Project Name:  SP2007-00045 Flow Auto Sales and Display

Staff: Margaret Maliszewski

Planning Commission Public Hearing:

January 15, 2008

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing:

 February 6, 2008

Owners:  Flow 1313 Richmond LLC; Janice S. Linkous

Applicant: Flow 1313 Richmond LLC; Janice S. Linkous

Acreage:  Approximately 1.94 acres

Special Use Permit: Sales and Display in the Entrance Corridor (EC) Overlay District (Section (b) of the Zoning Ordinance)

TMP: TM 78, Parcels 15D and 15E

Location: 1307-09 and 1313 Richmond Road, south side of Richmond Road (Rt. 250 East), approximately 1060 feet east of Riverbend Drive.

Existing Zoning and By-right use: HC- Highway Commercial and EC, Entrance Corridor Overlay District – retail sales and service uses.


Magisterial District: Rivanna

Conditions: Yes

Proposal:  Expansion of the Flow Volkswagen-Audi-Mazda dealership including additional outdoor display of vehicles.

Requested # of Dwelling Units:  NA                           


Comprehensive Plan Designation: 

DA (Development Area): Pantops (Neighborhood 3)


Comprehensive Plan Designation: Regional Service – regional-scale retail, wholesale, business and/or employment centers, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre).

Character of Property: A residence has been demolished from Parcel 15 E and the site is currently used as a parking area.  Parcel 15D contains the existing Flow Auto dealership.

Use of Surrounding Properties: The subject property is surrounded by commercial uses. Car dealerships occupy the adjacent parcels and the site across the street, as well as several other sites along the corridor.

Factors Favorable:

  1. Motor vehicle sales use is a by-right use in the Highway Commercial District.

2.      The ARB had no objection to the proposed use, with conditions.

3.      No detrimental impacts to the entrance corridor are anticipated, as recommended by ARB.

Factors Unfavorable:

There are no unfavorable factors.


RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends approval with conditions.


STAFF PERSON:                                                            Margaret Maliszewski

     PLANNING COMMISSION DATE:                                January 15, 2008

     BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DATE:                              February 6, 2008



SP 2007-00045 Flow Auto Sales and Display




PROPOSAL: Expansion of the Flow Volkswagen-Audi-Mazda outdoor automobile sales and display parking areas in the Entrance Corridor.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: HC - Highway Commercial - commercial and service uses and residential use by Special Use Permit (15 units/acre); EC Entrance Corridor Overlay District - overlay to protect properties of historic, architectural or cultural significance from visual impacts of development along routes of tourist access.

SECTION: (b) which allows for outdoor storage, display and/or sales visible from an EC street in the EC Entrance Corridor zoning overlay district

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Regional Service - regional-scale retail, wholesale, business and/or employment centers, and residential (6.01-34 units/acre) in Neighborhood 3 (Pantops) Development Area.


LOCATION: 1307-09 and 1313 Richmond Road, south side of Route 250 East, approximately 1060' east of Riverbend Drive

TAX MAP/PARCEL: 78/15E and 78/15D




One of the two parcels associated with this request (parcel 15D) contains the existing Flow Auto dealership.  The adjacent parcel to the west (parcel 15E) was previously the site of a residence. That house was demolished in 2004.


The surrounding area consists primarily of retail uses, with this immediate stretch of Rt. 250 East consisting primarily of auto dealerships. The subject parcel is located on the south side of the road, adjacent to the Brown Toyota dealership (to the east) and across the street from Battlefield Ford. (See Attachment A for a location map.) To the west of the site is the Crown BMW dealership.  Other auto dealers in the area include Dennis Enterprises, Kia, CarMax, Brown Mercedes, and Free Bridge Auto. The ACSA headquarters and equipment storage is located to the south of the site.



This proposal includes the addition of 71 vehicle display spaces on parcel 15E (see Attachment B), with associated landscaping (see Attachment C), lighting and related site improvements. The proposal also includes the establishment of parking, including 29 display parking spaces, on parcel 15D (the site of the existing dealership), together with landscaping improvements and other associated site work.


The special use permit requirement for the outdoor sales and display use is to allow for review of the potential impacts of the sales and display activity on the Entrance Corridor. Other activities related to the auto sales use are considered by-right. The ARB has reviewed this proposal for its impact on the Route 250 East Entrance Corridor and had no objection to the request for the Special Use Permit with standard conditions related to landscaping, lighting and method of display. (See Attachment D for the ARB’s action.)




SDP-271: Pantops Toyota: On May 5, 1969 a site plan was approved for a Toyota Sales Building on what is now parcel 15D.


SUB-694: T. R. Moore: This subdivision created parcels 15, 15D and 15E (September 28, 1972).


