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AUGUST 29, 2007
6:00 P.M.

Board Present: *Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings, Eric F. Purcell and Jack T. Wright

*Fitzgerald A. Barnes left at 8:20 p.m.
Others Present: C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; Darren Coffey, Director of Community Development; Will Cockrell, Senior Planner; Amanda Lloyd, Office Manager and April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk


Chairman Wright called the August 29, 2007 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 6:00 p.m.  Mr. Harper led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Subdivision Roads, Security and Building Permits

Mr. Coffey said currently, building permits were issued after plats were recorded.  Mr. Coffey stated a lot of communities didnt issue building permits until the road was put in.  Mr. Coffey indicated that he mentioned this process at a developers roundtable meeting and the developers reaction was that was how it should be done.  Mr. Coffey recommended that building permits be issued after the road bed was inspected and approved.        

Mr. Coffey said currently, the road bond amount was $50 per linear foot plus a twenty-five percent administrative fee.  Mr. Coffey stated actual road costs average approximately $110 per linear foot and staff recommended that the security be changed to $100 per linear foot plus a twenty-five percent administrative fee.  Mr. Coffey added that would adequately cover the bond in an event where a developer would go out of business and the County would have to pull the bond to build a State specified road.      

Mr. Havasy stated he thought Mr. Coffey contradicted himself when he stated if a subdivision road wasnt finished, then lots couldnt be sold and building permits wouldnt be issued.  Mr. Coffey said the County would only require that a road base be put in, which was a significant portion of the grading and base.  Mr. Coffey added he didnt think that was a contradiction; however, he thought it was good development and would protect the County and homeowners interest.  

Mr. Barnes questioned if the County was currently having problems with the developers not finishing the roads.  Mr. Coffey said no, the County had not had an instance where the developer had gone out of business and the County had to pull a bond to build a road.  Mr. Coffey said normally one main road would be built then VDOT would approve it and the County would release the security deposit back to the developer.  

Mr. Barnes said currently, homeowners pay proffers when building permits were issued and questioned if the developer would have to pay money up front for the proffers.  Mr. Coffey said this issue didnt deal with proffers; it only dealt with the roads.  Mr. Coffey added the proffers would still be paid at the time of the issuance of the building permits, which would be issued after a road base was put in instead of after the subdivision plat was recorded.    

Mr. Purcell stated Mr. Coffey was proposing a 100 percent increase for the road securities.  Mr. Purcell informed the Board that a bond had to be posted with a letter of credit, usually obtained from a financial institution with a two percent yield to the bank per year.  Mr. Purcell indicated that he understood the need to protect the County, but he was against a 100 percent increase because that was too drastic.  Mr. Wright agreed with Mr. Purcell and said a 100 percent increase should be phased over a period of time.    

Mr. Wright questioned what Mr. Coffeys definition was of a base road.  Mr. Coffey said a base road was the gravel base, where the developer would basically grade the road, put the stone base down and pack it to about a ninety percent level to get ready to pave.  Mr. Wright questioned what percentage the base of the road would be for the total cost.  Mr. Coffey said he thought it would be about fifty percent of the total cost.  Mr. Coffey said forty to fifty percent of the road bond could be released after the road base was completed, which would be quicker than normal.  

Mr. Gentry said the idea of releasing the bond early would be a benefit.  Mr. Gentry indicated that if the road bed was built, that would be more than fifty percent already put into the completed road because he thought, on average, that paving the road was only about fifteen to twenty percent of the total project.  Mr. Gentry added the percentage of release of the bond could be much higher than fifty percent at an early stage of the project, which meant that if it were done appropriately, it would not cost the developer an absorbent amount on the letter of credit.

Mr. Purcell questioned Mr. Morgan if this issue would require a public hearing.  Mr. Morgan stated this issue was a matter of policy and a resolution to the ordinance would be needed.  Mr. Wright questioned if it was legal and feasible to give an option for developers to either put the base road in first and require a fifty percent deposit for the security bond or to not build the base road initially and require 100 percent of the bond.  Mr. Morgan stated it was probably legal, but it might become an administrative difficulty to enforce it.  Mr. Coffey indicated that he would prefer to not do it that way because they strive to be consistent and fair.  Mr. Harper said he didnt have any problems with this process as long as the developers didnt.  

