CPA 04-02 Pantops Master Plan




Work Session for discussion of public and Commission comments from the Public Hearing held April 3, 2007 on the Draft Pantops Master Plan





David Benish,  Rebecca Ragsdale




June 5, 2007 Work Session







The Pantops Master Plan process has been underway since July 2003 and initial public input meetings were held in 2004 and 2005. This past spring and summer preliminary draft master plan elements were discussed with the public (May 28, 2006 and June 8, 2006 public meetings) and Planning Commission in four meetings (August 22, 29, and September 9, 19, 2006). Based on the Planning Commissionís direction during those summer and fall work sessions, the Pantops Master Plan document was drafted by staff. Similar to the series of meetings held in the summer and fall 2006, additional work sessions were conducted with the Planning Commission in November 2006 to review each chapter of the draft master plan.


The major recommendations and goals of the master plan have not changed since the initial relaunch of the master plan process with the public last spring but have been elaborated in text and further refined. Based on work with the Planning Commission, stakeholders, County departments, and public comments since spring 2006, the Pantops Master Plan was drafted and advertised for public hearing on April 3, 2007. (Attachment A-Action Memo and B-Minutes from public hearing) There were several key issues identified by the Commission and public to be further addressed and discussed prior to forwarding the master plan to the Board of Supervisors:

o        Proposed Development Area Removal-Follow up with property owner to discuss concerns.

o        Addressing Peter Jefferson Place and Martha Jefferson Hospital concerns regarding consistency of the Pantops Master Plan with approved development plans for their project.

o        Capital Improvement and Facilities related comments: Provide stronger language in the Community Facilities Plan; Review priority areas to see how they mesh with the CIP; Provide stronger language regarding the public facilities, which tie into other organizationís plans. 

o        Incorporating comments from the Southern Environmental Law Center regarding the Rivanna River. (Attachment C)

o        Provide an update on the Glenorchy area/Gazebo Plaza and Hansen Mountain Road.

o        Update on the Eastern Connector study and ensuring the Pantops Master Plan appropriately addresses/references that study.


Staff has provided additional information and revisions, where applicable, for the Planning Commissionís discussion in this work session. Staff has made corrections to the street network shown on the map, adding an additional category, Possible Optional Roadway Network (Beyond 2025), which has been applied to the road shown running behind Westminster Canterbury. Prior to the Boardís review of the Master Plan, all other minor editing changes will be made and a complete revised version of the plan will be drafted.





Proposed Development Area Removal (Wheeler Property)

One of the major considerations of the Pantops Master Plan was a change to the existing Development Area Boundary for Pantops.  The draft plan advertised for public hearing included a recommendation for removal of a 77-acre property (Wheeler) located at the northern edge of the development area.  The property has features that are more rural than urban in character, with historic and natural resources, and the owner may wish to place the property under conservation easement. It is currently zoned Rural Areas and is designated Neighborhood Density Residential (3-6 dwelling units per acres) in the current Land Use Plan for Pantops.  


A change in the boundaries to the Pantops Master Plan was considered comprehensively as part of the master plan study and was not applicant driven by the property owner. It was intended to be responsive to the property ownerís desires to possibly seek a conservation easement, public comment received during the initial master plan meetings, and for land use planning purposes. The recommendation of amending the Development Area boundaries was included in maps and information at public meetings held in Spring 2006 and was intended to respond to the public comments for both increased open space and preservation of Route 20 as a scenic Virginia Byway. Comments from those meetings are attached. From a planning perspective, the property was not well integrated with the rest of the Pantops Development Area and made planning for future infrastructure and interconnections challenging with the Rural Area to the north and east, Darden Towe Park to the south, and the Rivanna River to the west.


The property owner has expressed a great deal of concern about taking the property out of the Development Area in conjunction with the Pantops Master Plan. Although no intention to develop the property has been expressed, the owner would like to leave the property in the Development Area with a Neighborhood Density designation as the owner gathers further information on easements and continues planning for her future. The owner is more comfortable requesting the removal as a separate action, when the time is right for the owner.


