The plan for construction of a two-story office building at the southwest corner of the intersection of Hydraulic and Georgetown Roads has received the support of the
Albemarle County Planning Commission
. At their meeting on February 19, 2008, the Commission recommended approval of Keith Woodard’s rezoning request.
While very close to Albemarle High School and a densely populated neighborhood area, Woodard’s parcel is actually located in the County’s rural area and is currently zoned for commercial use. Staff recommended approval of the rezoning to Neighborhood Model District in part because the proposed use is less intensive than what current zoning allows.
The 20,000 sq. ft. commercial building will have two stories visible from the road and a third story visible from the parking area at a basement level behind the building.
“We feel, as do many of our neighbors, that this use is more desirable than the convenience store and gas pumps [for which] the property is currently zoned,” said Woodard. He informed the Commission that half of the 1 acre property would be left in conservation or preservation areas and that a vegetated buffer at the rear of the parking lot would be protected and enhanced with new plantings. Woodard has also committed to a “green building” and proffered to submit evidence of LEED certification.
Woodward said his primary goal is to sell office space for law firms, insurance companies, and other similar professional users. He said he could not rule out some small retail shops that would support the offices.
“I think this design is a great improvement over what would otherwise be there by-right,” said Commissioner Jon Cannon (Rio District). “I drive by this corner every day. I would much prefer to see this development than the other development, and frankly [I would] much prefer to see this to what is there now, which is a vacant lot and an eye sore and not used or useful to anybody.”
The Commission’s vote to recommend approval was unanimous (7-0) and the rezoning will come before the Board of Supervisors on March 19, 2008.