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Planning Commission 7.22.09

[ 0 ] July 23, 2009 |

PLANNING COMMISSION
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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

DAVIS CREEK AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTAL DISTRICT ADDITION/MR. & MRS. ANDRE
DERDEYN – Mr. Boger reported that the AFD Advisory Committee recommended
approval of the addition of a 19.4-acre parcel belonging to the applicants.
The property is located at 342 Huffman Way and is contiguous to other
property owned by the applicants already in the District. With no public
comment, Commissioners voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the addition with
all restrictions specific to the Davis Creek AFD.

PROPOSED ADDITION TO ZONING ORDINANCE/SMALL WIND ENERGY – Mr. Boger
presented the draft ordinance permitting the systems by right in all zoning
districts with a capacity of not more than 20kW. One tower is permitted on
parcels of at least one acre with a Conditional Use Permit required for
additional towers on parcels 5 acres or greater in size. Tower heights are
proposed as follows:

– Parcels 1-2 acres in size – 45 feet;
– Parcels greater than 2 acres and less than 5 acres in size – 60 feet;
and
– Parcels 5 acres or greater in size – 100 feet.

NOTE: The complete proposed ordinance can be found at
www.nelsolncounty.com/planning

During the Public Hearing, MR. STEVE CRANDALL, who installs small wind
energy systems, said that the Commission had done an excellent job on the
ordinance. He asked the Commissioners to reconsider the restriction of only
monopoles however, noting that there are other devices that could be used
such as webbing. He noted that the owner of a large piece of property might
want to use guide wires rather than an engineered system.

MR. JEREMY HAYES, Skyline Turbines, said that the ordinance was a good work
and would allow those in the industry the opportunity to install some
systems and move forward.

MS. SHELBY RALSTON, Afton, asked why there were any height restrictions on
the poles and said that that would render the systems useless.

Following the Public Hearing, Commissioners agreed to review the draft,
considering comments from the public, at a future work session.

CLASS II COMMUNICATION TOWER/AT&T – Mr. Boger reported that the applicant
has applied for a permit to construct a 95-foot steel painted pole and
associated equipment in a 40×40 lease area on property owned by Margaret D.
Parker, Trustee and located off Stage Road in Colleen (off Cooperative Way).
The applicant has also requested an exception to the required 125% of the
tower height minimum setback from the nearest property line (Section
20-7-2a). Mr. Boger noted that there are multiple incomplete items on the
application but that if they could be overcome, staff would have no
objection to approval of the permit.

Ms. Katie Carmichael, representing the applicant, presented a photo
simulation of the balloon test and site maps of the proposed location. Ms.
Proulx asked what actual setback the applicant was requesting. Ms.
Carmichael said that the request is for an exception to reduce the required
118.75 foot setback to 38.7 feet, noting that the pole is engineered to
collapse upon itself rather than falling straight over. She noted that the
location was chosen closer to the property line because that is where there
are tall trees to screen the pole. Ms. Russell asked whether the application
is asking for approval for AT&T towers only or for AT&T towers plus
co-locators. Ms. Carmichael said that the application is for AT&T towers
only although there is space for two co-locators for future use.

Following a Public Hearing with no public comment, Ms. Russell said that she
is in favor of approving the tower and appreciates AT&T’s efforts to make
the tower less obvious to the general public. She noted, however, that at
the site plan meeting, AT&T had been made aware of the ordinance
requirements. She said that the Commission has, in the past, been very firm
about not approving applications without an E&S plan having been submitted
to TJSWCD. She said that she would also like to a letter from an engineer
regarding the collapsibility of the tower.

Commissioners voted 5-0 to defer further consideration until their regular
August meeting at which time AT&T would provide:

1) Documentation that the E&S plan has been submitted to TJSWCD;
2) A letter from an engineer regarding the tower collapsing upon
itself; and
3) A resubmission of the tower plans including addressing each issue
deficient in the current plan and noted in a July22nd memo from Ms.
Carmichael.

SITE PLAN/BLUE RIDGE MEDICAL CENTER – The applicant has submitted a site
plan for the expansion of BRMC in Colleen to add a new two-story building
with approximately 26,000 sq ft of office area, a new parking area, turn
lane improvements along the front for a 12-foot turning lane between Jerry’s
Way and the existing entrance on Rt. 29 and two stormwater control
facilities. Mr. Boger reported that the applicant has submitted an E&S plan
to TJSWCD and is waiting for final approval from VDOT.

