Albemarle County Planning Commission

August 14, 2007



ZMA2006-00019 Willow Glen (Sign # 27, 29)

PROPOSAL:  Amend Comprehensive Plan from Industrial Service which allows warehousing, light industry, heavy industry, research, office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) uses to Urban Density Residential which allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses. Rezone 23.681 acres from Rural Areas which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to Planned Residential District which allows residential (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses for a maximum of 234 units


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Industrial Service which allows for (see uses above) in the Hollymead Community.


LOCATION: property is east of Dickerson Road (Rt. 606) across from Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport and approximately 1500 feet south of intersection with Airport Road (Rt. 649) in Hollymead Community.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 32, Parcels 49F, 49G, 49I, 49J, 49K



CPA2006-00003 Willow Glen (Sign # 27, 29)

PROPOSAL:  Amend Comprehensive Plan from Industrial Service which allows warehousing, light industry, heavy industry, research, office uses, regional scale research, limited production and marketing activities, supporting commercial, lodging and conference facilities, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) uses to Urban Density Residential which allows residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses. Rezone 23.681 acres from Rural Areas which allows agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre) to Planned Residential District which allows residential (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses for a maximum of 234 units


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Industrial Service which allows for (see uses above) in the Hollymead Community.


LOCATION: property is east of Dickerson Road (Rt. 606) across from Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport and approximately 1500 feet south of intersection with Airport Road (Rt. 649) in Hollymead Community.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 32, Parcels 49F, 49G, 49I, 49J, 49K



Ms. Wiegand presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report. 

·         The request is for a zoning map amendment, comprehensive plan amendment and the request for a critical slopes waiver.  The primary focus tonight would be on the zoning map amendment, including a brief discussion of the critical slopes waiver since the comprehensive plan amendment will be considered as part of the Places29 comprehensive plan amendment process.


·         The purpose of this zoning map amendment is to address a legitimate need for affordable housing in the county, including both affordable and moderately priced units.  The location of this project is off Dickerson Road.  There are five parcels in Willow Glen. 


·         The applicant proposes in this area to construct 234 residences, 22 single family detached, 12 duplex units, 106 town homes and 94 condominiums.  They also proposed to include a community center, a central green, tot lots, trails and other open space.  They are proposing a connection from this development to the Hollymead Town Center via the Town Center Drive.  They are requesting this rezoning from the current rural area zoning to a planned residential district. 


·         Staff reviewed the application plan and proffers proposed by the applicant. The applicant is proffering to construct 35 units, which is 50 percent of affordable housing in Willow Glen.  This meets the Board’s policy of the 15 percent affordable housing.  The applicant is proffering moderately priced housing to construct a total of 24 units or slightly over 10 percent of housing for families earning up to 120 percent of the Area Median Household Income in this area.  This project is contingent upon the county’s acceptance of the Housing Loan Fund.  The Housing Director has asked staff to point out that there is not county policy right now on moderately priced housing.


·         The Housing Loan Fund that is proposed as a part of this is something that the applicant is proffering where they would like to use a portion of the cash proffer that they are offering to establish a Housing Loan Fund that would be used to assist the buyers of those moderately priced units. The fund would be structured to be self replenishing and once Willow Glen was complete and all of the initial units had at least been sold this could be used for housing in other parts of the county. 


·         Comparison of Cash Proffers – Requested by Board - The per unit amount for a single family home is $17,500.  The amount for a townhouse/condominium would be $11,900 per unit.  Accepting the affordable units, the 35 that are not included in these calculations, the total that the Board would request from Willow Glen for the other units would be $2,491,300.  Willow Glen is proffering the $17,500 for the 22 single family units and $11,900 for all of the townhouse and condominium units. For the 24 moderately priced units they are proffering one-half of the amount that is request for a total of $2,348,500. 


·         Comparison – The applicant has also suggested as part of their proffers a Housing Loan Fund, which works out to $1,300,000.  They are also proffering another $300,000 of this total amount that would go towards transit.    Then the remaining $748,500 would go towards capital improvements. 