Staff has made revisions to the map and text to address this. (see insets below and text in Attachment D)



Pantops Master Plan, March 19, 2007 draft                             May 29, 2007 Potential Revision


Peter Jefferson Place and Martha Jefferson Hospital-Consistency with the Approved Application Plan for the property


Staff has met with representatives from both Peter Jefferson Place and Martha Jefferson Hospital. Revisions have been made to the plan that respect their approved master plan and but also leaves opportunities for some future/long term urban infill/redevelopment. These changes include revising the urban mixed use areas to employment mixed use, eliminating the infill employment mixed use area south of Peter Jefferson Place, and revising the road network in the office park. The existing trails within the Peter Jefferson Place have been added to the Green Infrastructure Map based on comments received. (Attachments E, F, G-Revised Maps)


Pantops Master Plan, March 19, 2007 draft              Revised May 29, 2007


Community Facilities, Capital Improvement Plan, and the Implementation  

Staff has revised both the Community Facilities and Services and Implementation Projects table to provide stronger language and tie these chapters to the Countyís Capital Improvement Plan and the Priority Areas on the draft Pantops Master Plan Implementation Map. (Attachment D, revised pages of the draft Master Plan and Attachment H-Implementation Projects tables)



Comments from the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) on the Rivanna River (Attachment C)

Staff has incorporated the Southern Environmental Law Centerís comments into the text of the Master Plan. The SELC comments echo major themes already in the plan and staff has emphasized the recommendations of the master plan regarding the Rivanna River and made development of a River Corridor Plan a high priority for implantation. (Attachment D, revised pages of the draft Master Plan)


Update on the Glenorchy area/Gazebo Plaza and Hansen Mountain Road

This site plan has been approved for Gazebo Plaza and the approval is not contingent upon VDOTís comments. The road improvements at Rt.250 are offsite improvements and the site plan ordinance cannot require upgrades.  VDOT, independent of the Countyís site plan approval, must decide if it will issue an entrance permit.  It appears VDOT will do this but will require as a condition of the entrance permit that modifications be made to Route 250, including closing the crossover at Hansen Mountain Road. The owner has indicated that they will not go through a rezoning to alter the controlling plan to provide for other ingress/egress to the site.  At this point, the plan is approved and the developer is working with VDOT.  Hansen Mountain Road is not shown to be relocated through the Gazebo Plaza site on the approved site plan.


Update on the Eastern Connector study and ensuring the Pantops Master Plan appropriately addresses/references that study                                                                                                                                     The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has recently retained an engineering and planning firm to conduct a preliminary route location and environmental assessment for the Eastern Connector corridor study to examine possible roadway connections between US 29/Seminole Trail and US 250/Richmond Road. The first two public information meetings on the project were held May 22 and May 24, 2007. Over the past several months, meetings have been held with a steering committee composed of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville staff and officials, and staff from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (PDC), and the Virginia Department of Transportation.  Preliminary traffic modeling has been completed to define the general study area traffic demands in the year 2025 and an inventory of existing environmental factors has been conducted.  In addition, interviews have been conducted with major employers, advocacy groups, home owner association representatives, local residents, church officials, educators, emergency responders, and others who live and/or work within the area to solicit their opinions relative to the proposed project. The public feedback will be utilized to develop preliminary alternative alignments that will be presented to the public at the next series of public information meetings. At this time, there is nothing further to be added to the Pantops Master Plan to address the Eastern Connector.




Staff recommends the Commission review the revisions to the draft Pantops Master Plan and forward a recommended plan to the Board of Supervisors. A work session is scheduled with the Board on June 13, 2006 and a public hearing tentatively scheduled in August.






Draft Pantops Master Plan, dated March 19, 2007 (Refer to copy previously provided to you, or the website: and advise staff if you need another copy.)

  1. Planning Commission Action Memo, April 3, 2007 Public Hearing on the Pantops Master Plan
  2. Planning Commission Minutes, April 3, 2007 Public Hearing on the Pantops Master Plan
  3. Southern Environmental Law Center comments from Kay Slaughter, Senior Attorney, dated April 3, 2007
  4. Pantops Master Plan, May 29, 2007, sections revised to address Planning Commission and Public Comments.
  5. Pantops Master Plan, Framework Map (Land Use), revised May 29, 2007
  6. Pantops Master Plan, Green Infrastructure Map, revised May 21, 2007
  7. Pantops Master Plan, Implementation Map, revised May 21, 2007
  8. Pantops Master Plan Implementation Projects tables


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