CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

                               

                                  MEMO

To: Fry’s Spring Neighbors

From:  Willy Thompson, Neighborhood Planner

Date: 6/30/2011

RE:  Third Quarter Neighborhood Issues/Development Update

Fry’s Spring

  1. Eton Road Planned Unit Development:  The City has received a rezoning application for a Planned Unit Development at the end of Eton Road.  The concept plan shows a new public road with 7 single-family structures.  The rezoning was reviewed at a public hearing in October.  The applicant requested and received a deferral at that meeting. No change.

  1. Johnson Village PUD Phase III:  The owner of Phase III of the Johnson Village PUD has submitted a preliminary site plan for the third portion of the PUD approved in 2004.  The plan shows a total of 189 residential units comprised of apartments and townhouse units.  The site access at this point is exclusively from Fifth Street.  The applicant received the initial comments from staff, along with some suggestions from the public.  The applicant has re-submitted the plan, along with an Entrance Corridor application.  The neighborhood held a meeting in November 2010 to discuss the plan.  The applications were deferred by the applicant in December and were approved by the Commission in March.  The preliminary site plan has been approved and the applicant submitted the final site plan May 13, 2011.  The final site plan is currently under review.

  1. Longwood Drive Planned Unit Development:  City Council approved a planned unit development on Longwood Drive on July 20, 2009.  The PUD permits the removal of 16 existing units, to be replaced with 43 townhouse units, and the renovation of 18 more existing units.  The applicant has submitted a preliminary site plan application.  The initial round of staff comments have been sent to the applicant and staff is waiting on the applicant’s response. The applicant has re-submitted their preliminary site plan, as well as a critical slopes waiver request. These items were deferred at the Planning Commission’s July meeting, and approved at the Commission’s August meeting.  The site plan has been signed, and construction has begun on the project.  No change.

  1. Fontaine Fire Station:  The City has received an application for the construction of a new fire station on Fontaine Avenue. Currently, the application is undergoing final site plan review. The preliminary site plan, critical slope waiver, and rezoning application have all been approved. The entrance corridor application had received approval, however, the application expired. The entrance corridor review is tentatively schedule for review at the August 9 planning commission meeting.
  2. Shamrock Railroad Crossing: Several citizen groups have requested an effort to address potentially unsafe conditions at the railroad crossing on Shamrock Road.  The City Traffic Engineer has been coordinating efforts to address these concerns, which relate to signage, pedestrian safety, lighting, and traffic volume.  The City Traffic Engineer has contacted Norfolk Southern about the possibility of widening Shamrock across the tracks, and is waiting on a cost estimate from the railroad.  Staff is waiting on the railroad to draft plans for improvements, along with the pricing.  The railroad has provided the price estimate to the City, and the City is now waiting on the schedule of work from the railroad.  The traffic signal has been installed and is working.  Staff has signed the letter of agreement from the railroad and is working on coordinating the construction.  The transportation related improvements have been completed for several months.  Current activity around the crossing is a utility project that is scheduled to be finished around April 22nd.  No change.

  1. Old Lynchburg Road – The meeting held on September 19th to again meet the team and begin discussing the needs and concerns about Old Lynchburg Road was well attended.  This was the first opportunity for adjacent property owners and neighborhood residents to talk about specific issues with the design team.  Two concepts have been developed for the area and they are currently under City review.  The City held another citizen informational meeting on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at the Cherry Avenue Christian Church to present the two concepts for additional input.  Staff compiled the information gathered from all citizen/stakeholder surveys and interviews to be incorporated into a single design.  The design for the improvements is tentatively scheduled to be presented to City Council for public hearing in the fall.  Staff resolved a conflict with the Fry’s Spring Beach Club property by moving a proposed sidewalk from one side of OLR to the other.  Staff held a public meeting on the proposed design on October 14th at the Cherry Avenue Christian Church.  The design team addressed the comments from the public, and presented an update to the City Council in December.  Citizens of the OLR area will notice some survey markings in the near future.  This is so the design team can get more accurate utility information to incorporate in the final plan.  The project is moving to final design, and staff anticipates seeking public input on the first draft of the final design in the second quarter of 2009.  This project is still proceeding, with final design documents due to be delivered to the City in 2010.  City staff hosted a meeting on December 2, 2009.  The engineering team is continuing to work on construction documents for the project. This project is proceeding, with final design documents due to be delivered to the City in the last quarter of 2010. As  requested during the last public hearing meeting, the alternative sidewalk concept alignment on the west side, south of Middleton Lane, and the storm water  BMP concept at F.S.B.C  has now been developed for further consideration by the owners. The design concept for the area south of Middleton Lane includes a more detailed tree survey, additional retaining walls, new guardrail and new grading plan. The potential storm water BMP design at F.S.B.C  considers new a grading plan, size & type of the BMP that best fits the location, new plantings, better driveway access, and possible future trail access into the property. These major design elements in both concepts will need to be reviewed by the club officers/members and adjacent owners, in order to evaluate the improvements as well as potential impacts. The results of these additional meetings will be needed to confirm a final course of design and any possible schedule changes. The Design Team is preparing packets for the adjacent property owners to review the proposed easements / right –of-way needed to install the improvements. Utility coordination meetings have been conducted and test holes will be dug soon at specific locations where potential utility conflicts may exist.

