PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owners/Applicants:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Grace Lim and James Lim (a.k.a. In Seok Lim) 

March 12, 2009

Staff Lead:
Holly Meade, Senior Planner

Department:
Community Development

 

Magisterial District:
Lee
Service District:

Bealeton

PIN:
6899-16-6332-000
6899-16-9374-000

 

Topic:

REZN08-LE-007, SPEX08-LE-028, SPEX08-LE-029, SPEX08-LE-030:  Applicants Wish to Rezone 6.7 Acres From Rural Agricultural (RA) to Commercial – Highway (C-2) and 1.56 Acres From Commercial – Highway (C-2) With Proffers to Commercial – Highway (C-2) With Revised Proffers.  Applicants are also Requesting Three Category 13 Special Exceptions to Allow for Drive-Throughs to Accommodate a Bank, Restaurant, and Pharmacy. 

 

Topic Description:

Rezoning Proposal:

The owners, Grace Lim and James Lim, have filed an application for a Rezoning from Rural Agricultural (RA) to Commercial – Highway (C-2), and an amendment to an existing conditional rezoning on property identified in Fauquier County land records as PINs 6899-16-9374-000 (1.56 acres) and 6899-16-6332-000 (6.7 acres).  The properties are located at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 28 in Bealeton.  The 1.56-acre parcel is currently zoned C-2 Conditional; however, this current request includes a proposal to reconcile the proffers for both parcels to facilitate the coordinated commercial development of the site.

The proposal includes a retail or shopping center under 50,000 square feet (approximately 39,780 square feet) with possible flexible retail shops, business, professional and/or medical office space. 

The proffers add some limitations on uses; however, some of the C-2 uses that would still be allowed include the following:  auto dealership, gasoline service station, contractor’s storage yard, a variety of outdoor recreation (firing range, country club, baseball hitting and archery range, camps, lodges, and resorts), drive-in movie theater, spectator events, car wash, and towing business, just to name a few.  Many of these uses are not suitable in this important town center crossroads. 

The proffers include a three to four foot landscaping berm along Route 28, and commitment to some design and architectural standards.  The proffers still remain unclear with respect to proposed commitments or timing of many improvements.  Staff would further note that the road proffers appear to commit to nothing beyond what is already required by County and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) regulations with normal development of the site. 

VDOT has continued to note significant issues with the proposal.  These are highlighted within the staff report in VDOT’s most recent comments dated February 13, 2009.   More in-depth comments provided on the second submission are included in Attachment 8.  Issues remain unresolved.  Some of these concerns include: the entrance on Route 28 (Entrance B) which has not been modeled in the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) nor approved by VDOT; improvements necessitated by this development as identified in the TIA which have not been addressed by the applicant; proffers committing to improvements as shown on the Concept Development Plan although the Concept Development Plan does not show any of these transportation improvements.

Most problematic is the proposal to analyze the traffic for each individual building as site plans are submitted, rather than analyzing the traffic of the development as a whole.  While construction of improvements is reasonably phased with development, typically the design and analysis occurs up-front on a development such as this one.  The proffers also do not address any off-site intersection improvements that are necessary according to the applicants’ TIA.

The proffers dated February 26, 2009 (Attachment 6) also provide language requiring the applicants to file two “sketch plans” with the Zoning Administrator.  One of the plans would show the development as envisioned by the proffers, and the other would show an alternate layout reflecting buildings directly facing Routes 28 and 17.  A proffer amendment would be needed to use the alternate sketch.  The applicants believe that in the future they will be allowed to propose some proffer amendments by going directly to the Board of Supervisors.  Staff is wary of this approach for three reasons.  First, while the Virginia Legislature may soon adopt legislation that enables a local governing body to waive the requirement for a public hearing to amend proffers, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors may choose not to waive such a hearing.  Secondly, with or without a public hearing, the Board may not be in favor of future proffer revisions.  Thirdly and most importantly, the applicants are under no requirement to ever submit revised proffers; therefore, the Board should ensure that the proffers they accept are the proffers they want.

