The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session, meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, at 4:00 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; Bill Edgerton and Pete Craddock. Bill Edgerton arrived at 4:10 p.m. Absent were Eric Strucko and Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia.
Other officials present were Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner; David Benish, Chief of Planning; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; Amelia McCulley, Director of Current Development & Zoning; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.
Ms. Joseph called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. and established a quorum.
ZMA-2007-00016 Watkins 250 Rezoning
PROPOSAL: Rezone 3.0 acres from R1 - Residential (1 unit/acre)
to HC Highway Commercial which allows commercial and service uses; and residential use by special use permit (15 units/ acre) for a Landscape Contracting business
EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Community of Crozet; CT-3 Urban Edge: single family residential (net 3.5-6.5 units/acre) supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses
ENTRANCE CORRIDOR: Yes
LOCATION: 5168 Rockfish Gap Turnpike/Route 250 West, east of Radford Lane & adjacent to Clover Lawn
TAX MAP/PARCEL: Tax Map 56, Parcels 107C & 98D
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: White Hall
In summary, a work session on ZMA-2007-00016, Watkins 250 Rezoning was held by the Planning Commission. In a power point presentation, staff summarized and provided an overview of the applicant’s proposal. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal, answered the questions posed by staff and made comments and suggestions. The applicant made a power point presentation and addressed the following issues: Taper vs. turn lane; Fence vs cedars; Connection to old 250 and Water and sewer hookup. Public comment was taken. No formal action was taken.
Public comment was received from the following persons:
· Anita Jacobson, an adjoining property owner, noted concerns about the large amount of commercial businesses on adjacent properties. She looks out of her guest room onto the house next door that is being requested to be rezoned for this use. She objected to more commercial property in the immediate area. Unfortunately she was only one of the other 18 home owners present to make that objection. She talked with some of the others and they also object. She asked that this property not be rezoned and be left the way it is.
· Scott Peyton, life long resident of western Albemarle and member of Scenic 250, said that he was deeply sympathetic to Mr. Watkins personal and professional needs. The county needs to step up to the plate and assist him. But, he was opposed to the proposed rezoning because of the visual and traffic impacts on Route 250.
The Planning Commission reviewed and discussed the questions posed by staff and provided the following comments.
1. Is the proposed use appropriate at this location? What additional uses, if any, should be permitted? (Specific Use - Landscape Service – Home Business)
The Planning Commission was split on the issue of whether the use is appropriate for a landscape service – home business on this site. Four Commissioners (Mr. Craddock, Mr. Edgerton, Mr. Morris and Mr. Cannon) recommended that that the applicant proceed with the review process and further refine their concept, particularly as it relates to buffering along Rt. 250 and adjacent to the Rural Area and residential uses in Clover Lawn. They also indicated they would want to see the allowable uses under the proposed zoning be restricted to only the use they seek. Traffic impacts were also noted as a concern by the Commission. Three Commissioners (Ms. Joseph, Mr. Zobrist and Mr. Strucko) disagreed with the concept.
2. Should the applicant be required to connect to public water and sewer?
The Planning Commission was very concerned about the public water and sewer issue, but could not provide an answer about connecting to public sewer until staff provides additional information. It was noted that a special use permit would be required if they use more than 400 gallons per site acre per day. This is something that needs to be taken into consideration.
The policy is if property is in the development area it should be on public water and sewer. The applicant may choose to use well water for watering landscape material. The cost of hook up fees to public utilities could be a consideration. The applicant did not know the current amount of water his business used daily. The Commission noted that additional information was needed before a decision could be made on this issue.
The Planning Commission expressed the following additional comments and concerns:
· A suggestion was made that this use should be allowed in the Rural Area.
· Concerns were expressed about the traffic impact; interconnection; number of truck deliveries on site, particularly when talking about 18 wheelers and concerns about preservation along Route 250.
· Some Commissioners felt that the buffer as shown on the master plan would be greatly improved with what has been proposed.
· As far as the nursery use it may be a good transition from rural areas to commercial area.
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