SP-2007-00062 Southwood Community Center Expansion (Sign # 24 & 26)

PROPOSED: The Boys and Girls Club will use the former store space for up to 80 youth members.

Improve basketball court, play field/yard, surface of lot in front of building and the fašade of existing building.

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: R-2 Residential (2 units/acre)

SECTIONS: 14.2.2 .1 and 5.1.04 Community center.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY: Neighborhood Density Residential-residential (3-6 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions and schools and other small-scale non-residential uses.


LOCATION:  Southwood Mobile Home Park. Northeast corner of the intersection of Hickory Street and Bitternut Lane. Hickory Street approximately 2,100 feet from the intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and Hickory Street.




Ms. Joseph stated that she provides services to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, the applicant, and therefore would not be participating in this matter.  She left the room.


Ms. Grant presented a Power-point presentation and summarized the staff report.  (See Staff Report)


The Southwood Mobile Home Park is currently developed primarily with mobile homes. The applicant is requesting a special use permit to expand the existing Boys and Girls Club into the former neighborhood store space for up to 80 youth members, improve the existing basketball court, play field/yard, surface of lot in front of building and the fašade of the existing building. The applicant anticipates increasing membership at the Boys and Girls club from 20 members to 80 members. The applicant is also requesting this special use permit in order to abate the violation of the Zoning Ordinance from the current use of the property as a community center without a special permit.


VDOT suggested a right-of-way (ROW) dedication along the southern part of the property on Route 631 could accommodate a future safety improvement to Route 631. This comment is primarily suggested should this special use permit directly impact Route 631. Since the special use request does not impact Route 631, staff and VDOT did not pursue the comment further.  


The applicant submitted a critical slopes waiver request which has been reviewed by staff and is recommended for approval. Staff believes the 675 square foot area, as shown on the plan, for disturbance of the critical slopes is insignificant. Staff does not see any issues with its disturbance and recommends approval of this waiver request.


Staff has identified the following factors favorable to this application:

1.                   This proposal will provide a much needed comprehensive youth development service for more youth who live in the Southwood community.

2.                   The proposal will provide a community center/meeting place for the entire Southwood community.

3.                   The renovations to the building and facilities will enhance the site.


Staff has not identified any factors unfavorable to this application.


Recommended Action:

Staff recommends approval of SP 2007-62, Southwood Community Center Expansion with the conditions listed in the staff report.


Staff also recommends approval of the critical slopes waiver.


Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.


Mr. Edgerton asked if all of the work would be within the confines of the existing building.


Ms. Grant replied yes, that it was the renovation of the existing building.


Mr. Morris noted that having visited the site that the expansion was greatly needed due to the number of children.  There being no further questions for staff, he opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Overton McGee, of Habitat of Humanity for Greater Charlottesville, said that they own Southwood Mobile Home Park and Southwood LLC, which is the applicant. The club would serve children from Southwood and the surrounding area. The expansion of the community center will be a huge community service.    Mr. Gathright, of Daggett and Gregg and Tim Sinatra and Paul Humminston, from the boys and girls club, are present to answer questions.


Mr. Morris invited public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Planning Commission.


Motion on SP-2007-00062:


Motion: Mr. Edgerton moved, Mr. Strucko seconded for approval of SP-2007-00062, Southwood Community Center Expansion, with the conditions as recommended by staff.  


1.       Development shall be in general accord with the concept plan dated February 26, 2008.

2.       The parking study is based on a maximum of 80 children. There shall be no more than 80 children served at this location of the Boys and Girls Club.


The motion passed by a vote of 5:0:1.  (Mr. Cannon was absent.)  (Ms. Joseph abstained.)


Mr. Morris said that SP-2007-00062, Southwood Community Center Expansion would go to the Board of Supervisors on May 14 with a recommendation for approval.


Motion on Critical Slopes Waiver:


Motion: Mr. Edgerton moved, Mr. Strucko seconded, to approve the critical slopes waiver for SP-2007-00062, Southwood Community Center Expansion.  


The motion passed by a vote of 5:0:1.  (Mr. Cannon was absent.)  (Ms. Joseph abstained.)


Mr. Morris said that the critical slopes waiver was approved.


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