By Connie Chang

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has approved a preliminary site plan for the Luck Stone Corporation facility at the intersection of Route 250 East and Route 22 at Shadwell. The proposal includes a 1,500 square foot office building, parking, and a weigh station as well as a new entrance on Route 250 East of Charlottesville.


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A previous site plan was approved in March 1999 but had expired because a final plan was not submitted for approval within a year of the preliminary approval.


The existing Luck Stone facility has two entrances onto Route 250, neither of which has a traffic signal. As part of the plan, a new entrance will be constructed on the east side of the site, to alleviate on-going concerns over the safety of trucks entering from and exiting to Route 250. Because the primary entrance today sits at the bottom of a hill, there is inadequate distance for trucks to accelerate up Route 250 without impacting the flow of traffic. According to County staff, the new entrance, which is located on the top of a hill, will allow trucks to gain enough momentum for acceleration and to pull more safely out of the site.

“These proposals will allow traffic to flow more smoothly and greatly improve the traffic situation on Route 250,” said County Planner Megan Yaniglos.

The construction of the new entrance will also require installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Route 250 and Route 22. The approval of the preliminary site plan comes with the condition that the west entrance shall only be open for emergency access and the existing second entrance shall be closed.

“I have been working with Luck for at least ten years to get this entrance moved simply because of the safety issues,” said L.F. Wood, owner of the nearby Shadwell Store property.

Emily Willey, the owner of the Clifton Inn which is near the new Luck Stone entrance, expressed concerns about noise and traffic. “[We offer] a quiet country-inn getaway experience.” Willey said, “I presume that this is bringing all the traffic of heavy trucks with loads waiting and going in, so that’s a concern for our business.”

Bill Fritz, Albemarle County’s Chief of Current Development, said the level of activity at the quarry would not increase.

“It’s the same number of trucks, it’s just further east,” Fritz said.

According to Deputy County Attorney, Greg Kamptner, “The trucks on the roads would not be regulated by the zoning standards. Because this is an NR [Natural Resource] Overlay, a lot of noise from that particular use are going to be completely exempt or subject to different standards.”

Because the site is located in a County Entrance Corridor, further design issues with the project will be addressed by the Architectural Review Board at a later date.


TIMELINE FOR PODCAST:

1:00 – County planner Megan Yaniglos presents staff report

6:34 – Applicant Tom Gayle presents

7:54 – Commissioner Marcia Joseph asks whether the entrance at the bottom of the hill is right-in only

9:03 – Marcia Joseph asks whether the signal will be installed at the same time

9:55 – L.F. Wood, owner of the Shadwell Store property, comments

12:15 – Emily Willey, Clifton Inn owner, comments

14:32 – Chairman Eric Strucko asks whether the new entrance is closer to the Clifton Inn

16:14 – Commissioner Calvin Morris comments on noise level

16:45 – County Attorney Greg Kamptner comments on noise ordinance

17:25 – Marcia Joseph comments on noise regulation

17:50 – County planner Bill Fritz comments

18:42 – Marcia Joseph recommends the critical slopes waiver and preliminary site plan for approval

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