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Planning Commission 09.23.08

[ 1 ] September 25, 2008 |

PLANNING COMMISSION
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Present: Ms. Emily Hunt, Mr. Mike Harman, Mr. Mike Tapager, Ms. Linda
Russell and Mr. Tommy Bruguiere (Board Liaison)
Absent: Ms. Philippa Proulx

REZONING/MR. & MRS. TOMMY HARVEY – The applicants have applied to rezone
approximately 2.732 acres from Residential R-1 to Business B-1 Conditional.
The property is located at 250/272 Tanbark Road in Afton. The purpose of
the rezoning is to permit the construction of a medical center and offices
on the site. Mr. Boger reported that the applicant had voluntarily
proffered that the following uses would not be developed for the site:
– Feed and seed stores, food sales and restaurants, auto and home
appliance services. Wholesale and processing activities that would be
objectionable because of noise, fumes or dust.
– Fire departments and rescue squad facilities.
– Funeral home/crematorium.
– Gasoline filling stations and/or the servicing and minor repairing of
motor vehicles when in an enclosed structure.
– Golf driving ranges and miniature golf courses.
– Public garages, for storage and/or repair of motor vehicles when in an
enclosed space.
– Veterinarian hospital.
– Waterfront business activities: wholesale and retail marine activities
such as boat docks, piers, small boat docks, yacht clubs, and servicing
facilities for the same; activities primarily conducted on or about a
waterfront. All such uses shall be contiguous to a waterfront.
– Sale of new and/or used cars.
– Automobile graveyard, class A.
– Flea markets.

Mr. Boger noted that the applicants have, in addition, offered the following
proffers:
– Mobile home and existing house to be removed.
– If the medical center does not come, zoning does not go through.

Mr. Jim Gates, representing the applicants, said that the plan is for a
5,000 sq ft brick one-story building – 3,500 sq ft for a medical center and
the remaining space for a compatible tenant. He said that the plan is for
one entrance/exit for the site across from the service station’s north
entrance and a second entrance/exit for the site as close to the back
property line as possible on Tanbark. Ms. Russell asked whether the
applicant plans any improvements to the Tanbark/Rt. 151 intersection. Mr.
Gates said that the applicants are requesting permission from VDOT to cut
back the bank on the VDOT right-of-way to improve the sight distance. Ms.
Russell said that one of her concerns is that B-1 zoning has no front
setback requirement. Mr. Gates said that the project will need at least a
30-40 foot setback in the front to accommodate the required parking. He
noted that the applicants are willing to work with the county and plan to
deal with specific issues during the site plan stage. Mr. Harvey noted that
he is asking to Planning Commission to move the proposed rezoning through
for consideration by the Board of Supervisors, but that he will ask the
Supervisors to hold their vote until he has a signed contract with a medical
center.

During Public Comment, MR. MIKE TUSO, who lives on Tanbark, said that the
intersection can be terrifying, especially crossing east to west with the
sight distance looking south less than 200 feet. He said that he is
particularly concerned with having a health center at that intersection,
given the number of elderly who would be trying to enter the highway at that
intersection. He said that some changes to the intersection could help.
MR. DOUG HORNIG, Tanbark, said that the sight distance is bad at that
dangerous intersection. He said that adding additional traffic to Rt. 151
at that intersection is a major concern.
MR. RON ENDERS, Afton, reminded the Commissioners that VDOT’s Rt. 151
Corridor Study from 2001 calls for Rt. 151 to be a four-lane highway. He
noted that little has actually changed and the county still has the same
development and safety issues on 151. Mr. Enders said that most of the
development along 151 so far has been for pre-existing businesses but said
that if this project is approved, the county will not be able to turn down
other projects. He said that the economic development we have seen has been
tied to the scenic byway and asked the Commissioners not to change the
character of the valley.
MR. HARRY BAUM, Tanbark, said that there are no designs or drawings for this
project. He said that the county rejected a rezoning request for Anderson’s
Store a while back with both projects at dangerous intersections. He said
that one site has a 90 year-old business and one has cedar trees. He said
that the biggest difference between the two is the name on the bottom line
of the application. Mr. Baum said that it should not matter how long
someone has lived in the county or how much land someone owns. He said that
just because Commissioners might not be reappointed does not matter. He
said that he is simply asking that the county apply the zoning regulations
equally and fairly. He said that either both rezonings should be approved
or both rejected.
MR. MIKE MORRIGAN, Tanbark, said that he would like to see a site plan and
have more information. He said that the intersection is not the greatest
but he would like to see where the entrances would actually be on the site.
He said that he welcomes the project as it would be an upgrade, but that he
would like to see more information.
MS. ANGELA ROBINSON commended the Commissioners for being pro-business but
said that their job is to implement the Comprehensive Plan. She said that
one of the concerns about Anderson’s Grocery was the traffic at the
intersection and noted that, according to VDOT, the Tanbark intersection
actually has had more accidents. Ms. Robinson said that this project does
not fit the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Bruguiere said that he does not think the entrances are a big problem
and that sight distance is up to VDOT. He said that cutting the bank back
would help with sight distance though. Mr. Bruguiere said that there are no
uses left (after the applicants’ proffers) that would not fit on the
property and noted that if the medical center does not happen, the rezoning
does not happen. He said that the county needs some business zones so the
full tax burden is not just on landowners and that the tourism industry
added all the traffic to 151. Mr. Bruguiere said that the proposal is an
appropriate mixed use for this property with the way the proffers have been
structured. Ms. Russell agreed, noting that she too would like to see a
site plan but that the Commission does not ask an applicant to go to the
expense of a full site plan until a rezoning is approved. She said that
with the understanding that the Supervisors will not be asked to vote until
there is an agreement with a medical center, she feels that the project
would be a benefit to the community. Mr. Tapager said that he disagrees
that traffic is not an issue but that it will continue to be an issue unless
the county shuts down all development along 151. He said that real planning
is needed for 151, noting that as people move into the area, markets for
business are created. Mr. Tapager said that he thinks the project will be a
good addition for the area and believe that it fits with the present zoning
ordinance. He noted that traffic is an issue and asked the applicant to
work closely with VDOT to get the best possible result. Commissioners voted
5-0 to recommend approval of the rezoning with the proffers listed above.