Staff has provided suggested proffers for the applicant’s consideration as it relates to the many issues identified within this staff report.  In most instances the applicant has declined to address these issues.  Revised proffers were submitted at the Planning Commission work session on February 26, 2009.  In addition, an unsigned draft Developer’s Agreement (Attachment 11) was received at the same time.  The Developer’s Agreement concerns road improvements at the intersection of Route 28 and Church Road and includes the Board of Supervisors as a party to the agreement.  Staff has not had an opportunity to carefully evaluate these most recent documents due to the timing of the resubmission.  The documents have been forwarded to the Zoning Office and Virginia Department of Transportation for comment.

Special Exceptions:

The Special Exception requests are for three proposed drive-throughs on the site – pharmacy, financial institution and restaurant.  As the Zoning Office has indicated, more information is needed before a thorough analysis of the drive-throughs can take place.  As an example, the Zoning Ordinance requires analysis of stacking spaces, but these have not been identified.

 

Location, Zoning and Current Land Use: 

The properties are located in the northwest quadrant of the intersection of Route 17 and Route 28 in Bealeton and are zoned a combination of Commercial (C-1 with proffers) and Agricultural (RA).  The larger property is currently vacant with the smaller piece containing several unused structures.

Zoning Map

Limzoning

                    

Surrounding Zoning and Current Land Use: 

Property to the north is zoned Planned Residential Development (PRD with proffers, former Freedom Place) and Agricultural (RA) and is a combination of vacant and residential.  Property to the south across Route 28, is zoned Commercial (C-2) and is the location of Quarles Oil, Inc.  Property to the east across Route 17 is zoned a combination of Commercial (C-2) and Agricultural (RA) and is the location of Popeye’s and Liberty High School.  Property to the west is zoned Planned Residential Development (PRD) with proffers and is currently vacant although it is the site of the Freedom Place rezoning. 

Comprehensive Plan/Land Use: 

The Comprehensive Plan designates this area as Institutional/Office/Mixed Use in accord with a recently approved Comprehensive Plan text amendment.  On November 13, 2008 the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment to the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan - Chapter 6, Service Districts, to the Bealeton portion of the Bealeton, Opal and Remington Service District.  The County sponsored amendment re-designates the area as Institutional/Office/Mixed Use.  The wider application of mixed-use urban planning concepts is encouraged in this area which is specifically targeted for mixed-use development.  Any proposal for mixed-use development in this area needs to maintain a strong commercial presence.  This land use category should emerge as the new, traditional downtown of Bealeton with a dominant presence of commercial uses, both office and retail.  Institutional uses are specifically sought in this area.  Residential uses within this area should include a combination of residential units over commercial uses, live-work units, townhouses or multi-family units, with small lot single homes at the outer edges.  Specifically, the plan states “The flanking interior roads perpendicular to Route 17, as well as Church Street and Willow Drive, should be developed with a traditional town form,  incorporating a range of commercial, residential and civic uses to create a sense of “place” for the community.” 

For commercially based mixed-use areas, design principles are critical and are outlined in the amended Bealeton Comprehensive Plan.  These design principles include but are not limited to the following:  pedestrian orientation, predominantly multi-story buildings, parking behind the principle structures, buildings and building entrances placed directly behind the sidewalks, mix of uses within buildings, appropriately scaled window and door openings on the first floor, street furniture, coordinated landscaping and hardscaping, including street trees, pedestrian crossings with special pavers, pocket parks and civic spaces, and signage keeping with a traditional town.  Complete guidelines are found in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan for this area in Bealeton.  Without proffers addressing these guidelines, it is unclear if this proposal will result in anything other than a strip commercial shopping center, which is clearly contrary to the Comprehensive Plan. 

