ZMA 2007- 12 Blue Ridge Cohousing



Request to rezone 6.157[1] to PRD Planned Residential District for a mixed housing development  



Cilimberg, Ragsdale









November 14, 2007


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION: 



  ACTION:             INFORMATION: 








Martin & Barbara L. Schulman owners; Blue Ridge Cohousing LLC (Z. Peter Lazar) applicant; Community Housing Partners (David Jones) & Gay and Neel, Inc consulting




A public hearing was held on this rezoning at the Planning Commission on October 9, 2007 and the Commission recommended denial of the rezoning and accompanying private street request and waivers of curb, gutter, sidewalk, and street trees. This motion for denial was based the following outstanding issues:


o                    Stream buffers- The required 100’ stream buffers appeared to be impacted by grading.

o                    Park View Drive- The applicant had not provided documentation to demonstrate permission  to allow upgrades to Park View Drive to accommodate this proposed development.

o                    Park View Drive/Route 240 Intersection- VDOT’s requested sight distance had not been confirmed nor had necessary easements been obtained at the intersection of Park View Drive/Route 240.

o                    Emergency Access Provisions- The application plan did not reflect emergency access provisions and it had not been verified with Fire Rescue that the plan could be approved as shown without significant redesign to meet Fire Rescue requirements.

o                    Stormwater Management-Workable concepts for stormwater management were not demonstrated on the application plan.

o                    Proffers- Proffers submitted for the Planning Commission public hearing were inadequate to address the impacts of the development on public facilities as expected by County policy, either through the provision of standard cash proffers or otherwise through cash, land or in-kind improvements. Off-site road improvements were also not included in the proffers.



The applicant submitted revised proffers and an application plan following the Planning Commission meeting on October 19, 2007. (Attachments A-Proffers, B-Application Package, D-Application Plan) The applicant has requested that the Board of Supervisors review the Private Street Request and denial of the waiver of curb, gutter, sidewalk, and planting strip requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance. The property is not designated for water and sewer service in the Albemarle County Service Authority Jurisdictional Area (ACSAJA) so a concurrent application for amendment to the ACSAJA has been submitted with this rezoning.


ZMA 07-12

The applicant has provided for preservation of stream buffers on the revised application plan, documentation of permission to make upgrades to Park View Drive, and addressed sight distance/easement issues at the intersection of Park View Drive and Route 240 to the satisfaction of VDOT. Emergency access provisions have now been specified on the application plan and Fire Rescue has indicated that it appears access for their equipment will be sufficient. Proffers have been revised to address the substantive issues that contributed to the recommendation of denial from the Commission, including the provision of the standard cash proffer in accordance with County Policy.


The applicant revised stormwater management concepts on the application plan since the Commission public hearing. The County Engineer has reviewed and commented on the new concepts for bioretention filters at four locations on the property, as shown on sheet 4 of the application plan and as illustrated on Page 32 of the application package. These basins would be located around the perimeter and behind the residential units; they are conceptually designed to be 30-34 inches in depth. (Attachment B-Application package, Attachment D-Application Plan)  It appears as though the proposal would meet technical criteria. However, as discussed with the applicant prior to their resubmittal, the Board should be cautioned that the placement of these facilities in the yards of future residents will likely be a nuisance.  In a conventional subdivision with individually held lots, this would not be good practice according to the County Engineer, and would not be recommended for approval.  The applicant is of the opinion that the careful design of these bioretention filters, education of future residents, and the common property ownership will forestall any complaints. 


Private Street Request & Waivers

The applicant has submitted a request to allow Parkview Drive to remain as a private street based on Section 14-233 of the Subdivision Ordinance, and this request also includes waivers of the curb, gutter, sidewalks, and planting strip requirements of Section 14-222. Park View Drive is currently a private street, with undeveloped property adjacent to the road on the west side. The request is to allow the existing road to remain private with Blue Ridge Cohousing making the upgrades necessary to serve their development only. In the future, if the adjoining properties submit development applications, this issue would be revisited with those applications. At the time of the Commission public hearing, there was a lack of information as to what authority the applicant would have to make changes to the road and whether or not it could be upgraded to a public road. The Commission did not specifically discuss the waivers and private street request, but recommended denial of those along with the recommendation of denial for the rezoning.


The Subdivision Ordinance specifies criteria for approval of a private street under Section 14-233 and the criteria is followed by staff comment below.


1.         The private street will be adequate to carry the traffic volume which may be reasonably expected to be generated by the subdivision.


