent streams.
The other recommendation
that was added is that when properties that are already covered in
impervious surfaces redevelop in Pantops, such as the Pantops Shopping
Center, that they improve and meet current regulations for storm water
management if they were developed under old ordinances or predate storm
water management ordinance they may not have to make an improvement, but
they could not make storm water conditions worse. So this is recommending
that those areas be improved when they redevelop. It refers to a certain
section in the Water Protection Ordinance. It is not saying that existing
language will be used, but that section could be modified and there is a
category called areas of infill and redevelopment. That section of the
ordinance could be added to so that these recommendations could also apply
to by right development. Those are recommendations for legislation actions,
waivers and things you have discretion over in advance of the Water
Protection Ordinance being amended. She hoped that clarified that section.
The green infrastructure
map shows some of those streams, both intermittent and perennial, and has
recommendations as well for trails and enhancements. This is just adding to
that. Staff asked if there were any additional comments on that chapter or
the new section.
Ms. Joseph felt the
additions were clear, but suggested some tweaking of the words to say that
it is understood that the expectations are that the ordinance language may
change as a result of this.
Mr. Cannon asked if this
contemplates a capital program for acquisition of open space that is not now
Ms. Ragsdale replied that staff has on the green
infrastructure map identified the areas they talked about last week for future
parks. So when staff brings them the implementation section that is when they
would talk about what they would recommend for the capital improvements program
Mr. Cannon replied that
staff’s general contemplation at this point is that there will be a capital
program that would be designed to implement and facilitate achieving the
Mr. Benish replied that one of the tools for that in the
implementation plan would be funding for capital improvements. The focus of
those right now will be the Rivanna Greenway and hopefully the park that is on
State Farm Boulevard, which is one that is subject to some concern with the
Parks and Recreation Department on whether that should be public or privately
developed and available to that area as open space. The trail systems
connecting neighborhoods would probably be private initiative, but may be with
some local monies.
Mr. Cannon said there is an
initiative being a foundation or some other interested group or neighborhood
Mr. Benish added that it could be through neighborhood
associations or through development proposals or redevelopment proposals.
Mr. Edgerton noted that on
page 2, the second to last paragraph says that it is not necessary that the
entire greenway system be dedicated to the County and maintained for public
access. It goes on and gives some possible variations. He asked if this
paragraph is necessary and secondly, are we kind of working against
ourselves here. The idea of having the green infrastructure would be to
serve the community and the public. If they start giving exceptions in the
language of the Master Plan it is going to set up a confusing dynamic. He
realized that there was a budgetary concern about taking this on, but at the
very least he would hope that anything that would be included in the green
infrastructure, regardless of who maintained it or whether it was proffered
as part of a rezoning, he would like to hope that it would be available for
the public’s benefit and use even if it was privately maintained or
maintained by a homeowner’s association. He felt that it seemed criminal to
have gaps in the infrastructure plan that would be considered private
property and regulated as such and to destroy the linkages, which he was
hopeful that this Master Plan would develop over time.
Mr. Benish replied that staff is sensitive to his concern.
There is a perception of what is public and what is publicly owned to develop.
Some of their language is being cautionary as to the expectation of what public
investment and county investment can do as opposed to as a result of various
tools can be in the public realm for use, such as the Peter Jefferson Place sort
of circle is going to be privately owned, but it is going to be accessible to
the general public. Staff will work on that language to make sure that they are
not sending an inconsistent message.
Mr. Edgerton said that the
green infrastructure is to support the whole Master Plan and the community
that is going to live and work in this area. He would like to make sure
that they don’t put language in that is going to give an out for that.
Mr. Zobrist noted that it
does not necessarily mean public access. He asked if that was what he was
trying to say. Obviously, they don’t want to get a principle in the
document that somehow requires the County to address how to acquire rights.
He agreed with Mr. Edgerton that the County trails were very important, but
he also felt that lots of open space was important also even if it was
Mr. Cannon suggested as
they go through this that they can make choices about what is fee ownership,
which he felt was appropriate for trails and so forth, and then maybe there
were bordering areas that they want kept in the natural state, but it is not
necessary for the purposes of the infrastructure program to have the public
actually have access to those. Those could be protected by easement, which
itself is a property interest, but not that a property interest that allows
the public to go on the land. They could get what they want minimizing cost
and assuring that what is necessary to be in fee ownership in the name of
the public is there and what is where lesser interest may be appropriate and
adequate to get those so that they stretch their money further and get more
for their public expenditures.
Mr. Benish said that he realized that from last week with the
implementation plan. The plan is focused on certain areas, but leaves some of
the green areas gray.
Mr. Edgerton suggested that
possibly they might need two different colors.
Mr. Benish noted that for example there were floodplain and
critical slope areas along
I-64 in the Peter Jefferson Place that are recognized because
that plan shows it as open space areas. The way that development works it is
generally available to the residents and tenants of that area and he did not
think there was any intent to have passes or gates. So it is generally
available to the public. But, there is not expectation that the County is
willing to other than enforce those regulations through that rezoning
requirement do anything else there. There is no distinction on this color from
the other public spaces that they do expect to have developed as public land.