Mr. Barnes said he thought the Board should give the public an opportunity to express their comments and concerns.  Mr. Barnes added that people would want justification if they were to see fee increases.  Mr. Harper indicated that the only fee included was the twenty-five percent administrative fee and the other costs are costs of doing business, not a fee that the County would collect.  Mr. Coffey said the administrative fee is twenty-five percent of the security amount.  Mr. Coffey said that is collected for banking and legal fees in an event to pull a bond.  Mr. Coffey added the twenty-five percent administrative fee would also be returned to the developer when the bond was released.  

Mr. Purcell said if the Board was not going to hold a public hearing, he thought the best way to proceed would be for the Board to make a decision in an open meeting, where the public could express their comments and concerns in the citizens information period.  Mr. Wright questioned if the Board could voluntarily hold a public hearing if one was not mandatory.  Mr. Morgan stated there was nothing that would prohibit the Board from doing so.  It was consensus of the Board to hold a public comment forum at a regular Board meeting for the public to comment on this topic before it was voted on.  Mr. Coffey said he could also distribute a letter at the developers roundtable meeting stating that the Board was seeking comment on this topic.  


Status of Project

Mr. Coffey stated the industrial reclassification project was first discussed during a Planning Commission work session on May 25, 2006.  Mr. Coffey said the Planning Commission discussed a possibility of two industrial districts during the “uses and definitions” hearing on June 8, 2006.  Mr. Coffey said on March 7, 2007, the Board adopted a resolution to formally initiate work on amending the Industrial Zoning District and, with that, the County proceeded to contact all known property owners and held a public open house on June 7, 2007.  Mr. Coffey added staff had consulted with about fifty percent of the landowners and almost all had agreed with staffs recommendations.  Mr. Coffey stated the Board then adopted a resolution to delay action on the Industrial reclassification until further discussion on June 18, 2007.

Mr. Purcell questioned what Mr. Coffey proposed to do about the people who had Industrial Zoning and didnt want to change.  Mr. Coffey said staff had given property owners within the IND District a choice of whether they wanted to be rezoned to I-1, I-2 or possibly I-3, if approved by the Board.  Mr. Coffey said if the Board chose to proceed with this reclassification project, staff would send another letter to the landowners that they have not been in contact with.  

Mr. Purcell questioned if property owners would lose some uses either way they chose to rezone.  Mr. Coffey said I-1, I-2 or I-3 does not encompass everything that the IND District currently has.  Mr. Purcell said when uses are taken away in a zoning classification, value is lost and questioned if staff had discussed this with the Assessment Office.  Mr. Morgan said the increase or decrease of the property value couldnt be determined until the changes were officially made.  Mr. Morgan added the zoning had to be in place before assessments could be determined.  Mr. Purcell stated he was in support of a reclassification that provided choices, but he did not agree for reclassification that would remove uses from a piece of property.
Mr. Gentry indicated that he would rather not force any type of zoning on any landowner and questioned how many properties were zoned IND.  Mr. Coffey said there were about 250 properties that were zoned IND.  Mr. Gentry said the County could give property owners the right to rezone if they wanted to, but questioned what harm would be done if some properties were to stay zoned IND.  Mr. Coffey said he had not discussed with anyone the option of keeping the IND District.  Mr. Gentry questioned if what was already zoned IND could be grandfathered.  Mr. Coffey said it could.  Mr. Wright questioned what advantages people would have to rezone their property to I-1, I-2 or I-3.  Mr. Coffey said from a commercial standpoint, there would not be an incentive to rezone because IND is the most permissive district from light industry down.  Mr. Wright said he thought a property owner would have a better feel of what could or couldnt be done if the classifications were put in place.

Mr. Barnes stated he supported the reclassification concept, but he did not want to force landowners to rezone to take away some property rights.  

Mr. Harper said he thought Mr. Coffey was on the correct path with the I-1 and I-2 classifications and he had no problem grandfathering the properties that staff had not been in contact with.  Mr. Harper indicated that he thought it was right to move forward with the I-1 and I-2 districts; however, he thought it was wrong to move forward with the I-3 district by right.  Mr. Harper added the more bureaucratic it was made, the less the people who were elected by the people would have to say about the processes.  

Mr. Coffey said if the Board wanted to grandfather the current IND District, staff would send a letter to the property owners that had already been contacted explaining that they could remain in the current district or they could rezone if they wanted.  Mr. Coffey said a separate letter would be sent to the property owners that had not been contacted requesting them to get in touch with staff or their property would remain in the IND District.  Mr. Wright questioned if it was concurrence for Mr. Coffey and Mr. Morgan to draft sample letters to the IND property owners and present them to the Board at the September 17, 2007 regular meeting.  The Board agreed.  