The private street will be improved to carry the additional traffic generated by Blue Ridge Cohousing to the satisfaction of the County Engineer.


2.          The comprehensive plan does not provide for a public street in the approximate location of the proposed private street;


The Crozet Master Plan does not make recommendations regarding Park View Drive and does not show it is an improved public street on the master plan.


3.         The fee of the private street will be owned by the owner of each lot abutting the right-of-way thereof or by an association composed of the owners of all lots in the subdivision, subject in either case to any easement for the benefit of all lots served by the street;


The current owners of the property already participate in the established private road maintenance agreement. With the development of the Blue Ridge Cohousing property, the agreement will be revised to reflect Blue Ridge Cohousing participation and its increased share of the costs.


4.         Except where required by the commission to serve a specific public purpose, the private street will not serve through traffic nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location; and


Park View Drive is an existing private street that intersects a public road in two locations, at Route 240/Three Notchd Road to the south and intersects with Thurston Drive to the north. Thurston Drive is primarily accessed via Route 810/White Hall Road and terminates just east of its intersection with Park View Drive.


5.         If applicable, the private street has been approved in accordance with section 30.3, flood hazard overlay district, of the zoning ordinance and other applicable law.


This is not applicable.


Staff finds that the criteria has been sufficiently met to allow the development to be served by a private street.


Sections14-410 H & I set forth design standards for curb and gutter in the development areas. Section 14-410I(2) contains the findings that must be made to support a modification of these requirements. The applicant is upgrading an existing rural section and making improvements to serve the development only, to its property line. Since this road transitions to the Rural Area and the applicant is working with in the existing 50’ easement established for Park View Drive, staff can support a curb and gutter waiver for Park View Drive with this rezoning. However, future rezonings may be expected to make further upgrades to the road, including to an urban section.


Sections14-422 A-D of the Subdivision Ordinance set forth the requirements and design standards for sidewalks and planting strips, which specify that a 5’ concrete sidewalk and 6’ planting strip should be provided on both sides of a street, with the planting strip between the curb and sidewalk. The applicant has proposed to provide an 8’ multipurpose path along the eastern side of Park View Drive. For the reasons stated above in supporting the curb and gutter waiver, staff supports the waiver of sidewalks and planting strips on both sides of Park View Drive, with the provision of the 8’ multipurpose path on Park View Drive.


Building Separation

In accordance with Section 8 of the Zoning Ordinance which allows waivers, the applicant is requesting a reduction in the 30’ building separation required as part of a PRD Zoning District:



Except as otherwise provided in section 4.11.3, whether or not located on the same parcel, there shall be a minimum of thirty (30) feet between main structures. This provision shall not apply to structures built to a common wall. (Amended 1-1-83)

 The Building Official has reviewed this request and can support it if a minimum of 10’ building separation between the single family and single family detached units is provided and a minimum of 15’ between the multifamily units. This separation appears to be provided between buildings on the application plan. The waiver of the 30’ building separation requirement can be supported to the distances supported by the Building Official.


Albemarle County Service Authority Jurisdictional Area (ACSAJA) Amendment

A request to amend the ACSAJA has been submitted with this rezoning. The ACSAJA designations for the two properties included in this rezoning are shown on Attachment C. TMP 56-67A, which is the majority of the project area, is designated water service to existing structures only, and TMP 56-67B is designated Limited Service. If the Board approves this rezoning, staff asks that the public hearing for the ACSAJA amendment to allow full water and sewer service to the property be scheduled in December.




The applicant has addressed outstanding issues that led to the Commission’s recommendation for denial of the application and waivers. Should the Board find the applicant’s approach to stormwater management acceptable, staff recommends:

o           Approval of ZMA 2007-12 with the attached application plan dated October 19, 2007 which reflects approval of a waiver of             the Building Separation requirements of Section 19.8, and proffers dated October 19, 2007

o           Approval of the Private Street request for Park View Drive

o           Approval of waivers of Sections14-410 H of curb/gutter requirements

o           Approval of Sections14-422 A & D of the planting strip and sidewalk requirements

o           A public hearing date be set in December for an amendment to the ACSAJA map



A.                  Proffer Statement Blue Ridge Cohousing, dated November 6, 2007

B.                  Blue Ridge Cohousing application, revised October 19, 2007

C.                  Albemarle County Jurisdictional Area Map

D.                  Proffered Application Plan, titled “Blue Ridge Cohousing Application Plan”, prepared by Gay and Neel, Inc, revised October 19, 2007


[1] The acreage has been corrected since the Planning Commission public hearing.


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