CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE
PLANNING COMMISSION WORKSESSION
TUESDAY, March 23, 2010 -- 5:00 P.M.
NDS CONFERENCE ROOM
Planning Commissioners present
Mr. Bill Emory
Mr. Dan Rosensweig
Mr. John Santoski
Mr. Kurt Keesecker
Ms. Genevieve Keller
Ms. Missy Creasy, Planning Manager
Mr. Nick Rogers, Neighborhood Planner
Mr. Richard Harris, Deputy City Attorney
Missy Creasy opened the meeting at 5:14pm.
A discussion commenced concerning the Jefferson School property. Ms. Creasy advised that the applicant was planning to come in to discuss options for the Jefferson School but staff resolved the proper direction prior to this meeting. A proposed café in the complex would require rezoning the property from B1 to B2. Ms. Keller advised that she is a member of the Jefferson School Group and would sit in on the discussion for informational purposes only. Mr. Rogers stated that in 2007 City Council approved a purchase agreement with the Jefferson School Community Partnership. The partnership is trying to firm up what they plan to do. The two tenants on the property right now are the Carver Recreation Center and the African American Cultural Heritage Center. They want to fill the space with other tenants, one of which would be a café. Mr. Rogers stated that there were actually two options if the Jefferson School were to have a café. The first would be to amend the B1 designation to allow for a restaurant by- right or special use permit. The second would be to rezone the property to allow for a restaurant. In 2010, the rezoning application will come before the Commission. Mr. Rogers stated that a B2 rezoning would be most appropriate versus the Light industrial, Downtown, and West Main zones in the immediate area. He also noted that in the zoning code “cafes” are lumped together with other types of eateries as restaurants and therefore B1 would not work. Rezoning to Downtown zoning like Random Row, across the street, is not suggested because of the proximity to an R2 zone and West Main zone. Mr. Rogers provided the regulations for Downtown and West Main zoning. Ms. Creasy stated that the density and height of the Jefferson School project is closest to that of the neighborhood. Mr. Rogers also provided the specifics of B2 zoning and noted that it did not contain a mixed use requirement. Mr. Rosensweig would like to see the applicant attempt to have a mixed use designation as well as consideration for buffering the adjacent residential area.
Discussion moved to the zoning matrix revision. Mr. Rogers created a memo discussing the status of the matrix revisions. The workshop will be a part of the regular meeting in April. Mr. Rogers discussed his meeting with the Chamber of Commerce noting that the chamber was concerned with restrictions and making more uses by special use permit. A presentation was also made to the Housing Advisory Committee (HAC). They expressed concern about historic districts, density, heights, and increase in affordable housing. Mr. Rogers advised them that the concern was about land use. A website will be set up with the matrix slideshow, work sessions, memos, and live audio/video. Mr. Santoski noted Fry’s Spring Beach Club’s concern over the Private Club use. Staff noted that Fry’s Spring would be considered nonconforming. Ms. Creasy noted that there will be a discussion about the community center designation in the future. Mr. Keesecker asked if there could be footnotes put on the website referencing dates of changes. Ms. Keller brought up the concern with adult day care being treated the same as child day care. Mr. Rosensweig discussed the HAC’s interest in live/work and how to work towards influencing an ordinance that is less restrictive for such. Due to changing factors, perhaps the discussion about converting some properties to B&B can be reopened. Ms. Keller mentioned hostels and how they fit into the B&B discussion. Hostels will be discussed later along with group housing.
Ms. Creasy provided a proposed process for the zoning matrix workshop. It could be similar to a public hearing process, but less formal. Mr. Rogers would provide a basic overview and then talk about citizen participation activities. Commissioners would have the opportunity to ask questions of the staff. It would be open to public comment with a sign in sheet. There would be no time limit depending on the interest from the public. Commissioners could talk back and forth with citizens until there were no more speakers and then let everyone know that the next opportunity to discuss the item. At April work session the commission has the opportunity to make a final call on whether it will move forward for public hearing. Mr. Keesecker asked if a line item vote would be taken and how it would be captured. Ms. Creasy said that non-controversial items will be grouped as one vote. Whatever is left can be worked through individually. A public hearing can take place and remain open so discussion may continue until the next meeting if needed. The motion will include all of the items in order for clarity.
Discussion moved to the status report on various projects noted on the memo dated March 1, 2010. The first project is the slope waiver review. Materials from Southern Environmental Law were received. Feasibility of those suggestions has been discussed with engineering. The second project is the zoning matrix which had been discussed tonight. The third project is dancehall venue changes. This is under review and being reworded per the noise ordinance changes council has made and should return to the Commission in May. The fourth project is the entrance corridor guidelines. The Commission was reminded that their next assignment is due May 11, 2010. The fifth project is the building footprint in lot size information. The memo is scheduled to come out after the action plan in mid May. The sixth project is sidewalk prioritization. A draft listing of different sidewalks is coming together based on safe routes to school criteria. A draft will go to the Commission and Council in June. The seventh project is Cherry Avenue uses which is part of the last matrix with mixed use. The eight project: no River Corridor changes, but still looking at it for the comprehensive plan review. Mr. Keesecker mentioned the possibility of a design competition or urban farming as interesting avenues for research, input and idea creation. The ninth project is the Charlottesville Mitigation Exchange. Prior to her trip, Ebony Walden will get together a memo to include all of the research and status before the end of May. There was positive feedback to Mr. Rogers on his matrix presentation at the last meeting.
There was no public comment.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:48 pm.