Possibility of Heavy Industrial (I-3) District

Mr. Coffey stated the purpose of the I-3 district would be to encourage development and continued use of a specific, large area or areas of land designated for medium and heavy industrial purposes.  Mr. Coffey indicated that any uses permitted in the I-2 district, and other specifically stated uses, would be allowed by right.  Mr. Coffey stated the following are some examples of uses that could be permitted by right:

·        Abrasive and miscellaneous nonmetallic mineral products manufacturing
·        Blast furnaces, steel works and rolling and finishing ferrous metals
·        Fuel (gas or liquid) distribution storage
·        Chemicals, fertilizer and allied products manufacturing
·        Iron and steel foundries
·        Asphalt mixing plants
·        Cogeneration plants

Mr. Purcell questioned if the above uses would be permitted in I-2 if the I-3 district were not created.  Mr. Coffey said I-2 was where heavy industry would be permitted with a CUP.  Mr. Coffey added the I-3 district would open up some segments of industry by right that would traditionally require a CUP.  Mr. Gentry said he would rather have a CUP process before allowing heavy industrial by right.  

Mr. Coffey said in the drafting of the I-3 district, there were also significantly increased buffer requirements that were mandatory.  Mr. Coffey indicated that if the Board decided to add the I-3 district, they could proactively rezone specific areas of the County as I-3.  Mr. Barnes said he thought there were some advantages to the I-3 district and he liked the fact that the Board could designate areas that they wanted to be zoned I-3.

Mr. Harper said he thought that allowing I-3 would leave discretion out and he wasnt sure that was a wise thing to do.  Mr. Harper said he thought the County should continue with the CUP process for heavy industry because it would give the public an opportunity to address it and give the Board a chance to exercise some discretion.  Mr. Barnes disagreed and said by not supporting the I-3 district would cost the County a tax base in the future.  Mr. Purcell stated he saw the advantages of being able to market the property with an I-3 zoning, but he couldnt change his thought that the people need the right to address these things.      

Mr. Havasy said he thought the decision came down to whether or not the County wanted to be a player in the industrial world.  Mr. Havasy stated the Board previously approved an 800-acre industrial park for first class businesses that would generate high paying jobs.  

Mr. Gentry said the highway infrastructure would create problems as far as heavy industry and he thought there were few places in Louisa County where heavy industry was to begin with.

On motion of Mr. Harper, seconded by Mr. Gentry, with Messrs Barnes, Havasy and Purcell voting against, which carried by a vote of 4-3, the Board voted to drop the issue of the I-3 district and proceed ahead with the I-1 and I-2 districts, having heavy industry handled by a CUP.

How to Proceed

Mr. Coffey said if the Board approved the sample letters on September 17, 2007, staff would send the letters out the following week and landowners would be given a month to respond.  Mr. Coffey suggested that the Planning Commission schedule a public hearing for November and the Board hold a public hearing in December.  Mr. Coffey questioned if that was a suitable timetable.  Mr. Wright stated he would like for changes to be effective January 1, 2008.  


Transportation Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan Amendment)

Mr. Coffey said on March 5, 2007, the Board approved the Planning Commissions request to formally initiate work on the plan.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the State requirement came into effect on July 1, 2007 and staff was currently reviewing other community transportation plans and drafting a preliminary schedule.  

Mr. Coffey indicated that every locality must develop a transportation plan that identified transportation infrastructure needs, recommended new and expanded transportation facilities, supported the planned development of the locality, includes roadways, bicycle accommodations, pedestrian accommodations, railways, bridges, waterways, airports, ports and public transportation facilities and recognized and differentiated among a hierarchy of roads such as expressways, arterials and collectors.

Mr. Coffey added the plan must include a map showing road and transportation improvements, costs estimates of the improvements, which were available from the Virginia Department of Transportation, text and graphics that account for current and future needs of residents in the locality and consideration of the current and future needs of the planning district within which the locality was situated.      

Mr. Gentry questioned if the transportation priority list could be submitted as the Countys Transportation Master Plan.  Mr. Coffey said staff could include the priority list in the plan as well as the other requirements.  Mr. Wright recommended tying the six-year plan and the priority list with the master plan and bring it back to the Board for final review.  Mr. Wright questioned if it was consensus of the Board for staff to proceed with the master plan.  The Board agreed.  