The most recent set of proffers dated February 26, 2009, commit to a building height of 24 feet for the portion of any building located within 12 feet of the street, a cohesive architectural design using predominately earth-toned palette, street furniture, and drive-throughs covered with a peaked roof.  The proffers do not address providing a mix of uses, pedestrian orientation, predominantly multi-story buildings, pocket parks, civic spaces, or signage.    

Land Use Plan

limcp

 

General Town Center Design Principles have long been included in the Comprehensive Plan for this area.

The Bealeton Town Center will be designed as a mixed-use commercial core surrounded by a mix of institutional and office uses and a mix of higher density residential uses.  This Town Center will be surrounded by a well-defined edge of parks and natural areas.  In addition, the Town Center will:

1.   Be designed in a generally rectilinear pattern of blocks and interconnecting streets and alley ways, defined by buildings, street furniture and landscaping, a place to be shared equally by pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars.

2.   Contain a core with a mix of lively and mutually supportive commercial and civic uses, such as a library, post office, churches, volunteer and fraternal halls, and spaces, and should contain prominent civic features, such as fountains, national and local memorials, which establish and commemorate the place.

3.   Possess urban parks and squares distributed throughout the Town Center.  An important Square and a Town Park will be located at the core of the Town Center.

4.   Be designed so that similar uses in the Town Center will generally front one another across local streets, while dissimilar uses will generally abut along alleys, rear property boundaries and across collector roads.”

Given the standards above, it is unclear how the three drive-throughs will function.  Care will be needed to carefully site drive-throughs in a rectilinear grid pattern of streets.  No evidence has been presented to show how these proposed drive-throughs could successfully be integrated.  Staff suggests that drive-throughs only be allowed north of the internal street for a less visible traffic flow.

The proposed Rezoning application (REZN08-LE-007) and Special Exception applications (SPEX08-LE-028, SPEX08-LE-029, and SPEX08-LE-030), in their current form, are inconsistent with the aforementioned Comprehensive Plan designation of Institutional/Office/Mixed Use at this Town Center location.  Discussions should continue regarding a mix of institutional, commercial and office uses, possible reduction in the number of drive-throughs, a commitment to high-quality design scheme in a traditional rectangular grid pattern layout, extensive landscaping with retention of any existing mature trees, and a trail and sidewalk system.  The Plan clearly calls for buildings to front streets.  The applicants have chosen to orient the buildings to face the new internal street, not Routes 28 and 17.  The Board will need to determine if this satisfies the intent of the Comprehensive Plan.  As previously noted, the proffers submitted February 26, 2009 provide a commitment to prepare two “sketch plans” showing alternate design layouts; however, the applicant is not obliged to amend the proffers in the future.

 

Transportation:

Comprehensive Plan Transportation:

The short-term action plan outlined in the Bealeton, Opal and Remington Service District section of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan addresses the Route 28/17 intersection.  The plan states, “with a 4% annual traffic growth rate, this intersection as currently configured would operate at the peak hours with a LOS D in 2010 and LOS F in 2020.  Both results are unacceptable for traffic flow, and require road improvements.  In 2010, the Route 28/17 intersection needs to have both of the Route 28 approaches widened to four lanes, while the same approaches in 2020 would need to be expanded to six lanes.”  The applicant has proffered additional right-of-way on Routes 28, 17 and 837 sufficient for deceleration and/or acceleration lanes along the frontage of the property, as required by VDOT.  The underlying issue with this proffer is that the applicant’s plan to do individual site plans for each use may not trigger any required improvements by VDOT.

The Comprehensive Plan calls for a new road, Church Street, to be the spine of the northwest quadrant of Bealeton.  This site needs to integrate with that future road.  The Comprehensive Plan also shows a new local access road through the properties which the applicant has shown on the Concept Development Plan as an internal road.  This internal road is proffered.

Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA):

The TIA (Attachment 7) examined the potential traffic impact of the proposed project upon the future area road network.  The study area includes Route 17 (Marsh Road) from Old Marsh Road to Village Center Drive and Route 28 (Catlett Road) from Oak Shade Road to Station Drive.  The TIA modeled 16,800 square feet of specialty retail, 13,000 square feet of pharmacy, a 3,900 square foot bank, a 2,880 square foot fast-food restaurant and a 3,200 square foot fast-food restaurant.  Build-out is anticipated to occur by the year 2011 in one phase.  Only three drive-through special exceptions are being sought at this time, not four as modeled in the TIA.

The TIA provides analyses for three (3) scenarios:  Scenario A assumes access to the site via a right-in/right-out only site-driveway to be located along the west side of Route 17 and along the north side of Route 28, respectively.  Scenario B assumes access to the site via a right-in/right-out only site-driveway to be located along the west side of Route 17 as well as via a left-in/right-in/right-out only site-driveway to be located along the north side of Route 28.  Scenario C assumes access to the site via a right-in/right-out only site-driveway to be located along the west side of Route 17 as well as via a full access site-driveway to be located along the north side of Route 28.

The most recent Concept Development Plan (Attachment 1) shows a right-in/right-out on Route 17 (Entrance A), a future right-in/right-out on Route 28 (Entrance B) to be opened when future Church Street is opened, a temporary entrance off Route 28 (Entrance C) at the location of future Church Street to be closed upon completion of a permanent access road (a proffer has not been included addressing timing for closing this entrance), and a future permanent access road extended (Entrance D) from future Church Street through the site to Route 17.  The applicant has also shown a future interparcel access to the Cheatham property (6889-89-6214-000) to the north for the relocation of Route 837.  The right-in/right-out on Route 28 (Entrance B) has not been modeled in the TIA.  VDOT has stated they will not approve the right-in/right-out connection to Route 28 until a traffic study has been done analyzing this entrance.  The entrance situation is further complicated by the fact that an entrance is only allowed on a lesser street (Route 28) unless a waiver is granted allowing additional access (Route 17) due to safety reasons.  Such a waiver has not been requested by the applicant.

The TIA includes suggested improvements to achieve Levels of Service “C”.  The suggested improvements included in the TIA have not been proffered.  The applicant contends that because each potential user will have to go through the site plan process and comply with all of the regulatory requirements in effect at that time, including conducting an additional TIA in accordance with VDOT regulations, many of the items will be addressed at that time.  

Planning Staff is not supportive of this incremental approach.  The rezoning stage is the appropriate stage to holistically evaluate a project.  Unless the applicant proffers TIA’s for each potential user prior to going through site plan, it is not certain that new TIA’s will be required at that step.  Furthermore, even with future TIA’s, if the individual use does not warrant a TIA, none will be required by VDOT.  Thus, if the uses are analyzed individually, they may not trigger necessary improvements. 

Suggested improvements are included on Page 2 of the TIA.  Several of these have been proffered by others and these projects may not be completed.  The applicant has not committed to doing the improvements that are being necessitated by this development.  The TIA indicates suggested improvements at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 28, but none of these have been addressed in the proffers. 

The applicant has provided a copy of an “Agreement to Fund Road Improvements at the Intersection of Route 28 and Church Road.”  That agreement has not been carefully reviewed by staff or signed by the involved parties. 

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

Staff and the appropriate referral agencies have reviewed these requests for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations.   Combined comments from various review agencies sent to the applicants on the first submission, dated July 28, 2008, are included as Attachment 4.

Planning:

Issues identified during review of the applications, and analyzed in this staff report, that need refinements include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of conformance to the Comprehensive Plan as it relates to uses, design standards, and site layout;
  • Assurance that the development will not be entirely retail;
  • Proffer revisions (see below);
  • Access is not allowed from both Route 17 and 28 without a waiver request;
  • Entrance B on the Concept Development Plan has not been modeled in TIA nor approved by VDOT;
  • Service levels E and F without suggested traffic improvements; and
  • VDOT comments have not been addressed.

