Commission approves downzoning for Wavertree Hill Farm

The Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the
rezoning of 145 acres off of Plank Road from Planned Residential
Development to Rural Areas so that the landowner can qualify for land
use taxation. The property now owned by Wavertree Hall LLC was once the
site of a planned religious community which never fully developed.

The land cannot be developed under the existing zoning because the
property is under a conservation easement from the Virginia Outdoors

“We are here to try to get the taxation that this farm is entitled to
under the code,” said Richard Carter, attorney for the property owner.
Carter said the owner’s intent is to do what he can to preserve the
historic home that is on-site and to continue operating it as a farm.

The item has not yet been scheduled for the Board of Supervisors.

Commission approves special use permit for non-conforming camp

Camp Watermarks is a four-year old camp on the James River near
Scottsville that got a special use permit last year to build a 20’ by
40’ multi-purpose building. One of the conditions for approval was that
the structure could be no larger than 800 square feet.  However,
shortly before construction was to begin the camp’s owners decided that
was not big enough for their needs, and so they applied for a special
use permit to increase the size to 2160 square feet.  According to
County Planner Joan McDowell, the building’s construction is almost

The applicant requested a special use permit to allow this building to be larger than originally planned

Staff found no objections with the proposal and recommended approval. 
Commissioner Edgerton said he was troubled that the applicant began
work on the structure before all of the approvals were granted.

“It seems this particular applicant seems to have problems with doing
things in the proper order, and I take offense at that,” Edgerton said.

The owner of the camp, Travis Critzer, said he had been granted a
building permit for the larger structure, with the understanding that
it could only be used for agricultural storage if the Commission did
not grant the special use permit. He insisted he went through the
appropriate channels.

The Commission voted 7-0 to approve the special use permit, with
Edgerton voting for it despite his objection. The item will now go to
the Board of Supervisors on May 7, 2008.

Strucko reports on Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee

Commissioner Eric Strucko (Samuel Miller) told his colleagues that the County’s Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee has reconvened, and has begun an examination of SB768. That’s the bill to replace the existing cash proffer system in favor of a system of impact fees that developers would pay for each housing unit. The bill stalled after passing the state Senate, but will be back in some form during next year’s General Assembly session.

“The Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee put forth a pretty lengthy effort last year to come up with some of the parameters that eventually worked into our proffer policy,” Strucko said. “This bill would put caps on what localities could get as well as put localities through a series of complex calculations that determine exactly what the impact of new development would be.”

The Committee will continue watching developments with the bill in order to find out what the impact of legislation might be to the County. Wayne Cilimberg, Albemarle’s Chief Planner, said the Committee will research how impact fees are used in other states.

Committee recommends seven properties  for ACE program

Commissioner Bill Edgerton (Jack Jouett) says the Acquisition of Conservation Easements Committee is considering seven potential properties for inclusion in the County program, which purchases development rights from willing property owners in the rural area. Edgerton said these properties came from a pool of 15 applicants, and will be appraised.

“Unfortunately depending on how these prices come in, we probably won’t be able to work with all seven properties,” Edgerton said.

Sean Tubbs


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