COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
PLANNING STAFF REPORT SUMMARY
Project Name: SP 2007-41 Collin Gallahue Violin Maker
Staff: Joan McDowell, Principal Planner
Planning Commission Public Hearing:
December 11, 2007
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:
January 9, 2008
Owner: Michael and Maria Gallahue (parents)
Applicant: Collin Gallahue
Acreage: 131.61 acres
Special Use Permit: Section 10.2.2.(31) Home Occupation Class B; Section 5.2 Home Occupations
Location: 6551 Heards Mountain Road, Covesville
Existing Zoning and By-right use:
RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre
Magisterial District: Samuel Miller
DA (Development Area):
RA (Rural Areas): X
Requested # of Dwelling Units: NA
Proposal: Special Use Permit for operation of a violin making operation in an accessory building, with some on-site sales
Comprehensive Plan Designation: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density (0.5 unit/ acre)
Character of Property: heavily wooded with clearing for residence and accessory structure
Use of Surrounding Properties: wooded, scattered residences, forestry operation on adjacent property
1. 1. The use would be conducted within an accessory building that is not visible from neighboring properties.
2. 2. The musical instruments are made using hand tools, with only occasional use of machine tools.
3. 3. Minimal traffic would result from this use.
4 The use would continue the historical hand-crafted tradition of the local artisan community.
Staff has not identified any factors unfavorable to this application.
RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval of this Special Use Permit with conditions.
PLANNING COMMISSION: December 11, 2007
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: January 8, 2008
SP 2007-41 Collin Gallahue Violin Maker
Petition: SP 2007-41 Collin Gallahue, Violin Maker
PROPOSED: Home Occupation to permit a violin making operation in an accessory structure on a 131 acre property
ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA -- Rural Areas: agricultural, forestal, and fishery uses; residential density (0.5 unit/acre)
SECTION: 10.2.2 (31) Home Occupation Class B
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Rural Areas - preserve and protect agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources/ density ( .5 unit/ acre)
ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes____No_x__
LOCATION: 6551 Heards Mountain Rd. (Rt. 633), Covesville
TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 97 - 24
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Samuel Miller
Character of the Area:
The area consists of predominantly thickly wooded hills (Boaz Mountain Range) with widely scattered residences. The property is accessed from a gravel road, several miles west of Route 29 South.
Specifics of the Proposal: The applicant has requested a special use permit for a Home Occupation Class B to be allowed to use a 480 square foot portion of an existing accessory building to build musical instruments. The applicant has indicated that he will be able to make approximately six instruments per year. Sales will be made either on the premises or by mail-order. Visits to the site are anticipated to be limited to no more than an estimated three per month. The house is currently under renovation, but the applicant will be living there prior to the commencement of the Home Occupation. The building is not visible from any other residences.
Planning and Zoning History: There are no previous zoning or planning applications for this property.
Conformity with the Comprehensive Plan: The Comprehensive Plan designates the subject property as Rural Areas emphasizing the preservation and protection of agricultural, forestal, open space, and natural, historic and scenic resources as land use options. It is also within the Mountain Overlay District designation. The hand-crafting of musical instruments would be consistent with Albemarle’s historical character, as well as contribute to the local artisan community. The proposed use would not conflict with the Plan and it would allow an income to be produced on the land, an advantage that may prevent or delay future subdivision.
Staff addresses each provision of Section 188.8.131.52 of the Zoning Ordinance:
184.108.40.206: Special Use Permits provided for in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,
that the character of the district will not be changed thereby and
The site is isolated from any other existing residential properties to the extent that there will not be any noise impacts from the occasional use of power tools. The construction of these musical instruments is done largely by hand, using hand tools. The accessory building is not visible from any other residential structure and customers coming to the property will be minimal. The property is adjacent to two properties under conservation easement; however, it is not anticipated that this use would conflict with the uses on those preserved properties. The use will not change the character of the district.
