PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

L&J Property, LLC

 

February 14, 2008

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Bonnie Bogert, Planner II

 

Community Development

Magisterial District:  Scott
Service District:
None

PIN: 7012-73-5993-000

                                                                 

Topic: 

 

A Resolution to Approve L&J Property, LLC, Special Exceptions:  SPEX08-SC-007, a Category 29 Special Exception, SPEC08-SC-008, a Category 28 Special Exception, SPEX08-SC-009, a Category 23 Special Exception, and Waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3

 

Topic Description:

The Applicant wishes to obtain approval of three (3) Special Exceptions. The first is a Category 29 Special Exception to allow for a waiver of the public street requirement so that the Applicant does not have to design and construct a public road to serve the proposed lots. The second Special Exception is a Category 28 which would allow for a waiver of the Type I Private Street Requirement. The Applicant is asking for this Special Exception so that they may create a Type III Private Street to serve the proposed subdivision. The Type III private street has no design standards associated with it. The third is for a Category 23 Special Exception which would allow for fill in the FEMA 100 year floodplain associated with the construction of an access road for a proposed seven (7) lot subdivision. A waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3 is also sought to allow a right-of-way less than fifty (50) feet in width. The Applicant’s Statement of Justification is included as Attachment 2.

 

Project History: 

Virginia Pines is a proposed seven (7) lot subdivision. A subdivision potential letter dated April 20, 2004 states that this parcel has the potential to be divided into a maximum of ten (10) lots.  The original proposed layout showed a road which would be designed and constructed to public street (Virginia Department of Transportation) standards to serve the lots. The length of the cul-de-sac exceeded 700 feet in length, so the Applicant requested a waiver of the cul-de-sac length (700 feet maximum per the Subdivision Ordinance) to be considered in conjunction with the Preliminary Plat application. The proposed cul-de-sac length was approximately 2,400 feet in length. The Preliminary Plat and waiver was considered by the Planning Commission on November 30, 2006 and subsequently denied. The Board of Supervisors upheld the Planning Commission’s decision on February 8, 2007.

In order to settle the pending litigation brought forth by the Applicant as a result of this denial, the Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution on January 10, 2008 to initiate consideration of these Special Exceptions and any necessary waivers. A copy of this Resolution is included as Attachment 1. The Resolution includes two exhibits which show alternative access points to the proposed lots. Exhibit A shows a private access road that has an entrance point close to the originally proposed access on the Preliminary Plat. Exhibit B shows a private street which utilizes the existing access road located on the property. Both options show a proposed 30’ ingress egress easement. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, this width was agreed to in order to minimize the disruptive impacts of the private street, especially with regard to the floodplain limits. However, a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3 is required to allow a right-of-way with this width.

Exhibit B is outlined in the Resolution to be the preferred layout by the Board of Supervisors; however, approving this layout would mean the private road would cross the floodplain limits. The Applicant contends in their Statement of Justification that they would need to modify and upgrade the existing floodplain crossing. They also state that they do not intend to fill within the floodplain, but upgrading the existing road may require grading and the addition of gravel to the road. The Applicant has also stated that they plan to test the existing bridge for engineering soundness to determine if it needs to be replaced. Staff would like to note that regardless of whether or not fill will occur in the floodplain as a result of the road upgrades, the Category 23 Special Exception is required by Zoning Ordinance Section 4-406.3 for Type II and Type III private streets located in a floodplain and serving more than three lots.

If Exhibit A is the option recommended for approval, only the Categories 28 and 29 Special Exceptions would be required. If Exhibit B is the option recommended for approval, action is required to be taken on Categories 28, 29 and 23 Special Exceptions.

Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The property is located east of Bull Mountain Road (Route 629), south of the Loudoun County line and west of the Prince William County line.  The parcel is zoned a combination of Rural Agricultural (RA) and Rural Conservation (RC) and contains approximately 209 acres.  Properties to the north, south and west are zoned RA while the property to the east is zoned RC.