Zoning Office:

Article 5-006, General Standards

General standards for special exceptions seek to ensure that the requested use does not adversely affect neighboring properties. Zoning Staff has been unable to conduct a comprehensive review of the most recent submission because the materials submitted are inconsistent and it is not clear what is actually being proposed or proffered. 

Proffer Analysis:

Zoning Staff has reviewed the proffers dated February 13, 2009.  Staff would note that few of staff’s prior comments on the proffers have been addressed.  Staff continues to have major concerns about the clarity and enforceability of the proffers, as proposed.  More specifically:

1.      The proffers related to transportation continue to be unclear and may not result in comprehensive assessment of traffic impacts and design and construction of transportation improvements necessary to support the development.  Most problematic is the proposal to study each individual building as it is proposed with a site plan, rather than the development as a whole.  While construction of improvements is reasonably phased with development, typically the design and analysis occurs up-front on a development such as this one.   The proffers do not clearly establish time triggers for some improvements.  The proffers also do not address any off-site intersection improvements that are necessary according to the applicants’ TIA to support the project.  More specifically:

A.  Proffer #4A-provides for improvements on a piecemeal basis.

B.  Proffer#4B-Not clear that what is depicted on the Concept Development Plan (CDP) is the same as VDOT regulations; proffer is therefore self-contradictory.

C.  Proffer#4C-No time trigger for new internal public street construction.

D.  Proffer #4D-No time trigger for inter-parcel access construction.

Possible Proffers:

-          The applicant shall design the entire street system for the project in conjunction with the approval of the first site plan for a building on the property.  Construction of the improvements may be phased, with the County and VDOT determining the extent of improvements necessary with each phase.

-          The applicant shall design and construct a new public street from east to west through the center of the property, as generally shown on the Concept Development Plan.  Such street shall have a temporary connection from the western end of the street through the adjoining properties to Route 28 as approved by the County and VDOT.  The street, including the temporary connection to Route 28, shall be constructed and usable before any Certificate of Occupancy is issued for any building on the property. 

-          All public streets and public street improvements shall be completed and turned over to VDOT prior to any Certificate of Occupancy being issued for the final building in the development.

-          The applicant shall contribute $________ to the County to be utilized toward traffic improvements identified in the Traffic Impact Study as necessary.   The payment shall be made prior to approval of the first site plan for the property, and the amount shall be adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), with the amount noted above considered to be January 2009 dollars.

 

2.      The proffers presume approval of waivers to access, landscaping and yard requirements, yet such waivers have not been analyzed by the applicant or requested.   As Proffers cannot override Zoning Ordinance requirements this creates some confusion.  If the proffers related to waivers are maintained, at a minimum, language should be added clarifying the alternatives to occur if a waiver is not granted.  Likewise, several proffers rely on future County agreements with the applicant.   It is not clear what occurs if the applicant does not reach agreement with the County on issues.  Specifically:

A.  Proffer#4F-Unclear (what happens if applicants do not agree with County terms?).

B.  Proffer#4G-Presumes approval of access waiver (what happens if waiver is not approved?).

C.  Proffer #7C-In conflict with Zoning Ordinance; presumes waiver or modification.

3.   The proffers limiting certain C-2 uses allow many uses which do not appear to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan vision for the property, including: gasoline station, auto dealership, contractor’s storage yards, warehousing, truck stop, firing range, travel trailer park, retail over 50,000 square feet, car wash, impoundment lot, auction, commercial processing of agricultural products; warehousing, wholesaling, bottling plant.

Possible Proffer: The following uses shall not be allowed: Category 9: Outdoor Recreation; Category 14: Motor Vehicle Related Uses; Category 15: Wholesaling and Processing; Category 17: General Industrial; Category 18: Agricultural; Category 19: Extraction; Category 21: Transportation

4.   The proffers related to architecture and design begin to promote a coordinated character for the shopping center, with a traditional form facing the internal street and a more suburban-style shopping center character facing Routes 17 and 28.  Staff has concerns that the proffer regarding height may lead to strangely designed building forms (Proffer #7F) as it seems to allow/promote a 12’ deep false façade for a second story facing the internal street.   It has alternatively been suggested that development should not face the internal street but rather Routes 17 and 28; if this is the BOS’ desire, then alternative proffers are needed to assure this alternative form of development.

