Kara Reese Pennella, Greene County Field Officer
SUP 09-003 request for a special use permit for an electronic message center by CVS – Approval Recommended*
CPA 09-001 Roberts request to remove approximately 200 acres located along Spotswood Trail, Fredericksburg Road, Monde Vista Lane and Old Durrette Road from the growth area –Approval Recommended*
*Note that all votes were 4-0. D. Lamb was not present at the meeting.
The Greene County Planning Commission held a work session on the Comprehensive Plan prior to their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday. Then in their regular meeting, the Planning Commission took up issues concerning the current Comprehensive Plan. The Commission recommended approving changes to the 2003 Comprehensive Plan that will remove some land from the growth area. The Commission also approved an electronic message board for the new CVS. Finally, they discussed making the Planning Commission’s liaison to the Town of Stanardsville a voting member of the Town Council.
Bill Wanner of Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) led the Planning Commission in work session on the Comprehensive Plan. Wanner provided an overview of the planning process. The Land Use Requirements from the Code of Virginia for growing counties were interpreted by TJPDC staff for the Commission. In addition to information developed or presented in previous work sessions, Albemarle County’s Neighborhood Model was also presented for the first time as an option that should be considered by Greene County. At the conclusion of the presentation, the Planning Commission was provided with several maps of Greene County and asked to develop their own future land use maps.
The Commission briefly asked questions and made comments on the presentation. There was some concern over the Green Infrastructure Map which had not been previously presented to the public at work shops. J. Frydl also sought clarification on whether clustering was required under to the Code of Virginia or whether it was required to be provided as an option.
Members of the public were also given the opportunity to provide comment. One resident of Stanardsville raised concerns about the Planning Commission creating a plan for Stanardsville and how that plan would be reconciled with the comprehensive plan that Stanardsville is developing. Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum raised three points with the Commission. First, he noted that rural clusters were only required as an option that could be used by developers. He also noted that there are some downsides to clustering that needed to be considered as well. Second, he pointed out that Albemarle’s Neighborhood Model was developed over two years of public meetings. It is inappropriate to present this new idea to Greene County for the first time so late in the process. Finally, he noted that relegated parking can create new problems such as businesses where the front door is barred and the back becomes the main entrance. He referred to the Crozet library which plans to lock its front doors because it does not have sufficient staff to man both the front and back entrance.
The first public hearing of the evening was a request by CVS Pharmacy for an electronic message board. Staff provided a brief report noting that the BZA has already approved a slightly larger sign in exchange for reducing the number of signs on the property from 2 to 1. The same conditions as those previously approved for the Arby’s sign were recommended. This property is located on 29 N and sits cattycorner from the Arby’s property. The Commission quickly concluded that they wanted to maintain consistency between this application and the Arby’s application. The Planning Commission recommended approval for the application for a special use permit for the electronic message board unanimously and attached the same conditions that were placed on the Arby’s sign.
The Planning Commission also held a public hearing regarding a request to amend the 2003 Comprehensive Plan. Robert & Susan Roberts, Jr. are seeking the amendment to remove 200 acres of their land from the growth area so that it may be included in a conservation easement along with another 300 acres of land that is currently outside the growth area. Two members of the public spoke in support of the amendment to the comprehensive plan.
N. Slezak provided an overview of his site visit noting that the property was pristine with lots of pasture and rolling hills. In their comments, the Commission was supportive of the amendment. B. Martin asked about the total amount of property that would be put in an easement which is 529 acres. J. Frydl noted that he had some concern about piecemeal amendments to the comprehensive plan; however, in this instance while the property is in the current growth area it does not have easy access to services. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the amendment by a unanimous vote.
Finally, the Planning Commission discussed the possibility of giving their liaison to the Stanardsville Town Council full membership and voting rights within the Town Council Planning Commission (corrected). Staff noted that this would create more cohesion between the county and town. It would also help the Council meet its required number of voting members. Currently, the town cannot fill all the commission seats. Staff will be working on the proposal for a future meeting.