County planners recommend approval of road for new development at Clifton Lake


Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Albemarle County Planning Commission

has recommended that the developers of a new 30-unit subdivision near the Clifton Inn be given permission to fill in the flood plain in order to strengthen an existing pond dam.

Country Inns Extraordinaire Inc. sought a special use permit for the fill, which will allow them to build a road across the top of the dam that creates Clifton Lake to satisfy one of the requirements of a 1978 rezoning that allowed for the residential development.

That rezoning required the developer to provide for a second entrance to alleviate traffic pressure on Shadwell Road, which currently serves the Shadwell Estates neighborhood with an entrance onto a congested U.S. 250.

Without the requirement, all traffic from the development would have had to use Shadwell Road. The developer has spent many years trying to come up with a solution.

The new road across the dam would allow the developer to connect the new subdivision to North Milton Road via Randolph Mill Lane.

“This is fulfilling that requirement of the board for the rezoning,” said county engineer Glen Brooks. “It’s a road we’ve anticipated for the county for a long time.”

However, residents of Shadwell Estates said they are concerned the new development would overwhelm their street even with the second entrance.

“We want a condition that if this is approved, then that entrance [onto Shadwell Road] will be eliminated,” said resident Rick Bowie. “We don’t want construction traffic or anything else on Shadwell Road.”

Andrew Baldwin, representing the developer, said the new entrance would be controlled via a security card system that would only be granted to both Clifton Lakes and Shadwell Estates residents. However, he wanted to keep the new development’s access to Shadwell Road open.

“We’d try to keep it open depending on what was required,” Baldwin said. “We’re not looking to promote traffic through the development.”

Resident Steve Houchens said the new development could generate as many as 120 vehicle trips per day and asked that a security system be placed on the entrance to Shadwell Road as well.

But Baldwin said Shadwell Estates residents would benefit by being able to use the new entrance over the dam to leave their neighborhood because it is a safer route than using 250.

The proposal was met with support from the planning commission.

“It seems to me that filling in the flood plain fits nicely with creating this entrance,” said commission member Linda Porterfield.

However, Porterfield also said she supported the notion of limiting the new development’s access to Shadwell road.

Deputy County Attorney Greg Kamptner said the commission would have another chance to discuss that possibility when a subdivision plan comes before them.

The commission voted unanimously to grant the special use permit.

The Board of Supervisors

denied a request to connect the development to public water in December 2010

out of a concern it would set a precedent. The land is not in the county’s designated growth area.

The company is proceeding with a centralized well system instead.

In other news, the planning commission determined that a proposed Ivy Fire Station at the University of Virginia’s Northridge Medical Center is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. Negotiations are underway for Albemarle to rent the site from the university.