that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,
Section 18, Chapter 10 of the Zoning Ordinance outlines the purpose of Rural Areas zoning: “This district (hereafter referred to as RA) is hereby created and may hereafter be established by amendment of the zoning map for the following purposes:
-Preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and activities;
-Water supply protection;
-Limited service delivery to the rural areas; and
-Conservation of natural, scenic, and historic resources. (Amended 11-8-89)”
While the home occupation does not directly further these purposes, the impacts of the proposed use are limited to the extent that they would not negatively affect the purpose and intent of the ordinance.
with uses permitted by right in the district,
The proposed use would not impact by right uses in this district.
with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,
5.2.2 REGULATIONS GOVERNING HOME OCCUPATIONS
220.127.116.11 The following regulations shall apply to any home occupation:
a. Such occupation may be conducted either within the dwelling or an accessory structure, or
both, provided that not more than twenty- five (25) percent of the floor area of the dwelling
shall be used in the conduct of the home occupation and in no event shall the total floor area
of the dwelling, accessory structure, or both, devoted to such occupation, exceed one thousand
five hundred (1,500) square feet; provided that the use of accessory structures shall be
permitted only in connection with home occupation, Class B;
The accessory structure that would be used for the home occupation contains 480 square feet, 1,020 square feet less than the 1,500 square feet maximum allowed for space allocated for home occupations.
b. There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the buildings or premises, or other
visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation provided that a home occupation,
Class B, may erect one home occupation Class B sign as authorized by section 4.15 of this
chapter. Accessory structures shall be similar in facade to a single-family dwelling, private
garage, shed, barn or other structure normally expected in a rural or residential area and shall
be specifically compatible in design and scale with other development in the area in which
located. Any accessory structure which does not conform to the setback and yard regulations
for main structures in the district in which it is located shall not be used for any home
There would not be any structural changes to the residence or accessory building. No site improvements will be required to accommodate the proposed use.
c. There shall be no sales on the premises, other than items hand crafted on the premises, in
connection with such home occupation; this does not exclude beauty shops or one-chair
The proposed home occupation would only sell musical instruments hand-crafted on the site.
d. No traffic shall be generated by such home occupation in greater volumes than would
normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by
the conduct of such home occupation shall be met off the street;
The costs of the instruments would have a limited client base that would largely be served without the need for customer visits to the property. Visits by customers have been estimated at thirty-six customers per year, no more than what could be expected for a residential use. Parking would be accommodated within the property and would not be visible from neighboring properties. Deliveries would be no more than what would ordinarily be expected for a residential dwelling without a home occupation.
e. All home occupations shall comply with performance standards set forth in section 4.14;
section 4.14: The provisions of sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.3 notwithstanding, in such cases where a greater
minimum area is required by the regulations of the district in which the parcel is located, said
district regulations shall apply.
The applicant has not requested an area exceeding the maximum square footage regulations described in Sec. 18.104.22.168.a (above).
f. Tourist lodging, nursing homes, nursery schools, day care centers and private schools shall
not be deemed home occupations.
This requirement is not applicable to this proposal.
and with the public health, safety and general welfare.
The Virginia Department of Transportation did not have any objections to this proposal. The materials used in the making of the musical instruments is non-toxic and organic. No noise impacts on adjacent neighbors would result from this use.
Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:
1. The use would be conducted within an accessory building that is not visible from neighboring properties.
2. The musical instruments are made using hand tools, with only occasional use of machine tools.
3. Minimal traffic would result from this use.
4. The use would continue the historical hand-crafted tradition of the local artisan community.
Staff has not identified any factors unfavorable to this application.
Based on the findings contained in this staff report, staff recommends approval of SP 2007-41, subject to the following conditions:
1. SP 2007-41 is limited to the making, repair, and sales of musical instruments.
2. No employees shall be permitted, without approval of an amendment to this special use permit.
3. Storage of materials shall be entirely within the accessory building, as shown on Attachment A.
Attachment A - Concept application plan, a portion of Key Incorporated Land Surveyors & Land Planners survey, dated 1/24/05
Attachment B – Photographs 1-9, with description, submitted by the applicant, Collin Gallahue
Attachment C – Location map
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