·         The 24 moderately priced units are contingent upon the county accepting the Housing Loan Fund.  If the Housing Loan Fund is not accepted the applicant will drop the 24 moderately priced units.  They would put in the full amount of the proffers so that they would be proffering the amount that the Board has actually requested, which is the $2,491,300.  The difference is $142,800.


·         Factors Favorable to the Rezoning:


o        It locates residential uses near work places and retail areas.

o        It provides the 15 percent of affordable housing.

o        It will provide 10 percent moderately priced housing if the county accepts the Housing Loan Fund.

o        It also provides 4 tiers of housing.  There are 2 market rate tiers beyond the affordable and the moderately priced so that there is an attempt on the part of the applicant to not come in with housing at one general price range and a number of affordable units tucked in.  There is a real attempt to create a range here.

o        It includes a mix of unit types along with the clubhouse and other amenities

o        The applicant has proffered the connection to Town Center Drive and shows a future connection to the north and south of the development as well.

o        The proposal is consistent with the other residential uses to the east and the south of the south.


·         Factors Unfavorable:  After discussing the unfavorable factors listed in the staff report with the applicant since the report was written staff has basically reduced staff’s difficulty with this project to the following 4 items:


1.       There are some issues with regarding the slopes adjacent to the other properties and some storm water management related concerns.  Along the edge of the property between it and Deerwood are some very difficult slopes.  Staff is not completely certain that the storm water will drain to the pond yet.    They still need to work with the applicant and the county engineer has asked for some more information about that.  There are some steep slopes in the front along the highway.  Staff is concerned about those as well as some very steep sloping back yards behind the single family detached homes. 


2.       Road C (the U shaped road in the middle) is also of concern because there is a lot of front loading parking and driveways on that street.  There is parking in front of the homes.  If the Commission is comfortable with this staff has a recommendation for a different road section that can be given to the applicant, which is acceptable to VDOT.  The Commission did previously address the issue of relegated parking and found the general layout acceptable.  Staff’s concern here is a bit more specific.  Cars parked in the driveways may block sidewalks and the frequency of the driveways may make it difficult to provide proper storm water facilities in the street.  Potentially the cars parked on the parking pad may over hang the driveway.  The fix that staff is looking at with VDOT is the section of the road which would narrow the width of the road so that a little more footage could be given in this area to provide for a longer parking space and to keep the cars out of the sidewalk.  Staff feels that this issue can be solved.


3.       The cash proffers do not meet the Board’s policy that the funds are to be used for capital improvements.  Staff recommends that Willow Glen pay the full amount.  They would be asked to pay the $2,491,000 and that it goes towards capital improvements. The county needs this money for capital items.  Putting 55 percent of these funds into a Housing Loan Fund is not consistent with the Board’s policy. While the Loan Fund may be a very good thing for the county staff recommends that amounts in that fund should be addition to the cash proffer amounts.


4.       There needs to be finalization of some of the proffer details.  Staff is working with the applicant on the details.  So far there are some word changes that are presenting a problem.  There are some issues about the index that is going to be used about the timing of the construction of the connection to Town Center Drive.


·         Staff believes that all of these issues can be worked out, but it is going to take a little bit longer.  Staff’s recommendation, as stated in the staff report, is that without resolution of the outstanding issues staff cannot recommend approval.  However, should the Planning Commission wish to recommend approval of the proposal to the Board staff suggests that the recommendation include the resolution of the previous four items as noted on the slide.


Mr. Strucko asked if there were any questions for staff.


Mr. Zobrist asked if the indexing dealt with increasing the amount of proffers by the time they get them.


Ms. Wiegand replied that it starts after the proffers are adopted.   There is an index that every year they look at the value of the proffers and can increase them.   The applicant proposed that they use the Consumer Price Index.  The Board has requested that they use the Marshall and Swift Building Code Index.  That is the change requested by staff.  There has been some difficulty in that they could not get much information about it.  It is not as well known as the CPI.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that Marshall Swift is used in the building industry.  It is actually a number of different indexes, which can be regional in nature.  It is one of the two, as he understands, that are allowed under State law.  The CPI index is the other.


