ZMA 2006-001 Westhall Phase V (Signs #49,59,64)

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 8.96 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre) and R-6 (6 units/acre) to PRD Planned Residential District residential (3 - 34 units/acre).  36 single family detached units proposed at a density of gross 4 units per acre.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Neighborhood CT4 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 4.5 units per acre for Single family detached and attached units and duplexes; net 12 units per acre for townhouses and apartments; net 18 units per acre for mixed use).  Neighborhood CT5 - mixed residential and commercial uses (net 12 units per acre for all housing types; net 18 units per acre for mixed use. CT 1 and CT 2 Preservation and Reservation Areas with net 1 unit per 20 acres.


LOCATION: Portion of Tax Map 56H Parcel A, located approximately 600 feet east of the end of Park Street (SR 1204) in the Community of Crozet.


STAFF:  Elaine Echols


Ms. Echols summarized the staff report.  Since the Commission has read the staff report and are familiar with this area of Crozet she would briefly remind the Commission of where they were the last time they looked at this. This is a piece of property that is at the end of Park Road.  It is 8.9 acres.  It is with 36 single family detached units. The Commission looked at this with ideas about layout and design, density, impacts, about affordable housing and gave staff and the applicant some guidance.  The applicant has made all of the changes that were requested with one exception, which is in regards to the affordable housing proffer.  The Commission has already gone through something similar to that tonight.  The Commission had asked questions about the greenway system.  In the packet staff included a greenway map, which shows the context of the easement on the adjoining property that would follow along the Eastern Avenue.  The applicant has proffered that to be a temporary access easement on that general property.  Staff has looked at this and found that there are some minor changes that need to take place in the proffers and the application plan based on what they reviewed for the staff report.  Staff has been working with the applicant on those things.  But, the really big issue here is whether or not the affordable housing proposed is acceptable.  If there are questions, she would be happy to answer them.


Mr. Edgerton said that if he read the staff report correctly the applicant is offering the easement or land, but is not building the trail.


Ms. Echols noted that Dan Mahone, of Parks, wants to build the trail and has volunteered to do so.  Mr. Mahone asked that the applicant just give the right of way and the County will build the trail.


Mr. Edgerton asked if Mr. Mahone was comfortable with what was being proposed, and Ms. Echols replied yes.


Mr. Edgerton asked if Eastern Avenue does go through would a sidewalk take its place.


Ms. Echols said that was correct.  It is envisioned right now because of the green strip that on that side of the road it would be more of a sort of park type setting with a meandering asphalt path.  It will probably have to come back to the Commission for a waiver, but that is the concept.  That is why when they provided the 20í for the buffer they attached that to the green space and adjacent to the right of way so that they would have the opportunity to make sure that screening is maintained and they will disturb as little as they can in the back.  When the right of way goes through they would have given us the 20í to the backs of the lot.  Therefore, staff could work with what they have gotten.  Staff feels that is an acceptable arrangement.  


Ms. Joseph said that there is a note on one of the plans that talks about the County is responsible for the maintenance of the 20í path.  She asked if that was what it was all about.


Ms. Echols replied yes, because the green space is actually connected at the backs of those lots.  So they are saying that the County is responsible for that because the applicant would be giving that to the County.


Mr. Edgerton said that on page 12, middle of the paragraph the staff report talks about cash proffers. The applicant is going to cash proffer Eastern Avenue for $1,500 per market rate unit cash for capital improvements.  Schools would be an obvious item.  It says with $3,000 for a pedestrian bridge an estimate of the value of the greenway trail on the property the total value of the cash proffer is around $100,000.  What value did staff put on the greenway trail?


Ms. Echols said that it was not the trail itself, but it is for the temporary access easement.  Staff could have done this in a better way.  But, she took the assessed value of that property off of the Countyís maps and took that area and multiplied it by the rate.  It is not totally sophisticated and it is certainly open.  It is not $100,000 for the greenway trail.  That is the difference between the $75,000 plus the $3,000 and $7,500.