That is part of the dialogue that staff is having with the Parks and Recreation
Department. Staff will work on that some more.
The discussion moved to the next chapter on design
This is what staff had
under the heading last time when they brought the public input tables and
recommendations of character and aesthetics. It was under that heading
previously. But, now it is under design principles.
This chapter is where staff
addresses view shed protection both from Monticello and important views from
other vantage points, such as the City of Charlottesville and also has the
recommendations for the Entrance Corridors, Routes 20 and 250 in terms of
urban versus rural character and transitioning into the development areas.
On the framework map there are some buffer areas shown along the roadways.
This chapter also discusses
the concept of what green buildings and principles are. In Pantops it
emphasizes certain Neighborhood Model principles, such as site planning that
respects terrain. That is so important in Pantops given the topography.
Also, to make sure that they don’t leave anything gray, they include
language in there that address what sort of edge treatments on the edge of
the Pantops development area are expected on the fringes.
Staff presented an
illustration to show what staff is talking about with the Neighborhood Model
Principle redevelopment infill with buildings closer to the road, a central
green and establishing a block pattern. This is from the Neighborhood Model
adding mixed use with apartments above. It is just emphasizing that
principle, which may be applicable to Route 250. This is from last time of
an example of a very current redevelopment project on the Old Moore’s site,
which was rezoned to the Neighborhood Model District that illustrates some
of those principles.
Staff is gong to be sharing
these draft recommendations for the Master Plan with the Architectural
Review Board. They would like to be informed of the Master Plan as they
move forward to review the recommendations. The ARB will receive that
information on December 4.
Staff asked for comments
from the Commission on the design principles.
Ms. Joseph said that on
page 6 in the discussion of view shed protection, it was suggested that the
language talk more about Monticello and the fact that it is important for
local economics because of tourism. That is also covered in the beginning
of the chapter.
Staff indicated that they would add the why and the
Ms. Joseph said that on
page 7 in the discussion of Entrance Corridors on Route 250 east it says
that they want street trees location within the right-of-way. Is this
something that will be difficult with VDOT or is it something that they have
come around? Also, where the 8’ sidewalk came from.
Mr. Benish replied that it was difficult, but they have had
better opportunities to do that. He felt that it was something that staff would
like to strive for in the plan. He replied that 8’ was a minimum width for
multi-modes bike and pedestrian. That is the minimum that VDOT will accept for
a facility that can accommodate bicycles and pedestrians.
Ms. Joseph said that on
page 8, there is gateway, underground utilities and signs. She questioned
if staff wanted to do anything with lighting. She asked if there would be
street lights out there at some point in time or whether that is just
Ms. Ragsdale replied that staff does mention lighting as far
as County regulations with regard to the view shed and then in the
transportation section they have mentioned the need to take a look at street
lighting and see if there was a need for it. So it is something that is
considered. Staff could add that as far as uniform design guidelines for the
Ms. Joseph said that on
page 9, it talks about site planning that respects the terrain and are
limiting the size of retaining walls. The question was raised on how they
were justifying that. Is it because of the visual impact? It was noted
that 12’ retaining walls had come in on Luxor. Was it a reaction to that
sort of thing?
Mr. Benish replied that it was in part and may be to take the
opportunity to do more terracing that would create shorter spans that could be
terraced and landscaped within the terrace to treat the same or similar
grading. Obviously, there is more impact when someone has to terrace multiple
small walls. In part it is that was one of the big concerns that staff heard
from the community about the radical change and lack of respect of the terrain.
While it is an urban area they want to consider density, but they want to try
limiting it the best that they can.
Ms. Monteith felt that one
of the concerns would be what is already there. That is retroactive
planning, which is always a challenge. It seems that there could be
planting that could be included in that, which would mitigate that. Staff
has spoken about green roofs, but it is unlikely that green roofs will go up
on existing buildings. Although, the County has provided a great example
that can happen. If there could be more thought both in terms of long term
view shed and immediate kind of Entrance Corridor perception or taking up
grade on buildings where there are retaining walls with some additional
language about screening without getting into real specifics of species or
deciduous versus non-deciduous or height might be helpful.
development, Mr. Edgerton felt that it was a great start, but he would like
to get more specific suggestions in there if possible. Particularly
suggestions about opportunities to deal with storm water run off, such as
rain gardens and paving that could be integrated with the grading section.
If they are going to try to encourage folks to terrace, as described on page
9, retaining walls used should be 4’ to 5’ tall and terraced, that as
previously suggested some of the planting could be included in that and some
rain gardens could be included in that, which would contribute significantly
to opportunities to protect the ground water. He suggested that they
include a stronger statement about more specifics in the Comp Plan. This
should make a reference to it to get people to start thinking about it.
They should not miss the opportunity to educate as much as possible on this
in the Master Plan.
Ms. Joseph suggested that
language could be included when they are day lighting or keeping streams
channels above ground they could actually use those as examples to have
interpretative signage. That is very specific. But, in the case of this
they could make mention of the fact that these sustainability features could
be used as educational opportunities for the community, also.
