By. Kara L. Reese
Greene County Field Officer
RZ 08-001 – request by W. Copley McLean to rezone from R-1 Residential to B-3 Business approximately 16.16 acres located on Seminole Trail/Cedar Grove Road – Deferred to September 9, 2008
Resolution Directing Greene County Planning Commission to Begin Work on the Comprehensive Plan – Approved
Call to Order 7:40 pm
I. W. Copley McLean Trust request to rezone from R-1 to B-3 16.16 acres located at Seminole Trail and Cedar Grove.
The property is located cattycorner from Sheets on the southwest corner of Cedar Grove and Route 29. The property is currently zoned for residential use with 39 single family homes permitted ‘by right’.
The concept plan calls for an access road running from Cedar Grove Road to the Rapidan Center. The proffers are currently split by this road. Additional prohibitions and restrictions on uses exist on the Western side of the road closer to residences. Numerous uses have been proffered out of the project.
VDOT provided additional comments at 2:15 pm on Tuesday giving staff very little time to review them. It appears that VDOT has requested that the applicant agree to set the values for any land dedicated to VDOT at today’s value on the R-1 zoning. It also appears that VDOT wants applicant to reserve an additional 50 feet of right of way in addition to turn lanes and cash value toward road improvements that applicant has already proffered. Applicant would not get any credit towards cash proffers for this additional reservation.
Staff believes that the proposed use complies with the comprehensive plan by making the Route 29 corridor a commercial area. However, staff noted that the Planning Commission had recommended denial of the application. Since the Planning Commission’s denial the applicant had clarified proffers and met with residents again.
M. Barnes spoke for the applicants. M. Barnes began by providing some history of the property. It was purchased from applicant’s father who purchased the land in the 1970’s as an investment property. M. Barnes noted that the covenants and restrictions to Enderly Acres anticipate the construction of business on this property giving homeowners notice that the property would eventually be rezoned.
M. Barnes stated that the project is a positive for the county as a whole. It is consistent with the comprehensive plan and current trends in economic development. It also will generate funds for schools and other infrastructure.
Applicant has tried to work with citizens. Applicant has agreed to a buffer that will consist of either woods and a fence or a berm and a fence. Applicant has also agreed to post signs at the entrance to Enderly Acres stating it is a private road. Many uses have been proffered out. Bus stops and sidewalks have been added to the project at the request of citizens as well.
M. Barnes addressed two sticking points that remain. The first is with VDOT’s new comments. The second issue is that applicant can not commit to the exact location of the parallel road. Market forces will dictate where the road runs through the property. If they do not have that flexibility applicant believes that the property will be difficult to market.
Justin Claey spoke on behalf of several residents of Enderly Acres. J. Claey admits that the applicant has been working with him and other adjoining homeowners. He believes there are still some unresolved issues. While he understands the problem with committing to the location of the parallel road, residents are not willing to agree to it. He agrees that it will give them and extra 50 feet of buffer if the road is moved to the back of the property, but is concerned because then businesses will be facing the houses.
Residents are also concerned about a provision in the proffers that allows a maximum of 20 feet of buffer to be removed for drainage or utility purposes. J. Claey noted that he agreed with C. Schmitt’s email to staff regarding this issue. He and other residents are also concerned that the fence is not high enough. Residents want a 10 foot fence instead of a 6 foot fence. He again referenced C. Schmitt’s email to support the residents’ position.
Security remains an issue for residents who want restricted hours of operation on the business. They would like to see businesses closest to their homes close by 8 pm. J. Claey believes this is a reasonable restriction because that is what Northern Virginia does. He also argued that this would cut back on law enforcement costs to the area.
Two additional citizens spoke against the project and echoed similar complaints.
A. Wilkinson observed that this project has moved very quickly in comparison to Deerfield. She believes that the new proffers and change in the crossover at 607 are good improvements; however, there are still some sticking points as have already been discussed. She is concerned about the developer’s ability to move the location of the access road. She would like to see a deferral.
Comments from the Board:
B. Peyton inquired about whether all the issues with VDOT had been resolved. Staff indicated that all but three issues had been resolved. VDOT sent additional comments at 2:14 that day. They addressed three issues:
· In proffer 7(b) VDOT felt that turn lanes were not addressed. Applicant responded that proffer 10 covers this issue.