Ms. Peggy Whitehead, Executive Director of BRMC, said that they are excited
about the expansion to meet the needs of the community. She said that the
center needs to grow to add needed space, dental services and a
pediatrician. With no public comment, Commissioners voted 5-0 o approve the
site plan contingent on final approvals from TJSWCD and VDOT.

SITE PLAN/ADVANCING NATIVE MISSIONS (ANM) – Mr. Massie Saunders submitted a
site plan for a one-story 7,700 sq ft addition with approximately 5,700 sq
ft in office space; a 720 sq ft garage addition to the existing warehouse;
expansion of the parking area; and removal of the entrance on the Afton
Mountain Road side of the site. The property is located at 10470 Critzer
Shop Road, Afton. Mr. Boger noted that the E&S plan has been submitted to
TJSWCD and a soil scientist has submitted the completed soil work to the
Health Department. Mr. Saunders noted that VDOT has approved the entrance.

Mr. John Bucchi, with ANM, said that the addition will be mainly office
space and meeting space with no storage space added. He said that the plan
is to increase staff to 70-80 people total. Ms. Russell asked what the
landscaping plans are along the Rt. 6 side. Mr. Bucchi said that they want
to add some trees and continue the landscaping that is along the existing
building. Ms. Proulx asked about the screening for the office building. Mr.
Saunders said that none of the trees along that side (Rt. 6) will be
disturbed.

During the Public Hearing, MS. KATHY SNYDER, who lives across Rt. 6 from
ANM, said that she does not want to see a building and parking lot when she
looks across the road. MS. DONNA SMALL, who lives across the road, said that
she thought that the original construction included screening all the way
across. She said that she would like the expansion to include screening all
the way across. MS. SHELBY RALSTON, Afton, expressed support for the
business expansion, especially in this economy.

Ms. Proulx clarified that the original site plan required screening only of
the warehouse and not of the office building. Mr. Boger noted that the
ordinance requires that only 50% of the front be landscaped. Mr. Bucchi said
that the employees working in the office enjoy the view and it would block
their view if trees were put in. Ms. Proulx agreed that the county could not
require anything more but said that ANM might consider trying to work out a
compromise with the neighbors. Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the site
plan (revised 07.14.09).

OTHER BUSINESS –

Resolution of Intent from Board of Supervisors – Lot sizes for dwelling
units in A-1 zoning districts with public water and sewer availability – Ms.
Proulx said that given the complexity of the issue and the number of other
issues the Commission is dealing with, it was questionable whether this
issue could be discussed and dealt with within the 60 days as allotted by
the Supervisors. Ms. Russell suggested asking the Supervisors to remove the
60-day restriction and for their input prior to discussion of the issue in
work sessions. Ms. Proulx said that she would prefer a joint meeting with
the Supervisors, if possible, rather than a letter. Mr. Harman noted that
with the public requirements, the Commission would not have time to complete
the process in 60 days. Commissioners agreed by consensus to direct staff to
submit a letter to the Supervisors requesting removal of the 60-day time
period.

Advertisement for Public Hearing on proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments –
After discussion, Commissioners directed staff to advertise the following
“housekeeping” amendments for public hearing:

1) Article 14-2-4 Powers and Duties of Board of Zoning Appeals – to remove
language from the section to comply with HB 2326 changing the standard by
which a variance can be granted by eliminating the requirement for a
showing of a hardship “approaching confiscation”;
2) Article 14-1-1 Board of Zoning Appeals, membership and organization –
to remove the sentence, “The board shall serve without pay other than for
traveling expenses.”; and
3) Article 2. Definitions – to remove the numbering system for each
definition.

Commissioners set Thursday, August 6th at 7:00pm for a Work Session on the
following:

1) Small Wind Energy Ordinance;
2) Lot size for dwelling units in A-1 zoning districts with public water
and sewer availability;
3) Proposed amendments to Article 12-1 through 12-5 and Article 16 of the
Zoning Ordinance relating to Zoning Permits; and
4) Proposed amendments to Article 13-1 through 13-7 of the Zoning
Ordinance relating to site plans.

Meeting continued until August 6, 2009 at 7:00pm.

Copyright 2000-2009 by Rural Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Reports may
be reprinted or excerpted with attribution.

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