There being no further questions for staff, Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Chris Schooly, of Stonehaus Development, said that last time they met there was some discussion about what exactly they were building.  He passed out several renderings.  The first set of colored renderings is actually images of houses that they will be building in the first 4 phases of Westhall.  Those 4 houses along with other will be the 30 market rate units that they will be building in this section.  The last 3 black and whites are 3 of the 4 proposed versions of houses that they would be doing for cottages for affordable housing units.  As the Commission can remember from the last time they met he felt that they could all agree that what they proposed for cottages was acceptable.  They were providing an attached unit and providing yard, which may not be the biggest yard in the world.  But, for a gardener it will be a large enough space, which will be private.  They also discussed relegated parking.  They would be providing at least 2 parking spaces behind the face of the building, but it may be in the garage or with a driveway.  This would include the affordable housing units.  All of the parking would be relegated behind the face of the building.  In reference to the expansion of the tot lot, they agreed with the Commission that there needed to be some delineation between the storm water management pond and the tot lot due to their closeness.  What they did to address that was to take one lot out and add it to the tot lot.  Then they provided a gracious trail head for the entire greenway system. That is something that they have always talked about in Crozet about provide interconnectivity to this.  They provided five parking spaces, benches at the picnic area and the tot lot.  The storm water management pond itself would be mobile.  This is not something that is going to need a fence because it was going to be on just a grassy area on dry days.  It is a place to play Frisbee.  They are trying to open this up and create a trail head that meets the community standards.  Traffic was also a big issue last time.  The staff report acknowledges that this is an acceptable level of service on Park Road and Tabor Street.  Last time they discussed Park Road style improvements.  They met with County staff and walked the section to decide how they could make Park Road safer for the traffic that they would be implementing, but at the same time not losing the traffic calm feel of Park Road that they all acknowledge that is something that they want to save.  They came up with some areas that could be widened on the shoulder and some drainage areas that could get improved.  They accept in their proffers the responsibility of making those improvements.  Then, of course there is always the Eastern Avenue Connection.  When Eastern Avenue is built they will not have any traffic issues whatsoever.  They have made a cash proffer towards Eastern Avenue.  Considering what the Commission went through earlier tonight, Jarmanís Road, it is a similar issue.   They have provided some money.  The staff report indicated that it was a little bit low.  If the Commission was willing to look at the other capital improvements and they allocate that money towards the traffic improvements of Eastern Avenue that is fine with us.  They know that it is an important issue for Crozet.  The proffers in general they are offering $3,300 per unit.  Ms. Echols was able to provide them a schematic of it in comparison of what other proffers were in the area.  He felt that they exceeded that average that they were expecting. One thing that they did include Mr. Edgerton mentioned, which was the value of the trail.  They have lost a lot in trying to beef up the trails.  He thought that the value in that was not considered.  They feel that their $3,300 per unit is adequate.  Regarding the affordable housing, it is a difficult issue and they know where the Commission came down on the last on Haden Place in their discussion.  There are a couple of issues of why they propose 100 percent.  First of all they think that it is reflective of the Crozet community.  They think that there are a lot of people who hit that 80 to 100 percent gap, including someone on their own staff who recently came in at 82 percent.  When they provide the attached units, they really see that there is some type of market between 80 percent for attached and 100 percent for detached units.  There was some gesture in the staff report that should be considered.  They would urge the Commission to consider that tonight.  There is an overall issue of about 100 percent they can provide attached units.  It is pretty difficult at 80 percent for them to provided detached units.  It really becomes a question for the Commission.  At 80 percent they can provide attached town houses.  At 100 percent they can provide detached units.  They will allow them to discuss that to see what the Commission comes up with.  If there are any questions, they would be happy to answer them.


Ms. Joseph asked if they had ever considered if they had a two-story house or a house with a basement that the whole is not finished and that is the way that they may have some affordable housing. She suggested that possibly only one floor would be finished and then the owner could finish the second floor or the basement.


Mr. Schooly said that it was something to consider and something that they propose to use.  If the Commission denies the application tonight based on them not moving from 100 percent, then they have something to consider.  If they drop down to the 80 percent on the recommendation assuming that they could go to a detached unit, that would be acceptable if they had the option to go from detached to attached between now and the Board of Supervisors.  Then they could raise options similar to that in how exactly they could provide some affordable housing at 80 percent in a detached model that they all agreed was aesthetically and functionally better than the attached units.   


Ms. Joseph asked if he was asking if the Commission decides that this project was different than the other project they just looked at that or not different, then they wanted to do attached housing some where. 


Mr. Schooly said that the 80 percent that they feel like they would first like to do attached housing. They would have a difficult time tonight saying that they could do 80 percent with detached units.


Ms. Higgins said she had a question from page 27 of Attachment B.  Her understanding is that within the 100 percent it is not called affordable, but moderate in that the County has no involvement to provide any buyer or anything like that.  Since Ron White is present she would like him to respond to that. She felt that the Commission needs to acknowledge that since if they go in this direction she did not think this proffer works that way.