5.   The proffer related to drive-through facilities is vague (Proffer #7D).  It is unclear what is intended and therefore not enforceable….what does “shall be designed to coordinate with buildings facing and abutting the public street right-of-way mean”?   Also, it does not address the number or types of drive-through lanes allowed.

Possible proffer:  No more than three uses on the property shall have drive-through facilities, and these shall be allowed only for a single fast food restaurant, a bank and a pharmacy.  A single drive-through lane is approved for the fast food restaurant and the pharmacy; two lanes are approved for the bank.)

6.   The landscaping proffers (Proffer #7I) are unclear.  The proposed landscaping does not appear to meet the minimum landscaping requirements and may not be compatible with minimum requirements.  The proposed landscaping relies in part on VDOT approval of landscaping in the right-of-way, without any review from VDOT on whether it is possible and no back-up plan where it is not possible.  Historically, planting allowed in VDOT right-of-way has been quite limited.

7.   Proffer #7K sets forth procedures for an appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s interpretation of a proffer that differs from those set forth in the Zoning Ordinance.  In both cases, the appeals go to the Board of Supervisors, but the Proffers establish a unique timeline.  Proffers cannot override ZO requirements or obligate the County, so this proffer does nothing but add confusion.

8.   Proffers have not been provided on the following key issues which will affect the form and character of development:

           

      A.  Shared parking in order to minimize parking.

Possible Proffer:  The applicant shall design the project utilizing shared parking between uses, with the goal of reducing the amount of parking and pavement provided.

B.  Mix of uses consistent with the Comprehensive Plan (Office/Institutional Mixed Use).

Possible Proffer: No more than 50 percent of the total square footage within the project shall be retail or restaurant uses.

C.  Stormwater Management approach. 

Possible Proffer:  All stormwater management facilities shall be underground.

D.  Screening of Parking/Loading or Services.  Since the buildings are proposed to face the internal street, these features by default are likely to be very visible from Routes 17 and 28. 

Possible Proffer:  Any parking, loading or other service areas visible from Routes 28 and 17 shall be completely screened from view from those streets.

E.   Signage.

      Possible Proffer:   All building signage shall be located in a sign band located between the first and second floors.  Signage shall be coordinated throughout the project to create a coordinated, cohesive effect.  No freestanding signage shall be allowed in the project except for a single freestanding sign along Route 17 and a single freestanding sign along Route 28, each to provide signage for multiple uses within the project.  The freestanding signs shall be monument type signs no more than 12 feet in height and with an architectural base constructed from stone, brick or other natural materials.

           

Engineering Office:

Future Actions (Shall be addressed on the final construction plan):

  1. The proposed underground StormTech systems are located in soils subject to intermittent high water table.  A soil analysis will be required to ensure that the site conditions are suitable for a StormTech chamber system and whether measures are needed to exclude groundwater from entering the facility.  The soil types within the subsoil profile, extending a minimum of 3 feet below the bottom of the facility, shall be identified to determine whether the infiltration rate or permeability of the soil will support the use of infiltration practices in accordance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook or otherwise result in BMP credit taken only as a detention practice. 
  2. A pretreatment measure shall be used to remove sediments or other substances from the stormwater run-off before it enters the underground StormTech system. (Fauquier County Design Standards Manual A204.1 #4)
  3. Hydrologic and hydraulic design calculations to demonstrate 10-year overland relief with the storm drain system plugged shall be provided. (Fauquier County Design Standards Manual A201.8 #6)
  4. The “C” factor, CN, Tc and other pre-condition assumptions will be evaluated with the final construction plans based on values from the Fauquier County Design Standards Manual.