Mr. Kamptner said that the information they have received concerning Marshall and Swift is that the indexes are established by region and also by building type throughout the country.  Why was that index chosen over the CPI.  The two answers are that is the one that the Board decided to go with.  The reason was because in looking at other localities that are asking that indexes be included in the proffers Marshall and Swift seems to be the prevailing index that other localities are requesting.


Mr. Strucko asked if the Board has officially adopted it.


Mr. Cilimberg replied that the direction as part of their work on the policy was that staff should be using that index for inflation factors.  It came up as a direction of the Board’s last work session.  Staff has gotten it included in some projects that have gone on to the Board after the Commission has seen them. So the Commission has not dealt directly with that issue.


Mr. Zobrist noted that now the Commission has some idea about what the indexing factor is.  That also limits their discretion a little bit.  They need to know what the policy is.  He thanked staff for the explanation.


Mr. Craddock asked about the Service Authority agreement about the sewer provision.  He requested that the representatives from the Service Authority be asked to come forward and address their questions.


Ms. Wiegand pointed out that staff had an email in October, 2006 that did indicate an issue.  Then recently another email was received that said there was insufficient capacity in the Airport Connector to take care of Willow Glen.  She felt it was a good question to ask.


Mr. Strucko invited the representatives from the Service Authority to address the Planning Commission.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that the Service Authority has been scrutinizing pretty closely recently the availability of adequate utilities to serve projects.  It has come up with Biscuit Run and Hollymead Town Center.  Some of it probably relates back to when the issues arose after Albemarle Place had gone through all of the approvals and some of what they and the Rivanna Authority were facing related to the inceptor that would handle that project.  With Hollymead Town Center the same issue has arisen basically because both projects are fed through the same interceptor going through this area.


Gary Fern, Director of the Service Authority, said that Mr. Cilimberg covered it very well.  Both the Hollymead Town Center and the Willow Glen project discharge into the Airport Trunk Sewer.  In doing recent studies of it they are finding that the capacity is in question.  They are looking at the limitations on the sewer capacity and are entering into agreements with both.  They have had discussions with the applicant and HM Acquisitions for Hollymead Town Center similar to what they have with Old Trail and Biscuit Run.


Mr. Craddock said that this is potentially going to the Board of Supervisors in October.  He asked if it would be worked out by then who is paying for what.


Mr. Fern replied yes that it should be worked out by October.  The Service Authority’s Board will be addressing this issue Thursday.  Then they will be waiting to hear from the applicant on revisions that they like to see in the agreement, if any.


Mr. Strucko noted that this request will be going to the Board on September 5 for a work session.


Mr. Craddock asked if they would have something fairly concrete by September 5, and Mr. Fern replied that they hope to.


There being no further questions, Mr. Strucko opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Valerie Long, representative for the applicant Sugar Ray II LLC, presented a power point presentation and explained the proposal. 

·            Others present tonight include George Ray, one of the principals of Sugar Ray II LLC; Marilyn Young; and land planners, landscape architects and engineers from the firm of Terra Concepts.  They were last before the Commission in early February.  Willow Glen intends to be a housing community with a mixture of uses designed to provide housing for a wide variety of families and income types and create a real diverse community.  As staff indicated, they will provide the 15 percent of affordable units as well as 10 percent of moderately priced units. They are working very hard to keep all of the price points for all of the units, including the market rate units, as low as possible so that they can provide a lot of options and variety for all types of households in the community.  It is a big challenge with the changes to the proffer policy that has taken place since they were here in February.  It has dramatically increased the proffer price.  They have continued with their original plan to provide the mixture of units and to keep the price points down. 