Special Exception Analysis:

Category 23: Section 5-2300 of the Zoning Ordinance outlines the following standards for this Special Exception:

  1. No such use shall cause an increase in the level of flooding or velocity of flood waters.
  2. No such use shall create a potential hazard of debris subject to movement by flood waters which might cause damage downstream.
  3. The John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District shall be given the opportunity to comment on such uses.
  4. The applicant shall have obtained and shall present evidence attesting any applicable approvals by State and Federal authorities concerning such a use.
  5. Materials and equipment stored in the floodplain shall not be buoyant, flammable or explosive, and shall not be subject to major damage by flooding or such materials and equipment must be firmly anchored to prevent flotation or movement and/or can be readily removed from the area within the time available after flood warning.
  6. Special exceptions shall only be issued after the Board of Supervisors has determined that the granting of such will not result in (a) unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, (b) additional threats to public safety, (c) extraordinary public expense, (d) create nuisances, (e) cause fraud or victimization of the public, or (f) conflict with local law or ordinances.
  7.  Special exceptions shall only be issued after the Board of Supervisors has determined that the special exception will be necessary to provide the applicant with reasonable use of the parcel of land in question, taken as a whole.
  8. The Zoning Administrator shall notify the applicant for a Special Exception in writing, at the time of filing, that the issuance of a special exception to construct a structure below the one hundred (100) year flood elevation (a) will increase risks to life and property, and (b) will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
  9. A record of the above notification as well as all special exception actions, including justification for their issuance, shall be maintained and any special exceptions which are issued shall be noted in the annual report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administrator.

It does not appear that sufficient information has been provided at this time to determine if all of these criteria can be met. The applicant contends that the modifications to the existing access road should not require fill to be placed in the floodplain, but is requesting this Special Exception in the event that construction activities such as grading may require fill in the floodplain.  Staff feels that this does not preclude the Board of Supervisors  from taking action on this application. These criteria have been  incorporated into the Conditions of Development (Attachment 5).

Category 29: Section 5-2900 of the Zoning Ordinance states that in Residential, RA and RC zoning districts, the Board of Supervisors may grant a Special Exception to permit the construction of private streets within a subdivision where the following standards are met:

  1. The requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation necessary for the dedication of public streets will not permit the development of the proposed subdivision in a manner which is in harmony with the surrounding character of the neighborhood or the proposed development scheme. (Exhibit B is shorter in length than the proposed public road, and is less impactive with regards to the steep slopes located on the property).
  2. The proposed private streets, based upon anticipated traffic generation volume, would adequately serve the lots to be developed and provide sufficient emergency vehicle access to the subdivision, and demonstration that adequate provisions will be made to provide for continuing maintenance and repair of the streets by a homeowners association. For any subdivision with 80 lots or more a traffic impact analysis must be provided to establish the justification for the request.  (The Homeowners Association will be responsible for maintaining the private street, or a Road Maintenance Agreement will need to be recorded with the subdivision.)

Category 28: Section 5-2800 of the Zoning Ordinance states that in the RA and RC zones, the Board of Supervisors may grant a special exception to permit the construction of Type II or Type III private streets within a subdivision where the following standards are met:

  1. Construction of a Type I street would be inconsistent with the pattern of development in the area, or would result in the degradation of environmental, historic or cultural resources. (Staff believes that the construction of a Type I street would result in further degradation of the floodplain area and the steep slopes located on the property. One of  the alternate accesses proposed (Exhibit B) will utilize an existing road alignment that will be upgraded.)

 

  1. The proposed street (whether Type II or Type III) would adequately serve the lots to be developed and provide sufficient emergency vehicle access to the subdivision, and adequate provisions will be made to provide for the continuing maintenance and repair of the streets. (The Applicant will need to ensure at the time of Final Construction Plan/Final Plat approval that sufficient emergency access shall be provided. This shall be a condition of development.)

Site Suitability/Environment:

There are steep slopes and floodplain located on this property.

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

Staff and Review Agency Comments are included in Attachment 4.

Planning Commission Action:  

On January 31, 2008, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to  recommend approval of these Special Exceptions and the Waiver Request. Exhibit B was the road layout endorsed by the Planning Commission, pursuant to the Special Exception Plat dated January 26, 2008 (Attachment 3).

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

The Board of Supervisors is requested to conduct a public hearing on the proposed Special Exception  applications, and consider a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.A.3.

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District

Attachments:

1.                  January 10, 2008 Resolution (including Exhibit A & Exhibit B)

2.                  Statement of Justification

3.                  Special Exception Plat dated January 26, 2008

4.                  Staff and Review Agency Comments

5.                  Conditions of Development 

6.         Resolution

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