Albemarle County Planning Commission

July 10, 2007


The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia. Members attending were Jon Cannon, Calvin Morris, Vice-Chairman; Marcia Joseph, Chairman; Bill Edgerton; Eric Strucko; Duane Zobrist and Pete Craddock. Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent. 


Other officials present were David Benish, Chief of Planning; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; Elaine Echols, Principal Planner; Amy Arnold, Planner; Rebecca Ragsdale, Senior Planner and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney. 


Call to Order and Establish Quorum:


Ms. Joseph called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. and established a quorum.


Regular Items:


SP-2007-017 Luxor Commercial Vet Expansion (Sign #8)

PROPOSED: Extension of time allowed to establish Special Use Permit

ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: PD-MC Planned Development Mixed Commercial - large-scale commercial uses; and residential by special use permit (15 units/ acre)

SECTION: Section 25A.2.2 of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for veterinary offices and hospitals within PDMC zoning

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential - residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses in Pantops (Neighborhood 3) of the Development Area.


LOCATION: The 1.377 acre property is located on the north side of Route 250 (Richmond Road) and east of Rolkin Road, between Montessori School and Aunt Sarah's Restaurant.

TAX MAP/PARCEL:  Tax Map 78, Parcel 55D

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Rivanna (Rebecca Ragsdale)


Ms. Ragsdale presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report.


         This is a request for an extension of a special use permit that was approved in October, 2005 that went along with the Luxor Commercial rezoning that was also approved in October, 2005.  This is for the vet use that is proposed or one of those commercial buildings at Luxor.  The rezoning was for a total of 80,000 square feet of mixed commercial and then a stand alone bank of about 15,000 square feet.  The property is located on Route 250 East in Pantops.  It was rezoned to Planned District Mixed Commercial.  A co-applicant has been involved with the Luxor Commercial Project. 

         Staff noted that on the approved application the vet use was approved for this building and requires a special use permit in the CO, Commercial Office District, which was part of the mixed commercial that was approved.  It is the building near Route 250.  The properties around it are owned by someone else other than the vet applicant.  

         Based on the site plan approval process and difficulties with easements and utilities the process took longer than expected.  Special use permits are approved for two years based on the ordinance.  In this case the applicant did not request any special condition to allow a longer period of time.  This application plan also shows two trees, which were shown for preservation in the plan, one of which has come down.  One of the trees was blown over in a storm.  But, there are provisions in the proffers and the site plan process to address replanting and to work with the ARB to replace that evergreen tree.

         The applicant is in the preliminary site plan approval process.  They have just submitted revisions in they are towards the end of the process.  As the applicant mentioned they have been working through the issues and initially requested 18 months additional time for the special use permit.  Staff put that in the staff report as a recommended condition of approval.  But, since the ordinance specifies two years staff is recommending that the sixth condition is not needed.  So what the Commission has before them is the same conditions that were approved with the original special use permit that staff is recommending approval of again except that they are noting there are no longer two trees.  There is one tree.


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any questions for Ms. Ragsdale.


Mr. Morris asked why the applicant needs an extension because in driving by it does not appear the applicant has done anything for almost two years.


Ms. Ragsdale suggested that the applicant address that issue specifically in terms of some of the bumps in the road with the preliminary site plan.


Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Denise La Cour, President of Denico Development representing the owner of the property, Nigel Bray, said that as staff said this property was a part of a much larger commercial project that was done in 2005.  That was the Luxor Commercial Project.  Dr. Bray is a local veterinary who purchased this property several years ago with the intent of ultimately building a veterinary practice on that piece of property.  He was approached in 2004 by the adjoining landowner about the possibility of going into a joint application for a rezoning.  He agreed to do so because it would make a better plan for everybody involved.   They had hoped to break ground this summer.  The problem with a site plan joint application is that authorization from both parties is required to go forward.  While Mr. Bray has been anxious to move forward the co-applicant has not due to a quasi-restructuring of their company.  It put a hold on a lot of their projects while they analyzed them.  The co-applicant or DDR has now authorized the site plan to move forward.  A representative from DDR is present to verify that. 


Ms. Joseph asked if there were any questions for the applicant.  There being none, public comment was invited.


There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Planning Commission.


Ms. Joseph noted that one of the two trees to be bonded as per condition 3 has died.  She questioned if the one tree to be bonded was worth saving because it was covered with ivy.  The question arose whether the Commission should ask the ARB to do something to augment against the tree lost.


Mr. Craddock asked the applicant to address the tree issue.


Ms. La Cour replied that the two trees were part of the Board of Supervisors condition for approval during the rezoning.  They actually had to have a certified arborist provide a report.  The certified arborist had some questions about whether they should be saving those trees. Due to the fact that it was a condition and staff said that they would have to go back through the entire process again to amend that one condition they elected not to do that since they wanted to move forward.  The ARB has asked repeatedly that they get rid of those trees.  They repeatedly told the ARB that they could not get rid of the trees because it was a condition of the rezoning.  That tree blew down, which emphasizes what the certified arborist said that the pine trees were in bad condition.  They would like to get that condition removed and would be happy to work with the ARB.  The ARB has already provided alternate plans in case the trees did die.


Ms. Joseph suggested that the condition be removed.


Mr. Kamptner noted that the condition in the special use permit is simply requiring that the applicant show the tree on the plan.  It is the proffer that went with the rezoning that required that the trees be preserved.  So the Commission will not be able to delete the requirement in this proceeding anyway.


Motion:  Mr. Morris moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded, for approval of SP-2007-017, Luxor Commercial Vet Expansion, with the conditions recommended by staff, as follows:


1.       A separate entrance and exit shall be provided for the clinic in accordance with Section 5.1.11d.

2.       No outdoor exercise area shall be permitted.

3.       A note shall be added to the plan to identify the one tree that shall be bonded.

4.       The veterinary clinic shall be identified as located in building 4.

5.       Architectural Review Board issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.


The motion passed by a vote of 7:0.


Ms. Joseph stated that SP-2007-017, Luxor Commercial Vet Expansion will go before the Board of Supervisors on August 1, 2007 with a recommendation for approval.  The Commission could not get rid of the condition because it was part of the rezoning.



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