·            There were four issues raised in the staff report.  One was the grade of the slopes that are around the back side.  There was a concern that there was not enough room for the slopes to be graded appropriately without the slopes being too steep.  At the time the plan was submitted the engineers had not prepared a full blown grading exhibit so they did not include all of the detail that would normally be included at the site plan stage.  It is obviously a little premature to do that.  They have since had the engineers go back and look at things more carefully.  They were confident initially that it was a workable viable preliminary concept plan.  They have gone back since the staff report was received and learned that there are some questions about it and have asked the engineers to do some more detailed analysis.  They have done that and said that they are confident that the storm water management plan would work and that there is room to regrade those slopes.  If there are any questions of needing easements from the Deerwood Association Community they are very optimistic they can receive such easement.  The applicant has granted Deerwood easements for some of their grading easement.  They think everything can be accommodated on site.  If there are any concerns whether they can or not they know they can work with the Deerwood residents if necessary.  That issue can be addressed more thoroughly at the site plan stage and easily be resolved.

·            With regards to the driveways along Road C the townhouses are the largest in the community, being 24’.  Each townhouse has a 2-car garage.  There may have been some confusion in the way the driveway pads were measured.  There was an indication that the driveway pads were 18’ long, while the average car was stated to be 19’ long.  The scale used to measure them was confusing.  The driveway pads are much longer than that.  There will be more than enough room to accommodate even large vehicles.  The driveway pads are 21’ long.

·            There is sufficient room to provide cars and pedestrians to use the sidewalks without any problem.  Should at the time of site plan application process there are problems they certainly know they will have to address that issue to the satisfaction of the site review committee.  But, based on this information they feel very confident that they can resolve the issues with staff.   They are also confident that the issue that VDOT raised with regard to drainage inlets for the road will be figured out to work the drainage facilities as well.  That was the second issue raised by staff.

·            The third issue was with regard to the cash proffers.  They have option A and B with the cash proffers. Option A is their preferred alternative.  It includes the 1.3 million dollars that would be allocated towards the proposed Housing Loan Fund, $300,000 would go towards County transit fund and the rest would go to the Capital Improvement Fund.  The exception of the amount that they were proposing to proffer for the 24 moderately priced units the figures that they have in the proffers are equivalent what they would e if they would proffer straight cash to the CIP.  The expected amount that they proffer for the single-family detached units is $17,500.  They have proffered that amount for each unit. They have just allocated it in 3 different funds, the Housing Loan Fund, the Transit Fund and the CIP.  Staff has done a good job on the chart on page 16.  The chart indicates that for each unit the total proffer is equivalent to what the County expects.  The same can be said for the market rate townhouse units, which are those that are not either affordable or moderately priced.  They are proffering the full $11,900 for each of those units.  It is just allocated over 3 different categories. 

·               The exception is in regards to the moderately priced units.  Those units would be affordable to families making up to 120 percent of the Area Median Family Income.  Because of the challenges involved with providing units at that rate combined with the dramatic increase in proffer expectations that have taken place since they began the project they propose to pay 50 percent of the standard amount for the moderately priced units, which equates to $5,950 for those 24 units.  That is where the difference is.  If the County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission decide that despite what they think are very strong merits of the Housing Loan Fun and decide to do things the simple easy way by having them proffer the standard amount of cash that they are willing to do that reluctantly.  They feel very strongly and compassionately about the Housing Loan Fund.  They would not be able to proffer to provide any of the moderately priced units.  Instead of 24 moderately priced units at $5,950 plus $5,950 in cash they would have no moderately priced units and $11,900 instead.  That would bring it exactly in line with the $2,491,300. They have tried to come up with innovative solutions to address not only the affordable housing problem in our community, but also the moderately priced housing.


Ms. Long distributed copies of a letter from Stu Armstrong from Piedmont Housing Alliance.    (Attachment:  Letter dated August 13 to Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commissioners from Stu Armstrong, Executive Director Piedmont Housing Alliance.)  They have had many meetings with Ron White, Director of Housing, in crafting the language of the loan fund.  They are willing to be flexible in regards to who administers it, but have spelled out the basis tenants of the framework in the proffers.  They think it is workable.  It can not only provide a wonderful benefit to the Willow Glen community, but because of its self replenishing nature it can provide a tremendous benefit to the entire community.  It will help jump start this project and the make the moderately priced homes workable for these residents.  The challenge with the work force buyers is that they make just a little too much money to qualify for some of the standard housing assistance programs, but they still have a lot of housing assistance needs.  This fund would attempt to fill that gap.  It would also help supplement some of the gaps that exist for the affordable housing purchasers.  Despite the fact that the County provides about $16,500 or somewhere in that range or housing assistance, it is their understanding that those families still require another $16,000 or $17,000 in housing assistance in order to be able to qualify for affordable units.  These funds could be used to support those families as well.  They would welcome support for this proposal. 