Ms. Ragsdale noted that she had mentioned the boundaries with
the rural area, but did not explain exactly what they meant by that. Staff
wanted to make sure that if properties came in for development on the edges that
there was not an expectation in the yellow areas that there will be an
additional buffer on the edges. Most of it is either designated as green or
neighborhood density residential on the fringes. In terms of its location with
the transect, they will expect the lower end of the density ranges recommended.
So they are not having any additional buffer or any sort of recommendation.
Staff wanted to make sure that they covered those areas as well in the plan. So
that is what they meant with that section. The proposed density for the yellow
is 3 to 6 dwelling units per acre.
Ms. Ragsdale said that the Commission would move on to review
the Community Facilities and Services section.
Based on where Pantops is
located, its size and its vicinity to other service providers, the need for
services is based on the long range service standards for the different
entities. The public has expressed the need of a library and postal
services. Staff has recommended continued monitoring and discussion with
those service providers, such the Post Office and the Jefferson Madison
Regional Library, so that they could get those facilities in Pantops as soon
as they are warranted or needed. The one public facility that is planned is
the fire station. As far as the other public facilities, the parks they
talked about are in green infrastructure. This is really responding for
those needs for services and then addressing business development
The residents in Pantops
also noted the need for certain kinds of businesses. As they go through the
Master Plan they are taking a look at the jobs, housing balance to see what
the needs are in each development area. So that is what that is referring
to. Staff has established an implementation map with priority areas. In the
text staff recommends that any new facilities or services be concentrated or
relocated in those service areas identified geographically with the colors.
The colors do not denote priority at this point. This is also going to act
as the transportation map. Then when staff brings the implementation plan
they will be referring to this map. For instance, in the text they would
recommend the fire station in the State Farm Boulevard area. Then they have
identified Route 250, this concentration of residential development, Route
20 to Riverbend as the four priority areas for implementation going forward.
Mr. Benish added that the linear ones are reflective of
corridor transportation improvements. The areas of bubbles are where most of
the improvements. State Farm and the area to the north is where staff sees most
of the development that has been approved taking place. Martha Jefferson
Hospital relocation will be a major reason to focus in on the State Farm
Boulevard area. The implementation plan also refers to the stream corridor, the
Rivanna River crossing, which is a unique improvement that is a high priority in
terms of scheduling to try to get constructed. This map guides them to the
table. Hopefully, they will do the table in a way that is reflective of the
Mr. Craddock asked about the road at Aunt Sarah’s being
aligned with State Farm Boulevard. He believed that there was an empty lot
between Aunt Sarah’s and social security. He felt that there was enough land
there for a fire house, which would be a great central location.
Ms. Ragsdale noted that a Pantops Community Advisory Council
would be created simultaneously with the adoption of the Master Plan. Staff is
hoping to get Board approval when it is time to start advertising for public
hearing to start recruitment of a diverse group of members consisting of
property owners, residents and business owners in Pantops. That will be part of
the implementation as well as those in Crozet. Staff hopes to have the
implementation plan to the Commission on the second week in December.
Mr. Benish noted that staff plans to distribute the
implementation plan to the Commission next week. At the end of the meeting he
would like to talk about scheduling that in the December timeframe and what
works for the Commission.
Ms. Joseph asked if anyone was present who would like to
speak to the Pantops Master Plan.
Brian Wheeler, member of the Albemarle County School Board,
said that he had not anticipated speaking tonight. But, in looking through the
staff report he would like to speak as one school board member and not for the
board, he noticed that there was information about future thoughts about school
needs in this part of the community. As they look at the Crozet Master Plan and
how that is playing out, they know that a school site was identified in the
Crozet Master Plan and that may not work out as far as whether that development
comes in for a rezoning or by right. But, he would encourage the Commission and
staff to think about it and make sure that they working with the school division
and if there is enough housing that is projected to come in to the Pantops
Master Plan area that they go ahead and put on the map an idea about where a
future school site might need to be. If they look at the total number of
housing units that they are anticipating the potential in Places 29, they also
need to think about middle school and high school sites being designated on the
map and the County working towards securing that property. But, certainly they
need to start thinking about elementary schools.
Mr. Benish noted that the CIP does not project the need for
an additional school in this area at this time. Staff will be looking at the
monitoring and looking at the need on a regular basis with the schools. They
will be taking a look at some of the general recommendations for land for
various public spaces that could be used as the County may see fit in the future
for recycling centers and schools.
Ms. Joseph noted that they had talked about community centers
at one point that may be a need, but it may not be a school. But, it might be
some public space that might be needed.
Mr. Benish pointed out that staff would take a look at that
Ms. Joseph noted that the work session had been completed
since there were no further comments.
Mr. Zobrist commended staff for doing such a good job.
Mr. Benish pointed out that staff would take the comments and
suggestions and go back and clean up the language of the document to bring it
back and to work towards a public hearing.
The Commission took a ten
minute break at 7:20 p.m.
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