SITE PLAN/NELSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE NEW JUDICIAL CENTER – Mr. Randy Vaughan,
Wiley & Wilson, gave a brief overview of the new facility consisting of
approximately 25,500 sq ft with site improvements to parking areas and
entrance improvements. With no Public Comment, Commissioners approved the
site plan 5-0.

REZONING/MR. CURTIS BRUGUIERE – The applicant has applied to rezone
approximately 1.1 acres of land located at 1897 and 1889 Avon Road from
Residential R-1 to Business B-1 Conditional to permit use of a small area of
the existing building for his real estate office and continued use of the
remaining portion as a neighborhood convenience store (Anderson’s Store).
Mr. Boger noted that the applicant voluntarily proffered away all uses
allowed under B-1 except:
8-1-2 Retail drugstores, feed and seed stores, food sales and restaurants,
wearing apparel shops, auto and home appliance services, banks, barber and
beauty shops, hardware stores, offices and personal and professional
services.
8-1-5 Gasoline filling stations.
8-1-9 Schools of special instruction.
8-1-12; 8-1-13; 8-1-15; 8-1-16; 8-1-17; 8-1-18; 8-1-19 – all dealing with
signs and parking.
8-1-a Uses-Permitted by Conditional Use Permit only.
8-1-b Uses-Permitted by Special Use Permit only.

Mr. Boger noted that VDOT has indicated that any changes made to the site
would require that the entrances be brought up to current standards. He
said that this rezoning does not fit the goals of the Comprehensive Plan as
this area is not designated as a growth area, as a Neighborhood Mixed Use
Area for example. Mr. Tommy Bruguiere noted that he would abstain during
discussion and vote on this request.

Mr. Curtis Bruguiere, using a matrix prepared by Mr. Boger comparing the
Harvey and Bruguiere rezoning requests, said that Anderson’s has been in
business for over 90 years and that there is very little residential
property around the store. He said that any business can be tailored to fit
along a rural road in a Rural Residential area and that this county needs
more business. He said that the county needs more areas for business. Mr.
Bruguiere then began an item-by-item comparison between the Harvey’s
requested rezoning and his requested rezoning.

Ms. Russell said that nothing said about the existing country store has
anything to do with the requested rezoning. Mr. Tapager agreed, asking the
applicant to state what the actual rezoning request is for. Mr. Bruguiere
said that he wants to use a 13×13 room attached to the store for a real
estate office. He wants to lease out the store and run a real estate
office. Mr. Tapager said that he would be willing to support a real estate
office if all other uses were proffered away. He said that if the applicant
wants something else however, the Commission should deal with that. Mr.
Bruguiere said that he should not have to proffer everything else away if
Mr. Harvey did not have to do so. Ms. Hunt said that Mr. Bruguiere’s
rezoning request has nothing to do with Mr. Harvey’s request, which the
Commission had already reviewed and was done with. Ms. Russell asked the
applicant whether he would be willing to proffer everything but the real
estate office and store. Mr. Bruguiere said that it is about being
consistent. Ms. Russell said that the applicant has kept many uses and it
becomes a speculative rezoning with the applicant telling the county what he
might put there. Mr. Bruguiere again began a comparison of the two rezoning
requests and Ms. Hunt said that the Commission would refuse to hear any more
discussion about another case. Mr. Bruguiere said that he is not being
treated fairly.