The final issue is the proffer wordsmithing.  They are comfortable with the comments received back from the County Attorney’s Office.  There are a few minor issues that they can work on, but nothing she has not worked through on other projects. Therefore, she was confident that they could address those issues as well.  There are a few other issues raised in the staff report, but she felt that most had been resolved.  Regarding the issue of not providing bike paths along Dickerson Road she pointed out that the terrain is very challenging in that area because of the steep topography. Therefore, it will not work to put in bike paths, particularly because they don’t own all of the land along Dickerson Road.  There is one parcel they have been unable to obtain an easement on. 


Mr. Strucko asked if there were any questions for Ms. Long.


Mr. Cannon questioned the applicant’s treatment of proffers for the moderately priced units.  He asked if the Housing Fund would be using part of the proffer to finance people who would be purchasing houses in their development.


Ms. Long replied that is correct for those who would not otherwise be able to afford one of the moderately priced units.  She understands that the County funds are only permitted to be used for those making 80 percent of the Area Median Income.  The moderate priced units are geared to those making between 80 and 120 percent of the Area Median Family Income.  Thus, they would not qualify for the County’s funds.  There may be other state and federal funds available, but she did not know.  Her understanding from Ron White and Piedmont Housing Alliance is that is where the gap is.  The folks in the middle get caught in the gap.


Mr. Strucko invited other public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Planning Commission.  He invited Mr. Ray to address the Commission.


George Ray, representative for Sugar Ray II LLC, said that when they first started this project they brainstormed affordable housing in Albemarle County before coming up with the Housing Fund concept. He explained the concept.  They are proposing several programs to help that segment of the population or the work force community.  They think they can help people buy houses by building and financing, but still be providing the 15 percent of affordable housing.


Mr. Strucko invited Ron White, Director of Housing, to come forward and address the affordable housing issue.


Ron White, Director of Housing, said that this is a unique proposal and it addresses some of things discussed by the Board when they brought up the idea about giving credit for moderately priced units. It was clear in the work session that it was the consensus of the group to stick to the 15 percent affordable housing and encourage additional moderately priced units.


Mr. Strucko asked who will be the administrator of the money.


Mr. White replied that it will probably be managed similarly as they do the County fund.  It will not be done in house, but they will enter into an agreement with another organization or foundation.


Action on CPA-2006-00003 Willow Glen:


Motion:  Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Craddock seconded, to accept staff’s recommendation that the land use change from industrial to residential be made as part of Places29.


The motion passed by a vote of 4:0.  (Mr. Edgerton, Mr. Morris and Ms. Joseph were absent.)


Mr. Strucko stated that CPA-2006-00003, Willow Glen will go before the Board of Supervisors on September 5, 2007 for a work session and October 10, 2007 for a public hearing. 


Action on ZMA-2006-00019 Willow Glen:


Motion:  Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Craddock seconded for approval of ZMA-2006-00019, Willow Glen subject to the following conditions:

1.       The applicant shall work with staff on the regrading of the slopes so as to be sufficient to give a critical slope waiver.

2.       The front loading of residential units is approved subject to the driveways complying with the distance that was shown in the applicant’s presentation tonight so that there will be no hang over of cars onto the sidewalks.

3.       There will be no on street parking except the onstreet parking shown on the curved part by the tot lots.

4.       The cash proffers shall be finalized to meet the Board’s policy.

5.       The proffer details shall be finalized in accordance with counsel for the County and staff.


Mr. Cannon assumed that by saying the cash proffers meet the Board’s policy that is alternative 2 as offered by the applicant.


Mr. Zobrist replied that was correct.


The motion passed by a vote of 4:0.