Mr. Edgerton requested to ask Mr. Schooly if what he was hearing is that if the Commissionís decision is to stick with the affordable housing policy that exists right now that this plan is out the window.


Mr. Schooly replied yes.


Mr. Edgerton said he would have to move for denial.  He did not think that the Commission could possibly negotiate meeting the affordable housing regulations.


Ms. Joseph noted that there was a sign up list of other persons who wanted to speak.  She invited Barbara Westbrook to come forward and speak.


Barbara Westbrook said that basically she was concerned about the impact on the neighborhood streets.  There is only one outlet to get to Route 240, which is one lane wide and connects three roads being Tabor Street, High Street and Park Road.  All three roads are 20í wide with no sidewalks or room for bike lanes.  There are 271 homes in that 1 mile plus the proposed Westhall homes of another 132.  There is a possible 403 homes using this 1 mile stretch.  When she talked to David Benish today he said that VDOT uses the figure of 10 vehicle trips per day per single family dwelling. She felt that is a little high using 10 vehicle trips per day on this one mile stretch, not including Westhall, would be over 1,800 car trips per day on this 1 mile stretch.  She did a traffic count this morning for about 1 hour and 45 minutes on this 1 mile stretch.  It totaled 283 vehicles and almost 40 were construction trucks, which will only increase.  Crozet Park is in this section and that adds quite a bit of traffic when there are craft shows, swim meets, the Firemanís Fourth of July Carnival and other similar events.  She felt that could be a real problem for safety when there is a lot of traffic for rescue squads.  The bottom line is that she would ask that approval be delayed until Eastern Avenue is constructed.  So much money has been talked about. She would just assume see all of the money go to Eastern Avenue because a lot of people in Crozet would like to see this go ahead to alleviate so much of the traffic problem.  She was taking this out of context, but she agrees with staff in the report on page 13 where staff believes that $45,000 to be applied to Eastern Avenue is a very small amount given the fact that the cost to construct the road is likely to be so much greater.  It would appear that the only other option available would be to postpone the approval of this rezoning until the street network that allows traffic to actually use Eastern Avenue is done.


Cathy Mattigan reiterated what Ms. Westbrook had said about there only being one road going in and out, the construction vehicles, and other items like that. The infrastructure is a big major concern.  The other concern, which is really minor in the whole aspect, is referred to on page 8.  It basically says under interconnection streets and transportation networks to provide the opportunity for future connections to Jamestown Court.  She lives on Jamestown Court and that area she has always been led to believe by both the County and in conversations with the developer when they put the sewage easement on their property was that this was suppose to be an emergency road. It was suppose to be gravel and have a chain length fence across it.  Since they started construction it is now a paved road with two little areas where you can basically turn your car back.  The only way that this road is shut off is that there are cones that are at the end where it connects to Jamestown Court.  Traffic is going in and out.  People being people want to explore and just move the cones.  She has some concerns about that statement being a future connection when she has been led to believe as well as her neighbors that this was to be an emergency access only.


There being no further public comment, Ms. Joseph closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.


Ms. Higgins asked if someone could explain the Jamestown Road.


Ms. Echols asked that the Commission look at page 24 of the staff report on the far right hand there is a cul-de-sac.  This cul-de-sac has been in existence for a while.  This is an older subdivision.  When Westhall Phase I came in the Subdivision Ordinance required an interconnection to the east.  She noted that she might not have all of the facts correct and she knew there were some people in the audience that could correct her if she was wrong on this one.  The applicant purchased or acquired the adjoining property or land from Jamestown Court in order to make a connection from Jamestown Court to Westhall Drive.  That was not a very poplar decision in the neighborhood for the reasons that the Commission can see.  Ms. Mattiganís house is right next to where that connection would be.  She thought that there were also covenants which restrict that connection from actually happening.  If it ever does happy, she thought that there was a covenant restriction that has to be dealt with in some form or fashion. But, the applicant for Westhall I she believed provided the connection that he could and he wanted to use this for construction purposes.  In any case she believed they worked out with Ms. Mattigan that would not be used for the permanent road.  But, it would be for emergency access.  What staff was trying to point out in this system was that there are multiple connection points and not to say this was being opened up with this development.  It is in Westhall Phase I and it is not even part of the rezoning.  It is sort of illustrating where the connections are.  There are no proposals to do anything different with this particular rezoning. 


Ms. Higgins said that was a good explanation.  But are these roads going to interconnect with this rezoning and is that going to be a permanent connection?