· VDOT requested an additional right of way reservation of 50 feet
· VDOT is seeking to have current value applied when determining cash credit for land dedicated to VDOT
Applicant addressed the VDOT comments. Applicant felt that VDOT seeking an additional 50 feet of right of way was really double dipping. They are already getting turn lanes and cash proffers toward road improvements. Applicant also felt that basing credits for land dedicated to VDOT on the R-1 value was unfair.
S. Catalano was concerned about VDOT’s new comments and wants to know what effect not getting the additional proffers would have on plans for the Cedar Grove/29 intersection.
C. Schmitt commented that VDOT may be doing this out of fear that the value of the land designated is so high that once the applicant gets credit for the land, there will not be any cash proffer left.
C. Schmitt was also concerned about the issue of moving the parallel road. He stated “It seems to me the whole concept gets turned on its head if it gets moved.” He felt that would make all the concessions that residents had gained useless. C. Schmitt also felt that there should be a better security fence to prohibit trespass.
C. Schmitt was concerned about language regarding the completion of road improvements when 50% of the commercial construction was completed. Applicant responded that this language was the same language C. Schmitt had used in his emailed comments to the proffers and applicant had incorporated his suggestions into the proffers. C. Schmitt responded that he did not use that language.
M. Skeens asked who would be responsible for the maintenance of the fence. He also noted that he had a problem with the parallel road moving.
J. Allen inquired under what circumstances the road would move. Applicant responded that it would be market driven. If they found a large single user for the property they might move the road back.
J. Allen noted that the plan for Ruckersville clearly shows this area is intended for commercial development. She noted that the time that it has taken applicant to get through the system should not be compared to Deerfield. This project started at a much higher level. She doesn’t believe it is in the best interest of the county to place so many restrictions on the development that it is doomed to fail.
B. Peyton asked that applicant if there was anything left to negotiate with the residents. He noted that he would like to see a 10 foot fence instead of a 6 foot fence. He would like to see this development proceed but was not sure that all the details have been worked out.
S. Catalano believes the comprehensive plan supports this project. The location is not going to remain a wooded lot forever. Thirty-nine houses permitted by right would have a significant impact on the landscape. However, he is concerned about VDOT comments and would like some time to digest them. He admitted that if he were the applicant he would not want to agree to them either.
C. Schmitt moved to defer the application to September 9, 2008. The Board deferred the project by a unanimous vote.
II. Consent agenda – approved unanimously
III. Resolution Directing Greene County Planning Commission to Begin Work on the Comprehensive Plan.
C. Schmitt proposed that a citizen’s advisory committee be developed. He wanted to get together a group of people with some expertise to serve long term. He believes that having a dedicated group would groom people for the planning commission.
B. Peyton stated that he believed it had already been determined that citizen committees would be formed as needed.
S. Catalano commented that initially they had agreed to have committees to deal with special issues, but since they were hiring professionals it was not longer necessary.
J. Allen believed that the public meetings would be ample opportunity for citizen input.
J. Allen moved to adopt the resolution as written. The motion was passed by a unanimous vote.
IV. Revisions to the Building Permit Fee Schedule
Staff noted that the revisions were mostly to lower fees. One exception would be the addition of fees for pre-approval of site plans. The changes also allow applicants to get a permit the clear land without being required to build a house. Rates are also reduced on temporary swimming pools under $500.
J. Allen expressed concern that if the issue with swimming pools is really the running of electricity to them then why couldn’t permits be limited to temporary pools that use electricity.
No vote was taken. Staff will look into the changes further.
V. Revisions to the Bylaws for the Parks and Recreation Committee
The primary purpose of the revisions was to provide for a youth board member. Additional language was also added regarding grants. The Board was concerned about the grants language and asked for clarification before they vote on the revisions.
VI. Request for additional appropriation from Juvenile Court Services –Withdrawn
VI. Matters from the Pubic – None
VII. Other Matters from the Board
S. Catalano reminded the Board that local politicians have been invited to the September 23, 2008 meeting. He asked that comment be limited to funding issues.
J. Allen reported that rate increases are currently being advertised by RSA.
C. Schmitt reported on a meeting with the Rivanna River Basin Commission.
B. Peyton reminded the Board about the School Board Retreat on September 20th.
M. Skeens reported on the first day of school.
9:48 pm Public Meeting Adjourned – The Board went into executive session.