PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Owner/Applicant:                                     Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

George F. Downes, Sr.                                                July 21, 2003                        

Staff Lead:                                                              Department:

Robert C. Counts                                               Community Development

Magisterial District: Scott                                      PIN(s):

Service District: New Baltimore                            7906-21-1989-000

                                                                              7906-22-2059-000

Topic:  SE03-S-31: A Special Exception to Allow a 25% Expansion of a Non-Conforming Use in Order to Construct Additional Enclosure of an Existing Truck Repair Facility, George F. Downes, Sr., Applicant.                           

Topic Description:

The New Baltimore Garage has been in existence at its present location since mid-1950. The garage operates weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. , but also responds to emergency towing requests. It employs 22 people.

The garage provides truck parts, repair and maintenance services. Much of the work conducted on the site occurs within the approximately 14,500 square feet of shop space. Some of the work, however, must now be conducted in outside areas. The Applicant is seeking to maintain the current volume of business, but enclose that portion of the business that is now being conducted outside. In order to accomplish this, the Applicant has requested a Special Exception to allow the demolition of an existing structure and the construction of a new 3,600 square foot building.

Because of the property’s Village zoning, the existing use is non-conforming; however, the Zoning Ordinance provides for up to 25% enlargement of certain non-conforming uses. The applicant is requesting the full enlargement potential.

Land Area, Location and Zoning:                                                    

The property location (shown on the following map) is near the western edge of the Village of New Baltimore . The property has frontage on the north side of Lee Highway (Route 29/211), beginning approximately 100-yards west of the intersection with Briggs Road .  It is in the Village (V) zoning district.

Neighboring Zoning/Land Use:

The subject property is surrounded by properties in the Village zoning district. Other highway related commercial uses front Lee Highway in the immediate vicinity. There is no adjacent residential development, but residential use is prevalent to the north and south of the site.

Action Requested of the Board of Supervisors:

The Board of Supervisors is requested to conduct a public hearing on SE03-S-31 and consider the recommended resolution of approval.

Staff Analysis:

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below.

Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance

Section 10-102 of the Zoning Ordinance provides that certain nonconforming uses may be continued and, upon obtaining a Special Exception from the Board of Supervisors, enlarged. Included in this provision are nonconforming uses that have been in existence since May 9, 1968 .

Such uses may be enlarged to “ . . .  a total aggregate extent not to exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the gross floor area of the building in which such nonconforming use is conducted.

Additional Zoning-Related Comments

The Zoning Office has provided the following comments and observations on the proposed rezoning:

·        An approved Minor Site Plan is required prior to the issuance of building and/or zoning permits. 

·        The Site Plan shall be in general conformance with the approved Special Exception Plat.

  • Driveways and service roads are to be paved at a minimum of 20 feet in width for vehicular traffic and parking. 
  • The Applicant shall comply with all current setback requirements of 80-foot front, and 15-foot side and rear.
  • A landscape plan shall be submitted with the site plan and shall provide adequate boundary screening/buffering outlined in Article 7-604 of the Zoning Ordinance. The plan shall include the planting and/or replacement of trees to assure that, at a maturity of twenty (20) years, a minimum 10% tree canopy shall be provided.
  • Health Department approval of the well and septic system shall be required prior to obtaining building or zoning permits.
  • Virginia Department of Transportation approval will be required to be obtained prior to obtaining building or zoning permits.
  • The building location may need to be altered to comply with minimum building separation and fire code regulations.  This requirement will ultimately be addressed at the building permit phase,  but the Applicant is encouraged to consider these requirements as part of the site plan process.

The Zoning Office has identified no current zoning violations on the property.

           

Soils/Environmental

The County Soil Scientist has indicated the presence of soil types that tend to be highly erosive in nature due to high mica content. Accordingly, the Soil Scientist has cautioned the Applicant to pay careful attention to soil related issues in the preparation of the site plan, including the following specific points:

  1. Provide source and original scale of soil map (e.g., Fauquier County Soil Survey, originally mapped at 1” = 1320’).
  2. Add soil mapping unit 53C to the Summary of Soil Characteristics and Use Potential table.
  3. All structures to be built on mapping units 53C and 55C must be designed to overcome the low bearing capacity.
  4. The erosion and sedimentation plans need to pay more attention to filtration practices as compared to sedimentation. 

Transportation

VDOT conducted a field review of the existing use. While the entrance to the property is actually from a property (under the same ownership) immediately adjacent to the subject property, the width of the entrance appears to meet VDOT’s current requirements.  VDOT is not aware of any complaints that have been received regarding the current entrance or traffic associated with the existing use.  Given that the Applicant has indicated there will not be any increased road usage due to the improvements, VDOT has expressed no objection to the existing entrance being utilized.  If, however, the improvements result in an increase of traffic, VDOT may require that the entrance be improved to meet current standards for commercial activity.

Summary and Recommendation:

The existing use of this site is in non-conformance with the Village zoning, but  has been in place since 1955. As such, by provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, it qualifies for continuation and expansion up to 25% of the gross area employed for the non-conforming use. The Applicant has stipulated that the request to enlarge the non-conforming use is based on enclosing space already in use rather than adding to the volume of work performed on the site.

Review by staff and referral agencies has not identified any issues associated with the existing operation that might preclude its enlargement. There is no recent history of complaints against the facility. These reviews have, however, presented several cautions about site limitations, including concerns about the adequacy of well and septic, special development requirements associated with particularly erosive soils, and the potential need to upgrade site access, if work volume is expanded significantly. Based on the Applicant’s long history of successful operation on this site, but tempered by the identified concerns, the Planning Commission has forwarded this application to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval, subject to the following conditions:

·        An approved Minor Site Plan is required prior to the issuance of building and/or zoning permits. 

·        The site plan must be in general conformance with the approved Special Exception Plat.

  • Driveways and service roads are to be paved at a minimum of 20 feet in width for vehicular traffic and parking. 
  • The Applicant must comply with all current setback requirements of 80-foot front, and 15-foot side and rear.
  • A landscape plan must be submitted with the site plan and must provide adequate boundary screening/buffering outlined in Article 7-604 of the Zoning Ordinance. The plan must include the planting and/or replacement of trees to assure that, at a maturity of twenty (20) years, a minimum 10% tree canopy shall be provided.
  • Health Department approval of the well and septic system will be required prior to obtaining building or zoning permits.
  • Virginia Department of Transportation approval will be required to be obtained prior to obtaining building or zoning permits.
  • The building location may need to be altered to comply with minimum building separation and fire code regulations.  This requirement will ultimately be addressed at the building permit phase,  but the Applicant is encouraged to consider these requirements as part of the site plan process.

Attachments:

  1. Applicant’s Statement of Justification
  2. Special Exception Plat
  3. Approval Resolution