Ms. Long questioned Mr. Zobrist’s motion with regard to the limitation regarding onstreet parking.  There are some other places throughout the plan where there is onstreet parking.  She asked if his limitation intended to be in regards to Road C only, which was the horseshoe-shaped road.


Mr. Zobrist replied it was meant on all of the public roads.


Ms. Long noted that there were other public roads there as well.  She pointed out that they would do it the way the plan shows.  She understands that he did not want any onstreet parking where the driveways are.


Mr. Zobrist said that he did not want the plan to change.


Ms. Long pointed out that there were a few other places where there is some onstreet parking.  But, he was saying on Road C he did not want it anywhere other than at the top of the curve.


Mr. Zobrist asked if there was on street parking in the cut-through.  If so, that was not shown to the Commission.


Ms. Long said that coming in the main entrance, there is some onstreet parking on either side of the T where the main entrance connects.


Mr. Zobrist said that his motion was intended to eliminate that.


Mr. Cilimberg noted that staff’s recommendation would be not to.  But, it was the Commission’s choice.    Where the applicant can get onstreet parking, staff would want to have that because it removes the need for more parking that would be pull in and  front loaded.


Mr. Zobrist said that when people start cutting through, if there was onstreet parking, that there would one lane rather than two.


Ms. Wiegand noted that there were two lanes with parking lanes on each side.


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that it was designed to a public road standard.  VDOT has a standard for onstreet parking with two through lanes.  That is a concept of the Neighborhood Model that they are partially providing for in the project.


Mr. Zobrist said driving through some of the projects that have been approved with onstreet parking it is practically one lane. 


Mr. Cilimberg replied that the project that he was referring to, Old Trail, staff wanted to do something different, but the applicant went with the minimum design for that particular road type in that particular condition.


Mr. Zobrist said that Old Trail was just one of the projects he was referring to.  When people start cutting through there will be a bottle neck at the right turn. 


Mr. Craddock noted that, if Town Center Drive was ever built, the public would use that street.


Mr. Strucko questioned whether the language of the motion was clear.


Mr. Kamptner pointed out that the Commission could reconsider the motion.


Mr. Cannon understood the motion to indicate that there would be no onstreet parking except where contemplated by this plan.  That is, he wanted to commit the applicant to this plan   He questioned if the plan was subject to interpretation.


Mr. Zobrist said that his concept was it was only showing the onstreet parking on the U and not along the T.


Ms. Wiegand apologized if they were misled because onstreet parking is also shown in the area around the T.


Mr. Zobrist said that it was his fault that he missed it and not staff’s.  He suggested that the Commission discuss whether to reconsider the motion. He was operating under the assumption that there was no onstreet parking there.


Mr. Craddock replied that when he seconded the motion he basically thought that they were approving the plan.    He said that there were about 16 spots of onstreet parking with 8 on the left and 8 on the right. 


Mr. Cilimberg said that was what staff was assuming from the motion, that they were endorsing the plan.


Mr. Zobrist said that he completely missed those parking spaces.


Mr. Strucko asked if the Commission wanted to reconsider that motion.


Motion:  Mr. Zobrist made a motion that the Planning Commission reconsiders the onstreet parking on the portion of the T which extends to the right that will probably be the most used or just to move it to one side.


The motion failed for the lack of a second


Motion on Critical Slopes Waiver Request:


Motion:  Mr. Zobrist moved, Mr. Craddock seconded, to accept staff’s recommendation for approval of the critical slopes waiver request for ZMA-2006-00019, Willow Glen.


Mr. Cannon asked if they want to condition that on the site plan coming back or are they comfortable with it.


Mr. Zobrist replied that staff will tell the Commission when the site plan is in so that it can come back at that time if the Commission so desires.


The motion passed by a vote of 4:0.  (Mr. Edgerton, Mr. Morris and Ms. Joseph were absent.)


Mr. Strucko stated that ZMA-2006-00019, Willow Glen will go before the Board of Supervisors on October 10, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.  A work session will be held on September 5, 2007 by the Board of Supervisors.


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