Impact Fees

Mr. Coffey stated an impact fee was a charge or assessment on new developments that would recover road costs that would benefit the new development.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the fees would be collected with both by right and rezoning developments.  Mr. Coffey said there were several detailed requirements and procedures for creating and enforcing an impact fee policy and staff recommended forming a Technical Advisory Committee to further study the details of impact fees and their role in the County.  Mr. Coffey suggested that Mr. Morgan serve as the Legal Representative, Mr. McLeod serve as the Financial Representative, the Community Development Department serve as the Planners and VDOT serve as the Transportation Specialists.  

Mr. Gentry questioned if impact fees had to be collected.  Mr. Coffey said no.  Mr. Gentry questioned if it was realistic to collect enough impact fees to make a difference on major transportation projects within the County.  Mr. Coffey said probably, but he didnt know.  Mr. Coffey added if the Board was even slightly interested in the possibility of this revenue source then he would suggest forming a Committee to do research.      

Mr. Barnes said currently, the County was limited to what could be done with impact fees and he thought the County should get out of the Richmond transportation district and get included with Charlottesville.  Mr. Purcell agreed with Mr. Barnes.  Mr. Purcell added that forming a Committee would be a benefit because the complex items should be researched at some point.  

Mr. Gentry said Louisa County was fit within the Richmond district because of the Countys high percentage growth rate over a short period of time.  Mr. Lintecum added the County was also included within that district because of the proximity to Richmond.  Mr. Lintecum said he thought the Board needed to collectively look at proffers, impact fees and the community development districts and examine where the County needed to go.  

Mr. Coffey questioned if a Board member would want to be drafted to the Committee.  It was consensus of the Board for Mr. Gentry to serve on the Committee.    

Required Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) for New Developments

Mr. Coffey said the 2006 Traffic Impact Analysis Requirements 15.2-2223.1 required a traffic impact analysis (TIA) to be submitted to the local VDOT residency for review and comment for any rezoning case, such as residential projects over a stated size, commercial projects that generated a stated traffic demand and privately initiated Comprehensive Plan amendments that generated a stated traffic demand.  Mr. Coffey added that VDOT review and comments are strictly advisory and not mandatory.  Mr. Coffey indicated that they go into effect July 2008.  

Mr. Purcell said he thought the timing of the application submittal to the County was important.  Mr. Gentry questioned if this requirement stated what the qualifications were for someone doing a TIA.  Mr. Coffey said he believed that there were basic requirements.  

Cluster provisions

Mr. Coffey stated provisions for clustering of single-family dwellings were to preserve open space.  Mr. Coffey said the cluster provisions apply to localities with a population growth of ten percent or more and localities must adopt standards, conditions and criteria for the preservation of open space in new developments.  Mr. Coffey indicated that cluster provisions must be allowed by right in zoning or subdivision ordinances and they apply to a minimum of forty percent of the unimproved land contained in residential and agricultural zoning.  Mr. Coffey added the State Code did not mandate a minimum open space requirement.  Mr. Coffey referenced two examples of A-2 subdivisions with clustering.  

Mr. Purcell questioned if the open space requirement would be increased if property owners were deed restricted to include part of their lot in the open space.  Mr. Coffey said if the land had an easement, which would still be privately held, it would be considered protected open space.  Mr. Wright indicated that this provision punished the Counties that allowed for growth.

Mr. Gentry questioned when the cluster provisions go into effect.  Mr. Coffey stated the provisions went into effect this past July and the County was not in conformance with them.  Mr. Gentry questioned what the County had to do to be in compliance with the provisions.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the County would have to adopt an ordinance that would meet the criteria.    

Mr. Gentry said he thought the Board should immediately express their concerns about not being in support of the cluster provisions to the Senator and Delegate.  Mr. Gentry added he thought the Board should go snail pace with this topic until after the next General Assembly.  The Board concurred.  Mr. Coffey stated he would not move forward to place this issue on the Planning Commissions agenda until further direction from the Board.  


Proposed Ordinan
ce, Master Plan and Definitions

Mr. Coffey said the Planning Commission recommended approval of the Telecommunications Ordinance and Master Plan.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the Commission had concerns about how the ordinance would address non-licensed carriers, such as radio towers and broadband.  Mr. Coffey said staff worked with CityScape to draft minor amendments to the proposed ordinance and existing definitions in order to address non-licensed carriers.  

Mr. Wright questioned if new towers required a minimum of three co-locators.  Mr. Coffey said he believed a minimum number of co-locators were required, but he would double check.  Mr. Gentry said he knew that a consultant was used to locate some towers and questioned if the same consultant was used to co-locate.  Mr. Coffey said the consultant had been hired to do the master plan, the ordinance and application reviews.  

