Work Sessions:


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.





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 funding.



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. Benish added that it could be through neighborhood associations or through development proposals or redevelopment proposals.



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. 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. 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 principles. 









Staff indicated that they would add the why and the justification. 



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. 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 corridor section.



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. 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.



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 priority areas.


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 need again.


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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