Albemarle County Planning Commission

July 12, 2005

Draft Minutes for SP-2005-012 Singleton Studios


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Room 241, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Bill Edgerton, Chairman; William Rieley, Rodney Thomas, Calvin Morris and Jo Higgins.  Absent were Marcia Joseph, Vice-Chair; Pete Craddock and David J. Neuman, FAIA, Architect for University of Virginia.


Other officials present were Wayne Cilimberg, Planning Director; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Assistant County Attorney.


SP 2005-012 Singleton Studios (Sign #50) - Request for a special use permit to allow a Home Occupation Class B for a recording studio business in accordance with Section of the Zoning Ordinance, which allows for Home Occupations Class B. The property is described as Tax Map 103, Parcel 16D, contains approximately 49.4 acres, and is zoned RA, Rural Area. The property is located at 135 Quandary Farm, which is located along Blenheim Road (Route 727) approximately 1 mile north of the intersection of Blenheim Road and Secretarys Road (Route 708), in the Scottsville Magisterial District. The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Area. (Rebecca Ragsdale)


Ms. Ragsdale presented the staff report. 

         This is a request for a special use permit in the Rural Areas on a 50 acre parcel in the southern portion of the County near Scottsville on Blenheim Road.  The applicant wants to convert an existing barn into a recording studio, which would be about 970 square feet.  Along with this special use permit is a modification to allow that 970 square feet, which is from the supplemental regulations for home occupations that stipulates that the square footage shall be no more than 25 percent of the square footage of the dwelling.  In this case it is just a little more than the dwelling.  The applicant has provided information about the uniqueness of the recording studio as far as the sound proofing that would be necessary to actually record the music at this location.  He also has provided a justification for his space needs.

         The property is known as Quandary Farm, which has been identified as a historic resource. It is also contributing to the Southern Albemarle Historic District, but the Rural Preservation Planner did not have any concerns with this having any impacts on that.

         Staff recommends approval of both the special use permit with the modification.  The barn is located in the center of the 50 acre parcel and is surrounded by additional properties under the same ownership.  Staff found no concerns with any neighbors near by that would be impacted by the clients of the studio or did not see any noise impacts.  Staff recommends two conditions in the staff report.


Since there were no questions for staff, Mr. Edgerton opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission on this application.


Mathew Singleton stated that he and his wife, Elizabeth Muse, were present to speak regarding the application.  This is a small recording studio that will largely be used for personal use, but will be opened to the public on occasion in order to generate some revenue to help mitigate the cost of equipment and the cost of the renovations to the barn.  It was an existing barn that was basically falling to the ground.  They want to make the barn a productive part of the property.  They have taken great pain to make sure that the barn appears almost unchanged from almost every angle except for one where they put in some windows, which is not facing the entrance way. 


Mr. Edgerton asked if there were any questions for the applicants.


Mr. Morris asked if the studio would be soundproofed.


Mr. Singleton stated that absolutely the recording studio will be soundproofed.


Mr. Edgerton invited public comment.  There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for consideration.


MOTION: Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Rieley seconded, that SP-2005-012 for Singleton Studio be recommended to the Board of Supervisors for approval subject to the following conditions:


  1. This Home Occupation shall be conducted in accordance with the application plan Area of Detail (Attachment D); including outdoor lighting plan (Attachment E).


2.       Structures used for this home occupation shall be limited to the building labeled Barn on the plat showing a physical survey plat of the property dated July 17, 1996. (Attachment B)


The motion passed unanimously by a vote of 5:0.  (Commissioners Craddock and Joseph were absent)


Action on the Modification:

MOTION: Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Rieley seconded, to grant the modification to Section as requested on SP-2005-012 for Singleton Studio


The motion passed unanimously by a vote of 5:0.  Commissioners Craddock and Joseph were absent.


Mr. Edgerton stated that SP-2005-012 for Singleton Studios would go to the Board of Supervisors on August 3 with a recommendation for approval.


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