Albemarle County Planning Commission

August 28, 2007


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session, meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, August 28, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Members attending were Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Marcia Joseph, Chairman; Duane Zobrist, Bill Edgerton; Jon Cannon, Eric Strucko and Pete Craddock. Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent.


Other officials present were Judith Wiegand, Senior Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; Greg  Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney; Claudette Grant, Senior Planner; Megan Yaniglos, Planner; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner; Allan Schuck, Senior Engineer; Amelia McCulley, Director of Current Development & Zoning; John Shepherd, Chief of Current Development; and Elaine Echols, Principal Planner. 


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.


            Work Session:


ZMA 2004-00022 Treesdale Park

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 6.60 acres from R4 zoning district which allows residential uses (4 units per acre) to PRD (Planned Residential District) - which allows residential uses (3 - 34 units/acre) with limited commercial uses. This request proposes a total of 90 units at a density of 14 units per acres and no commercial uses.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential (6 - 34 units per acre).


LOCATION: The property is located in the Rio Magisterial District at 640 E. Rio Road, south of Towne Lane on the west side of East Rio Road.

TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 61, Parcels 182, 183, and 183A


(Sean Dougherty)


Mr. Dougherty presented the staff report.  (See staff report)


         Comments from VDOT that arrived on Monday were distributed.  VDOT does not support a turn off on Rio Road for this development.  To provide CTS to the site there was a shared concept for a pull off.  It was not clear on the application plan, but the pull off was proposed on a deceleration lane, which was basically a right hand turn lane, that created a problem for a decal lane that would require traffic to have to cross it to get back in traffic.  VDOT did not support that, but recommended that the applicant provide the ability for CTS buses to go on the property and turn around to go in the proper direction.  The proposal is for 90 units with 15 percent affordable housing.  They plan to develop the property with Federal tax credits, which would be more like 100 percent affordability. 


Ms. Joseph invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Mike Fenner, of Cox Company represented the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, said that their entire team was present which included Teresa Tapscott, Joyce Dudek, Bruce Woodell and Frank Cox.  He asked for the Commissionís feedback on the proposal.  They have tried to minimize the neighborís concerns and respond to the Neighborhood Model concepts and still meet their objective to bring 90 affordable units to the market.  Their key point to the proposal is to provide interconnection with the Stonewater Subdivision that is proposed south of their site.  They propose to provide an interparcel access easement arrangement through the Stonewater Subdivision to provide access out of the project to the left.  Proffers have been submitted to provide one third share to provide for a light if this is approved by VDOT.  Also an arrangement was proposed for a shared regional stormwater management that would be located on both of the parcels. They included a path to the Meadow Creek Greenway.  They have been working with VDOT on the transportation issues and the Penn Park Lane intersection improvements.  They are working to integrate transit and to address the architecture to minimize the impacts from the Entrance Corridor.


Ms. Joseph invited public comment.


Mary Higgins, an adjacent property owner across the live across street, opposed the rezoning due to the negative impacts on the community, particularly the traffic issues, water availability and safety.  The increase in traffic would overburden Rio Road.  She asked that an updated traffic count be done to determine the current traffic situation.  She voiced concerns about the bedded rock on the property that would require the use of dynamite that could damage the homes in the area, particularly the wells and foundations.  This project could be very costly for everyone involved.


Leon Blumrich said that he lived on the corner of Penn Park Lane and was an orchid grower.  Since he was on a well he was very concerned with the potential blasting consequences on his well and the water quality.  He asked that they look into that and make it part of the conditions.  Also, the traffic is already a problem on Rio Road.


Robert Daniels, resident of Town Lane, spoke in opposition to the rezoning because of the erosion, particularly with the elimination of the trees.  He questioned the storm water management.  This proposal is out of character with the area with the proposed 3 stories.  The traffic there is unreal and their childrenís safety is at risk.  He asked what kind of buffer would be provided or other measures to protect the adjacent property owners.  He questioned what would be done with the 2 ponds on the back of the site and if it would be fenced. He asked what they are going to provide the residents and what will it cost the tax payer.


Lisa Hoy, adjacent property owner, said that the ponds and storm water management is in her back yard. It has been a problem since she moved there.  It was suppose to go away, but has not.  She has lived there for 11 years and the road situation has gotten worked.  Until the signal lights and other measures are made on Rio Road she could not see how another development of this size could be approved.  Meadowcreek Parkway has been talked about for 50 years.  Therefore, she opposed the request until something is done to Rio Road.


There being no further public comment, the matter was placed before the Planning Commission for discussion.


Ms. Joseph invited Ms. Tapscott to come up and address the issue in the staff report that if they donít know if they will keep the site because it depends on getting federal funding.


Ms. Tapscott replied that they are a non-profit and donít have a lot of assets.  They want to hold on to it and are fairly confident that the tax credits will come this year or next. She acknowledged Rio Road has a traffic problem, but thought that the engineers and planners have done things to remedy that situation


Staff asked if the Commission agreed with their recommendations as listed below as appropriate direction for the applicant.  Staff believes the applicant should:

         Provide a public access easement for pedestrians connecting the greenway trail dedication acreage to Rio Road

         Determine what existing trees can be preserved and proffer to retain them or demonstrate that they cannot be saved.

         Consider removing units from a portion of the top floor of the 2 buildings closest to Village Square.

         Consider proffering architectural renderings and materials.

         Submit a critical slopes waiver with materials to be submitted for a public hearing.


Ms. Joseph asked staff to make sure that engineering goes out and looks at the current erosion problem.


The Planning Commission discussed the questions raised by staff and the concerns raised by the public and provided comments as listed in the summary.


In summary, a work session on ZMA-2004-00022 Treesdale Park was held by the Planning Commission.  In a power point presentation, staff reviewed the applicantís proposal. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal, answered the questions posed by staff and made comments and suggestions.  The applicant made a presentation.  Public comment was taken.  No formal action was taken.


The Planning Commission made the following comments about Treesdale:


1.  Provision of an access easement for the greenway to provide a public access easement

for pedestrians connecting the greenway trail dedication acreage to Rio Road.

2.  Identification of trees for preservation and a commitment to preserve them

3.  Look at the feasibility of removing some of the units on the upper floors near the houses next door.

4.  Make a commitment to certain architectural elements/features such as materials, massing, and scale

5.  Make provision for transit

6.  Tie the development to a "built" Meadowcreek Parkway, not a "plan" for the Meadowcreek Parkway

7.  Have proffers that guarantee that the project will be an affordable housing project, even if the tax credits aren't achieved.

8.  Make sure that dynamite/blasting concerns of neighbors are addressed.


The Planning Commission took a break at 8:51 p.m.



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