During Public Comment, MS. KELLY MESSER, who lives near Anderson’s presented
a letter and a petition from area neighbors opposing the rezoning. She said
that she enjoys having the store there but that there is a lot of traffic
and parking issues with the site. She said that improvements are needed
without a rezoning as the area is too congested.
MS. DONNA SMALL, an area property owner, said that she cannot understand why
Mr. Bruguiere cannot follow the Board of Supervisors’ recommendation (from
January, 2007) to rezone to Agricultural A-1. She said that the uses that
could be developed on this site under B-1 zoning could have serious
consequences for the area.
MR. HARRY BAUM, Tanbark Lane, said that he supports Mr. Bruguiere’s request
and said that the whole issue is one business owner trying to control his
competition. He said that Mr. Bruguiere’s request is the same as Mr.
Harvey’s.
MS. DONNA SMALL said that the two requests are not the same as Mr. Harvey
will have to meet all the setbacks and requirements. She noted that Mr.
Bruguiere’s business is not in compliance now and is a non-conforming use.

Mr. Curtis Bruguiere said that everyone assumes he wants to put in a gas
station and that, while he has as much room as on of the other similar
businesses for a gas station, that is not his plan.

Mr. Harman said that he likes having a country store on the site and does
not have a problem with a real estate office. He said that he would prefer
the business stay non-conforming with a real estate office though. Ms.
Russell said that if she were asked to approve a real estate office and the
applicant could meet the VDOT requirements, she would consider going along
with that request. She said that the applicant is not asking for that, but
is asking to be allowed in the future to put in who knows what. She said
that the rezoning would be speculative and she could not approve a rezoning
to B-1. Ms. Russell said that she would be willing to look at a request for
a rezoning to A-1. Mr. Tapager said that he would be willing to look at a
request for a real estate office but that he could not support speculation.
He said that a rezoning would have an impact on the neighborhood. Mr.
Tapager said that if the request came back as a neighborhood real estate
office, he would be willing to support that.

Ms. Russell, before making her motion, stated for the record that she had
not discussed this application with anyone in an elected position in this
county. She then moved (Mr. Tapager seconding) to recommend denial of the
rezoning of 1.10 acres from R-1 to B-1 Conditional to be used as a real
estate office with the voluntary proffers as submitted (see list above) for
the following reasons:

1. Approval would be a speculative rezoning.
2. The rezoning would not comply with the Comprehensive Plan as the area
is not designated as a growth area.
3. The rezoning would not comply with the current zoning as the uses in
the area are residential.
4. The Commission has received no documentation that the applicant could
meet VDOT requirements if an office were added.
5. The rezoning would benefit only the applicant, allowing him to have an
office on site.

Commissioners vote 4-0-1 (Mr. Bruguiere abstaining) to approve the motion.

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT/MR. CURTIS BRUGUIERE – As the requested permit to
keep the existing single family dwelling located at 1889 Avon Road as a
conforming use was contingent on approval of the rezoning above,
Commissioners voted 4-0-1 (Mr. Bruguiere abstaining) to defer consideration,
at the applicant’s request, pending a decision on the previous rezoning
request by the Board of Supervisors.

ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT/SECTION 4-1-A – The proposed amendment would add
a wood yard use for the storage and marketing of logs as a Use Permitted by
Conditional Use Permit Only under Section 4-10a in the Agricultural District
(A-1). Ms. Russell said that the Definitions section of the ordinance
should be amended to include a definition of a wood yard before it is added
as a use. Commissioners voted 4-1 (Ms. Russell voting no) to recommend
approval of the amendment. Ms. Russell asked that staff schedule a public
hearing on a definition for a wood yard for the next Commission meeting.
Mr. Tapager asked that staff also develop a definition for a permanent
sawmill, which is not currently included in the ordinance although a
definition for a temporary sawmill is included.

Meeting adjourned.

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  1. Shelby Ralston says:

    Martha Jefferson… Know the Facts

    Ron Cottrell is about to make a decision which will affect our county for years to come. Who is Ron Cottrell, you ask? Ron Cottrell is VP of Planning and Corporate Development for Martha Jefferson Hospital. Ron has to make a decision as to where he would like the local Martha Jefferson practice to relocate in Afton.

    Ron has a few options. One option is to lease space in an office building Mr. Thomas Harvey proposes to build on his land across from his service center. Another option is to place the Martha Jefferson facility in the business/commercial area near Afton Mills.

    According to the current county ordinance, a medical facility can be built on residentially zoned land. However, the additional office/business space Mr. Harvey hopes to build requires the property to be rezoned from residential to business. The site near Afton Mills does not require rezoning.

    Although Nelson residents have voiced concerns and raised questions regarding Mr. Harvey’s proposal (as there has been no indication as to what type of businesses will be in Mr. Harvey’s building nor how much additional traffic is expected to be generated at the Tanbark/Rt151 intersection as a result), the Planning Commission Members voted in support of Mr. Harvey’s rezoning request. Philippa Proulx, The North District’s Representative, was not present at this meeting. Nor was Mrs. Proulx in attendance at the previous meeting in August, which was continued so she could cast her vote.

    Mr. Harvey’s rezoning request will be decided at the Board of Supervisor’s Meeting on Oct. 14th.

    Contact Ron Cottrell (434) 982-7306 and let him know how you feel regarding the decision he is about to make.

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