  1. JPA Bridge – There was a rescoping meeting held with all of the VDOT design team and City staff and a subsequent meeting with the neighborhood.  At this meeting, details were emphasized to VDOT to achieve the neighborhood concerns.  Staff presented a revised bridge design for the City Council Meeting on 9/2/08 and City Council passed a resolution supporting the redesigned bridge width of 67 feet (reduced from the originally proposed 78 feet).  Staff met with neighborhood representatives on September 17, 2008 to discuss details of the new bridge design.  VDOT incorporated supplemental design details suggested by FSNA and the City recommitted to continue to communicate with the neighborhood as the design progresses.  Staff brought design drawings to the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association on February 11, 2009 and the neighborhood approved the design drawings at their March meeting.  VDOT presented design drawings at the June 10, 2009 meeting of the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association Board.  VDOT has also requested to return to a FSNA meeting prior to the construction.  Current work being done in the area is for utility re-location.  The advertisement for bids has been delayed pending minor changes to the plan to accommodate a request by the railroad to provide for future drainage improvements along the tracks.  The plans are currently scheduled to be bid in the summer of 2010, and remains fully funded. The project was advertised, the bids were opened December 15th and the procurement process is underway.  The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic 4/4/11.  The work zone has been established necessitating the closure of Todd Avenue (perm) and Robertson Avenue (temp) at JPA.  Pedestrian and bicyclist access will be maintained throughout construction across the railroad.  Next Steps – Relocation of Utilities and Drilling Shafts for Abutments/Walls.

  1. Zoning Changes:  I will be presenting information regarding the proposed zoning changes at the neighborhood meeting on December 12th.  Staff is waiting on a statement from the association regarding which possible zoning changes they support before moving the item forward.  The Planning Commission at their January work session, made looking at issues with residentially zoned property a priority over the next year.  Some of the issues raised by the neighborhood in the past may be examined as part of this process.  Currently, staff is focused on revising the rules governing the size of external accessory apartments.  The Planning Commission has incorporated the zoning changes in the neighborhood into their work plan for the upcoming year, and will expect to see some resolution of the issue during that time period.  City staff is waiting on direction from the Neighborhood Association on whether to take the proposal forward or not. No change.

  1. Huntley PUD – Jim Tolbert met with the Beyers about the application for amendment to the Huntley Planned Unit Development, along with two members of the Planning Commission.  At this meeting, staff was advised by the Beyers that they no longer desire to pursue a rezoning, but instead intend to develop according to the already approved plan on this section of the site.  Because they already have an approved site plan, that is their prerogative.  We have emphasized to the developer that he needs to quickly submit his reforestation plan so that it can be approved and trees planted during this planting season.  We have also suggested to them that the undersized street trees can be replaced without waiting on approval of the reforestation plan.  The owners went to the Planning Commission on November 13th to ask approval to plant fifty 2-inch caliper trees rather than the forty 4-inch caliper trees previously agreed to.  The Planning Commission approved a substitution of 60 2-inch caliper trees for the 40 4-inch caliper trees.  Staff has received an amended planting plan for the Huntley property, and has provided the owners with comments regarding the plan.  City staff has discussed a possible BAR application for renovations to Huntley Hall.  The owner of the project has submitted a site plan amendment to revise the landscaping plan in the project.  The amendment was approved by the Planning Commission at their July meeting. The owner of the property has approached the City about amending the site plan for the project to use the open space for a community garden.  The City is awaiting a formal submission.  No change.

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