Ms. Joseph replied no it is not connected to this rezoning.


Mr. Edgerton said that he did not think the Commission could possibly consider any rezoning when they donít know what the plan looks like.  At the work session they were brought that plan with no units shown.  In response to their frustration about not knowing how that density might be the applicant brought this plan.  But, now they were being told that unless they agree to alter the proposed current affordable housing plan they would not be seeing this.  They had a lengthy discussion about that earlier this evening.  With that in mind he did not think the Commission could possibly approve what is being asked for now.


Ms. Higgins noted that if the Commission denies the request they have to give a reason. She asked if it was just for that one reason.


Mr. Edgerton said that the reason he would give was that the Commission has not been shown a plan of what is being proposed.  He asked how the Commission could approve a rezoning without a plan.


Ms. Higgins said that if the Commission denies the rezoning because it does not meet the affordable housing requirement or goal for the County, the applicant said that if he had to satisfy that then that area there would change.  But, this is the plan before us.


Mr. Edgerton said that the applicant did not say that.  The applicant said that this plan would be out of the window.


Ms. Higgins said that the applicant said that the attached units could not be accomplished.


Mr. Edgerton noted that the applicant did not point to the units. 


Ms. Higgins requested that they ask the applicant to explain what he meant by that statement so the Commission could get this into a very clear and concise package of what would change. 


Mr. Schooly said that their position is tonight that they have submitted a plan and a proffer of 100 percent of AMI, which includes this.


Ms. Higgins said that if the Commission denies this plan because it does not meet the affordable housing, then what he is saying is that he cannot just make those affordable and it would change the plan.


Mr. Schooly said that the entire plan would stay the same at 80 percent except for that. That will make it clear on what they are trying to accomplish.


Ms. Higgins said that if the six small blocks there represent what would be the affordable housing chunk and they were saying that if it was not the 80 percent median income they were going to recommend denial.  But, the Commission was okay with all the other issues.  She did not want to lose the whole evening and just stop at that because what is the whole agenda here.


Mr. Edgerton said that the agenda was to try to do some good planning here.  He noted that they require rezonings to be specific.  They were negotiating with a developer over a plan that he has not even prepared yet.  The applicant has not even prepared the alternative and they are being asked to approve it.  He was uncomfortable taking that position.


Mr. Cannon said that the Commission could disapprove this because it does not meet current policies for affordable housing.  That appears to be adequate grounds for disapproval.  He did not see discussing the rest of the project on some hypothetical as to what it may or may not look like when they come in for final approval.


Ms. Joseph asked if all of the Commissioners want to discuss all of the other issues that surround this.


Ms. Higgins said she did not want it going to the Board without the Commission discussing all of the issues.


Mr. Strucko said that it was important to have the other issues.


Mr. Craddock agreed with Mr. Edgerton.


Mr. Morris said that he could support this motion if the portions relating to affordable housing are brought in line with the County policy.  He said that he was okay with everything else.


Ms. Higgins said that she agrees with Mr. Morris and Mr. Edgerton.


Mr. Strucko felt that the Commission needs to discuss the other proffers, the traffic mitigation and the proffer for the Eastern Avenue to determine whether or not that is adequate.


Mr. Edgerton said that the other cash proffers are not adequate.


Mr. Strucko agreed.


Ms. Joseph said that the cash proffer is not adequate.


Mr. Cannon said that he did not know because maybe they need to consider something else.  When it is defective on its face he did not want to try to fine tune the other aspects of the proposal particular.


Mr. Morris said that they donít have a proffer policy to guide us.


Ms. Higgins noted that the applicant had done a better job on the trail head by giving the tot lot up and separating the two.


Mr. Edgerton said that he really liked the plan and was prepared to approve it, but if it involves altering their affordable housing policy and that is the ultimatum they have been given, and then he could not support it.


Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved to approve ZMA-2006-001, Westhall Phase V, with the proffers offered.


There being no second, the motion failed.


Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded that ZMA-2006-001, Westhall Phase V, be denied because it does not meet the 15 percent affordable housing goal of the County.


Mr. Kamptner asked if the Commission wished to identify their specific concerns for the Board.


Ms. Higgins said that the Commission expressed its concerns


Mr. Edgerton requested a friendly amendment to the motion stating that the proffer for the improvement to Eastern Avenue is not adequate with $45,000 for a 4.5 million dollar road.  He said is concerned that there is no commitment in this rezoning for the location of Eastern Avenue from the applicant who is an equity interest owner in that land.  Mr. Edgerton said he would like the development to show a commitment to the location of Eastern Avenue or the proffer for the greenway easement will be absolutely worthless if Eastern Avenue gets put somewhere else.