SP-2004-50: Flow Auto: A Special Use Permit (SP-2004-50) for sales and display was approved for parcels 15D and 15E on May 2, 2007. That proposal included a new showroom on parcel 15E. The applicant has since chosen not to pursue the new showroom and to pursue only additional parking on parcel 15E. The approval of the 2004 request was subject to conditions similar to those being recommended for the current request.


SDP-2006-127: Flow Auto: A site development plan was submitted for a new auto dealership building on parcel 15E that was associated with SP-04-50. The SDP was withdrawn.


There have also been numerous sign permits and ARB applications for this site. ARB-07-21, reviewed on March 19, 2007, is a proposal to construct an addition to the existing Flow dealership building on parcel 15D. That addition is illustrated on the Special Use Permit plans, but is not the subject of this SP request or review.




Land Use Plan-

The property is located in the Pantops Development Area (Neighborhood 3), and is designated Regional Service in the current Land Use Plan. The purpose/intent of the Regional Service designation noted in the Plan is to provide locations for highway related uses, comparison shopping and specialized goods and services. Typical primary uses include regional-scale commercial uses, and auto dealerships that typically include outdoor storage and display of vehicles for sale.


Neighborhood Model-

The ordinance limits the review of this Special Use Permit specifically to the impacts of the sales and display activities on the Entrance Corridor.  Therefore, this request is not reviewed for conformance with the Neighborhood Model.



Staff will address each provision of Section of the Zoning Ordinance as follows: 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, and that the character of the district will not be changed thereby,


The subject parcel is located in the HC zoning district. The dominant character of the segment of the Entrance Corridor in which the subject parcel resides is that of a dense commercial strip. Many of the properties in this corridor have already been developed as automobile dealerships with outdoor storage and display of vehicles (as described above under “Character of the Area”). The proposed use is compatible with other existing auto dealers in the immediate vicinity.



that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,


According to section 30.6 of the Zoning Ordinance, the intent of the EC Overlay District is, in part, to ensure a quality of development that is compatible with the County’s important scenic, architectural and cultural resources through the architectural control of development. The ARB has applied the County’s adopted guidelines for development within the EC to the review of this request and has recommended conditions of approval. (See Attachment D.)



with uses permitted by-right in the district,


Although a special use permit is required for the proposed modifications/additions to the outdoor sales and display areas on these sites, this activity (sales/display area) is for an accessory use to motor vehicle sales, which is already allowed by right within the Highway Commercial (HC) zoning district. Other automobile dealerships exist in the immediate vicinity. Therefore, the sales and display use is compatible with other permitted and existing uses.



      with the additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance,


There are no additional regulations provided in section 5.0 of this ordinance related to vehicle storage or display.




The intent of the special use permit requirement is based on potential impacts to the Entrance Corridors. The ARB has reviewed this proposal for its impact on the Route 250 East Entrance Corridor and had no objection to the request for the Special Use Permit provided the site is established in a manner consistent with the conditions recommended by the ARB.


Staff has identified the following factors that are favorable to this request:


  1. A motor vehicle sales use is a by-right use in the Highway Commercial District and the proposed use is accessory to that use.
  2. The Architectural Review Board has reviewed the request for outdoor storage and display, had no objection to the request, and recommended conditions of approval.
  3. With the conditions recommended by the ARB, no detrimental impacts to the Entrance Corridor are anticipated.


Staff has identified no factors that are unfavorable to this request. 


The following factors are relevant to this consideration:


  1. There are several automobile dealerships with outdoor sales/display of vehicles in the immediate vicinity along the Route 250 East Entrance Corridor.




Based on the findings contained in this staff report, Staff recommends approval of this special use permit with the following conditions:


1.      Vehicles shall not be elevated anywhere on site.

2.      Vehicles shall be displayed only in areas indicated for display shown on the plan entitled “Flow Automotives”, identified as Sheet 3, prepared by Collins Engineering, with revision date of 12/18/07. Display parking shall be only in designated striped parking spaces, as identified on this plan. No parking shall occur in travelways.

3.      Final site plan approval is subject to ARB approval of the lighting plan (submitted with the site plan). Maximum light levels on site shall not exceed 30 footcandles.

4.      Final site plan approval is subject to ARB approval of the landscape plan (submitted with the site plan). Landscaping shown on the plan will be required to be in excess of the minimum requirements of ARB guidelines and/or the Zoning Ordinance to compensate for the negative visual impact of the proposed use, including but not limited to the use of larger caliper trees, additional evergreen shrubs and continuous interior planting islands.

5.      Final site plan approval is subject to the recordation of easements for ingress/egress and for the installation, maintenance and use of planter islands and landscaping on adjacent parcels (Tax Map 78, Parcels 15, 15D and 15E).




A.      Location Map

B.     Flow Automotives display parking plan (rev. 12/18/07)

C.     Flow Automotives landscape plan (rev. 12/18/07)

D.     ARB Action letter with recommended conditions of approval

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