On February 8, 2006, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors held their second worksession of the year on the proposed 270-acre North Pointe development (893 residential units + offices/retail) near Airport Road on 29 North [ agenda ].  As it turned out, a one-hour meeting was not enough, and the Supervisors decided to schedule another worksession for early March.

 

Activity has recently picked up on North Pointe project with the Board of Supervisors’ decision to hold worksessions starting last month. Also, in 2005, the Places29 Master Plan process started and this property is within the master plan study area.

 

 

The developer, Chuck Rotgin, approached the Board of Supervisors for their direct consideration of this project in December 2003 after both staff and the Planning Commission recommended rejection of the rezoning request.  During 2004-2005, the Board, and a smaller subcommittee appointed by the Board, worked with the applicant to try to resolve the outstanding issues. At a worksession in November 2004 staff had indicated that they were at an impasse on proffer negotiations. Staff recommended that the Board vote the project up or down rather than continue negotiations at the staff level. The Supervisors are holding worksessions to evaluate the rezoning request in advance of a public hearing that has been scheduled for March 16th .

 

County staff are recommending that the rezoning request be rejected for the following reasons:

 

 

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s podcast begins with an introduction by Albemarle’s Director of Community Development, Mark Graham and Senior Planner, Elaine Echols .  This is followed by the complete audio of the Supervisors’ discussion with staff, developer Chuck Rotgin , and his attorney Valerie Long .

Listen to Podcast: Download bos20060208b.mp3

Highlights (mm:ss)
4:30 – Elaine Echols discusses economic reports and the ability of County to absorb addition retail development like that proposed for North Pointe.  About 1.7 million sq.ft. of new retail shopping is under review around Albemarle. [For more information see draft ZHA consulting report on retail absorption prepared for Albemarle as part of Places29]

9:00 – Dennis Rooker asks for updated information from Chuck Rotgin on his assessment of retail absorption and a reconciliation of the various estimates received by the Board including a new fiscal impact analysis.

16:46 – Ken Boyd inquires as to whether retail absorption should even be on the table for discussion and suggests this should be left to the developer and market forces.  He indicates he does not want this to be a decision factor in the rezoning.

19:26 – Dennis Rooker suggests it should be up to the applicant to make their own case as to what market can absorb and states that any piece of relevant information can be a deciding factor for any given Supervisor when it comes time to vote on the rezoning.

20:30 – Sally Thomas encourages consideration of the marginal costs of adding a development of this size, for example costs to roads, water supply, sewage treatment, and other infrastructure needs.  She points out that the current “CRIM” model does not factor these in for the fiscal impact assessment.

23:56 – Dennis Rooker mentions traffic studies and asks for a report indicating level of service on roads around this project after proffered improvements have taken place.

31:20 – Elaine Echols discusses phasing of retail and accompanying residential development (up to 893 residential units proposed)

42:31 – Mark Graham talks about construction of pond, sediment control, and stormwater management efforts.  Ken Boyd asks if County will avoid problems seen at Hollymead Town Center with stormwater runoff.

45:03 – Mark Graham discusses concerns about steep slopes in northern portion of development and need for more protection during grading.

46:37 – Valerie Long indicates applicant has paid tremendous attention to protecting certain environmental features in the northern part of the development which must remain undisturbed.  Staff input has led to lots that are substantially smaller to avoid critical slopes.

48:19 – Chuck Rotgin indicates he is agreeable to being held to a higher standard on grading if it can be done on a per lot basis.

49:17 – David Wyant talks about criticism County received related to the grading at Hollymead Town Center and he hopes those problems can be avoided.

50:43 – David Slutzky asks about the nature of the grading in the northern part of the parcel that is most concerning to staff.

51:40 — Mark Graham estimates 40% of sediment in runoff during construction will still flow downstream into the North Fork of the Rivanna River assuming sediment capture measures work properly.

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