To: Fry’s Spring Neighbors

From:  Brian Haluska, AICP, Neighborhood Planner

Date: 7/26/2010

RE:  Neighborhood Issues/Development Update

Fry’s Spring

  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 will be considered again at the Commission’s August meeting.

  1. Fry’s Spring Historic Survey:  The Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Historic Survey is complete.  Two hundred properties were documented, and at least 23 residents contributed helpful information. The final survey documents and maps are now available on the City’s website.  The project consultants, architectural historian Maral Kalbian and Margaret Peters, and gave a  presentation of the survey results on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at the Cherry Avenue Christian Church.  The presentation will be repeated later in the summer, probably at a downtown location.

  1. Fontaine Fire Station:  The City has received an application for the construction of a new fire station on Fontaine Avenue.  The site plan has been submitted, as well as an entrance corridor application.  The steep slope waiver for the property has been approved, along with the preliminary site plan and entrance corridor review. The City has agreed to purchase an adjacent property to the Fire Station site, and will be modifying the design of the site to incorporate the new property.  A rezoning and critical slope waiver request will be required for the additional piece of property.


  1. 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 received the letter of agreement from the railroad this week, and is reviewing it.

  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. No change.

  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.  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.  VDOT presented these design changes to the FSNA on July 26, 2010 and has submitted meeting minutes to capture the exchange.  The plans are currently scheduled to be bid in the summer of 2010, and the project remains fully funded.

  1. Zoning Changes:  I will be presented 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.

  1. Avon Center:  This is a 43 acre commercial development in the County of Albemarle, just south of the Ridge Street neighborhood.  The development would connect Fifth Street Extended to Avon Street.  City staff has met with the developers to talk over the concerns the City has regarding the project, specifically regarding the traffic impact on 5th Street.  This development would have an outlet to 5th street Extended via Bent Creek Road.  City staff has reviewed the traffic dispersal pattern for the project and agrees with the conclusion that the peak hour traffic figures on Harris Road will not be impacted by Avon Center.  Staff has discussed the requirements for improvement at the intersection of Bent Creek and Fifth Street with the developers of the property.  The developer is working to acquire additional right-of-way for Bent Creek Road.  Despite media reports suggesting the project has started, the project remains under review in the County.  The owner of the property did construct a construction entrance off of Avon Street for the purpose of moving in machinery necessary to recap the undermined former landfill, and stabilize the stream bank to avoid future erosion of the landfill.  This work is being done with consultation from the Environmental Protection Agency.

  1. Fontaine Research Park Rezoning – The University of Virginia Real Estate Foundation has submitted an application to the County Board of Supervisors to rezone the Fontaine Research Park to allow an approximate doubling of the density of the Research Park.  This action is consistent with discussions that occurred during the preparation of the Area B Study.  The concept plan submitted with the rezoning does not show the proposed Fontaine/Sunset Connector going all the way through University property.  However, Mr. Sandridge has written the Mayor and indicated that the University is committed to building the connector from Fontaine to their property line that adjoins the Granger Property.  At this point they only show the road as necessary to service the development, but he is committed to build an additional road to extend to the property line when the project moves forward.  They have not proffered to assist with the bridge over the railroad or Moore’s Creek at this time.  At the PACC Tech meeting on 1/30, the proposed intersection with Interstate 64 was rejected.  At the PACC mtg on May 21, 09, the county's head planner, David Benish, presented further information on the subject.  The County application tracking system shows the project as being “Under Review”.  No change.