DATE: March 22 2002
TO: Members, Planning Commission
FROM: Brian K. Davis, Senior Planner
RE: Suffield Meadows Continuing Care Facility
SE # 02-S-13; SE #02-S-14 and CPA #02-S-04
The applicant is requesting special exception approvals to allow for the establishment of a continuing care facility and to construct a private sewage treatment facility. There is also an associated Comprehensive Plan Amendment to extend public water beyond the New Baltimore Service District boundary. The proposal calls for the construction of 50 cottage units, 32 condominium units in two buildings, 30 duplex units in 15 structures and a 40 bed assisted living facility on 120 acres at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 673 north of Warrenton and adjacent to the Snow Hill residential community.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on this case on February 28, 2002, and voted to defer decision for at least 30 days to allow the applicant time to address certain issues raised in the February 28, 2002 staff report and comments received at the public hearing. A work session on this application was held in the 4th floor conference room of the County Office Building on Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 4:00 p.m.
to the March 14th work session, the applicant provided each Commission
member and staff a written response to the issues raised in the original
staff report, as well as responses to the citizen concerns raised at the
public hearing. The applicant
has indicated a willingness to relocate the assisted living facility and
reduce the building mass to lessen visual impacts from Route 29 and keep
the structure closer in scale to the character of the area.
However, the applicant has indicated that the proposed density
cannot be lowered from their perspective, as a certain density is required
so that sufficient revenue can be generated to provide the level of
services that are proposed. The
applicant also states that traffic volumes on Route 29 are already high;
however, they have consented to conduct actual traffic counts from three
similar communities in Virginia which should provide more accurate trip
generation estimations beyond what has previously been submitted.
the March 14th work session, the applicant distributed revised open space
calculations, a traffic count chart from a similar community in
Martinsville, and some sample covenant language from another
age-restricted community. The
applicant has discussed different possibilities for relocating the
assisted living facility and moving the location of the sewage treatment
plant closer to Route 29 so that the effluent would be pumped up hill away
from Route 29, and also moving the primary drainfield locations further
from the Fosters Fork Road property line.
In addition, the applicant also indicated that vehicle counts were
being conducted at three similar facilities in Virginia, but that the
information was not yet available.
has been no additional information submitted by the applicant since the
work session on March 14th. The
applicant and the Planning Commission have scheduled a site visit to the
property on the morning of the March 28th Planning Commission meeting and
the applicant has further agreed to “stake-out” different proposed
building locations on the property. Staff
anticipates that the applicant will submit revised plans to the County,
along with the new traffic count information prior to the April meeting.
Staff also recommends that a draft set of covenants specific to the
project also be submitted at that time.
The applicant should be advised that April 10, 2002 is the deadline
for any new materials to be reviewed by staff and presented to the
Planning Commission for its April 25, 2002 meeting.
the revised open space calculations presented by the applicant at the work
session, staff would note the following:
applicant has indicated that all open space will be classified as common,
with no non-common open space.
delineation of common open space indicates that 9.25 acres is to be
designated for specific residents’ use (i.e. private open space or yard
areas). Private yards are
typically not calculated towards open space calculations.
With the removal of this 9.25 acres from the calculation, the
effective open space provided for the project would be 94.96 acres, or 81%
of the site area (exclusive of right-of-way dedications).
Under the calculations provided by the applicant, staff would be of
the opinion that open space is not provided to an amount at least equal to
that specified for the zoning district in which the proposed use is
located. (This requirement is
one of the standards that must be met for a special exception use, per
Sect. 5-006.4 of the Zoning Ordinance).
has prepared a first set of draft conditions (Attachment 1) at this time
for review and discussion purposes as the deliberation of this project
continues. The conditions are
broken down into seven (7) major categories: general provisions, emergency
services, environmental conditions, landscaping, lighting, transportation
and private sewage treatment system.
These conditions serve as a discussion point for deliberation by
the Planning Commission and address many concerns raised in the staff
report and at the public hearing, such as:
for construction of the assisted living facility in relation to other
of the open space into a conservation easement
restrictions for residents as indicated in the applicant’s submission
establishment of a maintenance funds for facility operations
contribution to the New Baltimore Fire and Rescue Squad
landscaping and tree preservation
frontage improvements and a financial contribution for a portion of
funding a new traffic signal
relation to the private sewage system, a series of conditions that would
be required before the applicant could apply for a site plan to ensure
proper design of the system, and subsequent conditions to ensure adequate
operation and maintenance of the system.
Staff recommends that the Planning Commission
postpone action for 30 days. This
will allow for the site visit and any resultant application modifications
to be submitted by the applicant and reviewed by County staff prior to the
Planning Commission taking action. This
additional time will also allow for adequate review and discussion of the
draft conditions by the interested parties.