Application/Review Fees

Mr. Coffey said the proposed fee schedule was $2,000 for non-licensed facilities and it is currently $4,000 for licensed facilities.  Mr. Coffey said the fee differentiation is intended to encourage co-location and promote broadband facilities.  


Sign Ordinance

Mr. Coffey stated the Countys sign regulations were originally adopted in 1992 and have not been revised since 2000.  Mr. Coffey said the most recent commercial development in the Zion Crossroads area had demonstrated several deficiencies in the ordinance regarding the number and types of signs allowed.  Mr. Coffey said the Planning Commission would review the proposed amendments in a work session, which is tentatively scheduled for the second week in September.    

Setbacks in Commercial General (C-2) Zoning

Mr. Coffey said a waiver to the setback regulations may be granted by the Zoning Administrator for projects that are located within a designated area, that meet new urban/neo-traditional planning principles or that further the objectives and goals set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.  Mr. Coffey indicated that appeals must be received in writing within 30 days of the waiver decision, which would then be forwarded to the Planning Commission for a final determination.  Mr. Coffey added if it was the Boards desire, they could have the final decision.  

Mr. Gentry questioned what the current appeal process was.  Mr. Coffey said a setback couldnt be violated unless there was a variance.  Mr. Gentry questioned if the Planning Commission or the Board were currently included in the appeal process.  Mr. Coffey said the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) were the only body involved.  

Mr. Barnes stated he thought the Board should have the final decision of the appeal instead of the Planning Commission.  

Mr. Harper stated Route 208 would be a good road to consider because it might need realignment at some point to facilitate the flow of traffic and questioned how that was taken into consideration.  Mr. Coffey said one criterion would be for VDOT to signoff for extra right-of-way.  Mr. Gentry said an alignment design would be needed because it would be very difficult to come up with a number.  

Mr. Havasy questioned if it was time for the County to start thinking about having a review board in commercially developed areas to give consistent appearance throughout the County.  Mr. Wright questioned if the review could be done in-house.  Mr. Coffey stated it could be done a number of ways, but an alternative to a review board would be design criteria.  It was consensus of the Board for Mr. Coffey to come back to the Board with a specific recommended approach.

Affordable Housing - with Agricultural (A-2) Zoning

Mr. Coffey stated in January 2007, the Board adopted changes to the Agricultural (A-2) Zoning District, returning the number of division rights to seven lots for A-2 parent parcels.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the Board had asked for consideration of an additional three units designated for affordable housing.  Mr. Coffey added the Planning Commission was scheduled to discuss this topic at their next regular meeting.  

Build Out Analysis

Mr. Barnes left at 8:20 p.m.

Mr. Coffey stated staff recently completed the first draft of a countywide build out analysis, which showed what was allowed to happen under the current land use laws, plans and policies.  Mr. Coffey said the analysis acts as a tool to inform and provide that information on the implications of land use policies.  Mr. Coffey said staff reviewed the results of the analysis with the Board and Commission members and are still available to discuss it with officials.

Mr. Gentry stated the build out analysis was a planning tool and questioned if Mr. Coffey could start using it or if additional action was needed from the Board.  Mr. Wright questioned if a deadline could be set for the end of next week for anyone who had not met with staff to discuss the analysis plan to do so and Mr. Coffey could proceed forward with what they had.  

Mr. Coffey stated this was an interesting tool and the better everyone understood it, the better it would be received.  Mr. Coffey added that is why he wanted to meet one on one with the press as well.  Mr. Purcell indicated that this tool was very generalized and the public should be educated properly.  Mr. Coffey said he would send an email to all Board and Planning Commission members stating that staff would be available to meet with them until the end of next week and then they would be meeting with the press.    

Mr. Harper stated he would like the Board to use this measuring device to impact decisions that would be made.  

Resort Development (RD) District Uses Allowed

Mr. Coffey stated in September 2006, the Board adopted amendments to the uses and definitions for the Zoning/Subdivision Ordinances.  Mr. Coffey indicated that the project clarified which uses were allowed within each zoning district.  Mr. Coffey said several uses, such as retail, restaurant and multi-family, were unintentionally omitted from the Resort Development (RD) District and staff recommended that the omissions be corrected.  

The Board agreed for Mr. Coffey to proceed in correcting the omissions.


On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to adjourn the August 29, 2007 meeting at 8:30 p.m.