Ms. Higgins said she believes that the location of Eastern Avenue is not going to change.  She would not agree to amend her motion.  She said that Eastern Avenue is in the Master Plan and if the adjoining property comes for review, Eastern Avenue is planned for that area.


Mr. Edgerton suggested that Ms. Higgins look at Western Avenue in the Master Plan and where it really got built. 


Ms. Higgins noted that Eastern Avenue is a different avenue than Western Avenue.  She asked if the proffer contribution for the $45,000 was in addition to the other improvements. 


Mr. Edgerton noted that the applicant was also tripling its density, which, to him was not enough.


Ms. Higgins said that the staff report noted the concerns shared by the Commission.  Therefore, she did not think that needed to go into the motion.


Mr. Morris noted that affordable housing at 100% of the median household income was one major concern.


Mr. Strucko said that he would vote for a motion that included the concern for affordable housing.  However, he personally feels that there is an additional issue, which is the adequacy of the cash proffers for the transportation network and Eastern Avenue.


Amended Motion:


Ms. Higgins amended the motion to say ZMA-2006-001, Westhall Phase V, be denied because it does not meet the 15 percent affordable housing goal of the County, and further consideration needs to be given for the cash contributions for the transportation, which was seconded by Mr. Edgerton.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0. 


Ms. Joseph stated that ZMA-2006-001, Westhall Phase V will be heard by the Board of Supervisors on August 2 with a recommendation for denial.


Motion on Waivers:

1.       Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for sidewalks on the private street.

2.       Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance to substitute an asphalt path as shown on the application plan in the northern part of the site for sidewalks on both sides of the east-west street at the northern part of the site.

3.       Section 14-422 of the Subdivision Ordinance for planting strips with the condition that for location (b) described in this report, at least three feet of separation between the back of the curb and the path shall be provided.

4.       Sections 4.6.2 and 4.6.3.b. of the Zoning Ordinance to allow the setbacks shown on the application plan to be used, rather than using the zoning ordinanceís standard of measurement for front and rear yards.


Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Morris seconded that waivers 1- 4 for ZMA-2006-001, Westhall Phase V, be approved subject to the potential or eventual approval of the rezoning.


Mr. Edgerton noted that the four requested waivers must be legally tied to the plan shown.  Mr. Edgerton referred to the applicantís comment that the only way he could commit to proffering 6 units at 80% of the median household income was with a redesigned plan.  Since there isnít a redesigned plan in front of the Commission, he could not vote in favor of the waivers. If the Commission had an approvable plan in front of them, then he would have voted for the waivers.


The motion was defeated by a vote of 2:5.  (Commissioners Edgerton, Cannon, Joseph, Strucko, and Craddock voted nay.)  (Commissioners Higgins and Morris voted aye.)


Ms. Joseph stated that the waivers were denied.


Ms. Echols said she would like to make the point that those waivers also are available during the subdivision and site plan process.  If the development does get approved, the opportunity to consider the waivers does exist at a later date.


Ms. Higgins asked if the Commission needs to make a statement to go with the denial.


Mr. Cilimberg asked Mr. Kamptner if the vote to deny the waivers was appeal able.


Mr. Kamptner noted that since this is a planned development everything is appeal able.


Ms. Higgins stated that the reason it failed on the vote was that the Commission is recommending denial of the plan based on the reasons stated previously.


Mr. Cannon noted that Mr. Edgerton gave a persuasive argument and since the Commission denied the proposed rezoning on the terms presented, it doesnít know and did not know what a final plan might look like. Therefore, he felt the Commission was not in the position to act on the waivers.


Mr. Cilimberg pointed out that the Commission has one more action to take on the very last sentence after the waivers, which was not part of their action.  It involves recommending approval of permission to disturb open space in conjunction with Section 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance as shown on the application plan.


Motion:  Ms. Higgins moved, Mr. Morris seconded to approve permission to disturb open space in conjunction with Section 4.7.2 of the Zoning Ordinance as shown on the application plan.


The motion was defeated by a vote of 2:5.  (Commissioners Craddock, Strucko, Joseph, Cannon, Edgerton voted nay.)  (Commissioners Higgins and Morris voted aye.)


Ms. Joseph stated that ZMA-2006-001 will be heard by the Board of Supervisors on August 2 with a recommendation for denial.


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