Albemarle County Planning Commission

June 19, 2007


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Eric Strucko, Pete Craddock, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Duane Zobrist and Marcia Joseph, Chairman. Absent was Jon Cannon.  Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent.  Mr. Strucko arrived at 6:07 p.m.  Mr. Craddock arrived at 6:09 p.m.


Other officials present were Elaine Echols, Principal Planner, Mark Graham, Director of Community Development, John Shepherd, Chief of Current Development; David Pennock, Principal Planner; Sean Dougherty, Senior Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the meeting order at 6:00 p.m. and established a quorum.



Regular Items:


SDP2007-00048 Crozet Gateway Center – Critical Slopes Waiver

This proposal is for a waiver of Section 4.2.1 of the Zoning Ordinance in order to allow the disturbance of critical slopes for purposes of construction of 2 buildings totaling 29,680 square feet for commercial and office use on 1.99 acres zoned HC Highway Commercial and EC Entrance Corridor.  The property, described as Tax Map 56, Parcels 32 and 32A are located in the Whitehall Magisterial District in the northeast corner of the intersection of Route 240 (Brownsville Road) and Route 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike).  This is currently the site of a convenience store.  The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Crozet Community.  (David Pennock)


Mr. Pennock presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report.


§         This is a critical slopes waiver associated with the Crozet Gateway Center plan.  The request is in association with a proposal to redevelop the site to include two buildings both are a combination of office and commercial space.

§         Analysis was done from a planning and engineering perspective. From an engineering standpoint the slopes in question are really around the side closest to Route 240, around the two corners and some additional critical slopes area in the VDOT right-of-way.  Most of the slopes highlighted were a result of the road construction projects that have previously been done out there.  The site is surrounded by all sides by public roads.  However, there are no site plans on file that show the creation of these slopes.  Therefore, staff was not able to grant an exemption as man made slopes.  But, it is a small portion of the site.  The actual on site area is .03 acres. There were no engineering concerns related to the disturbance of those slopes. 

§          This is a fairly visible site.  It is in a double Entrance Corridor from both Route 240 and Route 250.  From an aesthetic standpoint the biggest concern would be what the Architectural Review Board would have to say about it.  They have seen all phases of this plan already and actually granted their Certificate of Appropriateness already.  The aesthetic concerns have been addressed. 

§         The Crozet Master Plan designates this area as CT-5, which is an urban center designation.  This office/commercial type of use proposed for the redevelopment of this site is in line with the recommendations of the Master Plan.  For all of those reasons staff is recommending approval of the critical slopes waiver. 


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any other questions for staff. 


Mr. Edgerton asked about the buffers on the property.


Mr. Pennock replied that the Crozet Master Plan shows a buffer along Route 240.  Through their review with the ARB and also through some of the landscaping requirements in the ordinance they are providing some street trees all along the frontage of Route 250 and Route 240 supplemented by shrubs and some ornamental trees.  The landscape plan shows landscaping in both of those areas as well as some along the rear of the site.  That landscape plan has been revised once more since that, but it is the same general concept.


Mr. Zobrist asked if the ARB has already signed off on the landscaping plan and screening.


Mr. Pennock replied yes.


There being no further questions for staff, the public hearing was opened and the applicant invited to address the Commission.


Sam Saunders, Civil Engineer with Timmons Group, said that they prepared the plan.  Others present were Amy George, Landscape Architect and Danny Yousef, who is the applicant.  He did not have any thing to add because Mr. Pennock’s report was pretty complete.  They hope that the Commission will look favorably on the critical slopes waiver.


Ms. Joseph invited other public comment. There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.   This is a request for a critical slopes waiver.  To mitigate intrusion into the critical slopes in the past the Commission has asked for more plants. 


Motion:  Mr. Strucko moved, Mr. Morris seconded, to approve SDP-2007-00048, Crozet Gateway Center – Critical Slopes Waiver.


The motion passed by a vote of 6:0.  (Mr. Cannon was absent.)  


Ms. Joseph stated that SDP-2007-00048, Crozet Gateway Center – Critical Slopes Waiver, was approved.


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