These will be addressed during site plan stage.

Soils Office:

Findings:

1.   Based off the Fauquier County Soil Survey and The Interpretive Guide to the Soils of Fauquier County, the majority of the site is rated “GOOD” (71B) for general development potential using central water and sewer, but bedrock may be encountered between 40-60” below existing grade.  The remainder of the site is rated “FAIR” (74B) to “POOR” (14B) due to issues with a high seasonal water table, low bearing capacity, depth to bedrock, potential for shrink-swell clays, and soil map unit 14B may have hydric soil inclusions.  All of the soils on the property are listed as Prime Farmland (14B is listed as Prime farmland if protected from flooding or not frequently flooded during the growing season).

2.  The proposed underground SWM facility is located in a soil that contains a high seasonal water table, poor permeability with depth, low bearing capacity when wet, potential for shrink-swell clays, and is shallow to bedrock (20-40”).   Be advised that the facility will have to be designed to overcome these issues. 

3.  Comments may change substantially when preliminary soil report is submitted.

Future Actions:

Preliminary Soil Report

Geotechnical Investigation

These will be addressed during final site plan stage.

VDOT:

The Warrenton Residency staff has reviewed the proffers provided dated February 13, 2009, and they do not address all of our comments from November 12, 2008.  There are still issues with both the TIA and the Concept Development Plan that have not been addressed. 

  • One of the issues with the TIA is the proposed right-in/right-out entrance on Route 28 not being included in the TIA.  VDOT will not approve an entrance at this location without it being evaluated.  The proffers only indicate this will require a Zoning Ordinance waiver, and does not address the VDOT approval necessary.
  • Applicant has not sufficiently identified who will be responsible for the improvements indicated in the TIA, and how they will address the decrease in level of service indicated in the TIA.
  • Proffers refer to transportation improvements to be done as shown on the CDP, but there are none shown.
  • Applicant indicates they will address many of the issues at the TIA with the site plan, but have not committed to providing one with each site plan.  Individual site plans may not trigger the warrants for a TIA.
  • Applicant is indicating street trees and benches will be provided along the public street, but it is unclear which streets this refers to.  Benches will likely create a fixed hazard within the right-of-way, and would not be allowed.
  • A berm with landscaping is proposed for Route 28, but it is not clear if this would be within the right-of-way.  Without any design or location to review, VDOT cannot agree to placement within the right-of-way.

VDOT comments in their entirety, dated November 12, 2008, are included as Attachment 8.

The applicant did not address many of the previous comments related to transportation.  The applicant contends that the TIA assumed more traffic than will actually be generated by the site.  It is also their claim that because there will be a delay before site plans are submitted, new TIAs will be required for each site plan submitted for approval.  This is not necessarily true, as staff has addressed previously in the staff report.  The TIA is good for two years if there are no substantial changes to the plan.  If the uses develop past that time a new TIA would be required only if the use tripped the threshold for a TIA which is quite large.  If smaller uses independently develop, TIAs would not be required.

It is the applicant’s view that because Virginia Code Section 15.2-222B provides for VDOT comment on rezoning approvals not VDOT approval, the technical comments related to the TIA had not been addressed.  Previous comments on the TIA by VDOT and MCV Associates are included in the initial comments generated after first review of the applications included as Attachment 4.

Planning Commission Summary and Action of October 30, 2008:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session.  A public hearing was held.  One person from Culpeper County spoke in favor of the project and thought it would bring jobs to the area.  The applicant’s representative stated that the applicants would like to postpone action on the application until the next regularly scheduled meeting to allow time to work on clarifying the proffers.

Planning Commission Summary and Action December 10, 2008:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session.  A public hearing was held.  Two individuals spoke in opposition to the proposal, specifically as it relates to the architectural aspect and community appeal of the project.  The applicants requested the Planning Commission postpone action until the January public hearing to allow time to work on the numerous issues that were identified in the staff report.

