The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were William Rieley, Chairman; Rodney Thomas, Vice-Chairman; Bill Edgerton; Jared Loewenstein and Pete Craddock. Absent was William Finley.


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning & Community Development;   Susan Thomas, Senior Planner; Stephen Waller, Senior Planner; Scott Clark, Senior Planner; Tarpley Gillespie, Senior Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


Public Hearing Items:


SP-2003-075 Alan & Theresa Zick/Ashleigh Preservation Tract B: Request for special use permit to allow construction of a bridge in a floodplain in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for Water related uses such as boat docks, canoe liveries, bridges, ferries, culverts and river crossings of transmission lines of all types.  The property, described as Tax Map 34, Parcel 22V, contains 100 acres, and is zoned RA Rural Areas. The proposal is located on Priddy Court, approximately 0.3 miles from the intersection of Priddy Court and Ashleigh Way Road, in the Rivanna Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area in Rural Area 2. (Scott Clark)


Mr. Clark summarized the staff report.  This is a request for a permit for a bridge in Turkey Run. The bridge was built prior to the current owner’s purchase of the property and no one really knows whether or not it was built prior to the adoption of the current flood plain regulations. The applicant wants to make sure that their bridge is in conformity with the regulations.  They don’t plan any further construction beyond what is already there. Currently it is a 100-acre parcel in the Ashleigh Rural Preservation Development. It is one of two preservation tracts and it is under easement held by the County. Staff’s main concerns with this would be erosion impacts on the neighboring properties, impacts on the stream and health and safety. It is possible that there will be erosion impacts from the construction of this bridge even though it has been in place for some time.  One of the conditions recommended at the end of the staff report is for a mitigation plan to be established by the Engineering Department, which most likely would consist of some plantings to help stabilize the banks and limit that problem.  The other largest issue with this was the structural adequacy of the bridge.  The Engineering Department put in another of their standard conditions, which is just to make sure that they get the calculations showing that the bridge is adequate.  It is possible if there is a problem with that that some minor reinforcement of the bridge would be done, but nobody expects any significant construction. We also reviewed this with Mr. Kamptner to ensure that the approval of this permit would not violate the terms of the easement.  The easement does talk about preventing alterations to the overall topography of the property, but this is not considered anything of that scale. It is a fairly small bridge and flat area and there is very little elevation change involved with it at all. Therefore, staff is recommending approval with the five conditions that you can see at the end of the staff report.


Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Mr. Clark.  There being none, he opened the public hearing and asked if the applicant would like to address the Commission.


Eric Morrisette stated that he was present to represent the applicants, Alan and Theresa Zick.  He pointed out that Mr. Zick was here with him tonight. He stated that Mr. Zick and his wife purchased this property and in the selection process for the desired home they took a look at the bridge and realized that they should look into the legality of the bridge.  He pointed out that they were mostly here tonight simply to try to comply with the ordinance requirements. As they inquired about the bridge, they found that that bridge has been there for many years.  The research indicated that there had been a ford there as far back as the 1800’s.  A deed of 1910 certainly showed that.  There was a ford crossing the stream. The property changed hands many times between various lumber companies. He stated that he could not locate any one in the large companies that have any history for these parcels.  As far back as he could date was a party that was involved at a transaction in the mid-80’s that verified that there was a bridge on the property at that time. Certainly, they needed it to date back to 1980 when this section was applied to the Zoning Ordinance. He pointed out that he had written statements from parties that date back to the mid-1980’s stating that the bridge was there.  He stated that he also has another written statement in the year of 2000 when the bridge had some repairs done.  At both times the bridge was at a point of disarray.  It is a very sturdy bridge if you have been out to see it.  It has concrete abutments and steel beams underneath.  At the time of initial construction, it had a wooden deck going across it, and around the year 2000 or late ‘90’s when the most recent logging had occurred the decking of the bride became so unsteady that they had to replace it.  The owner at that time went in and put a concrete reinforced decking on top of that bridge.  They certainly believe that the bridge has been there forever.  There have been no changes done to the abutments and he had a written statement to that effect.  He stated that they were just here tonight to make it a legal issue with the County so that they could get their building permit to move forward.


Mr. Rieley asked if there were any questions for Mr. Morrisette.  He asked if anyone else would like to address this application.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back to the Commission for discussion and possible action.


Mr. Loewenstein stated that this seems to be a pretty straightforward proposal.  He noted that the Commission finds themselves in a somewhat peculiar position of approval expo-factor or whatever the right term would be. But given that there does not appear to be any significant disturbance involved, he would be in favor of this.  He stated that he would be willing to move to that effect once they hear from the other Commissioners.


Mr. Craddock stated that he agreed.


Mr. Loewenstein moved for approval of SP-2003-75, Alan & Theresa Zick/Ashleigh Preservation Tract B, subject to five conditions recommended in the staff report.


1.       Engineering Department approval of computations and plans documenting changes to the floodplain.  Plans must show floodplain limits and levels before and after construction.  Sections 18- and 18- allow no increase in flood levels.  However, in areas of approximated floodplain, FEMA map accuracy is within 1 vertical foot.

2.       Engineering Department receipt of copies of federal and state permits for disturbance of the stream channel and any associated wetlands.

3.       Engineering Department approval of mitigation plan for repair and enhancement of the stream buffer. The mitigation plan shall include an implementation schedule.

4.       Engineering Department approval of plans and computations verifying structural adequacy of the bridge and abutments.

5.       Conditions 1 through 4 must be met within four months of the approval date of this permit.


Mr. Thomas seconded the motion.


The motion carried by a vote of (5:0).  (Finley – Absent)


Mr. Rieley stated that SP-2003-75 would go to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval and would be heard on January 7th.


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