By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Monday, March 29, 2010

The

Charlottesville Planning Commission

continued revising the city’s residential zoning matrix during a work session on Tuesday. The matrix serves as a guide for what land uses are allowed in each of the city’s zoning districts. During this work session, the Commission discussed how the matrix currently handles private clubs, adult day-cares, and bed and breakfasts.


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Planning Manager Missy Creasy said the Commission would likely continue working through the three matrices for at least a year. She said the Commission was making swift progress through the residential matrix, but that going through the commercial and industrial matrices may be more time-consuming.

Commissioner

Genevieve Keller

, who was not present at a February work session, said she was concerned about the possibility of treating adult day care centers as if they were similar facilities for children.

“I’m sort of concerned about the effects on a neighborhood because I think there are certain trappings that go along with adult day care that may not be present in child care, such as ramping,” Keller said. She said such facilities may generate additional traffic and was concerned this could de-stabilize neighborhoods.

Commissioners also discussed whether youth hostels were allowed in the city. One apparently has opened up in the Belmont neighborhood.

“I think it would be a desirable use in Charlottesville,” Keller said. “I think it’s something that is missing from our mix.”

Creasy said hostels weren’t prohibited, but that planners were uncertain how they fit into the zoning ordinance.

The Commission will next take up the matrix during its

next meeting on April 12

.  That session will be held on a Monday rather than the usual Tuesday due the city’s observance of Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday.


Jefferson School partnership seeking a rezoning

The firm hired to oversee  redevelopment of Charlottesville’s

Jefferson School

will ask the city to have the property rezoned to allow for restaurants to be opened on the site. Planning Manager Missy Creasy told the Planning Commission they could expect to see an application from

Stonehaus

at some point in the future.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007, City Council approved a purchase agreement that allowed a private partnership to redevelop the school as a community center. The city’s Carver Recreation Center will continue to operate at the site, and a new African-American cultural heritage center will be established.

“Beyond those two anchors, [the partnership] is looking to fill that space with a number of other tenants as well,” City Planner Nick Rogers said. One of those potential tenants wants to operate a small cafe, but that use is not permitted under the existing zoning.

Some commissioners were concerned that a rezoning could lead to the building being torn down in favor of a taller building. Rogers said the applicant will likely apply for B-2 zoning which would allow for the restaurant to be opened, but would not allow for increased height.

One Commissioner thought a slightly different zoning classification would be appropriate.

“I would encourage staff to look at the potential for guiding the applicant towards seeking mixed-use classification because it seems like in many ways a mixture of use on that property is a good fit for the city,” said Commissioner

Dan Rosensweig

.

The building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places does not protect it from being demolished.  Commissioner

Bill Emory

said designating the site as an “individually protected property” at the local level would permanently prevent that from happening.


TIMELINE FOR PODCAST:


    01:00 – Missy Creasy introduces the item for the Jefferson School

    03:30 – City Planner Nick Rogers describes reasons for the rezoning

    13:15 – Rogers answers a question about whether downtown zoning would be appropriate

    20:40 – Discussion of whether the building is protected from being demolished

    22:08 – Discussion moves to residential zoning matrix

    26:00 – Rogers relates concerns of Chamber of Commerce about revision of matrix

    27:00 – Rogers describes presentation to Housing Advisory Committee

    30:45 – Commissioner Jon Santoski asks how the Fry’s Spring Beach Club might be affected

    39:40 – Creasy says reviewing all of the matrices could take some time

    41:30 – Commissioner Genevieve Keller expresses concern about adult day cares

    53:30 – Commissioner Rosensweig addresses comments made at Housing Advisory Committee

    58:30 – Discussion moves to bed and breakfasts

    1:02:20 – Keller asks how youth hostels would be treated in the zoning matrix

    1:08:00 – Discussion turns to how an April workshop to discuss the matrix will be handled

    1:17:00 – Status report on all of the Commission’s various projects