Planning Commission Summary and Action January 29, 2009:

The applicants requested this item be postponed prior the Planning Commission’s work session.  A public hearing was held.  Two individuals spoke in opposition to the proposal, specifically as it relates to the ultimate layout of the site.  The applicant requested the Planning Commission postpone action until the February public hearing to allow time to work on the issues that were identified in the staff report.

Planning Commission Summary and Action on February 26, 2009:

The Planning Commission discussed this item at its work session.  The Commission expressed a desire to work with the applicant on further refining the project to address the many concerns that had been raised by staff during the review of the project.  The applicants requested the Planning Commission move the application forward to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation as it had been early advertised for the Board’s March 12, 2009 agenda.  The Planning Commission voted unanimously to forward the project with a recommendation of denial.  Reasons for denial included: the proposal was not in conformity with the Comprehensive Plan as it relates to uses, design standards and site layout in the Bealeton Service District; the proposal was not in conformity with all the applicable special exception standards of Article 5 of the Zoning Ordinance; the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) indicates the development will produce service levels of E and F and the traffic impacts of the proposed use have not been mitigated.

Summary and Recommendation:

This application has been under consideration since June 2008.   During that period, only some of the significant concerns raised by staff and referral agencies have been addressed by the applicant.  The applicant has not proposed proffers that would address many issues of consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, or that adequately address transportation impacts of the proposed project.   The applicant has indicated that they are unable to do so because they do not know the actual tenants on the site and the range of limitations suggested by staff would eliminate or reduce some of the potential marketing opportunities for the site.   Staff agrees that this is the case.  Proffers that would bring the ultimate uses and layout of the site into compliance with the Comprehensive Plan would likely reduce marketability of the site to some users unwilling to vary from their preferred building layouts. 

Staff believes that the remaining issues are significant, and therefore recommends denial of the proposal as it is currently presented.  No commitment to transportation or other improvements beyond what would typically be required through the site plan process have been proposed, which in this case may be insufficient to actually address traffic impacts of the project. 

There are multiple options for continuing to work with the applicant toward a better project.  Proffers could be added which would significantly improve the design and ultimate appearance of the development, mix of uses, and circulation into and through the site.  As proffers are voluntary, the County cannot impose such proffers, but the County can decline to approve the Rezoning unless the applicant chooses to address the identified issues through proffers. 

If the Board of Supervisors wishes to approve the applications, staff has developed recommended Conditions of Approval for the drive-through Special Exceptions (Attachment 9) and an Ordinance approving the Rezoning (Attachment 10).  The applicants have indicated they are not in agreement with some of the proposed conditions.  The conditions would apply only to the Special Exception applications; they do not address the Rezoning.  Proffers address Rezonings, and these are voluntary.  Alternately, if the Board of Supervisors wishes to deny the requests, a resolution has been included as Attachment 11.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing.

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

1.      Department of Community Development

2.      Department of Economic Development

3.      Commissioner of the Revenue

ATTACHMENTS:

1.         Concept Development Plan Prepared by Bury Partners, Dated June 2008, Stamped September 30, 2008

2.         Statement of Justification, Last Revised December 23, 2008

3.         Proffer Statement Currently Applicable to the C-2 Zoned 1.6 Acre Parcel (6899-16-9372-000)

4.        Combined Comments From Various Review Agencies Sent to the Applicant on the First Submission, Dated July 28, 2008

5.        Comment Response Letter Prepared by Applicant, Dated October 3, 2008

6.         Draft Proffer Statement Revised February 26, 2009

7.         Extracts from TIA Dated June 20, 2008

8.         VDOT’s Comments on Second Review Dated November 12, 2008

9.         Resolution of Approval for Special Exception Requests

10.     Ordinance of Approval for Rezoning Request

11.     Resolution of Denial

12.     Agreement to Fund Road Improvements at the Intersection of Route 28 and Church Road (Draft 10) 

 

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