The Charlottesville Planning Commission has granted a special use permit that will allow a developer to operate a 27-room bed and breakfast and 36-unit apartment building near the corner of Emmet Street and Jefferson Park Avenue (JPA). The permit will allow Tenth and Main LLC to build at a greater density than that allowed under R-3 zoning.
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Two existing apartment buildings and a single-family home will be converted into the bed and breakfast, which is allowed by-right under the existing zoning. Another building on the site will be converted into a 5-unit apartment, and a new 36-unit apartment building will be constructed.
The Planning Commission deferred action on the item in July
after hearing concerns from neighborhood. Residents argued the use of the land for additional housing would create too much traffic, citing a traffic model that projected an increase of 347 vehicle trips a day because of the new use.
Architect Neal Deputy, representing Tenth and Main LLC, said he is very sensitive to the concerns of the neighborhood and has been working since July to ameliorate them. His company has an option to purchase an adjoining parcel on JPA to allow for vehicles to enter the complex via JPA rather than use Oakhurst Circle.
“We propose using 1616 JPA to take all of the deliveries, all of the check-in, and to house the primary food service there,” Deputy said. The goal is to have no commercial activity on Oakhurst Circle.
Deputy said he believed the development would be “in harmony with the patterns of development on JPA.” He also detailed several low impact development (LID) strategies that will be employed as the complex is built.
“We have two 15,000 gallon cisterns underground to catch all of the rainwater that falls on the roofs,” Deputy said. “This has the potential to save over 400,000 gallons of water a year.” Other strategies will include a rideshare program as well as reduced rent for tenants who do not own a car.
Deputy’s strategy of reaching out to neighbors appears to have paid off. In July, Jane Foster of Gildersleeve Wood made a public hearing comment that she was opposed to the project. Five months later, she rose to express her support. However, she thanked the Commission for agreeing to revisit the bed and breakfast bedroom limitation. The City’s definition of a bed and breakfast does not currently have a bedroom limit. The Commission will examine this issue in 2009.
Tenth and Main LLC will also be responsible for realigning the intersection of JPA and Emmet Street. The northbound right-turn lane will be eliminated in favor of a T-junction. City Planner Ebony Walden said the change will add more space for pedestrians, but it is not clear yet how the bike lane will be affected. The location of the lane will be addressed as the site plan proceeds through City Hall. City Council will need to approve of the realignment plans before they go to construction.
Commissioner Michael Osteen owns a building next to the proposed complex, but did not recuse himself from the vote. Osteen said that because of the scale of the University of Virginia’s South Lawn Project, the additional density was appropriate at this location. He made a motion to approve the SUP with several conditions:
Commissioners had some minor issues with some elements depicted on the preliminary site plan. However, the site plan was not up for a vote at this meeting, so Commissioners will have the chance to influence the project at a future meeting.
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